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Dubai Tennis 2012: Federer beats Murray, wins 5th Dubai Title

World #3 Roger Federer won a record 5th Dubai title by beating #4 Andy Murray in straight sets 75 64. The win is Federer’s second title this month and his 72nd ATP tournament title. He earlier claimed the Rotterdam crown for his first title 2 weeks ago. Federer takes home $409,170 in prize money for winning Dubai 2012 but more importantly, he brings a 10-match win streak and into March where two of the biggest tournaments in the ATP calendar will be played in Indian Wells and Miami. In doubles, the #4 seeded pair of Bhupathi and Bopanna beat #3 seed Matkowski and Fyrstenberg to win the Dubai 2012 doubles tournament.

03/02 Update: In an exciting development at the Dubai 2012 tennis tournament, world #4 Andy Murray turned the tables on world #1 Novak Djokovic by upsetting the top seed in straight sets 62 75. Murray now advances to the Dubai 2012 finals where he’ll be going against world #3 and 4-time Dubai champion Roger Federer. Federer needed two tiebreak sets against in-form Juan Martin del Potro 76(5) 76(6) to advance to the finals where he’s going for a record 5th Dubai championship. The Dubai 2012 final will be the 15th meeting between the two players with Murray holding a rare 8-6 advantage over the 16-time grand slam champion. The two haven’t played for more than a year with their last meeting occurring during the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in 2010. Federer beat Murray at a round robin match in straight sets. A win by Murray will push his career prize earnings to more than $20 million while if Federer wins, his record career prize money earnings will near the $70 million milestone. The doubles final will be between the 3rd seeded pair of Matkowski and Fyrstenberg vs the 4th seeded pair of Bhupathi and Bopanna.

Dubai Tennis 2012: Results – FRIDAY, 02 MARCH, 2012

(2) R Federer defeats (8) J Del Potro 76(5) 76(6)
(3) A Murray defeats (1) N Djokovic 62 75

(4) M Bhupathi / R Bopanna defeats J Knowle / A Peya 76(2) 76(7)
(3) M Fyrstenberg / M Matkowski defeats J Erlich / A Ram 64 36 10-4

Dubai Tennis 2012: Schedule – SATURDAY, 03 MARCH, 2012

CENTRE COURT start 5:00 pm
[4] M Bhupathi (IND) / R Bopanna (IND) vs [3] M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) – ATP

Not before 7:00 pm
[3] Andy Murray (GBR) vs [2] R Federer (SUI)

03/01 Update: Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray set-up a semifinal showdown in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships 2012 in Dubai, U.A.E by beating top 10 opponents in straight sets. Murray beat Tomas Berdych 63 75 while Djokovic trounced fellow Serb Janko Tipsaveric 61 76(6). Djokovic and Murray last met in the semifinals of the Australian Open which Djokovic won in five sets. In the other semifinal, Roger Federer and Juan Martin del Potro both advanced for another re-match after Federer beat del Potro in the Rotterdam finals two weeks ago. Federer beat Mikhail Youzhny in straight sets 63 64 while Del Potro downed fourth seeded Jo-Wifried Tsonga 76(1) 62. Del Potro is aiming to become the first player this year to advance to three straight finals in three consecutive weeks after his Rotterdam runner-up finish and his Marseilles title last week. In the doubles tournament, the top-seeded doubles pair of LLodra and Zimonjic lost to the unseeded pair of Knowle and Peya.

Dubai Tennis 2012: Results – THURSDAY, 01 MARCH, 2012

Singles

(1) N Djokovic defeats (7) J Tipsarevic 61 76(6)
(2) R Federer defeats M Youzhny 63 64
(3) A Murray defeats (5) T Berdych 63 75
(8) J Del Potro defeats (4) J Tsonga 76(1) 62

Doubles
J Knowle / A Peya defeats (1) M Llodra / N Zimonjic 76(3) 76(2)
(3) M Fyrstenberg / M Matkowski defeats M Kohlmann / S Stakhovsky 76(4) 63
(4) M Bhupathi / R Bopanna defeats P Hanley / J Murray 63 63
J Erlich / A Ram defeats (2) R Lindstedt / H Tecau 61 62

Dubai Tennis 2012: Schedule – FRIDAY, 02 MARCH, 2012

CENTRE COURT start 2:00 pm
J Knowle (AUT) / A Peya (AUT) vs [4] M Bhupathi (IND) / R Bopanna (IND) or P Hanley (AUS) / J Murray (GBR) – ATP

Not Before 5:00 PM
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs [3] A Murray (GBR) – ATP

Not Before 7:00 PM
[8] J Del Potro (ARG) vs [2] R Federer (SUI) – ATP

COURT 1 start 2:00 pm
[3] M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) vs J Erlich (ISR) / A Ram (ISR) – ATP

02/29 Update: Seven of the eight seeds at the Dubai 2012 ATP tournament all advanced to the quarterfinals led by world #1 Novak Djokovic and 16-time grand slam champion Roger Federer. Djokovic and Federer enjoyed straight set wins to advance, and so did #3-seed Andy Murray, #4-seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, #5-seed Tomas Berdych, and #8-seed Juan Martin del Potro. #7-seed Janko Tipsaveric also advanced but had to come from behind after losing a first set tiebreak. The only seeded casualty was top American player and #6-seed Mardy Fish who lost to former top-10 player Mikhail Youzhny.

The quarterfinal matches will feature several intriguing match-ups including three matches that will feature all top 10 players: an all-Serbian affair between Djokovic and Tipsaveric, Murray vs Berdych, Del Potro vs Tsonga. The only non top 10 affair is the quarterfinal between Federer and Youzhny. The winner of the Dubai 2012 ATP tournament will take home $409,170.

