Djokovic, Nadal Survive and Advance in Shanghai
by Staff | October 16th, 2009, 3:58 pm
  • 84 Comments

Top seed Rafael Nadal advanced to the semifinals at the Shanghai Masters 1000 when his opponent, Ivan Ljubicic, retired with a left hip injury just after the pair had split the first two sets. In the semifinals Nadal will battle his friend and countryman Feliciano Lopez who was a 7-6(4), 6-3 winner over Robin Soderling earlier in the day.

Nadal had dropped the first set 6-3 and looked in further trouble when the big-serving Croat held three break points at 0-40 early in the second at 1-1. But Nadal regrouped reeling off four of the next five games and eventually taking the set 6-3.

Following further treatment on his damaged hip, the 30-year-old Ljubicic played just two points in the third before retiring from the match, the eight retirement of the tournament.

“It was tough,” said Nadal. “It was a very difficult match. He was serving very hard and putting a lot of first serves inside. I was lucky after the first set with 0-40, but I played the break points well, so that was very important.”

Rafa owns a 4-1 edge against Lopez including a win in their lone meeting on hardcourts at Madrid last year.

“All the points are going to be very important,” Nadal said of playing Lopez. “I have to be very concentrated with my serve all the time, and later we will see what’s happened. I [will] try to play aggressive when I have the chances on the return and [I] hope, wait a little bit when he has to play a little bit more with second serves.”

“Unfortunately I’m this kind of player,” said Lopez who is appearing in his first ATP semifinal of the year. “I can play very good one week and terrible the next week, but I was convinced that sooner or later it’s going to come, and this week I’m playing really, really good.”

In the first semifinal on Saturday, Novak Djokovic will square off against Nikolay Davydenko.

Djokovic needed three tough sets to eliminate Gilles Simon 6-3, 2-6, 6-2.

“It’s certainly one of the toughest [matches I've played in China in the past two weeks],” said Djokovic. “He’s not an easy opponent at all. His quality proves everything in the last year and a half. Every match we had in the last year and a half was like this. I keep on winning and keep on playing those good shots in important moments, and I think that’s what matters. I think I was quite nervous throughout the whole match, because I knew that I would have to work hard for most of the points.”

The 22-year-old Djokovic is through to his fourth straight tour semifinal, a streak that includes Cincinnati, US Open, Beijing and now Shanghai. Djokovic has won two of three career meetings against Davydenko with both wins coming in Shanghai last year.

“I hope I will repeat the same success I had at Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai last year against him,” said Djokovic. “It’s kind of a deja vu, playing with Simon [in the] semis and him in the finals.[He's had] so many years on the tour, Nikolay, and [is a] very aggressive player and takes the ball very early. So I will have to have good tactics tomorrow and just be ready for aggression from the other side of the net and hope I will have patience and I’ll be wise enough to win.”

Davydenko pocketed his first Masters semifinal of the year following a 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 victory over Radek Stepanek.


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84 Comments for Djokovic, Nadal Survive and Advance in Shanghai

grendel Says:

It is very interesting to read the comments of Nadal and Djokovic about their respective opponents for the semis. Not only are they respectful, as one would hope and expect, but in a certain sense – especially in the case of Nadal – they are almost neutral about who is likely to win. Some ex-player/commentator, I wish I could remember who, once said that a lot of matches are basically over before they start. Both players understand who is going to win, but they go through the motions, nevertheless, and even feel genuine elation, disappointment,anger and so on, as appropriate, in the course of the match. I wonder if there will be any of that tomorrow.


jane Says:

” I wonder if there will be any of that tomorrow.” Do you think Djoko and Nadal will both win? I wonder myself. After all, neither guy looked his best today from what I understand, and meanwhile F-Lo has taken out Soderling in straight sets, and Davydenko is always savvy when something is on the line; clearly, he knows that a win tomorrow will make it much more likely that he’ll get a spot at London, even though he’s intimated in the press recently that this goal doesn’t really matter to him (hmmm…I am not sure I am buying that). It’s not inconceivable to think we might have at least one upset tomorrow anyhow. I hope not. But it’s definitely a possibility.

