Soderling Reaches London Semifinals; Davydenko Eliminates Slumping Nadal
by Sean Randall | November 25th, 2009, 7:17 pm
  • 309 Comments

The last guy in, Robin Soderling, is the first guy into the semifinals after the Swede defeated the sluggish Novak Djokovic 7-6(5), 6-1 today at the ATP World Tour Finals. Meanwhile, 2009 World No. 1 Rafael Nadal became the first player eliminated from the event after he fell in straight sets by a similar score of 6-1, 7-6(4) to Nikolay Davydenko.

“It’s great,” said Soderling who only gained entry when Andy Roddick withdrew. “Top eight, top nine guys in the world here. I mean, I won two matches in straight sets against the World No. 2 and No. 3. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. So far I’m enjoying it a lot. But there’s still at least two more matches to go. I hope to do really well in those two, as well.”

The bigger shock of the two upsets for me was Djokovic. The loss itself wasn’t the real surprise, rather it was the effort he gave in the second set. As noted by the commentators Djokvoic seemed to be going through the motions and unmotivated, with nothing to give, no fight. And that’s not where a guy who comes into an event like this, in-form and as a favorite, should be at. No way.

“I didn’t enjoy playing today’s match, that’s for sure,” said Djokovic whose 11-match win streak was snapped by the Swede. “He was serving really well. All credit to him. I don’t think I played too much (this season). I just played very solid in all the tournaments that I was committed to play.”

So is it the schedule (probably), the pressure (probably), the competition (probably)? Bottom line for Novak to be a No. 1 he’s going to have to get through the tough times and win on those days when his mind and body say no. Lucky for him because it’s a round-robin format he’s not out.

Novak now must beat Nadal on Friday if he wants to stay in the ATP Finals. And while the red-footed Djokovic crumbled late in his match, Nadal was the contrast. The Spaniard began where Djokovic left off: Lifeless. But Nadal got into the groove against a red-hot Davydenko, overcame some breaks and made a match of it in the end.

“To be out of the [Finals], well, that’s sport and everything can happen,” said Nadal who looked as bad as you’ll ever see him in that first set. “I didn’t arrive to this tournament with the full confidence that you need to win these matches. And in the moments that I had to play well, I didn’t play well. I made mistakes. I fought a lot. Both matches I fought. I tried my best all the time, but it wasn’t enough to win these matches.”

The loss for Rafa was his third straight, his longest such losing streak since the summer of 2004. And Nadal still has just one Top 10 win in the last six months to go with zero titles over that span, neither of which are promising signs going forward. But Nadal still has one big prize left and that’s the Davis Cup final in a couple week. So perhaps he’s just saving himself for the Czech battle. If you’re a Nadal fan you better hope so because Rafa’s performance the second half of the year has fallen way short.

For tomorrow, Roger Federer plays Juan Martin Del Potro in the match of the day. I kind of like DelPo who simply needs the match more than Roger, who should know before the match if he’s in the SF or not. Fed will have some added motivation on his mind as he seeks revenge for DelPo’s US Open win. And if DelPo brings the heat he can get the job done. In some ways I feel the match hinges on the Argentine’s racquet.

Murray is on earlier against Fernando Verdasco. The Scot is the favorite but a free-swinging Verdasco is a dangerous Verdasco (or should be!). So for me there’s no reason Fernando cannot replicate his Australian Open upset over Murray, it’s a just a question of if he’ll bring his A game and put pressure on Murray. Playing in front of the British crowd in London, Murray absolutely has to win that match so Andy will be feeling the heat. Hopefully he’ll be feeling Verdasco as well.

Overall, this tournament is shaping up like a Federer win. Soderling’s the hot man, but I question his ability when the pressure to perform is on him, which may come on Saturday. Davydenko is playing efficient, solid tennis but his head-to-head loss to Novak may come back to hurt him. The same goes for DelPo and Murray.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Also Check Out:
Federer Reaches Basel QFs, Djokovic Plays Thursday; Murray Alive in Valencia
Del Potro Three-Set Defeat of Federer Eliminates Murray from ATP Finals
Near Perfect Davydenko Foils Federer-Nadal Final in Doha
Federer, Nadal Lead All Top 20 at Shanghai Tennis Masters
Is Novak Djokovic Ready for a ATP Finals Repeat?

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309 Comments for Soderling Reaches London Semifinals; Davydenko Eliminates Slumping Nadal

Kimo Says:

Sean, Rafa was the the 2008 world no.1, not 2009.


Mary Says:

Wasn’t Nalbandian an alternate when he won in IIRC ’05?

Have a Great Thanksgiving!


jane Says:

Federer fans beware; Sean has spoken: “this tournament is shaping up like a Federer win.”

LOL.

Mary – that’s right; Nalby was an alternate I believe, and he beat Fed in a thriller final that year. We Canucks have already had our Thanksgiving, but Happy Day to all those to whom it applies!


i am it Says:

CC from the other thread:
Friends and foes,
this is my last post for 2 months. i could not pass this one because it was too tempting, as it involved interpreting rules, application, and some numbers. If I am right, the story goes as follows:
Standings Current
Group A
1. Fed 2-0 matches (M), 4-2 sets (S), 32-22 games (G)
2. Murray 1-1 (M), 3-3 (S), 25-26 (G)
3. DePo 1-1 (M), 3-3 (S), 27-31 (G)
4. Verdi 0-2 (M), 2-4 (S), 28-33 (G)

Group B
1. Sod 2-0 (M), 4-0 (S), 25-16 (G)
2. Davy 1-1 (M), 3-2 (S), 28-23 (G)
3. Dj 1-1 (M), 2-3 (S), 23-28 (G)
4. Nadal 0-2 (M), 0-4 (S), 15-25 (G)

Future Standings
Group A
. Fed 2-1 (M), 5-4 (S)
. Muzza 2-1 (M), 5-4 (S)
. JMDP 2-1 (M), 5-4 (S)
If we have 3-way tie, number of Games won decides the top standing, which would likely be Fed, and the 2nd standing is decided by head-to-head record, which would be Muzza. Regardless if Fed wins or loses against DePo, he will keep the top spot as long as he wins 1 set and he is ahead in number of games won.

Group B
1. Davy 2-1 (M), 5-2 (S), if he straight-sets Sode
2. Sode 2-1 (M), 4-2 (S)
3. Novak 2-1 (M), 4-3 (S), even if he straight-sets Nadal, he’d be out.

Or,
1. Sod 2-1 (M), 5-1 (S)
2. Dj 2-1 (M), 4-4 (S)
3. Davy 2-1 (M), 5-3 (S)

Sod just needs 1 set to keep the top spot, and this allows Dj to reach the semi as long as Dj beats Rafa, regardless of number of sets because once the Sod’s top spot is decided based on number of match wins and sets, the rest becomes a 2-way tie and is decided by head-to-head record, which Dj has over Davy.
So, j., Sar, Duro, DD and all Dj fans, if you want to see your guy through, pray that Sod wins a set (or beats Davy), along with Dj beats Rafa.

Good luck to all of you, whoever you are rooting for.
Love you all ! Good bye for a while!


Kimo Says:

jane said:

“Mary – that’s right; Nalby was an alternate I believe, and he beat Fed in a thriller final that year.”

Not only was he an alternate, he was Rafa’s alternate when rafa pulled out due to injury. I gotta admit, the guy haunts Roger even when he isn’t in the tournament. LOL


sar Says:

Someone who was at the match said Soderling gave an on court interview and said…No one beats me six times in a row.


sar Says:

Soderling would hope for a Novak #2 spot because he would have to play Fed and maybe “could” beat him, whereas Davy has never beat Fed. Then Soda, who has never beat Fed either could take on Novak again. This is assuming Soda beats Murray.
Fed is 12-0 over Davy
Fed is 12-0 over Soda
Fed is 9-5 over Djok
Soda is 6-3 over Davy
Soda is 1-1 with Murray but have not played since 2006.


Fed is GOAT Says:

posted recently on Murray’s match with Federer:

“The Scot started off in a classless mood, choosing to try and physically intimidate Federer with vulgar shouting. In one instance he stared the Swiss down, and shouted c’mon almost directly at his face. Is this the kind of reason that Federer himself had more support in London than Murray? The kind of reason that the biggest cheer of the night was heard when Federer was announced?”

The overrated, overhyped, foul mouthed Murray.

There is a real chance he will never win a slam.


Kimmi Says:

Sar, as we have seen in this tournament H2H don’t work so well. Good luck to all players.

FIG..When did Murray do that ? I watched the whole match (twice) and did not see what you are talking about. Both players were in the moments, shouting C’mon when they get a break or hit superb winners. Just let it go…


Kimmi Says:

I agree with sean, I saw Djoko match and the second set display from him was horrendous. After he got broken in the third game he just gave up. Making unnecessary UEs, not running for shots anymore, all fire power that we have seen in the past 6 to 7 weeks was gone..poor body language, he looked like the djoko we saw after Madrid. Anybody could have beaten him with that performance, very poor. Hopefully he can lift himself up for his next match.


steve Says:

I call Murray “Bizarro Federer”.

The comic-book logic is: if Federer = Superman, and Nadal = Kryptonite, then Murray = Bizarro.

Just think about it, they’re like funhouse mirror reflections of each other, just as Bizarro was of Superman.

Both have excellent touch and subtlety, both are clever tacticians, both took a long time to mature.

But there are a lot of differences: Federer is stronger on the forehand than on the backhand, while Murray is the other way around. And Federer uses a one-hander, while Murray has a two-hander. And Federer is an attacking player, while Murray relies on defense and counterpunching.

Federer’s calm and collected while Murray fumes and yells angrily.

If you took Federer’s face and squashed it horizontally and thinned it down, it would look a lot like Murray’s. Federer dresses in bold, elegant colors, while Murray dresses in plain, nondescript colors like gray. Even Murray’s “C’mon” is a harsher, angrier copy of Federer’s.

I think each man sees this funhouse reflection of himself in the other, that’s why their meetings always have that extra intensity.

Federer (Superman) is confounded by seeing a distorted mirror image of himself in Murray (Bizarro), which is why he finds it tricky to play him.

And Murray (Bizarro) senses that he’s a duplicate of Federer (Superman), which is why he’s always trying to outdo him and prove himself against the original.

I’m telling ya, it makes total sense.


devastatingdjokovic Says:

Steve, being a huge fan of DC comics and especially Superman, I love you for making that comparison. And I totally agree. I never thought of it that way but yeah, makes perfect sense to me.


jane Says:

Kimmi says “all fire power that we have seen in the past 6 to 7 weeks was gone..”

Well, he was zonked. That’s why the fire power was gone. Sheesh. Other players have had lost 1-6 sets, like Murray vs. Fed & Rafa vs. Davy. Djoko wasn’t the only one, and Soderling was on a roll. Give credit to the opponent! It’s not like Soderling wasn’t playing well, and serving great.

Djoko has done amazingly well of late, and losing ONE match in the last 13 is nothing to be ashamed of, especially since he just won back-to-back titles. I don’t care if he doesn’t win another match here. He’ll be back just fine next year, and he’s proven his desire and mettle in the last part of this year! WOOT!


jane Says:

p.s. Aren’t all “unforced errors” more or less “unnecessary”? LOL.


steve Says:

DD: Thanks, I’m glad someone appreciated the analogy.


jane Says:

I like Marvel characters way better than DC ones. Come on! Ironman, Spider-Man, The Hulk, The X-Men – these characters are more interesting and complex. BEST of all, though, is the original Watchmen, the graphic novel. It rocks.


Kimo Says:

steve, love the Superman analogy.

And jane, while it is true that Marvel has a more impressive array of complex superheroes, the best and most complex superhero is a DC: Batman, and the most complex villains are Batman’s (Joker = best Villain in History).


sar Says:

Jane, do you think he will beat Nadal?


Gannu Says:

” jane Says:
Federer fans beware; Sean has spoken: “this tournament is shaping up like a Federer win.” LOL.”

I dont think Sean has explicitly picked Fedex and jinxed him ;-)… He has carefully worded saying it is just shaping and even against Del Po he has again not picked Fed.. What i have observed is that if Sean says that “I think fedex pulls this” or “I am picking up Fedex”..

So Sean loves Fed i guess;-)

So lets hope feddy pulls through.,,”I am it” is perfect in his analysis.. In my analysis irresepective of wat happens in Group A.. Fedex just needs to win a set against Del po unless he loses badly the two sets against Del po…beacuse he crushed murray and verdasco in the third sets whereas Delpo did miserably against murray and scraped through against verdasco 7-6 in the third.. So my guess is Fed takes a set of Del po he is through


Kimo Says:

If Rafa beats Djoko in the final it would be an upset on par with Tsonga’s win over Fed in Montreal.

Djoko will win in straights. Maybe in three sets if Rafa wants to save face, but I’m afraid that won’t be good enough.


jane Says:

Kimo, True about Batman, that psychologically traumatic superhero, BUT it’s really only after Miller that he became the Batman we know now, and as made uber-popular by Burton and especially Nolan’s great films. I teach superheroes, can you believe it!?

sar, I have NO IDEA! LOL. Part of me thinks he should beat Rafa because Rafa’s out anyhow, so maybe he’ll have less motivation. On the other hand, this is RAFA! He’ll fight no matter what, if only for the points. And I just think Djoko is tired out. I really do. I could be mistaken and maybe he’ll surprise me. But directly after the marathon win over Davy I kind of thought, that’s it. And especially after losing the first set today; I knew right away he’d lose in straights. Maybe he’ll pull through and make the semis, but I’d be shocked if he went further. STILL, I have total faith in him as I think he’s reset the track in the latter part of this year and that all bodes well for next year imo. Sorry to sound so ambivalent, but I am trying to be realistic. I’ll still be rooting away for him of course but either way I am happy he finished the year well, regardless of his results here at the WTF.


steve Says:

jane: I tend to prefer DC, because those characters are more iconic and mythic, almost godlike. They’re more abstract, and the contrasts are more boldly drawn.

And of graphic novels, I hold Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns in the highest regard.

I love Spider-Man, though. He’s an ordinary joe who became a superhero. “Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can…”

If you wanted to bring in Marvel comparisons, I would say Roddick is like Spider Man. Everyday joe, down-to-earth, married a supermodel, nimble and agile, makes wisecracks all the time. Maybe he doesn’t get as much limelight as the more powerful heroes, like, say the Avengers, but he’s consistent, tough, and clever.


jane Says:

Gannu -you’re very insightful. Maybe Fed does escape the Sean Hex, because Sean loves Fed and so doesn’t “explicitly” pick him to win. LOL. He knows what he’s doing. I wonder if he has dolls of all the players, and sticks pins in the one he wants to lose during their matches? SOMETHING has to keep his record of jinx picks going!


jane Says:

I can see the Roddick – Spidey comparison steve, except Roddick is not as dweeby as Peter Parker.