Dubai Tennis 2012: Results – WEDNESDAY, 29 FEBRUARY, 2012

Singles

(1) N Djokovic defeats S Stakhovsky 76(5) 63
(2) R Federer defeats F Lopez 75 63
(3) A Murray defeats M Chiudinelli 63 64
(4) J Tsonga defeats L Rosol 63 64
(8) J Del Potro defeats A Golubev 64 62
(5) T Berdych defeats L Lacko 61 62
(7) J Tipsarevic defeats F Cipolla 67(2) 61 61
M Youzhny defeats (6) M Fish 62 76(0)

Doubles
(4) M Bhupathi / R Bopanna defeats L Dlouhy / A Dolgopolov 64 75
(1) M Llodra / N Zimonjic defeats M Ilhan / M Jaziri 61 63
P Hanley / J Murray defeats A Qureshi / J Rojer 46 76(12) 10-6
(2) R Lindstedt / H Tecau defeats L Paes / J Tipsarevic 64 75

Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships
ATP World Tour 500
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
27 February-3 March 2012

Dubai Tennis 2012: Schedule – WEDNESDAY, 29 FEBRUARY, 2012

THURSDAY, 1 MARCH, 2012

CENTRE COURT start 2:00 pm
[3] A Murray (GBR) vs [5] T Berdych (CZE) – ATP

Not Before 5:00 PM
M Youzhny (RUS) vs [2] R Federer (SUI) – ATP

Not Before 7:00 PM
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs [7] J Tipsarevic (SRB) – ATP
[8] J Del Potro (ARG) vs [4] J Tsonga (FRA) – ATP

COURT 1 start 2:00 pm
J Erlich (ISR) / A Ram (ISR) vs [2] R Lindstedt (SWE) / H Tecau (ROU) – ATP
M Kohlmann (GER) / S Stakhovsky (UKR) vs [3] M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) – ATP
[1] M Llodra (FRA) / N Zimonjic (SRB) vs J Knowle (AUT) / A Peya (AUT) – ATP
[4] M Bhupathi (IND) / R Bopanna (IND) vs P Hanley (AUS) / J Murray (GBR) – ATP

02/28 Update: #2-seed Roger Federer and #3-seed Andy Murray won in contrasting fashions to lead the advance of the remaining six seeds into the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships 2012 in Dubai, U.A.E. Federer beat Michael Llodra in straight sets 60 76(6) while Murray needed 3 sets to outlast Germany’s Michael Berrer. Other winners for the day included #4-seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, #5-seedTomas Berdych, #7-seed Janko Tipsaveric and #8-seed Juan Martin del Potro. Top seeded Novak Djokovic and #6-seed Mardy Fish advanced to the second round on Monday, the first day of action at the Dubai 2012 ATP tennis tournament.

Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine eliminated the last of the wildcards when he beat Omar Awadhy of the UAE. Awadhy is a 30-year old unranked local tennis player who reached the top 850 of the world rankings for his career best in 2006. He joins two other wildcard players who lost in the first round – Marko Djokovic, the brother of Novak Djokovic and Sergei Bubka, the boyfriend of WTA’s #1 ranked Victoria Azarenka.

Dubai Tennis 2012 Results – TUESDAY, 28 FEBRUARY, 2012

Singles
(2) R Federer defeats M Llodra 60 76(6) Match Stats H2H
(3) A Murray defeats M Berrer 63 46 64 Match Stats H2H
(4) J Tsonga defeats M Baghdatis 76(2) 64 Match Stats H2H
(5) T Berdych defeats B Becker 62 62 Match Stats H2H
(7) J Tipsarevic defeats I Kunitsyn 62 62 Match Stats H2H
(8) J Del Potro defeats A Dolgopolov 63 76(5) Match Stats H2H
M Chiudinelli defeats N Davydenko 64 57 64 Match Stats H2H
M Youzhny defeats R Gasquet 63 00 Match Stats H2H
F Cipolla defeats I Ljubicic 62 75 Match Stats H2H
S Stakhovsky defeats O Awadhy 61 62 Match Stats H2H
F Lopez defeats N Mahut 64 64 Match Stats H2H

Doubles
J Erlich / A Ram defeats S Lipsky / R Ram 63 75 Match Stats
J Knowle / A Peya defeats M Ghareeb / A Maqdas 64 61 Match Stats

Dubai Tennis 2012 Schedule – WEDNESDAY, 29 FEBRUARY, 2012

CENTRE COURT start 2:00 pm
[3] A Murray (GBR) vs [Q] M Chiudinelli (SUI) – ATP

Not Before 4:00 PM
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs S Stakhovsky (UKR) – ATP

Not Before 7:00 PM
F Lopez (ESP) vs [2] R Federer (SUI) – ATP
L Rosol (CZE) vs [4] J Tsonga (FRA) – ATP

COURT 1 start 2:00 pm
F Cipolla (ITA) vs [7] J Tipsarevic (SRB) – ATP
[Q] L Lacko (SVK) vs [5] T Berdych (CZE) – ATP

Not Before 4:30 PM
[8] J Del Potro (ARG) vs [Q] A Golubev (KAZ) – ATP
[4] M Bhupathi (IND) / R Bopanna (IND) vs L Dlouhy (CZE) / A Dolgopolov (UKR) – ATP

COURT 3 start 2:00 pm
A Qureshi (PAK) / J Rojer (NED) vs P Hanley (AUS) / J Murray (GBR) – ATP
[6] M Fish (USA) vs M Youzhny (RUS) – ATP
L Paes (IND) / J Tipsarevic (SRB) vs [2] R Lindstedt (SWE) / H Tecau (ROU) – ATP
[1] M Llodra (FRA) / N Zimonjic (SRB) vs [WC] M Ilhan (TUR) / M Jaziri (TUN) – ATP

02/27 Update: World #1 Novak Djokovic won his 16th straight match at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships by eliminating Cedrik-Marcel Stebe in straights sets 64 62 at the start of the Dubai 2012 ATP tennis tournament. Djokovic now advances to the second round as he is attempting to become the first ever player to win the Dubai tournament in four consecutive years. He will be heavily favored to win his next match where he will meet the winner of Ukraine’s Sergiy STAKHOVSKY and UAE’s Omar AWADHY. Stakhovsky is ranked #74 in the world while Awadhy is a 30-year old local wildcard who is currently listed as unranked in the ATP tour website.

