Federer, Roddick, Murray March on in Paris; London Finals Field Set
by Staff | November 12th, 2010, 12:31 am
  • 137 Comments

Fernando Vedasco’s thrilling three-set loss today to Gael Monfils set the upcoming London World Tour Finals field. Following the Spaniard’s defeat, the confirmed eight are Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Robin Soderling, Tomas Berdych, Andy Roddick and David Ferrer.

Four of those eight players notched wins today in third round action at the Tennis Masters Paris.

“Well, I think it’s a goal at the beginning of every year,” said Roddick of his eighth straight qualification. “It’s certainly an accomplishment every year. It’s an honor to qualify once and each time you realize how tough it actually is. You can’t just play well for one week. It’s the culmination of doing it week after week on tour.”

The top-seeded Federer, who has never won the Paris Indoor title or even reached the final, cruised past Radek Stepanek 6-4, 6-3.

“He was serving good, he was accurate, he was coming in a lot, which I kind of expected,” said Federer who has now won 15 of his last 16 matches. “I just kind of felt it was gonna be a tough match to play. Thank God I already had a couple of really good return games and a good 10, 15 minutes which I was able to make a difference on, and then I could cruise home. I survived a scare early on when I was down break point and he was playing well, so it was a good match from my side.”

On Friday, in one quarterfinal Federer meets Austrian Jurgen Melzer who was a 7-6, 2-6, 6-3 victor over Ferrer.

The winner of that quarter will meet either Murray or Monfils who will do battle. Murray won another three setter this time over Marin Cilic while Monfils save two matchpoints to win 7-5 in the third over Verdasco.

“Tennis wise it wasn’t perfect, but I found the mental energy to stay into that match,” said Monfils. “I started believing that I could do something and win after a couple of rallies, and I was back again.”

Murray has beaten Monfils in three of four career meetings.

In the bottom half, Roddick and Soderling renew their rivalry after eac dropped the same number of games on Thursday. Roddick won over Ernests Gulbis 6-3, 7-6. Soderling toughed out Stanislas Wawrinka 7-6, 6-3.

Roddick and Soderling have split their four meetings, but Roddick has won both this season and each in three tight sets.

In what could be a preview of the upcoming Davis Cup final between France and Serbia, defending champion Djokovic was knocked out by the big-serving Michael Llodra 7-6, 6-2.

“In view of the Davis Cup, I don’t know,” said Llodra. “But I showed I was able to beat Djokovic. I showed I was reliable. Now, in Serbia, the match will be completely different with a different surface, but I was able to show our captain that he could count on me.

“But the Davis Cup will be a different competition. I don’t want to think too much about the Davis Cup right now, although I know that for many people I showed that I was applying for a selection to play the singles.

“But I want to go further in this tournament for the time being. I don’t want to stop here.”

Llodra now plays Nikolay Davydenko who beat a listless Tomas Berdych 4-6, 7-6, 6-0.

ORDER OF PLAY – FRIDAY, 12 NOVEMBER, 2010

CENTRAL COURT start 2:00 pm
[8] A Roddick (USA) vs [4] R Soderling (SWE)
[10] N Davydenko (RUS) vs M Llodra (FRA)
Not Before 7:30 PM
[1] R Federer (SUI) vs [11] J Melzer (AUT)
Not Before 8:30 PM
[3] A Murray (GBR) vs [12] G Monfils (FRA)


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137 Comments for Federer, Roddick, Murray March on in Paris; London Finals Field Set

guy Says:

two bagel sets from davydenko this tourny. not bad for an indoor court.


dimwitted recluse Says:

I like Llodra’s comments, but he’s got no chance against either Djokovic or Troicki in Serbia. I think these days, to win the Davis Cup final abroad, you’ve got to be phenomenally good. Spain were just that when they won, even without Nadal.

Roddick v Soderling in one hour. Look forward to that, having seen little of either this tourney. If both are playing at their best, I would back Roddick – he’s just a better all round player. Soderling on song is an exciting player to watch, though. There are those who dismiss him as a sort of lumbering giant. I think what such people are missing is that there are many different types of enjoyment – in literature, for instance, space opera science fiction can be deadly dull or very exciting; if the latter, it is unlikely to appeal to the same part of the brain as relishes, say, metaphysical poetry. And so on. Something similar is true in tennis. That’s my experience, at any rate.


dimwitted recluse Says:

What an amazingly beautiful woman Soderling’s fiance is. That Scandinavian restraint….


dimwitted recluse Says:

This match has been flat, and only came to life in the last game first set. Soderling had break points in 4 games, but Roddick saved them with monumental serving – not much else working for him till last game. then we saw Roddick on the aggressive, and it neatrly paid off. Suggests it may be match on now.


margot Says:

No dry crusts 4 me 2day ;) but am watching Andy R lose first set. Bummer :( His serve is under, Sod’s over. Andy needs to start moving Sod around. Come on!


Vulcan Says:

“The French Connection” Roddick (Babolat, Lacoste) could once be counted on to routinely steamroll opponents in straight sets but those days are no more. How many coaches has Roddick been through and is it safe to say that his glory days were under Gilbert.


dimwitted recluse Says:

first one geezer makes a mistake, then the other geezer makes a mistake.


