Monday, October 19, 2009

ATP: The Sleepy Season

It's been a month since Juan Martin Del Potro defeated Roger Federer in the US Open finals. Traditionally, this signals the start of tennis' sleepy season where the top players take a break after a long and grueling season while others (those on the cusp of the top 8 and below) try to rank as many points/money as they can while the big dogs are away.

The first big tournament took place this past week in Shanghai where all of the top players were slated to return. Instead, Roger Federer and Andy Murray withdrew beforehand due to fatigue and injury respectively. Then during the tournament, four of the top 16 seeds retired due to injury including two of the top four, Juan Martin Del Potro and Andy Roddick. The results have got to be just a bit disconcerting especially for Del Potro as he has lost in his first two matches he has played since winning the US Open.

Still trying to get his groove back, Rafael Nadal was able to reach the finals at Shanghai only to be taken out in straight sets by Nikolay Davydenko. Nadal has been without a title for more than five months, the last in Rome back in May. A week before he managed to reach the semifinals at the China Open, but loss terribly to Marin Cilic 6-1 6-3. It's like one step forward, two steps back for him.

With all the injuries and retirement, the usual end-of-season cry of the season being too long has once again reached a fever pitch. Who knows if anything will actually get done to resolve it. The next big tournaments are the Paris Masters starting November 8 and then the World Tour Finals a month from now.

As for the WTA? Don't even get me started on them. They're even more of a mess than the ATP.

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