Joining Djokovic in the second round is American 6th seed Mardy Fish. Fish beat Andreas Beck 61 61 and will advance against the winner of the first round match between the Mikhail YOUZHNY of Russia and Richard GASQUET of France. World #3 and second seeded Roger Federer is scheduled to play his first match on Tuesday against Michael LLODRA of France. Llodra was a finalist in last week’s Marseilles Open. Besides Djokovic, Federer was the only other player to have won the Dubai ATP tennis tournament for 3 consecutive years. He achieved the feat in 2003 to 2005 and also won the 2007 tournament. Federer is going for his 5th Dubai title this year – a record for the tournament.

Two interesting wildcard players with strong athletic connections didn’t win in the first day of action. Marko Djokovic, the younger brother of Novak lost in straight sets to Kazakhstan’s Andrey Golubev. Marko who is currently ranked #869 gained entry into the tournament via a wildcard and he was beaten 63 62 by Golubev who is ranked #143 in the world. The other wildcard, Sergei Bubka, the 25-year old ranked #190 lost a closely fought match to #76 Lukas Lacko of Slovakia. Lacko emerged the winner after a third set contest that featured 30 points in the final tiebreak and where Bubka held multiple match points in a 26 62 76(14) loss. Like Marko Djokovic, Sergei Bubka is also connected to a tennis player #1 being world #1 Victoria Azarenka’s boyfriend. Bubka is also the son of Olympic pole vault champion Sergey Bubka.

Dubai 2012 Tennis Results: MONDAY, 27 FEBRUARY, 2012

Singles
(1) N Djokovic defeats C Stebe 64 62 Match Stats H2H
L Lacko defeats S Bubka 26 62 76(14) Match Stats H2H
A Golubev defeats M Djokovic 63 62 Match Stats H2H
(6) M Fish defeats A Beck 61 61 Match Stats H2H
L Rosol defeats A Mannarino 62 62 Match Stats H2H

Doubles
M Kohlmann / S Stakhovsky defeats J Cerretani / I Ljubicic 75 64 Match Stats
(3) M Fyrstenberg / M Matkowski defeats M Baghdatis / M Youzhny 62 75 Match Stats

Dubai 2012 Tennis Schedule: TUESDAY, 28 FEBRUARY, 2012

CENTRE COURT start 2:00 pm
[3] A Murray (GBR) vs [Q] M Berrer (GER) – ATP

Not Before 4:00 PM
M Baghdatis (CYP) vs [4] J Tsonga (FRA) – ATP

Not Before 7:00 PM
M Llodra (FRA) vs [2] R Federer (SUI) – ATP
[8] J Del Potro (ARG) vs A Dolgopolov (UKR) – ATP
COURT 1 start 12:00 noon
J Erlich (ISR) / A Ram (ISR) vs S Lipsky (USA) / R Ram (USA) – ATP

Not Before 2:00 PM
N Davydenko (RUS) vs [Q] M Chiudinelli (SUI) – ATP
I Kunitsyn (RUS) vs [7] J Tipsarevic (SRB) – ATP

Not Before 4:00 PM
B Becker (GER) vs [5] T Berdych (CZE) – ATP
N Mahut (FRA) vs F Lopez (ESP) – ATP

Dubai 2012 Tennis ATP Preview: Djokovic, Federer lead Strong Field

The Dubai 2012 draw was announced with the top 2 seeds Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in opposites sides of the draw and will not meet earlier than the final match. Andy Murray is in the same half of the draw as Djokovic and both players could meet in the semifinals. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is drawn in Federer’s half of the draw. Potential quarterfinal match-ups include Djokovic vs #7 Janko Tipsaveric, Murray vs #5 Tomas Berdych, Tsonga vs #8 Juan Martin del Potro and Federer vs #6 Mardy Fish. World #2 Rafael Nadal is not entered in the tournament. The winner will take home $409,170. [Get the latest Dubai 2012 ATP Tennis updated news and results].

Dubai 2012 Tennis ATP Preview: Defending champion, 3-time winner and world #1 Novak Djokovic will lead a strong field in this year’s Dubai 2012 tennis ATP tournament. Eight of the top 10 players are included in the entry list, including 4-time winner and last year’s runner-up Roger Federer. World #2 and 2006 champion Rafael Nadal is opting out of this year’s tournament. World #4 Andy Murray and #6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are expected to challenge the top two seeds. The rest of the top 10 players entered in the 2012 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships include #7 Tomas Berdych, #8 Mardy Fish, #9 Janko Tipsarevic, and #10 Juan Martin del Potro.

Dubai 2012 Tennis: List of Champions
2011 Novak Djokovic bt Roger Federer 6–3, 6–3
2010 Novak Djokovic bt Mikhail Youzhny 7–5, 5–7, 6–3
2009 Novak Djokovic bt David Ferrer 7–5, 6–3
2008 Andy Roddick bt Feliciano López 6–7(8–10), 6–4, 6–2
2007 Roger Federer bt Mikhail Youzhny 6–4, 6–3
2006 Rafael Nadal bt Roger Federer 2–6, 6–4, 6–4
2005 Roger Federer bt Ivan Ljubičić 6–1, 6–7(6–8), 6–3
2004 Roger Federer bt Feliciano López 4–6, 6–1, 6–2
2003 Roger Federer bt Jiří Novák 6–1, 7–6(7–2)
2002 Fabrice Santoro bt Younes El Aynaoui 6–4, 3–6, 6–3
2001 Juan Carlos Ferrero bt Marat Safin 6–2, 3–1, retired
2000 Nicolas Kiefer bt Juan Carlos Ferrero 7–5, 4–6, 6–3
1999 Jérôme Golmard bt Nicolas Kiefer 6–4, 6–2
1998 Àlex Corretja bt Félix Mantilla 7–6(7–0), 6–1
1997 Thomas Muster bt Goran Ivanišević 7–5, 7–6(7–3)
1996 Goran Ivanišević bt Albert Costa 6–4, 6–3
1995 Wayne Ferreira bt Andrea Gaudenzi 6–3, 6–3
1994 Magnus Gustafsson bt Sergi Bruguera 6–4, 6–2
1993 Karel Nováček bt Fabrice Santoro 6–4, 7–5

