Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Is Federer Making 'Last Stand' at Barclays ATP World Tour Finals?
This year, Roger Federer barely qualified as the number seven ranked player in the world. In past years, it has been routine for Federer to make this culminating calendar event. He's won it six times.
The event is quite different than the Majors or other pro tennis tournaments. Played indoors, the eight players are divided into two groups and play three matches versus their counterparts to determine the semifinal pairings and eventually the final pairing.
Each group sends two players to the semifinals. If two or more players in a group are tied for wins after the three matches, first and second place are determined by number of sets won and then by number of games won, if necessary.
It is a great privilege to play in the World Tour Final and players are compensated handsomely for it.
For Federer, this could be his last appearance as age may be finally catching up to him for good. He has gone on record to say that he will cut down on the number of tournaments he plays next season to maintain a better crispness and freshness to his game.
Federer is one of the oldest players on tour now at 32 and is married with twin daughters. He is definitely different from most of the other players on tour and different from how he used to be when he was dominating the big tournaments.
But, I won't count him out. I've already done it once before and was wrong. He came back to win Wimbledon after I pronounced him dead to win more majors.
Federer has been a magician with the racket and has provided too many thrills to count for sports fans. I'm hoping he has another run in him for next season.
So far in the Barclays this week, he lost his first match against Novak Djokovic, 6-4, 6-7, 6-2.
He's hanging tough and he may have to face Djokovic again in the Final. First, though, he has to make the semifinals by getting through Juan Martin del Potro and Richard Gasquet. Looming in the other group is Rafael Nadal. Andy Murray is not playing due to injury.