October 18, 2013 by Parveer Mann
With no big events on either tour this week, it can become fairly easy not to follow all the happenings in the tennis world. Don’t worry, I was one of you this week partly due to being out of town so I’m making it easy for us all by presenting three storylines that I think we should care about from this current week on tour:
1. The ATP Race to London became clearer.
After a big week by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Shanghai, the race to London seems to be nearly set. Assuming Tomas Berdych, Stan Wawrinka and Roger Federer don’t suffer early exits in Basel or Paris, I feel confident that they’ll take spots five to seven. Realistically, it leaves Tsonga, Richard Gasquet and Milos Raonic as the only viable threats to earn that last spot with Gasquet and Tsonga having the inside track.
Make sure to pay attention to how Tsonga and Gasquet do in Moscow and Vienna this weekend because the final spot may come down to who can win an ATP 250 and who cannot. (Note: Raonic was eliminated in the QFs in Vienna before story was published)
2. Roger Federer remains a player in transition.
The big news off-court this week was the end of the Roger Federer-Paul Annacone partnership after nearly three and a half years together. It’s another story this year that many will use to explain Federer’s down year along with his back problems and high-error rate against lower-ranked players.
Known largely fo coaching Pete Sampras, Annacone was at the helm of Federer’s resurgence in 2012 and the change only seems to indicate another step towards late-career restructuring for Roger. Ultimately, the partnership had mixed results but did not do any damage to both individual’s legacies.
For more, check out SI’s interesting roundtable on the state of Roger Federer.
3. Sam Stosur starts winning, surprisingly.
One player who knows the situation that Roger Federer finds himself (without a coach) is Sam Stosur. She parted ways with her coach in September and by every indication her season looked like it was heading into early hibernation. But, she has come around in October with a tourney win in Osaka and now a deep run in Moscow.
It’s a positive sign for a player who has been largely irrelevant since winning over Vika in Carlsbad. Her most famous moment came in loss to teenager Vicoria Duval in New York. At 29, Sam has one or two more years of top form left and hopefully she can carry this play to the new year and finally have a good run at the Australian Open.
Feel free to add in any other moments/stories I missed while away and make sure to come back for more this weekend as we are on the verge of the WTA Championships in Istanbul!