Dubai 2012 Tennis: Player Entry List
Player Name NATIONALITY Rank
Novak Djokovic SRB 1
Roger Federer SUI 3
Andy Murray GBR 4
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga FRA 6
Tomas Berdych CZE 7
Mardy Fish USA 8
Janko Tipsarevic SRB 9
Juan Martin del Potro ARG 10
Feliciano Lopez ESP 15
Richard Gasquet FRA 16
Alexandr Dolgopolov UKR 18
Ivan Ljubicic CRO 32
Mikhail Youzhny RUS 39
Michael Llodra FRA 43
Marcos Baghdatis CYP 45
Dmitry Tursunov RUS 49
Nikolay Davydenko RUS 52
Sergiy Stakhovsky UKR 67
Flavio Cipolla ITA 75
Nicolas Mahut FRA 78
Igor Kunitsyn RUS 80
Lukas Rosol CZE 81
Benjamin Becker GER 344

Dubai 2012 Tennis: Top Four Players in the 2011 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

CHAMPION: Novak Djokovic

World No. 3 Novak Djokovic became the 2011 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships for the third straight time as he defeated top seed Roger Federer 6-3, 6-3 in the championship match. He has now won 20 tour-level titles with a finals record of 20 wins against 13 losses, the sixth active player to achieve this milestone. Djokovic joins Federer as the only other player to win three consecutive titles in Dubai and now holds a 15-match winning streak at the tournament.

RUNNER – UP: Roger Federer

World # 2 Roger Federer missed winning a fifth title in the 2011 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships as he lost in straight sets to Djokovic. It was his second loss in seven final appearances in the tournament. Federer said “…It’s a pity, but, look, Novak played great.”

SEMIFINALIST: Tomas Berdych

#3 seed Tomas Berdych impressed on his run through to the semi-finals of the 2011 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. He did not drop a single set in his first three matches but was forced to retire with a left leg injury against Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals.

SEMIFINALIST: Richard Gasquet

Gasquet of France improved his ranking by seven spots after reaching the 2011 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships semifinals. It was his first ATP World Tour semi-final of the season losing to top-seeded Roger Federer.

TRIVIA: In 2005, two ATP World Tour Champions – Andre Agassi and Roger Federer – scaled the Burj Al Arab for a friendly practice session atop the helipad at the iconic hotel.

Dubai 2012 Tennis: Official Tournament Information

Name: Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships
Category: ATP World Tour 500
Place: Dubai, U.A.E
Date: 27.02.2012-03.03.2012
Draw Size: S-32 D-16 Surface:
Hard Prize Money: $ 1,700,475
Total Financial Commitment: $ 2,313,975
Ticket Hotline: +9714-224-4568

Dubai 2012 Tennis: Ranking Points and Prize Money Breakdown

Round: Ranking Points (Prize Money)

Winner: 500 ($409,170)
Finalist: 300 ($184,470)
Semi Finalist: 180 ($87,380)
Quarter Finalist: 90 ($42,165)
Second Round: 45 ($21,500)
First Round: 0 ($11,825)

Djokovic beats Nadal to win US Open, 4th Grand Slam

Djokovic beats Nadal – wins 1st US Open title

World #1 Novak Djokovic punctuated a remarkable season by beating #2 Rafael Nadal to win the 2011 US Open in four sets 6-2, 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-1. This is Djokovic’s sixth win over Nadal this year, and all wins have occurred in championship matches including the finals of Wimbledon. Djokovic won his 10th title of the season and brings home a total of $2.3 million – $1.8 for the US Open title, and an additional $500,000 for placing second in the US Open series. He improved his season record to an incredible 64-2 win-loss record. His victory at the US Open assured him of the year-end world #1 ranking.

In his winner’s speech, Djokovic commented on his incredible season and on winning the US Open title for the first time. “It really sounds unreal; it’s an incredible feeling. I had an amazing year and it keeps going. Every time I play Rafa it’s a big challenge. I want to congratulate him on a great tournament again. I wish that we will have many more tough matches in the upcoming years. It’s an absolute pleasure to be a part of the very few players that have won this trophy throughout history.”

Nadal was going for his 11th major title but failed to defend his US Open title. He is now 3-6 in final matches this year, all six losses coming from Djokovic. The loss was also Nadal’s fourth loss at a Grand Slam final – his second major final loss to Djokovic. He takes home $900,000 for finishing as runner-up. “Obviously I’m disappointed,” said Nadal. “This guy is doing unbelievable things, so I just want to congratulate Novak. What he did this year is probably impossible to repeat. I tried my best in every moment.

Nadal vs Djokovic – US Open Final Match-up

It’s a fitting end to the Grand Slam season with world #1 Nadal Djokovic going against #2 Rafael Nadal for the US Open championship title. Djokovic and Nadal had contrasting semifinal victories – Djokovic came back from a two-set deficit and saved two match points to beat 16-time grand slam champion Roger Federer while Nadal beat Andy Murray in a straight forward 4-set victory. The two rivals will be meeting for the 29th time. While Nadal leads their current head-to-head with 16 wins against 12 losses, Djokovic has compiled an amazing 63-2 win-loss season so far – including beating Nadal in all five championship matches they’ve played this year. Their last meeting was at the Wimbledon final where Djokovic won in four sets on his way to collecting his third grand slam title. Djokovic will be going for his 10th tournament victory this year while Nadal will collect his fourth if he wins the match. The winner will go home with $1.8 million.

This 29th meeting will be a rematch of last year’s US Open final where Nadal beat Djokovic in four sets. At that time, Nadal was the #1 player in the world while Djokovic was #3.

Djokovic on playing Nadal: “You know, I know that I have a game that is good enough to win against him. I proved that this year in three different surfaces, so I believe that I have a good chance. I need to go out on the court believing I can win. But, you know, we’re talking about a player who has won 10 majors already in his career and he’s only 25. He’s defending his title. I think last year in 2010 throughout the whole tournament and in the finals I never seen him serve better than that tournament. So I think, you know, again, depends from my serve and his serve, as well. But, yeah, it’s gonna be a tough match.”