That said then, I expect for sure to see “elation, disappointment, anger and so on” tomorrow.


grendel Says:

“Do you think Djoko and Nadal will both win?”

Yes.


jane Says:

So which one do you think will win the title?


Kimmi Says:

If the davydenko who played Miami last year turns up, he could win. That davydenko was sharp, consistent and confident…but I am afraid he is long gone.

All in all, even though davydenko manage to lose tomorrow, he will make sure to give Djoko the run for his money. I think it will be a good match.

Lopez is a surprise semi finalist. Can he do the unthinkable and go one more ? Did not see any of his matches but I am wondering how is his backhand ? In a few of Lopez matches that I was fortunate to see, the guy can only slice the it..no more…can he survive the nadal topspin though ?


Kimmi Says:

Typo, s/b “the guy can only slice his BH..”


i love fed Says:

Djok for this win. He looks motivated.


grendel Says:

Honestly jane, I don’t know. A persuasive case can be made for either Djokovic or Nadal. I suppose Djokovic is slight favourite. If I was forced to part with money, it would go on Djokovic.

Lopez played really well against an anxious Soderling. God, Kimmi, you’ve put me on the spot about the bh – all I can remember now, and it was only a few hours ago, are the slices. Wouldn’t swear there was nothing else. His inside out forehands were formidable. Obviously when his serve is on (and so his excellent volley also) he is dangerous to most players. But to Nadal?

Barry Cowan has opined that Davydenko has played the best tennis so far. I haven’t actually seen him, but in any case, Davy’s tennis is not in doubt – it’s his mind at the crucial moments against a top class player. Good night.


Voicemale1 Says:

We should be careful about anointing Nadal & Djokovic right through to the Final. After all, so many of us thought Lopez would have no chance against Soderling – and voila! Since both are lefties, the key to this match could be the effectiveness of the Nadal forehand down the line to the Lopez backhand. The Lopez slice to the Nadal forehand could be effective for him – Nadal’s uber-grip is likely to give up short, weak shots Lopez could hammer. Lopez serves bigger, Nadal moves better, and Nadal has the Spanish Mojo over all his fellow Davis Cuppers. But Nadal had some horrific unforced errors off the forehand against Ljubicic. If those return, he’ll be in for a very long night.

Djokovic could likely have another long match against Davydenko, and if anything would hurt him it ‘d be a couple of long three setters going into the Final should he win. Davydenko can take the ball off the short hop and make Djokovic run pillar to post for pathches long enough that Novak’s air could become a problem. Novak will have to resist going for an outright winner too often since Davydenko likes to camp out on the baseline and redirect with the pace he gets – which is more running Djokovic would have to do. Djokovic’s forehand is a little better, and his serve is a little better. But their backhands are equal – in fact I’d give that shot to Davydenko because his is steadier. I’m thinking this one could be a long drawn out little tussle.

In this tournament Rafael & Novak have looked great when they have, but they also have looked awful when they were. If they do make it, it could come down to which one of them has a less bad day than the other one, since neither of them has looked razor sharp every time they’ve taken the court here.


jane Says:

The odds – at this tournament anyhow – almost suggest someone will retire tomorrow right? LOL. My guess is that Lopez is the least likely to do so, since he’s by far the most rested of the four semi-finalists.


jane Says:

Sheesh, these two are dead even; quite literally 50/50. Obviously I’d love to see Djoko come through but if he does, I suspect he’ll be zonked for the final. A couple of tough ones back to back.


jane Says:

This match is too tense; I wonder if it is as tense or better than the Simon one. Too bad Djoko wasn’t able to use all those break points he created in the last game, as now he’s at deuce.


jane Says:

Make that break point.


jane Says:

Deuce again – come on and hold Djoko! If you’re not watching, i am it, I wish I could write as good of a play-by-play as you do! I get too nervous/mad/excited to write as consistently or calmly.


jane Says:

Phew!! Good hold, but very nerve wracking.


