Djokovic Reaches SF, Federer v. Roddick Ahead in Shangai
by Sean Randall | November 11th, 2008, 1:14 pm
  • 69 Comments

We got our first real surprise today out of the Gold Group at the Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai, with Juan Martin Del Potro defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6(4), 7-6(5).

I would have picked Tsonga to win that match given form and the possibility JMDP might be looking ahead to Davis Cup, but credit to the Argentine for getting the job done here. Too bad for Tsonga who now falls to 0-2 and now out of the running for the semifinals.

Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic clinched a semifinal berth with a 7-6, 0-6, 7-5 win over Nikolay Davydenko. After an 0-3 effort in 2007, the Serb has really come to play this year the Masters Cup.

With Djokovic qualified that leaves one more semifinal spot available, and that will go to the winner of Thursday’s Dayvdenko-Del Potro match. For now I like Davydenko.

The Red Group is back on court Wednesday with Roger Federer taking on Andy Roddick and Gilles Simon squaring off against Andy Murray.

For Federer and Roddick, it’s a must win if they harbor any semifinal hopes while the winner of Simon-Murray gets into the Final Four. My guess is we’ll have one Andy winner on the day, and it won’t be Roddick.

Roddick though might become the beneficiary of the wisdom of Paul Annacone in the future. We shall see.

Other news around tennis…

A day after Rafael Nadal withdrew his name from Spain’s upcoming Davis Cup final clash with Argentina in Mar Del Plata, Tommy Robredo removed his name from consideration for the tie. That leaves the final Spanish team with Marcel Granollers, David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez. Call me crazy, but I don’t like that team’s chances against David Nalbandian, Jose Acasuso, Agustin Calleri, Del Potro and the Argentine crowd on an indoor hard court.


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69 Comments for Djokovic Reaches SF, Federer v. Roddick Ahead in Shangai

Von Says:

Can’t say I blame tommmy Robredo for withdrawing from DC. He was instrumental in winning earlier this year when Nadal pulled out at the last minute, and then later bounced in favour of Nadal in the SFs. Dirty business — why bounce Robredo because the star player decided to play. If Robredo and company hadn’t won the first tie, there wouldn’t have been any SFs and Finals, and dropping Robredo was very cruel to him and a big bruise to his ego. It’s a sort of poetic justice that Nadal can’t play and now the Spaniards are left in a quandary. the Lord works in mysterious ways is all I can say, and who are we mortals to be so manipulative.


Von Says:

I’m not at all surprised about Tsonga — he’s run true to form. Sparkles at one tourney and then fizzles out at the subsequent ones. I mentioned this after Paris and it didn’t go over well with some, but unfortunately for the big guy, that’s his MO.

It would have been nice if the order of play were turned around in the Red group where Roddick played Simon, whio he has a winning record over, instead of Fed, and that match-up could have kept Roddick in the running. Instead he plays Fed who owns him and it could be lights out for my guy. How is it that these things can become so discombobulated — one group so simple and the other so difficult. I protest. :P

“All the world ‘s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts” -


jane Says:

I’m just watching the JMDP vs. Jo-Will match (it’s mid second set); Tsonga’s downfall is his errors. He does seem to lack consistency, as Von points out. JMDP is serving, and even volleying, well though.

As for the Red Group’s upcoming matches, I could see both going either way. Not to sit on the fence, but it’s true. Roddick has been playing well the past few events, whereas Roger is nursing a sore back and lost to Simon, apparently through poor serving and lots of errors. If he plays the same way against A-Rod, you have to give Andy a good shot at winning!

And although Murray has been on form, he did lapse for a set in his last match – and Roddick took full advantage; Simon won’t let him get away with much of that either, I don’t think. Murray will have to be sharp to beat Simon.

No easy calls in the upcoming matches. The same goes for Davy vs. JMDP and Djoko vs. Tsonga. Both could go either way.

And such as it should be at the Master’s Cup no? I can’t call a winner here, and that’s ACE!


jane Says:

Thanks for the update on Roddick’s (potential) coach situation Sean.


Kimmi Says:

Good luck to fed tomorrow ! Sorry Von !


Mike gaobest Says:

This has to be one of the more exciting Master’s Cup because maybe, just maybe, Federer won’t be as dominating in past years. That’s what will make it so interesting.

