Is Novak Djokovic Ready for a ATP Finals Repeat?
by Sean Randall | November 21st, 2009, 10:27 pm
  • 257 Comments

The London ATP Masters Cup World Finals or whatever it’s called these days begins in earnest Sunday morning with two round robin matches. Before I get to them I still have some unfinished business in making an overall tournament selection.

After a few days to digest the groupings and read through the pre-tournament chatter, it’s still a “too close to call” type of event. With such a strong field there just isn’t a clear way to go. That said, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic are the two best guys right now, there’s little doubt about that. And if this were a conventional indoor event that was not in London I would pick Murray to beat Novak in the final. But it isn’t.

The event is in London of course and based on that fact alone I don’t think Murray can live up to the expectations and the pressure to win it in front of his faithful and against such a tough field. My pick then is…Defending champion Novak Djokovic!

I think Novak wins Group B with Nadal finishing second. In Group A, I’ll go with Murray to emerge on top with Federer second. My outside pick is Nikolay Davydenko.

Djokovic’s been the best player the last month and he’s posted wins over Federer in Switzerland, Gael Monfils in Paris and I think he can replicate a similar feat defeating Murray in front of his fans in London.

I also like Novak’s grouping with Davydenko, Robin Soderling and Nadal which are all matches he could get through in straight sets if he maintains the level he’s been at. A big “if” but he should come through with plenty of energy to spare.

As for tomorrow’s Group A matches, I think Murray should get through Juan Martin Del Potro and I like Federer to oust Fernando Verdasco. Both matches should be tight. Murray has beaten DelPo in four of five meetings including two of three this season. But Murray needed three sets in both victories with the Argy getting over on the Scot on the Madrid clay.

As I’ve said before DelPo really does match up well with Murray’s soft-ball tactics, but I think Murray will rise to the occasion here.

Meanwhile, Federer has been somewhat of an unknown quantity of late. He has just one Top 10 win in the last three months and post-US Open, his best win ranking-wise is No. 51 Andreas Seppi. But, given this is Verdasco’s first Finals and Federer’s superb record in England and at this event, the Swiss should have enough to survive.

On Monday in Group B we’ll see Nadal v. Soderling and Djokovic v. Davydenko.


Also Check Out:
Rafael Nadal: This Year I’m Not Having Much Luck Against Novak Djokovic [Video]
Novak Djokovic: My Shoulder Is Fine, I’m Recovered And Ready To Compete
Rafael Nadal Interview: “I Didn’t Play As Well As I Did Two Days Ago”
Rafael Nadal: “I Was Crying in the Locker Room” After Australian Open Loss [Video]
Novak Djokovic: I’ve Done Well In The Slams, But I Should Be Better At The Other Events

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get Tennis-X news FREE in your inbox every day

257 Comments for Is Novak Djokovic Ready for a ATP Finals Repeat?

David Says:

Really wishful thinking that Novak could beat both Fed and Murray. What’s his record over the last year or so against those two players? That’s not a good match-up for him because they both handle power and flat-hitting better than any two other players on Tour.


jane Says:

Oh Sean – why’d you pick Djoko!? Clearly you want to jinx him. LOL.

David “What’s his record over the last year or so against those two players?”

Djoko’s 3-2 vs. Fed this year, and 0-1 vs. Murray this year. He also lost 2 to Murray on outdoor hard last summer. They may be a slightly more even form now than they were early this year, when Djoko was still struggling with fitness etc. He seemed to hit his stride on clay this year. But still Djoko was outplayed by Murray quite soundly in Miami and it would be intriguing to see how the two would match up now. I’d love to see a Djoko – Murray final myself, for selfish reasons…


David Says:

Realistically, Djoko’s best chance is if either Murray or Fed fail to qualify for the semis. With both of them there, that’s probably too much of a hurdle. Of course, there’s also the possibility of Soderling helping him out by beating one or the other. I just can’t see Rafa getting to the semis to take out Federer for him or Davydenko getting back to the final. Who knows though? It’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out.


Kimmi Says:

Great Sean, If I was doing prediction, I would probably pick the same winner.

If Federer and Murray qualify for group A
Nadal and Djoko qualify for group B

I think it will difficult to predict the semi winners, but here is what I have

If nadal Vs federer – in this match up – No idea who will win
If Novak Vs Murray – Murray has won last 3 times, maybe he will have the edge.
If Nadal vs Murray – Nadal loves this match-up. Nadal winner
If Novak vs Federer – Toss up but Novak has the edge

I like to be proved wrong..bring it on..bring it on.


O-Kerr Says:

Federer cannot beat Murray, Nadal, and Djokovic, or Del Potro. Not anymore. In his group, he may beat 50% Del Potro. Realistically, the only way Federer can win the semi or final is if he happens to find Davydenko, Soderling, or Verdasco there. That said, he might still go 0-3. His loss to Benneteau should give Verdasco belief that he can do it.


jane Says:

Kimmi “but here is what I have” – do you do that bracket challenge thing? How are you making out, if so?

P.S. I agree with sar on the other thread; I like JMDP, he seems like a good person, reminds me a little of Nadal personality-wise.


Kimmi Says:

jane, “here is what I have”.. in my head. I have never played the bracket challenge. But tennistv have something new called “predictor” when the matches play. You can predict who will win a game, set and match…for a game you can predict if they win by 0, 15,30 or duece..You can see your results (points) as the match progress. If yout right you win points and if you get wrong you lose points. I have played several times especially during Paris but was awful. Too difficult to play and if I lose too much I give up.


David Says:

O-Kerr

I assume you’re trying to be a comedian.


johhny Says:

“And if this were a conventional indoor event that was not in London I would pick Murray to beat Novak in the final”

when in form, novak plays better, more agressive tennis than murray and there is no way murray would win in the mentioned scenario! he would probably finish like rafa in paris.


Kimmi Says:

johhny, Murray does not play like rafa. thats why people like JMDP finds it difficult to beat Murray easily. Until I see Novak does what you say to Murray then I will believe it.


johhny Says:

Kimi, you watched what Cilic did to Murray and you watched what Nole did to Cilic?


Kimmi Says:

Murray has won the last three tome he play Novak last year Toronto, Cinci and this year Miami. Again, until I see Novak does what you say to Murray then I will believe it.


Kimmi Says:

tome s/b times


johhny Says:

he won over out of form novak (racket change, mental lapse after madrid match, etc …), story is different now.


Kimmi Says:

Johhny, if you start to bring excuses then I can bring my excuses. Murray has a wrist injury at the US Open..the first set of the match with Cilic was very close then it went away from him.

So you see, we should not bring excuses, just lets wait for their match then we can talk. I am not saying you are wrong and I am right but for now we will have to agree to disagree.


johhny Says:

i’m not bringing excuses, i just say the way it was. now you have novak physically improved, fully adjusted to his new racket. not excuses, just facts.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Murray and Djokovic didn’t play after Madrid…

The 2 matches in Cincy and Toronto last year were really close with 3 of the 4 sets going into tiebreakers. That’s how Murray-Djokovic matches should be. Really close. And there’s no need to make excuses for the winner or loser because their matches SHOULD go back and forth. I will probably root for Djokovic more often than not but I really want a great rivalry between these guys so I would hate to see either one run away with the h2h. As for their match in Miami this year. Djokovic showed that he can push and beat Murray. However, the difference in that match was confidence. Racquets, wrists, and all that stuff don’t matter. It was a matter of confidence. That’s why I think Djokovic will beat Murray if they play because Djokovic has a lot of confidence right now.

Since when does Nadal love his match up against Murray? Murray’s pushed him on clay this year and they’re 2-2 on hard courts since Wimbledon (3-2 Murray if you count the exo before the AO). Hell, if not for that wind during the IW final, who knows what could have happened? This isn’t an excuse because Nadal thoroughly deserved that win. He showed his maturity and experience in dealing with the wind a lot better than Murray. But that was hardly a good example of what to expect when the 2 play.