Me, I like the post-modern, less mythic heroes in comics. Even the Greek gods were fallible. Superman just strikes me as a little bland. Although I do like Seinfeld, but now I digress…


Gannu Says:

” In my analysis irresepective of wat happens in Group A.. Fedex just needs to win a set against Del po unless he loses badly the two sets against Del po…beacuse he crushed murray and verdasco in the third sets whereas Delpo did miserably against murray and scraped through against verdasco 7-6 in the third.. So my guess is Fed takes a set of Del po he is through”

Ok I was wrong.. I guess Fed HAS to beat Del PO if Murray wins in straight sets.. Man this round robin is so complex…

Went through the rules again

The final standings of each group shall be determined by the first of the following
methods that apply:
a) Greatest number of wins;
b) Greatest number of matches played;
c) Head-to-head results if only two (2) players are tied,
d) If three (3) players are tied, then:
i) If three (3) players each have one win, a player having played less than all
three (3) matches is automatically eliminated and the player advancing to
the single elimination competition is the winner of the match-up of the two
(2) players tied with 1-2 records; or
ii) Highest percentage of sets won; or
iii) Highest percentage of games won.
iv) If (i), (ii) or (iii) produce one (1) superior player (first place), or one (1) inferior
player (third place), and the two (2) remaining players are tied, the tie
between those two (2) players shall be broken by head-to-head record”

So here is how it would work.. assume Murray wins in straight sets.. then there is a three way tie assuming Delpo wins So Rule “d” gets invoked since all of them are at 2-1..

Now what happens is that assume Fedex loses in three sets against Del-Po, then since there is a three way tie d ii) is invoked.. and accoprding to d iv since d ii) has produced a superior player i,e Murray because in set terms murray would be 5-3, Fedex will be 5-4 and Delpo will be 5-4
So murray is through and the rules state that

” the two (2) remaining players are tied, the tie
between those two (2) players shall be broken by head-to-head record” So the two remaining pleayers are Del po and Fedex and since Del po has defeated Fedex he will be through despite fedex having taken a set and a better % of games won!!! So the H2H gets invoked

And if fed loses in two sets, still it doesnt make any difference as H2H is the criteria

So FEDEX HAS TO WIN IF MURRAY DEFEATS VERDASCO IN STRAIGHT SETS..
Well now assume Murray wins in three sets against verdasco and Delpo in two sets against Fed

Then Murray and Del Po go through

and if Delpo wins in three sets then there is a three way tie and there is no superior player in terms of sets.. since all of them are at 5-4… So fedex mostly will qualigy as he has much better % of games won.. So rule diii) benefits Fedex greatly incase verdasco takes a set off

BOTTOMLINE FOR FED FANS

Either pray that Verdasco takes a set off Andy AND Fedex takes a set off Del Po .. in that case Murray and Del Po will be decided on H2H so Murray goes through as Fedex would be superior player by rule diii)!!!

SIMPLE- Pray that Fedex defeats Del Po.., that would prevent scratching our heads on interpreting these rules..

Please feddy.. please win..

Ps: Wonder who made these rules.. some stud doing rocket science at MIT???


tennis served fresh Says:

I like this Soderling guy, I think he brings a refreshing new look to tennis. Not only can he play great, he sure seems quite humble about his victories. It’s almost inspiring.


steve Says:

jane: I can understand the preference for more complexity, it’s a matter of personal taste.

I find Superman fascinating because he’s a man with godlike abilities trying to live among human beings. He may be Kryptonian by birth, but his soul and mind are human. He was raised by humans, has many human friends, and takes a human wife. Contrary to Tarantino’s interpretation in Kill Bill, Superman is what he does, but Clark Kent is who he is.

There’s so many temptations for Superman to misuse his power but he never does. He could literally enslave the human race and rule the world as a cruel and merciless god-king, but he’s kind and noble and knows how empty that would be. His challenge, which is entirely self-imposed, is to maintain his essential integrity and high standards while working in this corrupt and fallible world.


Long Live the King Says:

Steve, like your analogy of Fed as Super-man :)

I dont know how much this makes sense but Rafa is bat-man. Human, but with the aid of technology – strings(crazy top-spin) and hawk-eye (that gets under Roger’s skin), he is a super-hero on court.

I would throw in Djokovic as Robin, the two hunted Fed-down in 2008 and in 2009, Superman rises like a phoenix from the ashes for revenge. ;)

Yeah! you are right! I have Superman fighting Batman and Robin in my story ;)

On a humorous note, Fed is the 2nd coming of Jesus! :D I am sure he is going to part the red sea soon, so poor people in africa can come to Dubai to watch him practise and be cured of all their ills ;) Wait! was that Moses? That guy who
also has some world record in track and field. Guess I am confused. Anyway tomato – tamoto, Jesus/Moses – I say he is a combination of both.

Seriously though, has there been another athlete, who has inspired delirious articles like Fed does? And it is all over the globe…. across all continents. Cant think of too many athletes who have mixed elegance, a majestic game, talent, smartness and achievement into a super concoction like Fed.

Long Live The King.


Nina Says:

I hope Novak can still win this. I mean, he gave a very poor performance in the second set against Soderling but he fought hard against Davydenko and during the first set with Sod. So there’s hope afterall that he will comeback stronger against Nadal to secure a pass. I really hope that because when he loses it ruins my day and probably my week! So go Nole!


Kimmi Says:

“Well, he was zonked. That’s why the fire power was gone. Sheesh. Other players have had lost 1-6 sets, like Murray vs. Fed & Rafa vs. Davy. Djoko wasn’t the only one, and Soderling was on a roll. Give credit to the opponent!”

jane, Sod was playing well in the second set but not that well like say Djoko the way he played Nadal in paris ..nadal had no chnace in this match. Djoko just fell apart yesterday. i give credit when its due. If you read my post after Murray loss i also question murray fighting spirit in the 3rd set..federer was very awosome but murray should have also done better, I thought he gave the set on the plate to fed, (because of his serving..double faults and low 1st serve %). Thats how i saw this match with djoko..he just gave up, could be he is tired like what others suggests but it was the manner he lost that 2nd set.

Nadal has lost but you could see he was trying, that fire power, willingness to win was there…verdasco also gave up in the final set with fed…this is what i am trying to say jane. we did not see this in Djoko in the past 6 to 7 weeks.

“Djoko has done amazingly well of late, and losing ONE match in the last 13 is nothing to be ashamed of, especially since he just won back-to-back titles. I don’t care if he doesn’t win another match here. He’ll be back just fine next year, and he’s proven his desire and mettle in the last part of this year! WOOT!”

i am not in anyway predicting the fall of djokovic. he is young talented player, we have seen what he can do and i am sure he will come back as I said in my previous post that I hope he can show up in his next match. He is done very well with Nadal recently but if djoko of second set turn up, he will lose.


jane Says:

Kimmi, I am not saying he did well in the second set either, but I don’t think it was one-sided. I think he tried, but after Sod went up two breaks Djok just collapsed. I want to point out only that it’s both players who contribute to a result. Djoko fights hard, and he fought hard to get a break in the first set, but he just could not get past Sod’s serve today. Often, when Djok is having an off serving patch he can fight through by breaking the other guy’s serve, because he’s such a great returner. He couldn’t do that today vs. Sod. In Paris Djoko also lost a set 1-6 to Sod, but because he’d won the first set he was able to rally in the third. Today, he couldn’t rally.

Djoko is a front-runner and Nadal is more of a player who works his way into the match. Murray usually also begins strong, but he has lapses, or walk-about sets. Sometimes he can come back in the third but sometimes not; he couldn’t the other day partly because his serve sucked and partly because Fed upped his level and ran away with it.

I guess I just don’t question their fighting spirit too much because sometimes it’s just that the other guy is better on the day. Both Djoko and Murray can be vulnerable on serve, and when their serves go off, as Djoko’s did today and Murray’s did versus Fed, that will be a big factor in the outcome. Both need to have more consistent serves and stronger second serves imo. Murray could add more consistent attacking, too, as we have seen what he can do when he does. Nadal’s serving has actually been quite good, but needs to step forward in the court and not concede the baseline. That way his shots won’t land mid court.


jane Says:

Just to point out – Sod won 80% first serves, 60% second serves, and served 10 aces and no doubles. It was a great serving display by him today, really consistent. I think his confidence from the Nadal win the match before really showed today. And now with this win, his first win over Djoko in 6 tries, he’ll take way even more confidence. He could go 3-0! There’s a great chance he’ll be in the final even. And at the USO he almost pushed Fed to 5 sets were it not for one bad miss in the 4th set tiebreak. So who knows? He’s certainly on a roll.


Long Live the King Says:

I think people have to make peace with the fact that Djokovic is not the “leave-it-all-out-there” kind of player like Fed is, Nadal is, Hewitt is, Roddick is, Davydenko (match-fixing wise maybe not, but physically he gives it all). Even murray is for the most part.

Atleast he is not retiring in the matches like he used to. So hopefully, he will keep the improvement going. As for Novak not delivering as favorite at the elite events, I agree its another issue he’s to work on, going forward. He did deliver at Basel and Paris as co-favorite and favorite respectively. So, I think he is making progress there too. I will hold my judgement to see how 2010 shapes up on these two issues for Novak.

I think if he wins this, we will learn something new about him – would be the 1st title he defended, if he doesn’t he has a legit reason that it was a long season for him. More so, because he avoided injury and was a constant factor since the US open, but it would be a first step to silence the legitimate criticism Sean has made.

Bottom line – He will make a big statement if he wins, but if he doesn’t it is not last chance saloon. That will come in 2010. We will see if any of these new guys will take control of the tennis tour like Roger did in 2004. Or if the Roger/Rafa show continues :)


Long Live the King Says:

I had Novak as the 3rd fav behind Roger and Murray. I am not going to put my stocks in murray and novak together in a big event yet. Need a safety net pick of Roger or Rafa.

Murray seemed a better investment with home-court and best of 3 and being fresher. Was much easier to choose between Roger and Rafa, but I thought rafa will somehow sneak into the semis.

I had Roger 3-0 and murray 2-1 in their group before matches began and I will stick to that. Roger-Murray final looking more possible than the beginning of the tournament. I think Murray has used the home-court advantage better than people claim. There is nothing any one can do when TMF appears. I mean TMF bageled Nadal on clay. When he appears, cant think of any player on any surface (with the exception of Nadal on clay) standing up to him.

So, yeah, I see a Roger-Murray final. I am willing to reconsider my picks for the final, if both of them get eliminated today ;)


jane Says:

Long Live I had Novak as 3rd favorite to win here too.

As for him not being a “leave it all out there” player, I think there are signs to suggest that is changing. He could’ve gone out earlier in matches at Basel and Paris, but he fought for the wins on numerous occasions – against Step, Wawrinka, Soderling, even in the final of Basel vs. Fed (to win that first set he fought through a number of deuces) and the final in Paris vs. Monfils – he showed a lot of heart there when Monfils kept coming back. In Shanghai, although he didn’t beat Davy, the semi went to 3rd set tiebreak. His match with Simon in Bejing (or was it Shanghai) was also a grinder. And don’t forget the Madrid semi vs. Rafa! That was one of the most tightly competed matches on the year in many ways – long points, great shots, etc. He fought hard for that match, and he was the one pushing Rafa throughout the clay season this year. I think with the new trainer, there are many positives to suggest he’ll fight longer and harder for wins going forward.

Anyhow I also agree with your comment that if Novak doesn’t win here “it is not last chance saloon.” I don’t agree with Sean that this is such a super important event for Novak and Murray. I think the slams next year will be much more important for both of them.


been there Says:

Kimmi@ 5:55am says:

“Nadal has lost but you could see he was trying, that fire power, willingness to win was there…verdasco also gave up in the final set with fed…this is what i am trying to say jane. we did not see this in Djoko in the past 6 to 7 weeks.”

Jane@ 6:50am says:
“I guess I just don’t question their fighting spirit too much because sometimes it’s just that the other guy is better on the day. Both Djoko and Murray can be vulnerable on serve, and when their serves go off, as Djoko’s did today and Murray’s did versus Fed, that will be a big factor in the outcome.”

I think the big question is: What exactly is a ‘fighting spirit’?

I could be wrong, but I think what Kimmi is saying is more or less based on how negative Djoko gets when he’s on the down-low. He loses a set & that’s it…very negative body language, all emotions on the sleeve, lamentations. Shaking head, head in hands, just nothing…no energy. The opponent can see it. Even the commentators in the Djoko-Sod match in that 2nd set said it. It was quite bad & a bit tough to watch, especially considering that he’s done so well post USO.

imo, a ‘fighting spirit’ has nothing to do with score-lines, nor if a part of a player’s game is working or not. Someone can lose a whole game 0-6, 1-6, or even 0-6, 0-6, yet he fought hard during the entire time. A few matches come to mind:
————————————————————————–
>>Soderling vs Rafa Rome: 1-6, 0-6…yet Soderling did leave everything on court. So many games went to 40-40, & Rafa just stepped it up on those crucial big points…obviously also combine with Rafa being clay King. Soderling by no means folded in that game…ok, maybe towards the end, frustration meant more unforced errors just mindlessly whacking the ball.

>>Fed vs Del.P USO: final set 2-6…his serve was off through most of the match, yet he still managed to push it to five sets, and was still trying damn hard to break back despite Del.P being the superior player in the 2nd half of the match.
(I also have to mention the poor lamb D.Britton who was thrown in a lion’s den to face Fed in 1st rnd…he was obviously going to lose & the whole of America knew it, but boy, did the kid ‘fight’!..1-6 1st set, but he still kept going…+ve body language throughout which paid off ‘coz he pushed Fed to 7-5 in the next two sets!)

>>Rafa vs Djoko Paris Masters: 2-6, 3-6…Djoko was toooo good, no competition. Yet, Rafa was still trying hard even though he was being outplayed over & above.

Now on to yesterday’s matches:

>>Rafa vs Davy…during the 1st set, Rafa did give some uncharacteristic negative body language, but he quickly picked himself up, and even after Davy was about to break him in the 2nd set to go 6-1, 4-3 up, Rafa scored a single point & the commentators were like ” If someone didn’t know the scoreline, looking at Rafa’s body language, you’d think he’s the one who’s up a set and almost a break!”