Disappointing about Nadal, but it’s been posted in these forums during past years about how Nadal’s intense clay play would cause injuries down the line, and now we have them. This could turn into a big disaster for Nadal – maybe he’ll end up pulling a Henin Clijsters. Then again, at 22 he’s copied Borg (French/Wimby) and won Olympic Gold. He already won Davis Cup. He could retire at #1 and go out on top, and be the forever subject of “What Ifs” :)

Mike


gulu Says:

For me it’s a lose-lose situation tomoro when Fed and Rod face each other. :-( I well and truly agree with Jane that if Fed plays like he did against Simon and Rod plays the way he did against Murray,Fed’ll lose ! A terrible year for me this one !


gulu Says:

It may sound strange,but for me tomoro’s matches are less important,more so coz I’d be happy if only Fed avenges his Madrid loss to Murray and Rod beats Simon and bringing him down to earth! Go Murray, blow Simon away like a hurricane or I’d kill you !


gulu Says:

It’ll be quite ok for me if Rod beats Fed tomoro and then humiliate Simon in the next match! But it’d be superb for me if Fed wins the whole thing! ;-) But Fed winning this tournament is near impossible !


gulu Says:

For tomoro from my side- Good Luck Rod… Better Luck Fed… Best of Luck Murray! Don’t think that I’m wishing such coz I’v switched over to Murraymania instead of Rogerholism ! I simply want Simon to be out of semi,that’s all ! Ardent Fed fan!


jane Says:

Now that I’ve been able to watch the matches (save the bagel set in Djoko’s match as TSN X’ed it) I can comment with maybe a little insight?

I don’t know if I’d say Davydenko choked? He hit a lot of errors, and occasionally, but not always, those were hit at crucial moments; does this amount to a choke? Not sure. In the first set, serving at 4-5, love-15, Davy hit a forehand into the net but it was definitely a forced error by Djoko, and then Davy got it back to 30 all. Only then he double faulted. He still pulled out the game, and got Djoko to 30 all next game, but hit a forehand out. And in the tiebreak he kind of unraveled.

But Davydenko’s serve has been known to go “off” like that, and may even be the reason why he’s not done better against higher ranked guys – they can exploit his serve, sometimes. In Miami what was so striking was how **well** he served. Even Roddick commented on this there.

As far as Djoko’s match, there was good and bad, keeping in mind I missed the bagel set, so can’t comment on the walk-about tour. He wasn’t serving consistently well, but in the 3rd set, and in the first set tiebreak he clutch served well; when he needed a good serve, often, today, he hit one.

He hit some beautiful and very speedy sharp angled forehands in the match, with which I was duly impressed – more of those please Djoko! I’ve noticed in the last two matches here that Djoko’s added a backhand slice and is using it more often to mix up pace, something he’s seen Fed, Rafa, Murray and Roddick use to good effect. So I am please to see he’s still developing his game, as well as his mental and physical fortitude.

On the other hand, he still has a lot of work to do up at net. He’s been successful in his forays to net in the past, but today he was rather abysmal up there – 3/10 or something like that. So on this he needs to keep practicing.

Surprisingly, given how good this has been in the past for him, and not to overlook his excellently defensive skills, I think his court positioning has been questionable at times in the last two matches. He’s let both JMDP and Davy step in and push him back at times and he needs to be careful of this. He’s best when he sticks to the baseline and pushes the ball – hence his opponent – all over the court.

Finally, with regards to temperament, and to continue a point grendel has made on a previous thread, McEnroe was able to direct his anger or frustration on others, whereas Djoko has tended to direct it at himself. This could be because of an inner confidence Mac seems to have, whereas Djoko might not have it so much (perhaps given his tense early childhood?). If he can learn to temper it, he will be better off. Because he likes to be liked, unlike Mac who could’ve cared less as long as he won, Djoko needs to curb the emotions while in match situations.

The other match today revealed Tsonga’s temperamental side too; he’s a player who’s flying when everything is going his way, but when it’s not, he seems to get a little grumbly. This might hurt him at times, cause him to go for too much, and then increase the errors in his game. JMDP, on the other hand, seems to be, for the most part anyhow, cool as a cucumber, which in the long run, coupled with his determination, is going to make him a key competitor in every event. He’s not at his best yet, but he’s already in the final eight.

Anyhow, sorry for the lengthy post.


jane Says:

I’m pretty sure that comment above should read “serving at 5-5 love -15″ in the first set Davy vs. Djoko since he had lost his break by this point.


Von Says:

Kimmi:

“Good luck to fed tomorrow ! Sorry Von.”

It’s OK Kimmi, I want for Andy to win also. Pity there can only be one winner And the winner is …….A-Rod. How djya like them apples? :P


MMT Says:

Mike gaobest said:

“This has to be one of the more exciting Master’s Cup because maybe, just maybe, Federer won’t be as dominating in past years.”

