Saturday, November 21, 2009

ATP: World Tour Finals

You already know the storylines to look out for at this years ATP World Tour Finals to take place in London's O2 Arena. The only 2009 Grand Slam winner/finalist to not make it this year is Wimbledon finalist Andy Roddick who pulled out due to injury. His withdrawal, however, made room for French Open finalist Robin Soderling.

The elite eight men trying to claim the end-of-year prize are:

1. Roger Federer - A few wins here and he can clinch the year-end #1 ranking to cap off his historic and amazing year. Not only did he get married and become a father, but he gets his Career Slam and breaks Sampras' Slam tally record.

Grand Slam Results: F, W, W, F
Titles: Roland Garros, Wimbledon, Madrid, Cincinnati
Runner-Up: Australian Open, US Open, Basel

2. Rafael Nadal - He was as close as to unbeatable in the first half of the year claiming his first hardcourt Slam title and expectedly dominating the clay tournaments. But then injury hit and he hasn't been the same since losing for the first time in Roland Garros and had to withdraw from Wimbledon.

Grand Slam Results: W, 4r, -, SF
Titles: Australian Open, Rome, Indian Wells, Monte Carlo, Barcelona
Runner-Up: Shanghai, Madrid, Rotterdamn

3. Novak Djokovic - Reaching the most finals out of the top 10, he has done well this year and made a huge statement beating Federer and then Nadal in back-to-back tournaments.

Grand Slam Results: QF, 3r, QF, SF
Titles: Paris, Basel, Dubai, Beijing, Belgrade
Runner-Up: Miami, Rome, Cincinnati, Monte Carlo, Halle

4. Andy Murray - His Slam results this year is not what he expected as many thought he would have a win by now, but he is arguably the best hardcourter this season and he still has much to prove.

Grand Slam Results: 4r, QF, SF, 4r
Titles: Miami, Canada, Queen's Club, Valencia, Doha, Rotterdam
Runner-Up: Indian Wells

5. Juan Martin Del Potro - Claiming his first Grand Slam title by defeating Federer in the last Grand Slam of the decade is one way to get it done. He's been struggling since, but he's already had a great year.

Grand Slam Results: QF, SF, 2r, W
Titles: US Open, Washington, Auckland
Runner-Up: Canada

6. Nikolay Davydenko - Always underestimated, here he is once again with the big boys. He reached the finals last year, but he hasn't been able to break through with a really huge win.

Grand Slam Results: -, QF, 3r, 4r
Titles: Shanghai, Hamburg, Umag, Kuala Lampur
Runner-Up: N/A

7. Fernando Verdasco - This is his first time here and he has done well this season to keep a Top 10 ranking for most of the season.

Grand Slam Results: SF, 4r, 4r, QF
Titles: New Haven
Runner-Up: Kuala Lampur, Brisbane

8. Robin Soderling - He was part of history this year as he beat Nadal at Roland Garros and then was beaten by Federer during his historic runs at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. It's only fitting he's part of this elite group.

Grand Slam Results: 2r, F, 4r, QF
Titles: Bastad
Runner-Up: Roland Garros

With Federer and Nadal not really100% all eyes are on Djokovic, Murray, and surprisingly Soderling, who is a very good indoor hardcourt player. Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will serve as an alternate if needed.

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