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View Full Version : Crazy end of the year fanatics - who will win in Houston/LA?


dnyce18
11-08-2004, 09:58 AM
It seems as if the end of the year has brought about the A-game of the mysterious Marat Safin. In the last couple of weeks he has taken advantage of a Federer-less field and beaten up on the likes of Lleyton Hewitt, Andre Agassi and David Nalbandian in both Tennis Masters Madrid and the Paris Masters. He has moved from ninth place to fourth in a matter of weeks, passing - along the way - Nalbandian, Agassi, Henman, Coria, and Moya. Had he been more consistent during the year he certainly would have ended up number 2 in the ATP race - and all after being in the 80'2 after an injury. If he felt like it, Safin could prove that he is playing at the top of his game, mentally and physically by continuing to beat up on the field in Houston at the year end championships. Who knows how healthy Federer is and Roddick does not seem to be at the top of his game. This is an opportunity for Safin to shine. His record this year shows his brilliance and immaturity, fighting spirit and lack of desire. Yet, at the end of the year he holds 2 tennis masters shields, an appearance in the finals of the Aussie Open and a QF appearance at the French, both gutsy performances.
As for the women's side, we will see 5 Russians out of 8 spots for the finalists. Mauresomo seems to be the strong favorite and she has a chance to snatch the nuber one spot from Lindsay Davenport but not so fast my friends. Funny not to mention Serena Williams in one of these conversations. With her competitiveness, I look at her to make some upsets of her own. Plus, as we all know, Mauresmo doesn't exactly perform very well under pressure and definitley not when she is expected to do well. Her being the clear favorite is my reasoning for excluding her from the winner's circle. There that was easy. So one down, seven to go. Zvonareva is strong but still young so count her out, Dementieva can get the same criticism so she's out, and we are left with Serena, Sharapova, Myskina, Davenport and Kuznetsova. My picks are Myskina, Kuznetsova, Mauresmo and Serena to go to the semis's as Davenport tends to break down late in tournaments. If Kuznetsova plays near her best she could come away with it and if Serena can be consistent she will come away with it - so there you have it. Easy, right! Go watch some tennis!

rhubarb
11-08-2004, 10:02 AM
Not considering Henman then, but including Gaudio and even Coria (who's said he won't win) in the poll? ;)

Feņa14
11-08-2004, 10:51 AM
Hewitt I think, I'm just looking forward to that Roddick V Safin match and hopefully a Safin V Federer final with the best of 5 Sets.

I would of said Henman to win as on a given week he can beat ANYONE except Hewitt :lol: and they are in the same group.

Henman is my Dark Horse, Hewitt my favourite for it.

BiGGieStuFF
11-08-2004, 12:45 PM
is Master's cup going to be round robin format initially? How is the format going to be? I want to try and get an idea of who i will be seeing monday and wednesday night.

Chanchai
11-08-2004, 12:58 PM
There are two blocks, each consisting of 4 players.

Players draw a number (or object or whatever) out of something (box/hat/whatever) to figure out who goes to which block. (I don't think they force 1 and 2 on opposite blocks, but someone clarify).

Each block is round robin and matches are 2/3 sets. I can't remember the schedule of play... I think I remember Monday being one whole block first matches, Tuesday the other block. I'm guessing it's that way until Friday when maybe both blocks play their final matches?

Anyways, top two performers of each block get into the 2/3 set semifinals. From there it's the finals which is usually 3/5 sets.

I hope Safin plays well. I just can't help but remember 2002 though where he had a good Fall Indoor Season and then just bombed at the Masters Cup. But if he plays well, things can get very exciting. They already seem exciting anyways. Just for fun, I voted on Gaudio in the poll :P Just to make it... umm... clearly unscientific :)

-Chanchai

BiGGieStuFF
11-08-2004, 01:05 PM
So in other words I still have no idea who will be playing when hahaha. great :). I got 2 sessions hope safin or federer fall into one of them

rhubarb
11-08-2004, 01:19 PM
There are two blocks, each consisting of 4 players.