Fed’s got to get out of his group never mind dominate! I can easily see him lose all 3 matches if Roddick serves well and he continues to choke, and especially if Murray loses to Simon, in which case Murray’d need a win to go through.

I’m picking Roddick and Simon to win next, and then Simon to beat Roddick for the last semi-final spot.


sensationalsafin Says:

Federer loses one match and again everyone thinks he’s done for. He could be. I agree that he can lose all 3 matches. I think he’ll beat Roddick but I can’t see him beating Murray, so that’s 1-2. But again, this is Roger Federer. He might surprise us all again.


Von Says:

MMT: How could you pick Simon to beat Roddick after that great performance of Roddick’s when he beat Simon in Paris? I’m shocked.

_____________
Sensationalsafin:
What happenened to you? Where have you been? I missed you. :P


Kimmi Says:

Von: “Pity there can only be one winner And the winner is …….A-Rod. How djya like them apples?”

LOL !! Very funny Von. Roddick has a chance tomorrow. He is always pumped up when playing fed. Fed is not sharp at the moment ! So ya!! he could win.

I just hope the fed forehand works this time. I think it will be a very tense match. can’t watch it live but will follow the live score…how nerve racking it is going to be watching the live score..
15-0
15-15
15-30
15-40
30-40
————
Sheesh!!!


andrea Says:

i agree with gulu – i want fed to avenge madrid with murray.

on paper, it’s fed over roddick, but roddick also had match point against fed 2 years ago in shanghai in the second set…only of course to be saved by fed who took it in three.

poor andy. i figure to justify that new heinous haircut he needs some sort of prize.


Von Says:

Poor andrea, who’s never emerged from the terrible two’s stage with never a decent word to say — how would you ever survive if you were to refrain from taking such crude pot shots at Roddick and Djokovic’s hair. Andy looks good in that haircut BTW. I wounder how you’d look.


grendel Says:

Jane, I agree with your points about Tsonga, but would like to qualify. You have to remember he’s 23 – not quite on the verge of old age tennis wise, but uncomfortably close – and he’s lost such a large proportion of his career to injury. It’s a terrible state of affairs, really, and you can see how he might be a man in a hurry – not the state of mind most conducive to success – because of course, there is no reason to suppose this catalogue of injury – serious injury, no messing – has concluded.

For me, and for many, many others I am quite certain, Tsonga is simply the most exciting tennis player around at the moment. Can you imagine what he might have been like if he hadn’t had this albatross, this monster of injury to contend with? This is a man born to play tennis. How typical that his opportunities should be so sparse.

Enjoy this fleeting whirlwind while you may – you won’t see his like again for many a long year.


jane Says:

I do enjoy Tsonga, and you’re right that perhaps most grumbles have qualifications behind them, and maybe his in particular. A frustrating affair for a talented extrovert, who loves the game and the glory. I like him and enjoy watching him, but I was a little disappointed he didn’t pull out the win on JMDP today – not a lot separated them, except errors, which might be linked with Tsonga’s go-for-broke style and/or his temperament. I just hope he can reign it in enough to stay at the top for a while. And stay injury-free!

I remember watching Tsonga vs. Roddick, in a tight contest, early rounds, back in 05 or 06 at the AO and thinking then how exciting Tsonga was to watch. So yeah it’s a shame the stardom has been deferred.

Both Tsonga and Simon are 23 now – probably means nothing as they’ve each got a few good years left in them, but it took both a while longer to reach their peaks. Is Gasquet going to follow suit? Would be nice.


ckr Says:

If Djoker wins the tournament and Roger doesn’t reach semis, Would Djoker be #2 after this tournament?


Kimmi Says:

if fed does not win any match and djoker go undefeated then will overtake him. If I am not mistaken with my calculations

Djoker # 5395
Fed # 5205

If fed win 1 match and docker undefeated
Djoker # 5395
Fed # 5305

There are different scenario here, but all in all Djoker is very close.


Giner Says:

Is Pat Mac still coaching Roddick at the moment or is he back to his brother?


Giner Says:

“A day after Rafael Nadal withdrew his name from Spain’s upcoming Davis Cup final clash with Argentina in Mar Del Plata, Tommy Robredo removed his name from consideration for the tie. That leaves the final Spanish team with Marcel Granollers, David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez. Call me crazy, but I don’t like that team’s chances against David Nalbandian, Jose Acasuso, Agustin Calleri, Del Potro and the Argentine crowd on an indoor hard court.”

