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September 22 • 04:47
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No Way to Get Ahead in the Race

October 20, 2011
Del Potro losing 4 and 4 to James Blake. It happened indoors in The Stockholm Open round of 16.

So what?

Del Potro was the leading player in The Race competing this week - at #12 - for a spot in London's Elite 8 event. And with a gap of less than 150 points between him and the 3 players ahead of him, Delpo has about as good a chance as anyone of challenging for the 8th spot held by Tsonga, leading #9 Simon by almost 600 points.

Behind him with any shot in The Race, competitors this week include Monfils, #15 in The Race (seeded #1 seed ahead of #2 Del Potro in Stockholm because he is ranked #10). If Gael wants to move up, he'll have to win more than the 250 points here because the two competitors just above him are also competing this week.

The Moscow Open is off and running with #1 seeded Serb - #13 Racer Janko Tipsarevic - and #3 seeded Ukrainian Dolgopolov (#14 Racer).

The most Tipsarevic can do by winning this week would be to get within 500 points of #8 Tsonga, a gap that could later be bridged by winning Basel (starts Oct 31 and features Roger and Joker) or reaching the final in Paris (starts Nov 7), IF Jo were to bomb out early...

Without Tsonga's help there's no way to get ahead in The Race, but it certainly isn't by losing early.

There is real money at stake in London, and it now looks less like Del Potro is going to get any of it.

What to look for this week:

- in Stockholm, Monfils will have his hands full winning this event, starting with Tomic in the round of 16, followed by Anderson, and then Raonic or Dmitrov. Wawrinka is his main competition in the other half.

- in Moscow, Tipsarevic will first face Kunitsyn, with Davydenko lurking late in his half and #2 and 3 seeds Troicki and Dolgopolov in the other half.

Rick Devereux

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