Soderling v. Murray Open Finals; Is Federer Still the Favorite?
by Sean Randall | November 20th, 2010, 5:55 pm
  • 150 Comments

The ATP year-end London Tennis Masters Cup World Tour Finals Championship 1000 sponsored by a very large, squid-like bank opens up Sunday with Group B matches involving Roger Federer v. David Ferrer and Robin Soderling against Brit favorite Andy Murray.

With the exception of Novak Djokovic, the Finals, or whatever it’s called these days – the name changes every other year – is the closing ATP event on the calendar so the players, tired as they may be, need to lay it all out these next 8 days in London.

For me, after further digesting the groups Federer remains my favorite while Ferrer the event’s requisite pigeon. And thusly I like Federer to have his way with Ferrer tomorrow. Is anyone picking Ferrer?

“Obviously it’s a tough group, but I think they’re even,” Federer said. “Novak’s in one group, Murray’s in one, I’m in one group, Rafa’s in the other, so I think it’s quite even.

“In our group, it seems like we all know we’re playing well,” he added. “Ferrer’s won Valencia, I won bunch of tournaments just now and won many matches, Murray won Shanghai and Soderling just won Paris, whereas in the other group maybe it’s just a bit more up in the air. They haven’t just won all the tournaments lately. It’s two completely different groups, but very exciting ones.”

Federer, though has still had his problems. He’s playing well in fits but for whatever he losing matches after having held matchpoints. We saw that early in the year against Berdych and Baghdatis. And now even under new coach Paul Annacone it’s continued as we saw at the US Open against Djokovic and last week against Monfils. So we’ll keep an eye on that. But Ferrer shouldn’t hold any MPs Sunday.

The big match, and arguably the most important of the entire round-robin, is between Murray and Soderling. The contest matches up the last two Masters winners – Soderling in Paris, Murray in Shanghai – and for me it’s the tone-setter with the winner getting out of Group B and the loser possibly watching the semifinals on TV.

Thanks to his Paris win last Sunday, Soderling is at a career-high of No. 4 and his confidence has to be right up there as well. And indoors is really where Robin’s powerful game can inflict the most damage. It’s his best “surface”.

Murray is adept indoors as well, but I don’t know how well he’ll handle the pressure of opening the event – he’s playing the first match – and having to beat the Swede in front of his faithful. We’ve seen him come up short before.

“The pressure is pretty much the same and the home crowd really does make a difference,” said Murray who is making his third straight year-end championships appearance. “Every tennis player will tell you when you play at home it really helps you to have the crowd behind you.

“The venue is going to be great, as it was last year, the atmosphere was brilliant and we had full crowds for almost all of the matches and they’re expecting it to be the same again.”

Well Andy, if the home crowd helps you so much what happened last year in London, and what of you failings at Wimbledon? Pressure!

Murray and Soderling have split their four meetings but Robin’s won the last two in straight sets at 2006 Memphis and 2010 Indian Wells.

“I think every match has been even against Andy, they’ve always been tough matches,” said Soderling. “Even though three of them were a few years ago, they were close. It will be tough, but it will be close. I’ll have to play well to win. It not, it will be extremely difficult.”

With both guys in form, this should be a great matchup. But I still like Soderling to pull through this one in three tough sets.

Looking ahead to Monday’s Group A, top seed Rafael Nadal clashes with Andy Roddick while Novak Djokovic opens against Tomas Berdych.

Overall, I’m still going with my early picks of Federer, Soderling out of Group B, then Nadal and Djokovic from A. Based on recent results and matchups, I’d be really surprised if Federer and Djokovic failed to reach the semifinals. And I’ll stay with Federer over Djokovic in the final.

The Murray match is on live on the Tennis Channel starting at 10am ET. Federer is on live at 3pm ET. I think the doubles might precede the singles coverage on the channel.

