Re: ATP Champions Race to Shanghai 2008
13th - 19th October 2008.
(3/5 weeks to the end of the regular season).
This week: TMS Madrid (100pts).
Profiling the players with at least an outside shot of a Shanghai place (bar = 100pts from #8):
(+108) Nikolay Davydenko (RUS): MADRID - should make R3 (+15 pts), which would ensure that is on the cusp of qualifying for the TMC. Any further wins after that would be a bonus, considering the strength of his section of the draw.
(+45) Andy Roddick (USA): MADRID - should really be targeting QF (+25pts), which would most likely keep him comfortably in the top 8.
(+28) David Ferrer (ESP): MADRID - QF (+25pts) not impossible, but plenty of danger lurks beforehand (Lopez R2, Kohlschreiber/Wawrinka R3), with an early exit potentially very damaging for him.
(+3) Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG): MADRID - a brutal draw (Nalbandian/Berdych R3, Tsonga/Federer QF), but he looks set for solid points (min. R3, +15pts).
(-3) James Blake (USA): MADRID - a difficult draw (Simon, Andreev, Davydenko), but QF (+25pts) is attainable, which would keep him well in the hunt.
(-26) Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI): MADRID - needs to score solid points here, but Kohlschreiber(/Moya), in R2, could have other ideas.
(-29) Fernando Gonzalez (CHI): MADRID - Gonza Truba will find it very hard not to lose ground on the top 8 this week. R3 (+15pts) is likely to be his last stop.
(-51) Gilles Simon (FRA): MADRID - the Shanghai dream should keep slipping away, with Simon facing difficult match-ups from the off.
(-55) Fernando Verdasco (ESP): MADRID - has a reasonable shot at R3 (+15pts), but that isn't good enough at this stage.
(-57) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA): MADRID - R3 (+15pts) is his realistic limit, although with Federer bound to be a little rusty, you never quite know...
(-59) Nicolas Almagro (ESP): MADRID - "...if it isn't clay, talk to my hand 'cos my face ain't bothered." Well, he might as well have said that.
(-73) Igor Andreev (RUS): MADRID - a very difficult section of the draw, but he is capable of winning any of these matches. Your guess is as good as mine as to whether he falls in R1 (+1pt), or goes as far as QF (+25pts).
(-73) Gael Monfils (FRA): MADRID - at full fitness, Gael could do damage in his section of the draw, but anyone seeing his weekend Vienna matches would wonder if he will do little more than honour his commitment to the tournament.
(-77pts) David Nalbandian (ARG): MADRID - Fat Dave is back to his best, which is just as well when you see the draw he has. Could fall in any round (Berdych could be a nasty opener), but, as we saw last year, could do the unthinkable.
(-87) Tommy Robredo (ESP): MADRID - might struggle to beat Seppi, but little doubt that he would bend over for Roddick, in R2.
(-91) Mardy Fish (USA): MADRID - might shock Gasquet, but is unlikely to go further.
(-91) Tomas Berdych (CZE): MADRID - should beat Schuettler in R1, but from then on any win will be a bonus.
(-95) Richard Gasquet (FRA): MADRID - I think most have given up trying to anticipate Gasquet performances, but in his better form he could pose a serious threat to virtually anyone in the draw, including Nadal (his potential R3 opponent). Still, it is more than likely he falls before the QF.
(-96) Robin Soderling (SWE): MADRID - where there's an important event, you can practically guarantee that Soderling will collapse like a cheap tent in the early rounds. Madrid looks to be no exception (tricky Karlovic R2, and Djokovic R3), but Soderling is at his most dangerous indoors, so a huge run cannot be discounted.
(-97) Dmitry Tursunov (RUS): MADRID - R2 is likely to be his limit (Djokovic), but, on his day, Dima can surprise.