Davydenko Derails Murray, Meets Djokovic in Shanghai Masters Cup Final
by Sean Randall | November 15th, 2008, 6:03 pm
  • 113 Comments

Raise your hands if you had Novak Djokovic and Nikolay Davydenko in the final of the Tennis Masters Cup at the start of the week. Well, I’m betting not many folks did and of course I’m one of them, but that’s what we are left with for the best-of-three set final on Sunday, a true Shanghai Surprise.

Djokovic today nudged out surprise semifinalist Gilles Simon 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 in a hard-fought affair while a gassed Andy Murray didn’t have it against the steady and stoic Nikolay Davydenko, going down to the Russian 7-5, 6-2.

While the results today weren’t terribly shocking, what is is the final we are left with. What a strange way to end the year, with no Roger Federer, no Rafael Nadal in the final nor one of the many new faces that really burst onto the scene in 2008 and qualified for Masters Cup.

The D&D match will still make for some good tennis, but the shine will certainly be off the final a little bit.

Murray though has nothing to hang his head about. No doubt losing to Nikolay is disappointing, but beating Federer like he did Friday may prove more beneficial down the road than had he lost to Swiss and won today. You could spin it either way which is good for Andy who has now defeated Federer in four of six meetings.

Federer should also be feeling good about the way he literally got up off the mat and nearly stole one from Murray. Fed would be now advised to skip his Asian exo swing, heal-up and start thinking about 2009 because if he thought 2008 was difficult, well 2009 is going to be that much tougher and he’s going to need all the energy he can get.

As for tomorrow, Djokovic always seems to rise up when Roger and Rafa fall and this time it’s no different. And I’m impressed with how he’s handled himself this week which is really an important one in that a strong Shanghai performance keeps him in the No. 1 conversation next year, and he got it with a chance to add to his points tomorrow against Dayvdenko.

Djokovic of course already beat Nikolay during the round-robin. The Serb is also the favorite, the better player and he has far more firepower than the Russian, but I’m going to lean on Nikolay to win this one. And this may sound silly (and feel free to prove me wrong), but I’m picking him because I don’t think a player in the modern era has won the Masters Cup after having lost a set 6-0 leading up to the final. Plus, that 6-0 bagel set Novak lost, that was to Davydenko!

Ah, sweet revenge for the Russian on the ATP which defiled him with all those gambling accusations. Maybe this final is fitting after all…


Also Check Out:
Tsonga, Del Potro Make Shanghai Masters Cup Debut Sunday
Roger Federer Confirms Shanghai Participation
Nadal Withdraws from Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai, Simon Named Replacement
Federer Rebounds, Beats Down Davydenko; Roddick Rolls Gonzo at Tennis Masters Cup
Davydenko Secures Shanghai SF; Federer Must Beat Murray Friday

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113 Comments for Davydenko Derails Murray, Meets Djokovic in Shanghai Masters Cup Final

Dave B Says:

Unfortunately we did not get to see the Murray Davydenko math in the NYC area. We only saw the Djockovic Simon match. After watching the Federer Murray match I thought Murray looked unstoppable. What happened? Just too tuckered out? I was hoping Murray would win the whole works.


Danica Says:

Again a very bad and biased article. Shame.
“Final we are left with” !? As if those two guys are not top five in the world.
“The D&D match will still make for some good tennis, but the shine will certainly be off the final a little bit.” Are you serious? “Will still make for…”? D&D are great players and thank God we don’t have to see Fed in the last stages of a tournament yet again.

Despite not having Fed, Rafa or “one of the many new faces that really burst onto the scene in 2008″ (does any of that guarantee a spectacular match?) we’ll see great performance. Both N&N will fight like lions fot this title.


Dan Scarlett Says:

Fitting indeed. Never thought I’d be seriously rooting for Daydenko, but after the shameless way the ATP treated him, it would be Poetic Justice indeed! His only crime is not to have won a Major– while consistently playing top drawer tennis without being charismatic. Go Davy!


dziggy Says:

nole, is the best player in the world for 2 reasons:
1.because, he is the smartest player and
2.he is a sreb!!!


Danica Says:

Yes, you are right. If he were to play anyone other than my compatriots, I would have rooted for him tomorrow. He has been one of the tops in recent years and yet, somehow, failed to be recognized as such. He has never won a slam but he did win the Masters in Miami this year which many speak of as the “fifth slam”. And yes, he had to endure hell for alleged betting scandals I was sure had nothing to do with him.

I’ll be biting my nails :) and rooting for Nole in a match I am sure will be great. Good luck to Davy in the rest of his career but I hope for Nole’s win.


