Dominant Djokovic Wins Beijing; Wozniacki Takes Women’s Title; Roddick on Deck in Shanghai
by Sean Randall | October 11th, 2010, 3:35 pm
  • 38 Comments

Novak Djokovic is starting to make another late-season surge. The Serb backed up his US Open final last month by capturing the China Open in Beijing today defeating David Ferrer 6-2, 6-4 in a rain-delayed final.

The 18th title of his career – second of 2010 – gives Djokovic the third berth into the ATP Finals next month in London, at it puts him in striking distance of Roger Federer for the year-end No. 2 ranking. In 2010 points only, the Swiss is ahead of Novak by about 850 points, a deficit Djokovic could make up with a title in Shanghai.

“[I'm] just happy to win another tournament and make my record here in Beijing even better,” said Djokovic who is a perfect 9-0 in Beijing after back-to-back title. “It’s definitely one of the most successful tournaments in my career.”

And credit to Novak. It’s been quite a turnaround since that lackluster, disheartening loss to Andy Roddick at Cincinnati in August followed by an uphill climb down 2-1 in sets on a hot day against countryman Viktor Troicki in the US Open first round.

But Djokovic has really stepped up and gained strength since that low point, winning 10 of his last 11 matches, his only loss coming to Rafael Nadal in the US Open final.

So might this period be a turning point in Djokovic’s career? Maybe. At just 23 still, he’s arguably yet to hit his prime – most players peak 24-25 – and with health issues behind him (maybe) a year from now he might just have multiple Grand Slam titles and an even higher ranking?

His co-winner in Beijing is somewhat the contrast. While Djokovic has a Major in hand, Wozniacki does not. But the Dane now has something Djokovic has yet to achieve, the No. 1 ranking.

Wozniacki moved up to the top spot earlier in the week following a third round win over Petra Kvitova. Today, she backed it up beating World No. 4 Vera Zvonareva for her sixth title of 2010 and her first win over a Top 5 player in what seems to be forever.

“I came here wanting to do a good result. I knew I could become No.1 if I won a few rounds,” Wozniacki said. “I’m very happy how everything has turned out.”

While Wozniacki may very well be the most under-qualified No. 1 in history (based on her current 12-month Slam results), who else is deserving of No. 1 on the WTA? Serena Williams? She doesn’t play and seems to lack interest. Kim Clijsters? Ditto. Zvonareva? C’mon! So congrats to Wozniacki for showing up on the WTA.

With Beijing now out of the way, the focus is fully on the Shanghai Masters which began last night. JW Tsonga (beat Feliciano Lopez!) and Jurgen Melzer both won first round matches while Fernando Verdasco continues to have his struggles dropping woefully to Thiemo de Bakker 7-6, 7-5. De Bakker’s a good player but Verdasco’s a class above. Except the Spaniard’s may be out of fuel after a long year and a heavy schedule. The fast-fading Fernando has lost four straight matches all in straight sets since that electrifying five-set win over Ferrer at the US Open.

Stan Wawrinka collected a good win beating the hot Gilles Simon 6-4, 6-1. Wawrinka now gets Nadal in the second round on Wednesday.

Tonight, Roddick is the feature match against Phil Kohlschreiber. We remember Phil beating Roddick a few years ago in five sets at the Australian Open. Roddick got revenge by taking down the German in four in a “mono match” at Wimbledon this year.

Roddick leads 3-1 in their head-to-head and he gets the edge here, but the more I watch of Andy the more I see his big serves coming back in the court. And I just don’t think he can play defensively against an aggressive baseline like Kohlschreiber, so it will be an interesting match that could go either way.

Also tonight in Shanghai, which is 12 hours ahead of East Coast time, Tomas Berdych, David Ferrer, Marin Cilic and Gael Monfils are all in action. And in what could be a cracker of contest, Ernests Gulbis and Richard Gasquet hook up.

Matches are on all week on the Tennis Channel.