TGiT Says:

Imagine Roddick has to live with the knowledge he did his best work under Gilbert. Man that sucks.

Gilbert is such a wanker.


Vulcan Says:

I recall a match here in the states where Roddick was scheduled to play Federer and he and Gilbert had some kind of a bet which Gilbert lost…Roddick made Gilbert were a very effeminate, colorful shirt into the studio…one can only speculate why they choose to do that prior to the Federer match.


margot Says:

Vulcan: naughty ;)


dimwitted recluse Says:

every now and then, the camera homes in on Roddick’s coach, sitting on the bench, alone, looking for all the world like a little old gnome.


margot Says:

von: sorry :( but at least Andy’s going to London :)


margot Says:

Looking forward to this one. Like both players, but I think Davydenko has more chance against Soderling, after all he’s a bit of a giant killer!


Vulcan Says:

As much as it pains me to say it I have to agree with DR that WTF will be more interesting to watch with Roddick there…one cannot escape the fact that Roddick brings a certain energy to the mix that only he can summon. Let’s just hope he doesn’t go off the deep end when it comes to let cords or shot spot replays.


Kimberly Says:

rats!!! I was hpoing Andy would win that one. Soderling seems to be playing well. He will have a real shot at the Finals here.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Didn’t get up early enough to see the match,

Was Soderling’s fiance really the best part of the match?


Vulcan Says:

Llodra surely acquired a great deal of his craftiness while playing doubles with the Magician.


dimwitted recluse Says:

Rather depends on your perspective, Skeezer. Now that you put it like that….


dimwitted recluse Says:

Vulcan – Roddick has got a poor display out of his system. Expect him to come back a different man for the O2. That’s what he does, after all.


Skeezerweezer Says:

See that Llorda has that killer out wide left serve on the add side. Best advantage of bein a lefty…..


Skeezerweezer Says:

d.r.

No dis respect, she is hot….;-)


Vulcan Says:

Yep, the ole can opener, remember Wayne Arthurs?


margot Says:

Rather a nice match so far, between these two “old men.” :)


Vulcan Says:

DR, indeed he does, one thing you could never accuse Roddick of is not showing up.


Gannu Says:

Watching highlights of Fed’s match with stepanek.. some vintage stuff from Fed..I hope he plays like this throught the course of his remaining career.. i am sure he would reach some 20 Gslams ;-)
This link is for all fed fans !!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JC0vRD09QZ4


Skeezerweezer Says:

WA, lol Vulcan, fantastic server.


Vulcan Says:

The main thing I could not understand about Davydenko is how he could be as good as he is and ranked in what?… the top 5 in the world…and only to be able to get a sponsorship by some freakin K-mart brand apparel manufacturer??? Good to see that Dunlop has come to his rescue…he no longer sports a Kuala bear (or whatever it was) as his sponsorship logo.


margot Says:

Oh Vulcan here we go, not good looking, not charismatic, Russian, private, difficult even?


Skeezerweezer Says:

Llorda turning it around here as me listens to some rocking french stuff on the changeover….wait….is that “I love rock n roll”…..the french version?


Vulcan Says:

Margot, surely there have been other “boring” tennis players that have managed to sign lucrative apparel contracts? Wasn’t Juan Ignacio Chela signed by Adidas or something? And he was never top 5. And I don’t think it had anything to do with the gambling controversy did it?


margot Says:

Um Vulcan, do I detect a little bit of irony there?
Poor Davydenko has had a charisma bypass and is Russian, too much for wealthy sponsors to stomach?
Llodra playing lights out, wow!


Skeezerweezer Says:

Love this stuff. S&V vs baseliner, makes great tennis, and very tactical.


margot Says:

Wow! What will the crowd do if there’s a Monfils v Llodra final? Will be able to hear the cheers across the channel!
skeeze btw: thought your comment re Sod’s gf was :)


Vulcan Says:

The accountant comparison – yes I can see – (mind you I think his tennis is spectacular to watch) but being Russian is hardly grounds for being shortchanged – Safin, Kafelnikov – those guys did pretty well.


margot Says:

Yes, agree with you completely re Davy, but no good comparing him with Safin, whose a very sexy kinda guy..


guy Says:

davydenko isn’t ugly, just no hair
also the lack of charisma thing is stupid, he just never threw tantrums on court like the ‘charismatic’ players, and his english wasn’t good in the beginning so couldn’t couldn’t communicate too well with the press.
actually a genuine guy and good sport, but that doesn’t interest people as much as bad boys and arseholes.
then let’s not forget the atp gave him the stigma of being a matchfixer, so good luck with sponsors after that.


margot Says:

guy:for the record nobody said he was “ugly.”
Just trying to explain why he didn’t get sponsorship.
Difficult to know how “good” Llodra was today because clearly Davy was below par and his serve was below 50%. Does anyone win then? Real test will come tomorrow with Sod, whose serve looked outstanding today. Well I hope Llodra holds his nerve and brings his best game, if he does he’ll take it!
Kimmi: what if your prediction came true? How gr8 would that be?


