I really don’t need to write anything on this blog when the mainstream media does such a fantastic job of providing their celestial tour insight, clarifying the big story-lines and over-arching narratives with such wisdom and eloquence.
Nadal has never won the Paris Masters or the year-end championship (WTF) that crowns, generally, the best player in the world.
We are in the full-blown Federer farewell tour (FFT), once again. I was way ahead of that back-in-the-day (2016 especially) when I advanced that theme while people (fangirls) ran around screaming one way or another about how Federer was losing to Djokovic at the top of the tour.
2018-19 is 2015-16. Djokovic took his routine dive in form and consistency in 2017-18 (he’s done that throughout his illustrious career), so we got then that almost bizarre recalibration of Fedal, which really just torpedoed much of this tour’s credibility in the process.
Novak is back, so we pick-up where we left this plot at the end of 2016 (where Djoker left the plot, to be sure). No one touches the dark knight at this point.
There is no race for #1. Nada. Zilch.
What? Is the nine-time Swiss Indoors champ gonna take-out Djokovic in the Paris SF?
Nadal has a potentially tough draw with the likes of Verdasco, Sock/Gasquet and Coric/Thiem or even Medvedev (unless he’s still reeling from his Basel about-face) by the quarter-finals. There are a bunch of big hitters in the other part of that top half with Sascha, Khachanov and Isner probably coming pretty hard for the SF.
This is a Novak v Zverev kind of final, which has zero drama (though I would love to see Coric or Thiem make a run, which is asking, probably, way too much).
I guess there’s a chance that Novak, with a two-week “training” camp between Masters events, in all of this new-found glory, could have become a bit complacent (who would blame him). But I think his end-of-year #1 is far too important.
Wake me when Novak loses a service game.