Nadal on playing Djokovic: “I think I gonna do serve and volley. (Laughter.) You know, I have my game, and I beat him in the past playing my game. The thing is play my game very well and be enough strong mentally all the time, fight every ball, believe in the victory in every moment. That’s something that for moments this year I didn’t. But just play aggressive, try to play a similar match than last year here. I saw that match a lot of times and I know what I have to do, but I don’t know if I gonna be able to do it. So that’s always the same.”

#1 Novak Djokovic – path to 2011 US Open Final:

SF: bt R.FEDERER [3] 6-7(7) 4-6 6-3 6-2 7-5
QF: bt J.TIPSAREVIC [20] 7-6(2) 6-7(3) 6-0 3-0 Ret.
4R: bt A.DOLGOPOLOV [22] 7-6(14) 6-4 6-2
3R: bt N.DAVYDENKO 6-3 6-4 6-2
2R: bt C.BERLOCQ 6-0 6-0 6-2
1R: bt C. NILAND 6-0 5-1 Ret.

#2 Rafael Nadal – path to 2011 US Open Final:

SF: bt A.MURRAY [4] 6-4 6-2 3-6 6-2
QF: bt A.RODDICK [21] 6-2 6-1 6-3
4R: bt G.MULLER 7-6(1) 6-1 6-2
3R: bt D.NALBANDIAN 7-6(5) 6-1 7-5
2R: bt N.MAHUT 6-2 6-2 Ret.
1R: bt A.GOLUBEV 6-3 7-6(1) 7-5

Nadal vs Djokovic: Head to Head (Nadal leads Djokovic: 16-12)

Year Tournament City
Surface Round Winner  Score

2011 Wimbledon Great Britain
Grass F Djokovic, Novak 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3

2011 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome Italy
Clay F Djokovic, Novak 6-4, 6-4

2011 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid Spain
Clay F Djokovic, Novak 7-5, 6-4

2011 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami FL, U.S.A.
Hard F Djokovic, Novak 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(4)

2011 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells CA, U.S.A.
Hard F Djokovic, Novak 4-6, 6-3, 6-2

2010 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals London, England
Hard RR Nadal, Rafael 7-5, 6-2

2010 US Open NY, U.S.A.
Hard F Nadal, Rafael 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2

2009 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals London, England
Hard RR Djokovic, Novak 7-6(5), 6-3

2009 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Paris France
Hard S Djokovic, Novak 6-2, 6-3

2009 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Cincinnati OH, U.S.A.
Hard S Djokovic, Novak 6-1, 6-4

2009 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid Spain
Clay S Nadal, Rafael 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(9)

2009 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome Italy
Clay F Nadal, Rafael 7-6(2), 6-2

2009 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte Carlo Monaco
Clay F Nadal, Rafael 6-3, 2-6, 6-1

2009 ESP vs. SRB WG 1st RD Spain
Clay RR Nadal, Rafael 6-4, 6-4, 6-1

2008 Beijing Olympics China
Hard S Nadal, Rafael 6-4, 1-6, 6-4

2008 ATP Masters Series Cincinnati OH, U.S.A.
Hard S Djokovic, Novak 6-1, 7-5

2008 London / Queen’s Club Great Britain
Grass F Nadal, Rafael 7-6(6), 7-5

2008 Roland Garros France
Clay S Nadal, Rafael 6-4, 6-2, 7-6(3)

2008 ATP Masters Series Hamburg Germany
Clay S Nadal, Rafael 7-5, 2-6, 6-2

2008 ATP Masters Series Indian Wells CA, U.S.A.
Hard S Djokovic, Novak 6-3, 6-2

2007 Tennis Masters Cup China
Hard RR Nadal, Rafael 6-4, 6-4

2007 ATP Masters Series Canada Canada
Hard S Djokovic, Novak 7-5, 6-3

2007 Wimbledon Great Britain
Grass S Nadal, Rafael 3-6, 6-1, 4-1 RET

2007 Roland Garros France
Clay S Nadal, Rafael 7-5, 6-4, 6-2

2007 ATP Masters Series Rome Italy
Clay Q Nadal, Rafael 6-2, 6-3

2007 ATP Masters Series Miami FL, U.S.A.
Hard Q Djokovic, Novak 6-3, 6-4

2007 ATP Masters Series Indian Wells CA, U.S.A.
Hard F Nadal, Rafael 6-2, 7-5

2006 Roland Garros France
Clay Q Nadal, Rafael 6-4, 6-4 RET

Hopman Cup 2010 Tournament Results

The Hopman Cup 2010, an international tennis tournament featuring both men and women tennis players is underway – it is being used by players as an important tune-up event for the first grand slam of the year, the 2010 Australian Open. This year’s edition feature two top 10 players in Perth who are warming up for the first major by representing their countries. World #4 Andy Murray is teaming up with Laura Robson for the #3 seed Great Britain, while world #5 Elena Dementieva has by-passed defending her Brisbane crown to pair with Igor Andreev to represent #2 seed Russia. The local favorites – the Australians are seeded #1 and are represented by Lleyton Hewitt and Sam Stosur.

Standings:

Rnk. (Seed) Country: WINS / LOSS (MATCHES WON / MATCHES LOST)

GROUP A
1. (4) Spain: 3/0 (9/0) — Finalist
2. (7) USA: 1/2 (4/5)
3. (1) Australia: 1/2 (3/6)
4. (6) Romania: 1/2 (2/7)

GROUP B
1. (3) Great Britain: 3/0 (6/3) — Finalist
2. (8) Kazakhstan: 2/1 (5/3)
3. (2) Russia: 1/2 (4/5)
4. (5) Germany: 0/2 (2/6)

Championship Results:

Spain 2 d Great Britain 1

# Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez lost to Laura Robson 1-6, 6-7(6/8)
# Tommy Robredo d Andy Murray 1-6, 6-4, 6-3
# Martinez Sanchez/Robredo d Robson/Murray 7-6(8/6), 7-5

Previous Results:

Session 10 – Great Britain 2 d Russia 1

Laura Robson lost to Elena Dementieva 4-6, 0-6
Andy Murray d Igor Andreev 6-1, 6-0
Robson/Murray d Dementieva/Andreev 6-4, 6-7(6/8), 7-6(10/6)