SHANGHAI TUESDAY SCHEDULE

STADIUM start 2:00 pm
P Kohlschreiber (GER) vs [10] A Roddick (USA)
I Ljubicic (CRO) vs [WC] Z Zhang (CHN)

Not Before 6:00 PM
M Llodra (FRA) vs [11] D Ferrer (ESP)

Not Before 8:00 PM
[7] T Berdych (CZE) vs T Robredo (ESP)

GRANDSTAND start 2:00 pm
A Golubev (KAZ) vs J Tipsarevic (SRB)
[15] G Monfils (FRA) vs [Q] B Becker (GER)
[14] M Cilic (CRO) vs A Seppi (ITA)

Not Before 6:00 PM
E Gulbis (LAT) vs R Gasquet (FRA)


Also Check Out:
Rain Moves Djokovic, Wozniacki Beijing Finals to Monday;Tsonga, Verdasco on Court in Shanghai
Nadal v Roddick Lined-up in Miami, Hot Sauce on Deck
Confirmed: Rafael Nadal Will Play Beijing And Shanghai
ATP Fall Guide: Where The Big Boyz – Nadal, Djokovic, Federer – Will Be Playing
Caroline Wozniacki Spending Her Off Season With Rory McIlroy

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38 Comments for Dominant Djokovic Wins Beijing; Wozniacki Takes Women’s Title; Roddick on Deck in Shanghai

jane Says:

“puts him in striking distance of Roger Federer for the year-end No. 2 ranking.” I don’t know because while Nole has a lot to defend (semis at Shanghai and titles in both Basel and Paris) Fed does not (finals in Basel and round 2 (?) in Paris). Plus Fed didn’t play Shanghai or Stockholm last year. I’d put my money on Fed finishing at number 2.

“but the more I watch of Andy the more I see his big serves coming back in the court.” Do you mean more players are able to return his serves? I noticed that Monfils was getting a fair number back in what I saw of the Tokyo match but I am not sure Rod was serving his best (didn’t see stats). I think someone recently commented (grendel perhaps?) that there are a number of top rate returners in the game right now, and I do think that’s true. But Roddick’s still high up in most service leader categories, so he can still rely on his serve much of the time.


Gregoire Gentil Says:

Congrats Sean! At last, a non-too-negative comment on Caroline!!! I was desperate…


Kimberly Says:

Actually during one of the matches one of the commentators were saying that Roddick should serve at least 1 140+ serve per game to intimidate and put more pressure on opponents and Johnny Mack agreed. He’s not serving as hard but getting a higher percentage. But if you look at Match stats Roddick is #1 in % of service games won. Roddick doesn’t seem to be struggling on his own service games, just not taking enough chances on return games.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Kimberly,

Agreed. Never can figure this guy out. So passive sometimes when the ball is in play but then when he does get aggressive seems to attack from the ground game at the wrong time. I never could get over him serving at 140 and gets a floater back and not come in and put the ball away. Love the guy, frustrating career for me. He has had his moments of great tennis though


jane Says:

Speaking of match stats for the year so far, Rafa has really done well in the service categories; he’s always been a leader in the return stats, and typically he’s had a high first serve percentage as well. But he’s boosted his results in a numbers service categories overall now, which fits well with better hard court results perhaps?


contador Says:

for tsonga fans. and hoping tsonga is getting back to form!

http://www.vimeo.com/8992134


jane Says:

Cute video of Jo-Will, though I can barely understand a word. ; )

Here’s an article on Murray:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/tennis/article-1319638/Londons-calling-Andy-Murray-turn-Shanghai.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

And a quote: “The 23-year-old world No 4 says he came to Asia feeling ill and admits he is still not back 100 percent fit even now.”

This worries me a little; I hope it’s nothing too serious, maybe just a seasonal flu/cold. Good luck to him and hoping for the best.


Kimberly Says:

COntador on the night of the draw challenge you said Verdasco was a potential bracket killer.

