Men's Match of the Day
Shanghai - Round Robin
Roger Federer def. Juan Carlos Ferrero (4) 6-3 6-4
Last year, Juan Carlos Ferrero surprised everyone with his Masters Cup showing. He had a fine first half of 2001, a terrible second half, and then amazed us all by making the Masters Cup semifinal.
This year doesn't look so promising. Ferrero was never as bad in 2002 as his second half of 2001, but he was never as good as his first half, either. And it looks like that is continuing. One loss isn't decisive at the Masters Cup -- but this isn't good news at all. Ferrero was playing one of the two rookies, and he couldn't even win a set (and sets can count as tiebreaks in the Masters Cup). Given that he still has to play Andre Agassi -- and not on clay this time -- this is a real blow to Ferrero's hopes of another semifinal. And that, in turn, means a very good chance that he'll end the year at #6 after coming in at #4.
Just as one match isn't a decisive loss for Ferrero, one match isn't a decisive win for Federer. But his chances look good: He probably needs only to win only one of his other two matches to make the semi. And even if he fails -- well, not only is he in his first Masters Cup, but he's won his first match. A pretty good day.