Danica Says:

My post was a reply to Dan Scarlett.


Dan Scarlett Says:

Hi Danica,
Just for the record, I have no ill feelings toward Nole, and I am sure his maturity will soon catch up with his immense talent. I will not be sad if he wins—just very happy for Davy should he pull it off. In any case, it is nice to have such a civilized, even-handed soul rooting for the other side. :–)


zola Says:

how interesting,

Djoko and Davy share the same initials: ND and ND!

( of course taken from D&D by Sean and N&N by Danica)

I agree that Djoko and Davy are not small change and they both want it badly. Good news is that they are in good shape and I bet there will be great tennis. May the better player win.

The good thing is that I can watch the match and concentrate on tennis rather than being worried. I miss half of the match when Rafa plays.


gretchen Says:

I like this match up. Djokovic has had a somewhat rough second half of the season and I would love to see him end 2008 on a high note. Similarly, Davy has put up with a lot this year and it would be great to see him win a big title. Good luck to both guys.

BTW, I don’t get FSN and trying to catch these matches on TV in the States is a nightmare…any suggestions for internet live streaming?


Giner Says:

Is the final going to be best of five sets? If it is, it could be difficult for Djokovic because he went the distance in the SF and only gets 24 hours to recover. Davy is more of an iron man than Djoko, so perhaps he could handle it, but if it’s best of five, Djoko is going to be at a disadvantage. It’s a big ask for anyone.

Murray believes Davydenko will win for this precise reason. I expected Murray to win the title but Davy must have played great. So I think it will be Davy’s.

“I think Davydenko will win,” said Murray. “Djokovic had a long match today. Davydenko’s probably going to be fresher. I think that should make a big difference.”


hola Says:

I think Davydenko will win,” said Murray.

LOL Murray also thought he would be playing fed twice this week.


Giner Says:

I don’t think he said that.

He said it was a possibility that he would rather avoid.

If he actually thought he’d play Fed twice, then he would have been presuming to make the final. He would not have said that out loud. He was cocky once, but he’s a lot more modest now as he rose up the ranks.


RG Says:

gretchen:

You can watch live streaming tennis at the following website – http://www.justin.tv

Enjoy!


Von Says:

Gretchen:

Try:

http://www.justin.tv/directory/sports

Type tennis in the search box and it will bring yp all the channels broadcasting tennis. Tou’ll need to know the schedule of play.


Von Says:

RG:

I think our thoughts crossed re JustinTV. :P


gretchen Says:

RG & Von:

Thanks for the tip!


Sean Randall Says:

Giner, final is best-of-three.

Danica, biased? How so??

Gretchen, the match starts live in Shanghai in about 2 hours, 15 minutes. So 3am ET. No it’s not on live TV – though if you wish to stay up and watch it live you can do so on masters series tv (link on the left), otherwise you can press your luck with FSN late in the day in between the football games, fly fishing and rodeo.


zola Says:

Sean, Gretchen,

http://channelsurfing.net/watch-shanghai-sports.html

http://channelsurfing.net/watch-online-tv.php?w=live24s

http://channelsurfing.net/watch-star-sports-2-test.html

The first one works best for me. Right now showing the doubles match.

or some reason I thought the final was best of five too! A bit surprised when saw the order of play.

Sean,
I think you ruined Davydenko’s chances of winning the most importat trophy in his career by picking him !. :)


zola Says:

There is a comment-eating bug in this thread! how can a comment just disappear?

Sean, Gretchen,
I thought FSN is showing the match live. If not try these links too. Hopefully this one gets posted:

http://channelsurfing.net/watch-shanghai-sports.html


;o Says:

I think Danica was pretty clear. It seems like you insinuated that simply because Roger, Rafa, or the young guns (which btw, Djokovic, Murray AND Rafa are a part of) are not in the final, the shine and appeal of the match is decreased.

I can see where the criticism is coming from. While im sure Sean you didn’t mean to slight Djokovic or Davydenko on their tennis skills, it came off in a way that these two players seem second-rate to Roger and Rafa.

It’s something I agree with. I haven’t watched a complete Roger/Nadal match in a while because I’ve found them to be deathly boring, even the “epic Wimbledon”. I think what Danica is saying that there are other people like me, who would feel that the “shine” of the final is in no way slighted by the people in the final.


zola Says:

oops, the bug let go of my comment! you have the links then!

Here is to a great final. Go Davy and Go Djoko.

And Nestor/Zimonic just beat the Bryans in the doubles final.