SUNDAY LONDON SCHEDULE

CENTRE COURT Start At 12:15 PM
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs [8] J Melzer (AUT) / P Petzschner (GER)
Not Before 2:00 PM
[4] R Soderling (SWE) vs [5] A Murray (GBR)
Start At 6:15 PM
[4] L DLouhy (CZE) / L Paes (IND) vs [6] M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL)
Not Before 8:00 PM
[2] R Federer (SUI) vs [7] D Ferrer (ESP)


Also Check Out:
London Masters Groupings Released: Federer Tough, Nadal Easy?
Nadal bests Soderling, Abu Dhabi Tennis Day Three
Murray Falls in Federer Group; Nadal with Novak at ATP World Finals
Verdasco Stays Hot, Meets Soderling for Barcelona Title
Nadal, Federer Face Tough Draws at French Open

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150 Comments for Soderling v. Murray Open Finals; Is Federer Still the Favorite?

JCK Says:

“In our group, it seems like we all know we’re playing well,” he added. “Ferrer’s won Valencia, I won bunch of tournaments just now and won many matches, Murray won Shanghai and Soderling just won Paris, whereas in the other group maybe it’s just a bit more up in the air. They haven’t just won all the tournaments lately…”

Fed just can’t help himself. He has to blow his own horn.

Sean, I like your timely article, to knock the other one out of the headline. You’re the writer I come to this site to read. You’re far more objective than other writers on the site and I respect your knowledge. BTW, thanks for NOT picking Rafa. :-)


dari Says:

a “bunch” of tournaments, roger?! slow down fella, you have a COUPLE this fall!
BUEN SUERTE!


contador Says:

what the heck? i’ll pick ferrer.

it could happen, NOT. federer won’t blow his 1st match, will he?

let’s have some tennis.

i want to think that murray comes through the winner in front of the home crowd.

but mr. dimples puts a towel over his head and doesn’t mind the crowd. really could go either way. i think andyM in 2. soda’s serve will be off – my prediction.


Kimmi Says:

is federer still the favorite? why the word “still”? dont see why federer would be the favorite. he hasn’t won this tournament in the last 2 years. he has his worst year since 2004…
I just wonder why, coz the odds dont favour him imo.

great matches tomorrow. muzz vs soda is a tough one. muzz seem to struggle with big hitters (soderling, berdych) this year. Ofcourse hoping he wins. C’mon muzz

On the federer vs ferrer match..c’mon fed! you can do it.


WTF Says:

“The contest matches up the last two Masters winners – Soderling in Paris, Murray in Shanghai – and for me it’s the tone-setter with the winner getting out of Group B and the loser possibly watching the semifinals on TV.”

Don’t you know? Losing players don’t watch other players’ matches. They’re too cool to do that. Federer still doesn’t know how Nadal won the US Open, nor does he feel he needs to or should care.


Kimberly Says:

I just saw on verdascos Twitter accou t that he was in London and going to practice at o2. So obviously he is one of the alternates. Meltzer probably the other with youzney injured?

I wonder if the tennis channel will show tomorrows matches?


Kimberly Says:

Now that I think about itmmore, meltzer is there anyway for doubles so he should be other alternate.


Gannu Says:

Kimmi – fed’s worst year sinnce 2004? I would say 2003.. 2004 he still won 3 Gslams and also the year end championships!


FedEnd Says:

Federer is becoming more and more funny and desperate to hype up and sell his poor game offlate.
One 250 tourney and one 500 tourney = “bunch of tournaments”…….Wow….Federer….way to go…..soon you will beat the FEDTARDS.


Thangs Says:

Federer can’t control himself..Poor guy..


FedEnd Says:

Rafa is entering a lucky period of no strong competition from his peers. Every great player would have had a period in which he had it easy raking up titles and GSs due to lack of competition. Samprass had it, Federer had it from 2003 to 2007 and now its Rafa’s turn to take advantage of the weak field.


montecarlo Says:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5xXspcRc7A

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZ0q7tAIRRY

Great stuff from Bryan Bros. looking forward to more updates on this.

Coming back to matches today, Murray-soderling is too tight to call but I think soderling may win this and Federer should have a routine win against Ferrer.


madmax Says:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/9186193.stm

interview for fed. This is where he ‘can’t help himself’. Being honest about rafa, about his chances at WTF and his motivation!

dari Says:
a “bunch” of tournaments, roger?! slow down fella, you have a COUPLE this fall!
BUEN SUERTE!

November 20th, 2010 at 6:41 pm

Let’s look at the year dari – more than a COUPLE, and how many finals?

Go For It Fed!

Roger Federer – no matter what!