Kimmi Says:

DD: re Murray Vs Djokovic, well said.

OK I was wrong when I said Nadal loves Murray match-up but I feel he has a better chance than beating Novak on HC maybe. And that IW match was awful for Murray but I think their matches will be very close too and maybe give an edge to nadal a little..because Murray style of play allows nadal to use his FH a lot where he becomes very dangerous.


Kimmi Says:

“That’s why I think Djokovic will beat Murray if they play because Djokovic has a lot of confidence right now.”

OK, I said “well said” above, but i don’t agree with this statement. Its all speculations until they actually play together then we will see what happens. Every match will be different and a lot of factors will take place..Murray could have the confidence too who knows.


johhny Says:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/tennis/article6926823.ece

this article reveals certain things nole has been going through in 2009 …


devastatingdjokovic Says:

That’s true, Kimmi. I just mean that in Miami, Djokovic didn’t believe in himself or his game. If they play now, even if Murray is still on top, Djokovic at least has confidence in his game now and won’t tighten up when he’s about to win a set.

And as of right now, I’d say Djokovic is a tougher match up for Nadal overall. Even on grass, Djokovic has pushed Nadal a lot harder than Murray has. Clay is a given. So Nadal might like the Murray match up more but he also hasn’t played Murray nearly as much as he’s played Djokovic. Have any 2 players met so many times in just a few short years as Djokovic and Nadal have? They play like 8 times a year.


Kimmi Says:

“Even on grass, Djokovic has pushed Nadal a lot harder than Murray has”

When in grass did Djoko push Nadal ? I know was not wimbledon, maybe you mean queens ? Yes I remember their match was close there. But at wimbledon I don’t remember Djoko playing Nadal close, their match in 07 had Djoko retired. I would not go that far and say Djoko is better that Nadal on grass. They have not play enough to know for sure. And Nadal has shown a very good record on grass compared to HC where Novak has dominated nadal this year.


jane Says:

Totally true DD: Nadal and Djoko have played a lot, and many times on clay, kind of like Fed and Nadal. Like you I hope Djoko and Murray have a good rivalry in the future.

johhny – thanks for the link. I love the picture that accompanies the article. It’s a good one! It’s nice to read that Djoko is feeling comfortable in his own skin again too; I think the last year has been one of growing pains for him to a degree, and I am not talking about his tennis. He’s been through some turmoil off court, being involved in the launching of his family’s Serbian tournament. Definitely a stressful time for him, the last year or so, with lots going on off and on and around the court, and not all of it necessarily good. He seems to have come out the other end of the tunnel right now, which is nice to see for his sake! I hope he can continue in this manner next season.


jane Says:

Kimmi,

Even when Djoko could barely move in his semi vs. Nadal at Wimbledon, he won a set. I was quite shocked. But because of infected blisters he had to quit. That, to my mind, was one of his more legit retirements as if you can’t move/run you can’t play. And because of the rain delays that year, he, Nadal and others on that side of the draw had played several days straight. And then yes, the Queens match was super close – super tennis!

But DD didn’t say Djoko is better than Nadal on grass. He is definitely not! Nadal is better until proven otherwise. As of now, in my opinion, Roddick and Nadal are second behind Fed on grass.


Kimmi Says:

OK..you did not say Novak was better than nadal on grass, rather pushed Nadal better than Murray…they both had very little play with Nadal on grass, Since Murray breakthru he has not really played nadal, 2008 wimbledon saw murray just starting to take his strides. I need to see them play again to know for sure.


jane Says:

Actually Roddick may have a few tricks up his sleeve still, and I hope for his sake one day he can win one more slam. Especially, I’d like to see him win Wimbledon.


jane Says:

I think Murray has the game to be great on grass in particular. I don’t know why I think that; I just do. Maybe watching him play Santoro, or that match with Gasquet; it just seemed to me the right surface for his variety.


Kimmi Says:

Roddick needs 09 wimbledon play back. That kind of serving and aggressive play would drive everybody crazy. He just could not find it again after that..US Open was just not his week.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Murray is pretty insane on grass. I think he needs a little bit of luck to snag that first Wimbledon but after that he can start winning there at will. I totally agree that neither has played Nadal enough on grass, I’m just referring to thus far. At this point, Djokovic has had more success against Nadal than Murray has. Honestly, considering Djokovic took that set before retiring and seeing as how his attacking game hurts Nadal, I felt that he was the favorite in their Queens match up. And had it not been for his mental frailty he may have won that match. Nadal was willing to dig deeper, however. Imagine if Djokovic had won that match. Things could be very different today.


Kimmi Says:

Roddick needs 09 wimbledon play back s/b ….wimbledon form back


madmax Says:

Can anyone explain this quote from murray to me? because I just dont get what he is trying to say?

Murray, having only just returned to competition after a six-week break with an injury to his left wrist, said he would not go into the tournament with high expectations. “I’m not putting too much pressure on myself,” he said. “I’m not expecting to go out there and play great, though I might go out and do well because of that.

d’uh?


margot Says:

madmax: perhaps he’s trying to defuse media mania?


madmax Says:

It was either SAR or VOICEMALE1 who asked if I had the link to the practise session with roger and rafa yesterday at the O2 – here it is:

ballhype.com/story/video-roger-federer-vs-rafael-nadal-practice-session/ -

if you get a problem with this link, just google youtube – roger rafa practice session O2


madmax Says:

Margot,

you are probably right – they are all good at doing that arent they?!

Guys,

Also after the practise session link above, there are some cracking photos of the top eight all in grey suits – looking very smart and professional -go check that out as well!


djokovicdavydenkofinalagain Says:

Don’t fool yourself. Nadal is gone. Probably forever. Another loss to Robin Soderling would be final nail in his coffin. Federer is getting old, as is Davydenko, so those two may not be quite what they once were either but, unlike Nadal, they can take on top players.
Nadal’s results since beginning of FO:

Federer: No meetings, 1 practice set. 6-3 FED

Djokovic: 2 meetings:
Cinci: DJO 6-2 6-4
Paris: DJO 6-2 6-3

Murray: No meetings

Del Potro: 2 meetings:
Canada: DPO 7-6 6-2
USO: DPO 6-2 6-2 6-2

Davydenko: 1 meeting
Shanghai: DAV 7-6 6-3

Verdasco: No meetings

Soderling: 1 meeting
French Open: SOD 6-2 6-7 6-4 7-6


David Says:

devastating

I definitely agree about that Queens match. People always assume Nadal is the second or even best grass court player in the world, but from what I saw in the beginning of that match against Djokovic was the same matchup problems that plague him on hard court. I don’t see it as a given at all that Nadal will make semis or finals of Wimbledon next year because I think there are many who can take him out.

You lost me with your comment that he “can start winning Wimbledons at will” Is there something you see in Murray that makes you think he’s Sampras/Federer material? I don’t think anyone else sees that.


Kimmi Says:

sar and jane, are you following doubles ?

Ok big upset to start with in doubles; Mariusz Fyrstenberg/Marcin Matkowsi beats Daniel Nestor/Nenad Zimonjic in easy straight sets 6 4, 6 4.

C’mon nestor/Zimonjic, this is not a very good start. Now they have to win their next two matches to give themselves a chance of qualifying…what a start.


Kimmi Says:

Great points by Murray. He gets the first break.


Kimmi Says:

DelPo calls a trainer after the 3rd game of the match. Looks like a nose bleed.


Kimmi Says:

OK, Murray another break..this set looks like its over.


Maso Says:

DelPo gets one break back. Don’t know if he thinks he can still take this set but hey, it could get interesting!


Sunshine Says:

Hi Guys,Maso and Kimmi,thanks for the details,i thought there would be more action here today…all of the buildup and anticipation…and argueing on who would win!LOL;)


Maso Says:

You welcome, Sunshine! And Murray takes the 1st set 6-3. Hopefully the 2nd set will be a bit more consistent on Delpo’s side. And shouldn’t Federer have played first, technically? The top seeds started the doubles, tomorrow Nadal’s playing first in his group… I guess Murray being British has got something to do with it. But in any case, let’s see some good tennis!