>>Murray vs Fed…yes, Murray’s serve went off, and Fed raised his game to A+, but imo, Murray was still scrambling to save himself. He’s -ve body language is more of too much anger (which invariably affects his game), but not giving up.

>>Djoko vs Sod…the complete opposite. Djoko got frustrated that he couldn’t break Soderling. He was frustrated right from like the 1st set about 3rd or 4th game when they were still levelled…probably more to do with most of his service games going to deuce. Once the game got to 2nd set & Sod got a break, Djoko gave up…sure, he may have been tired, but from what I saw, he did give up….like he was dead on court and simply wanted to get out of there. It was tough to watch. No wonder Soderling didn’t celebrate big after his 1st ever win against Djoko. Djoko just gave up.

————————————————————————–
So, based on those examples, a ‘fighting spirit’ doesn’t mean that a player is loses 6-7, 6-7 or something like that. A 1-6, 0-6 scoreline is perfectly ‘ok’, so long as the player tried hard. And it doesn’t matter that the opponent is way too good…you still gotta try, tired or not. I say that ‘coz look at Del.P’s loses to Murray, especially during USO series…the guy was gassed out completely, but still tried, despite knowing he’s losing.

Also, imo, losing coz of lack of a ‘fighting spirit’, is very different from a mental collapse. e.g. Fed-Tsonga Montreal..hehe..Fed packed up his mind to his kid’s hotel room…that was a mental collapse. Same to Verdasco vs Fed 3rd set London…’Dasco collapsed mentally,which then led to giving up the fight & Fed’s train rolled. Yet other players fight hard and collapse while serving out a set, match or while just about to break, i.e. ‘choke’.

So going forward, Djoko must learn to continue fighting hard even when he’s tired. That is what I expect of anyone within the top30. This is where Fed & Rafa excel…tired or not, mentally collapsed or not, serve not working, forehand misfiring..back issues, stomach tears, tendonitis…throw it all in…these two champs, win or lose, FIGHT till the end. Fed keeps ice-cool calm while Rafa gives his effusive +Ve body language. Of couse, they do have their moments of frustration & once in a while neegativity, but these don’t last for long.

And for Djoko especially, he’s #3 in the world, so if he’s gonna challenge for slams next season, he’s probably gonna find himself tired in the lead up to FO, Wimby & USO, simply ‘coz there are so many tournaments leading to those slams & I suppose he’ll be going deep. No need to perform well in masters only to bow out of a slam ‘coz of tiredness…unless it’s very obvious like the examples I gave of Del.P (which he has to fix ‘coz of fitness)


been there Says:

Just to continue my post at 10:06 am…
Bottom line, Djoko must try to avoid getting too down on himself when things are going bad, whether or not the opponent is way too good. Same to Murray….he must not get too angry when things are going bad.

The problem with getting extremely negative is that it eventually starts to affect the mind…then what do we have? We get a situation where balls are now being whacked mindlessly to result in unforced errors…low energy meaning a bad serve just gets worse…no longer being able to put an ‘easy’ volleys over the net continuously while normally, the player does it even with closed eyes (read Djoko).

For me, this is part of Djoko’s & Murray’s biggest problem. Anyhow, back to TMC London, should he qualify for semis, then he’s still as much a favourite as any other. I believe he’s gonna bring his A game to Rafa, tired or not, ‘coz there’s no way he’s letting this opportunity to balance H2H just pass by based on tiredness…unless he’s like reeeaaaally tired & gases out like Del.P usually does during the match.


scineram Says:

Should MAndy win second set he is through, Fed and Delpo to win for survival.


contador Says:

watching this match….muzz v verdasco, i realized a good strategy to employ against murray: bore him senseless.

talk about low energy match. i’m thinking i could even handle the murray second serve.


jane Says:

I think Djoko does continue fighting hard even when he’s tired; witness his matches with Monfils in Paris, or Davy here. Sure in the Sod match he got frustrated. But he’s curbed that a lot lately. One slip doesn’t deserve this much nay-saying imo.


jane Says:

been there, I agree about the negativity. Djoko seemed to have gotten better lately, gesturing a little less and getting on with it. Or maybe breaking one racket and moving on. So we’ll see. Maybe it’s tough when the body’s tired, the game’s not working but the player still wants to win – the frustration sets in. But I guess that’s when a player needs to find another level, or have a plan B.

It’s tough to judge, imo, what’s a mental collapse and what’s tiredness or lack of fighting spirit. Sometimes it’s a matter of perception.

But anyhow, enjoyed your posts.


jane Says:

Murray’s serve needs some work – he’s had 9 aces, but 6 doubles now. It’d be nice if he could have the aces without all the doubles.


contador Says:

been there:

very interesting posts about fighting spirit and low energy…

don’t you think it’s also about the moment? i mean who isn’t gonna fight to win in the final of a grand slam, whereas this match, the one on now, leaves me wondering if verdasco is just going through the motions.

and with nolee v sod, i believe nole will come out rejuvenated against rafa. but yes, maybe the yec is not important to him but getting the win over rafa, you would think, would be.


contador Says:

about fed though, who knows. a ‘mental collapse’ may be nothing more than loss of interest in the match and the opponent and the day? he may be off somewhere else in his mind yet winning, then suddenly tsonga realizes the match ain’t over and takes charge but federer is too far gone and done in his mind to come back….lol

maybe djoko didn’t feel up to putting forth so much effort against soda yesterday. soderling had more incentive/energy to win.

the one player who comes out to win no matter what–nadal.


been there Says:

Jane says:

“One slip doesn’t deserve this much nay-saying imo”
The problem is that it’s simply one slip one time too many. Look at the Haas vs. Djoko at Wimbledon qtrs. The scores were 7-5,7-6, 6-4, 6-3 too Haas which is a lot better than a 1-6..however, it was the same story…it was one of his worse performances due to getting down on himself. I got so frustrated, I simply stopped watching. The commentators were even like ‘should the umpire intervene ‘coz he’s talking & gesturing to his box too much?’

“…witness his matches with Monfils in Paris, or Davy here.”

It is easy to fight when you are the on-form player & generally playing better tennis than your opponent. What I’m saying (& Kimmi I guess) is that when he’s not at his best, he must continue fighting hard. Even in that Paris finals, he really got too down on himself when Monfils was making a mini comebacks during the match.

“Djoko seemed to have gotten better lately, gesturing a little less and getting on with it.”
imo, we are yet to see if he’s really gotten better in that aspect. All the improvements we’ve seen are in his post-USO super trail blaze when he’s playing his best tennis in two years.

What I want to see in Djoko is that Rafa & Fed fighting spirits when they are over, out & done when their opponents are playing better or part of their games not working or simply playing their worst tennis. That is what makes them multi-slam winners. Especially Fed’s FO matches this year..the guy was done & dusted. Again, as I said previously, it’s not about winning ‘coz a 0-6 set is ‘just fine’ so long as the player was trying hard.


been there Says:

b.t.w Jane, I’m saying all that as a Djoko fan, right up there with Del.P & Fed in my fan list…only 2nd to La Monf.

————————————————————–
Seems like we’re headed to a tie-brreak with Murray vs. ‘Dasco.


scineram Says:

WE HAVE A MATCH! VAMOS!!


been there Says:

‘DAAAASCO!!!!! Yei!!

Fed breathes just a bit easier. :))


contador Says:

‘how much do they care’ about the match. seems like rafa consistently cares, wants the fans to have their money’s worth and he’s gonna deliver, even if he’s not even close to on half a tank.

you have to wonder sometimes about fed and nole, and ….murray….and …you name it.

the choke is coming…can tobasco take us to a decider

murray was bored into submission. lol….


Long Live the King Says:

Hi Jane,

Agree with your post that Novak is making progress on staying the course in long matches and tournaments.

I think where Sean is coming from is that this WTF like a 5th slam with the kind of field it has and every slam from here on is an opportunity for Novak or murray and even delpo to keep their charge to the top going. Every GS they fail to deliver will be an opportunity missed and the pressure will mount. Atleast thats the way i see it. Ofcourse they will keep having opportunities, but every opportunity missed is an opportunity lost.

I still have Novak as 3rd Fav. I donot think he will lose to anyone except Roger or Murray in the knockout stage. The other guy who could have beaten him in the knock out of a big 3-set tournament, Rafa is already out, though he could exact revenge by getting novak tomorrow. (dont see rafa winning that though)

Ofcourse anything can happen in tennis, but what I said above are the chances going in. Like Sean, my predictions are not immune to *AHEM* the odd upset ;)


jane Says:

He may’ve got down on himself vs. Monfils, been there, but it didn’t stop him from fighting. There’s a difference between stopping fighting and getting down. I didn’t think the SW19 vs. Haas performance was bad, but he definitely got too nervous & negative at times. That was much different than yesterday imo, which wasn’t nerves, but was more down to fatigue.

Anyhow, I do think Djoko has improved his fitness and fighting and has shown signs he can also control nerves and negativity too. He must be a pretty good fighter to be number 3.


andrea Says:

i’m re watching some of the fed/blake final. (yes, James Blake made it to the final a few years back). in fact, james played some insane tennis to get to the final and then he was made to look extremely ordinary in the final. gotta be disenheartening….


jane Says:

Murray is now at 15 aces and 9 doubles; that’s some crazy rather erratic serving.


jane Says:

Dumb question – but isn’t Verdasco out regardless if he wins today?


Gannu Says:

Yawn this murray verdasco match is so boring…just cant sit thru this


been there Says:

contador says:

“don’t you think it’s also about the moment?”

Yes…I was just laying it out in general and contrasting the trends of Fed & Rafa with Djoko with that regard, even during slams. Moments are definitely there…that’s why I said about even mental collapses while serving out a set or match, e.g when up 0-40 on your own serve (read Almagro & Robredo, sometimes Tsonga) i.e. BIG CHOKE…which then turns a match upside down after fighting hard till that point. e.g. FO Fed vs. Haas…yes, Fed fought hard to get himself back in play in that famous 3rd set 4-3 40-30 to Haas….however, after that, Haas simply collapsed mentally & probably tired out going forward….otherwise how to explain the 0-6 scoreline 4th set when he’d been playing better till then? Yes, Fed IS Fed and all that, but still…..so yeah, moments are there.

So yes, maybe yesterday, Djoko didn’t want to put too much energy when he’s going to lose. But again, remember that sets & games also come into play in RR to decide whose advancing to semis, so I doubt that’s the case. He’s said it himself in his interview that he didn’t enjoy playing & was tired. So what I’m saying, he has to find a way to continue fighting when these bad moments are going on.

It’s not the scoreline that I have a problem with, just the manner in which it seemed, at least to those watching, that he wasn’t trying any more. And this is a trend when things get very tight for him. It’s the one area than once he improves, he’s gonna dominate for long periods instead of a few weeks here & there. To dominate, a player must be playing good tennis, but also sometimes relies on luck, which he has to create by continuing fighting at all times. I think it’s one of the reasons he has a new coach.


cha cha Says:

Talking heads Arias and Shiras were talking about Blandy’s gamesmanship today. When he is scrambling in the back court he smacks his racket on the ground to disrupt his opponent’s returns.
Blandy complaining to the umpire again.


contador Says:

Gannu,

the commentators were remarking that the conversation muzz was having with the ump during changeover was about the rr rules of how they decide who goes thru….haha…so obviously murray had at least part of his mind elswhere during the tie break.

i could see murray possibly losing if he gets too impatient. but he’ll pull thru

suddenly the match is more interesting.


jane Says:

Looks like this is going to a 3rd set tiebreak! Nail-bitting…


contador Says:

been there:

as far as yesterday goes, i totally agree about the nole v sod match. nole seemed to not try and even detailed why in his pressor. he also gave soda credit for playing well, serving well. but i am wondering if nole is placing a high priority on this “moment”, defending this title.

he has plenty of talent. i love his personality but wonder how much he wants to be #1. to me, after fed and rafa, nole his the next likely #1.


jane Says:

Phew, looks safe for Andy M now, but Verdasco fought well. He just caves mentally when push comes to shove.


been there Says:

wow…Andy wins. Well done ‘Dasco. Andy now has to wait for the outcome of Fed vs. Del.P..how tense. But I think he’s in a good position to qualify either way.


been there Says:

“He may’ve got down on himself vs. Monfils, been there, but it didn’t stop him from fighting. There’s a difference between stopping fighting and getting down.”

true..but remember that he was playing his best tennis then. What I’m saying is simply this: Once a player gets down on himself, the wheels start coming off. Extreme negativity & frustration eventually leads to lack of fight for Djoko, whether he’s tired or not. ‘Coz instead of concentrating on the game, the player is concentrating on being negative, which leads to more errors than if he had stayed calm. imo, Monfils is the one who was fighting there…Djoko was simply playing better tennis, but as Monfils said ‘I’m ready to die on that court’…and he did, gave everything. It’s the only reason why there was even a 3rd set tie-break, otherwise it could have been over very quickly after being steam-rolled in set1….’coz Djoko got so down on himself & frustrated with both himself & Monfils improved performance that it continuously allowed Monfils back into the match.

So getting down & not fighting enough are interconnected for Djoko. He first goes all negative, & once that is done, the lack of fight starts to creep in.

————————————————————————————–

But as you say@ 10:52 am it’s probably a matter of perception:
“It’s tough to judge, imo, what’s a mental collapse and what’s tiredness or lack of fighting spirit. Sometimes it’s a matter of perception.”

so, imo, the way I see it for the top5…and this is general trend, not a specific match:

>>Fed: win or lose, fights till the end whether tired, mono, back issues, serve not working, forehand misfiring. However, generally prone to mental collapses whether in a winning or losing position.

Rafa: win or lose, fights ’till the end too amidst knee issues, misbehaving forehand, tiredness (AO finals & many others). Also is very mentally tough & that’s the one area, (i.e. tennis skills aside) that he excels brilliantly over Fed.

Djoko: Extremely negative, gets down on himself, ‘poor me’ attitude which invariably leads to lack of enough fight when things are not going his way.

Murray: Extremely angry when things are bad which leads to negativity to affect the game for the worse when things are going bad. Though he too still fights.

Del Potro: Cool as a cucumber :)…Also mentally tough. Prone to tiredness due to fitness issues. I’ll judge in the next year whether he’s almost as mentally tough as Rafa…the way I see it, he’s headed that way (i.e. tennis skills aside)


been there Says:

contador says:

“…but i am wondering if nole is placing a high priority on this “moment”, defending this title.”

I see what you mean. Yes, possibly, but that’s a risky strategy. If he was to face any other player, I’d see how he may want to risk…after-all, he’s playing very good tennis the past two months. But my worry is that it’s Rafa, & even though he got the better of him in Paris, Rafa may want to prove himself.

