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The deadline for picking your team this week is Sunday, September 23, 10pm EST and Monday, 4am CET. I’m late with these picks because Bangkok didn’t put it’s draw out until today.
Rear View Mirror – a look at last week’s picks
There weren’t any picks last week because all of the men were playing Davis Cup but I do have one thing to say about my last set of picks. I caught a case of TMI when I made picks for Bucharest. TMI is “too much information.”
If you go to tennisform.com and click on the pulldown menu labeled “Select a tournament” then click on Bucharest, you’ll get the record of every player who’s ever played in Bucharest (tennisform hasn’t updated the 2007 results yet). Jurgen Melzer and Florent Serra have excellent records in this tournament and even though they’ve been playing terribly this year, I chose them instead of another player in their quarter, Gilles Simon. Simon has been playing well lately and he ended up winning Bucharest.
I should have used the tournament record as a tiebreaker between two equally matched players instead of favoring it over Simon’s recent record of good results. Isn’t hindsight wonderful?
There are two tournaments this week and the first prize is similar so we need four players from each tournament.
Bangkok (indoor hard court, first prize: $76, 500)
I am a happy camper this Sunday morning. The U.S. won its Davis Cup tie against Sweden and Russia came back from a 2-1 deficit to beat Germany and that means the Davis Cup final is in the U.S. and I can go to it!!!
Tommy Haas did not play the reverse singles for Germany, though, and I don’t know if that’s because he’s a woeful clay court player or he has an injury. The Davis Cup ties just ended so I don’t have information yet but Germany played Philipp Petzschner instead of Haas and Petzschner is ranked number 206 in the world and is not a clay court specialist. I bring this up because Haas is playing in Bangkok this week so check the draw before you go to bed tonight to see if he pulled out.
[UPDATE: Tommy Haas has a viral infection that got worse during the night.]
The Bangkok event is loaded with top players: Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick and Tomas Berdych are here. Carlos Moya is here too but he’s in Djokovic’s quarter. Obviously you should save Djokovic for Madrid and one of the more lucrative indoor hard court events such as Vienna.
And here we have an interesting choice because, remember, we want to pick one player from each quarter. Moya hasn’t played well on indoor hard court since 2003 so I’m going to ignore this quarter and pick two players from Berdych’s quarter.
Berdych is in a tough quarter. Thomas Johansson, Ivo Karlovic, and Feliciano Lopez are there. But Johansson hasn’t played well on indoor hard court this year and Lopez is too inconsistent. What I’m going to do is take Berdych and Karlovic instead of making a pick in Djokovic’s quarter.
Haas has Joachim Johansson in his draw and Johansson is killer in fall indoor hard court tournaments. Unfortunately he’s not available for ATP fantasy tennis. I would not save Haas for Madrid, he doesn’t do well there, but do save him for Paris where he has an excellent record. I’m using Haas this week because I’ve only used him three times and he doesn’t play a lot of fall indoor tournaments.
[UPDATE: since Tommy Haas has a viral infection I’m taking Carlos Moya.]
I can use Roddick one more time. Should I use him this week? He’s never gotten past the third round at Madrid and probably won’t play Paris if he’s already qualified for the year end championships. However, if he does poorly at Madrid he might choose to play Lyon or Vienna which both pay much more so I’m saving him. Instead I’m taking Dmitry Tursunov because no one else in that quarter inspires confidence.
Notice below that I’ve posted a website that is streaming the Bangkok event on the internet.
Mumbai (outdoor hard court, first prize: $65, 850)
Richard Gasquet hasn’t gone past the second round of a hard court tournament since Indian Wells but he doesn’t have any competition in his quarter and I haven’t used him much because he’s sick or injured so often. I’m using him now.
A possible third round matchup between Fabrice Santoro and Jarkko Nieminen is hard to pick. Santoro is 2-0 lifetime over Nieminen but Santoro is winding his career down. Neither one has a good hard court record this year but Santoro’s is better so I’m taking him.
Paul-Henri Mathieu is maddeningly inconsistent on hard courts: he had a first round exit in Cincinnati and the US Open and a semifinal in New Haven. He should be able to beat Nicolas Kiefer in the first round but I’m a bit nervous because Kiefer got to the semifinals at Beijing last week but we can’t pick Kiefer because he’s not available for ATP fantasy tennis so I’m going with Mathieu.
Rainer Schuettler actually has a 2-2 record against Llleyton Hewitt but Hewitt won both hard court matches so I’m going with him since I haven’t used Hewitt this year.
Here’s my team: Gasquet, Santoro, Mathieu, Hewitt, Berdych, Karlovic,
Haas Moya, Tursunov.
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