Players draw a number (or object or whatever) out of something (box/hat/whatever) to figure out who goes to which block. (I don't think they force 1 and 2 on opposite blocks, but someone clarify).

Yes, 1 and 2 are put in opposite groups, and the rest divided into pairs in order of ranking. The first drawn from each pair is placed in one group, and the other in the opposite group. So if the qualified players all play, then Federer/Roddick, Hewitt/Safin, Moya/Coria, Henman/Gaudio will all be separated.

GRANITECHIEF
11-08-2004, 03:39 PM
So that means that Gaudio and Coria will probably be in the same round robin group. Lucky for them because it gives them a chance to actually win a match.

If they were in opposite groups, i would bet on both of them going 0-3.

I wonder if they lobbied for last minute surface change to clay. No Dice, relatively quick hardcourt it is!!!!!!!!!!! Good luck gauchos!!!!!

Chanchai
11-08-2004, 08:54 PM
hmm... I really did think it was a drawing... because I remember there being some deal about Agassi drawing Federer (Wimbledon champ at time), Ferrero (Roland Garros champ, but more importantly the guy who knocked him out of the US Open), and Nalbandian (who was having injury trouble at the time, but he had a good year on practically all surfaces). And this being announced like the week before (as opposed to two weeks before) the Masters Cup? But memory isn't the best thing to rely on, and that memory doesn't exactly refute the sort by rankings thing without looking at the rankinigs at the time (not sure what they were at that time).

... if I recall... Ferrero and Roddick were fighting for #1, I can't remember if it was Ferrero or Roddick who had the #1 at the time but I think it was Roddick (because I think Ferrero had to have at least two wins in the round robin or something like that, for #1)... Federer was #3 (he moved up to 2 when he won the cup). Agassi, I thought was #5 because I think Coria scored #4. And then you have Moya and Schuettler (and Philippoussis as alternate).

And though I wasn't a member of this board at the time, I'm sure some people here felt Roddick got lucky drawing Moya, Coria, and Schuettler.

Anyhow... we'll find out next week (or this week if it's by ranking for sure).

BTW, anyone remember how "angry" Mattress Mac looked after Roddick lost the first set to Federer in the semifinals? Just watched the match again a few nights ago :P

Federer was a monster in that tournament...

-Chanchai

Max G.
11-08-2004, 10:03 PM
Here's my take on it -

If Federer shows up playing like he did for most of the year, he wins, pure and simple. He was the best player in the world by a longshot, and if he keeps up that level he's unstoppable.

If he's sluggish or slow from his injury... different ballgame entirely.

Moya, Coria, and Gaudio I'm discounting - Coria hasn't played for ages, Gaudio hasn't won two matches in a row since the claycourt season ended, and Moya has been injured/out of form recently. Any of them might have a good match or two, if they zone at the right moment, but I give them no chance of sustaining high-quality play for enough matches.

Second after Federer, on the "favorites" list, would probably be Safin - IF he keeps up his form of the past couple of weeks, the only player that can stop him is Federer, and even that would be a good match. But, we know how it is with Safin... here one day, gone the next. It'll be a while until he shakes that label.

Roddick - somewhat of a wildcard. Yes, he's #2 in the world, but he hasn't been playing like it recently. But hey, he's still #2, and still has his serve and forehand. I see him definitely getting out of the round robin at least, unless he gets an absolutely brutal group. If he's ON, the only player that he can't beat is Federer. An in-form Safin vs. an in-form Roddick would be an awesome match and probably very close.

Hewitt - he's playing well, but I don't think well enough. If one of the three - Safin, Roddick, Federer - show up with their A+ game, Hewitt loses.

Prediction - none. I don't know... there's ifs ands or buts for all of the players.

BiGGieStuFF
11-08-2004, 10:53 PM
I'm pulling for Henmen!! Old school baby :)

Max G.
11-08-2004, 11:49 PM
Hmm, I completely forgot Henman.