;o Says:

As for Broadcasting in the USA, doubles is live on TTC while the Singles Final is on Tape Delay on FSN/MSG-MSG+ in NYMetro Area.

The Tv Schedule is here:

http://www.masters-cup.com/3/broadcasters/shanghai08.htm


jane Says:

i am happy for Nestor, being a Canuck myself, and Zimonjic too. It’s not fun when a number 1 streak is ended, but the Bryans have had it for 3 years running, so they’ve been at the top of the heap for a long while – and they may get back on top early next year, who knows?

Congrats to the doubles winners.


anel Says:

This time I could only say to Sean:I am so sorry for YOU.It is obvious that You see white as black and I do not even try to tell YOU that white is white.
Von thank You so mach it is nice from You.I enjoy reading Your comments.Today I am so busy so I do not have time to follow every thing but I am very happy.Even if Novak loose I am going to be happy because Davidenko played the best tennis and shame on all people who underestimated him.


NachoF Says:

Sean Randall Says:

“the shine will certainly be off the final”

….indeed.


gulu Says:

Great play by Nole ! However again as I have said in the previous thread , I’m rooting for Davydenko ! I’d love to see Davy and his wife in smiles ! Come on Oh Davy,play the best tennis for your family and win ! You may not get such a chance again !


zola Says:

Seems Djoko is baking a bagel for Davy!


gretchen Says:

zola,

Thanks to you as well for the link!

I thought for sure Nole was going to return the favor and bagel Davy… he’s on fire!


gulu Says:

Danica, if you are not ashamed of thanking God for Fed’s inavailability in the last stage of a tournament,then why should Sean be for this article? If you don’t want Fed in the final stages,it’s your problem ! Don’t be too proud of your own credibility !


gulu Says:

Danica,you must know that we just love Fed as much as you love your favourite guy ! I don’t think you’d complain if Nole wins everything.Similarly you can’t complain about some guy other than Nole winning consistently or going deep into the tournaments !


gulu Says:

I don’t know why the hell some people out here always keep expressing their views without paying any respect to the sentiments of the fans of other players ! And Fed is mostly the target of such people, alas !
:-(


zola Says:

Gretchen,
you are very welcome. :)
Although I can’t watch myself right now. My ATP TV plays up ( and I hereby take back all the complements! don’t pay a dime for it until they fix these bugs!). The streaming is not good either. The best is Shanghai sports and I don’t know a word in Chinese!

Anyway, Djoko is a set and a break ahead. Davydenko has no answers for him tonight.

congrats all Djoko fans. How interesting that both him and Tsonga started and ended the year so well.


gulu Says:

I can say that Nole’s playing deadliest tennis in the final and without any pressure ! This has of course a lot to do with Davy being on the other side of the net !


gulu Says:

Come on Davy, break Nole,this is your last chance ! If you don’t, then we have Nole as the champion !


gulu Says:

Yessss.., Nole’s broken ! :-) Come on Davy,push him to a third set ! Go Davydenko !!!


gulu Says:

Nole breaks again !!! Dear Jane,looks like you will have the last laugh ! :-)


gulu Says:

Danica, despite what I said, I wanna say sorry to you ! Hoping that you’d forgive me,it’s entirely up to you however whether you forgive me or not ! Again Sorry!


gulu Says:

JANE,CONGRATS! NOLE’S 2008 TMC CHAMPION ! Aus Open,Rome Masters,Olympic singles Bronze and finally TMC ! Great year for Nole !


gulu Says:

Jane,can you tell me who’s the girl in Novak Djokovic box ?


gulu Says:

Still a pretty good match ! :-)


gulu Says:

Oh my God,Novak’s won the Pacific Life Open too! Olympic sing bronze,three masters,TMC and finally Aus Open! A brilliant year for Nole,well done man !


gulu Says:

I’m totally confused ! The list for Nole for this year – Aus Open,Pacific Life Open,Rome Masters,Olympic Singles Bronze and finally TMC ! One of the best years one player could have wished for !


