Safin, Nalbandian Top Euro Series Heading Into Final Week
Posted on November 1, 2004
Though both failed to win titles last week at St. Petersburg and Basel respectively, their late-round efforts have put Marat Safin and David Nalbandian in a tie for first place in the inaugural Tennis-X Euro Series Standings with one week of regular-season play remaining.
With no one player dominating during the European indoor season and 100 points to the winner at this week's Masters Series-Paris, roughly 20 players have outside shots at unseeded Safin and Nalbandian to take home the Euro Series prize-money bonanza.
"This is just how we pictured the exciting finish to the Euro Series -- complete anarchy," said Tennis-X CEO Luke Johnson. "We'll be watching Paris closely to see who grabs their throat during the last week of play, which is normally a choke-fest between Masters Cup qualification and now the even-more-important Euro Series finish."
Within closest striking distance to Safin and Nalbandian are last week's St. Petersburg winner Mikhail Youzhny, 33 points behind, and Stockholm runner-up Andre Agassi, 44 points behind in fourth place.
Among the Top 10 on the Euro Series Standings but eliminated from a top-three finish are No. 7 Joachim "Pim-Pim" Johansson, who withdrew from the MS-Paris with illness, and No. 8 "Grinning" Greg Rusedski, whose ranking was not high enough for direct entry into the MS-Paris draw.
The Euro Series will be completed and the lucrative checks distributed after the MS-Paris, with the top finisher receiving $25.00 (USD), and a share of the fan-supported Euro Series Prize Fund, which as of Sunday stood at an impressive $28.00 (USD).
The 2004 Tennis-X Euro Series is a historic achievement in men's tennis that links the nine men's European indoor tournaments after the US Open leading to the year-ending Masters Cup, creating a cohesive, five-week European indoor season.
NEWS FLASH: Marat Safin and David Nalbandian have withdrawn from the MS-Paris as of Monday morning with injury.
"With the Monday withdrawal of Nalbandian from the MS-Paris, now the Euro Series title looks to be the cranky Russian Safin's for the taking," said Johnson in a live Monday morning press conference from his office hot tub at the Tennis-X headquarters. "He's a good kid. Now he can keep the Safinettes living the lifestyle they're accustomed to. He was dead in the water a couple months back, now he's on top of the world...This press conference is over, get out."
For more info or to see the current Euro Series standings, point your browser toward to: www.tennis-x.com.