He's dangerous, can throw some top players off their rhythm, maybe win a match or two or three even.

But win the entire thing - I just don't think he has it in him. He's missing just that iota of firepower.

rhubarb
11-09-2004, 12:40 AM
hmm... I really did think it was a drawing... because I remember there being some deal about Agassi drawing Federer (Wimbledon champ at time), Ferrero (Roland Garros champ, but more importantly the guy who knocked him out of the US Open), and Nalbandian (who was having injury trouble at the time, but he had a good year on practically all surfaces). And this being announced like the week before (as opposed to two weeks before) the Masters Cup? But memory isn't the best thing to rely on, and that memory doesn't exactly refute the sort by rankings thing without looking at the rankinigs at the time (not sure what they were at that time).

... if I recall... Ferrero and Roddick were fighting for #1, I can't remember if it was Ferrero or Roddick who had the #1 at the time but I think it was Roddick (because I think Ferrero had to have at least two wins in the round robin or something like that, for #1)... Federer was #3 (he moved up to 2 when he won the cup). Agassi, I thought was #5 because I think Coria scored #4. And then you have Moya and Schuettler (and Philippoussis as alternate).


Yes, there IS a draw (sorry my wording wasn't very clear) - it's just that they are split so that each pair cannot be in the same group. Last year, the ranks were Roddick, Ferrero, Federer, Coria, Agassi, Schuettler, Moya and Nalbandian in order. The draw came out with 3, 5 and 8 in Ferrero's group, and 4, 6 and 7 in Roddick's. Pretty awful draw for Federer I thought at the time (2-11 against his competitors, whilst he was something like 11-2 versus those in Roddick's group).

If the timetable is the same as 2003, then the draw should take place tomorrow (Wednesday), some time during the afternoon in Houston. Let's hope anyone who is going to withdraw does so before then (Moya?), because if they do it later the groups will be nicely messed up.

rhubarb
11-09-2004, 12:44 AM
So that means that Gaudio and Coria will probably be in the same round robin group. Lucky for them because it gives them a chance to actually win a match.


No, not at all. It depends on the draw. They have just as much chance as being together as not.

pound cat
11-09-2004, 01:43 AM
"it depends" will win. It depends on the draw, and it depends on how much Federer, Moya, & Coria are affected by injury (& maybe Safin/ankle who knows) and how Marat's state of mind is and how an outdoor rather than an indoor court affects the quality of play from Roddick and all the other players who haven't played much hardcourt ball at all latelly either indoors or outdoors. Masters' is like a really big-time tie-break.

Rabbit
11-09-2004, 06:21 AM
I think it all hinges on and depends on who wins the last set of the last match, which, of course hinges on who hits the last ball in. Now, many would argue that it could hinge on who hit the last ball out, but this in itself is a glass half-full/half-empty argument which I refuse to be drawn into. The player who hits the last ball in during the final match will win the Masters Cup in Houston in 04. That said, all things being equal, and at the end of the day, Federer has to be the odds on favorite to repeat as the male player of the year.

Vlad
11-09-2004, 07:12 AM
Fed is obviously a favorite to win. He has been so dominant this year, especially against top 10 players who did not lose in years it seems to me..

SydW
11-09-2004, 07:28 AM
I just came across this crazy records of Federer in 2004. Whether he wins Houston or not, he is by far, I mean by really far the best player in 2004.

http://www.masters-cup.com/news/2004/federer_profile.asp

Max G.
11-09-2004, 08:24 AM
I just came across this crazy records of Federer in 2004. Whether he wins Houston or not, he is by far, I mean by really far the best player in 2004.

http://www.masters-cup.com/news/2004/federer_profile.asp


Whoa! Brilliant deduction there, sherlock!

pound cat
11-09-2004, 02:04 PM
"
Federer still the man to beat, says Safin after 3rd Paris win "

You heard it, folks.