Dr. Death Says:

You cannot be serious. Quod erat demonstrandum.


gulu Says:

Wow,a new Mercedes Benz for Nole! What did I get watching it ! I M A FOOL ! :-(


gulu Says:

So sadly for Fed fans like me,2008′s tough to start off with and tough to end :-( ,just the opposite for Nole fans,great start and great end :-) !


gulu Says:

I’m just realizin how complete a year Nole’s had! Got everything now-Olympic singles medal,Masters wins,A Grandslam and also the year end Masters Cup! Not much worse than Rafa at all,almost as magnificent a year as Rafa’s had ! Only Fed’s a bad one :-(


gulu Says:

Dearest Rogi,please return and win a slam and some masters cups next year ! Your loyal fan! :-)


bob22 Says:

Great ending of 2008 tenis seasson! Congrats to all players ad their fans with the hope we will better behaive in future. For Sean who was more then insulting not just to Djoko but also to other players, I hope he can change the attitude.
To Von and other fans, thank you on all yuor contribution on these pages during the long tennis season. See you in 2009!

bob22


gulu Says:

Hey Von,what are you gonna do these days when there’s no tennis ? I’d be bored like hell now! So keep posting whatever you want or I’ll be too lonely ! May the tennis season never end !


gulu Says:

Oh friends,please don’t forget me ! It’s a request to all of you !


gulu Says:

Jane,now that you are happy ,I hope you’d keep sharing your happiness with me through posts till the start of next tennis season ! :-)


gulu Says:

Zola,keep touch with me through your sweet posts! I’d miss you so much ! :-(


gulu Says:

I’m feeling terrible right now ! :-(


bob22 Says:

gulu:
Take my advice, find the indoor tennis court and hit the ball!


gulu Says:

Oh thanks bob 22,at least you have given some suggestion ! May be it’s time for me to seriously consider beating the doubles pair of Leander Paes-Mahesh Bhupati single handedly ! ;-)


gulu Says:

Again I apologise to Danica in case he/she has found my response to be rude !


sensationalsafin Says:

Yes Djokovic!!!!!!!!! Yes!!!!!!! I knew he could do it!!!! WOOT!!!! And everyone counted him out… YES!!!!!!!!!!!!


Bojan Says:

“I’m going to lean on Nikolay to win this one. And this may sound silly (and feel free to prove me wrong), but I’m picking him because I don’t think a player in the modern era has won the Masters Cup after having lost a set 6-0 leading up to the final. Plus, that 6-0 bagel set Novak lost, that was to Davydenko!”

Expect unexpected :)


gulu Says:

Jane,do ya think Nole was playing his best tennis today? At what percentage of his ability do you think Nole was performing today ? Please reply Jane ! I thought his net game was marvellous today,may be it’s time for my Fed to woo JMac a bit ! ;-)


anel Says:

To Sean,
..the shine will certainly be off the final a little bit…..
indeed for YOU because YOURs stars werent there,but for US it was the shiniest one,because it was Serbian star all over the tennis sky.


jane Says:

Yay Novak!! I agree sensational-safin; he’s been predicted the loser more often than the winner on every pre-match report I read, yet he pulled it out in straight sets against an on form Davydenko! Great finish to the year DJOKO!! :-) Good job Nikolay in getting to the finals too.

Shital Green – wherever you are I hope you’re smiling! ;-)

Same to all the other Djoko fans here: Danica, bob22, anel, Bojan, ;o, sar – he did it!

It’s the crack of dawn, so I am waiting a few hours to actually watch the match, but I decided to check the scores anyhow.

Now I am hoping Argentina wins the Davis Cup – for Nalby’s sake!


gulu Says:

Oh Feds,Rods and Fat Daves of tennis, put an end to your slumber and rise to the occasion ! Come on my dear 25+ guys,show me all you got ! I’d be rooting for you to take on these early 20 tennis predators (Rafa,Murray,Novak and others) ! ;-)


anel Says:

Sorry it was the shiniest one,because serbian stars were all over the tennis sky.NOLE AND ZIKI……


jane Says:

gulu, thanks for your messages! I can’t answer you about Nole’s performance until I see the match in tape delay, which is not for a few hours.

But take heart – with some rest I am sure your Swiss master will be back, and probably he’ll at least tie, if not break, a record next year! It’s been a tough year for Roger, after flying through the previous 3 or 4, so he deserves a much-needed break.

I hope Roddick gets that new coach and comes back next year to win a major title or two himself – I’d love to see Andy win another slam.


Daniel Says:

Well, Congrats to Djoko!!! He remind us why he is where he are.

