Compelling End-of-the-Year Race for Meaning, Purpose


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.

19 thoughts on “Compelling End-of-the-Year Race for Meaning, Purpose

  1. PRF - Władysław Janowski

    The only thing we don’t know is, will Delpo play London or not. My guess: Delpo comes to London for his ambition and even losing everything or risking his health – he was there.
    So there is still a heavy battle for last spot. Everything is speculation. Theoretically everyone can go deep enough: Thiem, Nishikori, Isner. Theoretically everyone can lose first match. I’m tired of counting points and my conclusion is: let it be. Don’t collect records. Collect moments. I would like to see Thiem-Nadal rematch on hard for itself, not to see Thiem qualifying. Some losses are worth more than wins. Are we accountants or lovers of tennis?
    The same with No. 1 for the year’s and. It’s only number for the books. And first of all for professional writers. On the other side they need upsets like air and water. No problem. They call anything an upset or stunner, if there is nothing like Souza defeating Novak. Impossible? That’s what we need to have an upset.
    So far an upset was for me Feliciano to beat de Minaur. Doing this with tremendous effort. Like Federer. he cannot run anymore, he can only hit (show me another guy hitting only slices – is this tennis from XXI century?) and think.
    And nobody arranges things for him. He’s not the face of tennis. But to be hones, I cannot watch all those “faces of tennis”. Maybe Rafa, the one not doing much hype around. Maybe Novak because of his sense of humor. Maybe Thiem playing always so serious but finding now some nice smiles on media days. But not too much, please.
    We are all tired and need a break, don’t we?


    1. Delpo? He’s done, no?

      “Are we accountants or lovers of tennis?”
      Very nice!

      And I did notice the Feli Lopez win over the Australian rat. I wondered how could that be? The BH slice overcomes, exterminates the THBH sewer creature? Then I see that Shapo has been struggling and then I say aha, of course: these youngins just ain’t what they used to be. End of the year fatigue/burn-out for the future of the game.


      1. PRF - Władysław Janowski

        I have seen this in my crystal ball, hahaha … no, it was probably not to zero. Could not follow, while playing tennis myself 🙂
        Delpo is probably done, but it’s still not official. He tells, he expects some miracle. He seems to be very religious, no?


  2. PRF - Władysław Janowski

    They just enforce a new ATP rule – Federer cannot lose before he achieves his 100th title. If this is to be Paris (Federer told, it should be), Djoker must retire before SF, so nothing wrong happen. Then the draw is open and Federer can meet Jaziri in the final. Yes, Jaziri. Nadal pulled out and Jaziri replaced him as lucky loser. What a circus! Tell them, Matt, I will NEVER pull out from Paris, so Fed must at last play me, ha, ha, ha …


  3. PRF - Władysław Janowski

    That’s not all – I see Nadal just changed his name for Paris and is spelled now JAZIRI 😉 Who’s next? Djokovic to let Federer win Paris without playing a match?


  4. PRF - Władysław Janowski

    And now we have the whole concept. After Nadal pulled out, Djokovic is no. 1 right now. Nadal probably skips London too. Now Djokovic must not win Paris, but Federer MUST te reach his 100th. Federer goes via walkovers to the semi, beats Djokovic (think on Bolletieri – let him win xxx and retire) and Jaziri in the final. Then he wins London to end the year as no. 1 and … retires. True Love Story, no?


  5. PRF - Władysław Janowski

    On the side note: Thiem, Nishikori and Isner qualify all to London (Delpo done, Nadal done) and all what they have to do is to set the places: 6, 7 and 8. Good joke.


  6. PRF - Władysław Janowski

    Fognini defeats Fucsovic by walkover. So Fognini is set to play Federer (both after walkovers). Fognini is normally a bit dangerous, so I guess, he retires because of calf injury and Fed is safe in QF. After Anderson is qualified and Nishikori will qualify after withdrawals of Delpo and Nadal, no one is interested to beat Federer in QF a.s.o.
    Being ensured, he qualifies too, Thiem can happíly lose to Simon (and have some nice days in Paris with Kiki), being the last French racket in the tournament (after Gasquet not only lost the match to Sock but also demolished his racket and was heavily booed out by the crowd. They say, Paris crowd don’t like smashing rackets 😉


  7. PRF - Władysław Janowski

    Nadal was principally not expected in Paris after his knee problems (caused by Thiem at USO). But he came, to sell tickets in Paris. How he has suddenly abdominal problems, cannot serve and must withdraw also saying, he will probably miss in London too. What a nice news for Federer scenario 😉


  8. PRF - Władysław Janowski

    Yes, I watched Coric vs. Medvedev. Coric is getting quite impressive. Coric is pure regularity and confidence. Thiem is explosive (if on fire, not like in Vienna). They have practiced together before the tournament – good choice 🙂 Thiem needs to rise his game from today. But today was not a real challenge. Maybe challenge in terms of patience you must have playing guys like Simon.
    Whoever wins, can have a deep run in Paris.


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