London Race: Tsonga v. Berdych In Stockholm, Del Potro Bids For Vienna Title; Venus Reaches Luxembourg Final
by Staff | October 20th, 2012, 7:24 pm
  • 53 Comments

The race for the final spots in London are taking shape. With just a little over two weeks left in the men’s season, three spots remain, four if you discount the injured Rafael Nadal. And the next three in, Tomas Berdych, Juan Martin Del Potro and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are all looking to add points tomorrow in Sunday finals.

The No. 6 Berdych meets the eighth (in the race) Tsonga for the Stockholm title. Berdych has won two of three with the Frenchman including a victory last week in Shanghai.

“We played last week and it was a very close game,” said Berdych who beat Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 6-2 in the semifinals today. “We both want to play our best tennis tomorrow. He plays very aggressively and I will try to focus on my game. If it works, then I will have a good chance of winning.”

Tsonga reached the final after Marcos Baghdatis retired with a groin injury down 5-2 in the third set.

“I know I can still improve and I hope I will play well tomorrow,” said Tsonga, who has a 9-6 record in tour-level finals. Berdych is 7-8 lifetime in title matches.

It’s the first time that the top seeds seeds have reached the Stockholm final since 1991 when No. 2 Boris Becker defeated No. 1 Stefan Edberg in five sets. It’s also the 10th 1-2 seeded final on the ATP World Tour this season (No. 1s are 6-3).

Berdych is seeking his 2nd title of 2012, 8th of his career. Tsonga is out for his 3rd of the season, 10th overall.

In Vienna, Del Potro continued to look sharp indoors easing past Gilles Muller in two tiebreaks.

“The second final in a row is nice for me,” said Del Potro who lost to Tsonga in the 2011 Vienna finale. “I am getting better match-by-match, which means improvements in my game and to my confidence. I am very happy to play in the final again.”

He’ll meet surprise finalist Grega Zmelja in the final. The qualifier Zmelja upset Janko Tipsarevic 3-6, 7-6, 6-2.

“It was an interesting and difficult situation for me before the tournament. I was preparing last week for this tournament and I found out I was the first on the waiting list to get into the main draw in Stockholm,” the 26-year-old Zemlja said. “So I was deciding whether to go to Stockholm or play in the qualification here. I said I’d rather play here and that I have a good feeling. I think it was a pretty good decision. I don’t regret it.”

Arriving in the Moscow final, it’s Andreas Seppi and Tomaz Bellucci. In the women’s field Caroline Wozniacki meets Sam Stosur.

And at WTA Luxembourg, in a battle of comeback queens, Venus Williams powered past Andrea Petkovic to reach the final against Monica Niculescu. Venus is into her first final since 2010 Madrid. Her last title came at Acapulco in February 2010, her 43rd of her career.

“It’s great to be in the final, but I’m more focused on just winning the match, so I can win the tournament,” Venus said. “I don’t want to stop.”


Also Check Out:
Haas Wins 500th, Joins Del Potro in Vienna QFs; Tsonga, Berdych Advance In Stockholm; Venus Alive In Luxembourg
ATP Fall Guide: Where The Big Boyz – Nadal, Djokovic, Federer – Will Be Playing
Del Potro, Berdych Win Titles, Close In On London Berths; Venus, Wozniacki Champions Again
Gasquet, Haas, Dimitrov, Halep, Wozniacki Win Tennis Titles
ATP/WTA Previews: Moscow, Stockholm, Vienna, Luxembourg

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53 Comments for London Race: Tsonga v. Berdych In Stockholm, Del Potro Bids For Vienna Title; Venus Reaches Luxembourg Final

Brando Says:

Hope delpo defends his title. He defended estoril on clay, this hopefully on indoors. Would be a good achievement for him- defending titles on differen surfaces.


jane Says:

I wonder if Tsonga will get one over on Berd this time?

Did anyone else read that the people who run the Paris masters are trying to have it move to February or something, as having it back to back with the WTF makes participation for the top guys difficult – or something along those lines. I don’t know if it’ll happen any time soon, but I found it interesting. There was also discussion that it would potentially allow shorten the season even further to extend the off season, as the WTF could be moved up another week.

I think the final 8 at the WTF this year is going to be very competitive; of course it would be even more so with Rafa, who is missed (even by me! even though he’s Nole’s rival!).

Fed, Nole, Murray, Tsonga, Ferrer, Berdych, and Delpo is a strong field, with probably Tipsy making the 8th if Rafa doesn’t come.


Kimberly Says:

Great for Venus, i hope she can win!


steve-o Says:

Go Jo! and go Del Potro!


Alok Says:

Venus is looking good. She played a very good math against Petkovic. I didn’t see the dance because Petkovic lost.