Next year will be even more exciting. Will Djoko or Fed play a smaller tourney before AO now that they are 10 points difference? Djoko may play at least to be seeded n. 2 before AO. I don’t know how Fed will react too, will he still play Kooyong, that gives no ATP points? Will see…


Von Says:

My heartiest of congratulations (I’ll try to list your names in alphabetical order) to:

Anel, Bob 22, Danica, jane, MMT, o;, Sar, RG, Sensationalsafin, et al., on Djoko’s astronomical TMC win. He played a strong tournament and a final match. You should all be proud of him for beginning the year with a bang and ending it with tympanny and cymbal. What better way to start 2009, brimming over with confidence. My only regret is the match was only 2 sets in duration. I wanted to see some more of the brilliant tennis from both players. Sensationalsafin I wasn’t one who counted Djoko out of the running. My wish was for him to redeem his last year’s performance, which he did very admirably indeed.
_____________

To Bob 22, Anel and Danica, a special thank you for your kind thoughts and compliments to me. It’s been fun interacting with you guys and I hope that this isn’t goodbye, but au revoir, because I’m sure there will be more topics to discuss and/or air our views. Assuming this isn’t to be, then enjoy your holidays and I’ll see you all again at the ’09 AO. So long until ……….. :P I hope all of the players return feeling 100 percent.
_______________
Sean Randall:

What can I say about the Fantabulously FSN, pffftt. Would you believe they will be showing the TMC finals tomorow morning at 2:00 am. How very thoghtful! I suppose we have to be thankful for small mercies.


gulu Says:

Ha Ha !!! ;-) Come on tennis lovers, we have gotta be ready for the
2009 ATP Novel- OLD HUNTERS (Fed,Rod,Nalby) and YOUNG PREDATORS(RAFA,MURRAY,NOVAK) !!! ;-)


gulu Says:

I was totally uncertain about the winner of TMC,though I never imagined in the wildest of my dreams that Fed’ll be out before the semi ! For me none was the favourite but Fed,Murray and Djokovic were the contenders ! Finally the suspense has ended today !


gulu Says:

That’s a really nice wish from you Jane! May Rod indeed win one more slam! I’d be as much as or may be even happier than even Von if I see Rod winning another slam! No one has suffered the media’s and former players’ cruelty as much as poor Rod has ! :-(


Giner Says:

Davydenko is an underrated player. He’s been more consistent over the last 4 years than Safin has ever been. I think he is capable of winning a slam on hard as long as he can avoid Federer.


gulu Says:

Gone are those good days when I used to sit back,relax and cheer happily for the Fed v. Rod matches ! I was so happy for both of them then,I am proud of these two even now ! May be I must stop thinking about those nice days or tears would come out !


gulu Says:

Dear Von, I promise you to remain by your side whenever you have to defend Rod ! Don’t know why but today Rod’s coming to my mind and I’m getting too very upset to think about the ill-treatment ! I hope that you’d make me happy sending me your smileys !


gulu Says:

Why’s God playing with my sentiments? !!! What sin I have done? !!! I don’t wanna be so emotional as it hurts me and none can see my tears ! Oh ho !


RG Says:

Von:

Thank you very much for the congratulatory message! I am indeed very happy for Novak. Hopefully, he has his confidence back.

Novak was really impressive in the early part of the year – especially his victories in the Australian Open and Indian Wells. Obviously – AO is one of the Grand Slams, but also bcoz he had to go thru either one of Federer/Nadal to win it all. But, not so at Rome, where he did not have to face one of these two.

In the latter half of the year, he did not fare very well head-to-head versus all the top players – Federer, Nadal, Murray….Tsonga etc..

I hope this changes in 2009 – and he gets back to top form. I also want his to do well in a best of 5 set format at the Grand Slams.

Sorry for the long rant! I am just so happy!


Von Says:

RG:

You’re very welcome! Never mind about the long post — I’m not one for short posts; I’ll never win an award for brevity. You’re entitled to rant and be happy as much as you want, because something wonderful has happened — Djoko won the TMC, which is a huge accomplishment. Remember, there are peaks and valleys in every player’s career and we the fans, should be cognizant of this, because the media will jump on them in a heartbeat with their negativity. Have a drink for me when you’re celebrating (I’m a teetotaler), but remember all things in moderation and keep smiling. :P


RG Says:

Von:

Thanks once again and take care!


gulu Says:

It’s an irony! :-(


gulu Says:

Hey Von,what’s wrong with me? You have not sent me the smileys till now? Have I have hurt you or any friend of yours in anyway? If yes,then sorry and if no,then please keep my request ! I’m expecting something from you only coz you are my friend ! :-(


bob22 Says:

To anel: >Sorry it was the shiniest one,because serbian stars were all over the tennis sky.NOLE AND ZIKI……

Don’t forget on Daniel Nestor who was born in Belgrade by Serbian parents. He moved to Canada when he was 4, where they change his name form Daniel Nestorovic into Daniel Nestor.

Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Nestor


Von Says:

Giner:

How ya doin? And, dare I ask, how’s your buddy? Yes, I agree with you, Davydenko is a very consistent player, but moreso, a very complete player. He doesn’t have much going for him personality-wise, except for his beautifully dimpled cheeks, but he strikes me as a very sincere human being, and is devoid of the airs and graces of a top 10 player. I believe he’ll be one who’ll play well into his thirties.

Give my very best to your buddy will ya. I thought for sure he’d post for the TMC. The following is for him:

“Our senses don’t deceive us: our judgment does.”
Goethe. :P Talk to you later.


Von Says:

gulu:

No you have not hurt me or any of my friends that I can think of. Here are the smileys. :P :D :) :( :o I hopethese are enough to keep you hs=a


Von Says:

Dr. Death:

Dear wise sage: In the words of John McEnroe, “You cannot be serious”. Pray tell about what. Remember: “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” Albert Einstein. To which Johnny Mc replies: “You cannot be serious.” :P


gulu Says:

Thanks dear Von! :-)


JoshDragon Says:

I still can’t believe that Federer didn’t at least make it out of the red group, how many years has it been since that happened?!

I’m going with Djokovic to win the final today.


gulu Says:

Hey Joshdragon dude,what are you talking about? !!!
I think you know ,TMC is already finished.


hola Says:

“I don’t try and find a balance,” Murray said. “I try and beat Federer. Ideally, I’d like to knock him out of the tournament… I’d rather not have to play him twice in one week. …

Giner: This is what he said. He presumed he would get in the final by that statement. Anyhow Murray the psychic who said Davy would win,,,,was wrong.


sar Says:

Congrats Novak….hoped you could do it.
If Novak weren’t in it I would be for Davy all the way.


grendel Says:

When I was discussing Nalbandian’s (repeated) attempts to exploit the grey area when summoning hawkeye (in the middle of a point), I hadn’t appreciated that a “reaction shot” is allowed. Even so, it was always quite clear that Nalbandian had actually continued to play, hedging his bets as it were. But today, there was a more interesting case. Davydenko DID appear to stop after playing his “reaction shot”, but the umpire judged that he only called for hawkeye after he had witnessed how his own shot had gone. The umpire was firm and unambiguous, as he must be – but this doesn’t mean that he was right. This was definitely a “grey situation”. But then, I suppose, so are plenty of line calls.

Yesterday, I commented on Djokovic’s mediocre volleying (as opposed to his groundies, which even yesterday were singing). A good example today of this came in the first set at 15-30, when he was leading 5-1. Davydenko gave a reasonable reply to a superb b-hand approach shot – that is, it wasn’t just a simple put away volley for Djokovic; it was lowish, and at a reasonable pace. Even so, it was begging to be put away for a winner by one of the best tennis players in the world. Instead, it landed over the base line. The backhand drive had been a lovely long fluid shot, more than anyone I know, Djokovic mysteriously appears to place the ball right the other end of the court just where he wants it, almost as if the ball is an extension of his hand, which somehow elongates over the length of the court and gently slots the ball into position. Contrast the volley: not a lot better than hit and hope, really. Result: 15-40, rather than 30 all, and a chance for Davy. Of course, when playing like today, Djokovic’s groundies are so good he can beat anyone. Just imagine how difficult to beat he will be if he manages to sort the volley out.

I thought one shot illustrated nicely why Davydenko is unlikely to win a slam. Serving in the second set at 4-3, 30 all, Djokovic dropped the ball a little short, giving Davydenko the chance to drive down the line for a winner, and earn himself a break point. The ball wasn’t THAT short, so it would have been a great shot, but it was well within Davydenko’s range. Unfortunately, he tightened, and the ball hit the top of the net. Of course, you can’t really draw conclusions from one shot, but even so, it seemed to me symptomatic.


jane Says:

Yes, the ump was wrong (imo) in that case, but the replay showed that Novak’s shot was on the line (barely, but on it). Davy should’ve challenged the first serve in that game, which was in – or the ump should’ve overrule the out call. Again, it was very close though.

Djoko so far (first set) is mixing up his shots well – lobs, drops, slices, drives. So yeah, if he could add a good volley in, it’d be great.


gulu Says:

Hola,I also readily noted Murray’s statement from which you can sense that he took a semi win against Davy for granted(the results are there to be seen) ! ;-) He even audaciously declared- Davy’d win TMC ! So Murray’s not a good fortune-teller ! ;-)


gulu Says:

Murray must stop worrying about too many things and concentrate on tennis coz he’s to establish himself in tennis first and only after he gets the legend status,he can make predictions like the one Borg made about Fed’s chances at French Open 2008 ;-)


jane Says:

Djoko did hit an excellent backhand stab volley at 5-0 in the first set. And he’s done okay at the net at some points here early in the second set (great point for instance at 0-1 in 2nd set, wherein Djoko hit two fairly good volleys) – maybe it’s the drive volley in particular that needs work.