Umm, who is Marcel Granollers? I’ve never heard of the guy. They could not get anyone else? What about Ferrero, Moya, or even Almagro?

Nalby is pretty good at indoor hard, but Acasuso not so. This plan was in anticipation of Nadal playing, and I’ve got to think that Clay would still have been their best surface.

I have no idea how good Marcel is, so he could be the key to all of this. I think Nalbandian will win both of his matches, with the doubles being a very key match. What Spain needs to do is beat Acasuso twice and win the doubles. Whether this is doable depends on what Marcel is like. Sounds like a total x-factor to me, and I am stunned that he was the pick.

OK I just looked him up. He is 22 years old with a 17 – 24 record. That is pathetic for a 22 year old. He must be a challenger player. Ranked 56 at the moment and has won one career title (Houston this year). I don’t like his chances.


Giner Says:

Actually, my write-off of Spain was a bit premature. I forgot that the doubles pair of Lopez and Verdasco are also capable singles players (so used to them not getting singles action when Nadal is playing), so Marcel may not get any action at all. Lopez happens to be good on fast courts, so they still have a chance.

This is a very important final for Argentina. It will be their first victory if they win it, and they have the advantage of hosting. But if they are somehow upset in spite of the fact that they picked a fast surface AND Nadal pulled out, it’s going to be very embarrassing for them. Spain on the other hand doesn’t need to feel shamed by losing this. It’s all on Argy now..


Andrew Miller Says:

Feel that NO andy will make the finals. Murray is GOING DOWN TO SIMON!

otherwise…good luck to spain in Buenos aires. Grannollers has NO shot vs. nalby or del potro or any argentine that takes the court that day. got to like the guy’s grit, but he’s totally untested.

If the argentines dont win davis cup this year…they wont win it.

Kind of get sense that argentina, featuring nalby and del potro, kind of looks like 2004′s pairing of moya and nadal in singles…food for thought.


Tejuz Says:

well… whoever wins the Murray-Simon match is not guaranteed a semi-final spot. If Murray beat Simon and Fed beats Roddick..and if Simon beat Roddick and Fed beats Murray.,.. it will be a 3-way tie at the top with Murray, fed and Simon having 2 wins each.

if Simon beats Murray, Fed loses to Roddick.. and Simon beats Roddick and Fed beats Murray .. then it will be a 3 way tie at the bottom with Fed, Roddick and Murray with 1 wins each.

So i dont see the results decided for this group till the last day.


grendel Says:

So Roddick’s out, with a sprained ankle apparently. Federer plays Stepanek. For me, this rather devalues the tournament, and I’m finding it a little hard to care what happens now.

Roll on the AO.


Von Says:

Roddick sprained his ankle? what a wasted trip for him; for this I loaded up on tea (caffeine) and lost my beauty sleep. I’m upset and like grendel have very little interest in the TMC.

Here’s a link in english for anyone who wants to see the live streaming.

http://www.justin.tv/dragonblades


Federer is betterer Says:

What if the following happen?
Simon beats Murray today (unlikely, but hey), while Federer loses to Stepanek.
Then Fed defeats Murray, and Simon defeats Step.

That would give: Simon (3-0); Fed and Murray (1-2), and Stepanek (1-1).
Simon would qualify, then who else? Stepanek because he has less losses than Fed and Murray???


Federer has all the luck in the world! Says:

He doesn’t has to play Roddick!


Kimmi Says:

Andy Murray looks soooo sharp. I think this tornament is written for Murray. What a drubbing Simon got …..congratulation murray for going to the semi !!


Tejuz Says:

Still dont understand how Murray already qualified for the Semi’s as is being said in the ATP website..

what if Murray loses in straight sets to Federer… and Simon beats Stepanek in straight sets. All 3 would be tied at 2 wins each. Murray wud have won 4 sets, Simon 4 sets and Fed 5sets … in that scenario.. would Murray qualify over Simon or would they look at games won?


redux Says:

The Fed defeated The Worm.
Am I mistaken, or wasn’t James Blake next in line behind Simon for TMC qualification in the ATP race standings?


Tejuz Says:

Anyway… Fed won in straight sets, good for him. But he was still making quite a lot of uncharacteristic errors. Sometimes he was playing very loose.. make silly unforced erros and hand over breaks to Stepanek. He really has to step up a few notches to beat Murray. Somehow i think he will be up for the task.


Federer is betterer Says:

General question to understand the qualification process for the semis. If 2 players have the Win-Loss record after 3 round-robin matches, and won the same number of sets, what do they look next? The number of sets lost, their direct head-to-head or the number of games won?