Duro Says:

Jane, I’m shivering!


Duro Says:

Tenth match in twelve days for Nole… It’s obvious…


jane Says:

Two and half hours already; this is turning out to be quite the baseline battle, although Davy came into net a bit more after losing that first set.


jane Says:

Hi Duro – yes, he must be getting tired, but nonetheless it’s good to see him try to fight through it.


jane Says:

Deuce … on Davy’s serve. It would be great if Djoko could get a break right now and serve it out.


jane Says:

Nope. Still dead even. I can’t read the stats because they both have the same initials. LOL.


i am it Says:

j., i’ve been watching. decided not to do commentary cuz you would not believe me any way:)

my hasty assessment: this is a crappy match. dj lacks speed and anticipation, is poor in shot selection, agitated, hesitant, and cannot hit winner. he has failed to run davy from corner to corner and vary shots. everything is going wrong for him. i gave up on this match after watching first few games.


jane Says:

Very tense – 30 all on Novak’s serve and he’s not getting first serves in as often as I’d like.


jane Says:

i am it, I hope you’re kidding. Of course I would believe you. I liked your take on the Simon match, as you pointed out the positives and some of the reports I read focused on the struggle, so it was great to hear your perspective. Anyhow, I agree with you that Djoko hasn’t taken advantage of his opportunities in this third set. And he needs to be more aggressive in his court positioning don’t you think? Step in a little, don’t always be on the defensive.


Duro Says:

Tenth match in twelve days!!!! Now you get it?


jane Says:

I think Davy does want to go to London after all.


i am it Says:

the difference between the two matches: i never had doubt for a second that dj would lose that match to simon. this one, i’ve had doubt from the beginning. i was surprised he won the 1st set. in that set dj faced 3 break points in 2 diff. games and was forced to deuce in a couple, but davy never anything until in that 10th game when he got broken.


jane Says:

Duro – yep I get it! :) That’s a lot of tennis for Djoko or anyone to play. It’s why not that many players are able to win back-to-back Masters Series events, like Indian Wells and Miami, or Canada and Cincinnati. Rafa can do it on clay, but, well, he’s the clay king.

5 All.


i am it Says:

duro, “Tenth match in twelve days!!!! Now you get it?”
that’s no excuse if you want to win the Masters title or aim to become no. 2 and no. 1.


jane Says:

i am it, i wish I could’ve seen the Simon match; not sure if you saw my post, but TSN didn’t play it. They chose to show F-Lo/Sod instead. At least Novak seems to be holding fairly easily in this game


jane Says:

i am it, I agree with you that being tired isn’t a good excuse, but it’s also kind of true, too, that many players have a tough time getting those back-to-back wins. It would definitely be good for Djoko to aim high, though, like you say. If he wants to be up at the top, he’s got to get through and keep winning consistently. Plus he’s been in so many Masters finals this year that it’d be fitting if he could win one of them.


Duro Says:

i am it, no excuses but no strength either…


jane Says:

Third set tiebreak. Well this is a crap shoot.


i am it Says:

one new thing i noticed in dj today: he showed frustrations even when he won points, more than a couple of times.
big picture: his game is developing into countering rafa, murray, and simon-type, but losing the ultra aggression, which could be problematic in the future when he faces fast pace players, maybe even big hitters.


jane Says:

Minibreak to Davy. I think he’s going to win : /


i am it Says:

did you see dj relegating into defense and not trying to hit winner?


i am it Says:

this is a match davydenko should have won in straight sets.
the 1st set win is a face save.


jane Says:

“he showed frustrations even when he won points, more than a couple of times.” Yes – I fully agree with you that he was not focused or positive today, and that’s not good. He needs to be aggressive and positive to win against top guys. He lets his emotions get the better of him sometimes. His serve is still way too inconsistent, imo, too.