The accuracy on the deep shots has been something special so far. Davy’s serve this match is weak – Djoko’s all over it.


jane Says:

gulu, now I can answer your question. No, I don’t think that was Djoko’s best; he played better to beat Fed and then Tsonga for the AO title. His first set against Rafa in Cincinnati this year was remarkable too. And the matches at Hamburg and Queens – Rafa and Fed, imo, bring out Djoko’s best; he’s forced to raise his level when he plays them, and even if he doesn’t win, he often produces some sublime stuff against them. But in the first today set he was close to his best.

I liked his focus throughout most of the match today too. There was no need to react after he faulted on his first serve at 4-5, 2nd set, better to stay focused and remember that the crowd is just yelling for more tennis, not against him. And he did come back in the next game to refocused himself; I was happy to see him do that.

All in all I think his win here is great in a way because he *wasn’t* at his best, and yet was able to fight his way through to the final and then win it.


gulu Says:

Seems you have really liked it Jane! :-)


gulu Says:

Jane,I also think Nole wasn’t at his best,but his volley may be was better than ever! That’s been the case with Fed as well ! While people keep musing that Fed beat a tired Murray at US Open,I’m certain that Fed too was much below his best
at US Open !


jane Says:

gulu, I agree: i don’t think Fed was at his best, overall, at the USO, and yet he won. Somehow those titles are important because it shows the guys will fight through even when not playing their best.

Anyhow, onward and upward! :-)


gulu Says:

The difference between the former Federer and the recent Federer is that while the former Fed was a born winner, the current Fed’s only a fighter who unfortunately has more chances of losing than winning (and is hugely inferior to the former Fed ) !


gulu Says:

With a heavy heart today I’m forced to admit that this Fed may just never dominate as he used to ! :-( Now this is the bitter truth for a Fed fan! Still I’m hoping for this Fed to do some miracles in the future ! Come on Fed,win ! Your fans are with you !


gulu Says:

I’m sorry friends,but I’d request you not to make any predictions about the Oz Open winner 2009 ! The field’s looking ridiculously competitive with Rafa,Murray,Tsonga(depends on his tempo),Fed, Nole & Rod(he shouldn’t be underestimated,he has the game) !


gulu Says:

Nalby’s a special case for slams ! I don’t think he’s motivating himself for this ! But a determined,focussed,motivated,healthy and in-form Nalby’s going to lose to none in his Grand Slam mission ! He’s second to none in terms of ability ! Don’t ya agree?


gulu Says:

After all who can stop a Nalby on fire? I don’t think anyone really can ! And moreover I’m not impressed with the logic that Nalby beat Fed,Rafa and Novak back-2-back in Madrid and Paris last year coz they were tired !
Nalby beat them coz he was better !


zola Says:

gulu dear,
don’t worry I will be here posting! The off-time should be good to get some work done. I have a pile ( 4 piles!) of paper in front of me right now!
I am not speculating about 2009 right now and definitely not AO. RAfa just pulled out of an exhibition in MAlaga in December too. I really hope he can participate in Doha and Australia. Apparently this is a new injury.

Nalby is amazing to watch on hard courts. I love the way he can create angles and the way he controls the direction and pace of the ball. The DC is theirs to lose.

btw, Djoko is now 10 points behind Fed. Very interesting end to the year and should make a great start for 2009.


zola Says:

grendel
That was a nice short analysis of the match. Thanks.


grendel Says:

Jane

I don’t know whether the umpire was right or wrong. That wasn’t actually my point – and of course, like you, I saw the replay. No, what I was interested in was the “greyness” of this particular area; perhaps it is unavoidable.

Your point about Djokovic doing “lobs, drops, slices, drives” seems a touch defensive. Of course he can do all that, better than most. And of course, like anyone in the top 10, top 100, top 1000, he can volley very well from time to time. It just seems to me that by the exceptional standards which he sets himself, he is weak in this area. That’s my opinion, based on what my eyes tell me. My interpretation, however, may be grievously at fault. One must always accept that possibility.

I am a bit disappointed that you didn’t pick up on the genuine sense of delight I was getting these last two days from his backhand drives in particular, which seem to me unique in the game today. I admit I am rather a late convert.

