Now what exactly has Tomas done all year?
That’s what many people were saying earlier yesterday when official word came from the ATP Tour that Tomas Berdych had qualified for the ATP World Tour Finals in London due in part to Juan Martin Del Potro losing in the semifinals of the Valencia Open, making the Argentine’s chances for reaching London that much harder. Despite some congratulatory messages from fans online, others were virtually scratching their heads trying to wrap their head around the fact that Berdych had qualified for the season ending championships on the basis, at least on paper, on a ok, but not great year.
Well it appears the ATP asked to have that piece of paper with Berdych’s scores back so they could do some doublechecking on the math. When they did, the tour’s number crunchers concluded that the Czech tennis star had indeed, not yet qualified for London and issued a statement on Twitter late last night clarifying their earlier announcement.
“Correction and apologies: #Berdych is close, but has not yet qualified for #finalshowdown. Three spots remain up for grabs in Paris. #atp”
In other words, the ATP said to Berdych, “oops, our bad.”
Despite the goof by the tour, it’s still very likely Berdych will qualify for London as he’s currently holding at sixth place in the race followed by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Mardy Fish and it would take either Nicolas Almagro, Janko Tipsarevic, Gilles Simon, Gael Monfils or Del Potro basically winning the Bercy Masters title next week to have any hope of dislodging Berdych, Tsonga or Fish from one of the final three spots. To those five men on the bubble, one can only say, “Bonne Chance.”
But back to Berdych. One of the reasons yesterday’s numbers blunder had more resonance than expected was not the fact that Berdych is on the cusp of qualifying for London, something expected for the last month or so, but that he actually will go based on a consistent but not stunning 2011 season. Ok, yes he did win the China Open recently, but aside from reaching the quarters of Melbourne, Berdych has not really been a factor all year in terms of the big titles unlike his spectacular run to the Wimbledon finals last year. Berdych should get props for being steady enough in 2011, but his meager points total for the year end race, along with those for Tsonga and Fish, speaks to how much the top four men have dominated the season all year more than anything else.
Berdych could erase all doubts he’s going to London by winning a few rounds in Bercy this week, but with him and most everyone else staggering into the event with injuries and just running on fumes, the expectation is that even if someone on the bubble makes a last minute run, Berdych will still hang on to his spot for London. That will make the ATP happy it doesn’t have to do any last minute number crunching even if it leaves some fans still scratching their heads on how the lanky Czech is a member of the “Elite Eight” a few weeks from now.