Skeezerweezer Says:

S&V,

Let’s see, straights over Nole and Davy, yeah, it’s dead all right, no future for that stuff. If all courts were this fast, Rafa and unc would be honing there S&V skills as I write.


jane Says:

Well, I like to watch Davy play tennis, but arsehole or not, Safin, is hot – tssssssst. Like Soda’s fiancee perhaps? (She’s got that lovely combo of dark hair and blue eyes). Nasty that Davy couldn’t get a sponsor though; just dumb. He’s been as high as #3 in the world.

That said, I am happy Llodra used his momentum, with bigs wins over Isner, Nole and now Davy; clearly the play he exhibited yesterday was no fluke. He is on a roll. This court is ideal for his fast, aggressive, s&v game; he really has a stand out serve too.

So who’s next? And has Soda ever won a Masters event?


jane Says:

Re: Roddick – he did good work under Gilbert, winning a slam, getting to #1, but he was young and fearless then. A lot of players break through like that but then they feel the pressure afterwards. In terms of all-round improvement in his tennis, to me Stefanki has done a wonderful job of helping with Andy’s fitness and therefore movement, plus he transitions to the net with more assurance now, than, say, under Connors. Stefanki has a calm presence which must balance Andy’s hyperactivity somewhat. Maybe even Stefanki helps him to know when to be patient and when aggressive. We saw a great balance of that in his last Wimbledon final. Big props to Stefanki imo.


Vulcan Says:

Jane,

I fully expected Roddick to stick with Gilbert for a longer haul than he did.(I think he was with the french dude longer) Gilbert just seemed to understand him as they both had that frat boy demeanor. About Roddick’s volleying – his improvement in that department may have been too little too late – especially as regards Wimbledon. As far as Roddick fearing anybody – that’s rare – but perhaps Federer could rattle him a bit.


jane Says:

I can’t remember precisely when Gilbert and Roddick split; it was fairly soon after his slam win wasn’t it?


SkeEzerWeEzer Says:

Yeah Roddick was born in the era where if you served big, you came in. Roddick, didn’t, and never really got the whole transition game to the net. Shame with that monster serve. It kiiled me to see him it a bomber serve, then Fed floats back a beach ball and Roddick stays at the baseline waiting for it to slowly feather the baseline….ugh….so wanted and expected Roddick to do better :(, his personalality and wit will be sorely missed imo..


SkeEzerWeEzer Says:

Interesting article about shortening the season, which imo good for players, bad for fans. Fed was interviewsd as backing it, interesting as it would help imo all players.I mean, do players have any off season to prepare, recoup, tinker with the game, etc? 4 weeks? Geez

http://ca.reuters.com/article/sportsNews/idCATRE6A834V20101109


Vulcan Says:

Jane,

I just recall that the timing made little or no sense to me.

About Roddick serving and volleying – - his motion is different from somebody like Edberg’s were there was a lot of leaning into the court and forward momentum as part of the motion – add that to his hamfisted volleys and it makes it tough to win Wimbledon – that 2004 match against Federer though was something else the way he came out like a bat out of hell going for broke on everything.


Kimo Says:

I have never seen Fed play this enthusiastically in the fall since probably 2006. Way to go Fed. Keep up racking those points :)


jane Says:

skeeze, “4 weeks?” – I know, and many of them celebrate Christmas of some kind of holiday during that time. Guess they have to tinker during the year, and watch not to overload their schedules.

Vulcan, yeah that 04 Wimby was exciting but the rain delay really threw off Roddick’s rhythm.

Re: Fed’s recent success – having gotten to finals in Shanghai, having won Stockholm and Basel, and having gotten considerably deeper in Paris, with the potential still to win it or go deeper today, he’s cut into Rafa’s point lead somewhat. However, he has the AO to defend right at the beginning of next year, with Rafa having only QFs. So Rafa could potentially gain there. Mind you, Rafa will have loads to defend next year. It might catch up with him. It’s always great when a player is just adding; they hard part, of course, is defending.


jane Says:

of some kind s/b “or some kind” – and they hard part s/b “the hard part”

Fed with a break right out of the gates.


SkeEzerWeEzer Says:

Jane,

I am a guy so I can’t discuss with you how sexy Safin is, but if we talked Kournokova…wellllll ;-)


jane Says:

Fed vs. Melzer match looking like a rout.


Kimo Says:

Fed is barely breaking sweat and he’s already at 5-0. That’s why he’s the best.


SkeEzerWeEzer Says:

Wow…Fed 5-0….Go Fed!!


jane Says:

I picked Fed to win on my bracket challenge, but this is kind of , well, dull watching so far. Rallies ending in errors. Melzer’s serve not so great; Fed’s fab. Very lopsided. Be over in blink of an eye at this rate. Nice for Melzer that he staved off a bagel. Maybe, as d.r. says, there are twists to come. But it doesn’t look like it.


Kimo Says:

6-1 in 20 minutes :)


SkeEzerWeEzer Says:

6-1, Fed playing brilliant as usual..keep it up!


SkeEzerWeEzer Says:

I would expect Melzner to step it up in the next set…


dari Says:

Way to go Roger 6-1 first set! If he keeps it up, he will make his best performance here in Paris!
Nice Nasal-like pass from melzer, bending that ball in!
I wouldn’t mind a more competitive second set as long as fed wins it!


jane Says:

Yes, Fed playing great, but that was also a poor first set from Melzer. Bad errors, hitting easy balls way long, only about 50% first serves. etc. Maybe this second set will be a little more competitive.


jane Says:

Nice lob by Fed. Also glad to see Melzer is picking up his level of play to make the match more competitive.


dari Says:

Better play from Melzer and a few more errors from fed, I am more awake now. Let’s go Roger!