You were right!!!! He deep sixes me both ways, I pick against him he wins, for him he loses. ditto almagro.


grendel Says:

contador

some intresting stuff on Dimitrov.http://eurosport.yahoo.com/11102010/58/tramlines-tennis-teenage-wasteland.html.
Also, bears out jane’s links about the scarcity of teenagers. Someone said that Dimitrov’s record is not that good considering his age – and compared to Nadal, Djoko etc. Ah, but the times they are a changing, and nobody’s like that. Dimitrov has every chance of being right at the top in say 5 years time. It does seem the case, though, as the writer says, that there’s going to be nobody new to challenge Nadal and Djoko for some years. Maybe the challenge will come from people who are already seasoned players. Troicki, for instance, possibly de Baaker in a couple of years.


Nina Says:

Congrats Nole on defending your second title this year. Just a shame you couldn’t count in your second grand slam. But I think this is a new beginning for Nole, hopefully.


contador Says:

in the excitement of shanghai i forgot to say congrats to nole and fans !! great win over a tough opponent – ferrer. nole really is playing exceptional tennis from what i watched. ajde nole!!

he could win shanghai, or rafa. i’m spreading the love more equally among the top 4 ; )

jane – your link does not make me feel too happy about picking muzza for the final in shanghai.

grendel- very interesting yahoo eurosport column- tramlines. the tweet from tipsaravic and clowns…lol..

“teenage wasteland” is not such a happy thought. i want them to hurry along, of course.

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/11102010/58/tramlines-tennis-teenage-wasteland.html

the “bulgarian federer” update. he continues winning.

http://www.openderennes.org/accueil/var/lang/FR/rub/88/view/afficher_article_complet/textes/8517.html

i have to take heart.

the french have a few teenagers to watch. pierre-hugues herbert is one. and i like serbian filip krajinovic ( wiki needs correcting- he can’t be 21, if born in 1992)

i am not so sure about troiki. from the troiki vantage, that tokyo semi was quite a cruel choke in the decider. he was serving for match and DF’d the chance away. troiki is not mentally tough enough no matter if he had continued serving well to brush spectacular gagging like that aside going into a tie break with rafa. poor troiki is still kicking himself!

de bakker, yes. he switched from soccer to swimming to tennis ( not sure of the order ) he got a later start, anyway.


jane Says:

Wow contador, fascinating article about the teens, or lack thereof. Of course I have heard about Dimitrov for at least 2 years, but oddly I have NEVER seen him play! I wonder if the average age in the top ten is rising, does this mean good news not only for Rafa but for Roger too? Hopefully Gregor can leave the Challenger circuit soon and play more ATP tour level matches.

Thanks for the kind words re: Nole; hope he can keep up this good form until year’s end and beyond. And don’t worry too much about your Murray pick; that article was from the Daily Mail after all, which margot tells me is crap. Just the bit about him feeling ill worried me.


Kimberly Says:

Contador I posted this on the other thread then saw you here. Bad news fish must have pulled out as I see isthmian set to play gimeno traver, our forced pick


Andrew Miller Says:

Much as Verdasco and Flopez did by winning Davis Cup, so too Djokovic has proven he’s up for the challenge of fulfilling potential on the ATP. I love it when these guys do this. Wozniaki too. I like being a critic, but it feels a lot better to see these players come up with the game the fans always knew they COULD play, and now DO PLAY. Plus plus in my perspective.

As for Murray, cant count him out. He’s an excellent hard court player and as Dan Martin once alluded to, he’s a money player in best of three set tournaments.


Andrew Miller Says:

Dimitrov is a good player – there are a bunch of good players who are young. However, isnt the fact that there isnt much youth in the top 100 also related to the fact that there hasnt quite been a retirement wave from the ATP? Pretty soon a lot of players will be OVER their prime which means they will be ushered, kicking and screaming or not, out of the top 100. It’s already happenned for a lot of U.S. players who used to live in the top 50 to top 100 and who are, for a lack of a better set of words, out of the picture – in part due to lack of game maturity and injury, but in part due also to age.