Kimmi Says:

Yes, Murray gets the set. Overall he was the better player in this set..but second set looks to be competative ..delpo is finding his game now.


Kimmi Says:

Sunshine, I am surprised to its quiet here. Anyway, the match is shaping up to be a good one.


Sunshine Says:

I’m so glad to hear DP is in the match….I would personally like for him to win this because few think he will.


Kimmi Says:

0-40 Murray here…c’moon


Kimmi Says:

First break for DelPo in second set.


Kimmi Says:

WOW DelPo on the roll here…big serving too. We have a match.


Sunshine Says:

Go DP!hehe make this a dogfight!3 sets!LOL I want a war!=P hehe Its only the first match and listen to me;)


scineram Says:

Again, what makes Murray so good right now?


Kimmi Says:

OMG those FH from DelPo, reminds me of US open


O-Kerr Says:

Murray is a better player? my arse.
He is a better defender, a brilliant one. Can you show me a Murray’s shot that he initiated from behind the baseline? A ten-year lad can hit from inside the court.


Sean Randall Says:

Delpo’s won six of the last seven games since Murray tried that horrible drop shot at 5-0. That gave the big guy life and look what’s happened.


Kimmi Says:

Murray hold eventually 3-1 DelPo


Kimmi Says:

Big return on breakpoint and Murray breaks back…hellooooo !


Sunshine Says:

If DP brings that USO forehand…lights out Murray:)Can DP keep it up is the question…Is Murray choking in front of the home crowd?Or has DP elevated his game?


Sean Randall Says:

O-Kerr, if both players “max out”, DelPo wins. The bet here (or for Murray) is that DelPo will eventually self destruct, get injured, just be overwhelmed or all three.

To Murray’s credit he gets a lot of people to self destruct.


Sunshine Says:

You’re right Sean,they get so annoyed at the guy,concentration goes off and bye-bye match;)hehe


Kimmi Says:

DelPo break again…aaaaarg


O-Kerr Says:

Hello back to Mr. Defence.
I am not too keen on who wins.


Kimmi Says:

O-Kerr..you are waiting for Nadal ?


O-Kerr Says:

No, in last 2 games or so, that was Del Potro’s hello back to you and Murray,


Kimmi Says:

Don’t give DelPo a chance to hit a CROSS COURT FH..OMG..US Open Vs Federer all over.


O-Kerr Says:

What a shot to close the set!


Sunshine Says:

GO DP!He has to have the biggest FH in tennis right now.I get flashbacks of the us open too Kimmi.Roger couldnt do anything with that FH.


Kimmi Says:

Murray two bad errors here…C’mon wake up


Gordo Says:

This is what Murray gets with his attitude and that bizarre quote about playing Federer.


Kimmi Says:

Important game to hold there for Murray..very important.


Kimmi Says:

YES, Murray gets a break….C’moon HOLD now.


Kimmi Says:

he he Murray on the roll here..


Kimmi Says:

DelPo gets the game 3-1 murray

Now murray needs to hold here


Kimmi Says:

YES, Murray serving better in this set and leading 4-1 now


Kimmi Says:

Murray very lucky on that game..was close..in any case he wins the game.. 5-3


Kimmi Says:

oh no..consecutive double faults give Murray 2 match points


Kimmi Says:

Murray game set match 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 Congrats Murray

And I felt he played aggressive today..needs to keep that up.


Kimo Says:

Tough luck for Delpo, he lost a little too many easy points in that deciding set, but it looks like he got most of his form back.

The court looks awesome. It’s nice to see the YEC in a country that knows its tennis.


jane Says:

Congrats to Andy M.

Bummer for Nestor/Zims.


jane Says:

margot~! Congrats. I missed the match as I was sleeping – but did Murray play more aggressively today? I read two reports and it sounds like JMDP was hitting peaks and valleys in the match, but Murray was more consistent? If so that’s a good sign for Andy imo. He is very patient. Sometimes too much so, but it sounds like he knew when to go for it today! Home crowd must be thrilled!


margot Says:

jane, kimmi, colin: phew!! can breathe at last!! Can sit back and ejoy rest of matches today and tomorrow.
kimmi: thanks for that about Wilander tipping Tsonga last year, looks as if it was kiss of death. Let’s see Andy prove him wrong with these new predictions. These ex champs certainly like to shove their oar in, don’t they? BTW Always get confused between Wilander and Wallender, ace Swedish detective!


margot Says:

jane: hi there! Yes, Andy was more consistent and kept his head, also think at times he did play aggressively! Am so pleased, he’s coming off a long lay off and injury, not counting chickens but …good!


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Damnit. Seems like it was a pretty good match but Del Potro is still working out his rust. Good to see him giving it his all, though, and not packing it in like a lot of people thought he would.

Well, so far so good for my predictions.

David asked a couple of posts ago if I see something in Murray of the Fed/Sampras material. Yes I do and I’m not the only one. Murray has quite the hands at net so once he figures out the game and figures out how to get over the nerves to win that first Wimbledon, he’ll win many more.


Kimmi Says:

DD..thank..at last a nice complement for murray from you. Lets hope he does well in the future.

Margot; Yes, andy was good I thought too. Lets hope he keeps that up.

jane, you missed a good match, but there is still plenty more to come, so enjoy, here is the summary I made for you.

Delpo started poorly in the 1st set, was very tentative I thought and also had a nose bleed, so he had to call a trainer…but at the end of the set (5-0 murray) he started to find his US Open form I though, he went on to win 3 straight games hitting Big flat FH and BH, was really pumped up. But I am glad murray kept his composure coz delpo looked like he was coming back in that set..murray big serves when serving for the set helped him.

Second set was delPo US Open all over..and Murray dipped a little I thought (doesn’t he do that too often now ? aaarg) His 1st serve % went down to 50s. Impressed with delpo aggression behind the baseline, Murray was broken early, he manage to get his break back but delPo breaks again and it was the end of the set.

Third set first game was crucial for murray I thought. he made few errors and was looking in danger but manage to serve himself out of it. After that it was all murray. Aggression , coupled with DelPo errors saw Murray leading 3-0. Delpo manage to hold couple of his own service game, tried to break back but murray serve was too good at important moments. DelPo was serving over 70% in this set but Murray returning was excellent, there was a time commentator said delpo only won one point on his second serve. Last game was awful for delPo..he looked like he lost a bit of confidence..Consecutive double faults gave Murray 2 match point, deplo save one with big serve and big FH but in the second match point both players played an excellent rally in which murray finished with the winner.


jane Says:

Kimmi -thanks! I appreciate your summary. Sounds like the match was a combination of factors, as usual, but as you and margot pointed out, Murray was using aggression when he needed to. Good for him!

DD – Yes, it’s those hands. He can be so good at net, but he also has that “flick of the wrist” thing going on, where he can direct a shot at the last minute. On grass this touch has always paid off – look at J-Mac too. I think Murray will win Wimbledon for sure one day.


sar Says:

Just watched the N&Z match on tape. Argggh. I hope this is their only loss.


Kimmi Says:

sar, I watched the last couple of games and the lower seeded player was all over nestor serve. The commentators said the top seeds were looking all sorts, not playing like number 1 at all. But i should give credit to the winner, they were aggressive, great serving too..they played like they needed it more.

Now nestor/Zim needs to win their next match to have a chance. Hope they do just that, if they don’t qualify Bryans could take No. 1.


