Monday, 22 December 2008
David Ferrer award for over-achievement
So onto our second category, the David Ferrer over-achiever award.
Every season a number of players have truly great years. For some this is the breakthrough season, which signals their arrival in the big time, as they take up their rightful place in the elite (Nole last year, Andy M this year).
For others it's a case of punching above their weight, outperforming, and achieving more than you'd expect given how their game stacks up with others on the tour. It's their chance to see how it feels to be a top 10 player.
Sometimes this is the result of a hot run across a number events. But quite often the over-achievement is built around one big result which amasses a load of points. Going deep in a slam tends to do it.
This award can be mis-interpreted as a back-handed compliment. It's not. There's nothing I admire more than someone who works hard, fights on court, and over achieves.
David Ferrer had a sensational tour last year, ending the year in 5th place. A fantastic achievement but he came into 2008 defending more points than he could ever realistically hope to protect. And so it proved with Ferrer ending the year ranked 12.
So who was it this year? Well the nominees for 2008 are:
Tsonga, Australian Open finalist against the odds
Simon, a fantastic year including beating Nadal in Madrid
Wawrinka, olympic gold winner
Davydenko, the perpetual over achiever
Drum roll as previous winner Marco Baghdatis eases open the envelope, "and the winner is.... Gilles Simon"