Kazakhstan 2 d Germany 0

Yaroslava Shvedova d Sabine Lisicki 6-4, 7-6(7/3)
Andrey Golubev d Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-2, 6-1
Lisicki/Kohlschreiber v Shvedova/Golubev – not played

Session 9 – Spain 3 d Australia 0

Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez d Samantha Stosur 6-4, 6-1
Tommy Robredo d Lleyton Hewitt 6-2, 6-4
Martinez Sanchez/Robredo d Stosur/Hewitt 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(10/7)

USA 3 d Romania 0

Melanie Oudin d Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 6-3
John Isner d Victor Hanescu 6-0, 6-0 walkover
Oudin/Isner d Cirstea/Hanescu 6-0, 6-0 walkover

Session 8 – Kazakhstan 2 d Russia 1

Yaroslava Shvedova lost to Elena Dementieva 3-6, 1-6
Andrey Golubev d Igor Andreev 6-4, 6-3
Shvedova/Golubev d Dementieva/Andreev 7-6(7/3), 6-4

Session 7 – Great Britain 2 d Germany 1

Laura Robson lost to Sabine Lisicki 6-7(5/7), 3-6
Andy Murray d Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-1
Robson/Murray d Lisicki/Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-2

Session 6 – Spain 3 d Romania 0

Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez d Sorana Cirstea 6-4, 6-3
Tommy Robredo d Victor Hanescu 6-3, 6-0 retired
Martinez Sanchez/Robredo d Cirstea/Hanescu 6-0, 6-0 walkover

Session 5 – Australia 2 d USA 1

Samantha Stosur d Melanie Oudin 6-2, 6-4
Lleyton Hewitt d John Isner 6-1, 7-5
Stosur/Hewitt lost to Oudin/Isner 6-2, 1-6, 6-7(5/10)

Session 4 – Great Britain 2 d Kazakhstan 1:

Laura Robson lost to Yaroslava Shvedova 6-4, 3-6, 0-6
Andy Murray d Andrey Golubev 6-2, 6-2
Robson/Murray d Shvedova/Golubev 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(12/10)

Session 3 – Russia 2 d Germany 1:

Elena Dementieva lost to Sabine Lisicki 4-6, 1-6
Igor Andreev d Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-7, 6-3
Dementieva/Andreev d Lisicki/Kohlschreiber 6-4, 7-6(9/7)

Session 2 – Spain 3 d USA 0:

Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez d Melanie Oudin 6-4, 6-4
Tommy Robredo d John Isner 6-7, 6-3, 7-6(7/4)
Martinez Sanchez/Robredo d Oudin/Isner 6-4, 7-5

Session 1 – Romania 2 d Australia 1:

Sorana Cirstea d Samantha Stosur 3-6, 6-4, 6-3
Victor Hanescu lost to Lleyton Hewitt 6-3, 3-6, 6-7(2/7)
Cirstea/Hanescu d Stosur/Hewitt 7-5, 6-1

Groupings and Seeds:

GROUP A

(1) Australia – Samantha Stosur & Lleyton Hewitt
(4) Spain – Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez & Tommy Robredo
(6) Romania – Sorana Cirstea & Victor Hanescu
(7) USA – Melanie Oudin & John Isner

GROUP B

(2) Russia – Elena Dementieva & Igor Andreev
(3) Great Britain – Laura Robson & Andy Murray
(5) Germany – Sabine Lisicki & Philipp Kohlschreiber
(8) Kazakhstan – Yaroslava Shvedova & Andrey Golubev

Federer, Serena – 2009 ITF Champions

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) named Roger Federer and Serena Williams as the 2009 ITF World Champions. The award is based on performances at grand slams, tour events and Davis and Fed Cups. Serena and sister Venus were named the women’s doubles world champions while American brothers Bob and Mike Bryan took the men’s doubles world champions title.

Roger Federer ended the year ranked #1 in six of the past seven years. He reached all Grand Slam finals this season, and won the French Open and Wimbledon. By winning his first French Open title, he has won a career grand slam. In winning Wimbledon, Federer broke the record number of grand slams won (15) he previously shared with Pete Sampras. It is the fifth time that Federer got the ITF nod.

Serena won 2 grand slam titles – the Australian Open and Wimbledon for her 10th and 11th grand slam championships this year. She also ended the year ranked #1 for the second time in her career. She partnered with sister Venus to win the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open titles. Serena joins Lindsay Davenport and Martina Hingis as the only other players to attain singles and doubles world championships in the same year.

The Bryan brothers got the men’s doubles award for a record sixth time. They did this in the past seven years.

The singles and doubles champions will receive their awards at the annual ITF World Champions Dinner on June 1 in Paris, during the French Open.

Decade’s Greatest Women Tennis Players; 2000 – 2009

Yahoo’s tennis blog – Busted Racquet – came out with a list of the top 10 women’s tennis players this decade. The ranking methodology was not released – I can say that it was somehow based on incorrect information (Venus didn’t win just 5 grand slams) and looks to me that it was dictated more by the blogger’s recent memory and subjectivity than taking the accomplishments of the players for the whole decade. True enough, dozens of readers lambasted the list.

So, I decided to make my own list. As a tennis fan, I have my own biases. To be objective, I decided to come out with a 2-step process to determine how I would rank the players. The first step is to use raw data for greatness and be able to categorize the players. After the players have been categorized, I can further rank the players within the category. My goal is to come out with a list of 10 players that would represent the greatest women’s tennis players for the years of 2000 – 2009.

The two measures for greatness I used are: tennis rankings and grand slam performance. These two factors are measurable and objective. Tennis rankings indicate how well a player compares to her peers at any given time, based on a criteria determined by the WTA. (Yes, it’s not perfect, but it is a good gauge of consistency and performance). Grand slam results gauge how well a player performs in the biggest arenas of tennis.

In the first step – the following factors were used: # of Grand Slams wons, the number of Grand Slam finals reached, the ability to reach the #1 ranking, ending the year as #1, and the length of stay in the top spot.