Alok Says:

Saw Karlovic play Belucci yesterday, and JoWil with Baghdatis. Both were good matches.


racquet Says:

Tsonga takes the 1st set against Berdych. Looking sharp and focused, though we know that can be fleeting. Allez Tsonga!


steve-o Says:

Tsonga breaks then holds to love for 4-2 in the second set. Hope he can close it out.


racquet Says:

He can’t. Berdy breaks back.


steve-o Says:

Aargh, Jo. I knew he’d get broken after he missed that golden chance to get a second break point on Berdych’s serve. C’mon, get it together!


racquet Says:

Here we go, typical Tsonga.


steve-o Says:

Oh, Jo. Don’t just pack it in like that. I really don’t favor his chances in the decider.


racquet Says:

He went for the flashy shot when a high percentage BH would have done the job. It seems to be a French affliction. I don’t know about the decider yet, he blow hot again in time.


racquet Says:

*he might blow hot again in time.


steve-o Says:

Berdych is the steadier player, his ups and downs are not as drastic as Tsonga’s. Tsonga is capable of greater aggression but he’s so inconsistent that it’s impossible to tell if he can play well enough to win this.

I just don’t want him to fold and hand the match to Berdych.

Just now he blew three break points. And now he’s lost five straight games. Hopefully he can turn it around.


steve-o Says:

Really, right now I’m just hoping he can avoid a bagel. Just that much.


alison Says:

Congrats Delpo nice to see him getting back into the winners circle again.


racquet Says:

haha…in by a whisker. It looked over for Jo at that moment.


jane Says:

When Berd had 15-40 on Jo’s serve I thought the match was over; kudos to Jo for hanging on there.


alison Says:

Hopefully Jo will come through love the guy,dont like Berdych,terrible attitude.


racquet Says:

Jo saves 2 MPs.


racquet Says:

Ugh, terrible way to lose it…with a DF. Fun match though. The crowd were really rooting for Tsonga.


jane Says:

Close, but no cigar. Tsonga was just living too dangerously in those last service games.

Well congrats to Berd.

Also to Delpo and Seppi – nice to see Seppi get that title; he’s had a very strong year.


alison Says:

Urgh bad luck Jo,congrats through gritted teeth to Berdych,just wondering are there any Berd fans out there though?


alison Says:

So happy for Delpo whos turning into one of my new favorites,congrats to Seppi too.


racquet Says:

Jane, I just noticed your appearance on the thread. Very cunning of you to sneak in like that :)


alison Says:

Raquet lol.


steve-o Says:

Yay Del Potro! Sad for Tsonga, though.


jane Says:

racquet, dang. I need to be more stealth! ;)


alison Says:

WTA championship begins on Tuesday Petra won last year,but with Serana there this year,i dont think many would bet against her on winning the trophy.


Kimberly Says:

Alison-im a fan of berdychs looks and body. But his personality blows. The guy is a real jerk.

Congrats to Venus to win her first WTA title in over two years. Inspiring that with her condition she is out there playing. She loves tennis. Hope this can maybe get her a seed now in the grand slams.


alison Says:

Kimberly thanks yeah me too,proof if ever it were needed,female fans are not all that shallow,and are interested in players purely for their looks,which gets rather annoying and patronizing sometimes.


alison Says:

Yeah and congrats to Venus too,out of the two Williams sisters,she was always the one i liked the most.


andrea Says:

can’t believe stosur lost that match. bad call on the line saved wozniacki.


alison Says:

Just wondering what peoples thoughts are regarding the WTA championship that starts this week?The top 8 ladies trying to end the year on a high,Serenas been the standout female player this year winning two GS,also Azarenka went on a Nole type run at the begining of the year,all still to play for,would love to see one or even two of our Brit girls Heather and Laura making it there next year,a long shot i know,but hope springs,and Grendel said some weeks back he would be surprised not to see Laura in the top 10 at some point,time will tell.


Alok Says:

Great comeback win for Venus. She must be feeling confident again. I only hope that she can maintain this level of fitness.


Alok Says:

Serena wants the title and she’s going to give it all she’s got.


alison Says:

Alok Venus has done fantastic to come back and win a title,after recovering from her illness,out of the two she was always my favorite of the two Williams sisters,unfortunatly she is now living in the shadow of her formidable sister,still a great player though but now a shadow of the player she once was.


alison Says:

Alok i agree i dont you can bet against Serena.


alison Says:

^Dont think that should be^.


Kimberly Says:

My thoughts on the upcoming WTA championship—

Sharapova and Azarenka both hoping Williams on the other side!

If Williams plays well she wins. The other can play their minds out, but if Williams plays her “a” game its all for naught. If Williams shows up rusty or lackluster and her serve is not on, I think Azarenka wins.

So I would order it as follows:
1. Williams 50%
2. Azarenka 20%
3. Sharapova 10%
4. Kvitova 5%
5. Na Li 5%
6. Kerber 3.3%
7. Radwanksa 3.3%
8. Errani 3.3%

I’m missing .1% but you get my general drift


Alok Says:

@alison, as I stated above Serena wants this title.

I think it’s a combination of her coming to terms with how much time she has left on the tour, and her desire to get back to No.1. I’m thinking she wants to retire while being at the top.