SkeEzerWeEzer Says:

Melzner finding that “Lefty heavy topspin to Fed’s BH” play…..mmmmmm…seen that one from another player on tour…..young guy….girls like his behind I think….what’s his name?


jane Says:

Great running forehand by Roger there. He’s definitely in good form. Though he followed with his first double of the match.


dari Says:

Jane he had a double fault already, at 40-0 in the first set, cant remember which game cause 1st set went by too fast!
Nice drop from Melzer, was waiting for that!


Fot Says:

I knew the 2nd set would be competitive. First, Roger won the first set too easily; and second, I knew Metzer would make a run. I just hope Roger can take it.


jane Says:

Oops, true dari. :) It was over in a snap. Second set more fun to watch, imo. Melzer is still getting only 54% firsts in though, and he’s just missing on some of his go-for-broke shots.


Nina Says:

Federer is having an excellent run these past months, he’s in great form again, though his form has been fluctuating through out the year (he was the AO champion after all, anyone remember? yeah it seems that far).
I suspect he will win in Paris, Murray doesn’t stand a chance this time. Nor does anyone else for that matter. But still Llodra can give the surprise here.
Interesting…


jane Says:

Fed’s serving has been rock solid, wow. Melzer’s challenges have often missed by millimeters. The way Jurgen points at the ball kids for the towel makes me think of Elvis for some reason, lol.


dari Says:

TB here we go


jane Says:

Okay I want Nole to take serving lessons from Fed. I guess he might not be up for that thought. ;)


Kimo Says:

Well done, Rog. Bring it on, Andy :)))


SkeEzerWeEzer Says:

Is there anyone in the game, ever, who can hit that unbeleivable flick BH? ‘mazin stuff


Kimo Says:

Same Winner:UE count as last match – 33:13.


jane Says:

Good second set. Congrats to Fed.

margot, have lunch plans so can’t watch Andy M, so keeping fingers/toes crossed, though not sure meeting Fed in this form is what he needs? Anyhow go Andy M!


Vulcan Says:

Federer is sending a very strong message for WTF and for next year.


dari Says:

Melzer looks piiiiiisssed. Great job Roger! First time in Paris masters semis!
I am looking forward to next match. I want monfils to win at home!


Fot Says:

I’m happy. I knew the 2nd set would be tough. Meltzer played great in the 2nd set, but Roger was just too strong (especially on serve). Like the announcers said – it isn’t how HARD you serve, but the placement.

Now for the 2nd match – it could be a blow-out for Murray – OR Monfils could be a surprise. Depends on the mentality of these 2 players. Sometimes both of them can get so ‘mentally down’ that it depends on which “Murray” or which “Monfils” shows up. For me – I don’t really care which one wins as long as it is something like 7-6 6-7 7-6 and a 3 1/2 hour match….or something like that! *innocently speaking* lol! Now watch – it’ll probably be a 6-1 6-1 blow-out just to spite me! lol!


steve-o Says:

I think Llodra can make the final.


margot Says:

FOT: u made me laugh because of course I want the complete opposite! In fact I really won’t mind if Andy loses this one, no really! Andy looks below par to me and Fed certainly doesn’t. In fact I think Andy should go home and rest that wrist.
On the other side, don’t think Sod would have a chance. Fed seems to have his number but Llodra playing lights out and with the home support, who knows?
Am with Fed on the need for a 6 week break. This schedule is mad and although it’d be sad for fans, it’d be good for the players.


margot Says:

skeeze: what’s happened to your moniker, this new one is making me dizzy;)


Nina Says:

I don’t have any faith in Murray doing great things here, he has been sloppy since he arrived. He has had so many ups and downs this season…
Indeed Federer is sending a strong message for the WTF but I wouldn’t go as far as saying for the next season. He won AO this year and look what he did afterwards… He’s not a safe bet anymore I’m afraid.


dimwitted recluse Says:

” Murray doesn’t stand a chance this time.” That’s a surprising comment. Fact is, Federer doesn’t much like playing Murray, whilst Murray loves playing Federer. Assuming Murray beats Monfils, I’d say Murray/Federer pretty open. The winner from those two.


skeezerweezer Says:

Margot,

That’s me. Always being mischievous. I never grew up. :)


margot Says:

ah skeeze: bless :)
Gael doing very well so far!


Mindy Says:

Skeezer,

You are hilarious as always, even with the new caps throughout your name.

Yes, old what’s his name, the one with the behind that all the girls like! As I recall, that guy actually does serve and volley these days. Next time you watch him, why don’t you check it out!


margot Says:

Gael really into Andy’s serve. If Andy should win this and doubtful way Gael’s playing, looks as if FOT will get her wish :)
Nina: completely agree with you re Andy.


Nina Says:

Murray playing way too passive. Doh.


Nina Says:

@dimwitted recluse: Are you watching Murray’s match now? then you’ll understand why I said that. This court is much faster than Shangai, thus perfect for Federer. Plus Roger is in amazing form right now. I’m afraid Murray’s not.