5-0 to Davy; the match is over. Why’d I stay up to watch the loss!


i am it Says:

or, you could say in this match dj never figured out when to play defense and when to go for winner, thus either got hammered or caused errors.


jane Says:

Ugh. i am it, I’ll talk to you later. Thanks for the perspective, as always. Duro – better luck to Djok in Paris. I kind of hope he skips Basel.


Duro Says:

It was kind of obvious from the first point. No strength, energy, flat, empty, no passion, attitude… Too tired, too many matches… Less than 24 hours from yesterdays match. It’s ok. Title Beijing, semis here, number 3 again, all in all successful Asian swing. Good buy, people. Jane, I don’t know about Basel, there’s two weeks to rest. He could use these 500 points well if he pulls through. I am it, thanks for your participation and support. See you next opportunity. Jane, head up!


i am it Says:

see Duro, as dj fans, you and i instantly see when he IS THERE and when he is not. that’s the contrast between last match and this one.
and please, don’t bring “too tired” crap. you know why? because Davydenko has played more matches than Dj in the last 3 weeks.

dj will play Basel. he wants to. he should because he has never done well at Paris.


i am it Says:

now suddenly, dj’s loss increases rafa’s chances to win the title.


Duro Says:

i am it, I don’t think it’s a crap. Davy didn’t make it to the very end nowhere and I was talking about constant play every day, ten in twelve days. Nole won Beijing, Davy didn’t. 2 and a half hours match yesterday, less than 24 hours rest and 3 hours match again today… It was so visible he didn’t have enough strength and power. To be clear, I’m pissed too, and I’m not making any excuses, just explaining the facts. This is how it is. Should he win despite all of that? Yes! Did he deserve it today? No! See you.


jane Says:

i am it you’re right that Davy has played a lot in the past 3 weeks, winning in Malaysia. Last week how far did he get? Was it quarters? So he did have a bit more rest between the last event and this one. Still Djoko needs to be able to put in the effort/fight to win.

Also agree with you very much that Rafa should win this title now; he hasn’t had to face any top ten players has he? And now Lopez. So Davy will be the only top 10 guy. I suppose Davy could win it all, as he has the game to trouble Rafa, but I’d still pick Rafa as the fave now.


margot Says:

Sorry jane and other Djoko fans. Must admit I stopped watching after first set, too many unforced errors from both, but mostly from Davy. Thought he was gifting match to Djoko. How wrong can u be?


i am it Says:

it is relevant to keep in perspective that dj had played 23 matches coming into the Madrid semi. I would not say he lost that semi to rafa because he had played too many matches, was physically tired, and mentally drained, would you? plus was he tired when he won the Belgrade title? we don’t mention tiredness w.r.t. those, and we probably would not have had he lost a match like the Madrid semi. we probably would not have brought up tiredness had he scraped through the match today. had dj lost to simon yesterday, i am sure duro would not have attributed the loss to tiredness. maybe we invoke tiredness when he loses a match playing badly, just to cover up a bad loss or maybe we are intent on giving him a quick pass. using that summary excuse, i think, we may be diverting from analyzing the real reasons, say game plan and failed strategies.

————————-
b.t.w. your forecast of another retirement turned out to be true. how lucky rafa. how many complete matches rafa playe? 2.
i wish it was davy retiring instead of F-lopez.


Scottish Says:

I didn’t see the match but I’m sad Djoko lost. I’m also annoyed by another retirement. the players are sending a clear message but is anyone listening?

Also on the point of tiredness, why do some people not was to use that as a reason for a loss? It’s as valid as any other. Tiredness can cause any number of factors, physical and mental. Djoko has definitely played a lot lately and he’s had some tough matches this week. Nadal on the other hand should be fresh and ready to pounce on Davy tomorrow.