I saw her on Tennis Channel speaking on the upcoming championships. She stated she didn’t qualify last year, but is going to do her best this year. When she talks like that, then I think it’s safe to assume that she’s not going to let anyone get a sniff at the title. so we’ll see..


jane Says:

I think Azarenka has a shot; otherwise, it’ll be Serena. I can’t see anyone else winning it all. Azarenka is getting closer versus Serena, as we saw at Wimbledon and the USO. I think it’s just a matter of time before she is able to get some wins.


Alok Says:

I think Serena will draw either Azarenka or Sharapova, not both. If it’s Sharapova, we know what happens when they meet on the big stage. Azarenka would give Serena a much tougher battle than Sharapova.

I also think Kerber will be a tough opponent for all of the top 4 players and could cause an upset. Na Li is a basket case and I don’t see her winning more than one match. Errani is pesky and Radwanska can make her opponent nervous because she likes to take the ball early. Kvitova is a very iffy player, but if she can steady her nerves her serve and FH could be very damaging.

All that said, I can’t pick a winner.LOL.


jane Says:

Kvitova is a wild card. I think she won last year?


Kimberly Says:

Yes Jane she did, but she seems to have an extended period every match where she can’t find the court. I can’t see her beating azarenka or Williams without playing a consistent and powerful match from start to finish. And I haven’t seen her play that way in a long time.

Sharapovas only hope is azarenka and Serena on the other side, and she gets lucky and only has to play azarenka in the final.


jane Says:

Kimberly, yeah, good points about Petra. She’s just been off the boil for a while. And as for Maria, she hasn’t beaten Vika lately, so even in that scenario, I think I’d pick Aza. For me it’s between the two USO finalists. I’ll be surprised if anyone else wins it.


Kimberly Says:

Jane I agree although I can only see azarenka taking it if Williams is off her game, which I kind of though she was on the US Open final. If williams is on the best azarenka could hope for would be a Wimbledon repeat. And sharapova will be lucky to get 4 games if Williams is on. Maybe even if she isn’t!


jane Says:

Red Group:
Victoria Azarenka
Serena Williams
Angelique Kerber
Li Na

White Group:
Maria Sharapova
Agnieszka Radwanska
Petra Kvitova
Sara Errani


trufan Says:

From the race points, Federer right now has 9255 points. Djokes has 11,410, a lead of 2155 points.

If Fed wins Basel, he cuts the lead to 1655.

Then its clear. If Fed doesn’t play Paris, Djoke becomes No. 1.

From Paris and London, Djoke needs 850 points to ensure No. 1 ranking (even if Fed wins Paris and London).

Djoke can get that in many ways:

1. Win Paris.
2. Finals in Paris, win two round robin matches at London.
3. SF in Paris, win all 3 round robin matches in london or win 2 round robin matches and win the SF in London.
4. QF in Paris, and reach the finals in London.
5. Round of 16 in Paris, win all 3 round robin AND SF in London.
6. Lose first round or not play Paris, reach London finals.

Djoke has so many more paths to No. 1 here. He pretty much has to NOT reach the SF at both Paris and London, and Fed has to win both (without a loss in London) for Djoke NOT to be No. 1 end of the year.

Highly unlikely.

Interesting thing will be – will Fed play Paris if he wins Basel (he surely won’t if he doesn’t win Basel, since he would have lost the No. 1 ranking already then).

I think Fed will play Paris if he wins Basel, and see how it goes. By not playing Paris, he GUARANTEES that Djoke is no. 1.

Fed should have really cranked it up in Shanghai to win it. His path to No. 1 would have been so much easier then.


Daniel Says:

trufan,

Another thing going against Fed, last time he lost #1 ranking was after a Paris Tourney, RG 2010:)

History will probably repeat itself and he will lose #1 after Paris, and maybe (depending on Djoko’s performance) and his he can give all he has to win both Paris and WTF. Will see…


Alok Says:

@trufan, thanks for providing so much information and the likely scenarios in Djokovic’s favor on how he can reclaim No.1. By the look of things on paper, it doesn’t seem very hopeful for Fed, but who knows, things have a way of changing very quickly in this sport.

If Fed has an easy draw at Paris, he could win there and WTF. WTF win will depend on who’s in Fed’s group. Let’s hope that the groups are not lopsided, but evenly distributed.

On the WTA championships it seems that the Red group is more stacked than the white group. Serena has Kerber in her group which can be a big problem. Na Li could be the spoiler in that group.3 GS champions in Red group as opposed to two in the White Group.

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Rankings
ATP - Aug 18 WTA - Aug 18
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Rafael Nadal2 Simona Halep
3 Roger Federer3 Na Li
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 David Ferrer5 Agnieszka Radwanska
6 Milos Raonic6 Maria Sharapova
7 Tomas Berdych7 Angelique Kerber
8 Grigor Dimitrov8 Eugenie Bouchard
9 Andy Murray9 Ana Ivanovic
10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga10 Jelena Jankovic
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