‘bunch of tournaments’. Look at what federer achieved THIS YEAR, and this was THE YEAR OF DECLINE.

He’s asked questions. He’s direct about them.

Deal with it.


Colin Says:

Oh dear, why will Americans keep using that supposedly cute non-word “thusly”?


Gannu Says:

fedend: Do you ever get tired of speaking gibberish…!!! Meanwhile feddy bear was voted fan’s favorite again..Wonder why more people like Federer compared to that a$$picker ;-)

You are loved by so many people federer… Crackpots like fedend are far and few…

Come on feddy.. will be cheering on ur way to the 5th Masters cup!!!


Gannu Says:

Good article on feddy bear.. puts several things into perspective especially his desire to win more Gslams

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/20/sports/tennis/20iht-SRATPFEDERER.html?src=me


Dory Says:

Soderling’s aggressive game and Murray’s most defensive game is like a ball and socket joint. if Murray plays aggressive enough for Soderling to start making lots of UEs, he’d win.


margot Says:

If Andy’s serve is +60, he’ll win, if not he’ll lose. Simple.
Colin, yikes “thusly” what is that????


dimwitted recluse Says:

Annabelle Croft watched Soderling practicing, and seemed to think he meant the business. I can think of a hundred reasons why Soderling should win, and a hundred reasons why Murray should win. Looks like I’m going to have to watch it to find out. About 40 minutes?


Kimmi Says:

alex correjta on murray box.

kimo, i hope he is not jinxing today!


Kimmi Says:

return winner breaks the serve. go muzz


dimwitted recluse Says:

goodness, Murray looks sharp! wonderful running pass, lovely drop of ball at Sod’s feet – and despite some valiant defending from Sod, just surviving a 26 shot rally, Murray looks in a different league. If he can keep this up, wow! And wow not just for today!


dari Says:

That Murray first serve sure is something when its on.


i am it Says:

Good morning, lady Marg, Murray boy looks extra crispy. After first couple of games indicate he is gonna do it in straight.


i am it Says:

I forgot to say “Go Sod !”
I’ve my good wishes for Murray to win the event if he meets Rafa in the semi or final.


dari Says:

Just saw your comments max, I believe the quote was “won a bunch of tournaments just now”, as he speaks about everyone’s recent fall season. I am Federer nut, I was only commenting on his child-like zeal in converting two fall tournament wins (and impressive showing at the others) into winning “a bunch of tournaments” all the more reason to love this guy.
In case it was not clear:
GOOOOOO Roger!


Kimmi Says:

i agree with you guy who think muzz looked superb..i like what i see so far. hopes he keep it up.


Kimmi Says:

soda not serving well that not helping his course…apparently he has won 1 of 9 second serves. not good.

Go muzza


dave Says:

Against Ferrer, Federer probably has the perfect start to get match practice on his groundstrokes, rhythm, surface and confidence. With this perfect warm up, Roger would love to play Murray next, rather than Soderling who can be more disruptive to rhythm.

On Paris, my speculation is that Federer played his first three matches well gunning for Murray. Andy getting knocked out by Monfils was a let-down for Federer, who wasn’t motivated to bring his ‘A’ game against Monfils and so sputterered from the very first game.

Let’s not get too carried away by Federer losing matches after having held matchpoints. Nadal lost the Doha final after winning the first set 6-0 and having matchpoints against Davydenko, who then out-toughed Nadal in the tie breaker and won the final set easily 4-6. In fact, 8 of Nadal’s 9 losses this year ended in tame final sets, and the final set tiebreak he played was timid.

At least Federer battled to the end in all those four matces, with final sets of 6-7 (Baghdatis), 6-7 (Berdych), 5-7 (Djokovic), 6-7 (Monfils). This shows his fighting spirit to the end. It’s a ludicrous double standard to make a mountain out of this molehill, while ignoring Nadal’s caving in in final sets.

There were good reasons why Federer lost in early Spring against Baghdatis and Berdych. He suffered a severe lung infection during his break after the Australian Open (after he visited Africa on a charity trip and went on vacation) which cut into his training and affected his fitness. Federer simply wasn’t match fit and as well prepared as he needed to be.

