Had to wake up somewhat early this morning to catch the men's final of Tokyo Open. Great tournament by the way.
I just followed some highlights every now and then but actually two matches got me to follow this tournament: Del Potro vs. Ferrer and Berdych vs. Roddick.
Del Potro, the new rising star, the future of men's tennis as some might call him, is having one of his best seasons. Over the last few months, the young Argentinean has proven that he has the skills that will enable him to be a top 5 one day.
His most efficient weapons are his serve, his net volleys, his forehand down the line and his backhand slice.
I admit he still has some problems receiving low ground strokes and top spins, but I believe he will master them soon. He still has years to learn and get more experience.
Beating the defending champion and the tournament top seed, David Ferrer, made me really believe that Del Potro can continue adding more titles this season and extending his winning streak to 30 matches, omitting, of course, his loss to Murray in the US Open.
But actually, two unexpected things happened.
The first was Tomas Berdych, ranked 27th in the world and beating Andy Roddick in the semis after a sensational performance by which he managed to come back from being 3-5 down in the second set after losing the first and then turning the table at Andy.
Roddick was more occupied with being furious at the linesmen and chair umpire than the match. Berdych managed after a great fight to win this match, reach the final, and clinch his fourth ATP title.
All through the match, Berdych mantained a very high level of concentration and inspiring determination. He fired 11 aces, had an almost perfect forehand and a great performance at the net. So congratulations to Berdych, who really deserved to win today.
The second unexpected factor playing against Del Potro today was what seems like a stomach virus.
He took two breaks, followed by a medical timeout in which he took some pills that unfortunately didn't take effect until so late after he had already lost the first set and was broken in the second.
But despite all the pain he felt, his shaky legs and decreased fitness, he managed to pull a fight in the second set.
He was actually so close of taking that break back in the last game where he and Berdych kept dancing around 4 or 5 deuces and advantage points until finally Berdych ceased a championship point, winning the tournament.
Bottom line I think I have just witnessed a tennis star in the making, one who I expect will have a bright future if he stays injury free, taking on a player who rediscovered his passion for tennis and if kept playing at that level, will definitely do great things.
But the question remains: WHICH OF THESE TWO WILL MAKE IT TO THE TOP 8 AND QUALIFY TO THE MASTERS CUP???