There were 19 ladies who contested the 40 grand slam finals in the decade. To be considered amongst the greatest tennis players, the minimum criterion is to reach at least 1 grand slam final. For ranking purposes, I used 1 point for a Grand Slam Championship and 1/3 point for a runner-up finish. This resulted in some rather interesting results. Kim Clijsters with 2 grand slams and 6 finals appearances earned the same points as Maria Sharapova who had 2 grand slams and 4 finals appearances. Svetlana Kuznetsova had more points with 2 grand slams in 4 finals contested as compared to Lindsay Davenport with 1 grand slam in 5 finals contested. Using this point allocation, the top grand slam performers this decade are:

Rank Player Won Finals GS Points
1 S Williams 10 3 11.00
2 V Williams 7 6 9.00
3 J Henin 7 4 8.33
4 K Clijsters 2 4 3.33
4 M Sharapova 3 1 3.33
5 J Capriati 3 3.00
6 S Kuznetsova 2 2 2.67
7 L Davenport 1 4 2.33
8 A Mauresmo 2 2.00
9 A Ivanovic 1 2 1.67
10 M Pierce 1 2 1.67
11 M Hingis 3 1.00
12 D Safina 3 1.00
12 A Myskina 1 1.00
14 E Dementieva 2 0.67
15 J Jankovic 1 0.33
15 M Bartoli 1 0.33
15 C Wozniacki 1 0.33
15 C Martinez 1 0.33

Next, the data on the weeks a player spent at #1 was analyzed. I counted weeks spent from June 2000 – Dec 2009 only since the rankings before June 2000 were calculated based on a majority of results from 1999. Lindsay Davenport and Martina Hingis are impacted on this adjustment as they swapped the top spot 4 times before June 2000. For point allocation, I divided the weeks a player spent at number 1 by the number of weeks in a year – 365.25 / 7 to be exact. This means that about 52 weeks spent at number 1 would equate to one point, or 1 Grand Slam. See column in table below called Rnk A.

To add more weight to the ranking, the ability of reaching the #1 spot is given another point. This gave advantage to Safina, Jankovic, and Hingis while penalizing Kuznetsova. See column in table marked as Rnk B.

I further gave an additional 1/3 point for every year a player finished in the top spot. This gave extra points to Jelena Jankovic which I really don’t agree with, plus it allowed Lindsay Davenport to have more points than Serena Williams even with lesser weeks spent at #1. See column in table marked as Rnk C.

Here are the top performers based on the rankings:

Rank Player Weeks @ #1 Rnk A Rnk B Rnk C Total Rnk Points
1 J Henin 117 2.24 1.00 1.00 4.24
2 L Davenport 70 1.34 1.00 1.00 3.34
3 S Williams 84 1.61 1.00 0.67 3.28
4 M Hingis 70 1.34 1.00 0.33 2.67
5 A Mauresmo 39 0.75 1.00 1.75
6 J Jankovic 18 0.34 1.00 0.33 1.68
7 D Safina 26 0.50 1.00 1.50
8 K Clijsters 19 0.36 1.00 1.36
9 M Sharapova 17 0.33 1.00 1.33
9 J Capriati 17 0.33 1.00 1.33
11 A Ivanovic 12 0.23 1.00 1.23
12 V Williams 11 0.21 1.00 1.21

By adding the points together, I was able to see a good picture how players can be categorized.

Player GS Points Rnk Points Total Pts Category
S Williams 11.00 3.28 14.28 A
J Henin 8.33 4.24 12.57 A
V Williams 9.00 1.21 10.21 B
L Davenport 2.33 3.34 5.67 C
K Clijsters 3.33 1.36 4.69 C
M Sharapova 3.33 1.33 4.66 C
J Capriati 3.00 1.33 4.33 C
A Mauresmo 2.00 1.75 3.75 C
M Hingis 1.00 2.67 3.67 D
A Ivanovic 1.67 1.23 2.90 D
S Kuznetsova 2.67 0.00 2.67 D
D Safina 1.00 1.50 2.50 D
J Jankovic 0.33 1.68 2.01 D
M Pierce 1.67 0.00 1.67 D
A Myskina 1.00 0.00 1.00
E Dementieva 0.67 0.00 0.67
M Bartoli 0.33 0.00 0.33
C Wozniacki 0.33 0.00 0.33
C Martinez 0.33 0.00 0.33

I separated the top 2 players, Serena Williams and Justine Henin away from the rest as they were within 2 points of each other, but more than 2 points from the next player. Note that in the point allocation, 1 Grand Slam is 1 point. Venus Williams with 10.21 points had her own category. There were 5 other players in the next category and this included Lindsay Davenport, Kim Clijsters, Maria Sharapova, Jennifer Capriati, and Amelie Mauresmo. The next category was composed of Martina Hingis, Ana Ivanovic, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Dinara Safina,  Jelena Jankovic and Mary Pierce.

I made a distinction between Hingis and Mauresmo since Mauresmo won 2 grand slams and Hingis didn’t win anything. To me, that was enough to categorize differently. Hingis is an unusual case because she spent a relatively long time in the number 1 position despite not having won a grand slam for the full 10 years. I am only going for the top 10 greatest of the decade so at this point, I will eliminate Myskina, Dementieva and the rest who had less than or equal to 1 point.

Based on the four categories, I identified common points to validate my initial classification of the players. Now comes the second step and fun part – within a category, I will have to rank the players to come out with my top 10 greatest list.

Category A:
– At least 80 weeks as #1
– At least 7 Grand Slams won on 3 different surfaces
– At least 2 year-end #1 rankings
– Players: Serena Williams, Justine Henin

The two rivals are way ahead of the other great players for the decade. Henin has the edge over Serena in terms of weeks spent at #1. Serena however, won all 4 grand slams and is in very rare company by winning the “Serena Slam” – she was the only one to do this within this period. Add that to the fact that Serena won 3 more grand slams than her rival. Serena’s grand slam performance lead over Henin is far more significant than the latter’s advantage in the rankings. Justine Henin is my #2 greatest player for the decade. Serena Williams is #1.

Category 2:
– Reached #1
– At least 5 Grand Slams won and at least 1 appearance in all 4 different grand slam finals
– At least 3 year-end top 5 ranking and 7 year-end top 10 ranking
– Player: Venus Williams

The older Williams did match Henin in terms of grand slams won but lagged behind the two top players in terms of staying at the top spot. Her 4 majors lead over the next highest achiever puts her in a class of her own. Venus Wiliams takes the #3 spot.