Bjorn Borg Says:

Murray cares less to win a major than to beat those who have won majors. He did that today one more time. He is the champion of all champions. “It’s not always just about winning tournaments all the time, sometimes it’s nice to beat the big players in epic matches and unfortunately sometimes that takes it out of you a little bit. winning against Federer is one of the best wins of the year for me. I’d do the same thing again. I’ve got a better record against all the top players this year……”
Federer will be protecting his No. 1 ranking. Nadal has a slim chance of taking the top spot if he wins the event and the Swiss star has a poor performance. “I’m aware of it. I’d be lying if I say I’m just here to play well,” Federer said. “Definitely, I’m here to win the tournament and try to stay No. 1 in the world.”
“If I play my best tennis, and he (Djokovic) plays like he did (in Paris), it’s going to be almost impossible” to beat him, Nadal said.
http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/sports/nadal-105332-atp-perfect.html


devastatingdjokovic Says:

You know, this is how you know Murray will never win a slam. You know who else thinks it’s important to win epic matches against top players? Rafael Nadal. You know what the difference between Nadal and Murray is, though? Nadal is gonna win epics over everyone and anyone. Not just the top guys. Oh and you know what else? He also is gonna go on to win the title, if he can. Nadal gives it his all in every match, before and after any epics. Murray clearly doesn’t have that resolve. He’s gonna go slamless.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

At the same time, the YEC is like the ideal tournament for Murray. Best of 3, all the top guys, plenty of possible epics, what more could Murray want? Yet he faltered last year because he sucks.


Kimmi Says:

Commentators said Roddick is flying to London tomorrow- apparently he is obligated to do promotion activities for couple of days, hmm interesting.
Maybe he should stay behind and enjoy the matches too…


madmax Says:

Hi lovely people!

Just watched the Bhupati and Knowles doubles match and gotta say – it was absolutely amazing, much better than Nestor’s match this lunchtime – Mark knowles just showed everyone a masterclass in doubles tennis – pure class – brilliant!


Kimmi Says:

Double match is finished, federer/ verdasco coming up just over 15 minutes.


madmax Says:

I am it! Been there! Kimmi! Huh! and all federer fans out there – I really hope that Fed brings his A game – ‘cos the atmosphere in the O2 arena is absolutely electric right now after the bhupathi and knowles match! C’moon Roger! go for straight sets! The fed is on in about 10 minutes – I feel sick!


Colin Says:

No, DevastatingD, old buddy, it’s YOU that sucks!


Andrew Miller Says:

Mr. Randall: any thoughts on the height/strength of the London group, and the ATP top 10 players in general, whether that represents a true shift in tennis?

Would someone like Michael Chang make it into the world’s elite group in this day and age?

By my account, only Davydenko, the “Rochus” of the top 10, is representative of the idea that “anyone who works hard enough can be top 10.” The top 10 to me proves Andre Agassi’s hunch that the game would evolve to include players that are bigger and stronger.

1 Federer, Roger (SUI) 10,150 0 18
2 Nadal, Rafael (ESP) 9,205 0 18
3 Djokovic, Novak (SRB) 7,910 0 22
4 Murray, Andy (GBR) 6,630 0 18
5 Del Potro, Juan Martin (ARG) 5,985 0 21
6 Roddick, Andy (USA) 4,410 0 20
7 Davydenko, Nikolay (RUS) 3,630 0 25
8 Verdasco, Fernando (ESP) 3,300 0 23
9 Soderling, Robin (SWE) 3,010 1 26
10 Tsonga, Jo-Wilfried (FRA) 2,875 -1 25


Andrew Miller Says:

p.s.: Andy Murray is the indoor champ, the Nalbandian of his generation. It remains to be seen if he is anything more…


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Wow. The arena. Wow. It looks. Incredible. Wow.


madmax Says:

c’moon federer!


Kimmi Says:

madmax, yes lets hope fed brings is A+ game. this match is very important to win and verdasco can be dangerous …go fed.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Andrew what are the 0s?

Murray the indoor champ? The Nalbandian? Not quite. Nalbandian was very sporadic. Murray has been consistent all year. Plus, he’s won plenty of outdoor events, including the Queens title which is on grass. Murray might be bad but saying he’s another Nalbandian is just mean :P

Colin, very insightful argument. I’ll be sure to come up with a good counter.


madmax Says:

Okay – federer on in about 2 minutes – so it’s about time the World No. 1 shows everybody that he is out there to win in the first stage of the round robin – I always feel a bit edgy as I know first rounds can be the difficult ones – so bring it on!


devastatingdjokovic Says:

So I’m watching a live stream online and I’m curious if anyone knows who the commentators are. They both have British? accents and I think they’re awesome so I’d like to know who they are. Anyone care to help me out?


jane Says:

DD – you’re rather bold in your predictions! I don’t think Murray will “go slamless”; I think he’ll win Wimbledon and a hard court slam. He’s young enough that his priorities (e.g. win epics vs. win events) will shift. He’s hungry too. I think he’ll get it together.

madmax – Don’t feel “sick”! I am sure Federer will beat Verdasco. I know Verdasco has a lot of talent, but he doesn’t have near the experience or mental focus that Roger does. I predict a straight setter. : )


Kimmi Says:

Apparently next match in group A will be winner of fed/verdasco plays Murray on Tuesday. getting very interesting by the minute. Go federer


Kimmi Says:

DD – LOL, What is wrong with you..you give murray credit then next minute you bash him…give him a break for a minute..OK ?


devastatingdjokovic Says:

This brings me back to their match in Kooyong. Federer won in a third set tiebreaker. I knew Verdasco would go on to have a good year and do some great things after that loss. But unless Federer plays like it’s just a tourny, I don’t see the same happening.

Jane, it is what it is. Until Murray proves me wrong, I will stand by my prediction and say that he will never win a slam.


jane Says:

DD: If we’re watching the same feed, one of the announcers is Robbie Koenig, but I am not sure about the other one. I know him, but can’t think of his name at the moment. And yes – a great venue!

margot, madmax you’re lucky you get to go there!


Andrew Miller Says:

My favorite aspect of Andy Murray and Andy Roddick: both state, up front and clearly, that their goals are to win grand slam tournaments. They know it is like climbing the tallest mountain, but they admit that it is clearly their goal.

I think it will happen for Andy Murray. I think it may happen for Andy Roddick. One of them needs to win the first two sets of their next grand slam final (Roddick), the other needs to dictate play more in grand slam play (Murray).


Kimmi Says:

federer gets broken, does not win a point..bummer..what a start!


O-Kerr Says:

According to comedian David, if Mr. Federer loses it’d be because he thinks WTF is another rinky dink event. If he wins, it’d be because he thinks WTF is at the Grand Slam level. If he loses he already has won 4, so he does not want another WTF or Basel.
And, oh, it is wishful to think Novak could beat both Fed and Murray. Looks like WTF is really a rinky dink Mr. Federer did not care to hold in the 1st game.


madmax Says:

I’m feeling edgy people, I’m feeling edgy – i hate these early rounds!


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Djokovic will wipe the floor with Federer and/or Murray.


madmax Says:

O-kerr are you a fan or not? may be you should go on stage and be the comedian – I dont know where you are coming from.

Federer is federer. early days, but fedfans know what he can be like -


Kimmi Says:

fereder 0-2 down..what the hell !


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Jane, can you send me the link you’re using please.


madmax Says:

no he wont DD.

Takes federer a while to get warmed up, we all know that – just not a good feeling for the federer fans – i dont know why he does this to us – but I’ll go along for the ride


madmax Says:

Nerves are bound to be a part of this awesome event – but you would think that federer would be used to it by now. Shows he is human I guess – I just would like the killer instinct and the hunger to kick in real damn quick – verdy got nothing to lose, everything to gain – fed got everything to lose – pressure on him.


Kimmi Says:

FH errors..how many now ?


O-Kerr Says:

Crybaby madmax you are right Federer is warming up. It is cold in London so he needs to go down a couple breaks and lose the set and get really warmed up for next set.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Can someone please send me a link to watch this match. Argh this is killing me.

Madmax you’re over rationalizing. Federer doesn’t always need to get warmed up. He’s just playing bad.


