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Tournaments to end of season 2023

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 27 Sep 2023, 9:35 am

Still plenty of big tournaments left this year, with some of the big boys back on court for the Asian swing. Alcaraz and Medvedev head the field in Beijing, with Murray having a tough opener v De Minaur.

Following GB's heroics in the Davis Cup, the circus moved eastwards, with Khachanov and Zverev taking titles this week, Zverev coming back from a set and a break down to pip Safiullin.

There could be quite a battle for the year-end number one. Djoko leads at present but will have a lot of points to defend right at the end of the year.

In any event, you can envisage Alcaraz getting back to the top after the Australia in Jan as he missed Melbourne this year, while Djoko won it and can't gain any points in the 2024 version.

The women's numero uno battle is between Sabalenka and Swiatek, with the Pole having an opportunity to get closer this week as she will be favourite to win a 500-pointer in Tokyo (although as I write she's 3-1 down in the first set of her opener).

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Post by dummy_half Wed 27 Sep 2023, 11:32 am

Most of the top players active in an MS500 in Beijing. Djokovic not playing and dropping 250 points, but currently a healthy 3000 points ahead of Alcaraz.
For the Brits, Norrie's recent relatively poor run sees him down to 16th and closer to those below than above on points. Evans currently 32nd in the live points, in a tight cluster only 19 points behind Korda at 29 and 15 ahead of Mannarino at 33.
Murray is up to 39th, and as with Evans, going a round or two deeper into the tournament than those around him in the rankings could see a climb of a handful of places. Year end inside the top 32 is viable with a couple of good runs.
Liam Broady drops 50 points and 8 places (not playing this week) to be just outside the top 100, while Jack Draper is playing a 125 point tournament in Orleans - win a couple of rounds and he probably get back to #100 (winning the tournament would see him back to around #85)

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 27 Sep 2023, 1:03 pm

DH - Ta for the points update. That Swiatek match I was mentioning above ended in an expected win for the Pole but only after her, to me, unknown and lowly-ranked Japanese opponent had chalked up nine games and saved five MPs.


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Post by sirfredperry Fri 29 Sep 2023, 6:03 pm

Andy M suffered arguably his worst-ever result yesterday, losing after being 5-2 up in the final set and squandering three MPs. It all ended with the frustrated ex-number one smashing his racket and storming off.

Maybe his rage was due to his opponent - De Minaur. The Australian is one of those annoying players who doesn't look like he has many weapons but is extremely steady and wins when you feel he ought to be well beaten.

Alcaraz opened with a win today. Not sure if you've noticed how badly FAA is doing of late. He went down in straights to Rune today and that's 2-8 for him in recent matches. It's only going to get worse for the Canadian as he has a bunch of points to defend.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 01 Oct 2023, 12:50 pm

Tournaments a bit all over the place at the moment, with the usual Mon-Sun rhythm gang awry.

Looks like things will be back to normal by the end of this next week. In the meantime Alcaraz and Medvedev have got thru two rounds in Beijing, while Humbert of France has knocked out Rublev.

Katie Boulter has qualified for Beijing and is a set up in her first match.

Draper has got to the final of a 125 Challenger and will have a good chance this afternoon as his projected opponent, Gasquet, was beaten in the semis.

You can expect some strange results over the next few weeks, with the top players likely to be tiring at the end of a long season.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 03 Oct 2023, 5:38 pm

Sinner, who always seems to give Alcaraz a good match, managed to beat the Spaniard in straight sets. From the stats, it looks like a story of BPs, with Alcaraz not able to take advantage of his many opportunities.

Sinner will play Medvedev in the final, hoping to start turning around a 0-6 head-to-head. Gonna be tough to beat the top two seeds in succession.


