Del Potro Joins Federer In London Final, Basel Quarterfinals; Almagro Faces Top Seed Ferrer In Valencia
by Staff | October 25th, 2012, 10:55 pm

Juan Martin Del Potro became the seventh player to qualify for the year-end ATP Final next month. The Argentine earned the berth after topping American Brian Baker 7-5, 6-1 to advance to the Basel quarterfinals.

“For me it’s a gift for my effort during the year,” said Del Potro who will make his third appearance in the finals. “Being in that tournament means a lot. It’s only eight players fighting for one tournament. It’s the best eight players of the year, so it’s very important to me. I’m so glad to be there once again. I will be fighting against the big names in London and maybe I’ll have a chance to make another final.”

With Rafael Nadal officially withdrawn from London, two spots still remain with Janko Tipsarevic likely in and then Nicolas Almagro and Richard Gasquet bidding for the final spot. Both players are in the quarterfinals tomorrow with Almagro facing top seed David Ferrer in Valencia and Gasquet squaring off against Mikhail Youzhny in Basel.

Also in Basel tomorrow, five-time tournament champ Federer returns to face the talented Benoit Paire. Also in the quarters, Grigor Dimitrov locks up with Paul-Henri Mathieu and Del Potro meets Kevin Anderson.

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35 Comments for Del Potro Joins Federer In London Final, Basel Quarterfinals; Almagro Faces Top Seed Ferrer In Valencia

jane Says:

Congrats to Delpo.

Not sure where to put this, but for Nole’s fans, here’s a lovely article on him:

jane Says:

These 2 statements seem to contradict: “Juan Martin Del Potro became the seventh player to qualify for the year-end ATP Final” AND “two spots still remain with Janko Tipsarevic likely in and then Nicolas Almagro and Richard Gasquet bidding for the final spot.”

BUT I get that it’s because of Rafa’s withdrawal, so technically, 9 players will “qualify” this year.

Wog boy Says:


Thanks, really nice read. He looks smart on the puctures.

One thing I am not sure about, was Boris Becker part of Niki Pilic academy? I didn’t know about him being with young Nole, or maybe they made mistake in artical?

jane Says:

^ Yeah, that part caught my eye too Wog Boy. Not sure about the accuracy on that….?

Alok Says:

Nadal is out. This means that by withdrawing he has made it possible for the other players to move up one rung on the ladder. Nothing’s contradictory IMO. In the past players have qualified only to pull out at the last minute and then the alternates get to play.

jane Says:

It “sounds” contradictory insofar as only 8 players can play WTF, and if Delpo’s the 7th then it sounds odd to read that there are 2 spots left. But as I already wrote “I get that it’s because of Rafa’s withdrawal, so technically, 9 players will “qualify” this year.”

jane Says:

It’s not even quite “alternates” because Rafa pulled out before the official finalization of the 8 players, so technically 9 of them will qualify this year.

Whoever is getting the last 2 spots is still up for grabs.

Alok Says:

OK I get the semantics. But, what difference does it really make? It’s not at all contradictory IMO.

DelPotro is the 7th player to qualify, but due to Nadal’s withdrawal, he will be the 6th player in the lineup, thereby opening the door for two additional players to qualify and make up the 8 man group of contestants.

I believe the writer has clearly stated that the last two spots are still available, “two spots still remain with Janko Tipsarevic likely in and then Nicolas Almagro and Richard Gasquet bidding for the final spot.”

To reiterate, all of this is just a matter of semantics, because we’re all aware, i’m sure, of what has actually happened, or is going to happen.

jane Says:

The difference? I don’t know. You’re the one who responded saying “Nothing’s contradictory IMO.” Yet I had already made it clear in my initial post by saying the statement only “seemed” contradictory but wasn’t because 9 – rather than 8 – players will qualify this year.

Alok Says:

Knock yourself out on the contradictiory nature of the comment by the writer. It doesn’t matter to me who was the 7th qualified player, 8th or 9th, just who are playing. I’m not a scholar of the English language, as I’ve stated many times previously, nor do I care to show up anyone.

My concern is which players will make up the 8 man team at the WTF. Even alternates have to qualify to be next in line in the event a player withdraws during the tournament.

