Nikolay Davydenko outclashed Rafa Nadal 7-6 6-3 to win the Shanghai Masters final and clinch his 18th title, in a manner of style even more impressing than the score would suggest. The Russian, renewed after the bet enquiry, the scandal and the suspects followed the sadly famous Sopot first round match against Vassallo Arguello in 2007, is now the most testing opponent to verify a player’s fitness. And Nadal, playing his first final for five months, showed to have some way to go to find his best form: he managed only nine winners to the 28-years-old Rusian’s 35. Davydenko is certain to finish the year outside the top-5 for the first time since 2004. And is now the player with the best result not to have played a Grand Slam final yet.
Now the Russian is seventh in the Year-to-Date and improves his odds to go to London for the World Tour Finals. All players can add points from the Atp 500 in either Basel or Valencia in the week of 2 Novembrer and again at the Paris Masters. But Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Nikolay Davydenko, Marin Cilic, Tommy Robredo and Radek Stepanek have all won two Atp 250 titles. And this could give some more chances for Robin Soderling, now n.9 in the YTD, now in Stockholm; because he won Bastad but has only 90 points from his second best performance in the ATP 250. So winning in Sweden, he could add 160 points to his ranking.
Now see more in detail the Year-to-Date situation this week limited to players yet uncertain of their qualification for the Finals.
Andy Roddick 4,330
Nikolay Davydenko 3,450
Fernando Verdasco 3,030
Robin Soderling 2,820
Fernando Gonzalez 2,780
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 2,640
Marin Cilic 2,205
Gilles Simon 2,105
Radek Stepanek 2,095
Tommy Robredo 2,040
Gael Monfils 1,975
Andy Roddick: The American, who has qualified six consecutive years for the Finals, is the highest-ranked player yet to clinch his 2009 berth. After the knee injury sustained at the Shanghai Masters, he is not scheduled to play until the Valencia Open 500 from 2 November.
Nikolay Davydenko: Like Tsonga, the Russian cannot count any more points earned at the 250s because he already counts titles in Kuala Lumpur and Umag. In Atp 500s he has now earned 815 points: he will add something improving the Beijing quarters (90 points)
Fernando Verdasco: Attempting to qualify for the first time, super-fit Spanish left-hander will come back oncourt during the week of 2 November in Valencia. He has 180 points from ATP 500s and can add 100 points in 250s but he should won a tournament to discard the Kuala Lumpur final.
Robin Soderling: Players immediately behind him have all won two ATP World Tour 250 tournaments, so cannot add to their totals outside the 500s and 1000s. But Soderling can add points at the 250 in Stockholm.
Fernando Gonzalez: Hard-hitting is next playing Basel, where he will attempt to add 500 points to his total. He played three 500s (with 405 points) but he has an available slot yet, having not played Monte Carlo.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: The powerful Frenchman added 500 points last week by winning in Tokyo. But he cannot add to his points tally at his next event in Lyon as he is already counting the maximum two 250-pointers from title wins in Marseille and Johannesburg. So his performances at the 500 in Valencia and Paris will be crucial.
Marin Cilic: Having maxed out his 250s with tournament victories in Chennai and Zagreb, he has low chances to go to London. He shouldn’t play until Paris, almost surely too late to maintain some hope, but he may obtain a wild card into Valencia or Basel
Gilles Simon: As a winner of just one 250 title this year in Bangkok, the French counter-puncher can ad at the 250 event in Lyon next week.
Radek Stepanek: The Czech, who last year appeared at the Finals as an alternate, cannot add points in Vienna due to his titles in San Jose and Brisbane. So he will look to Basel and Paris to make his move.
Tommy Robredo: Unable to count further points earned at the 250s due to his titles in Buenos Aires and Costa do Sauipe, Robredo is not scheduled to play again until the ATP World Tour 500 in Valencia.
Gael Monfils: A winner of just one 250 title in Metz, Monfils can make ground at the 250 tournament in Vienna. He will also play in Valencia and Paris.