2012 ATP CitiOpen: An Embarrassment of Riches…For the Players
Steve Fogleman, TennisEastCoast.com
500 points. That’s what the winner of next week’s ATP CitiOpen will get. While most of the top players in the world are in London prepping for Olympic Gold, there are a number of opportunistic competitors searching for a valuable commodity in the heart of the Nation’s Capital.
What does an ATP 500 event normally get you? Of the 2012 ATP 500 events held thus far, you had Federer winning in Rotterdam, Isner and Roddick as top seeds in Memphis, Ferrer in Mexico City, and Fed, Murray and Djokovic in Dubai. DC gets Dolgopolov, Querrey and maybe Fish. That should put it in perspective.
This 500 will not be an embarrassment of riches for the fans expecting to see top 10 players. It will be a cash cow for the players, though. Take Sam Querrey. Please! At #57, Querrey could jump into the top 30 with those 500 points, as could Brian Baker and a lot of other capable players. They’re also thinking about seeding at the US Open.
Just because all of last year’s quarter finalists didn’t return to Washington this year doesn’t mean there’s less to play for. Au Contraire. These guys smell an opportunity to leap-frog the pack while their colleagues pursue national honor. If you’re a healthy ATP player and you’re not in the Olympics and you’re not in DC, you probably failed mathematics. You can say the same thing about the women to a lesser degree, since the WTA tournament is a lower-ranked event than an ATP 500.
One thing is certain: there will be some rankings shifts as a result of the Olympics. The only guys going up are the ones who don’t play in London next week. Radek Stepanek, for example, will suffer a big drop-off as last year’s DC champion.
Don’t forget that the Olympics are the equivalent of an “ATP 750” as they are giving points. So some of the men like Stepanek or Donald Young have a chance to earn back some points in London, granted the field is tougher than the DC event usually is. Wait, Donald Young, what am I saying???? -RICk