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Post by slashermcguirk Wed 04 Oct 2023, 12:59 pm

Sinner seems to match up well vs Alcaraz, he has a 4-3 head to head against him. Always fascinates me how much styles make match ups in tennis. Then you see Sinner is 0-6 vs Medvedev. It’s so random but makes tennis such an interesting game

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 05 Oct 2023, 8:49 am

Slasher. Make that 1-6 in the head-to-heads now, with Sinner taking the title. He jokingly thanked Medvedev afterwards for letting him win one.

Another very disappointing defeat for Murray against Safiullin. This was always going to be a tough match, but Andy only notched five games.

Asian swing still all over the place, with finals in mid-week and people playing early rounds of the next tourney while the previous one is still going on.

Only three of the eight WTF (great acronym, that one) places assured, although Sinner, now 4th, should be OK. Plenty of points to play for and a large number of guys still in contention.

Just three places left for the women's year-end finals. Again, a number of contenders. A remarkable Swiatek stat. The Pole has conceded two or fewer games in a match EIGHTEEN times this season. That's a load of bagels and breadsticks.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 06 Oct 2023, 11:25 am

Another breadstick for Swiatek today but only after she'd been two points from defeat against Garcia. Next up in the semis is Gauff who is on a long winning streak.

Meanwhile, FAA's tribulations continue. He lasted 3hrs 22mins v Fucsovics, saving three MPs before going down. Is his long, bad run merely a crisis of confidence or what?

Also having a poor run is Rune who managed only two games today against American Nakashima.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 07 Oct 2023, 9:45 am

Swiatek ended Gauff's 16-match unbeaten run with a straight sets win over the American in the semis today.

With Sabalenka beaten in the quarters by Rybakina, Swiatek* edges closer to regaining the number one spot.

As with the men, the top spot will be clearer after the AO in January, with the current number ones both being defending champions in Melbourne.

* Swiatek will play Samsonova in the final after the Russian beat Rybakina in straight sets.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 08 Oct 2023, 9:00 am

Medvedev dumped out in straight sets by Korda in Shanghai. Tiafoe also beaten. This is a good time for the lower-ranked players who can take advantage of worn-out stars towards the end of a long season.

Evans thru after a retirement and he now plays Alcaraz. Norrie's held-over match ended in defeat by Wolf of America after a final set tiebreak.

Norrie, for me, has been well over-ranked for some time and could well slip down to a position that more reflects his ability. He's probably a top 30 player in reality.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 09 Oct 2023, 8:42 am

Swiatek was far too much for Samsonova and now has a good chance of overhauling Sabalenka and regaining top spot.

A number of the top men in action in Shanghai today, including Alcaraz who plays Evans.

France seemed to have unearthed a good young player in Arthur Fils who is currently giving Tommy Paul a run for his money.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 10 Oct 2023, 8:34 am

Fils did take that match into a final set before going down.

Alcaraz had a long battle before overcoming Dan Evans who led in both sets and saved numerous BPs. Tsitsipas, who has been a bit in and out of late, is out - beaten by Humbert who is almost back to his highest ranking of 25.

To continue the list of fallen giants, Ruud is the latest casualty, losing today to lowly-ranked Hungarian Fabian Marozsan in a long three-setter.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 10 Oct 2023, 5:36 pm

Sinner the latest to fall - going down to fast-rising star Shelton. Looking good for Alcaraz, now, with many of the top guys having crashed out.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 11 Oct 2023, 1:56 pm

Dimi has beaten Alcaraz in three sets. So another big beast bows out of the tournament.

Always feel that Dimi at his best is a match for anyone. His career has been far too up-and-down for a player of his ability (too much attention paid to glamorous girlfriends?).

Also wins today for Jarry, now at a career-high 22nd, and Humbert.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 13 Oct 2023, 12:58 pm

Dimi now thru to the semis after a straight-sets win over Jarry today. The Bulgarian now has a great chance to take the title and get his ranking (currently 19th) somewhat nearer to what it ought to be.