Youth will be served. It always arrives on time – even Agassi, the man who hated tennis, was ushered out by the youth movement. You can only lose so many consecutive times to the top player of the next generation before you decide to hang up the racquet.


contador Says:

jane- yeah, daily mail is better than no news. i used to read every scrap of british press for tennis match news regardless what source before i found the live streams. and i have only had european streams for a year. not going to find ANY tennis broadcast or news locally this time of year.

that link from yahoo sport i posted was originally grendel’s. i can’t take credit.

i have only seen grigor on you tube and one challenger level livestream, jane. i think it won’t be long until we see him getting into the main atp tournaments more, provided he stays healthy.

other than getting my french lesson in for the day, i liked browsing the rennes open website. click on grigor’s pic for a good look at what nike has him wearing – classy i thought. bulgarian federer sure doesn’t have the swiss maestro’s thin arms. i think his one handed backhand has a fighting chance.

have to keep an eye out for milos too!


contador Says:

kimberly,

not surprised fish has gone. oh..hey for me picks this is good. i picked istomin and he better win!!! i need all the help possible.

Andrew Miller, you have a point about players hanging around – even a very old one coming back – forgot his name.

the trend to have a second , third, how many ever chances could really continue. i don’t mean to bring up prp again, but treatments like that are destined to extend careers. more rest periods and comebacks maybe, but certainly longer player shelf lives.


NELTA Says:

Roddick’s serve did appear a little slower than normal in Tokyo. Keep in mind that Monfils is probably the best in the game at not getting aced. His serve/return stats when it comes to aces is similar to the way Fed used to be in that he would usually have more aces than his opponent even if the opponenet had a huge serve. In 6 of their 8 matches Monfils hit more aces than Roddick. I remember watching the Monfils/Karlovic match in Monte Carlo a few years ago and the commentators were amazed that Karlovic didn’t hit a single ace against Monfils the entire match.


Thomas Says:

NELTA-agreed. Monfila and Federer arent the two best returners on tour,but they are the best at blocking serves back and not getting aced.(as you said)


jane Says:

NELTA, I wonder if there are stats on players who don’t get aced much; it’d be interesting to see those. I think Djoko is moving up in that regard. He’s up to 3rd on the season for returning first serves and I’ve noticed that players who normally have a fair number of aces don’t have as many versus Nole. I don’t think it is always because of poor serving by the opponent either.


Ben Pronin Says:

Jane, Djokovic’s returned game has become nothing short of amazing. I mentioned it in another thread that Isner didn’t hit a single ace in the second set of their match in Beijing. The same Isner who hit over 100 aces in a match.

Nadal and Murray are also good at not getting aced. Murray anticipates the serve incredibly well. He’s had such an up and waaay down season that he hasn’t put up the best numbers that he is capable of. As for Nadal, he always seems to get a racket on the ball just enough to get it into play. The commentators were saying how Djokovic was finally serving well in the USO final but Nadal was still all over it.


jane Says:

Roddick has stated his desire to get to London this year. He missed out last year due to injury. I guess he’s playing Basel and Paris, so he’s got a great chance of qualifying. He’s #7 in the race a.t.m.

Yep, Ben, Murray and Nadal are both great returners as well; they’re the ones who take best advantage of second serves.


Fot Says:

I see rain has messed up the schedule in China. I am really worried about Roger’s match with Isner. (it reminds me of his matches with Ivo – only Isner has a little more game to back up his serve).