Kimmi Says:

Fed got thru a 0-30 game, too close, very close…needs to break here now…

Verdasco is been too slow for federer, fed does not like it


jane Says:

DD: Here’s the link; I think I am viewing the second one from the top. It’s cutting out a bit, but overall a good feed.

http://www.fromsport.com/c-4.html


Kimmi Says:

Noo..another 2 break points.. Federer WAKE UP


Kimmi Says:

is fed seing shades of Nadal in verdasco ? He needs to break here here..


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Thanks Jane. Unfortunately it’s working like crap for me. Loading longer than actually showing anything. Damnit.


madmax Says:

O-kerr, I dont know who you are but you are a jerk – get lost if you cannot come up with any mature comments – I’m not a crybaby – what a ridiculous, purile comment to make –

DD – live streaming always helps – you’l get a link on the sky sports channel as it is being televised by them – hope you are able to get it -

well, fed is playing bad – I cant watch this right now – he hasnt turned up today.

O-kerr, who is your favourite player? dare i ask? benneteau? Why so mean? No need for it – if fed loses this, he loses it because he didnt turn up on court – but its about time he started to put right his game – these walkabouts early on, do no one any good.


madmax Says:

fed has gifted the first set – what a crock! I have to breathe, Jane. This isnt good.

Huh!


jane Says:

Did you try atdhe.net DD? or channelsurfing.net? One of them should work. You can also try a few different links at the first site I gave you. Sometimes one works better than others.

Fed did well to scrape back there, from almost being down two breaks. Lots of errors.


sar Says:

I am hoping for a FED comeback!!


jane Says:

madmax, I empathize. Fed does seem off. “these walkabouts early on, do no one any good” Er, they are helping Verdasco hold onto his lead so far. Although credit where it’s due – Verdasco is playing well also! The first set is not over just yet, and Fed seems to be coming around so we should wait and see.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

For some reason channelsurfing doesn’t have anything and the screen stays black on atdhe -__-

Ughhhhhh


Kimmi Says:

1st good game from fed since he started…now can verdasco finish here…


O-Kerr Says:

Madmax, they have a baby Federer fan club at his website, you nasty ugly mouth. Why don’t you get lost and go there, bloody bastard?


Kimmi Says:

federer will lose this easily if he carries on like this..sigh


puckbandit Says:

DD,

What’s with you? No player ranked #4 in the world “sucks”

Is it my imagination or was the match between Murray and DelPo at a slightly higher level than this one?


jane Says:

Quit fighting you two! DD: keep trying the first link I gave you; it’s working pretty well.

Got to give Hotsauce credit; he kept his cool there to close it out. I guess he feels he deserves to be here?!


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Ljubicic was once 3 in the world and he sucks.


puckbandit Says:

It seems to me that Fed’s biggest problem lately has been a slight timing issue? Just enough to keep him from sustaining the brilliance that we have come to expect?


O-Kerr Says:

The most retarded and juvenile assessment of Federer I have ever read is this, “Takes federer a while to get warmed up, we all know that.” Federer usually starts strongly and takes the first set whenever it matters to him most. He lost the first set but Verdasco usually cannot sustain and easily surrenders to top players, and that may happen again here.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

When the number 1 ranking is on the line, Federer just likes to give it away.

Even if this goes to a third set, Fed sucks in third sets.


puckbandit Says:

Feds has always been a great frontrunner, except for a few matches I don’t recall him being a “slow starter”


puckbandit Says:

Verdasco has had a hard time remaining consistent over the course of an entire match, but with on;y three sets and the first in the bag, he might steal this one.


Kimmi Says:

federer is allowing the verdi FH and fed BH exchange..very dangerous for fed here. Its nadal parten all over


puckbandit Says:

Kimmi,

I agree. But Verd’s backhand has been pretty good tonight.


sar Says:

Fed is a half step slow like they are saying. Just like N&Z earlier. They better wake up fast.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

It just doesn’t make sense. How does Federer manage to look so average nowadays?


devastatingdjokovic Says:

WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT???? THAT’S HOW FEDERER DEALS WITH THAT???


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Oh thank God, it was out. Haha.


Kimmi Says:

Federer needs to win ugly here..needs this win. DelPo and Murray are going to be tough with this kind of play.


jane Says:

I have to agree: Fed usually starts strong if anything, and then he can go off. But today he came out rusty. Also, puckbandit, it is quite clear that Fed’s shots are not being timed quite the way they used to be, and as others have pointed out here, this may be because he his a step slower. This could potentially affect him most on hard courts, especially faster hardcourts, going forward. That’s why he’ll still be a contender on clay, and on grass, because even though grass is fast, Fed’s footwork on grass is second to none so far. But it may be a consistent issue on hard courts? He still has a weapon of a serve and can create stunning angles, has great variety, etc, all of which will keep him at the top, but the ground strokes can definitely be inconsistent, with the forehand liable to miss-timing and the backhand liable to attack. He’s still clearly in this match. As someone else mentioned, Verdasco is often hot and cold and doesn’t maintain hot streaks throughout the duration of a match.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Why is Federer so slow?


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Federer is about to lose his 3rd match in a row… Oh yeah, he’s definitely not on any kind of downward slope.


Sunshine Says:

Why is Federer so slow?

Age maybe?maybe he was up late with the twins;)


devastatingdjokovic Says:

I’d go with the twins thing. He seems tired or something. He looks especially slow today, not 28 year old slow (which isn’t all that slow).


Kimmi Says:

DD – No, he can’t be losing. federer is the fave in this tournament.


puckbandit Says:

I know that people have commented that his shots are off because he a “step slower” but I don’t see that. I think he looks a step off because his timing is off. It may not seem to matter, but personally I think a timing issue is easier to fix than the dreaded “he’s slower than he used to be” problem that doesn’t go away as quickly (sometimes never) as careers grow long.

It will be quite a test to see if Verd’s nerves hold.


Andrew Miller Says:

How about Verdasco’s improvement and love of indoors courts? I’m sure Australia and the current courts are similar – if Verdasco will ever have a win over Federer, it would be in these conditions. That forehand is especially unreadable from Verdasco…makes one wonder why this guy has not been better. Heck, he should have dropped Ivanovic sooner.


Kimmi Says:

Shouts of C’MON from the fed..maybe there is till hope.


puckbandit Says:

Speaking of Ivanovic, their careers sure did go in opposite directions after their split, eh?


Andrew Miller Says:

(Verdasco’s star has risen and Ivanovic’s has not. I guess that means their break-up must have been particularly rough!)


Andrew Miller Says:

puckbandit is right!


sar Says:

Ivanovic is 21 and has time to regroup.


Kimmi Says:

WOW 5-5 verdasco is sooooo close


tennis served fresh Says:

Yes, he’s got the guts, but does he really have what it takes after a mediocre season?


puckbandit Says:

Agreed Sar, I hope we see her back in top form soon.


puckbandit Says:

Wow this is a tense game!


Andrew Miller Says:

Verdasco better make his move to get the win. It’s now or never. That would be huge: one year after teaming with Feliciano Lopez to make Spain’s davis cup dream, without Nadal, come true in Argentina, Verdasco realizes his true potential. I think his game has “grand slam champion” characteristcs, but Verdasco is least likely of anyone in London, or the top 10, to win a slam.


puckbandit Says:

I hope this doesn’t go 3 sets, I have dinner plans.


Andrew Miller Says:

OK Ivanovic can come back. But she is being Iva Majoli at present.


puckbandit Says:

Andrew,
I agree that Verds game has grand slam characteristics, but so far just as a grand slam “spoiler” – But if he can improve his consistency, his serve and his nerve, he can remain top 5 and better, and possibly win a slam.


Andrew Miller Says:

Then again, this could be part of Federer’s strategy: lull the opponent into “over-playing” then deflate him in a run-away third set.

Heck, Federer’s won that scenario exponentially more times than he’s lost it.


sar Says:

I don’t think Fed likes late night matches too much.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Andrew, Federer’s had a pretty bad record in final sets on hard courts over the last 2 years.