I’ve stated before, I’m not a scholar of the english language

Dave Says:

The standings are clear on the ATP homepage — just see the Race To London box — the standings, poits and who has qualified are updated daily in this box. Tsonga is the leading contender for the two remaining spots (given Nadal’s withdrawal).


Those of you who want to see a phenomenal rock concert for the price of a movie ticket go see “Led Zeppelin: Celebration Day” in theaters now. It’s of their on-off 2007 reunion concert at the same O2 arena where the WTF is held.

Rafael Says:

Alok :

English teacher has to displayer her skills, no?

What is the big contradiction here. 9 people qualify, because 1 of the top 4 to qualify has pulled out. If 2 people are injured, 10 people qualify and so on.

Alok Says:

@Rafael, I think she was saying that this year 9 guys will technically qualify instead of the usual 8. Because Nadal qualified previously and now DelPotro will qualify as the 7th guy. However, she has failed to take into account that Nadal is no longer in the contest and the order will have to be changed around.

The point I made, Nadal pulled out and that gave the player beneath him the oportunity to move up one spot higher. In this case it was DelPotro who became the 6th player, but would have been the 7th player had Nadal remained in the draw.

Further, with Nadal out, it’s now been made possible for the No. 9 player to be in the top 8. And 2 other players will now move up and be reserved as alternates. They must be so very happy.

Maybe, to Jane, the writer made a mistake in how he presented the situation, in writing, because JMDP qualified as the 7th player, and yet there were two more players who could qualify. In essence, jane was saying that’s contradictory, and should not be, because after the 7th player, only one additional player is needed, to make 8, instead now 2 more players have to qualify and added to the group.

However, I don’t see any contradictory point made by the writer, because it’s how things work in tennis, when a top player pulls out, another gets his draw.

What would have happeneend if all 8 players were in place, and one got sick and pulled out? Then, wouldn’t another be moved up into his place, as happeneend in the WTA when Kvitova withdrew?

Didn’t Murray move up from 4 to 3 at the USO? That move did not have any complaints that there were two No. 3 players.

As Dave stated The ATP website is updated daily.

jane Says:

As Dave notes, Tsonga will likely be the 8th to qualify, and then Tipsy will be the 9th. He’s 400 points ahead of Gasquet/Nico. So unless Gasquet or Nico make a great run this week and again in Paris (while Tipsy doesn’t) then Tipsy will be in.

In the past, of course, players have withdrawn; last year Muzz did, one year I remember Roddick did. But I think that typically the withdrawals have been made once the tournament’s 8 players have been finalized. And thus an alternate has been called up. This year, as the ATP site shows, 9 top players will technically qualify as Rafa pulled out early. In other words, there are actually 3 players vying for the 9th spot: Tipsy, Nico, and Reeshard.

jane Says:

Nico has lost while Gasquet has won. The race between Gasquet and Tipsy is heating up…

MMT Says:

I believe the article did make a mistake – the tennis academy is run by Niki Pilic, who did coach and then at some point captained the West German Davis Cup team. It is possible that Becker is involved with the academy (I haven’t found confirmation, but it’s plausible), but at the time Djokovic first arrived (1999), Becker was attempting a comeback, and I don’t believe he has ever been directly involved in the development of tennis players.

Pilic, by the way, was a member of the Handsome 8, and was also the catalyst for the 1973 boycott of Wimbledon. He made a single major final at Roland Garros in 1973 where he lost in straight sets to Ilie Nastase (no shame in that).

He did, as I mentioned, captain the West German Davis Cup team – to a Davis Cup titles in 1988, 1989 and 1993, by the way, as well as Croatia in 2005.

MMT Says:

I should correct myself – the Davis Cup title in 1993 was for Germany, not West Germany.

jane Says:

MMT, thanks. Yeah, I knew Nole trained under Pilic, but didn’t think that Becker was involved. Didn’t know that info about Pilic and had to look up “Handsome 8”. I found this at Tennis Warehouse:

