It was his to win. The last ATP Masters 1000 of the year took place in Bercy, France as it has for the past few years. One by one the superstars of men's tennis put in an appearance, and one by one they lost matches that at any other time of the year they would've fought tooth and nail to win. London England was singing it's siren song with the ATP WTF beginning on Monday November 5 no one seemed to want to play until the end.
It's easy to say that the tournament was left to the second tier but that is really what happened. Still there was some excitement as a 21 year old from Lodz, Poland, Jerzy Jancowicz, went from the Qualifying rounds to the final showing that big men - he's 6'8" tall - don't have to be serving machines with limited movement. Don't get me wrong he has the monster serve but he can also move like a gazelle around the court. He has all the shots and showed he can hang with the big boys.
This was young Jancowicz's best performance on a big stage. Commentators duly reported how his family had had to sell almost everything to be able to afford to keep their son on the pro tour. There were solemn pronouncements about players like Milos Raonic, John Isner and other big men were seeing their approach to the sport rendered obsolete by this youngsters mobility.
It remains to be seen how Jancowicz will perform now that he has gone from the hunter to the hunted. Last year he couldn't afford to travel to Melbourne. 2013 will see him not only travel there but be a seed.
While all of this was going on, and one player developed "sudden fatigue" to deny Jancowicz his deserved semi final victory David Ferrer, the man who at 30 was finally being noticed not just as part of the Spanish Armada but as a player with a distinct personality and attitude. With the others in the chunnel Ferrer was still flying under the radar playing hard and winning matches. He was going to make the semi's and probably the final. When he took the court on Sunday afternoon in Paris the only question was would he be able to stop the young fireball from Lodz.
The first set was a nail biter. Ferrer showed himself to be a wily opponent. By mid set he'd figured out Jancowicz's deadly drop shot and was anticipating his opponents use of it. He absorbed all of his foe's tricks while making him move, using the movement to wear the youngster down mentally and in the end physically. Jancowicz was pressing in the second set and finally hit the wall that was already looming in the later stages of the first set.
It's hard to believe that this was David's first M1000 crown but it was and it's long overdue. His confidence is going to be sky high going into Melbourne and that will make him a factor where ever he lands in the draw.
Congratulations David Ferrer. You're no longer just another Spaniard.
Fed Cup 2012
The Fed Cup Final had a little something for everyone. Lucie Šafářová played the best tennis of her career. Ana Ivanovic redeemed herself by defeating Petra Kvitova who seemed to have her mojo back on day one but had lost it again on day two. Jelena Jankovic left the court on day two in tears and said she as finished with Fed Cup.
In the end the Czechs lifted the trophy aloft for the second year in a row. Lets see if Šafářová will carry her great play into 2013. We can also ask if Petra Kvitova's time is over before it really began.
I was never a fan of Jelena Jankovic - all the drama on court was just too much - but she's never been the same after having Ricardo Sanchez as her coach.
Speaking of Sanchez he's coaching Nadia Petrova now. Earlier this year he tried coaching Caroline Wozniacki. It didn't work out well and if there was any bitterness he let his player do the talking today. It was Wozniacki who ended up taking a medical time out for a calf injury to cover up the loss she knew was coming. The "I'll pretend I have an injury cause I'm gonna lose" thing is becoming a regular feature of the WTA. It needs to stop.
WTA $125's and ATP WTF
The WTA is premiering this level of challenger in Asia. The first tournament was held in Taipei and saw promising French player Kristina Mladenovic win the title. There will be another $125k tournament in Pune, India this week. Of course no one will be paying much attention with the ATP WTF taking place in London.
So let's see. How did the Top 8 of the ATP get assigned for the Round Robin?
 N Djokovic (SRB)
 A Murray (GBR)
 T Berdych (CZE)
[7} J-W Tsonga (FRA)
[2} R Federer (SUI)
 D Ferrer (ESP)
 J. M. del Potro (ARG)
 J Tipsarevic (SRB)
I guess they gave the Monogram carte blanche in deciding the groups. Group A is Murderer's Row. Group B is the Cakewalk Division.
This picture seems to indicate that he's Number One. I'm guessing that's how he wants to be seen and what he expects the outcome to be.
I'm already pissed off and not a set has been played yet.