The ATP has crowned it's King of 2012. Novak Djokovic, who showed remarkable restraint when faced with an opponent at the ATP WTF final who usurped the top ranked players seat to the left of the Chair surgically took the would be usurper apart. Anger saw him go down 0-3 in the opening set but then he pulled himself together and won in straight sets.
Apologists for the Usurper have tried to say that it's not a given that the higher ranked player in a match, who comes in last, always sits to the left of the Chair. They've even denied that Djokovic gave his opponent a look as he took the lower ranked players chair. True he didn't stand hand on hip, right leg thrust out and ask "Really?" but he did give a quick look to an opponent who avoided eye contact. They were on an indoor tennis court not a playground and Djokovic decided to take the high ground.
I am not, and will never be a fan of Novak Djokovic but I was pleased with how this match played out. The would be Usurper claims to respect and love the game of tennis. I would've preferred it if he had gotten up after realizing his mistake and moved to the proper position on the sidelines. Tennis is already living with the results of his backing new ATP head honcho Brad Drewitt and costing lower ranked players a bigger piece of the pie. Now he's spit in the face of tennis tradition publicly. And his fans still pretend he is a god and can do no wrong.
Marc Lopez and Marcel Granollers won the doubles crown at the ATP WTF. A nice ending to what was a good, if not great year in men's doubles. I hope that doubles gets more coverage going forward not just when a top player is playing the doubles tournament.
Davis Cup Champions
The Czech Republic put its Davis Cup hopes on the racquet of one Radek Stepanek who stood across the net from Spain's Nicolas Almagro to play the decisive fifth rubber in the 2012 Davis Cup Final. It wasn't Radek, who is more known for his, uh, let's say colorful on court attire and his celebratory worm dance these days than winning tournaments, who had thrown shade on Almagro though. It was Tomas Berdych who did that, saying that Almagro was the weakest link on the Spanish team and implying that he would be the way to victory for the Czechs. There was a lot of drama about those statements but in the end he was proven right.
It wasn't that long ago that Almagro was complaining bitterly about being left off of Spain's Davis Cup teams because he wasn't part of the "in crowd". In the deciding rubber he was playing the most pressure packed match of his career. Maybe he'll do better next time.
Captain Alex Corretja strongly defended his choices including not playing Feliciano Lopez in the final rubber in an interview after the tie ended in an interview with Reuters.
Corretja was unrepentant.
"As captain I try to cope with the situation as best I can and in the end we fought as hard as we could to win a final that eluded us by a tiny, tiny margin," he told Cadena Ser.
"If we played Czech Republic again tomorrow I would choose the same four players."
The failure of Spain's bid for a fourth title in five years left a bitter taste for Corretja and his players and the absence of the injured Nadal, who has only lost once in 21 Davis Cup singles rubbers, proved decisive.
The victory by the Czechs ended a year in which their players won The Hopman Cup, The Fed Cup and the Davis Cup. Congratulations to their players.
Gisela Dulko Retires
Gisela Dulko of Argentina retired from the women's tour at the age of 27. Playing with Flavia Pennetta of Italy she was part of one of the most popular women's doubles teams. Good luck and best wishes for your future Gise!
Does Anyone Know This Man?
Reputed to be a big time tennis player he's rumored to have been practicing in private for awhile now to test out a bad knee. He's also been posting pictures of himself online with a totally different look.
Fans of this man are reportedly waiting patiently for his return in 2013. Being realistic he won't be match tough and will have to play his way into top competitive form. He is also rumored to be playing a clay court swing in the Spring.
Let's wish him well.
There is a lot of drama surrounding top Czech players Petra Kvitova and Tomas Berdych, most of it centered on Miroslav Cernosek (seen to the left in the picture below)
If anyone can translate this article please do. There are summaries around that have one time player Pavel Složil stating the following about Kvitova and more about the situation in Czech tennis in general:
- in late 2011 he predicted that Petra wont dominate in 2012 for sure, maybe win few tourneys
- she isn't good enough (yet) to be on par with in form Serena/Masha (brain, fitness, ...)
- he didn't know for quite a time that she had asthma problems
- he recommends her to eventually contact Marian Vajda (to change few things in health/fitness/food - Djoko like)
- he openly said that she is fat a and that is a a big reason (often with ashma) that she cannot compete at 100%
- her overweight is cause of lack of fitness and that is big factor to her confidence in matches
- he suspect that she isn't traning hard enough in fitness area
- he said that she is for sure better than 8th in the world, but
Thanks to "Lufa" on fan board Tennis Forum for the above. There are also supposed to be comments about Berdych in the same article.
ATP Challenger Tour Finals
The ATP Challenger Tour Finals will be played in Sao Paulo, Brazil from November 27 to December 1. The tournament will feature the top seven Challenger tour players based on their top ten results of 2012 and must have played in a minimum of 8 ATP Challenger Tour events.
The top ten players are listed below.
1 Lacko, Lukas (SVK) 165
2 Becker, Benjamin (GER) 135
3 Viola, Matteo (ITA) 113
4 Rosol, Lukas (CZE) 110
5 Smyczek, Tim (USA) 109
6 Russell, Michael (USA) 95
7 Struff, Jan-Lennard (GER) 93
8 Mayer, Leonardo (ARG) 90
9 Donskoy, Evgeny (RUS) 90
10 Montanes, Albert (ESP) 80
Defending champion Cedrik-Marcel Stebe is not in this years top 100