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Old 11-07-2011, 12:53 PM   #1
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Default Placing the World Tour Finals Contenders

We are finally down to the last standard tennis tournament of the year. After this week, there will only be the World Tour Finals and the Davis Cup final. The year’s final tournament is on a Masters 1000 event on a fast indoor hard court in Paris (Bercy). And even though the court apparently has been slowed down a little for this year, it is still one of the faster tournaments on tour. There are currently 3 spots remaining in the Finals (top 8 qualify) and 7 players can still mathematically qualify. Here are those contenders, with how many points they have earned this year and what their chances of doing well in Bercy are.

6. Tomas Berdych (2940 points)- The ATP made quite a gaffe on Saturday when they announced that Berdych had qualified for the Finals. It took them a few hours to realize that whoever made that release couldn’t do some basic math. Berdych needs to reach the semifinals to clinch himself a spot in the Finals, even if players behind him manage to go farther this tournament. Berdych actually got a very tough draw and will probably face stiff challenges in every single round. I would not expect him to reach a semifinal here and have to hope that those chasing him won’t pull off incredible runs.

7. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (2935)- Tsonga has been playing some great tennis in the second half of this year, though he still has not fared well against the very top players (except against Federer). The five fewer points that Tsonga has than Berdych actually makes quite a difference, as Tsonga needs to reach the final in Bercy to guarantee himself a Finals berth. Tsonga actually has a favorable draw and should be the favorite in his quarter now that Djokovic has pulled out of the tournament. That half of the draw is wide open though and we could very well see Tsonga against Monfils in the semifinals with a possible Finals berth on the line.

8. Mardy Fish (2875)- Fish is the third and final player to be in very good position for the top 8. He also needs a final to guarantee himself a Finals berth, but the gap between him and Race #9 Nicolas Almagro is significant. As long as none of the contenders below reach the final or win the tournament then Fish, Tsonga, and Berdych will be in. If one of them can manage a miracle run though, Fish is first in line to fall behind. Fish pulled out of Basel after contesting just one game due to a hamstring injury, but he tweeted that he is okay to compete in Bercy and London, assuming he qualifies. He will probably be a bit rusty and ginger though and I would not expect too much from Fish here.

To read the entire article, please click here. As always, thoughts and opinions are welcome and requested.
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