If you haven't already done the sums on the Tour Finals matches so far here are the facts and figures for you that I find rather remarkable to say the least. So far there has only been one three set match out of eight matches and that in itself defies logic when the top eight players all possess an outrageous talent to hit a tennis ball.
The total games for all of the winners so far equals 102 which is almost double all of the players who have lost their matches to date, 54 to be exact. So putting it in simple terms the average winning score so far in the Tour Finals is 6-3, 6-3. When you look at results such as Rafa destroying Stan 3 and 2 plus the Novak romp over Nishikori of 1 and 1 it is not only surprising but rather disturbing at the same time. Don't professional tennis players of the highest calibre live for taking on the best that there is to see just where they are at or is there more going on here than meets the eye ?
What usually happens at professional tennis tournaments ? The highest seeded players usually get a couple of rounds where they have easy wins before it starts to get tougher correct me if I am wrong yet this current tournament does not afford any player that luxury. So does this tournament really cater for every player with the physical and mental brutality of it or just for some of them ? You only have to look at some players in particular to work that one out.
Who is Thomas Berdych's coach ? How can a player with that much talent get smashed on a regular basis when he plays the big boys or is he living proof that the gap between the first 4 and the next is bigger than what most think ? Last year Thomas got hammered by Stan 1 and 1 in his first match and Novak beat him 2 and 2. Was he just there to make up the numbers ? What about this year then ?
Well Thomas won the first two games against Roger then only 4 more after that but he did win a set from Nishikori which leaves him high and dry again with no chance of making the semis. Thomas does not like to play anyone above him as his score lines show.
Thomas did win in Stockholm and China this year yet he did not beat a top ten player en route to victory in either of them so are some rankings perhaps not quite correct ? Well it's all to do with consistency I suppose and guys like Berdych don't have to win big tennis tournaments to gain a high ranking. The Czech lost in the round of 16 in three Slams this year but he did make the semis of the Australian Open in January. It was at that particular tournament that he was called a 'Flash Czech F...' by Murray's then girlfriend, now wife. I wonder if she was referring to his rather flash image that sees him make a few million each year yet capitulates when an ultimate test is presented to him in the form of a match with a proven champion. Perhaps I am being too hard on Thomas because he is a World class tennis player but he is not by any means a proven champion, there is a huge difference.
A player like David Ferrer however is a guy who is always up for a challenge against the big guys and very rarely gets hammered as his two scores so far prove. Sure he lost to Murray and Stan but he has nothing to bother anyone with except a very big heart and he pushed both of those players hard. In Quatar earlier this year he in fact beat Berdych in the final. My question is this; With what ? How on earth can Ferrer beat a player such as Berdych in the final of any tournament when he gives away power, height and all round ability to play tennis ? It's simple, he has a heart that Thomas can only dream of owning one day. If I had a choice of choosing a player's technique between those two players I would choose Berdych any day yet I would always pick Ferrer to win that match. His ticker is by far supreme.
Even if Ferrer had been on the other half of the draw in the current end of year Tour Finals he would have relished the opportunity to play Roger or Novak. He lost 5-7, 5-7 to Novak earlier this year in Miami and lost a tough four setter to Murray at the French. He has no fear and he always turns up mentally. He earned his spot in the current championship without a doubt.
The sport currently still sees the top players finding a way to win against guys who are not far behind them in ability yet a long way behind in the thinking department. In some ways it is a little predictable yet in other ways it is remarkable as it is such a tough sport to consistently dominate against players who are technically brilliant.
I hope the rest of the current tournament produces some less than predictable results but if the first two rounds are anything to go by well the semis will be fairly easy to tip. So am I game ??
Nadal, Federer, Djokovic and Murray for the final four with an upset in the semis and it may just rest with a rejuvenated Rafa who is not far off where he was two years ago.
Would love to see Roger win it though and will stick with the great man........