Eric Says:

Well unless Gael pulls a Marin and shits away the match, looks like Murray’s consistency just isn’t gonna be good enough…


margot Says:

If Andy’s first serve doesn’t buck up, he’s going home to rest that wrist ;)


Eric Says:

WOW. They just showed the first set stats. Monfils: 100% first serve points won. Wow.


margot Says:

Andy’s first serve percentage 44- pure c**p.


Eric Says:

Well, Monfils wasn’t much better – 46%. Anyway, here goes the second set…Murray off to a better start already!


Fot Says:

It’s still too early to call the match. Monfils can and have gone away in other matches before, so let’s see if he can keep his composure throughout the match. Right now, Murray is playing like ‘crap’ but that can change in a beat as well.


dari Says:

All the yelling Andy is doing at himself is quite entertaining. The tennis, too.


margot Says:

OMG set 3 coming up, FOT bet you’re enjoying this!


Fot Says:

Margot – yep! But the sets are two short! lol! I need a 7-6 in the 3rd or somethin! lol!


margot Says:

Fot: don’t think you’re gonna get that, looks like Monfils rather quickly :)


Kimmi Says:

gulp! OK, muzza wake up please


dari Says:

No matter the outcome its been really fun watching Andy and Gael move around the court. They get to balls that others just can’t.


Kimmi Says:

la monf..if muzz loses then la monf is the best guy to lose to.


margot Says:

Well played Monfils! Andy looked exhausted at the end. If the serve doesn’t work, you don’t win, simple.
Go home to bed Andy and come back fighting fit next year!
Cheering for a Frenchman now! kimmi, you may be right after all!


Kimmi Says:

margot – yes, i said that yesterday and its now looking more and more possible. Llodra and la monf..wow!

Still rooting for my boy federer though!


margot Says:

jane: this exhausted Andy with a painful wrist would never have beaten Fed, so all good here as h2h is safe ;)


dari Says:

Congratulations to Gael! I think Bercy is a nice place for him. I hope Roger will beat him, though, tomorrow!


the_mind_reels Says:

One thing about Monfils that troubles Murray so much is that he gives him a lot of balls down the middle of the court, forcing Murray to generate both angle and pace, neither of which he prefers doing. Murray likes being on the run and working with angles rather than creating them himself. This is something that the announcers pointed out last summer in his match against Fed in Cincinnati (which he lost) and which still seems to be true. That and the fact that he can’t keep a first serve percentage above 60% to save his life, which puts too much pressure on his second delivery.

Hoping to see an inspired Llodra push through to the finals tomorrow!

http://thirtyforty.wordpress.com — a new statistics-driven tennis blog.


Kimmi Says:

ha-ha morgot, you bring up H2H like nadal fans..you are right though, its safe for now.


Nina Says:

It just dawned on me that I’m not a supporter of Murray. A fan maybe, but not a supporter. He’s my second favorite player but today I wanted him so badly to lose so he couldn’t reach Nole in the rankings. That’s how bad a fan I am. I guess I just realized that you can only back up one player at a time.
Great match by Monfils, btw. He tends to do well in front of his crowd.


Kimmi Says:

Nina, you are right. if murray would have gone far in paris, he would have passed nole. the gap is still close though. it will all depend how both perform in london.

For me i hope murray finish world # 3 for the first time, he is soooo close. c’mon muzz….but matches like today, made him look like he doesnt deserve it. :(


Fot Says:

Nina, I understand. I wanted Novak out so bad so Roger could finish #2 (nothing personal against Novak, but I want my man to finish ahead of him this year) lol! So we’re all fans like that.


Eric Says:

I think the French fans are going to be disappointed tomorrow… I said I thought Davydenko was going to beat Llodra and that was wrong (ouch, quite wrong), but I just don’t see Llodra pulling off another rather huge upset. And Monfils could get past Federer but only if Roger is having a massive off day, and he’s been playing lights-out tennis since the US Open, except for that Shanghai final where Murray made him look quite old and tired.


Fot Says:

Eric, anything can happen tomorrow. I just hope Roger comes through.


dimwitted recluse Says:

Nina, what I meant was, Murray is always a different player when Federer is on the other side of the net. Everything about him is different. He LOOKS different, completely focused on his own game and a determination to beat Federer; to a lesser degree, he’s like that with Nadal as well. Wrist or no wrist, I think he would have been 50-50 with Fed – the fast court probably favours Federer slightly, otherwise, Murray is favourite in my mind (except in slams; remains to be seen if he can overcome that hurdle).

Meanwhile, yet again Monfils demonstrates how unique he is. Watching him pirouetting today, I’m inclined to revise the common idea that he is a compulsive entertainer. Well, he is, but there’s something else more important,the sheer physical joy which oozes from him. This is a guy who’s really at home in full delight with his body. It’s impossible not to feel that in him, which is why I am sure he has such rapport with the crowd, and not just French crowds. He’s a rubber man who happens to run like a cheetah.