Anyway, with Sod qualified, & Djoko having beaten Davy, he’s probably in a good position to strategies ‘coz Rafa’s definitely out. So yeah, risky as it may be, it could be that he was concentrating on the ‘moment’ rather than expend too much energy when he’s already losing.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

I’ll take a first stab at this:
As I understand it, first tiebreaker is sets won/lost.

Which means that Fed NEEDS to win a set to match Murray.

Second tiebreaker is % games won: Murray has 44-43, 50.6%
Fed comes in with 32-22=59.3%

So Fed can lose, but as long as he wins 1 set, he just needs to be better than +1 in games for the tourney. Which means he just can’t lose the other sets by blowouts, and he will win (the 1 set win means he is +1 or 2 games, in the 2 other sets he can’t be – by more than roughly 10 games)

So essentially, Fed wins 1 set and he’s in.

Is my tiebreaker formula correct?


Tennis Vagabond Says:

BTW, I would like to draw the juries attention to my pre-tourney predictions: Impossible to predict a winner (said I) but I can predict two losers: Verdasco and Nadal.
Cough. Cough.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

errr, make that “jury’s”.


contador Says:

been there:

if nole doesn’t exactly have burning desire to be #1, what’s the point in pushing himself right now? the way we know he can play tennis is great enough to be #1 and right now fed is inconsistent and rafa not himself. one would think this a great time to win, pile on the points, get after it man, for crying out loud!

but what do we find? he’s too tired. well, if rafa was in-form as djoko is, we know what rafa would do; and for that matter, what RF has been doing most of the last 5-6 years. no question who has wanted to be world #1.

btw- agree with how you see the top 5, in general.

and delpo is one of my favorites. somehow i must see the match this afternoon! it’ll be tricky… can’t miss fed v delpo!


contador Says:

Tennis Vagabond: don’t ask me…even with i am it spelling it out above and others explaining ….i only have a vague idea about the nitty gritty of who goes

i think that’s right. fed has to win a set…..uh, right?

not sure i like the system. seems subject to the subjective, if it comes down to splitting hairs.

yep, nando and rafa are back to Spain. seems wrong to me to already know your OUT and still have to play a match.


jane Says:

been there, I can see what you mean here “So getting down & not fighting enough are interconnected for Djoko. ”

However, in your assessment of the top five I think your portrayal of Djoko & Murray is too negative. I don’t see either as being that “extreme”.

As for Delpo, I am waiting. He does have fitness issues, but I wonder about his fight sometimes too. He can be quick to give in for whatever reason.


been there Says:

Jane,

That’s how I see it. For me, it is EXTREME!!, especially for a top5 player. I see how someone ranked out top30 may behave that way when things go bad. And as I said, I say all this being a Djoko fan. He’s one of my top3-4 players. Djoko has a slam and many masters…he should be able to handle himself better…he’s got enough experience for it.

I might even excuse Murray ‘coz he doesn’t have a slam so wants to win anything and everything to prove that he’s right in with the big boys…so I can see where his EXTREME anger (of course tennis-wise…am not talking of anger leading to murder! or things like that. lol) comes from when things go bad…but Djoko, nope…he has to improve.

If I were to talk of others, I would put in Tsonga, & Monfils (who is my absolute favourite) as having EXTREME mental issues. (again, just tennis-wise..not to be in a mental institute!)So it’s nothing to do with portraying Murray & Djoko negatively. It’s just how I see it…and as you said, it’s probably a matter of perception.

Yes, I didn’t talk about Del.P’s fighting spirit coz he hasn’t been at the top long enough for me to analyse it well….he only became a contender for big titles just this year, specifically, after taking Fed to 5sets in FO…it it’s a bit hard to judge.


madmax Says:

Been there says:

Rafa: win or lose, fights ’till the end too amidst knee issues, misbehaving forehand, tiredness (AO finals & many others). Also is very mentally tough & that’s the one area, (i.e. tennis skills aside) that he excels brilliantly over Fed.

No. Rafa doesnt excel brilliantly over fed in this area amigo. Remember Berdych, AO?2 sets down (mental strength of fed there PHENOMENAL Haas FO, 2 sets down (mental strength of fed PHENOMENAL, DelPo FO, Semi final, 1 set down, fed went on to win a 5 setter – PHENOMENAL mental strength. He is THE most amazing ‘mentalist’ eevveerrrr!

This round robin malarky, you need a flippin’ PHD in maths (where are you I AM IT!) to understand what the hell is going on – 3 scenarios – fed wins in straight sets – fed through to semi, fed loses one set, but goes on to win the match, fed through to semi, del po wins in straights, fed has a play off – against Andy?. So whatever happens, fed got to either win in straights or take a set – this is just a brain basher when it comes to working out the different ways that a player goes through to the semis.

Even though Murray beat Verdi, doesnt guarantee he gets through to semi, gotta wait the outcome of this match.

Got to say fed’s match against murray, 4:2 in final set – that magical, magical, touch volley was beautiful. I sat at home with my mouth in the shape of an ‘O’. It was awesome. This is how I love to see fed play.

Come on Fed, another match to go and your in the Semis! Go fed go! Dont let the fact that you are year end No. 1, mean you take the foot off the gas – go for it!


madmax Says:

been there,

Rafa is exceptional as well regarding the mental strength, but c’mon! fed 2 sets down at Wimby 2008? the most epic match eeevveerr!!! mental strength, the guy dug deep and almost…almost got it! Federer is just right there, when it matters – rafa is of a similar mould, hence the reason why fed really does enjoy the rivalry between them, it’s really cute.


jane Says:

Fair enough, been there; I can see where you’re coming from indeed, and I’d like Djoko to just put his head down and focus as well. Even the interminable bouncing is better perhaps, lol. Maybe Martin will help as he’s a pretty even keeled soul.


jane Says:

madmax, in that Fed/Berdych match I saw it more as a typical Berdych collapse than mental strength on Fed’s part. Fed just hung in there on a day when he wasn’t playing his best and he came out the winner in part because Tomas is just a mental midget.

However, I think when Fed played Andreas at the USO in 08 or even Tipsy at the AO 08, he remained very mentally focused and strong in both of those matches.

I tend to agree with been there, however, that against Rafa, Fed is more likely to have a mental glitch or hiccup than Rafa is against Fed. But their H2H is more down to match up than mental strength. Rafa’s game just matches up well against Fed’s, as we know.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Have to agree with Been There on Rafa vs Fed.

The cases Madmax brings up don’t disprove the point at all: Been There points out that Fed will fight through anything, but is prone to random mental lapses, winning or losing. I can’t argue with that- look at his match against Tsonga in Montreal this year- up 5-1 in the third and then totally collapsed, or against Nadal in the AO Finals.
Fed is a fighter, there is no doubt. But once in a while, he gets weird. Nadal is much more stable- or was…


been there Says:

madmax,

I’m by no means saying that Fed doesn’t have mental strength…he does have it, & possibly doesn’t get enough credit for it ‘coz other parts of his game are way too good, so the focus of on the beauty of his game & his brilliance overall in manipulating ball & racquet. I gave the example of the FO showing Fed’s fight & mental strength.

Am simply saying this: when it comes to mental strength, Fed is no competition for Rafa. While Fed can mentally check out of a match (even when he wins…luckily, he wins most of the time), the same cannot be said for Rafa. Rafa is mentally present maybe 99% of the time.

I don’t know for sure, Fed is probably no2 in mental strength…no way can someone dominate #1 & 2 for 5-6 years without mental strength..’coz sometimes that is the saving grace to continue trying when things are bad. However, for me, Rafa is without a doubt the no1 in that department…very few, in any, mental collapses from Rafa. Fed on the other hand, especially in non-slams, ayayaiya…

So while for Fed, his tennis-skills is his trade mark, for Rafa it’s the mental strength, hence the ‘mentally-toughest player on tour’ tag. That is what saved him in Paris against Almagro & Robredo (yes, with catastrphic choking from the two, but still…)

Notice that I have tried to separate ‘fighting spirit’ from ‘mental strength’. For me, they are more or less equal in the fighting spirit whether winning or losing. However, in the mental department, imo, Rafa wins hands down. Perhaps not by much, but he still wins.


madmax Says:

Tennis Vag – i respect your point, and Jane’s, but I am sticking to my guns on this.

Federer’s mental strength in slams, in particular, is incredible. He becomes a different person. I am aware of the h2h in favour of rafa, who isn’t? but most of those wins (9), came on clay – that doesnt detract from rafa’s successes at all – i love watching him play and i have loved the fed/nadal rivalry for a long time now –

The tsonga melt down was something that I will never understand, ever – i would like to think that fed has learnt from that and moved on in a positive way from it –

But berdyche, I have always rated Jane – if you look at it from fed’s angle, he could have folded – he stuck with it and continued, played magnificently to win the next 3 sets in a row – just brilliant.

We all know the pivotal moment with Haas at the FO – Haas had federer on the racks at one point. What did fed do? You can pinpoint the time his play changed. 4:3 in the third set – everything changed. Fed’s mindset was strong, stronger, strongest – quite brilliant.

Then Delpo – in the semis, Fed just hung on in there, brought the show home in a five setter – pure genius – the mental strength that he possesses in key moments is too much for words, and is completely underestimated here.

Rafa – of course – he fights for every point – but at his cost – he doesnt need to grind for the points all the time, look at what it has done to his knees. But mental strength and courage, yes, rafa has oodles of it. But, I think fed has more. Put it this way, fed has put himself into tricky situations (on a more regular basis than rafa) and has turned those tricky situations around – that takes some guts – it really does.

Jane,

The AO. Was in the fifth set, fed 4:2 down, he went wobbly, but look at his serve count, his posture, his back was not good at that time (and I am not trying to make excuses) if you have the tape handy, go watch that set again – there wasnt much that he could do – that was a physical situation, not a mental one – fed would never have considered retiring, he would always have finished his matches. His mental strength over the last 10 years – i dont think he has ever retired from a match in all that time, mental strength, and when the going gets tough, fed is a fighter. Pure genius.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Now… if you’re Federer, and you win the 1st set today, you book a ticket to the semis. Then you decide who you want along- if you win, Murray comes. If you lose, DelPo comes.
Do you care which of these two face Soderling (Fed will get Davy or Nole)? Do you care which you might face in the finals?

I don’t believe at all Fed will consider this- but we can!


been there Says:

I would even go out and say that Fed is more prone of mental collapses when he’s winning easily…hehe..how many players on tour would love to have that problem? Usually, it’s the opposite, a player is losing & then checks out completely. But for Fed, if he’s losing, he concentrates wven harder…while winning, fans hope he doesn’t check out. Quite strange indeed…lucky him.


Kimo Says:

Whoever thinks that Fed is not gonna want to beat Delpo today just to avoid meeting Nole, or to kick Murray out of the tournament simply doesn’t know Fed at all.

Did Fed consider that when he met Rafa in the semis of 2006 and 2007 Tennis Masters Cup? And that’s RAFA, the Anti-Fed, someone who has from the very beginning had a positive H2H vs. the Fed. Not Nole, or Delpo, or Murray who he just slapped.

Fed wants to win every match he plays. He doesn’t tank matches for anyone. Never has.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Hey Kimo- was just making the suggestion for fun!


Kimo Says:

I know, Vagabond. ;)


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Time to warm up the web stream!!!
(how do you do warm a web stream, by peeing in it?)


Kimo Says:

What’s the URL, Vaga?


Tennis Vagabond Says:

I generally try
channelsurfing.net
atdhe.net
justin.tv

If none of these are good, bet365.com has excellent streams- only drawback is filling the sign up form (free anyways) and the vid screen is quite small.


Kimo Says:

Great, thanks :)


jane Says:

I can almost always find a good quality stream here:

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


madmax Says:

here we go again guys!

C’moon the fed!


Kimo Says:

I thought Delpo used the same racquet as Fed, but when they stood at the net, Delpo’s racquet head lookead a little bigger. I know Fed’s racquet head is 90 sq. in. Anyone knows what Delpo’s is?


David Says:

Madmax said: “The tsonga melt down was something that I will never understand, ever – i would like to think that fed has learnt from that and moved on in a positive way from it”

Madmax, do you really think that match is important enough in the grand scheme of things for Fed to “learn anything” from it? I could see your point if you made that comment about the 08 FO and Fed’s seeming lack of fight once he got way down. But Montreal, even if it is a Masters Series event, is really pretty trivial to Fed at this point in his career. I’m sure he forgot about that match 5 minutes after it was over.


contador Says:

wooooooowhoooo! delpo has come out to win.

break back fed, c’mon!


been there Says:

wow, Del.P is hitting the balls so hard…not only is he in control & likely to win, he’ll break Fed’s thin arms in the process!

Fed has been forced to defensive tennis here, which shows how well Del.P is playing…Del.P is all sharp. Time to bring out tactics ‘coz baseline exchange will be straight sets for Del.P


Tennis Vagabond Says:

I will pick Fed now, down a break. He looks sharp. He will adjust to DelPo’s serve. Should be a cracker.


Kimo Says:

Both players are playing great right from the start!!!

Fed is hitting his top spin backhand really well today.


jane Says:

But Delpo has gotten 36% first serves in; eventually, unless he brings that up, Fed will make him pay.


David Says:

Delpo’s forehand is actually struck with a quite a bit of topspin. He’s usually described at a “flat” hitter, and I guess he hits relatively flat compared to maybe Nadal or Verdasco. He also can really flatten the ball out and hit those 100 mph rockets with his forehand.

But Delpo’s forehand is hit with a lot more topspin than say Agassi used to hit.


contador Says:

this is great!

but i’m wondering if that heaving noise delpo makes bugs federer, just a little…

delpo is on a roll already


Kimo Says:

Delpo, unusually, started this match really well. Usually he’s a slow starter.


Kimmi Says:

Delpo 2 breaks up..wow. What a start.


David Says:

I know Daniel has probably posted this, but what happens if Delpo wins in 3 sets? Which two players would go through?


Daniel Says:

Damm it, all Fed needs to do to qualifie is win a set and keep the match competitive. He is handling DelPo the first set, not tied at all.

All because a slump shot at the first game 30-30 teh touched the net and land in fed’s foot. Strangelly, Federer was broken in his first serviuce game in all 3 matches.


Bjorn Borg Says:

Hide, Federer, hide. Play defensive like Murray. Throw kitchen sink, chip and charge, and whatever at the Argentine. That’s the only way out. He cannot win clean. He has to play tactically ugly like Murray.