Why don’t you log onto Tennis Planet? Shital Green has written a celebratory piece, which he dedicates to you in particular.

Well, it’s been nice chatting to you from time to time. I’ve been avoiding something of some importance (to me) for some time now, and it’s getting a bit desparate. So, for the time being anyway, I shan’t be gracing this site. (“Gracing”? surely that can’t be right…….)


WHERE ARE THE OTHERS Says:

Half the posts on this thread are from gulu. It is surprising that an important final has not generated sufficient interest. Sean Randall was right after all. The shine was taken off Djokovic’s victory with no Federer or Nadal or Murray or Roddick.

He will be thanking his stars that he had to beat only Del Potro,Simon and Davydenko to win such a big tournament. He lost to the only dangerous player he played in the entire tournament. Only thing worse will be a final match between Simon and Davydenko.

Murray will look like the real winner to many fans. He deserved to win it after beating dangerous players like Roddick and Federer. Congratulations to Djokovic and his fans and his family anyhow.


grendel Says:

It was only a couple of points, Zola, but it’s kind of you to say so – appreciated.


jane Says:

grendel,

Thanks for your reply, and I will miss your (often gracious, always insightful) posts until you’re back. I hope you get looked after what needs to be.

Wasn’t intending to be defensive – sorry if I came off that way. Djoko’s often lauded for his aggressive power, so I was merely commenting how I noticed the way he’d mixed things up nicely in that first set. I think he’s taken a page from Murray, but also the backhand slice, as I mentioned the other day — he’s found himself on the receiving end of that shot with Roger, Rafa and others, so he’s worked that in too. Nice to see that he’s evolved and evolving is all!

And yeah, challenges are murky stuff. But it’s better than nothing (I think?).

I did check Tennis Planet earlier, but there was nothing there on the final etc. – I’ll go there right away; I miss Shital Green round here! Thanks for the heads up on that too.


Kimmi Says:

“Where is the others”, a win is a win.
But I tend to agree with you. Djokovic victory would have more shine if he would have beaten the fed, nadal or Murray. Unfortunately you can only beat the person in front of you.

Bring on 2009.


zola Says:

grendel,
I hope you take care of whatever needs to be done and “grace” this site again. That was the right word. I always look forward to read your comments.

where is the others,
I have to agree with Kimmi. It is unfortunate that both No 1 and No 2 are injured. Last year Federer won Ferrer, the year before he won Blake. That doesn’t mean the he got lucky. Djoko could play like last year and lose all the three RR matches. Instead he won all but one. I think that’s great that at least No 3 and 4 are still playing and are in great shape and did their best.


Ezorra Says:

To Zola;
I am very proud of you. I think you’re one of the most sincere and determined Nadal’s fans. I also believe that you are very honest in defending Nadal and the rest of other players in the issue of injury. I’m with you in it!

To Jane;
Congratulations on Novak’s win :P The win has confirmed us that he’s still in the same class with Rafa, Roger and Andy. Additionally, I also prefer and adore his attitude at the present, very positive but humble at the same time. With that kind of attitude, I am very sure that he will add more fans next year!

———————————
I would also like to tell all of you the first word that comes in my mind when I watch certain players perform;

Nadal – Unique (sometimes “Tiring @ Demanding”)
Federer – Unique
Djokovic – Sharp
Murray – Nadal + Djokovic
Davydenko – Unpredictable
Roddick – Speed @ Fast
Tsonga – Passion
Del Potro – Nada’…
Simon – Effortless Backhand


jane Says:

Ezorra – thanks; you’re kind! I like your list as well.


Danica Says:

Sean,
I meant that your article was biased since, yet again, you were not kind to players that are not your cup of tea. I am probably very naive for expecting good journalism to be unbiased.

Gulu,
I hope you were kidding? :) Thanks for worrying about my feelings but rest assured that I was in no way offended. There is really no need to appologize – you just reacted the way I probably would.

When I said that I didn’t want to see Fed going deep in a tournament, I meant that I’d rather see some new faces. I can’t wait to see more of Gulbis for ex. It would also be boring in a way having Nole-Murray finals all the time. Despite my liking Nole, I prefer variety.


sar Says:

So what if Novak was in the final with Davy. That doesn’t diminish his trophy. THE BEST 8 in the world were there and Fed/Murray lost. That’s tough sh*t for them.

Had Fed won the trophy some would be saying how great Fed is playing despite pain, yada yada.

Djok played Davy, if it had been murray or fed he would have played them.
End of story

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