Blank Says:

Ugly smash attempt from Verdasco


sar Says:

I don’t know. Maybe she is Majoli but she might be a Kuznetsova and win another one. It’s still early.


puckbandit Says:

oh no, what a melt down


jane Says:

Ugly overhead miss from Verdasco; seems to me he did the same versus Murray in Valencia.

Looks like it’s going three.


Kimmi Says:

YEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAH…..third set…C’mon the fed don’t spoil this one now…


Blank Says:

At this rate, Fed’s status as No. 1 player on year end depends on how Nadal does. Unless something dramatic happens (in terms of a change in Fed’s mindset), his chances against DP and Murray are not very good.


puckbandit Says:

Hmm. . . Let’s see if Verd can re-group or if Fed rolls through this set


Andrew Miller Says:

And there you have it: Verdasco is probably feeling pretty bad and Federer is capitalizing on that feeling.

The third set should be a run-away set by Federer. If Verdasco stays focused, it won’t be.


Blank Says:

Of all the players in the field Verdasco and Davydenko are the only ones that will be an easy match up for Fed. And, he is already making a big deal of one…

Verdasco has tried the key Nadal’s strategy – pounding Fed’s backhand relentlessly, but unfortunately he is no Nadal. I think he’ll go down in 3.


Andrew Miller Says:

I agree with Puckbandit.

Federer probably loves his odds though.


jane Says:

Certainly the stats are dead even, onlyVerdasco hasn’t converted on all the break point chances he’s had. But in terms of serves/returns their stats on the scoreboard are virtually equal. What’s the winners to UEs ratio though? That’s what I’d like to know.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Win or lose, Verdasco is showing that he’s come to London to make some noise and he belongs with the top dogs.


puckbandit Says:

Good points Blank,

I’ll repeat what I said earlier though, the Murray/DelPo match was higher quality with both players hitting rather well. Not sure if that means much, in a round robin format, but I believe both guys this morning would have beaten either guy tonight.


O-Kerr Says:

Verdasco may get into his routine chore, win a coupel of games, and and fold.


Blank Says:

puckbandit, i agree :)


jane Says:

Verdasco is playing safer and has retreated behind the baseline; too bad for him, but it doesn’t look good. Fed is all over that and siezes the momentum. Man, you got to feel sorry for Verdasco; he is just such a talented player, but with confidence issues that persistently hinder him from making a break through. Credit to him for taking a set though. He came out a man with a mission and he’s announced his presence even though he lost.


puckbandit Says:

Yikes,

Right now I believe there are a pair of giant, invisible hands wrapping themselves around Verdasco’s neck and squeezing . . .


Kimmi Says:

Verdasco is lost his way now…..fed will cruise from here.

If fed wins here, when was the last time he won the third set ?


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Ferrer in Cincy.


puckbandit Says:

Yes Jane,

But he has announced his presence before, and always seems to be simultaneously announcing any visit to the land of top five level play will be a short one.

I do feel for him. Maybe Darren Cahill can help with some of his issues. I think much of what’s keeping him from the breakthrough is happening between the ears.


Blank Says:

Yes. And Fed feels like it’s christmas…a nice big gift (he hardly gets any gifts these days in the deciding set)…lol


puckbandit Says:

Wow, Feds wants to get to bed soon. Looking to put a speedy beatdown.


jane Says:

That’s pretty much what I said puckbandit: “he is just such a talented player, but with confidence issues that persistently hinder him from making a break through.”

Verdasco has folded his hand. He was very close to an upset, but the nerves at the tail end of the second set did him in, and he was gone then.

This happens so often to players; they play well for 2 sets, and then when the momentum shifts they fold. The top shelf guys don’t fold for the most part, they stay in it.

I hope Hotsauce only feeds Fed a breadstick rather than a bagel. Let him go out for dinner if he’s hungry.

Can you hear the drums Fernando?


Kimmi Says:

DD. aah so its not that far back..dlad he turned this one around..Number 1 still looking good.


puckbandit Says:

Verds should at least try to hold and not get embarrassed.


puckbandit Says:

Jane,
I was actually agreeing with you, just adding a thought to yours, I guess it didn’t com off that way in the post.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

That Ferrer match was actually a turnaround for Federer. He went on to play his best tennis against Murray and Djoker and then reached the US Open finals (although that wasn’t overly surprising). I think he still has a chance to do well. Recall 07 where he lost a close one to Gonzo and then beat Davy playing really bad but turned it on to crushed Roddick, Nadal, and Ferrer. Obviously Murray, Del Po, Djokovic, Nadal, and even Soderling are going to be a lot tougher but it’s Roger Federer, when he turns it on it’s all over.


Kimmi Says:

DD _ lets hope this is a turning points he needs. Congrats the Fed.


puckbandit Says:

Congrats to Fed, He toughed that out and deserved the win.
I guess Murray is next for him. I’ll be pulling for Murray in that one.


jane Says:

That’s true DD: one match’s form doesn’t necessarily signal the next match’s form. Look at Djoko’s form versus Soderling and then his form versus Nadal. I think the players know when to raise their level. It’s too early to count Fed out. But he did start abysmally.


Kimmi Says:

Tues
Federer vs Murray
DelPo vs verdasco

right now fed is leading in the group followed by Murray.

koenig is predicting a win by davydenko djoko fans..dunno why ?


jane Says:

puckbandit – me too – I’ll pull for Murray vs. Fed. But congrats to Fed for getting this one.


Blank Says:

This is one of the most YEC in recent memory. With all due respect to Verdasco, anyone other than him could win this.


jane Says:

Kimmi – Davy beat Djoko the last time they played, and he too has been in excellent form, winning in Shanghai. So it’s not unrealistic to think he could win tomorrow. We’ll see. I HOPE Djoko can win though!


Blank Says:

I meant “one of the most open* YEC…”


Kimmi Says:

I always struggle when fed vs Murray play..sometimes I go for fed, sometimes Murray. I think fed this time, needs as many points to finish number 1. BUT I hope murray qualify.


Skorocel Says:

Well, I maybe didn’t see the whole match, but from what I saw in that 1st and 2nd set, it was obviously clear that the only chance for Fed to win this one laid in Verdasco choking – and that’s what indeed happened… Luckily (or unluckily) for him, he won’t have such luxury against JMDP and Murray…


puckbandit Says:

Blank is right, very open tourny, which makes it the most interesting and anticipated YEC’s I can remember.

In contrast, I could care less about the women’s game at the moment. With the exception of the Belgian women returning, I’ve lost a bit of interest.

Thanks y’all for some interesting conversation. See ya later in the week.

bandit


steve Says:

Soderling is unlikely to win the tournament. Even if he makes it to the semis by beating Nadal and Davydenko (and I don’t see any other way for him but that), he would face Federer, Murray, or Del Potro, and those guys will be a lot harder for him than the players in his group. Even if he gets through that, there’s the small matter of the final.

But who knows?


Kimmi Says:

jane: yes davy won last time they play but Djoko still has the edge..its difficult with davy, you can never know which one will turn up. Anyways, enough of predictions. I hope we get some nail biting matches like today.


steve Says:

Against Verdasco, Federer made 15 UEs on the forehand, but only one of them came in the final set, so he was able to clean it up over the course of the match.

It’s happened many times before before that Federer has played sloppy, made loads of appalling errors, and barely eked out a match, only to come out for the next match in peak form.

It’s usually a good sign, and come-from-behind wins are always a confidence booster.


Kimo Says:

I watch the first two sets, so I’m kinda sad I didn’t get to see Roger at his best, which is apparently how it was in the third.

Honestly Roger had to win this match, coz his encounters against Delpo and Murray will be tough. If the Roger of the third set showed up at those matches, he’ll win in straights. If the Roger of the first set shows up, he’ll lose.