Voicemale1 Says:

Davydenko leads Nadal H2H on a hard court 2-1. The only match Nadal won was in Shanghai three years ago and even at that it was a long three setter, 5-7 6-4 6-4. Davydenko crushed Nadal in the Miami Final of 2008, 6-4 6-2, and Nadal quit their Quarterfinal in Paris last year after losing the first set 1-6. Given all that, I’d think it’s Davydenko who is kinda in the Driver’s Seat here. Nadal hasn’t been playing all that well – but he is helped by the fact that Davydenko, now age 28, has had back-to-back 3-setters here, plus winning Malaysia and getting to the Quarters in Beijing. That amount of tennis accumulates in your legs at some point when you’re 28. Davydenko has always done really well timing his ground strokes against the heavy spin Nadal has. If he’s at all fatigued, or becomes fatigued during the match, that timing will be one of the first things to go out the window. What would help Nadal a lot is whether he can get the ball up high to Davydenko’s back hand even though it’s the Russian’s better wing. Davydenjo is 5’10″, not 6’6″. Nadal could go there enough to break that side down. Still, even at best, you’d have to say it’s pick ‘em.

And there’s more than a little irony in that the injury-plagued Nadal is the one who’s still standing tall while 9 guys have given up the ship with injuries in this tournament alone :).

If Nadal wins this he’d be the leader in tournaments won in 2009 with 6 – he’s currently tied with Murray. And maybe someone posted this already here, but if my math is right Nadal still can end this year as #1 with a win here..is that right? Federer has said he’s not playing again until London. So he loses his Basel, Paris and Madrid points by November 2. Nadal will lose his Madrid points from last year, and has on a QF appearance to defend in Paris at 250 – a tournament he said he’s going to play. By winning here and getting at least to the SF in Paris does that put him close again? Could London be a showdown for all the marbles regarding World #1 for 2009?


TomA Says:

The Shanghai website is so bad eh


TomA Says:

Voicemale1:

Did Fed really say he wasn’t going to play Basel and Paris?? Give me some evidence


rafa Says:

If Nadal wins tomorrow he will remain about 600 points behind Federer in this year’s points.

Federer now can’t afford to miss Basel coz 2500 points are up for grabs in Paris & London. Thus 500 points from Basel are very important for Federer now.

Also Nadal will be hoping to add 230 points from Davis Cup (He already got 80 and he can add 150 points by winning both his singles in the final).


Blank Says:

Federer’s website front page still indicates his next tournament is Basel.


TomA Says:

rafa: I beg to differ.
If Nadal wins, he’ll be on 8945 – 450 + 1000 = 9495 pts
And Fed will be on 11,255 – 450 = 10,805 pts

So Fed will be ahead 10,805 – 9495 = 1,310

I think Federer will be safe as #1, even if he doesn’t play Basel or Paris; Nadal isn’t playing very well from what I’ve seen in his past few matches. He’s moving well, but making bad errors and not being aggressive enough.


Voicemale1 Says:

Tom:

Federer did say after the US Open he was resting his back problem and was unlikely to play in any of the upcoming fall events until he felt 100%. He said something to that effect shortly after the US Open somewhere and one of the wire services picked it up.

And your math isn’t quite right regarding his points. If he does stay away until London, he’ll lose his points last year from Madrid, Basel and Paris – all by November 3. Nadal would have to win tomorrow and then win Paris to get within a hairs breath if not outright become #1, I think.

Incidentally, if Nadal wins tomorrow, I think he will be the only man to have won 7 different ATP Masters Series Events (Hamburg 2008 was still a Masters Series when he won it). The only Masters Series events he’ll have not won are Miami (twice a Finalist), Cincinnati and Paris (once a Finalist).


Voicemale1 Says:

But..if he’s panning to play Basel, then he’ll probably play Paris too. So he’s real safe then no matter what happens


jane Says:

Yes I think my crystal ball was working well yesterday – I sensed the likelihood of an upset, and I calculated the odds that there’d be a retirement (though I did think F-Lo would be the least likely to retire).

The title should be Rafa’s imo.

From what I recall Fed is playing Basel and Paris.