Federer is betterer Says:

Correction: General question to understand the qualification process for the semis. If 2 players have the SAME Win-Loss record after 3 round-robin matches, and won the same number of sets, what do they look next? The number of sets lost, their direct head-to-head or the number of games won?


Daniel Says:

Tejuz, Murray already qualified because the sets won / lost counts. If Fed beats Murray 2×0, Fed stays 5-3, Murray 4-3 and even if Simon beats Step 2xO Simon woud be 4-3. Murray and Simon tie but in the direct confront Murray wins, so he qualifys. If Simon wins but lose a set he will be 4-4 and Murray doesn’t need the direct confront to uneven the tie. In the worst scenario for him (losing without winning a set) he qualifys. I hope this clarify to you.


MMT Says:

Daniel: That’s a pretty good explanation for a very curious situation. So, if Federer wins, he’s through, even though he lost to Simon – now that would be ironic. I don’t think he’s going to beat Murray anyway.

Von: Sorry about Roddick, but I felt that Simon is in better form than both Roddick and Federer, so I picked him. Turned out to be moot anyway. Another good reason to shorten the season, or limit matches. Everyone was looking forward to Roddick Federer, and even Federer said he may have gotten lucky that Roddick had to pull out.

Can I just say how disappointed I am that no major network is carrying the TMC? Very disappointed.


jane Says:

What a shame Roddick had to pull out. Does take off some of the edge, doesn’t it?

Murray pummeled Simon though – wow – good for him! He’s the guy to beat at the end of this season; since Wimbledon (excluding the Olympics) Murray has been on fire.


MMT Says:

Hmm….just read the tournament guide, and it appears to be a bit more complicated for Federer and Simon, but Murray is indeed guaranteed a place.

If Murray wins, he’s in. If Murray loses in 3 he beats Simon on sets won. If Murray loses in 2, he ties Simon on sets won and lost, but beats him Simon on H2H.

If Fed wins, he’s in (H2H a 3-way tie, he goes on sets won 5).

If Simon wins in 2 and Fed loses, Simon’s in. If Simon loses and Fed loses, Simon’s in on H2H.

I think that covers it???


Noel Says:

The final standings of each group at the TMC are decided in the following descending order of preference.

1.Most wins;

2.Most matches played(This is crucial to a lot of queries here);

3.H-2-H results if only two players are tied.If three players are tied,then,
A.If all 3 have one win each,the player playing lesser matches(alternates for instance)is eliminated from the event and the winner of the group match between the remaining two players advances to the sf.
B.If all of the players mentioned in (A) have played an identical number of matches,the player with the highest percentage of sets won and after that, highest % of the games won,advances.

If method 3(A,B,C)produce one better player(first place),two players tied foe second place and one player at the bottom,the tie between the two players at second place will be broken by the h-2-h record between the two players.

There are even further methods/procedures to break a tie esp for other abnormal situations but need not be mentioned for our discussion here.

The rules obviously put Stepanek at a disadvantage because the number of matches played is the second most important criterion for finalizing the group standings and he gets to play only two matches.You can now easily rationalize-based on the rules- Murray’s qualification for the sf under the hypothetical situations that some of you have looked at.


Kimmi Says:

Interview with federer after the match, does not sound very positive.

“It’s been a tough week for me from the start,” said Federer, adding his back was fine but that he had a stomach ailment after his match Monday night against Simon and felt “terrible” when he woke up Tuesday. He spent the day in his room, trying to recover.

“It would have been impossible to play yesterday,” he said, looking drained at his post-match news conference.

“Maybe I got lucky that Andy withdrew,” Federer said. “And then Radek is not playing with his own rackets, so that made it a little bit more lucky again. I hope with a day of recovery, I’ll make a miracle happen here and get through into the semis.”

He thinks it is a miracle to be in the semi !!

Well ! Not much hope for federer express, but miracles do happen sometimes….


gulu Says:

If Murray indeed beats Fed in the next match,then I promise that I’d wish all the worst for Murray ! I can accept Fed losing consistently to Rafa even but not to Murray !
Please don’t mind ! However thank you Murray for manhandling Simon !


gulu Says:

MMT, I gotta ask you something! Do you hate Fed? Please reply !


MMT Says:

No way! I think Fed has one of the most aesthetically appealing games in history, and I love to watch him play on any surface because he’s got such a great game.

I also think that he is in the top 5 all-time, (the others are Sampras, Laver, Borg and Gonzales). He could even surpass all of them in my view if he gets to 15 grand slams.

No way – I think he’s great. I just think he’s playing like crap right now!


