Tsonga, Del Potro Make Shanghai Masters Cup Debut Sunday
by Sean Randall | November 8th, 2008, 2:42 pm
  • 43 Comments

Rising stars Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Juan Martin Del Potro are scheduled to be in action Sunday as the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai opens for business.

The eight-man round-robin field will focus on the Gold Group on the day one.

Tsonga, who was the last person to gain direct entry into the field thanks to an impressive title-run in Paris, meets the super-steady Nikolay Davydenko. Del Potro will be first to take the court against Novak Djokovic.

The 20-year-old Del Potro has won 36 of his last 41 matches, I think he’ll get the better of Novak. I also like Tsonga, who’s 7-3 vs. Top 10 players in 2008, to beat Dayvdenko.

On Monday in the Red Group, top dog Roger Federer faces Gilles Simon and Andy Roddick meets Andy Murray.

Here in the U.S. TV coverage will be provided by Fox Sports Net. Check your local listings as always!


Also Check Out:
Roger Federer Confirms Shanghai Participation
Del Potro Withdraws from Shanghai
Blake Falls as Del Potro, Simon Move Closer to Shanghai
Nadal Withdraws from Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai, Simon Named Replacement
Andy’s Out

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43 Comments for Tsonga, Del Potro Make Shanghai Masters Cup Debut Sunday

Danica Says:

Surely we know that Andy Roddick will play Andy Murray. But I like the A-Rod vs. A-Rod analogy :).

As for golden boys, who else? – go Nole! ;)


Von Says:

The Tennis channel will also be carrying the TMC beginning at %:00 am tomorrow morning. No rest for the wicked.


Von Says:

errata:

Beginning at %:00 am – should read 5:00 am on Sunday morning.


Von Says:

I wonder which Andy Roddick will win. :-O


Kimmi Says:

From the MS TV interviews, Djoker seem to be not very sure about himself. Comon Nole, get your act together, it is last tornament of the year just give it all you can. I for one…will be supporting you this time !


Von Says:

Kimmi:

I’ve not seen the MS TV interviews. what is it that Djoko has said that makes him seem unsure of his chances at the TMC? I hope he’s not of the same mind-set as at the USO, because he’s placing himself at a deficit before the tournament even begins, and that’s not a good thing.


jane Says:

Kimmi – I’d sure like to see Novak win at least one match this year at the TMC! Last year his performance at this event was abysmal.

Hi Danica – long time no see you around here.


jane Says:

I look forward to the Andy vs. Andy match – like em both so will be happy either way. These two haven’t played in a while.

Murray retired at Queens in 08 so Roddick walked over
Roddick retired at Miami in 07 from what I can tell.

So the last time they played a complete match was at Memphis in 07, which Roddick won, and the match previous, at San Jose in 07, which Murray won.

These two are pretty evenly split, although I think Murray has improved since their 07 meetings.


Kimmi Says:

http://www.masters-cup.com/1/home/

Von, you can watch the players interview on the above link. He is talking about how the tennis game is very mental and that lately he has not been able to find his form but will try his best.

To me, he does not seem to have the confidence I usually see him with. Earlier in the year he was talking very positive, on how close he is to challenge federer and nadal. Looks like the few loses he has during the indoor season has shaken his confidence a little.

He has a good draw, so i think this will be his good opportunity to bring himself back again.


Von Says:

Kimmi:

Thanks for the link. I noticed Roddick was missing from the group picture. I wonder what happened there.

I see Mercedes Benz is advertised as the “Principle” sponsor. I’m trying to think of What principles to sponsorship they have laid down. :P ATP needs a proof-reader. :D


Danica Says:

Hi Jane,

I am often here but rarely post. I found that I am spending too much of my time on various forums. Like now… Novak and Del Potro’s match will be taking place in less than 4 and a half hours from now and I didn’t get any sleep so far.

