That Roger Federer is one curious cat, isn’t he? A week after withdrawing from Stockholm and then using statements like: “At this point, I am not sure when I will be ready to play again, but I hope to be back at some point before the end of the year.”
Well, turns out Federer’s ready to play again as early as next week – so much for taking some extra time off or any serious injury speculation.
Unless he does a last minute “Fed Bailout”, Roger has made it known that he will be playing in Monday’s Madrid Tennis Masters, and that’s good news for the tournament which will also host Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Juan Martin Del Potro, Andy Roddick and just about everyone else in the Top 40 including 2007 champ David Nalbandian and my man Gael Monfils. Remember last year it was Nalbandian ripping Fed’s heart out in the Madrid final.
Federer, by the way, is expected to arrive in Madrid Saturday, and practice later in the afternoon. Adjust your schedules accordingly.
Depending on how things go – and I haven’t done the math – but just by eyeballing I think Rafa will have the opportunity to secure the year-end No. 1 ranking at the tournament. And what a place to do it if he can, in his home country.
The tournament begins Monday with byes I believe given the top guys. The draw will be out this weekend at some point, and I’ll post further when it’s available.
As for the here and now, lots happening as players make a final push toward Shanghai. In Moscow today, Marat Safin remains king of the country after beating Nikolay Davydenko in the “best player in Russia” battle. Safin now plays Mischa Zverev in one semifinal while Fabrice Santoro faces Igor Kunitsyn in the other (Fabrice, you still retiring?).
In Stockholm, three of the top four seeds are into the semifinals, led by Nalbandian who seems to be making another late-season surge. In the semifinals, Nalbandian meets Nieminen and the surprising Kei Nishikori tests Robin Soderling in the second SF. The Kei-Man got a walkover today from Mario Ancic who withdrew due to fever.
Over in Vienna, my man Gael Monfils continues to put up good results (can he get Top 10 next year?). Today he got a great win over Fernando Gonzalez . Monfils also beat Radek Stepanek earlier, and will now meet Phil Kohlschreiber in the Phil-heavy semifinals. The other semifinal is between Phil Petzschner and Phil-iciano Lopez. And that’s my tennis Phil for the day.
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