Gans Says:

Can Sean or somebody tell me for folks in the US, where do we get to see the Shangai master’s live? Does Tennis channel show this event at 2AM or something? In the day time, all that I could see over the weekend was the Doubles at Shangai!
Thanks.


Dr. Death Says:

MMT – just saw a comment on Reuters that Federer had an upset stomach. That could account for ” just think he’s playing like crap right now!”

By Nick Mulvenney Nick Mulvenney – Wed Nov 12, 10:24 am ET REUTERS

Andy Murray is certainly proving again that he is the real thing. Von’s comments above about sparkling in one tournament etc., are spot on. But remember for those of us old enough to think back on thirty years of tennis, that has always been the case.

This tournament certainly went into a tailspin again this year. Perhaps the move of venue to London will change its luck. Glad I followed someone’s advice about not going to Shanghai.

Still, more interesting action to come so enjoy it!


MMT Says:

Dr. Death – I saw that comment too, but as I understood it, this occurred the morning after his match with Simon. He did mention that given his illness, he may have gotten lucky that Roddick got injured, and that the Worm wasn’t using his usual racquets(?).

Frankly, I don’t see him getting out of the group. Simon’s going to beat Stepanek, and Murray’s on fire.


Gans Says:

One more attempt:
Can Sean or somebody tell me for folks in the US, where do we get to see the Shangai master’s live? Does Tennis channel show this event at 2AM or something? In the day time, all that I could see over the weekend was the Doubles at Shangai!
Thanks.


JoshDragon Says:

I agree with you Sean, I would have picked Tsonga to win over Del Potro. The Davis Cup, final should be pretty easy for Argentina now that Nadal and Robredo have both stepped down.


Dr. Death Says:

MMT – like mono, the bug was working on his system and there is a direct correlation between the bowels and the forehand as any witchdoctor can tell you.

The bottom line is that the schedule needs to be adjusted and these jabronis need to see doctors to take care of their physical and mental ills. I still hold to my thought of weeks ago that some of them need a sports psychologist to raise them to the next level or to maintain them where they are.

If this continues into next season we will see men’s tennis drop to the level of the WTA. Oops, did I disrespect women’s tennis? No – just the truth. Little in the WTA worth watching except the fashion and skin shows. The WTA needs a mobile gym just like the golfers use. That will raise that game.


jane Says:

Dr. Death,

Ha! In addition to your tennis acumen, these are the comments that I miss when you’re not around: “there is a direct correlation between the bowels and the forehand as any witchdoctor can tell you.”

Thanks for the chortle.

And I agree, btw, that a number of them could use a head doctor to keep them focused and motivated.


RG Says:

Gans:

According to the Masters Cup website, Tennis Channel is showing the Doubles matches. The Singles matches are apparently being shown on FSN (Fox Sports Network) mostly on Tape Delay on weekdays from 1:30pm to 5:30pm (just a couple of matches are being shown Live). But I believe FSN schedules/TV coverages vary from region to region. Here in my area, I do not see any TV listings for the Singles’ matches at all.

In one of the posts above, Von has kindly mentioned a website that offers live streaming on the computer.
http://www.justin.tv/

Hope this helps!


Dr. Death Says:

Glad I can bring some humor to bear. But there is always truth in humor.

This is a good morning and fun to be writing again. I will hopefully be checking in over the weekend. BTW, I have been to Shanghai many times and have never had a stomach problem there. I know some people are thinking it is “the food”, but Shanghai cooking is rather sophisticated and it is most the most progressive of China’s major cities.


Von Says:

MMT:

Thanks for your consoling words. I’m very disappointed A-Rod is out of the TMC tourney, but more upset about his ankle. This has been one upside-down year for him, and I hope he’ll be all healed up for ’09, with a new coach in tow, which Sean assumes to be Paul Annacone.
_________________

Dr. Death:

Thanks for the props. good to know you’ve got a wise friend and one who actually was able to exert some influence over you. :P However, despite the good advice, are you sure you didn’t sneak over to Shanghai to stir the pot and adding some kind of well-thought out warlock’s brew to the food to cause the many maladies that have sprouted up. Shame on you! :P I suppose busines is slow, curing the sick, so you’ve now reverted to the opposite of the Hippocratic Oath of ‘First Do No harm” by doing some harm. Anyway, don’t let me stop you, Carry on smartly and remember: “Tempt not a desperate man”. -. :D
_________________
Gans:

You have my empathy with respect to the confusion you’re experiencing regarding the TMC TV schedule. I don’t think we poor cable subscribers can purchase a “Live” broadcast of any of the TMC matches. I’m bitterly disappointed that the Tennis Channel is carrying the doubles matches live, but not the singles. TC carried the WTA YEC matches live and re-broadcast, but not so for the men.