But it seems, surprisingly, he’s full of inhibitions, which may account for his infuriating tendency for passive play. These are just wild guesses but, who knows, perhaps some of his extrovert behaviour on court is a kind of compensation for the shackles which bind his play so often. Psychobabble? Very possibly, but he’s a rum ‘un to work out, that’s for sure. Ask Roger Rasheed, who often reminds me of Nick Nolte in The Thin Red Line, when he’s grasping himself by such hair as he has as if he’s trying to pull himself inside out, so exasperated is he by a junior officer’s refusal to carry out his direct order.

What you can say is that when the shackles are released Monfils can play like no one else can, really. This thin and wiry frame incorporates such fluid power. I remember one strongly hit shot from Murray which you’d have thought would have elicited at best a defensive response. On the contrary, Monfils casually unleashed for a glorious winner. The timing is exquisite. Monfils at his expressive best makes even Federer look a mite prosaic. Sometimes, he can kid you into thinking he’s making it up as he goes along. Maybe, sometimes, he does.


Eric Says:

Fot, obviously anything can happen… I am offering my thoughts and predictions.

Although I hadn’t heard this when I made my guess about the Soderling-Llodra match; they’ve played twice, and Llodra won both times, including at Marseille earlier this year. I still think Sod will take him, but I guess I could easily be wrong (again…).

As for Federer, I would be very surprised if he loses tomorrow.


skeezerweezer Says:

Wow Eric good info re; Sod/Llorda matchup, have a keen interest now to see how Sod will do.

margot & jane,

( Yes I know you two ARE two different persons )

Look at Andy’s run this way. He didn’t look “fresh” the whole tourney, and had wrist problems. So his run was pretty darn good, no? Bet thing for him his rest that wrist and his head, been a very long season, he’ll be fine…..

That said, Congrats to Monfils he has quietly had a great fall season…..


Nina Says:

@dimwitted recluse: You have a point there. It’s true that Murray is transformed when he plays against Nadal and Federer. Spanish ex tennis player and commentator Tomas Carbonell said earlier in the match that Murray didn’t like to play against lesser players below his rank. That’s why he usually has the worst defeats against inferior players and he excels against the elite ones. It’s like he believes he’s too good to waste his energy and effort against a lesser player, specially if that player is attacking him.

@Fot… it’s ok to wish that! After all we’re only human. lol


jane Says:

margot : ( re: Murray, but if he had to lose, I am not sad to see him losing to Monfils. He can rest up and relax that wrist. Like you, since my bracket is officially toast, I am “Cheering for a Frenchman now!” Either one, really, although Monfils came SO close to winning last year that I’d be truly and thoroughly happy to see him win at home, and to win his first biggish title in the pros.

Nina, remember, Murray could still take over #3 at WTF, and then if the DC players are thrown a bone, points-wise (don’t they get some ATP points if they win the DC title?), it could still flip-flop between them again. And it may do so next year as well. But whether Nole (or Murray for that matter) is #3 or #4 doesn’t really matter in terms of seeding/ranking at the slams or masters events. What would matter more is if one rises up to #2 and/or one drops down to #5.


jane Says:

Nice words skeeze; to be honest I think Fed will win the title; he is looking uber-sharp. But I would love to see a hometown boy win, and Roger just won two tournies in a row. My draw is toast, so I might as well make it “french toast” – oui? : )


Kimmi Says:

jane – its true # 3 or 4 does not matter seeding wise, but it matters to these guys. If murray finish # 3, he will be telling everyone how good he is done this season..his first time to finish the year number 3 etc.

in the other hand, Djoko will be dissapointed if he goes down to # 4. so its all relative.

re: davus cup points. davis cup points are part of 500 events i think. top players are countining max of four 500 events in the year.

Djoko has already played 4. so i think he has maxed out. (dubai, monte carlo, beijing and basel)

someone could correct me if i am wrong.


Eric Says:

Re: Llodra, on the other hand, this is already by far his best performance ever at a masters event. I got bored after looking through his most recent 5 years of results, but he’s only made it past the first round a few times and often lost in qualification. I doubt that will bother him much, but certainly Soderling isn’t going to want to lose to him at an important stage and venue like this.


Kimmi Says:

“so I might as well make it “french toast” – oui?”

ha-ha good one


skeezerweezer Says:

“french toast” lol.

“bon appetit”


jane Says:

Kimmi, isn’t monte carlo 1000 points still? I take your point about #3 or 4 pride-wise, for the players themselves. But insofar as being one or the other’s fan, #3 or 4 doesn’t make too much difference in the long run, at least it doesn’t to me. Maybe it would bug me more if it wasn’t Murray to whom Nole was losing number 3. Like if Soderling suddenly leapt over, I might not be quite so philosophical about it. Not that I dislike Mr. Dimples, but I’d like to see Murray and Nole get a taste of the very top before they slip. Top ten, heck, top 20, these are all cream o’ the crop players.


contador Says:

well i have no idea what kind of fangirl i am. in basel i felt as if i’d be left cranky for the rest of forever if fed didn’t win back his home trophy. as for tomorrow i find myself wanting a monfils win. and i am a fed fan. but i tend to support a mix of others, depending on who and where, i guess – could be that underdog thing.

i’m just happy i got to watch the entire federer match v stepanek live this week and federer played so many amazing shots. no winning ugly for fed this week.

and i love mr. dimples but llodra making the final in paris and seeing that adorable llodra jr. kid so happy is just too cute! gotta cheer for mika over soda.

monfils -llodra final is my vote ; )

dimwitted recluse-

my impression of monfils is that for all his love of entertaining, he can get self-conscious and down on himself (loss to fognini). watching him in a couple matches in montpellier, he was uncharacteristically serious and remained patient. and what a joy to watch!

we’ll see how he is with federer across the net again. maybe this could be a breakthrough moment for la monf.