Since Wimbledon, Federer has been 30-4 which is the most matches, most wins and least losses of all top players. Federer won 3 titles from 5 finals and 2 SF, and overall has gained over 800 points more than Nadal during this period. Nadal is only 20-4 (could have been 18-5 if he lost those matchpoints to the #54 player) and played inconsistently outside the US Open (don’t forget how he struggled against Gabashvili and Istomin, and Djokovic a bit). It’s possible that Nadal has entered his annual slump, and has already prepped us with an injury excuse.

Federer wasn’t playing his best against Djokovic at the US Open, for whatever reason, and Djokovic gambled on aggressive shots to take back those matchpoints. Against Monfils, Federer squandered a handful of matchpoints (and a sitter on his first MP), but it could have been due to (a) his lack of concentration having to play Monfils not Murray and (b) his exhaustion after winning Basel the week before. Do not forget that Nadal, Murray and Djokovic — after winning a title — all lost a tournament in the following week more wimpily.

So once again some pundits hold Federer to double standards that are not applied to Nadal and others. If anything, Federer is getting better and well poised to play even better through the remainder of the hardcourt season. He has already gone 30-4. If he goes 30-4 or better in the following months, he may be well on his way to regaining No. 1.

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/tennis-news/2010/06/27/wimbledon-2010-rafa-nadal-edges-another-five-set-thriller-after-foul-mouthed-rant-at-umpire-86908-22364710/


margot Says:

Andy is playing superbly! Can he keep this up? Serve humming. I’ve stopped breathing….


Huh Says:

Thank u Maxi for the article about Fed, it was great to read!

Thanx to Gannu as well for his article.

And it’s fun to see Nadtards criticising Fed when he has been in two MS finals, won one MS, won one GS, and two more tournaments.
To bad for Nadtards that Fed won ATP fan fave award again! ;)
And hey, no need to whine over Stefan Edberg award of Rafa TOO MUCH, Fed’s won it 6 times before!!! ;)

After all is said and done though, CONGRATS TO RAFAEL NADAL for his 1st sportsmanship award, he deserves it. Great player and a Great guy he really is.

Nadtards could learn many good things from Nadal if they’re willing to. But will they?


Huh Says:

I like Sod, but not more thsn Muzza.

Go Muzza!!!


Huh Says:

Lolz at the so-called pundits who can’t see anything good in Fed’s wins or losses.


Huh Says:

It’s not just imp that Fed lost to Monfils, he at
least fought to the bitter end and went down like a fighter that he’s, instead of meekly surrendering.


Kimmi Says:

come to the net at your own risk against muzz.


xmike Says:

all the live feeds at fromsport.com are blocked; anyone know of any other live feed where we can see the matches ?


Huh Says:

Nadal is a fighter and so is Fed. Those who don’t wanna accept it are either ignorant or hypocrites.


Colin Says:

Margot, I didn’t invent “thusly”. It’s in Sean’s article


dari Says:

Xmike try atdhe.net


i am it Says:

This is an intense tennis. I want to see third set. What about you guys, Margot and Kimmi?
Me hoping Sod wins this set and makes it a match.


Kimmi Says:

muzz having problems in this 2nd set but still manage to hold his serve. go muzz


Daniel Says:

Murray strugling last 3 service games. His first serve percentage also droppep.


dari Says:

historically I’m more a muzza fan, but I will cheer Soderling to take this set!


Ike Says:

hey Kimmi, i am it, dari, Huh, margot, and all

hope you guys are doing well and getting ready for the holiday season.

it’s been a while (since US Open), I haven’t been here on this site / blog, good to see comments from all you people.


Ike Says:

Huh

agree with ur comment at 10:00 am
Nadal and Fed are one of the best competitors ever, no doubt about it!


Ike Says:

i think Murray should be able to win this title.

(btw, that’s one of the ugliest t-shirt Murray has ever wore, it reminds me of those Lendl’s ugly looking t-shirts)


Kimmi Says:

two double faults in a game from soda. very poor game. Muzz takes adv. 2 more games to go.

If muzz wins in straights sets..it will be a very easy match for WTF level!


Kimmi Says:

ike. welcome back. I will reserve my comments re” muzz new shirt.

Go muzz…


dari Says:

Ouch, Soderling, dbl fault :/
Hi, Ike! On the same note, I think Murray could add a couple inches to the hem of his shorts. I’m ok with the shirt, that is just what lendl wore, adidas, too. Murray is Scottish after all.
I wish for a third set.