Ricky Says:

That Soderling is really a fluke to made the final at Roland Garros. He has been beaten by all sort of players on the tour. I really don’t think that, he would ever makes another Grand Slam final. As for Federer, he is the lottery winner on this year’s tour. He had been playing players like Soderling, Haas or not running into another top 3 players in the Grand Slams. And his Grand Slam victory at Roland Garros is really unimpressive. He would always be consider as the second best player at Roland Garros.


Kimmi Says:

Fed better play basel and Paris. Nadal is closing on him fast.

Congrants to Davydenko. Too bad Djoko lost, this was his opportunity to pull away from Murray. With Djoko loss today, Murray has a chance to fight for his number 3 and maybe you can throw in DelPo too. Interesting times ahead..


Ricky Says:

Fed Allstop will be playing at Basel. Just because he has to defend his title there. He really has has no chance of doing well at the masters this year. Just because most of young tigers will be playing there. Except Roddick. I hope that Tsonga would gets in. So London would be a graveyard for Federer. I hope Roddick would decides to rest and recover from injury. And decide to pull out of the masters, so that he could gets better preparation for next year. So Simon Gillies could gets in as the replacement. And he is Federer’s nightmare. I really don’t think that, Federer could does well in London. With guys like Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, Del Potro being in it. If Tsonga and Simon Gillies could plays there. I would laugh at Federer’s round robin record just how he did in last year at the Masters. All he could managed to beat Roddick in the round-robins.


Ricky Says:

The masters is getting harder every year for Federer. Do you remember that, once there were noone there to challenge Federer. He was like winning every tournaments that he played. But he only won like 4 tournaments this year.


Ricky Says:

Also Fed Allstop likes to lie, but he is not a good liar. Like how he was telling people that he had back problem at the Masters last year. Instead of taking rest to recover. Then he played those exhibition matches with James Blake.


Kimmi Says:

Ricky” “But he only won like 4 tournaments this year”

Yeah, only 4 tourneys. The 4 every player would love to win..some even once in their career.


i love fed Says:

Djok has never won back to back titles and he won last week in Beijing.
Djok has never defended a title and he won Shanghai last year.

Too bad he couldn’t take this MS.


sensationalsafin Says:

I’m sure Fed was lying when he was getting treatment for his back during his match against Murray.

Fed played 2 top 10 players in his FO win. Get your facts straight.

All this talk about Nadal getting number one is really grinding my gears. If he ends this year number one, shouldn’t there be an asterik on it? Surely he was the best player throughout the first 4 months, but shouldn’t you be the best throughout the year in order to end number 1? Plus it’s 1 slam vs 2.


sensationalsafin Says:

DJOKOVIC WASN’T DEFENDING SHANGHAI!!!!


i love fed Says:

I wouldn’t mind Davy to win this.


Dan Martin Says:

Federer by virtue of going 26-2 in slams this year would seem to be the likely #1, but if Nadal wins out and has 5 MS shields, a Masters Cup, points from Davis Cup etc. he will have earned whatever finish he arrives at #2 or #1. I don’t blame Federer for skipping Shanghai or Tokyo. Still, some points somewhere on the calendar at smaller events not named Qatar would have helped. Literlly 1 semifinal on the smaller events is all he is posting before Basel. Maybe he should take a wildcard to a smaller event somewhere if there are any out there.


Kimmi Says:

If davydenko has played the 1st 3 months this year, he would probably qualify easily for YEC. Probably he would be as good as Roddick in points. He has been consistently in YEC for the past 3 or 4 years. He is looking good this year too but If he wins tomorrow he will almost lock his place.


i am it Says:

Kimmi, ATP is updating the race to London after every match. davydenko is now no. 7, ahead of verdasco by 20 pts.
http://www.barclaysatpworldtourfinals.com/en/home/default.asp


Dan Martin Says:

Looking at the schedule Federer should play an event before Basel to cushion his ranking a bit. Since he plays so few smaller events whatever points he earns at an unnamed wildcard event will be going onto his total with none coming off from 2008. Traveling within Europe with 2 babies is much easier than going from Europe to Asia for 2-3 weeks and then back to Europe. I am a Fed guy and think he has had the best year, but also think playing so few smaller events is a mathematical problem for him.


sensationalsafin Says:

Ok, I wanna make an observation about this whole “Fed never had any challengers” crap. When Fed was young, he was pwned by a lot of his contemporaries. Ferrero was 3-3 against Fed heading into 04, Hewitt was 7-2, Agassi was 3-2, Roddick was 1-5, Safin was 1-3, Henman was 5-1, and Nalbandian was 5-1. So besides crappy Roddick and crazy Safin, most of these players dominated Federer. All of the sudden he hits his stride in 04 and he turns around his h2h with all these guys. He was winning records over every single one of them, even if it’s 7-6 against Henman. It all really started at the 03 TMC. So, Ricky, you really wanna argue that Fed had no competition in the Masters? You’re saying he’s gonna get crushed right now because a lot of the young guys own Fed, but all these old guys owned Fed heading into the 03 TMC and look how that turned out. I’m not saying 2010 is suddenly gonna be 04 all over again, but it’s still stupid to say Fed had no competition and that Fed is gonna do terribly at the YEC. For all we know, he might destroy everyone without dropping a set, or he’ll lose all his RR matches 7-6 or 7-5 in the third. What are the chances he’s gonna lose in straight sets to anyone?

But my big point on this is the different directions Fed and Nadal took in their careers. Fed was dominated by everyone then turned it all around, but it looks like Nadal is doing the opposite. He has dominated everyone from the old guys (Fed), to the young guys (Del Potro). But it looks like things are shifting for him, a bit. Murray is catching on and has won a few of their last matches. Del Potro, nuff said. Djokovic pushed him harder than anybody on the clay (would anyone be surprised if Djokovic is the one to give Nadal his annual loss on clay next year?) and beat him on hard courts. Even Federer got a random win over him. Then there’s Cilic and maybe even Tsonga might beat Nadal again. Simon’s gotten him but I doubt that’s gonna become any kind of trend. As Nadal gets older, are we to expect him to suddenly start destroying Del Potro and even Murray?

If anything, as much as I criticize Murray, it’s possible that he’s gonna pull an 03 Fed. Murray used to suck against Djokovic and Nadal, but he’s gained ground on them since. Djokovic has a chance to do the same, seeing as how he’s got losing records against a lot of top players that he could start beating. History doesn’t always repeat itself and doesn’t always follow an anti formula either, I’m just saying it’s an interesting thing to see. Is it really premature to call the end of Fedal? Probably, but not completely unrealistic.


rafa Says:

@ TOMA

I am talking about this year’s ranking points and not overall ATP ranking points. At the end of the year both will become same.

Check this page for current status-

http://www.barclaysatpworldtourfinals.com/en/home/default.asp


Kimmi Says:

I am it, I saw it. I like what they are doing..its great. Thats why I think davydenko win tomorrow will almost lock it for him, he will be >400 points ahead of No.8.

I also would like for Verdasco or Sod to qualify but they need to play well from now on. Verdasco to me seem to be struggling but anyways..whatever happens.


Dan Martin Says:

Sensational – great post very good data and good analysis


jane Says:

“I also would like for Verdasco or Sod to qualify” – Kimmi

I would like for both of these two to qualify, as neither ever has in the past. But it’s unlikely now that Davy has decided to play his best. It’s just that on the “big” stages this year, Sod and Verdasco have made more noise, and that’s why I would’ve liked to see them at the YEC rather than Davy, not that I have anything against Davy. He played awesome at the YEC last year and he’s been a stalwart in the top ten for several years, though he has dropped down once or twice.


Kimmi Says:

Jane: Agree. Verdi and Sod has done well in GS. While davy was poor in GS, he has acuumulated most of his points from small tourneys…I guess that worked out for him…but in the end it all worked out the same.