Daniel Says:

If DelPo wins in 3 sets, they will all be tied with 2 wins and 5-4 set win/lost.

The better game win/lost percentage will stablish n.1 and n.2. I believe Federer has a better shot at ending n.1 in his group if he wins a set and keep the match close.


Kimo Says:

Don’t let the score fool you. Fed is playing really well.


contador Says:

yes, delpo does tend to be a slow starter.

not this time! he’s an inspired man

i see what sean meant when he wrote: this match is on the argentine’s racquet


Daniel Says:

If Fed loses in straight he is out, DelPo first and Murray second.


jane Says:

Well I take that back. So far, anyhow, Fed is not punishing Delpo’s second serves as Delpo’s still at only 38% first serves! Sometimes I think Fed could be more aggressive in his return games; he is not one of the leading returners anymore. Instead of just getting the ball back in play, especially against someone powerful like Delpo, Fed needs to hit aggressively from the get-go.


David Says:

That could change though if Fed loses this first set 6-1 or 6-2 though, no?


Kimo Says:

David, I think games are irrelevant since he beat Murray.


been there Says:

lol Del.P waits till he faces Fed to play his best tennis since the US open.

poor Fed & Nadal…everyone hits the ground running when facing them. Nowhere to hide. At this rate, Del.P is winning in the next 20 minutes.


jane Says:

Kudos to Delpo; he outplayed Fed quite easily and not even serving that well!


Kimo Says:

I think that is the best 6-2 loss Fed has ever had!!! He’s playing better than he did in the openning set against Murray.


David Says:

But Fed beat Murray, Murray beat Delpo and Delpo would have beaten Fed under this scenario, so why would we only look at Fed’s result against Murray?


Kimmi Says:

OMG OMG..DelPo is becoming federer nemesis..Fed you ONLY need a set here…do you see..C’MOOOON


Daniel Says:

I don’t know why Federer is not challenge some of DelPo’s serves. He looks at the marks in doubt and some of this serves look close to me either, but he didn’t challenge. I like Nadal in this, if he has doubts, he uses the system.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

WOW. DelPo looks awesome.


contador Says:

and i wonder if nalby has been giving delpo some pep talks

who is scarier: a supremely confident and on a roll soda or delpo?


David Says:

I still think Fed’s going to turn this around. He’s got to start dominating this match with his serve and forehand and get some momentum with an early break.


Bjorn Borg Says:

USO’s service excuse is not applicable here. In the 1st set Federer won 73% of 56% 1st serve in and Del Potro won 67% of 43% in.


Kimmi Says:

Another break point..c’mon fed


Kimo Says:

David, if Delpo wins in three, only then will the service game percentage count. But Fed is so far ahaead that if he does lose in three sets that aren’t bagels or breadsticks, he’ll bee in the semis.

Murray and Delpo are so close in that department. it might come to a difference of ONE game.


Daniel Says:

David, the 3 of them will be tied.

- Murray 2-1 5-4 in sets 44-43 in games
- Fed 2-0 4-2 in sets 32-22 in games
- DelPo 1-1 3-3 in sets 27-31 in games

So Fed has by large the best games won/lost percentage. If he wins one set today and keep the other close, Murray and DelPo will decide the second place.

But he can win next two sets and seal the deal.


contador Says:

hm. what is federer going to do?

absolutely right. it’s not federer’s serve or his back. federer has not been playing as much or as hard as he was during the run to the us open final. he doesn’t look stiff, he’s moving well…

simply being bested by the powerful delpo…..so far…


jane Says:

That’s true Bjorn Borg. But look at the return game stats for the year. Fed’s not one of the leaders. He is still at the top in service categories, but not in returns.


been there Says:

It is not always about serves and returns.It all depends on individual players. Someone like Fed and Del.P can still win matches quite easily when their serves are in the 40% category. Not so for Murray

The difference here is ground-games, i.e. rallies. Del.P is simply suffocating Fed once the rallies begin with big & powerful forehands. Nothing Fed can do if he sticks to that. As the commentators have said ‘Fed now has to apply tactics…’…it’s the only way out for him.

The big question…Will there be time to do so? ‘coz this is a 3setter, not 5 setter.


jane Says:

Been there, if Fed could hit more aggressive returns he could try to dictate the rally. By putting those chip one-handed cross court backhand returns in, that *allows Delpo to immediately get into attack mode.

Fed ran around some of those returns against Rafa in Madrid, and instead hit down the line, aggressive forehand returns on the second serves.

Anyhow, it does seem like Fed’s stepping up at the moment, serving better, and meanwhile Delpo is making a few more errors.


contador Says:

i see what you mean, been there.

this really is on delpo’s racquet. if delpo can keep the power and accuracy level …..no time for tactics or to test delpo’s fitness.


jane Says:

Interesting, the commentators I am listening to just said the same thing, Goodall and Koenig. They said Fed should try something different and pointed out exactly how whenever Delpo srves to Fed’s backhand, Fed chips it back which allows Delpo to drill a forehand.

His serve is rolling now, so if he could just find a way to break, he’d have his one set…


Kimmi Says:

Fed start to serve more effective now. At least its giving him some free point.


been there Says:

Jane, yeah, but Rafa & Del.P are two very different different players. Rafa’s serve is not as powerful as say a Del.P or a Soderling. Against such powerful hitters, it’s always a chip return then he starts to dictate the game after that.

So it’s easy to say ‘he should do this & that’ re: returning the serve…but does he ever do it against the serves of such players like Del.P or Soderling, especially when they are clicking like this?…even at the USO, it was the same thing…not too aggressive on the return of serve vs, Del.P.

The way I’m seeing it, those Del.P serves are way too powerful…even if Fed wants & knows he should be aggressive…he simply can’t. He can just chip them back in. His way out is to draw Del.P into the net…and maybe avoid too much defence once the rallies start. Easier said!! Crunch times. yikes! lol.


Kimmi Says:

Crunch time…crunch time


jane Says:

True, but I am referring to his second serves to the backhand side not those blasting first ones. I guess Delpo’s second serves kick higher, but still occasionally he could try something different on the return imo.

Anyhow, yep it’s crunch times. Probably a second set tiebreaker…


been there Says:

b.t.w jane, I totally agree with you in that being aggressive in the return would help Fed. I’m only saying that whether he wants to or not, he simply can’t…’coz they’re way too fast & powerful.


been there Says:

re: 5:12pm, yeah…unfortunately, they are not that many. yikes!!


contador Says:

this is not looking good to mirka about now.

if it were a best of 5 sets… i don’t like the idea of this tie break!

it’s all too easy for delpo. wonder if he can keep this level up against a murray or nole or soda ….rafa will be out…

delpo is in a completely different size class than rafa and roger!!

scary, would be if isner improved his movement and ground game to delpo’s level. cilic is going to be a beast too.


NachoF Says:

so if delpo wins the tiebreak who classifies?


Kimmi Says:

Min break to delpo…aaaarg Delpo on his way to the semi.


Kimmi Says:

Oh noooooo


Kimo Says:

Whew…clever return from Fed. My heart is beating like crazy.


Kimo Says:

COME ON FED!!!!! just one more point!!!!


Kimo Says:

YESSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


jane Says:

Well Fed held his nerve in this tiebreak, and one forehand winner kind of turned it around.


been there Says:

FEDERER!!!!!!!
lONG LIVE THE kING!!!


Kimmi Says:

YEEEEEES….So close..we go the distance


Long Live the King Says:

Federer Land erupts in unison!

What a tie-break. Fed has ice in his veins :)


Kimo Says:

Man, I LOVE MY FED!!!!!! He came from behind TWICE in the tiebreaker, and with a serve like Delpo’s, that’s saying something.


jane Says:

The match is over, regardless of who wins, if you know what I mean. Nice to see Delpo playing so well! I am a convert. i am it wherever you are, I get it! :)


been there Says:

The spirit of Rafa (in line with our earlier discusions. lol) has breathed on the Fed.

omg..omg..it was all over. Done & dusted…I was just typing out ‘back to Switzerland’

omg omg
Vamos Fed…Alllleeez!!!!


Kimo Says:

jane said:

“Well Fed held his nerve in this tiebreak, and one forehand winner kind of turned it around”

Well, had he lost the TB, we’d all be saying that the backhand volley he missed right after that forehand winner was what gave Delpo the match. That’s why I love tennis. One point here or there and things change dramatically.


Daniel Says:

Ufh!! Federe qualifies, even if he loses 6-0 in the third.

Now DelPo needs to win with the biggest margin possible to secure his place as n.2 in Group A.


been there Says:

jane @5:25, I see what you’re saying. lol

If I am Fed, I’d say ‘I have an injury’ and walk off court. lol. That was an assault by Del.P. But 200points in play and just to be super sure, Fed will play on.

Goodness. Mirka is a strong woman to put up with this sort of ‘unnecessary’ drama. Man, losing 6-2, 6-3 is so much easier to bear…these down the wire things like Davy yesterday & today Fed are turning me grey!!


Kimo Says:

Murray must be devastated right now, coz he knows that the six straight games he lost to Fed in that 3rd set have sealed his fate if Delpo wins this one.


Kimmi Says:

For those watching tennistv feed…Do you hear Goodall and Koenig calculating the percentage of games won for each of the three contenders..very close, very close.


Kimo Says:

Best match of the tournament so far. Hands down.


contador Says:

jane, welcome to the delpo fan club!

kimmi! my mom called …..right during the tie break and i missed it! it’s thanksgiving here…..have to go.

can’t believe federer is still in it.

have to check in later. missing a great match


Kimo Says:

Fed is playing to win. What a champion.


Just wondering Says:

Kimmi : so, what have Goodall and Koenig said about the % of games won by each contender?


jane Says:

I guess Murray would be cheering for Fed to run away with it now?


Kimo Says:

Fed has already qualified, says Koenig.


Kimo Says:

Koenig says Delpo has to win this set 6-3 or better.


Long Live the King Says:

Delpo is a BEAST! He is just crushing one ground stroke after another on both wings. As P-Mac would say, these are body blows! Count me in the Delpo fan club. WHATAPLAYA!

He is like the total opposite of Safina – Delivers only in MAJOR tournaments.


Just wondering Says:

I just read somewhere that Roger qualified, cause he only needed to win one game in this 3rd set (I assume that’s what was needed to be ahead of the winning game percentage).
Also, Del Potro needs to win by 6-3 or better in this 3rd set, otherwise he’s out. So if Fed needs 2 more games, DelPo is out, Murray is in.


David Says:

If Delpo wins this 7-6 in the third, I’m pretty sure Murray’s through. Talk about anti-climactic!


Kimmi Says:

Now they say delpo has to beat fed 6-3 or less to qualify, fed getting anymore games than that Murray qualifies.

About the % cant remember well..but something like right now fed has higher % followed by Murray 50% then delpo 49%


Kimo Says:

Fed is having a lot more success at net now.


been there Says:

“Kimmi : so, what have Goodall and Koenig said about the % of games won by each contender?”

Del Potro MUST win 6-3 or better to qualify. 6-4 or 7-5 or 7-6 WON’T do.

Basically, every single point that Fed is winning is slowly sending Del.P to Heathrow airpot back to Argentina.

As I type this, Fed has just won his game, it’s 3-3…
They’ve said De.P MUST win all games from here on. Otherwise, it’s done for him.


Bjorn Borg Says:

According to the TV commentators, if Del Potro wins this match with 6-4 in the 3rd, he is out of WTF, and Murray qualifies.


max Says:

Delpo needs to win at least 6-3 the third set. A 6-4 win will give Murray the passage to semis.


scineram Says:

33, 15-40 Elimination point against Delpo.


David Says:

Here’s the “real” match point for Delpo.


Kimo Says:

If Fed converts on the break points, Murray is in, Delpo is out.


David Says:

Saved it with a cc forehand winner.


Just wondering Says:

Oops, 2 break points for Fed : that’s basically 2 match points for Murray!


David Says:

Saved another one! But he’ll still have to break Fed.


scineram Says:

OMFG, the dropshots again. It’s May all over again.


max Says:

39 million Argentineans are about to get a heart attack


scineram Says:

Delpo still in for another game.


been there Says:

c’mon Del.P…finish Fed off…all I wanted was for both Fed & Del.P to qualify. Now that Fed has done so, please hold your serve & break Fed in the next game.

Rear from me to say so against Fed but…..just for once….please qualify Del.P!!


Kimmi Says:

DelPo..can federer hold here to give Murray a chance…C’MOOOOON fed..I LOVE YOU


Kimmi Says:

MURRAY your fans wants you to qualify..please Fed..we know you love Murray


Kimmi Says:

can you believe it..c’moon fed


jane Says:

Does Fed want Delpo to qualify? Sheesh!!


Murray_is_a_whimp Says:

Murray’s eating his racket at home


Kimo Says:

TBH, if Delpo wins this game, he derserves to qualify.


Kimmi Says:

Delpo wins this game..he is in…WOW WOW WOW


jane Says:

He does it. Wow. He serves it out and he qualifies?? To bad for Murray. That was a poor service game from Fed out of the blue.


been there Says:

OMG OMG!! Del.P breaks…..yikes!!! Andy Murray dying on his sofa


Just wondering Says:

Now 70 million British people are about to have a heart attack!


jane Says:

To s/b Too. I hate making errors. Doh.


max Says:

jane

Fed wants Murray out slightly different than wanting Delpo in


Kimmi Says:

CRAZY..CRAZY..what is wrong with the fed..losing to delPo back to back


Murray_is_a_whimp Says:

So close and yet so far


jane Says:

I don’t know what to think of the end of this match. I am somewhat gobsmacked. But Delpo hung in. Fed gets a lucky net chord! Could he break back?

Murray – I can’t imagine how weird it must be for you right now!!


scineram Says:

MANDY OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!4


contador Says:

eh…RF has been through all this many times…he has 4 masters cup trophies. he can afford to share some wealth with delpo.

vamos delpo!


jane Says:

max, okay i see what you mean. But that’s kind of mean. : ( Feel badly for Murray if it’s planned. On the other hand, what better way for Fed to get revenge.

Congrats to Delpo; he did play great!


TennistheMenace Says:

I know Fed and JMdP have issues with Murray … letthe speculation begin ….


Kimmi Says:

DelPo..congrats Delpo, so close..bummer fed loses to delpo back to back


Kimo Says:

Congrats to all Delpo fans. He plays a great match from start to finish.

To Murray fans, back to the drawing board I guess.

Dong’t forget that Federer lost to Nalbandian back to back in Madrid and Paris in 2007. Maybe Argentinians bother him ;)


jane Says:

margot – sad to see Murray go out like this; it seems so unfair. Wins 2 matches, just like Fed and Delpo, but then goes out based on a game or two. Wow. Admittedly Delpo played well.