Ike Says:

Thanks Kimmi!

How is the weather in Canada, lot of snow already?

Btw, do u like Murray’s T-shirt design?


Ike Says:

good win for Murray, congrats!


Kimmi Says:

YAY! Muzz.

margot- muzz is back to no.4 briefly. Lets see how it goes till the end. So far so good!


Colin Says:

Well, well – many people thought Soderling would hit Murray off court!


Daniel Says:

Great win for Murray. Not losing a set and few games, he doesn’t want last year to repeat: winning 2 matches and not qualyfing due to 2 games.


Ike Says:

dari,
i almost bought Murray US Open design t-shirt, that design was great, (but it was pricey, $64)

shorts…Sampras pioneered “long” shorts, not sure why Andy is going back to those 80′s “short” shorts


Kimmi Says:

ike – i agree this shirt is not one of the best. i like his other ones more.

maybe this shirt is what he needs here. if he carries on to play like this, we will see a lot of muzz this week.


i am it Says:

Congrats to Murray.
He played tactically smart game, almost flawless.
Sod served poorly and was lured to the net routinely to be beaten every time. He could not improvise a new game plan to counter the Scottish assault.


dari Says:

And a Rafa-style celebration for Murray! that is a big win, straight sets in WTF can set you up nicely for the semis.


contador Says:

argyle power shirt was good. i liked it.

my prediction was right too. murray in 2 . but i was hoping for 3 sets.


Ike Says:

guys,

like many other people, i m bit tired of thinking now Murray will be in the top form, and go on to win Grandslam.
But still, i wud like to see him win Aussie Open 2011


Ike Says:

contador

how are you? how is yellowstone / Wyoming?


i am it Says:

Hello to Ike, finally !!!


contador Says:

from what i saw ( stream froze for part of 2nd set ) no sign of lethargy at all. murray animated, in form and ready to play to win.


contador Says:

i have to go shovel off my car, ike! how are you?


Ike Says:

haha contador,

the snowwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

i m doing ok, getting ready for holiday season, and the snowwwwwwwwwwww


Kimmi Says:

ah, rafa tribute to carlos in spanish? c’mon. i think this is something he should have done in English. maybe write something perhaps. Well, goodall tried to translate but its not the same..

good luck to carlos moya.


Ike Says:

i am it

Hello!


Kimmi Says:

kimberly – just saw youzhy. so he came..

$50,000 in the bag…


contador Says:

are you from texas or east coast, ike? i forget…

carlos moya ceremony. nice


Ike Says:

Kimmi,

i m not sure if u speak any other language than English, i don’t.

But, i believe it’s tough for guys to speak in English when they are bit emotional and English is not their first language.


Ike Says:

contador

i m from Boston, MA…The Spirit of America!


Ike Says:

bye guys, c u later!


margot Says:

Soderling in 3 tight sets….so NOT!! :)
yeeha kimmi!
In spite of awful second set percentage Andy still won, very promising
i am it: have we cracked “curse of Corretja” yet? Hope so.
ike: nice to see u back!
colin: er, yep, got that, just agreeing…
dr: did u watch Beebly2? We had diabolical Castle but also Tim who I thought was rather good and obviously likes Andy a lot.


contador Says:

bye ike! happy thanksgiving…hope u have a good one!


dari Says:

Nice tribute to moya, one of my favorite players back in elementary school!
I don’t blame Rafa for the Spanish. Its an emotional time. And he wants to get it just right for a very close friend of his.
Best of luck to Carlos and his new family!


Andrew Miller Says:

Murray played pretty darn solid.


dimwitted recluse Says:

for a while, looked like repeat of last encounter – demolition first set, tight 2nd. Murray definitely fell off miraculous 1st set standard, Sod improved – but did he improve only because Murray fell off? one of life’s imponderables, eh. one thing – Murray got the Sod EVERY time with that ball down at his feet; gt skill from Murray, but disappointing inability to deal with it at all from Sod.
margot – it’s only on BBC hd, which haven’t got. So watched it on wicked rupert’s sky. Commentators good, though – Petch and Fleming. I very much like Henman as a guy, can’t warm to his commentating, mainly because he has this very flat delivery; trivial reason, I know, but there it is.
Agree about the Moya ceremony – lovely for me lad, who’s worshipped Moya since he could barely walk. Good to see Nadal in the forefront of the proceedings, clear that he’s very close to Carlos.


