Google Down the Line!: 2009-11-15

Saturday, November 21, 2009

PHOTO OP: Masterpiece theater

Anyone else thinking this Barclays ATP World Tour Final will be theater of the highest order (read: EPIC?)

Here's how the boys have been grouped:

Group A
Roger Federer (SUI)
Andy Murray (GBR)
Juan Martin del Potro (ARG)
Fernando Verdasco (ESP)

Group B
Rafael Nadal (ESP)
Novak Djokovic (SRB)
Nikolay Davydenko (RUS)
Robin Soderling (SWE)

Of course the big story here is the down-to-the-wire showdown for the year-end top ranking (and the strangely titled ATP World Tour Champion honors) between Roger Federer + Rafael Nadal.

The Matador trails Fed by 945 points and could usurp the top spot in three ways (via ATP):

1. If Rafa is an undefeated champion at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals (winning all-three round-robin matches, a semi-final and final) he will earn the maximum 1,500 points. If that happens, the Swiss would need to either win all three round-robin matches OR reach the final to beat out Rafa for the 2009 ATP World Tour Champion title.

2. If Rafa goes 2-1 in round-robin play and wins the title he will earn 1,300 points. If that happens, Fed would need to either win two round-robin matches OR win one round-robin match and reach the final to beat out Rafa for the 2009 ATP World Tour Champion title.

3. If Rafa goes 3-0 in round-robin play, wins his semi-final but loses the final he will earn 1,000 points. If that happens, Fed would need only to win one round-robin match to beat out the Spaniard for the 2009 ATP World Tour Champion title.

Novak Djokovic will be a big obstacle in their way. He's been playing like the top baller for a few weeks now capturing Basel, the Paris Masters and defeating Fed + Rafa in consecutive weeks. Andy Murray is looking to put an exclamation point on his best year and remove some of the disappointment of going Slam-less this season.

Juan Martin del Potro hasn't been playing well since shocking Fed to capture his maiden major at Flushing Meadows so he'll be hungry for a strong end to his career season. Last year's finalist, Nikolay Davydenko, and first-timers Fernando Verdasco + Robin Soderling (who got in after and injuryed Andy Roddick pulled out) round out the elite eight.

Click here to visit the official site.

(image via Julian Finney/Getty Images, CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)

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