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Post by slashermcguirk Fri 13 Oct 2023, 2:24 pm

Dimitrov such a random player! Capable of such great attacking tennis but he is so up and down. Would be great to see him get a win though. I like Korda too, delighted he beat that circus clown Shelton

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 16 Oct 2023, 12:15 pm

Alas, for Dimi it was not to be, beaten in the semi by Rublev who was then pipped for title in an exciting finish in the final with Hurkacz.

The circus has moved on to Tokyo where Zverev is already out, losing to Jordan Thompson in straight sets. "I played horrible" said Sasha, showing sportsmen's usual aversion to adverbs.

No signs of Andy M playing anywhere this week, unless I've missed something. Jack Draper has qualified for Tokyo but faces a tough opener v De Minaur, while Norrie has been paired with top seed Fritz.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 17 Oct 2023, 2:33 pm

Draper battled it out with De Minaur for three hours without being able to quite turn it into De Major triumph he would have liked.

Norrie's poor run continued as he went down in straight sets to top seed Fritz.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 18 Oct 2023, 8:09 am

As so often happens when a previous-week winner plays again straight away, Hurkacz was beaten in the opening round in Tokyo by China's Zhizhen Zhang (sounds like a snooze).

FAA, after a really awful run, has put two wins together, today beating Ofner in straight sets.


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Post by sirfredperry Fri 20 Oct 2023, 2:49 pm

FAA's brief revival came to an abrupt halt today as he was beaten in straight sets by Giron.

The dream run by 20-yr-old Japanese Shintaro Mochizuki continues as he beat Popyrin 7-5 in the third to make the semis. No seeds have made the semis, with De Minaur beaten by Karatsev who now plays Mochizuki.

Ben Shelton is also having a good run of late and despatched Tommy Paul in straight sets.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 23 Oct 2023, 7:13 am

Tournament wins yesterday for Ben Shelton, who is on fire at the moment, and French veteran Monfils, who had been as low as 140th before this title.

Murray plays Basle today looking to end a string of first-round exits. Rune, who could be pipped for a top eight finish, is the top seed in Basle.

There is a stronger field in Vienna where Medvedev leads the seeds. Four places are still up for grabs for the year-end championships. Rublev looks secure in 5th but a good showing this week and in Paris next week could open the door to a number of players.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 23 Oct 2023, 5:57 pm

Murray ended his recent poor run with a straight-sets win over Germany's Hanfmann.

Andy was broken serving for the first set before taking it 7-5 and then was broken at 5-3 when serving for the match only to break again to finally get over the line 6-4.

Quite an important win for Murray. Not sure when he last lost in three successive opening rounds.

Losers today included Eubanks. He did so well at Wimbledon but has faltered since, suggesting his heroics at SW19 were something of a one-off.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 24 Oct 2023, 5:04 pm

Bad luck today for Dan Evans. Leading 4-1 in the first set against Tiafoe, he had to retire with a calf injury. This was a winnable match as Tiafoe had been a bit off of late.

Rublev was 4-0 down in the first set tiebreak of his match v Popyrin but still managed to win in straight sets. He needs one more victory to qualify for the WTF (great acronym!).

Halep, banned for four years on a drugs case, has taken the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. She's always protested her innocence, although the tennis authorities' findings point conclusively to her guilt.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 31 Oct 2023, 8:28 am

Titles at the weekend for Sinner and FAA, who seems to have now come out of a horror run.

Paris is under way and Murray has lost AGAIN to Di Minaur and AGAIN after reaching MP. Alcaraz will be in action today and faces a tough opener against fast-rising Safiullin. Thiem qualified and then beat Stan the Man in yesterday's opening round.

The women's year-end thingy has begun with Sabalenka likely to edge Swiatek for the yr-end numero uno. Things could change at the top by the end of the AO, as they could also do for the men.