This year can almost be titled “A Tale of Two Rogers”. There’s the Roger of January to April and early November, and then there’s the Roger of May to September. However, unlike early in the season when Roger would play entired matches badly, or suddenly have a second set meltdown ater dominating the first, now it looks like he’s able to cope better when his forehand deserts him.

I think that’s normal. From 2004 to 2006 Roger was winning everything so easily that he forgot how to adapt to different situations. Plan A always worked. No one was able to boss Federer in a rally, even Nadal on clay didn’t find it that easy (remember Rome 2006?). Now that he’s getting older he’s coming to grasp his reality and is able to accept that he’s gonna have to win ugly sometimes.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Hell, for Federer, winning a third set at all should be a confidence booster.


Kimo Says:

steve said:

“It’s happened many times before before that Federer has played sloppy, made loads of appalling errors, and barely eked out a match, only to come out for the next match in peak form.”

Touche. Remember Cincinnati? When Roger dropped a set against Ferrer everybody was like : “Oh no…Federer of the spring is back.” And then he came out and demolished Murray and Djoko.


Kimmi Says:

“If the Roger of the third set showed up at those matches, he’ll win in straights. If the Roger of the first set shows up, he’ll lose.”

Kimo: federer was looking good in the third set because he was feeding off poor form from Verdasco. After second set verdi was awful, he was giving federer a lot of looks.. before that verdi did not allow fed to play his FH that much also was not making as many errors as he did in the third.


jane Says:

True Kimmi, and balanced – for as much as Fed raised his form -serving better and making less errors – Verdasco utterly collapsed.


Daniel Says:

Call me crazy but I don’t think Del Potro will win a set against Fed with his late form!

You have to remember that at RG 09 he had won 5 matches and was serving awesome. At US Open 09 he had won 6 matches after cruising trough Nadal and served great with no “injury” moments during the whole final.

This days he has peaks and valleys, is not serving near his best and sometimes looks like he is about to faint in the tennis court.

I like his game a lot, but The US Open was IT for him this season. If Fed wins againts Murray his n. 1 will be safe, bet on it.

By the way, appart from Murray first service game in the second set (where he did not put a single first serve in and was broken to love) he played like he should be playing. At some moment he had more winners than DelPo and his passing shots was unbelievable.


Andrew Miller Says:

Del Potro does not seem like a sharp indoors player.

Plus, it’s revenge time for the US Open ding.

Federer in straights.


David Says:

O-Kerr

Just to answer your doubts, from what I saw of Fed today he definitely wants this tournament big time, so no excuses whatsoever if he doesn’t take the title.

Can’t really see anyone taking it from him with the form he showed in the third set. Of course, if the UEs start accumulating in bunches anything is possible.

Really liked his backhand return in the second half of the match. With that shot clicking, he’d kill Rafa on this surface. Of course, I’m not expecting Nadal to get that far anyway.


Andrew Miller Says:

Why not Rafa? It’s best of 3 sets in a big tent atmosphere. He likes that kind of set up: best players in the world, lots of pressure.

That said: Rafa has never made this tournament’s finals since he exploded onto the champion’s scene in 2005. It seems as though he doesnt care too much for it. Furthermore, he probably is not a fan of the indoors season.


Andrew Miller Says:

so: I agree – Rafa would lose and it’s likely that Rafa’s going home early.


David Says:

Low bouncing court, bunch of flattish hitters in his section who take the ball early with great 2h backhands.

Sounds like a recipe for an early exit for Rafa.


Andrew Miller Says:

Murray: Likely to do well.
Djokovic: Likely to do well.
Federer: Likely to do well.
Soderling: Likely to do well.
Davydenko: Likes the money. Might do well.
Nadal: Unlikely to do well.
Verdasco: Unlikely to do well.
Del Potro: Unlikely to do well.

I think Soderling is a sleeper pick.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Why just a sleeper pick?


jane Says:

Interesting that both matches in tomorrow’s group have a revenge factor: Rafa will be looking to beat Soderling after that FO loss, and Davydenko is the only guy who has stopped Djoko since his loss to Fed at the USO, so Djoko may be looking to take one back. I could see both matches going either way. Soderling would seem to have the edge as well as Djoko, Sod due to the surface and his style match up with Rafa, and Djoko due to form – but Djoko/Davy are 2-2 H2H so I am keeping my fingers crossed. There are no easy first rounders. All these guys are tough!


David Says:

jane

I also like Djoko because of his serve. They can both slug it out pretty equally from the back and both have some great wheels to track balls down. But if Djoko is serving like he’s capable that really should be the difference.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Jane, there are no first rounders. It’s RR so it’s not a first round but a first match. And considering you’re playing someone from the top 8, then there are obviously going to be tough matches, especially for those who are ranked lower. When was the last time Verdasco had to play a number 1 in the “first round”?

Anyways, I’m so excited for tomorrow. Waking up to Soderling being up 2 sets to 1 against Nadal at RG was literally unreal. I really like Soderling nowadays so I’m rooting for him. And I hope Djokovic avenges his loss against Davydenko.


jane Says:

True David; well, then, with that in mind, and no offence to Davy, whom I like, but I hope Djoko’s serve is working tomorrow!


jane Says:

Doh – okay “first rounders” is the wrong term but ya know what I meant DD.


Kimmi Says:

Nadal has suffered too many bad defeats this season..I hope he wins tomorrow. It will bring his confidence back..


David Says:

I would too, but this is really a do or die match tomorrow for Rafa. Even if he wins it, he’ll have a heck of a time making the semis. If he loses, it would seem almost impossible with Djoko in his group.

As far as confidence, it seemed like Rafa got a lift from his win over Tsonga in Paris, but then he got completely dismantled by Novak in the next round.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

I think Nadal is scared of Djokovic right now. And this could really help Djokovic as time goes on. The more he beats Nadal, the more Nadal will retreat. He admitted to being afraid of Nalbandian’s backhand and that almost got Nalbandian the win. But Nalbandian isn’t in Djokovic’s league mentally, it’d take a helluva lot from ANY player to bagel Djokovic, especially if he had match points.


Skorocel Says:

Kimo said: „If the Roger of the third set showed up at those matches, he’ll win in straights.“

Love your optimism here :-) The truth is, after seeing yesterday’s match, even the most casual observer will admit that Federer didn’t come to London to win, but to (barely) retain the year end No. 1 ranking – at the very best, that is. The guy was lethargic, half-step slower on almost every shot, and his body language looked as if he wanted to say: Let’s play, and we’ll see what happens… I HATE to see such Federer on the court (and would love to be proved wrong), but that’s how it is right now… He can maybe scrape out a 3 sets win against JMDP (who’s currently having all the physical ailments in the world), but NO WAY he can win 2 sets off Murray with play like this!

„However, unlike early in the season when Roger would play entired matches badly, or suddenly have a second set meltdown ater dominating the first, now it looks like he’s able to cope better when his forehand deserts him.“

Where exactly did he cope better? US Open final – lost. Basel final – lost. Benneteau in Paris – lost. The truth is, it was more or less Verdasco and his neverending choking abilities which won him the match yesterday – not Roger’s sudden „stellar“ play…


Skorocel Says:

devastatingdjokovic said: „Hell, for Federer, winning a third set at all should be a confidence booster.“

Ha ha, very well said :-) Btw, love your new nick, SS :-)

„Waking up to Soderling being up 2 sets to 1 against Nadal at RG was literally unreal.“

LOL :-)


margot Says:

DD: you are giving very mixed messages here. One minute you say Andy will win more than one Wimbledon, the next you say he’ll never win a slam. Are you really that ambivalent, or are you winding andy fans up?


Kimo Says:

Skorocel, what I mean is that he now has at least a chance of winning his matches when his forehand goes AWOL. Back in the spring, when his forehand deserted him, it was game set match to his opponent.


madmax Says:

Jane – i know that you have been around in tennis for many years (earlier post), how do you survive when your favourite player looks as if he is having a wobbly – without having had a heart attack up until now?