But do tell your impression of the matches when you get a chance! I am curious what it was like to be there live.


Daniel Says:

Group A:

- Fed 2-1 5-4 in sets 44-40 in games
- DelPo 2-1 5-4 in sets 45-43 in games
- Murray 2-1 5-4 in sets 44-43 in games

Murray is out, Fed first and DelPo second. Wow!!!


Bjorn Borg Says:

The real champion gives Federer a good taste of flat forehand and power tennis.
Salute to the hero !
Congratulations to Del Potro.


Kimo Says:

It can’t be planned. Federer is a genius but not a human calculator. He was just annoyed by the fact that he didn’t break Delpo when he had BP’s the previous game, and therefore lost his concentration.


NachoF Says:

Fed also lost to Guillermo Canas back to back


jane Says:

I thoroughly enjoyed that match; very entertaining.


Kimo Says:

If I had to guess, Murray hates Federer a little bit more now than he did previously, if that’s even possible.


NachoF Says:

what has Murray said to make people think he hates Federer?


Kimo Says:

Nacho F:

“Fed also lost to Guillermo Canas back to back”

Touche, and also in 2007 :)


Kimo Says:

NachoF said:

“what has Murray said to make people think he hates Federer?”

It’s quite obvious if you read between the lines. Of all top players he gives Roger the least praise and credit.


David Says:

contador

Fed is still No. 1 in his group. You really think Delpo is going to beat Fed 3 times in a row?


Kimmi Says:

contador, you came back in time to see the end. I am sad delPo spoil my party (murray)but I just congratulate him (as nadal always say).

But this trend of fed losing to delPo should now stop…delPo must have crucked fed game..he struggle with other top guy but not fed now..hmmm


Kimmi Says:

typo s/b cracked


jane Says:

Kimo, I have read Murray saying that Fed is probably one of the best tennis players ever, and that’s precisely why he likes to rise to the challenge when playing him. I don’t think Murray “hates” Fed at all.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Both Federer and Del Potro knew a 6-3 3rd set favoring Del-Potro would knock Murray out. It was so easy to calculate after the 2nd set. Good going if they rigged it. haha!

I bet Murray is pissed!


Kimo Says:

jane, he probably said that to sound polite. I don’t think he meant it. Of course, I can’t read into people’s minds, but I don’t think I’m wrong etiher.

Anyway, I’m going to sleep. Ciao everyone.


Long Live the King Says:

Do they flash win percentages on the big screen? This is soooo dramatic. Fed would have to be real smart if this was done on purpose. Did anyone see Fed using a calculator during the breaks? ;)

Feel bad for Murray, but one of the 3 had to go. This really is the group of death. All 6 matches went the distance. The quality of tennis has been very good too.


Bjorn Borg Says:

Had Del Potro served just an inch better at 5-4 in the tie break, he would have defeated Federer in straight sets. He just lost concentration there. Satisfying thing is he dominated the match most of the time, winning 6 more games than Federer, despite serving 4% worse than the Swiss. He marvelously put Federer in defensive position, and won majority of the points whenever there a rally of more than 4-5 shots. Anyway, a victory is a victory. Sweet thing is that Fed fans take a loss to Del Potro just fine.


been there Says:

I’m happy that both Del.P & Fed have qualifed…BUT a bit sad for Murray, actually, desperately sad for him. How agonizing to have your fate in the hands of other players? Gosh. I’m feeling a bit of anti-climax even though the results are as I desired. I guess it means I don’t dislike Murray as much as I think or claim. I’m sure he’s saying “if only I lost the 3rd set against Fed 6-2 instead of 6-1″. Tennis is cruel.

Maybe if Fed vs Del.P had been the first match played, with exact same score-line, then Murray vs. Verdasco came second, still with same scoreline, I’d feel differently ‘coz it means Murray would seal his own fate out. But not like this.

This is it people, here’s my announcement: I’ll cheer Murray on during Australia Open. I still don’t like his tennis style, nor his on-court mannerisms, nor his strange interviews about Fed, commentators, etc….BUT, his style works, & he works hard. Tonight is way too cruel.

If I were a die-hard Murray fan, I’d be asking ‘why did Fed serve so poorly at the last minute??”…hehe…even I’m asking myself the same question. Did he get tight or what. There weren’t many rallies in that game for Del.P to dominate. I wanted Del.P to break, but not so easily..40-40 would have been better.

Poor Andy Murray…I can’t believe I’m actually sad for him *tears* *misty eyes*…no one deserves to be kicked out of TMC this way.


contador Says:

kimmi-hahaa….i’d rather watch tennis than eat! that’s how bad i have tennis-itis . my family is used to me by now.

david: i don’t know if delpo can beat federer 3 times in a row. i don’t see much federer can do at the moment if the 6’6 mighty argentine wants to win. we’ll see.

i think soda is gunning for fed too……yikes!! i didn’t pick fed to win, anyway. i picked nolee. and i still think djoko will be in the final …..uh, somehow


jane Says:

They may be now BB, but they won’t think losses to Delpo are so sweet in the future; this is a unique situation in which Fed still gets to carry on. But if this is a sign of what’s to come in 2010, for example, Delpo may turn out to be more or just as much of a nemesis as Rafa and even Murray have been. Delpo was impressive today; he was literally a couple of shots away from a straight set over-powering victory. Wow.


Gordo Says:

Kimo says about Murray’s attitude towards Fed -

“It’s quite obvious if you read between the lines. Of all top players he gives Roger the least praise and credit.”

That’s not entirely true – he always loves to call Federer the greatest player in the history of the game, right before he adds that he holds an edge over him.

I am so glad this clown is out. Henman is right – he needs to mature mentally if he is going to make an important dent in this game.

Fed and Delpo again in the final? Would be great.


been there Says:

“Maybe if Fed vs Del.P had been the first match played, with exact same score-line, then Murray vs. Verdasco came second, still with same scoreline, I’d feel differently ‘coz it means Murray would seal his own fate out. But not like this”

After thinking about that, I guess I wouldn’t feel any different…’coz then either Del.P’s or Fed’s TMC fate would have been decided by the Murray match!

lol. ok…Fed, Murray & Del.P all deserve to be in that final. Fed FOR sure ‘coz he was a set down in all three matches and rallied back brilliantly. Del.P & Murray…half & half.

All in all, this group’s fate has really been decided by Verdasco. He did just enough to take the three big guys to 3sets instead of being dumped out in 2. Especially agaisnt Murray…two tie-breaks,,not even 5-7. He’s the real chess-master here. Vamos Verdasco…thanks for putting us through such a nail-biting day & last minute thriller!


Cindy_Brady Says:

Looks like Soderling will win group B. This means Federer will either play Daveydenko or Djokovic in the semis and Del Potro will face Soderling.

I wonder which player Federer would like to play in the finals if he gets passed the semis, Soderling who he has never lost to or Del Potro who can over power him?


Kimmi Says:

Group A worked out to be a very tough group..three set matches all the way and Murray..what can I say. I wish him a super holiday..relax enjoy Xmas and come back strong next year.

Verdasco…I feel for him too..apart from the fed match, he was all the way till the end with delpo and Murray..so close but also so far. Going home with 0-3 record. I think he has proven he can mix up with big boys..great work verdy.


been there Says:

@6:28, “ok…Fed, Murray & Del.P all deserve to be in that final. ” s/b:

ok…Fed, Murray & Del.P all deserve to be in that semi.


Long Live the King Says:

Could the chair umpire have informed them both of the situation when Fed qualified after winning game 1 in the 3rd set?

Anyway, this defeat doesn’t sting too much for 2 reasons, 1, Fed already qualified. 2, its delpo.

Go Roger. My other pick for the final, murray got eliminated. I am replacing him with Delpo now.

Allez Roger! Vamos Delpo.

Oh yeah, Long Live the King :)


contador Says:

get real, people. RF didn’t lose on purpose. he’ll be scratching his head, i hope.

and about how i feel if delpo keeps winning? i happen to like delpo as i do nole. their wins over federer are tolerated, actually inevitable. and i don’t dislike rafa, as i have said. some, i say, some of his fans annoy me is all.

murray? yeah..have been wondering what it is about him. i think it’s his on court personna more than his game. he’s irritating.


been there Says:

My prediction: Del-Potro’s gonna lose in the semis whoever he faces’coz he’s not playing either Fed or Rafa. So far, he only plays this brilliantly when facing them.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Long Live the king,

Federer did not qualify as the winner of group A for the semis until he secured at least 3 games in the 3rd set. Do the math. I’m sure someone informed him of this. Didn’t look like he cared too much after that either. I think Federer liked nothing better than knocking Murray out both on and off the court.

Again – HaHa to Murray!


Skorocel Says:

Wow! That guy named JMDP has SOME balls! Those 4 points which he won at 3 all in the 3rd (when trailing 15-40) were simply unbelievable! Not only did he have to win that game in order to stay in the tournament – he had to win THE NEXT TWO AS WELL, but oh, what would he do? A baseline winner, followed by a 2nd (!!!) serve winner, then another winner followed by another blazing FH down the line (this after Federer hit a great return under his knees, no less) – and suddenly it’s 4-3 JMDP! Then at 5-3, 30 all, the guy once again hits a 2nd serve winner (!), and one point later, the match is history… Unbelievable!

Credit to Fed, though, for turning that tiebreaker around. If we don’t count that Wimby 2008 final, this was perhaps the biggest display of heart from the Swiss in a very LOOONG time, but to be honest, if these two meet again in the final and JMDP plays like he did in that 1st half of the match, there really isn’t that much he can do… The Argentine simply OWNED him there.


madmax Says:

and people doubt the fed’s mental strength! Oh My God!

I had thought that once fed had secured the No. 1 spot, he would relax a little – I think that was a given – a l’il bit too comfortable. First set, well, it’s kind of followed a pattern here, with fed being down a set, and then coming back with a roar! Fed is a beast! – tie breaker – awesome.

No way fed calculated anything. Honestly. Do you really think that he could give a monkeys? The focus is on the ball, on the game, on the match.

He always learns more from his losses – he’ll put it right for the next match on saturday? Does he play Davy? – I love watching Davy play. He such a slight frame, but so powerful.

Great that fed is through. Not one of his best matches, but just showed when he lot out the WWWWAAARRRROORAAARRRR at winning tie break, just how much he wants to win.

Nothing to prove anymore, yet he still commits his passion to tennis, lucky for the fed fans out there – such a joy to watch -

Jane,

I know you love murray – and I gotta admit the scoring system sucks! But you know with that guy, he comes back, he got such a big team, he going to try and put it right for next tourny, at least he can relax knowing that he won 2 out of the three round robin matches and fought really hard – so you should be proud of him.

Contador – you love fed and delpo, this must be like the cat who got the cream (with a few extra drops!).

This has got to be the BEST early rounds of a round robin ATP ever – much better than last year at Shanghai –

Hoping federer can regroup and come out even stronger in the semis!


Kimmi Says:

Been there: just saw your post @ 10:06 am and 11.19 am..enjoyed and agree with most of what you say. And jane, great discussion with been there.


David Says:

Cindy Brady

I think Soderling has just as much power as Delpo, or anyone for that matter. So I think the matchup in a potential final would be the same whether he would play Delpo or Robin.


David Says:

jane

It’s true that Delpo can give Fed or anyone fits when he’s firing like that. But I still think this guy is going to be potentially injury prone and not a consistent threat in 2010 at each and every Slam. There are still a lot of players who can beat him compared to the number who can beat Fed.

I’d say the biggest likelihood is that Delpo goes Slam-less in 2010 and Roger wins two.


Long Live the King Says:

“If we don’t count that Wimby 2008 final, this was perhaps the biggest display of heart from the Swiss in a very LOOONG time, ”

What world have you been living in? The summer of 2009 tennis from Madrid to Cincinnati (excluding canada) had Fed performing one of the biggest displays of his heart and courage when everyone had written him off. The 5 setters in RG and wimbledon and the demoliton off Murray and Novak in cincinnati.

Heck! even that 5 setter in the USopen as his serve went awol, he pushed delpo playing some insanely good tennis, to 5 sets.

He definitely was icy cool in the tie-break, but it would be just a foot-note compared to the summer of 09.


David Says:

contador

Well, if it’s all down to Delpo “wanting to win,” then I guess we should give him the trophy right now. Because everybody in the semis will be wanting this real bad.

But Delpo has been in one Slam final in his career and Roger’s the greatest player of all time, so I know who I’m picking in a potential re-match. I think Fed needs to work the dropshots a little bit more. The times he used them today he was very effective. Also if he serves like he did in the second set, he’ll be fine.


Long Live the King Says:

Cindy:

“Federer did not qualify as the winner of group A for the semis until he secured at least 3 games in the 3rd set. Do the math. ”

I was only talking about Fed qualifying and not Fed qualifying as the winner of Group A. To qualify Fed had to win only 1 game in the 3rd set. Once he did that, it was between Murray and JMDP to qualify for the other spot. Fed would have qualified even if he lost the last set 6-1.


David Says:

been there

Murray only has himself to blame. He only converted 1 of 13 break point chances today. And he also seemed to lose heart at the end of the match against Roger. Everyone knows what the format is. You have to take care of your own business and he didn’t do that quite well enough.


jane Says:

David,

Well, I’ve often wondered about Delpo’s fitness, or injury-prone-ness as well. But if he has that much desire, surely you’d think he’d work on fitness. Just last year he got to the semis of the French, the quarters of the AO, and won the USO. So I wouldn’t count him out of being slamless in 2010.

madmax,

You’re kind. I am sad for Murray, especially to go out like that after fighting to win over Verdasco. But what can you do? He’ll be back next year. I am not worried about his or Djoko’s prospects.

Cindy,

I agree Sod has mega-watt power, but he’s a little less consistent with it than Delpo. That’s the difference. Sod has traditionally been more tempermental, i.e., likely to get nervous or mad, so if he’s put that behind him then he may be a force in the latter part of this event.

I am hoping Djok can at least get to the semis, but I guess it depends on Davy/Sod. Seems to me they have the power to do a little math themselves. I guess if Sod could knock out Davy and Djoko can beat Rafa he’ll be in. But if Davy beats Sod, and Djoko beats Rafa then we’re into all sorts of match calculations again. If Davy and Sod get through, we could have a Fed/Delpo final.

And no one has mentioned this — can Delpo now become number 4 and displace Murray down to number 5??