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Post by slashermcguirk Tue 31 Oct 2023, 9:40 am

I think its safe to say Murray doesn't like the DeMinaur match up. Has lost all 6 matches he has played against him across every surface. Bizarre as DeMinaur while a really solid player doesn't really have any really big weapons. Styles and match ups are everything in tennis though

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Post by dummy_half Tue 31 Oct 2023, 2:19 pm

Curious how often Murray is drawing de Minaur as well at the moment - I believe this is their 4th meeting of the year, and Andy has been close to winning 3 of them but has just been edged out.

Andy is obviously having a hard time making it back into the top 32 - has been stalled around #40 for a few months now, and keeps getting quite tough draws that mean he is getting little momentum and few match wins.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 31 Oct 2023, 3:37 pm

Di Minaur to me is one of those players who is massively over-ranked. Can't believe he's beaten Murray every time (6-0).

Wins today for Zverev, who lies 7th in the race for the WTF, and Hurkacz, who is 9th. Sasha had to battle for 2hrs 37mins to get past Fucsovics who took the first set.

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Post by slashermcguirk Tue 31 Oct 2023, 9:54 pm

Alcaraz out in opening round, didn't see that coming

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Post by dummy_half Wed 01 Nov 2023, 11:42 am

sirfredperry wrote:Di Minaur to me is one of those players who is massively over-ranked. Can't believe he's beaten Murray every time (6-0).

Wins today for Zverev, who lies 7th in the race for the WTF, and Hurkacz, who is 9th. Sasha had to battle for 2hrs 37mins to get past Fucsovics who took the first set.

Currently #13 and been as high as #11. His ranking points are dominated by reaching the final in Canada, winning Acapulco and reaching the final at Queens, with not a great deal else (a couple of GS 4th rounds, a couple of 2nd rounds), so yes his ranking looks a bit high compared with achievements.

As for beating Murray, Andy obviously just struggles with something in his game, perhaps that he's not a power hitter but relies on placement and touch, and so he slightly neutralises Andy's strength across the same.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 01 Nov 2023, 7:04 pm

Just been watching a few clips of the Alcaraz match. The Russian looked good and has had some fine results this season.

Medvedev has followed Carlos out of the tourney, beaten by Dimi who finally got over the line in a third-set tiebreak after squandering numerous set points.

This year has certainly borne out the theory that the tail-end of the season produces some surprise results due to the tiredness of the top players. Paris often throws up unexpected titleists. Didn't Jack Sock win it a few years back?

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 02 Nov 2023, 10:30 am

Zverev thru after long, epic struggle which made Paris's crazy scheduling (SIX matches on the one court) ever crazier.

Meant Sinner finished at 2.37am. Is he going to be the last on today to help him recover? No. Of course not. He could be playing again by around 5pm. Madness.

In the women's a Sabalenka defeat today could open the door to Swiatek getting back to number one, after she beat Gauff in straight sets. Serving for the second set, Coco did FOUR DFs in a row. More madness.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 02 Nov 2023, 1:17 pm

Dimi and Rublev already thru in Paris where, in contrast to yesterday, they are racing thru the matches.

It all means Sinner, the late-night finisher, will be on court with hardly any rest from yesterday's exertions.

There seems no end to tournament directors' mad scheduling and I'm sure we'll be visiting this topic again when the AO starts in January. For the 2024 Melbourne Slam they have limited the number of day matches but still insist on having TWO night matches.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 02 Nov 2023, 3:31 pm

Just seen that Sinner has withdrawn from Paris. Tsitsipas is on the brink of victory v Zverev, being 7-6, 5-3 up.

The Greek went on to win and has clinched his spot at the WTF.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 03 Nov 2023, 8:17 am

Djoko was severely tested by Griekspoor before coming thru in three in Paris.

Today Novak takes on Rune with the winner taking on either Di Minaur or Rublev.

I see that Ruud has spoken out about the insane scheduling that forced Sinner to pull out. The sport needs more players to raise their heads above the parapet on this one.