On FSN you can hear the droning voice of Justin Gimelstop and his other cohort, but they are broadcasting the matched delayed and not in every area, which is a puzzlement to me, since FSN does not have anything of substance being broadcasted in the time-slot for the TMC live matches. Go figure that one.

As RG mentioned above, I provided a link from Justin.TV which is a good source of live streaming, has a pretty decent picture quality and sound. There’s a little square button at the bottom of the small screen next to the chat room if clicked on, enlarges the picture to the size of your computer monitor screen. The live broadcasts begin at 5:00 am US ET. Hope this works for you.
_____________

There have been many questions about the TMC ties and how it’s calulated. I believe they usually begin with matches won, and sets lost. If there’s a tie it then goes down to games won/lost, and if further needed to points won/lost. I believe in the close ties, every infinite decimal point is taken into consideration.


grendel Says:

The withdrawal of Roddick – he was certainly favourite to beat Federer on this occasion – has diminished this tournament. But some matches are just interesting in themselves, including Murray/Simon. I think I must have watched a different version to the match seen by Sean (see other thread), Kimmi and Jane. The consensus there is: Simon was wiped out. Not in the match I watched, he wasn’t. This match – can’t say about the other one – had a very strange first set indeed. Tight first two games, which Murray squeezed out – but it could just as well have been Simon who did the squeezing – and then Murray pulled ahead, not easily, but still, he did, until he had a simple overhead smash to put away which would – barely intelligibly, frankly – have given him a 5-0 lead. As it was, Simon not only broke back, he very nearly pulled back a second one and looked by far the more convincing player. It is unusual for Murray to be outplayed form the back. Murray was outplayed from the back. It is VERY unusual for Murray’s opponent to show a finer grasp of tactics and generally exhibit more intelligence and quick wittednessthan he, Murray. Murray’s opponent showed a finer grasp of tactics and generally exhibited more intelligence and quickwittedness than he, Murray.

Murray somehow – somehow – pulled out the first set. One certainly thought Simon was now about to give it to Murray. He just looked better and, incidentally, those marvellous aggressive shots which come out of nowhere and which we normally associate with Murray, were very largely coming from Simon. He is no longer just the defensive player he tended to be. He does lack a potent first serve, though – this saved Murray on a number of occasions, and the Murray doublewhammy of drop shot followed by pass does not seem to be available – yet – to Simon, and Murray employed it well in his travails.

First two games of the second set were tight. Happened to go to Murray. After that, and ONLY after that, Simon, rather mysteriously, went away. There was a brief resurgence at round about 4-1 or something, but the Frenchman had shot his bolt. I did not at any stage feel that Murray had drastically improved. Not at all. It was Simon who started hitting quite wildly. Hard to say why the accuracy deserted him. Could Murray, as it were, have done a Simon on him? That would be a nice irony, yes, given that in the second part of the first set it was Simon who had done a Murray on the Scot. An act of homage returned, you might say.

Murray showed real grit where it mattered. He is rapidly becoming one of the toughies on the tour. He got through the hard times as many, with Simon, have been unable to do. He did so – in the match I watched, not, for all I know, the other one watched by Sean, Kimmi and Jane (a virtual one, possibly? Technology, these days…..) – with the help of a thorough exploration of the lower reaches of the English tongue. From time to time, a bland voice could be heard emanating from the screen:”We apologise for Murray’s language”.

It’s always a bland voice, isn’t it? I mean, you never hear McEnroe or Connors or someone like that, Nastase perhaps, saying that they are extremely sorry for the disgraceful language used by a young man who is surely old enough to know better. I think that perhaps explains why you always have one bland commentator on the commentary team. I always wondered why they paid good money to these irritating people who simply recite what you can see for yourself on the screen. Got it now.


Daniel Says:

grendel, agree with you too, several games went to deuce and Murray was quite deffensive. I think he didn’t made a singe backhand paralel winner as he is use to.
The probem for Simon is that Murray knows he will break eventualy, that’s the problem of lacking a power serve against a player who has one of the best return games on activity.


jane Says:

Oh crap – I didn’t see the Murray v. Simon match; sorry to imply that I had! My comment was based solely on my morning news reading – and somewhat on the scoreline, which, of course, can be deceptive.

