The ATP World Tour Finals are in full swing and if there is something that can be said, it is that the last two days of the round robin have a pretty peculiar scheduling, especially as far as the singles are concerned.
In Group A, it is a little less obvious, as there are still many scenarios possible for qualification. Novak Djokovic needs only win one set against Tomas Berdych to reach the semi-final. However, if the Czech wins, whether in two or three sets, Andy Murray could still miss the cut, and so his match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga would be pretty dramatic in its outcome.
In Group B, the last semi-final spot in Group B might be determined starting at 13:45 local time on Saturday, when Roger Federer, already qualified, will face Juan Martín Del Potro.
The scenario is thus: if the Argentine wins, regardless of what David Ferrer does against Janko Tipsarevic, he is automatically qualified for the semi-finals, and as the Serbian is already out, it would make the second match moot and only show.
However, had Ferrer vs Tipsarevic been the first match scheduled, a win from the Spaniard would have made the Federer vs Del Potro match a hugely determining match, as the man from Tandil would have been forced to win in order to join Roger Federer in the semi-finals.
Had that match been last, the suspense would have been whole until the end unless Tipsarevic achieved the near-impossible task of defeating the Ironman of Javea, thus automatically sending Del Potro in semi-final.
As it is, if Federer wins, David Ferrer is still “condemned” to win in order to qualify for the semi-finals. Nevertheless, scheduling Ferrer’s match second makes it a little less thrilling, from a spectator point of view, as far as drama is concerned.
Same goes for doubles
The same bizarre scheduling applied to the doubles matches of Group B, where the one encounter that determined who would join Jonathan Marray and Frederik Nielsen in semi-final was the first one scheduled, as Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna ousted defending champions Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestorm 7-6(5) 6-7(5) 10-5, in nearly two hours of breathless (and breakless) doubles drama.
Such a dramatic encounter should really have been the second one scheduled.