Kimmi Says:

OK, jane. i see what you mean re: muzz and djoko.

monte carlo is a very confusing tornament for the fans. I read it is still a masters (not mandatory though) but its 1000 points counts as a 500 event.

i will try to look for exactly what they say about monte carlo in the rule book.


jane Says:

No worries Kimmi – you don’t have to look on my behalf. What you say sounds right to me. Thanks for the info. :)


Kimmi Says:

he we go jane:

Top 30 players (based on ’09 year-end ranking) must play a minimum of four 500 level tournaments during the calendar year, including at least one event following the US Open (Monte Carlo Masters 1000 event will count towards the minimum of four):

and davis cup points rule:

A. Davis Cup points are awarded for World Group and World Group playoff ties only. Points allocated are as part of the 500 point category. Davis Cup does not count towards a player’s commitment to the 500 category. The points accumulated in the four ties within the previous 52 weeks can become part of a player’s 500 category if:
1. Player has not more than three 500 results within the previous 52 weeks and Davis Cup result(s) is better than lowest best other.
2. Player has four 500 results within the previous 52 weeks and Davis Cup result(s) is better than the lowest 500. Also, 500 0-pointers cannot be replaced.


Von Says:

WOW, what a day of disappointments.!I didn’t expect Roddick to win vs. Soderling, as I thought he’d be tired. It takes a lot of matches for one to build up stamina and endurance after being on and off the tour as he’s been, but I expected it to be a much closer match. Roddick seemed frustrated and out of sorts — something seemed to be bothering him apart from his opponent.
___________
Margot: Thanks for the commisserations, and please accept mine. I think the two Andys seemed very lethargic today.

You mentioned ’02 and Andy R. being there. Yes, at least he’ll be at the ’02. This is the 8th consecutive year that he’s qualified, but has only played one-half of those years.

BTW, margot are you joined up in the Tennis.x discussion group? Someone told me I should join up, and when I checked there I didn’t see you in the discussion. However, I did enjoy the lovely discussion between Kimberly and jane though. It was very informative! Great stuff jane and Kimberly, keep it coming or going, guys — you made me laugh. And, I always enjoy a good laugh.LOL

BTW, there’s someone on there using the same moniker as mine *Von*, but that’s NOT me. After I saw there was one Von, I decided against joining up, but I think I’ll continue to visit to learn more of how the world turns apart from Tennis.x.
______________
Vulcan: Roddick does bring energy to the tourneys in general and he will add some to ’02. He’s got what’s called *presence*, which is something that’s innate and not many are blessed with that kind of quality. You can add that to your list, among others, of the guys who always get the nice girls. LOL
______________
FOt: I think most people would root against their fave’s opponent, and you’re not an exception, but rather the norm. At least yu’re honest. I don’t buy the “I’ll just sit back and enjoy” talk, which I don’t for one minute believe, when one fave and the other a psuedo fave are playing against each other. I’m sure there’s always a hidden desire to want the No. 1 fave to win.


Kimmi Says:

oh jane..i already did. i looked at ranking FAQ at the ATP site. no worries at all.


skeezerweezer Says:

Contador ,

Nice to see you post ;), enjoyed it


Kimmi Says:

gannu – thanks for the federer vs stepanek highlights. i didnt see the match so i do appreciate. if you find a good one of federer vs melzer..please do post.


i am it Says:

Where do I start from?

So, Murray and Djoko, who will finish the year as No. 3?
To the point, if Djoko retains his YEC points, Murray will have to reach the London final to steal the No. 3.

Number breakdown, given both maintain their 400 pts. in the YEC:
Djoko —6,945 -1,000 (Paris ’09) + 90 (R16 Paris ’10)+ 505 (DC pts.)-300 (DC replaces Basel as the 4th 500 event)= 6240

Murray— 5,670-90 (’09 Paris) + 180 (Paris Qt. ’10)= 5760

Scene 1: Djoko wins only 1 RR (6,040), and Murray wins 2 RRs and semifinal (5760+400 = 6160), the Scot takes the No. 3.
Scene 2: Djoko wins 2 RRs (6240), and Murray wins 2 RRs and final (6660 pts), Murray ends the year w/ No. 3.
Scene 3: Djoko loses all (5840 pts) and Murray wins 3 RRs (5960), Murray replaces Djoko as No. 3.