I had to teach today and did not set the tape so will not be able to view the match at all; thus I thank you for your recap grendel. Puts things into perspective for the remaining matches, all of which I should be able to see, if only in tape delay.


jane Says:

6-4, 6-2 may not look like a “pummeling”, the word I had used earlier, but two things made me think of it: one, most of the reports emphasized the big leads Murray had on Simon in both sets, and two, most of Simon’s matches in the latter part of this year (not all, granted – Roddick got him pretty good recently) have been tight two set affairs, if not grueling three setters. So that scoreline came as a surprise.


Von Says:

MMT:

“Can I just say how disappointed I am that no major network is carrying the TMC? Very disappointed.”

And I bet you thought that when you got the wonderful Tennis Channel coupled with FIOS HD, all your viewing problems with regard to the TMC would have been over? Who said life was fair? I needn’t tell you how utterly frustrated I am having to watch live streaming (I shouldn’t knock the live streaming though, because I do get to see the matches live). However, the commercial “oh my aching back” is a testament to my frustration. On Tuesday morning, I thought I was being wise and tried to outsmart the back problem. Took my blanket to my study/office, set up the recliner closer to the monitor, relaxed, feet up with blanket, and all was fine and wonderful, except I suppose 5 minutes later at 3-2 Davydenko, I fell asleep until the middle of the 3rd set. The moral in all of this, there’s just no easy solution, and ya just can’t beat the odds, can ya. :P


Giner Says:

“That would give: Simon (3-0); Fed and Murray (1-2), and Stepanek (1-1).
Simon would qualify, then who else? Stepanek because he has less losses than Fed and Murray???”

They look at sets won, not lost. Since Step has played one match less, he is at a disadvantage. But if Murray did not win any sets in his two losses, then they are tied on sets won, and I’m not sure what the next tie breaker is. Games won probably. In that case, Step won’t win unless Murray is whitewashed (unlikely).


Giner Says:

“If method 3(A,B,C)produce one better player(first place),two players tied foe second place and one player at the bottom,the tie between the two players at second place will be broken by the h-2-h record between the two players.

There are even further methods/procedures to break a tie esp for other abnormal situations but need not be mentioned for our discussion here.

The rules obviously put Stepanek at a disadvantage because the number of matches played is the second most important criterion for finalizing the group standings and he gets to play only two matches.You can now easily rationalize-based on the rules- Murray’s qualification for the sf under the hypothetical situations that some of you have looked at.”

This was probably the reason why that Round Robin format for ATP tournaments was scrapped. It’s just so confusing and unintuitive. I do like the fact that you can progress despite an upset, but a lot of factors are in play that determine who progresses, some of which I find unfair or irrelevant (such as H2H or games won or sets won). I liked the idea of RR, but now I can see why it wouldn’t work.


Kimmi Says:

Grendel, re: murray vs simon, I saw the match and I still think a 6-2 final set was a “drubbing”. Simon can defend and attack all he can but if the outcome is 6-2 set then its definetly one sided. If it was that “close” then why does he keep loosing the important points in this match ? To me it looked like Murray had most of the answers and Simon run out of ideas and eventually the loss.

I don’t know why the bookies still thing Federer has an edge over murray. With outcome from Madrid, the back and stomach problems I would give an edge to Murray…but hey maybe they see something I don’t. Thats gives me hope..comon Fed.


etra Says:

Great tennis in the Djokovic-Davydenko match, with Davydenko’s quiet, self-contained power and speed and Djokovic’s more aggressive skill and stronger serve.

NOT GREAT to listen to Justin Gimelstob’s commentary. The guy has not learned his lesson since recently being chastised for inappropriate talk during matches. I’d really had it when he said Davydenko ‘doesn’t exactly exude charisma’. Why is this relevant? Davydenko is a fine player, his tennis exudes plenty of charisma, and the one thing not at all charismatic is Gimelstob’s point of view.


RG Says:

etra:

At least you have an opportunity to listen to Justin Gimelstob and watch the Masters Cup on TV. For viewers in my area, no TV coverage at all (live or tape delay) :-(


grendel Says:

Well Kimmi, sometimes a player is just thrashed – a case in point is Davydenko today v. del Potro. And that’s what the image of a “drubbing” suggests to me. But in the very strange first set, which was tposy turvy to say the least, Simon was (in my view) playing much the better tennis overall, though you can argue with that of course. After the first couple of games in the 2nd, he just seemed to go away, it was mysterious, because it wasn’t as if Murray suddenly became unplayable. Simon, most uncharacteristically, began spraying errors. In this case, I do think the score line was pretty misleading.


etra Says:

RG: Yeh, no tennis on TV is not good. Especially for us junkies. (When Justin G. talks now, I turn it to mute…)

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