Von,
one thing we can be sure of – an Andy will win :)). Lets hope it’s gonna be your pick ;)


Helter Skelter Says:

“The 20-year-old Del Potro has won 36 of his last 41 matches, I think he’ll get the better of Novak.”

Del Potro is in much worse form than Novak. Djokovic is in better form than people make it up to be. Murray, Nadal, Federer, Karlovic and Tsonga since wimbledon.

2-0 Djokovic with odds of 2.16 are seldom seen. And not much speaks against him. Del Potro’s one dimentional game should not bother him.


Von Says:

Danica:

“Von,
one thing we can be sure of – an Andy will win :)). Lets hope it’s gonna be your pick .”

Thanks for your good wishes. I’m hoping A-Rod wins too. I’m so tired of watching him be a bridesmaid and not the bride, or should I say the bestman and not the groom. :P

I’m in the same situation as you are, I doubt whether I’ll get much sleep tonight. The excitement and anticipation is too much to even consider sleeping.

I think Novak is just trying to relieve himself of the burden of the expectations and he’ll come out winning against DelPotro who has become Cool Hand Luke recently. I hope he wins and then you can fall asleep feeling fully sated. Let’s be positive for both of our guys. :P


gulu Says:

Hey Sean, what’s up with you? I mean do you really think that an injured Del Potro is going to win against Novak ! ? Even a sound Fed may well get beaten by Novak if he’s on,what to speak of an injured and out-of-form Del Potro?Yet I respect ur opinion.


gulu Says:

Whether or not Nole sounds confident isn’t important,he must actually start downplaying his chances against the big guys before the press just as Rafa does.Sounding overconfident is detrimental to his chances of doin well as it’ll build up his pressure .


gulu Says:

By keepin silent n focussin on his job Nole can overcom all odds 2 rise 2 d top in men’s tennis which is also his childhood dream. I fully back Novak to be a man of deeds instead of being a man of words coz only then can he get stronger n more motivated!


jane Says:

If I interpret your 8:28 post correctly, Danica, the matches should begin in about 1 1/2 hours – hopefully I can stay up long enough to watch! Enjoy everyone!


gulu Says:

May God make Novak the world no. one someday ! I’d be very happy to see his dream of becoming the top tennis player come true for the simple reason that our life is much about hopes and dreams and it feels very painful when our hopes are shattered !


jane Says:

So far Novak can’t get enough first serves in, and against a competitor like JMDP, that doesn’t bode well. He’s at 52% first serves – sheesh – come on Nole. I think he should be hitting serves during the break.

Now he’s just double faulted to give JMDP break point, to get back on serve, which he did. Sigh, I think I have to turn in. I am tired and this is making me tireder.

For those of you who are still up – enjoy the match. gulu, I think God will have to make Nole number 1 because at this rate he’s not going to do it on his own! Poor Novak- I am still rooting for him anyhow! :-)


Kimmi Says:

Too many drop shots and have not been working to his advantage this time. But he is doing well.


Von Says:

Good win for Djoko in straight sets!!


jane Says:

Good job Novak! Way to fight through a tough start this time, and not serving your best. Whoo-hoo!! :-)


gulu Says:

Congrats Jane, Novak won! Poor Del Potro,struggling with injured toe! How will he win his Davis Cup matches, I m really worried ! :-( What a disappointment for me! Tsonga lost. :-( I was really hopin for his win,unfortunately he couldn’t.


gulu Says:

Come on Novak,pleas beat that Davydenko! I just am not fond of Davydenko,he’s very little to offer actually. And for God’s sake Tsonga,pleas play ur best tennis n mak me happy ! For me Nicole goin 2 semi’ll b terrible,anyone other than him’ll be great !


gulu Says:

It’s making me upset to think that Del Potro may not win a single match throughout this tournament! He’s so admirable,I like him very much and would love to see him have a few wins under his belt.


jane Says:

I was sad for Tsonga too gulu; I thought when he got the 3rd set to a tiebreak, that he’d pull out the win. But Davydenko is a tough cookie. Thanks for the happy face for Nole’s win; JMDP will have more chances to win here because it’s a round robin. So anything can still happen.