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Post by slashermcguirk Fri 03 Nov 2023, 12:32 pm

The challenge for Djokovic is he actually plays very few tournaments now. I think this is his first tournament since winning the US Open. It always amazes me how players like that can just rock up at tournaments with no real match practise and win events. You can practise all you want but there is nothing like matches to hone your game. It just shows how great the likes of Djokovic are that they can adapt so quickly. I think Rune will be a big threat today if Novak is off form and then potentially Rublev waiting in the semis if he gets there

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 03 Nov 2023, 1:10 pm

Almost slipping under the radar is the 18-month suspension for American Jenson Brooksby for missing THREE drugs tests.

He's made a big thing about missing one of them but has not said anything about the other two. You'll recall the ban imposed on British athlete Christine Ohuruogu for missing three tests. She, like Brooksby, protested her innocence, said she had never taken drugs etc etc. But if you ain't tested, who knows?

To paraphrase Lady Bracknell from the Importance of Being Earnest, to miss one drugs test may be considered unfortunate but to miss three looks like carelessness/you're on drugs.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 03 Nov 2023, 5:43 pm

Wins today for Dimi and Tsitsipas, who now meet in the semis. Dimi has had a good end to the season which will mean his ranking will be a more realistic one given his talent.

Djoko, I gather, has been under the weather the last few days which may explain why he had such a struggle last night.

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Post by slashermcguirk Sat 04 Nov 2023, 9:05 am

Djokovic vs Rublev
Dimitrov vs Tsitsipas

Dimitrov seems to have found some good form again beating the likes of Alcaraz and Medvedev in recent weeks. Djokovic has looked rusty enough this week but still hasn't stopped him beating the likes of Rune. Novak heading towards 400 weeks at world number one which is an outrageous number and possibly 8 year end number ones. Those will be tough numbers for anyone to beat

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Post by slashermcguirk Sun 05 Nov 2023, 4:11 pm

40 Masters Series wins for Djokovic. His numbers are just unreal, looks like he should reach the 400 weeks at world number one and possibly an 8th year end number one

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 05 Nov 2023, 4:41 pm

Illness or not, Djoko was always likely to take the Paris title, especially after the early exits of Alcaraz and Medvedev.

The figures I've seen showed that Dimi did not force even one BP while Novak had very few UEs.

As Slasher says above, the Djoko stats are quite incredible. About the only record he won't break is Rog's 237 consecutive weeks at number one.

So now the top eight players head off for the WTF with Djoko likely to add that title to his long list as well.

The women's year-end number one is still undecided as rain hit the Sabalenka-Swiatek semi last night. Swiatek needs to win the whole thing to get to number one, while Sabalenka just needs to win this semi.

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Post by slashermcguirk Sun 05 Nov 2023, 6:23 pm

Djokovic has not lost a match since the Wimbledon final back in July. I think the tour finals will be tougher to call. So much comes down to the draw and how the players match up etc. While Djokovic will be favourite you could make a case for a few of them winning it. Sinner and Medvedev could be a big threat and obviously Alcaraz probably 2nd favourite

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Post by slashermcguirk Sun 05 Nov 2023, 6:24 pm

As an aside SFP that 237 consecutive weeks for Federer was incredible

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 07 Nov 2023, 3:20 pm

Swiatek, deservedly in my view, is the year-end number one after demolishing Sabalenka in the semis and also Pegula in the final in the women's version of the WTF in Cancun.

The Pole, although not so dominant as last year, has still had a terrific year. Realistically, she said at the start of 2023 that it would be pretty much impossible to have the sort of run which saw her win 37 consecutive matches in 2022.

But she added that she would give the year a good go - and she certainly has. Would not have liked Sabalenka to be number one due as much to her extreme noisiness as anything else.

Be interesting to see how returning new mum Naomi Osaka gets on in 2024. The women seem to be having babes earlier these days and then coming back to the sport. I see that Belinda Bencic is the latest to be in the family way.