“Nicola Pilic must be the best tennis coach ever – alongside Harry Hopman. He has now won the DC 5 times, with 3 different nations. He mentored many great players including Becker, Stich, Ivanisevic, Ancic, Gulbis and Djokovic. As a player he had a fine lefty serve and a great drop shot, and a weak backhand, which – as Drysdale jokingly said – couldn’t break an egg. He was finalist at RG, and semifinalist at Wimbledon. When he was over 40 and coach, he still beat all German top players of the time indoors. Interestingly, he was a villain in more than one sense, a very volatile temperament, a member of the outcast pro troupe, the handsome 8, and the man, who generated the greatest boycott and scandal in tennis history. He didn’t play a DC contest in 1973 for Yugoslavia, was banned by his Federation for Wimbledon. This resulted in the infamous Wimbledon boycott of the ATP. Now this former Villain of the ITF has grown into the role of one of the greatest DC heros. Congratulations.”

trufan Says:

Tsonga will most probably qualify. Of the rest, all except Gasquet have lost in Valencia or Basel. Gasquet will probably lose to Delpo in the semi. So the last two spots will pretty much boil down to Paris, with two Frenchmen (Tsonga and Gasquet) with a good shot at getting them.

The draw is everything here. If Fed, Murray, Delpo, Berdych are in the same group, BAD for them, great for Djokovic.

On the other hand, If Djokovic, Murray, Delpo and Berdych are in the same group – Fed will laugh his way to the final.

GIven how many times Murray has been in Fed’s half lately – what would be fair is to have Delpo in Fed’s half with Murray in Djokovic’s half. That would balance it out somewhat. And whoever gets Ferrer should not get the 9th guy who walks in!

trufan Says:

Theoretically, the last two spots can only go to two out of the following 8: Tsonga, Tipsy, Almagro, Gasquet, Monaco, Raonic, Isner, Cilic.

Realistically, I think it boils down to Tsonga, and the neither Tipsy or Gasquet.

trufan Says:

I meant EITHER Tipsy or Gasquet….

MMT Says:

I’ve seen him credited for 5 DC titles as well, but I don’t think that’s accurate – Slobodan Zivojinovic was the captain when Serbia won the Davis Cup in 2010, so by my count it’s 4 – it doesn’t matter – it’s a great record, but I think Zivojinovic deserves the credit.

And according to Pilic, he never actually refused to play Davis Cup for Yugoslavia, and the players boycotted on his behalf, but not at his urging or under his leadership – that was a Cliff Drysdale, Jack Kramer led affair.

Actually, I’ve never seen any footage of Pilic playing – I didn’t even know he was a lefty.

Kimmi Says:

How is this federer opponent got to the quarter final? he looks really bad.

Sienna Says:

Roger is picking up pace. I like it. The plan is slowly unfolding before our eyes. It has to climax over 2/12 weeks.

bstevens Says:

I was looking forward to the first Federer-Dimitrov encounter but alas the young Bulgarian lost to Mathieu (who seems to be having a good run). Neverthelss, it would have been interesting to see how Fed would play against a younger version of himself in “Baby Fed” Dimitrov.

steve-o Says:

Wasn’t able to see Roger’s match. Looks like he played a masterclass tonight.

Wog boy Says:


Bobo Zivojinovic was President of Serbian Tennis Federation not captain, captain or selector, as we like to call him was Obradovic and Niki Pilic was adviser, but we all know that actually he was running the show, thanks God for that.
BTW, Pilic was also known as ladies man in his tennis days, at least that is what they say:)

Wog boy Says:

And BTW, Zivojinovic wasn’t on a good terms with players, as soon as they won DC, they all asked publiclly for his resignation. I spoke about that with trig on the other thread and we agreed to dissagre about who was wrong and who was right in that case.

alison Says:

Fingers crossed for a Fed/Delpo final,didnt see it unfortunatly,but as Steve O says looks like a pretty typical Roger Federer masterclass,good luck to Roger in his next match.

steve-o Says:

Thank you, alison, for wishing Federer luck.

alison Says:

Steve O your welcome.

Wog boy Says:

Not an easy drow for Nole in Paris, though it looks like Andy and Roger are in the same half, I just had a quick look.

Wog boy Says:

Oooppppssssss, I am little bit late, no wonder it is morning here:(

mat4 Says:

Hi, WB. Making a quick visit myself.

Wog boy Says:

Hi mat4,

It looks to me as a tough draw, we will see. He has few obstacles..Raonic can be tricky, Delpo is Delpo ( I hope for a three set final in Basel), Tsonga retired so he will be fresh, I don’t know what to say, they are all big hiters?

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