Maybe Sean jinxed the losers? ;-) He picked them both to win.


jane Says:

Funny – Tsonga apparently complained about the ball kids – that they didn’t bring the towel to him every time to wipe off, so he had to walk too much; this is what I read:

“Interestingly, Tsonga put part of the blame on the ballboys for not bringing his towel when he wanted to wipe off, forcing him to walk to the baseline each time to retrieve it, adding to his exhaustion at the end.

“It’s maybe 10 meters more,” Tsonga said. “But if you count at the end of the match, it’s like one kilometer. I lost a lot of energy.”"

Maybe it’s just jetlag; it is exhausting adjusting to that 15 hour or so time change. I used to have to do it 2 or 3 times a year, and I never got used to it. By the next round they’ll be better grooved and rested.


Kimmi Says:

Gulu: “I just am not fond of Davydenko,he’s very little to offer actually”

Davydenko is a very hard working player and deserve that win today. He was very calm throughout till the end, congratulation Davy for the well earned win.

Tsonga was playing very high risk tennis, things did not go his way this time. He still has a chance, he is beaten Djoker twice this year. Actally I would not be surprise if Davy qualifies in his group, I think he is playing very well.

Lets hope for some good tennis, I enjoyed Davy/Tsonga match, I thought it was a very high level tennis.


Kimmi Says:

Jane, that was funny coming from Tsonga. He just have to accept that Davydenko played well, davy made him run left and right a lot..and thats is what made him exhausted.


grendel Says:

Kimmi

I agree with you Davydenko deserved to win, but I think we saw, all the same, why Davydenko has not, and now will not, reach the very top. He certinly has the game to. He used to trouble the great Federer at his very best. In fact, one sometimes had the feeling that having outplayed Fed for large stretches of the match, he felt he had done enough – he had shown his class, as it were, no one could deny that, and now he could go home happy. Winning seemed somehow superfluous. That can’t be true, of course, but something – and not just Federer’s game – stopped Davydenko from winning. It’s almost as if he felt he had no right to win; it’s a strange psychological state,where the victim more or less announces himself.

Today, Davydenko was supreme for over a set and a half, he was quite unplayable and Tsonga could do little. The Russian was within a split hair’s breadth of securing a double break when he just tightened up. Tsonga duly saved and proceeded to break back. Davydenko was playing victim again, although you sensed this wasn’t necessarily the whole story, Tsonga does not, as yet, have sufficient stature. At any rate, serving at 30 all, 4-5 down, Tsonga dumped the ball into the net. Make a mess of his second serve – not a good one, remember – and it’s match point to Davydenko, his second in fact. So what does the Frenchman do? He serves an ace, but that’s not quite the point, second serve aces are not that uncommon – but Tsonga put his all into it, it was a ferocious first serve delivery. That’s Tsonga for you, a man whose risks are instinctive rather than desperate, which is why they come off so often and why he’s such an exciting beast to watch. Still, he had more or less shot his bolt for the day, and just fell away in the tie break. All Davydenko had to do was hold steady, and he did.

But will he do so in the more critical matches?


Von Says:

Davydenko played a very good match. Tsonga thrives from the crowd’s energy; unfortunately he didn’t have that when playing Davydenko — no French crowd to assist him with the win. He’s just a big baby complaining about a towel adding to his exhaustion. If the towel incident added to his exhaustion he can’t be in very good form, can he?. Very interesting.


Kimmi Says:

Grendel
Good analysis. Yes Davydenko lacks that finishing punch, especially with top players. Thats why i thought that win over Nadal in Miami was very good for him. I actually thought.. it would be a break thru moment for him but it was not meant to be.