Category 3 :
– Reached #1
– At least 2 Grand Slams won OR 1 Grand Slam won and appearance in at least 3 different grand slam finals
– At least 2 year-end top 5 ranking and 4 year-end top 10 ranking
– Players: L Davenport, K Clijsters, M Sharapova, J Capriati, A Mauresmo

This bunch is so close to each other. There is also a significant gap within the group between best Grand Slam performers – 3 wins against 1 win; and longest stay at #1. To compare this group, I had to be able to compare them on one level. With regards to grand slam performance, Sharapova won 3 / 4 finals. Capriati won 3 / 3. Clijsters won 2 / 6. Mauresmo won 2 / 2. Davenport won just 1 / 4.

To be able to compare, I had to find a way to convert finals reached to majors. I equated 3 finals reached to 1 major. I believe this is a conservative estimate. When it comes to actual ranking points, just 2 finals would be greater than 1 major win. (And that’s why Safina was #1 for most of 2009). If we convert the finals reached to majors using the above conversion –

3 majors won or equivalent: Sharapova, Capriati, Clijsters, Davenport
2 majors won: Mauresmo

With regards to weeks stay at #1, Davenport leads the group with 70 weeks at the top. Mauresmo had 39 weeks. Clijsters had 19. Capriati and Sharapova had 17 weeks each. If we equate 39 weeks of stay at #1 to 1 major, Mauresmo would have 1 more major; Davenport 2 more majors; Sharapova, Clijsters and Capriati have 0.5 majors each.

At this point, here are the standings within the group:

5.0 majors won or equivalent: Davenport
3.5 majors won or equivalent: Capriati, Clijsters, Sharapova
3.0 majors won or equivalent: Mauresmo

I will now include a new factor within the group to help me decide on my rankings. This factor is the number of years with a year-end rank within the top 2; and within the top 5.

Davenport Clijsters Sharapova Capriati Mauresmo
Year end Top2 4 2 1 1 1
Year end Top5 5 5 4 2 4

Much as I’m hesitant to give the top spot for this group to Davenport, especially since she won just 1 actual major, the indicators point to her deserving it. Of the 4 years she ended a year as amongst the top 2 players; she was #1 3 times. I put a very high value to this since amongst the top players, it was matched only by Justine Henin. It was a rare accomplishment. Compare this to winning 3 grand slams that was done by 5 top players. I confidently give my #4 greatest player of the decade nod to Lindsay Davenport.

Who will round out the top 5? The next two players based on the above indicators are Kim Clijsters and Maria Sharapova. Clijsters has a slight lead in terms of consistency and impact – finishing a year twice as #2 (2003 and 2005); compared to just one for Sharapova (2006). Sharapova however lifted titles at 3 different majors – Australian, Wimbledon and US Open. I put more value to this than Clijster’s 2 majors – both won at the US Open. Maria Sharapova is my #5 greatest, and Kim Clijsters get to be #6.

Mauresmo and Capriati are next. Capriati has an edge in winning 2 Australian Open majors and 1 French Open. Mauresmo won 1 Australian Open and 1 Wimbledon. Mauresmo had more impact though – finishing in the top 5 from 2003 to 2006. Capriati finished in the top 5 on 2 years – 2001 and 2002. Mauresmo also finished in the top 10 for 6 years during the decade as compared to 4 years for Capriati. Amelie Mauresmo gets in my list as #7 greatest. Jennifer Capriati is #8.

Now, I have 2 more slots to fill. The next category has 6 players, but since I needed only 2, I raised the bar a bit.

Category 4:
– Reached #1 or at least 1 Grand Slam won
– At least 3 Grand Slam Finals reached
– At least 2 year end top 5 rankings
– Players: M Hingis, A Ivanovic, S Kuznetsova, D Safina

At this point, Jelena Jankovic and Mary Pierce are dropped from being considered in my Top 10 greatest list. Jankovic may have reached the #1 spot but she only has 1 major final to her name. Mary Pierce, despite 1 major and 2 other finals was in the top 5 for only 1 year in the whole decade and never reached the top spot. As we are talking best of the best in the decade, a player must really meet a particular criterion to be included.

From those remaining, Ivanovic reached 3 major finals, won at least one, and held the top spot as well. She’s definitely a deserving candidate to be in the top 10. Hingis was year-end #1 for 2000 but hasn’t won any major title in the past decade. Her 2006 comeback and 2nd retirement doesn’t impact my selection process. Kuznetsova reached 4 finals and won 2. But her biggest accomplishment that puts her above the others in this group is finishing in the top 5 for 4 years (2004, 2006, 2007, and 2009). She didn’t however reach the top spot but finished a year at #2. Safina is the weakest in the group with 3 major finals, a controversial #1 ranking and no grand slam title to her name. She did finish the past 2 years within the top 3 in the world. At least, she was considered. For my #9 greatest player, I pick Svetlana Kuznetsova. My #10 pick is Ana Ivanovic. (If I would ever make a top 10 list for 1990-1999, Hingis is a shoo-in.)

I’m now very tired and sleepy and I didn’t expect this selection process to take so much energy out of me. Before I log off for the night, here’s a recap my top 10 list:

#1. Serena Williams
#2. Justine Henin
#3. Venus Williams
#4. Lindsay Davenport
#5. Maria Sharapova
#6. Kim Clijsters
#7. Amelie Mauresmo
#8. Jennifer Capriati
#9. Svetlana Kuznetsova
#10. Ana Ivanovic

Some comments on my final list:
– Serena, Justine and Venus won 24 of 40 grand slam titles between them.
– Separating Davenport, Sharapova, and Clijsters was the hardest.
– Two members of the top 3 come from one family.
– 2 continents and 3 countries were represented in the top 5.
– Americans outnumber Russians in the top 10; 4 to 2.
– Only 1 player in the top 10 has retired, and it’s not Jennifer Capriati.

Now, I’ll wait for another day before ranking the men. Who will I select behind Federer and Nadal? Where will Marat Safin rank? How about American legends Agassi and Sampras?