I couldn’t watch federer (whole match), yesterday – the first one was excruciating – I was hiding behind the sofa (!), (I know duro does that too when novak plays and says he is physically sick!), the second set was close, but fed was so much better, and firing his shots more precisely – it seemed that he needs to work out his range and rhythm a lot more now than he used to – but boy – the third set was vintage fed – he was amazing and the confidence was there in full force – it’s so unsettling sometimes to watch him play this way – He will always be the best in my eyes, but I so wish that his matches sometimes can be more ‘watchable’ – do you know what I mean?

Still – this is good for him, to know that he could come close to losing – when this happens, he seems to move it up another gear – so frustrating though! Tuesday’s match against Murray is going to be a corker!

C’mon Federer!


David Says:

I can’t believe what I’m reading here.

“even the most casual observer will admit that Federer didn’t come to London to win”

Is that Robert Federer you’re talking about, or Richard Federer or maybe Raymond Federer?

The Federer I know, Roger Federer, always comes to any big event to *win the tournament* not just show up.

What are all you Fed doubters going to say in five days when he’s holding up the trophy?


sensationalsafin Says:

Margot, it’s a little bit of both. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what’s up with Murray and some things hint towards many slams while other things hint towards no slams. Whenever I have a reason for either, I post it whether fans like it or not.


jane Says:

Hi madmax – I have this little method of cleaning up the house when a match is a nail-biter. LOL. No, I don’t know. Like everyone, I just suffer or cheer. Part of the fun of tennis is the drama. Of course when one of your faves is losing the drama is maybe not what you want, but it’s just sport and there will be another, better match.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Madmax, just remind yourself that no matter the results, tennis really doesn’t affect your life in any way. If Federer retires tomorrow, you’re not gonna suddenly get fired. If Federer wins 3 more slams, you’re not gonna be celebrating within him, you’re not gonna make a billion dollars (unless you do actually make a billion dollars), and you’re not gonna be able to kiss and hug the trophies. It’s just entertainment. Or you could do what I do and go into a deep depression for a week everytime he loses.


madmax Says:

Jane and DD, I have to say, I love reading your posts – you make me feel calmer. I am an emotional person. I get very involved in my tennis – dont you DD? (especially), you seem very level headed with your post! Of course I dont make a billion dollars! (I wish!). I am a Teacher, but love it – its not about the money – and to be honest, when I watch federer, my whole face lights up (if only you could see it DD!), I love tennis, my friends think I am crazy – but I dont care – it lifts me, helps my day (is that sad or what? probably). It affects me when fed doesnt play the way we know as fedfans that he can –

And DD,

I know what you mean about the deep depression – it doesnt last that long with me though – may be a few days, then I watch wimbledon 2009, and FO 2009, and it fills me up again.

I adore the guy. I cannot help it. I love his style of tennis, I mean his UNIQUE style of tennis, and when he is on fire, with his liquid gold whip of a forehand, his range of shots is unmatched – I am in awe of everything he stands for – I think that is a positive –

I do celebrate ‘with him’ though DD. In my imagination. I dance around the room like a rabid, mad thing, I really do. I cannot help it. Its not a money thing – It is so wonderful to watch such a beautiful sport “come alive” when Federer plays.

And DD, Jane, Margot, Huh, Kimmi, Kimo,SS I LOVE reading your posts – you make me happy.


madmax Says:

Jane,

I tried the cleaning – I go upstairs and clean the bathroom, check on the score, and if necessary, start on the kitchen, so I am with you there!


David Says:

madmax

If you get depressed as a Federer fan, I hate to think what your mental state would be like if you cheered on any other player.

You’ve chosen a scenario where it’s 99% upper and 1% downer. Talk about a great drug!


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Madmax, I totally get what you mean when your face lights up. When I watch matches, I pump my fist so often you’d think I was the one winning the points. I yell cmon and vamos and allez and all the that. I smack my head after a dumb error. And when I saw Federer won last night, I let out a big roar. When I tell you tennis doesn’t really affect my life, I’m still trying to convince myself of that.

David makes a good point, too. Federer wins so often that it’s easy to get over his losses. I’ve been rooting for Djokovic all year, so I’ve had to worry about him too. And I’ve always been Safin’s biggest fan. And I’ve always been Safin’s biggest fan. And I’ve always been Safin’s biggest fan. I purposely repeated that so that you can see that I’ve been going bonkers over tennis for quite some time. With Safin, it got beyond depression. I went through all the stages of grief and then some while rooting for the guy. I’ll miss him but I won’t miss all the heartbreaks.


margot Says:

DD/SS: I totally get that, feel like that myself sometimes….but on the SAME day?


been there Says:

hahahaha madmax & DD. Reading your posts has reminded me of this video. I challenge any fan of any tennis-player to defeat this wonderful lady in a happiness fest-off!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3X1YtjM-4U

Madmax, if it’s not in your collection yet, add it for an instant lift-up whenever Fed loses. lol. You’re crazy – in a good way of course. :)…

Nadal fans can get instant-lifts from all those videos where he beats Fed. For fans of other players (sob, sob..) just pretend that the lady in the video is cheering ‘coz ur best player has just won. oh, Actually, Del.P fans have a vid of him lifting the USO…that’s enough of a lift for at least a year.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Nice vid been there. That’s what me and my friends were like when Fed won, too. I even got up during the last few points so that I could fall to my knees with Federer :)

Margot, it takes me about 30 seconds to come up with why Murray will or won’t win a slam.


madmax Says:

been there! didnt you know the woman in the video is me!!!! :) yes – that is what I am like, save for a crazy raindance.

Been there. Are you torres by any chance? When I was posting at TT a few months ago, I remember you and I still read some of your posts over there, but havent posted in a while as this is where I started and I find the people over here, much nicer and not as nasty.

If you dont want to answer that, I understand.

Yes. Federer is just the best – eh?!!!!!

Tomorrow, he got to be on his guard – but now, we talk about novak and davy – game on.


David Says:

No matter what happens, the statement by Wilander is proving to be very premature:

“He is more focused on winning rather than feeling his own pain and disappointment. At least he’s not showing his disappointment as much as he used to. He’s more professional now and looks physically stronger, though he’s not showing it too much. He’s in what you might call a “go out and do your job and don’t tell anyone how bad you feel inside” mood.

I’m seeing the same “expressive” Djokovic. He’s chucked his racquet once and he’s clearly telling everyone how bad he feels.


been there Says:

madmax, no, I’m not. I only post on this website…just began posting a bit regularly during the USO series. Previously, just during slams here & there. I do read other blogs as well though to get some juicy tennis gossip but posting, just here.

Monfils is the best. He’s gonna whack Fed in their next meeting!! A fan can dream :)


madmax Says:

haha been there – you’re funny!


Federer Leads Unlikey Foursome in ATP London Semifinals Says:

[...] Martin Del Potro, Nikolay Dayvdenko and Robin Soderling in your ATP Finals semifinal round bracket. I surely didn’t! Because after five days of often intriguing, sometimes controversial round robin play that’s [...]

Top story: Novak Djokovic Is My Early U.S. Open Favorite, But Buyer Beware
Most Recent story: Rafael Nadal's Still Training On Hardcourts, The Splint Is Back On [Video]
  • Recent Comments
Rankings
ATP - Aug 18 WTA - Aug 18
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Rafael Nadal2 Simona Halep
3 Roger Federer3 Na Li
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 David Ferrer5 Agnieszka Radwanska
6 Milos Raonic6 Maria Sharapova
7 Tomas Berdych7 Angelique Kerber
8 Grigor Dimitrov8 Eugenie Bouchard
9 Andy Murray9 Ana Ivanovic
10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga10 Jelena Jankovic
More: Tennis T-Shirts | Tennis Shop | Live Tennis Scores | Headlines

Copyright © 2003-2014 Tennis-X.com. All rights reserved.
This website is an independently operated source of news and information and is not affiliated with any professional organizations.