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Discussion Starter #1
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/2269736.stm


By Piers Newbery
BBC Sport Online



With the Davis Cup set aside until the final in November and all four Grand Slams out of the way, the focus for the world's best players is now on the Masters Cup.

The top seven players in the ATP Champions Race at the end of the Paris Masters in early November, plus the best-placed Grand Slam champion, will get a trip to Shanghai.

And the Masters Cup, which begins on 11 November, is much more than just an end-of-season showcase.

It is the closest men's tennis gets to a world championship, with $3,700,000 prize money to be shared among eight players.


Which explains why the world's best will look for every point they can get in the 11 tournaments before the end of the season to make the top seven.

The eighth place goes to the highest-placed Grand Slam champion who finishes between eighth and 20th - bringing Pete Sampras and Thomas Johansson into the equation.

Players score points from the Grand Slams, Masters Series events, and then their five best other tournament results.

There are two more Masters Series events - in Madrid and Paris so these will be the best chance to make up ground.

BBC Sport Online looks at how the race is shaping up.



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1. Lleyton Hewitt (690 points)
The world number one and defending Masters Cup champion is the only player to have secured a place in Shanghai already, and will be among the favourites again this year.

2. Andre Agassi (554)
The 32-year-old is all but there and has proved again this year with his performances at the US Open and in winning two Masters Series titles that there are few better when it comes to the major events.

3. Marat Safin (438)
An alarming slump in form has seen the Russian fail to collect any significant points since making the semi-finals at the French Open, but he should have enough in the bag to be safe.

4. Tim Henman (420)
Britain's number one has exactly the same number of points as he managed last year - when he finished an agonising ninth in the Champions Race - and only injury looks like stopping him this time.

5. Carlos Moya (393)
The first of three Spaniards tied on the same number of points, Moya holds the edge over his compatriots with some recent good form and a game that can prosper on hardcourts and indoor carpet.

6. Juan Carlos Ferrero (393)
The great Spanish hope at just 21, Ferrero excels on clay and can also perform on hardcourts - as he proved reaching the last four in Cincinnati - but will have to be at his best to pick up the necessary points indoors.

7. Albert Costa (393)
After surprising everyone by winning the French Open Costa has hardly set the world alight, but the Roland Garros title was a lifetime's ambition and motivation may be lacking as he leaves the clay behind.

8. Tommy Haas (388)
An arm injury has hampered the German in recent weeks but if he can overcome that he is well placed to at least match his eighth-placed finish of last year, as he thrives in Europe's indoor arenas.



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The challengers:

9. Andy Roddick (383)
The biggest threat to the top eight, the American teenager looks in great shape to make his first Masters Cup as his rapidly improving game and huge serve should find success indoors.

10. Roger Federer (356)
It has been a disappointing year for the man many have tipped as a future number one, but the Swiss star is still in contention and is another who tends to be at his best towards the end of the year.

12. Pete Sampras (347)
A month ago the thought that Sampras might turn up in Shanghai would have been almost laughable, but, unless Costa drops out of the top seven, the old master should have one last tilt.

14. Thomas Johansson (312)
Not surprisingly, the Swede has failed to match the heights of winning the Australian Open in January, and injury problems mean his best bet is to try to overhaul Costa and Sampras for the Grand Slam winner's spot.
 

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I just hope that Marat will make it to Shanghai. But the things have been shaping horribly lately :sad:
 

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Too bad Canas get injured. If he would ve played the US OPEN and some more tournaments he could do it.:(
 

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6. Juan Carlos Ferrero (393)
The great Spanish hope at just 21, Ferrero excels on clay and can also perform on hardcourts - as he proved reaching the last four in Cincinnati - but will have to be at his best to pick up the necessary points indoors.
:cough: Spot the error :p
 

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there's another error. they called him the "great Spanish hope". the only correct word there is "Spanish"...:p :p
 

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i totally agree!!!!!! it was a sign of Guga's talent that he was able to spank ol' Sergi in the French. i still have that tape. what a sweet match. at least Sergi got some comfort from knowing that he had been spanked by the "great Brazlian hope"...:p :p
 

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:D :D
 

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Discussion Starter #19
being #2 doesn't take you into the hall of fame or make you an all time great.

Moya and Bruguera will go down into that category.

No Claudine, don't go into Moya clubs


after Hong Kong semis
Marat gained 3 pts too to take him to 441, every tourn of his will count as his optional events pts are pretty dire.

Ferrero is on 414
Moya on 402

Moya needs to win the title more as he can't gain much pts other than Masters-Series.
 
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