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Rear View Mirror – a look at last week’s picks

I started the week in 22nd place and ended in 38th. Not bad considering that Jarkko Nieminen, Marc Gicquel and Sebastien Grosjean all made it to a final this week. I wasn’t expecting that. I still have Andy Murray and he could win the St. Petersburg title tomorrow.

My goal was to end up in the top 100 and it looks like I’ll make it so I consider this a successful year. How about you? And what would you change about the ATP fantasy tennis game?

This week we have the Paris Masters Series event and it’s the last event of the ATP fantasy tennis season. I’ve had a lot of fun and I’ll see you next season. Hopefully the ATP fantasy tennis people will get themselves together and start way before Wimbledon next year.

I’ll still be picking the winners every week, including the year end championships, so stick around.

Paris Masters (indoor carpet, first prize: $468, 860)

I’m going to assume that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will drop out of Paris because they’ve already qualified for the year end championships. In any case, I’ve used them both five times this season and can’t use them again. I’d like to think that Novak Djokovic is smart enough to stay home too but I’m not sure he is. I’ve also used him five times so prepare for picks that do not include those top three players.

We need eight players, two from each quarter, so let’s divide the draw into quarters.

Roger Federer’s Quarter

Carlos Moya is hopeless indoors so forget him. I’m going to pick between Fernando Verdasco and Ivo Karlovic in the top part of the quarter because David Nalbandian has never been past the second round in Paris.

This is a very tough pick because Verdasco is 8-2 indoors this fall and Karlovic is 12-3. They’re 1-1 in head to head meetings so that doesn’t tell me much. Karlovic will be playing his sixth straight tournament in Paris and that’s not good but I’m picking him because not even Federer could break his serve in Basel this week. Also, Verdasco hasn’t beaten any highly ranked players this fall and Karlovic has.

In the bottom part of the quarter there are three good players: Tomas Berdych, Paul-Henri Mathieu and Mario Ancic. I’m ignoring David Ferrer because he’s never been past the second round here either.

Ancic beat Mathieu two weeks ago indoors so forget Mathieu. Ancic and Berdych both reached the quarterfinals here last year and Berdych won it the year before. It’s a tossup because Berdych is inconsistent and Ancic is still making his way back from mononucleosis but I’m taking Berdych because he’s 8-1 in Paris.

Novak Djokovic’s Quarter

Since I’ve used up Novak Djokovic, I’m taking Andy Murray in the top part of this quarter. Good thing Murray was injured this year else I’d have used him all up and he’s pretty hot. If he takes the title in St. Petersburg tomorrow, he’s within three points of the number eight ranking and that means he’s in the running for the year end championships.

This is the French quarter. There are five French players here. We need to choose between four of them in the bottom part of the quarter and James Blake. Richard Gasquet is having a terrible fall season but I have a feeling he’s going to wake up this week and wipe out all of the other French players. I’ve already used Gasquet five times so I’m taking Blake who will probably only make it to the third round.

Nikolay Davydenko’s Quarter

The top part of this draw is between Tommy Robredo and Guillermo Canas because everyone else is a qualifier or a clay court player. Canas has a 3-1 record over Robredo and he’s a better player on carpet so I’m taking him.

I saved my last Nikolay Davydenko for this week so I’m using him.

Rafael Nadal’s Quarter

Fernando Gonzalez is 0-5 in Paris. Tommy Haas made the semifinals last year. I’m taking Haas in the top part of the quarter.

In the bottom part of the quarter I’ve used up Nadal. I’m skipping Juan Ignacio Chela because he’s not good indoors.

I’d like to pick Nicolas Kiefer because he beat Stanislaw Wawrinka in Madrid two weeks ago but Kiefer is not available because his ranking was too low at the beginning of the year. Oh well, I’ll have to hold my nose and go with Jurgen Melzer who should be able to win at least one match.

Paris Draw

My Picks

Here’s my team: Karlovic, Berdych, Murray, Blake, Canas, Davydenko, Haas, Melzer.

Happy fantasies!


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