With Tsonga match I still give Kudos to Davydenko for staying calm after squandering a lot of opportunities. Tsonga is a very explosive player, he has a lot of good and bad moments. The way he played that tiebreak was aweful. I am sure guys will now be “careful” of him coz you never know what to expect. I am still surprise how easy it was for fed to beat him in Madrid but maybe the real Tsonga did not turn up.

Looking forward to some exciting tennis.


jane Says:

“Actally I would not be surprise if Davy qualifies in his group, I think he is playing very well.”

Kimmi I was thinking the same thing, after Davy beat Tsonga. I could see him qualifying for the semis, I think it is. He’s picked up his game in Paris, troubling an in-form Nalbandian, so he can hang with the best of them.


gulu Says:

Hey guys,u yourself hav put forth d reason why I dislik guys lik Davydenko?They never capitalise on their chances n d result is always bad -a loss! I said he’s very littl 2 offer coz he often plays n has played badly at critical moment against d biggies!


gulu Says:

I dislike Davydenko ,critical of him at times and angry too. He has always snatched defeat from the jaws of victory ! This guy’s exactly opposite to Roger and Rafa,awfully strange !


gulu Says:

I am utterly disappointed with the loss of Federer! I can’t use any excuses this time. He simply surrendered the match to Simon! May be the future isn’t all that good for true Fed fans ! I’d never stop supportin him come wat may! He’s my ‘STILL THE ONE’


Danica Says:

Tough loss for Fed for sure. And he still needs to play Murray. I almost don’t see him in the semis now. From what I heard, Simon gave him a master class.

Seems like Murray is THE player to beat.
Von, sorry that Andy lost :(.


Von Says:

Danica:

“Von, sorry that Andy lost :(.”

Thanks Danica, but I’m yet to find out which Andy Roddick lost. :D If you remember, it was Andy Roddick v. Andy Roddick. Was it his alter ego that lost. :P I sure hope so. I’m not upset, he lost by just a break in the first and took a set from murray 6-1. I heard the doubles commentators on the Tennis Channel talking that Andy arrived late in Shanghai(I believe on Sunday), and they equated it to Dubai where he arrived 6 hours prior to his first match; slept on the locker room floor for a few hours. Now I understand why A-Rod was not in the TMC group picture. There was talk that he would have skipped Shanghai altogether, but I suppose he changed his mind at the last minute. He must be suffering from a lot of jet lag, and yet he still played a pretty good match.
_______________
jane:

Can’t remember which thread I saw your comments, but thanks anyway for your kind words. :P


jane Says:

No worries Von – you know, from the looks of things and from all the reports I’ve read, your number 1 Andy (Roddick) played a good match against a very in-form player – arguably, the guy most likely to win here. So it wasn’t a rout and Roddick, as usual, fought hard. Gotta like that!

I was wondering, too, why Andy wasn’t in the mock-tennis-gangster photo! He should’ve played the “Godfather” haha. :-)


RG Says:

I am a Djokovic fan and am looking forward to his match with Davydenko. Davydenko has been in good form in the recent Paris Masters event. So it should be interesting.

As far as Novak goes, he started the the year with a bang and bridged the gap between himself and Nadal/Federer. But, unfortunately as the year progressed, a number of players have caught up with him and even surpassed him (not necessarily in terms of ranking). Both Murray and Tsonga have gotten the better of him recently. At the same time, Nadal who was anyways ahead of him dramatically increased the gap between the two and finished ahead as #1.

I hope Novak gets his confidence back and starts playing better.


Von Says:

RG:

If you’re awake the following two links will be showing today’s matches live in 2 minutes.

http://www.justin.tv/live24s


RG Says:

Von:

Thank you for posting the links. Mornings are crazy – getting my son ready for school… I did not watch it live, though I did follow the live scoreboard at work later, since the start of the second set.

I’m glad – Djokovic managed to pull thru in the 3rd set.

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