Vulcan,
I read in passing that you raised the issue of consensus somewhere and I wanted to add something to it then but I happened to be busy and missed the chance. My initial thought was along the lines of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe’s characterization of consensus as the limit of liberal humanism, i.e. its poverty, in that liberal humanism has always been unethical in absolute sense. Their notion of “antagonism” is accepted as stronger idea in the academy today than Habermas and Rorty’s “consensus,” esp. for resistance politics and preservation of past cultural achievement for expanding the horizon of knowledge in general. And Spencer-Brown’s idea of emergence of reality through self-severed difference complicates the whole thing. If you don’t mind, I am only curious, could you, as a science/ philosophy scholar, elaborate if you were using the term in the sense of Jürgen Habermas-Richard Rorty type of “consensus” and secondly if it has any parallel with eigenbehaviors (see cybernetics and von Foerster) and lastly how we should respond to Thomas Kuhn’s “revolutionary science.” (My curiosity comes from being follower of Heinz von Foerster and G. Spencer-Brown, continental philosophy in general, esp. phenomenology and posthumanism, as well as from my love for digits, codes, and numbers, the traditional domain of analytical philosophy.)


Kimmi Says:

i am it – thanks for that. muzz has to play much better in london to improve his chances, so we will see what happens.


dimwitted recluse Says:

“maybe this could be a breakthrough moment for la monf.”
I dunno, contador. So often, you get this feeling about a particular player, and it never seems to happen. They just carry on in the old way, every now and again giving you a big surprise, and making you think:”maybe this could be a breakthrough moment for….”

There seems to be a certain breed of really exceptional player, and for my money Monfils is right at the top of this list (Safin, Nalbandian – and there’s a danger Murray may join this merry band, probably not, but he seems to hover over the margins) who every now and then will play like gods. And then the next time you see them, they look just ordinary. If you can imagine Monfils looking ordinary. He can play pretty ordinary sometimes.

I was very struck by that word “repeater” Roddick used, to indicate the player who can reproduce his best form over and again. I can’t see Monfils ever being like that.

But when, in our dotage, as we crouch by the fire eating buns and supping whisky and milk and wondering if we’ll see another sun rise, the glory that is a Monfils or a Federer or a Safin, these will blend at least in my mind, and I will forget all about number of slams and so on, and just remember a certain physical magic, and how intensely moving that was, nature’s grandeur…

Meanwhile, I hope tomorrow Monfils and Federer bring out the very best in each other – they played a very entertaining match at RG in semis year or two ago. There’s a curious paradox – they’ve both got to want to win badly for the match to catch fire; and yet I don’t really mind who wins.

Llodra and Sod? Like ‘em both. Should be enjoyable match up on this fast court. We don’t want s and v to dominate again; but terrible if it disappears.


skeezerweezer Says:

“and yet I don’t really mind who wins…..”

I am on the train with you d.r., Fed has proven he still can produce top ranked tennis this fall, despite the “Fed has ended” stuff. Nothing better than having the man prove it himself. Look forward to seeing this level ( me hopes ) continue to the AO, and with Monfils how can we not accept the guy as a player? He is entertaining, to say the least with his unique athleticism. So either guy gets through is ok with the skeeze, but you know who I will be cheering on….:)


contador Says:

lol! in my dotage will i be crouching by a fire eating buns and drinking whiskey and milk? i wonder, D.R. really does sound great. i’d even do that this evening and not wait until my “dotage.” it’s cold, dark and the ground has had a covering of snow for several days. (which is quite normal for this time of year where i live) the big chill is here.

and when i think about federer i really don’t think about the number of trophies he has but that volley last week he sliced and the way the ball bounced on the line and curved out two feet beyond where i thought it would. he’s just an extraordinary artist. but he is vulnerable. i won’t be surprised if he is not able to produce the serving and level of tennis tomorrow that he has in his last…3 weeks now. he might be due for a drop in level like he did at the us open when fed gave his best performance against soderling and the level went down from there, imo.

monfils has such easy power and speed. really have enjoyed watching him the past couple weeks too. also enjoyed what i saw of the fognini- ferrer match this week. both were tenacious. fognini is amusing. he’s a real peacock the way he struts but he also strikes the ball crisp and moves deceptively fast. he acts like it’s nothing. such a contrast of ferrer’s and fognini’s style but there was fire in their match up and it was everything i thought it would be. ferrer didn’t win by much. was wishing it could have been a draw.

also found that aachen challenger had a live stream right from their website. the quality was not great but i did watch dimitrov lose in a close match to rajeev ram. ram has a sampras-like serve and grigor lost the match in a tie break. he could not return the serve. tough luck i think getting bozoljac and ram in his 1st rounds the past two weeks.

i’m moderating myself skeezer ; )


margot Says:

i am it @8.16. Thanx for those stats but it’s Sod I worry about, could not bear him to “leapfrog” over Andy, as jane says :(
von: hi! no I’m not in the discussion.I did enter the challenger but have crashed big time! I post here and on “an other” ;) and that’s enough time on the net for me! Also, am considering joining “murraysworld,” probably my spiritual home, in January. A new year, new dreams..


dimwitted recluse Says:

contador, I saw that slice, and I’ve never seen such spin (except on a cricket ball,it looked like a leg break), but the commentators seemed to think it was a mishit. Couldn’t see it myself, but then..very disappointing. Still, plenty of other definitely legit strokes to make you purr..

I do agree Federer is vulnerable. Usually, when someone is dominating, it feels like there is only one winner. Yet towards the end of the 2nd set yesterday, the unthinkable looked possible. Being overprotective, perhaps? And yes, he’s due for a fall. It’s the AO I’d hope he does well at.
Fognini IS very funny, a bit like Charlie Chaplin impersonating Mussolini…

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