Tennis down Under

Posted in sports, tennis at 3:22 pm by danvk

Because of the 15 hour time difference, most Americans don’t get particularly excited about the Australian Open. It’s our loss. The first major of the year always manages to produce some interesting stories, and this year is no exception. Good thing there’s danvk.org to help you catch up!

Yesterday alone saw:

tipsarevic.jpeg I managed to catch the last set of the Federer match, and it was fantastic. Both players played well. Federer had less trouble on his serve in the final set (he set a career high for aces in a match), but with each passing game it seemed like the chances of some random twist turning the match the other way increased. After all, the last time Roger lost here was in 2005, when Marat Safin knocked him out in a five-setter that ended well after midnight.

It’ll be fun to see if Tipsarevic continues to play this well. He seems like an interesting guy. He’s the only tennis player I know of who wears goggles on court, and he has a Dostoyevsky quote tattooed on him (“Beauty will save the world” from The Idiot). Frankly, I’m surprised that more young players don’t throw the kitchen sink at Fed like Janko did. It’s a great way to make a name for yourself. After all, people first started noticing Federer when he knocked off Pete Sampras at the 2001 Wimbledon Championships.

The announcers on ESPN pointed out an interesting fact about this tournament. It’s the first time in many years that a single tournament can decide who will be #1. Here’s how it works:

  • Rankings in tennis are based on your performance in events over the last 52 weeks.
  • Rafael Nadal has 5780 points
  • Roger Federer has 7180 points
  • At a Grand Slam you get 1000 points for winning, 700 for runner-up, 450 for semis, 250 for quarters, 150 for round of 16, 75 for round of 32, etc.
  • Roger got 1000 points last year — if he’d lost yesterday, he would have dropped to 6225 points
  • Nadal got 250 points last year — if he wins this year, he’ll have 6530 points

If Roger makes it to the semis, or Rafa doesn’t win the title, then Federer will remain number one. You can argue about the merits of the tennis ranking system, but it’s certainly predictable!

One final twist: if Rafa doesn’t pass Roger at this tournament, it will be impossible for him to do so for several more months. That’s because Rafa cleaned up during this time last year, while Federer kept losing to this guy. Rafa has points to defend, while Federer does not. You can see the full points breakdown on the ATP profiles for Federer and Nadal.


  1. Emilie said,

    January 21, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    Wow. This looks like a huge waste of time. Plus you didn’t even mention my new fav. Djokovic. Think I’m going to go watch the Federer v. Blake match.

  2. Gena said,

    January 21, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    yes, thank god we all have danvk.org to keep us posted on tennis. who needs espn? and seriously, how could you not mention novak? you need to look him up on youtube, talented and funny, just like you, dan.

  3. danvk said,

    January 21, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    Djokovic hadn’t done anything particularly noteworthy when I wrote this post. If you take a look at my tennis category (http://www.danvk.org/wp/category/tennis/), you’ll see that Novak gets plenty of mentions.

    So Emilie, does this mean your giant poster of Andy Roddick is coming down? If you read the Token US Open post (http://www.danvk.org/wp/2007-09-06/the-token-us-open-post/), you’ll know I’m no great fan of Andy’s.

  4. Gena said,

    January 21, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    how are you an org?