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Post by dummy_half Tue 07 Nov 2023, 3:54 pm

So Swiatek won the WTA finals and sneaks ahead of Sabalenka for the YE #1 spot.
Starting to look like there is an established hierarchy in the WTA, with these two as the main rivals, Gauff and Rybakina not that far behind with the solid players that don't win many of the really big tournaments (Pegula, Jabeur) behind.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 10 Nov 2023, 4:01 pm

I think the women's game has enjoyed its best year for a while. There has been real competition - and consistency - among the top players.

Meanwhile, Jack Draper has just reached the final in Sofia, beating number one seed Musetti early on and this afternoon ousting number three seed Strauff in straight sets in the semi.

He will have to beat number two seed Mannarino in the final if the Frenchman wins the second semi. But in any case Draper, perhaps fresher than the others after long injury lay-offs, will enjoy a good climb in the rankings.

Jack reached 38 last year and has only now started hauling himself up the charts. I think that if Draper can stay fit he can go quite high, given his big serving, big ground strokes, lefty game.

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Post by slashermcguirk Mon 13 Nov 2023, 12:27 pm


Djokovic beats Rune for the second time in a week (both tough matches though) to secure his 8th year end number one and now guarantees that he will reach the milestone of 400 weeks at world number one. While the 24 grand slam tally will be extremely tough to match for existing and future players, I think that 400 week milestone will also prove very tough to beat. Thats pretty much 8 calendar years spent at world number one which is pretty mind boggling consistency over the years.

I have a feeling Sinner might win this year's world tour finals but Djokovic will no doubt have plenty to say about that, as will the likes of Alcaraz. I am curious to see how Alcaraz responds to early losses on the indoor hard courts in Shanghai and Paris. Funnily enough Nadal always struggled more on the indoor hard courts too, was always a bit of a mystery to me that he never won the Tour finals in his career. Indoor hard courts were always more challenging to him but I still would have expected him to win maybe one or two particularly back in his prime but Federer and Djokovic proved the obstacles, better indoor players.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 13 Nov 2023, 12:30 pm

So Djoko has secured, yet again, the year-end number one position. He needed just the one win at the WTF and duly came up with it in a three-set defeat of Rune, who at least made it competitive.

This has been another fantastic year for Novak, arguably his best since his sensational 2011. To achieve all this at 36 is remarkable. I feel sure he's far from finished at winning Slams.

His weeks at number one will take some beating, as will, of course, his GS title record.

Sinner beat Tsitsipas in straight sets in the other opening day WTF match. Hardly a surprise, as the Italian has been in good form.

Jack Draper took Mannarino to three set in the Sofia final before going down. His consolation is a rise to 60 in the rankings.

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Post by slashermcguirk Mon 13 Nov 2023, 4:42 pm

Zverev beats Alcaraz in 1st group match. I am not overly shocked by that result though. Alcaraz has had early losses now in Paris, Shanghai and Turin. He can still get out of the group but I think Medvedev in particular will be a very tough match. I see Rublev going out in that group but it really is anyone's guess as to who else will fall in the group stages. I can see Medvedev winning all three of his matches and I have a feeling Zverev will beat Rublev but still very tough to call it. Alcaraz will be on a mission now knowing he cant falter from here so maybe he will win his last two matches to get out of group.

I think Sinner and Djokovic will come through in other group, I can see Sinner possibly winning that group based on his form. Djokovic had a good win last night but you wouldnt say he has been playing great even in winning Paris and his 1st match in tour finals yesterday. Mind you if you can win matches playing not your best, it doesnt bode well for opposition if he does find an extra gear or two. The Italian crowd will be massively behind Sinner in this tournament.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 14 Nov 2023, 8:04 am

Medvedev made short work of Rublev in the evening match. I see that Med is now 8-2 in the h-to-h.

Be interesting to see whether Sinner can get anything out of his match tonight with Djoko. In this round-robin format sometimes just winning one set can help.

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