In order to collect the most points, these guys need to beat top seeds in remaining tourneys. Davy has done well today…others needs to follow suit. Cilic did well last week but unfortunately he is still down the list..so it does not really count.

Its good for those guys who qualify to show that they can hang in there with top players or they will be the whopping guys in YEC.


grendel Says:

I was hoping anyone but Davydenko for London, simply because of a certain robotic streak – remember Haas’s characterisation of him as a “Russian tennis playing machine” – which, nevertheless, was apt to prove irritatingly fragile. So one saw him as a spoiler, not as a potential winner.

I wonder if that’s changed now. In the semi today, he was love forty down at 2-3 (or something similar) in the third set – virtually 3 match points for Djokovic. But he won the next 5 points with aplomb. And he was lethal in the tiebreak.

Maybe his success against Nadal has given him a long term confidence, which can only be enhanced by today’s victory. How much can he have left for tomorrow, though?


sensationalsafin Says:

Hopefully enough. How interesting a career Davy’s had. Best player to never reach a slam final but has 2 MS titles, one of Nadal. Could he get a third MS by beating Nadal once again? Hopefully.


Voicemale1 Says:

sensationalsafin Says:

“All this talk about Nadal getting number one is really grinding my gears. If he ends this year number one, shouldn’t there be an asterik on it?”

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Only if we get to asterisk Federer’s 2009 French Open and Wimbledon titles for the fact he didn’t have to play Nadal in either of them – given that he lost both Finals to Nadal the year before :). So if we asterisk one, we get to asterisk the other.

Aside from that you’re point s well made. No one would ever consider Rafael #1 with Federer owning two Majors this year. Sampras managed to get year end #1 in 1995 only because Agassi went into retreat after losing that year’s US Open to Sampras, allowing Pete to rip through the indoor season and gain just enough points to reach #1. Sampras had 2 Majors then and Agassi only 1, but Andre had won just about everything else that year. Had he played just a few more matches after the US Open the 1995 year end #1 would have been out of reach for Sampras. Had Agassi done it, no one would have thought of him #1 even though the rankings would have reflected it.


sensationalsafin Says:

I disagree that there should be an asterisk just because Federer didn’t play Nadal. I’ll agree to put in on Wimbledon since Nadal didn’t play it at all, but Nadal played and lost at the FO, not Fed’s fault they didn’t play.

It doesn’t matter if people would’ve considered Sampras number 1, if Agassi had ended number 1 then Sampras would never have gotten his 6 year streak. Even if he “theoretically” had it.


Voicemale1 Says:

sensationalsafin Says:

“I disagree that there should be an asterisk just because Federer didn’t play Nadal. I’ll agree to put in on Wimbledon since Nadal didn’t play it at all, but Nadal played and lost at the FO, not Fed’s fault they didn’t play.

It doesn’t matter if people would’ve considered Sampras number 1, if Agassi had ended number 1 then Sampras would never have gotten his 6 year streak. Even if he “theoretically” had it.

——————————————

Then your original point is moot. You’d said if Nadal ascends to #1 we have to asterisk it. Fine. But if we assume Agassi had stayed #1 despite only winning Australia to the Sampras double at Wimbledon & US you can’t say it doesn’t matter when the circumstances are identical. You don’t get to sweep aside all inconveniences on Federer’s behalf just because you love him :)


sensationalsafin Says:

But that’s my point. That’s why I don’t want Nadal to end number 1 because he’ll go down in the records, not who everyone considers number 1 (Federer). The asterisk is the same as the theoretical number 1. Sure people will talk about it, but there won’t be an actual asterisk in the record book where the bottom footnote says “Nadal only won 1 slam to Federer’s 2 but Nadal won enough smallers events”. Especially since once it happens it won’t matter. And 14 years from now, it especially won’t matter. I think there’ll be debate about it if it does happen. But something that’s even mildly controversial sucks.


margot Says:

sensationalsafin @ 17/10 12.53. gr8 post, v. interesting.

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