The main business of the week has been sorted out (finalising the qualifiers for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals) now the pressure is off, let the tournament begin! With 6 out the 8 best players in the world in the quarter final line up, its certainly a world class lineup and it has thrown up some mouthwatering ties!
At the top of the draw we have Novak taking on enigmatic Frenchman Jo Willie Tsonga. Although Nole has had the year that he has had, Jo won the last time these guys played so it will be no means a walkover. Throw into the mix the partisan Parisienne crowd, a dodgy shoulder and the possibility of these two guys meeting at the World Tour Finals next week, neither player will want to disappoint. I saw snippets of Tsonga playing Andreas Seppi today, some of his forehands were absolute pile drivers. Djokovic is probably the best defender on tour after Andy Murray, he moves well and has great anticipation skills however his match against Troicki was a slog today, long lung busting rallies. Im wondering will the shoulder be recovered in time? Im picking ( like the ATP Bracket Challenge) Jo Willie for this one.
Big John Isner faces world number 5 David Ferrer in the second semi. With all respect to John, he has a shot at an upset here despite the fact that Ferrer has owned him in the past. His big serve will pull him out of trouble and despite the fact that Ferrer is probably one of the best hustlers on the tour, the one dimensional game of the American could be enough to see him through. Federer faces Juan Monaco in his quarter final clash, on paper most people wouldnt give the South American a chance. But this SLOW Parisienne surface could favour him. Federer showed great class and skill in dispatching Reeshard Gasquet in his previous match, I predict much of the same this time around. Federer to progress serenely.
And finally Tommy B faces Andy Murray in the last tie of the bottom half of the draw. Like Tsonga and Djokovic, this tie could be a precursor to the ATP World Tour Finals. These guys last played in Cincy with the Czech winning 4 and 4, there only previous grandslam encounter Berdych won in 3 straight sets on the clay of Roland Garros. Im picking Murray for his one ( not just cuz Im meeting him on Monday). I think the surface suits Andys game better than Tomas’, although most players and commentators dont seem to like another slow court, Andy has far superior athletic ability and movement. He has much more to his game and can mix it up. Berdych will try and pull the trigger at every opportunity and boss Andy around the court, Andy’s defensive capabilities should win him this game.