David Says:

Jane

I’m pretty sure Davy is in if he beats Sod. He’d finish first in the group if he wins in straight sets and second if he wins in 3.

If Davy wins in 3 sets, his set record would be 5-3 and the best Djoko can do is 4-3 if he beats Rafa in straight sets.


Kimmi Says:

“And no one has mentioned this — can Delpo now become number 4 and displace Murray down to number 5??”

jane, good point. If delpo wins the tournament, he will replace Murray for # 4. There is 400 points for grabs for a semi win and 500 for a final win…right now Murray and delpo are only 645 pts apart.

What a year it will be for delpo..huge rise in the ranking, no one would have thought. And for Murray it would be very sad to also lose his number 3 and 4 at year end. Anyhow, whoever gets it deserve it.


jane Says:

I thought, David, that if Davy beats Sod and Djoko beats Rafa, sets come into play, or else H2H? I don’t know. But I don’t think Djoko’s chances are super great. Maybe like 50/50. Sod would probably rather have Davy through than Djoko wouldn’t he, or does it make a difference?


Daniel Says:

Yes jane, if DelPo wins this toruney he will replace Murray as n°4.


Kimmi Says:

the only positive thing for Djoko fans is Sod has a very good record with Davy 6-3. This year sod has beaten davy in RG, US Open and Paris…while davy has beaten Sod in Kuala Lumpur.

But the down side is this tournament has seen a lot of players with poor H2H record winning.

Sod and Rafa
Davy and rafa
Fed and Murray
Sod and Djoko

So it does not always work that way.


Bjorn Borg Says:

Jane says, “Delpo may turn out to be more or just as much of a nemesis as Rafa and even Murray have been.”
I put Del Potro somewhere else when it comes to Grand Slam on hard court and biggest stages like New York and London. Honestly, if I were to do it, I’d try to avoid comparison. He is truly special, a class and category in his own right. At 20, he was close to winning FO semi, and who knows after that. Then, still at 20, he beats Nadal and Federer back to back on the biggest stage and wins US Open. At 21, he repeats the feat in a semi-way by beating Federer brutally in WTF, London, on a much slower hard court built on wooden platform, serving far below his usual level. The poise, calmness, and power that this kid exudes is mesmerizing and captivating.
Glad Del Potro converted you. With that conversion you’ve earned the right to dandle him credibly, as whatever you say will be perceived as coming out of love.


David Says:

Jane

I would think that if Davy beats Sod that it would come down to sets because you would have a situation where Davy beat Sod, Sod beat Djoko and Djoko beat Davy, so no one would have the edge in h24

If Davy beats Sod in straight sets and Djoko beats Rafa in straights sets, then:

Davy 5 sets to 2 (1st place)
Sod 4 sets to 2 (second place)
Djoko 4 sets to 3 (elminated)

If Davy beats Sod in 3 sets and Djoko beats Rafa in straights sets, then:

Sod 5 sets to 2 (1st place)
Davy 5 sets to 3 (second place)
Djoko 4 sets to 3 (eliminated)

So, that’s why I say Djoko needs Sod to beat Davy.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

What a match. Del Po shows he is the real deal. I think Fed will start to take Del Po more seriously in terms of match preparation and tactical planning, as he’s had to do with Murray and Rafa, so I expect to see some more brilliance between them in the next year, and Fed getting some revenge- maybe Saturday!

That said, I think we just saw the next #1. Wouldn’t be at all surprised to see this dude jump the pack. I think Fed will hold on for a while yet, but I think this guy has called Next.


David Says:

Er, h2h.


contador Says:

david: i’ll try to watch my wording. but i did mean it. my only doubts about delpo have been 1) his motivation and 2) physical fitness in 5 set matches. he proved to be just fine through the us open. and questions about his motivation are more about: will he want to win more slams or will he be content with one?

i think what been there predicted on 11/26 @ 6:36pm actually may be true. we’ll see. delpo comes out looking less than enthused and sluggish to me, not in the GS’s or against rafa and now federer though. i think he won’t be as inspired when facing whoever he does next.

of course i could be totally wrong. just a guess.


Kimmi Says:

Rafa pts – 9205
Djoko pts – 8110

If Djoko wins tomorrow against rafa, qualifies and then goes on to win the tournament, he will gain 200 + 400 + 500 = 1100 = 9210. Djoko # 2, he will be ahead of rafa by 5 points.

WoW, there is all to play for here for Djoko.


Bjorn Borg Says:

Jane says, “Sod would probably rather have Davy through than Djoko wouldn’t he, or does it make a difference?”
Why? Nobody wants nobody in or out, except himself in. If Soderling beats Davydenko, he earns 200 points and $120K more. And he will be in a position to climb to No. 7, replacing Davydenko. Moreover, if Soderling loses to Davdenko, he will have to play Federer in the semi, and reaching semi does not earn anything, neither ranking points nor prize money. He will have to win the semi to gain anything. Only if he were insane, he would want to tank against Davydenko.


jane Says:

Thanks David.

I figured it was more or less as you said. But what I am wondering is does Soderling have any motivation to win or lose here; for example, would he prefer to have Davy through as opposed to Djoko or do you think it makes any difference to him whatsoever?

Kimmi – nice to see Djoko that close; I don’t anticipate him winning though. It would be great were I wrong, but even if he plays great tomorrow, as David pointed out, his fate is not in his own hands; it’s in Soderlings. And technically, Djoko’s win over Sod in Paris eliminated him, and it was only because Roddick withdrew that Sod’s even in the draw. Could he want revenge? I don’t know. Just speculating…


jane Says:

Thanks Bjorn Borg. That’s what I was wondering was whether there is a reason that Sod might not fight for the win over Davy.


Kimmi Says:

Bjorn Borg @ 8:09 pm: It is a strange scenario what you are talking about. Some people criticize Murray for giving his all against federer last year shanghai while he knew he has already qualified.

Other people said Djokovic tanked against Tsonga in shanghai for the same reasons (he knew he already qualified before the match started)

So your theory might work for some but might not work for others.


David Says:

Jane

It seemed that Sod and Djoko had a nice exchange at the net after their match so I don’t think there’s any reason to think Sod would be out to get Novak in any way. If it were Rafa depending on a Sod victory, that might be another story because Sod really seems to dislike Nadal.

Also, as others pointed out, it’s hard to see why Sod wouldn’t want the top spot, considering that a loss would mean having to play Roger, and Sod’s record against Fed is a “perfect” 0-12.


puckbandit Says:

Okay, I have to confess that I have not been able to read all of the posts (did a skim) due to having the family over for Turkey day and having a bit of a Turkey emergency this AM.

Having said that, I want to admit that I am a BIG fan of Andy Murray. I didn’t always feel that way. When he first started I didn’t like his attitude and felt he needed to mature both on and off the court.

What turned it around for me was how he re-dedicated himself to improve his fitness and game. I was impressed with how he put together his team, set out to train in Miami and make a charge at the top four.

I know many here don’t like him, and I wonder if it may have something to do with the media exposure he gets in markets outside of the States. Basically he doesn’t get much, but what he does get is balanced. I also started following him on twitter and he just comes across as a very cool guy. Respectful of his opponents and loyal to his team and family.

Just wanted to get my two cents in. I also don’t agree with those who say he doesn’t give Roger credit. He has stated over and over that he thinks Roger is the best ever, and not just when juxtaposing the comments with his record v. Fed.

I used to love Fed. But ever since he cried after losing to Rafa, completely IMHO overshadowing Rafa’s moment, and then followed that up with his Nike shenanigans, I’ve soured on him.
Great game, but would much rather have a beer with Murray or Rodick or Djoko.


contador Says:

who will be the next world #1? no offense to murray fans cos it’s obvious how much talent he has but imo he only hurts himself by how he sulks, yeah, i think he sulks, taunts opponents, throws fits at himself. apparently federer used to throw racquets and tantrums, still on a rare occasion he does. but it’s been great for the sport to have federer and nadal at the very top of tennis.

i like delpo’s poise and TennisVagabond may be right about him jumping “the pack” and claiming #1 before murray and nole do.


Kimmi Says:

What I am thinking is, Sod and davy play last match tomorrow. Remember Sod is already scheduled to play a semi match on saturday. At the back of his mind, Sod already knows he has qaulified..if he can win in straight sets he will ofcourse take it but if the match goes to three sets, back and forth games..do you guys really think sod will fight for his life to win this dead rubber, while he is probably already schedule to play at 2 pm in the afternoon…I don’t think so but i could be wrong.


jane Says:

puckbandit, I am a fan of Murray, so is margot and so is Kimmi, so there are a few of us here!! : D

I just read a shocking piece that outright states Fed tanked today because he doesn’t like Murray:

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/297393-roger-federer-still-doesnt-like-andy-murray


Bjorn Borg Says:

Kimmi says, “So your theory might work for some but might not work for others.”
No player tanks a match. It is illegal. You will be suspended. A player gets fined monetarily for even lack of effort. There is no such thing as tanking in players’ world, though it is there in fans’ imaginary worlds.
By beating Federer, Murray got 200 points and more prize money. Had he lost that match and also in the semi, he would not have gotten those points and money.
“Qualified” does not earn a point and dime, except a chance to play in the semi. What’s the guarantee how you will fare in the semi, esp. against one of the Top 8?
Djoko tanked against Tsonga? That happens only in the imaginary world. Not in the real world. Had Djoko beaten Tsonga, he would have earned 200 points and more prize money, plus he would have closed his H2H deficit. Think from a player’s perspective. Tanking does not happen as it involves crime and does not guarantee that you will fare better in next round.


jane Says:

Wasn’t Djoko’s match vs. Tsonga last year 3 sets? I don’t recall it as a tank; if I recall he came out smoking but then Tsonga won the second and went on a roll to take the third.


David Says:

jane

Strange way to “tank.” By getting to 15-40 on JMDP’s serve at 3-3 in the third set and having a total of 3 break points in that game, he was 1 Delpo double fault or error away from sending Murray into the semifinals.

I know that’s not your opinion, just the article’s, but it makes absolutely no sense.


jane Says:

Good point BB – I think if Djoko would’ve beaten Tsonga last year, then he could’ve finished the year number 2 and Fed would’ve dropped to number 3.


Bjorn Borg Says:

Jane, that article is tagged as humor. Di you read the comments there? Tanking happens only in humor and low gossips. It can happen elsewhere too, if you are gullible.


jane Says:

I know David; I guess we some of us joked about it here, but when I googled Murray to see what the press were saying I saw that article and was surprised. Like Skorocel pointed out, Fed almost broke Delpo the game prior so it was probably just a concentration lapse. Sometimes when a player comes so close to breaking, the momentum shifts and he gets broken himself; I’ve seen it happen a number of times.

I’d like to think that (a) Fed doesn’t “hate” Murray and (b) that none of these guys would deliberately “tank”.


cha cha Says:

Federer tanked it to deliver the punishing blow to Murray for his trash talking. Tsonga did benefit from the tank job by Djokovic. Sod doesn’t hate Djokovic so he won’t tank.


jane Says:

Tagged as humour? I missed that. Well, then that changes things. Thanks for pointing it out.


David Says:

OK, now I see the guy was just jerking us around. Actually that’s pretty funny how he put “analyst” next to his name.


Kimmi Says:

Bjorn Borg: maybe “tanking” is the wrong word to use but my point still stand…give a little less effort but not obvious for everybody to see..I don’t know what word to use exactly but I hope you get my picture.


contador Says:

puckbandit: i think murray is cool off-court. i’ve watched enough vids, listened to him, and i like him. i respect his talent and intelligence. but on court, he is different and to me, not in a good way.

but there is still hope. there was a time when i thought nole had a chip on his shoulder and lost his humor but now he’s got it back. i can see him being world #1. sometimes it seems he doesn’t see himself that way.

though i still a fedfan, i am more a tennis fan and think we’re about to have a change at the top in 2010. not that rafa and rog are done. and if nole and murray don’t step up, delpo or ?? will.


Bjorn Borg Says:

Actually, in his comments, the humor writer is laughing at you people.


David Says:

Bjorn Borg

Maybe you’re right, but I think it can happen. For example, I’m pretty sure Roger tanked that Indian Wells match against Fish in ’08. Why? He knew his form wasn’t that good at the moment and he couldn’t stomach losing to Djoko right after the AO loss and Djoko saying he wasn’t surprised that Murray beat Fed in Dubai.

That’s not such a stretch. These guys are human, not machines programmed to follow the rules 100%. And obviously for a guy like Roger, what difference do a few ranking points or a little bit of prize money really matter?


been there Says:

jane@ 8:39 pm,

That link is simply Darren Wong poking fan at sour fans who might say Fed tanked the match. hahahaha. Firstly, it’s tagged under humour…& secondly, read a few of the comments. Darren Wong says he was worried that some people might take the article seriously.

Bleacher is hardly legit news source…i.e. not AP, BBC, etc. It’s just a blog..a fan’s perception…just like you, me & Sean Randall. Think of it this way..someone quoting some of Sean’s articles about say the stuff he says about a player he dislikes. Hardly a legit news source or article imo.

very funny read though by Darren Wong….he’s laughing at the very idea that some people might actually think in that way.


been there Says:

“poking fan at sour fans” s/b “poking fun at sour fans”


Bjorn Borg Says:

David, You can be sure and believe in whatever you like. I have no objection to that. I don’t believe in conspiracy theories and crazies like Birthers’ Movement except for humor’s sake. I believe in facts, evidence, and substantiation.


contador Says:

“It’s all part of a intricate strategy brilliantly orchestrated by Nadal, Mirka, and Gavin Rossdale. Of course, none of this would have been possible without the cooperation of Federer.” Darren Wong

he’s being completely facetious. those bleacher writers.


sar Says:

Sod would want Djok to win it so he can play Fed and maybe take him out. He knows Davy cannot take out Fed. That’s what I would be thinking.


jane Says:

been there, what you’ve written has been pointed out already or did you not notice that?

When I googled Murray I took a very cursory glance at the headlines and needless to say that one jumped out. I know what Bleacher Report is. And I will point out that sometimes the articles at Bleacher Report are awesome and very serious. I didn’t see the tag. Nor did I read the comments. Only after I posted the link and BB made his post did I go back and have another look.

Here’s another article with some interview quotes:

http://www.sportinglife.com/tennis/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=tennis/09/11/27/TENNIS_London_Nightlead.html


David Says:

Bjorn Borg

Well obviously, in the case of that match, there can be no substantiation. Is Fed going to admit he tanked the match and risk a huge fine and suspension and stain the reputation of the sport? Of course not. But anyone who follows tennis knows that the effort he gave in that match was beyond pathetic. Of course I can’t be 100% sure that he tanked but I’m pretty sure he did.