I see Isner won today in close tie break sets but I’m still worried. Players tend to get up for Roger because they want to say “I beat the great Federer” so Roger better be on his game, especially in this 3-set match.


margot Says:

Hi huh: I saw highlights of Zhang Ze. What a talented player he is ! Gr8 serve, gr8 return, gr8 two handed back hand, not afraid of the net and gr8 heart too! I read he doesn’t play much outside China and needs to get onto the challenger circuit. He’s got loads of potential and I was wondering what you know about him and whether he’d get funding to travel.


margot Says:

Andrew Miller: good point re lack of teenagers. Goodall was also suggesting u have 2 b so physically strong in the men’s game these days, that it’s more difficult for teenage boys to make it through. Not the same physicality on women’s side, so if u r reasonably fit and active, it is possible to move up rankings fairly swiftly.


grendel Says:

contador
“even a very old one coming back – forgot his name.” Could it be Thomas Muster – rather unbelievably, I heard he was training to make a comeback (I think he’s 42).
jane:”Roddick has stated his desire to get to London this year. He missed out last year due to injury” – at O2 last year, when I was there, there was this big cheer – and it was Roddick poking his nose around the corner, wanting to lap up the atmosphere perhaps. Hopefully, he can do more this year.
contador:re Dimitrov, how many challengers are there up to the New Year – how much does Dimitrov have to do to get automatic selection for AO?


sar Says:

Funny Bryans tweet:
@Bryanbros Epic hour long jam with Novak & Mirnyi in the players’ music room. Novak & karaoke is like bread & butter. He’ll be my wedding singer. #fb about 10 hours ago


jane Says:

Thanks sar, so cute to see them when they’re little. Couldn’t understand a word, but it’s funny how expressions and mannerisms don’t change drastically over the years. I think he’d make a wonderful wedding singer. lol.

grendel, now that you mention it, I think Roddick watch an O2 match or two last year (was he in the crowd for Delpo / Fed?? Seems to me… or maybe a different match).

Also, about Iron Man, I mean Muster, I read the same thing but I had assumed it would be on the “senior’s tour”. Seriously.


jane Says:

Roddick “watched” … sheesh, am now feeling sheepish about utter lack of proofreading, but can claim marking makes me cross-eyed.


grendel Says:

jane, sorry, can’t remember who. As for Muster, well, if it was for senior it wouldn’t have been remarkble in any way. But I don’t know. I remember Borg trying to come back at 30, and losing everything – of course, the problem was, he refused to use the new rackets, and hung on to his old wooden one. I remember him saying something like:”I don’t see anything out there to give me any trouble”.


sar Says:

Sad note: Nestor and Zimonjic breaking up. In 2011 Zimonjic will play with Llodra and Nestor with Mirnyi


Kimmi Says:

sar – sad news. how can such a successful doubles team break up? they have won so much together..be number 1, break records etc.

somehow they have been struggling recently, actually for quite a long while…losing in early rounds almost every tournament. maybe something “emotional” is eating these two.

do you know why they are breaking up sar?


Kimberly Says:

My forced pick gimeno traver actually won today.

For all of those interested tennis warehouse has a great sale on a lot of adidas including Ana ivanovic’s pretty pink dress


contador Says:

yeah i saw that kimberly. what? i thought i had a smart pick in istomin.

those spaniards. grrrr

grendel , yes. thanks – it was muster.

and the challengers go through november – er, they go through whatever week the atp tour finals do.

i don’t know what grigor has to do to make main draw AO. anyone know?


sar Says:

Fed’s sister Diana gives birth to twins Roman and Emilie. Congrats.


skeezerweezer Says:

sar,

Thanks for the nice “find” on the news on Feds sis :)

Your fav gets a title, congrats. He grew some major Kahones at USO in my humble IMO, and hope he breaks out this coming year to challenge the top spot!

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Rankings
ATP - Dec 15 WTA - Dec 15
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Roger Federer2 Maria Sharapova
3 Rafael Nadal3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 Kei Nishikori5 Ana Ivanovic
6 Andy Murray6 Agnieszka Radwanska
7 Tomas Berdych7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Milos Raonic8 Caroline Wozniacki
9 Marin Cilic9 Angelique Kerber
10 David Ferrer10 Dominika Cibulkova
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