Bjorn Borg Says:

Kimmi, sorry I don’t want to get the picture you are seeing. See my response to David. FYI, the term “dead rubber” is never used officially in the context of WTF. It is a term used in Davis Cup.


Bjorn Borg Says:

Thank you, Jane. Finally, we have some factual quotes from Federer and Del Potro via Federer. It is worth copy-pasting here to set the record:

Federer insisted he had no idea of the mathematical drama unfolding tonight.

“The only thing that was important to me was the set I needed to win, trying to win the match,” said the 28-year-old, who had beaten Verdasco and Murray in his opening two matches.

“Sure it’s confusing. It’s hard for Murray. I asked Juan Martin myself at the net, ‘Did you make it or not?’ He said, ‘I don’t think so.’ So that’s the story I got.

“Of course, you’ve got to feel sorry for the guy who didn’t make it. But at the same time, Del Potro beat the number one player in the world, in the group, and I guess also deserves to go through.

“There’s only two places, and that’s the way it is. It happens very, very rarely.”

Federer was disappointed not to avenge that defeat as his opponent again found his best game when it really mattered.

“I thought he played a really good match,” continued the top seed. “I thought he was able to lift his game after the first two matches where I just thought he looked a bit weary.

“So for me it’s a tough loss. But, sure, I’m happy I’m through. That it got so close, it’s quite incredible.”

Del Potro was left sitting on the court wondering if he had made it and he did not discover he was through until his coach Franco Davin delivered the news 25 minutes after the end of the match.

He said: “Nobody knew what was happening. It was very strange. But now it’s in the past. I’m in the semi-finals and I’m happy for that.”

Del Potro felt he played better than on that incredible night at Flushing Meadows, saying: “I play good tennis today, similar to New York, a little better in some moments of the match.

“I serve good in the important moments. I take my opportunities. That’s what I have to do against the best player in the world.”

Del Potro was left sitting on the court wondering if he had made it and he did not discover he was through until his coach Franco Davin delivered the news 25 minutes after the end of the match.

He said: “Nobody knew what was happening. It was very strange. But now it’s in the past. I’m in the semi-finals and I’m happy for that.”

Del Potro felt he played better than on that incredible night at Flushing Meadows, saying: “I play good tennis today, similar to New York, a little better in some moments of the match.

“I serve good in the important moments. I take my opportunities. That’s what I have to do against the best player in the world.”


Gordo Says:

People loved to say how Murray had Fed’s number, but that 6-2 record is now 6-4 – still for the Scot but where is he now? Flying over Hadrian’s Wall as I type this, listening to bagpipe music on his IPod.

Good for DelPotro for playing big today. It is strange how against other players he struggles and against Fed and Rafa he rises to the occasion.

If Fed can bring his serve with him to the semis and the finals it won’t matter who he plays – he will collect a 5th year end crown.

The truth about this tournament is that everyone yaks incessantly for exactly two days about an advancing player losing one of the round robin matches – until he wins the tournament. Then the round robin loss is forgotten, just like you have already forgotten that Murray beat Delpotro, because Delpo advanced and the Scot is out.

Does anyone really expect Fed not to win this thing?


Kimmi Says:

DelPo odds must have gone higher now that he beat fed..if they meet again he has a good chance of winning again. Fed has a huge problem with delpo game.

Gordo, yes fed needs to serve well, we saw delpo needed only one bad game from fed to win the match today. Do you think fed will serve exceptional in every game in their next match if they play? be realistic, it happens almost all the time where they throw in one or two bad serving game, the winner will be a player who play the big point well like today DelPotro.


contador Says:

that was a nice read, Jane.

federer does not tank matches. do people actually believe federer wants to lose a match? i know he appears to play too casual at times and some matches are more momentous than others but today was no more a purposeful loss than basel to nole, benneteau in paris, or to delpo at the us open.

maybe the question could be: was federer aware that his loss would eliminate murray? well, possibly. the comemtators during murray v verdasco match mentioned after a changeover going into the 3rd set that murray was asking the ump questions about who goes through and how. maybe it was on federer’s mind too. yet i have to wonder why federer would want to play delpo again! really it makes no sense for him and that is not his character.


been there Says:

“been there, what you’ve written has been pointed out already or did you not notice that?”

lol Jane…easy gal!!! We’re all reading, & typing at the same time…look at how first the comments are coming in…so if am typing, I don’t know what the posts above me say at almost the same time, especially if I’m typing more than one sentence! So to answer your question. NO…’coz I was unable to. lol

Look at the immediate comments after this question was asked at “so, what have Goodall and Koenig said about the % of games won by each contender?” at 5.44 pm…almost 10 similar replies…I didn’t see anyone chastening to that. lol.

And maybe if I read and noticed, & still want to say or add something, e,g the bit about bleacher not being legit (which hasn’t been said by the comments you point out to) so what? This is a blog, so I’m free to do so. But rest assured, it’s as I’ve explained…we’re in different countries, different houses, etc. I don’t renew my page every 2 minutes to find out what the person has said when am typing…I’m doing other things in between. …so it’s quite impossible to know that I’m typing out something exactly at the same time as someone else.

So easy. :)


been there Says:

“look at how first the comments” s/b “look at how fast the comments”.


David Says:

Gordo, a possible scenario is that the 4 semifinalists will be Roger, Delpo, Sod and Davy.

Fed’ record against the other 3: about 28-2 I’m guessing.

So I’m definitely not expecting anyone other than Fed winning this thing.


Gordo Says:

Actually Kimmi, all I am really wondering is who from the other half of the draw Federer will face in the final, because I will be very surprised if DelPotro, who struggled in his loss to Murray and was in and out of the Verdasco match prior to the 3rd set tiebreaker, can win again in London.


jane Says:

Okay been there; I thought perhaps you were rubbing salt in it, and I already felt silly enough. But if not, then whatever. I will check for “tags” and comments next time before I post a link.


Bjorn Borg Says:

Contador, the only thing Federer knew, according to him, was he had to win a set to qualify.
More Federer quotes from ATP:
“Obviously the focus was completely on my own qualification,” reflected Federer. “I knew I wasn’t looking very good at 6-2, 4-4 let’s say. Still trying to find my game and everything. It reminded me a lot like the first couple matches I played in the round robin. I just started slow. Never really found my game. Also had a tough start to the breaker. Just tried to hang in there. He served a great serve at 5-4, then missed that forehand. I knew I couldn’t lose in two sets because I knew that was going to knock me out. That’s why I was very excited having won the second set.

“It was disappointing to lose at the end against Juan Martin, who I already lost against at the US Open. I had chances at 3-3. Had a couple of break points. Had him on the down the line backhand and stuff, so it was unfortunate.”


contador Says:

thanks BB.

i totally can believe fed was conscious of what it required to get through to the semi’s AND that he would not have lost to delpo, unless he was truly outplayed, which he was.

this is a new delpo! at least when facing federer. delpo still has to win another match or two or three against some top guys other than rafa and roger before i am convinced his inspiration to play as he did in anything other than just that, inspired to prove himself over the 2 top palyers , both of whom are the best of an era.


Gordo Says:

Here is an oddity -

In a single knockout system – basically every other tournament of the year – we often get a few of the top seeds reaching the final, and certainly the semis.

But with this round robin format, where you would think that the cream would rise and sort itself out with the best allowed to be forgiven for one shoddy match, here we have the strong possibility that the #2, #3 and #4 players will not be in the semis.


contador Says:

oh no, it must be the pie and ice cream. i can’t type and eat pecan pie!


puckbandit Says:

Jane,

Glad to see there are other Murray fans here.

An I the only one that found Roger’s standard arrogance in his quote, “But at the same time, Del Potro beat the number one player in the world, in the group, and I guess also deserves to go through.” Jeez, I find him so irritating. I have definitely fallen out of love with the guy, not sure what happened or when, but one day I realized things were different.

Bjorn,
I personally don’t think that there was any tanking by Feds. But as far as there not being tanking in pro tennis? I suggest you pick up Agassi’s bio.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

BB- of course its outrageous in this case- not even the commentators knew what DelPo needed until we got there, because the math changed with each set. The 6-3 final needed couldn’t have been known before Fed won the 2nd set 7-6.

But to state categorically that tanking NEVER happens is silly. Agassi was well known for tanking matches early in his career, and has recently been talking specifically about tanking a match against Chang in his book tour.
I also recall a story of another player tanking the Masters Cup RR to avoid coming out #1 and having to play Jimmy Connors who had come out as #2 but was fearsome at the time (sorry I don’t recall details- may even have been Lendl, not Connors…).
There were all kinds of allegations of tanking in the ’80′s when players would get under the table appearance fees for otherwise meaningless tournaments. There was a book called Hard Courts from the early 90′s that had a lot of details and specific instances- there was one story of a doubles team where one player was trying to tank and his opponents knew, but his partner didn’t know…
If you look at a situation like the Asian swing, where you have several small tournaments leading up to a big one, its not hard to conceive of a player realizing he’s wearing himself out and simply pulling the parachute so as not to blow his chances at the upcoming Masters event.
Let’s say you’re playing Legg Mason- if you make the finals and play Sunday, you have to get to Montreal for the Masters Monday- there are probably a lot of weird losses on semifinal Saturday!
I saw an Agassi interview recently where he broke down the mechanics of tanking, even explaining there are certain shots that the crowd will believe are aggressive but an opponent will realize are actually giving the point away (like hitting a flat shot up the line from being off the court, giving yourself no time to get back in position).

if you ever see that Hard Courts book, its a great read- a bio of 1 year on the tour, during the decline of Lendl and emergence of Sampras and Agassi. To this day I remember the Lendl quote on teenage Agassi: “I thought Muster was a jerk, but this guy takes the cake.”


been there Says:

“I thought perhaps you were rubbing salt in it, and I already felt silly enough. But if not, then whatever.”

That is definitely not my MO. It’s just like I’ve said. I’ve already given you an example in my previous post…also notice ‘contador’s’ query at 9:30 pm…it comes after you’ve posted a another link & BB copy-pasted it’s contents with the answer to that query for all to see. Also remember how the whole ‘rankings & qualifying’ scenario has been repeated over & over again within threads & also thread after thread when it’s been answered already.

So it’s just how it is…nothing to do with ‘rubbing salt’… & if I was, then I’d be the silly one, no? :) Secondly, no need to feel ‘silly’ coz the article’s a good read (I love Bleacher for that.

We’re good. :)


puckbandit Says:

Contador,

I too am a tennis fan first and agree that there may be a changing of the guard this year. Delpo, if he can work on his consistency, could beat out Djoko and Murray to number one.

But when all is said and done, it comes down to majors and tourney wins. I think tennis is more interesting when there are more folks capable of bagging a major


contador Says:

he qualified the arrogance though with the “i guess” part.

not that i think he’s arrogant. he is stating the obvious.

but, to each their own interpretation/perception


puckbandit Says:

Contador,

The best thing about Thanksgiving is it gives us permission to eat things like pecan pie!

Vagabond,
Great comment. I also remember reading a quote from Lendl that Agassi with just a haircut and a backhand. Wonder how he feels now, knowing that the hair wasn’t even real? LOL


Gordo Says:

Roger Federer – currently ranked #4 in total weeks at number one as of Jan 25, 2010 (He can’t be touched by anyone else prior to that) – 267 weeks.

When he will pass those in front of him -

#3 – Jimmy Connors (268) Feb 8, 2010.

#2 – Ivan Lendl (270) Feb 22, 2010.

#1 – Pete Sampras (286) June 14, 2010.

Can he achieve this? If he does no less than hold onto his runner up spot at the Australian Open and go deep into both the Indian Wells and Miami Masters tourneys he should still be #1 entering the clay court season. How he fares in those Master tourneys and how far he goes in the French Open, which he won last year will go a long way in determining whether he can overtake a remeaining record he openly seeks.


contador Says:

puckbandit: and i do love pecan pie.

but….probably be loathing myself tomorrow.

see ya’ll later! still some great tennis going down tomorrow.


Peter D Says:

Don’t you guys think Fed tanked the match against Tsonga in Montreal so as not to play Murray in the next round? It totally looked like he was not quite ready to face Murray yet, so, being 5:1 in the third he somehow managed to lose the match!


madmax Says:

I used to love Fed. But ever since he cried after losing to Rafa, completely IMHO overshadowing Rafa’s moment, and then followed that up with his Nike shenanigans, I’ve soured on him.

Punkbandit – above quote – am late for work this morning, as had to reply to you.

I absolutely have loved this discussing this morning (probably your day time in USA/Canada?) – but really unfair to drag this in – Federer is class. Pure emotional guy and please dont forget what he did approximately 20 seconds after he was upset – apologised, regrouped, got his act together and went on to give a practical eulogy about Nadal, how much he deserved it.

Go read the interview about what fed thinks of juan martin BEFORE the match today – Great player, tough player, I will do my best to get ‘revenge’ – totally respectful – what really irritates me is when people twist fed’s words. He is no.1 for a reason. And fact. He IS world Number 1. He HAS earnt his place. Why shouldnt he state the obvious? Murray does it all the time, and I mean, all the time. Novak reinforces his position too – they all do it, so does rafa – dont make this about federer because you have ‘gone off him’ – its just unfair.

This is a great, GREAT, GREAT, time for tennis – Federer at the helm, where he belongs, 2010 is going to be breathtaking.

No offence to you at all, but you know. Relax. Federer has been misquoted so many times, fedfans have to defend him!


Dan Martin Says:

Soderling vs. Del Potro is going to have some fireworks in terms of power. It may fizzle as a match, but I think it could be a sleeper to be a gem. Federer vs. either Novak or Davydenko should be good too.


Dan Martin Says:

A note on Agassi and Lendl. Andre defended Lendl after Connors said Lendl was just “bunting the ball” and was “not the player he once was” after Lendl beat Connors at the 1992 U.S. Open. Lendl in turn praised Agassi after his 2003 Australian Open domination stating how impressed he was with the fitness and level of play of the tour in general but of Agassi specifically after watching the event. So Andre and Ivan had some ups and downs for sure, but my guess is today they respect each other and may even be on friendly terms.


fedsetmatch Says:

Haven’t been here for awhile. Where are all the Rafa Fans? Interesting…


mdspatsy Says:

Congratulations to Soderling reaches London final.
What, ex great tennis player, Mr.Borg said about this ranking results can be subjected for quick review by tennis authorities at the earliest.
I am a tennis player with all good,great players actions often and often.
Best wishes to all tennis lovers,fans ,players and to this sport website.

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