Nina Says:

Soderling is having really bad results against the Top players. He lost awfully against Roger and then now against Murray. I don’t see him as a firm candidate, too inconsistent.

In my opinion either Murray or Nadal will win the WTF. Or maybe Federer. Novak’s mind is somewhere else.


madmax Says:

November 21st, 2010 at 9:41 am

Dave,

your post above was awesome, with great stats, facts and opinion! – Loved it!


madmax Says:

dari,

your post was fine. not to worry!

Huh! where have you been these last few months? Too long! – yes fed’s interview was great, with some great photos too.


contador Says:

soderling didn’t choke by any means imo. murray out-played him. i thought it was a fun two sets and murray showing no signs of pressure,

i think it’s a nadal-murray final too. have to see what federer looks like the next match. maybe we are wrong abt novak’s mind on davis cup.

all of them have reasons to be motivated to win this. but i was thinking abt murray and how huge this could be for him. federer won 2003 masters final in houston and went on to win AO and snag #1. a win in london could be very big for some gslam confidence. it feels like a battle between murray and nadal coming. what do i know.


FedEnd Says:

Its good to see a lot of positive tributes for Moya.
Hope Rafa learns a lesson or two from Moya.
Rafa should have stopped with one or max 2 FOs and allowed the tennis God to rake up 25+ slams.
Moya is loved by all, but Rafa has been an evil force against the tennis God and earned the wrath of his worhipers (FEDTARDS).


jane Says:

Yay Murray!!


Skeezerweezer Says:

FedWins the provoker,

As usual. Same garbage, different smell.

Try this air freshner: 16 slams, 16 slams…..GOAT. There. Smell better?

Fed could lose the rest of his career from here on out. Who cares? The records he planted will never go away.


contador Says:

Fedend-

this is not good. i’ve gone from thoroughly irritated > neutral > > and now actually liking you.

what good is a provocateur when the material goes flat?

i will have to miss the federer -ferrer match. but looking forward to your commentary on it. later buddy.


Vulcan Says:

Some players that come to mind re: sportsmanship:

1. Todd Martin
2. Carlos Moya
3. James Blake
4. Bryan Brothers
5. John Isner
6. Pat Rafter (“sorry mate” – missed toss)
7. Gaston Gaudio


Lulu Iberica Says:

Good to see Murray holding it together in front of the home crowd! I hope he can maintain this mentality — a Muzza-Rafa final would be nice. Or a Fedal final! Let’s see what kind of shape the Fedman’s in.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Vulcan,

Maybe you don’t go that far back….but Brad Gilbert? Talk about using that to win ugly.

Congrats to Murray….solid win :)


Skeezerweezer Says:

Jane, margot…

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/9214048.stm

Nice photo!

Also he notes the courts are very slow for indoor….interesting…..


leo vixen Says:

So much for Soderling coming off a Paris “high”. He said,”he wasn’t even there for the first set” today against Murray. I am a fan of neither but Murray did play a very good game today. And I definitely hope that Ferrer will break his duck against Federer; it’s time. He works hard and doesn’t get a lot of credit. Federer keeps touting himself a little too much lately, probably overcompensating for his less than stellar year, which we all know he is aware of but has a very hard time admitting. Doesn’t make you less human Roger. Vamos Ferrer!


dari Says:

LET’S GO, ROGER! SET THE PACE!


jane Says:

Thanks skeezer; yeah, I liked Murray in the black with argyle. Very good look; more importantly, very good play.


Vulcan Says:

The scalpel vs the steak knife as scheduled!
And what’s with the chiaroscuro lighting at the O2 arena? Perhaps it’s a heat lamp effect for warming bagels?


jane Says:

Wow, Ferrer is getting pummeled by Fed. Gotta a feel for the guy; no one wants to start out with a bagel!


Daniel Says:

That’s the problem with Fed latelly, you just can’t expect him to make a flawless match anymore. He was 40-0 and missed 3 forehands plus his first serve vanished.


Daniel Says:

Well, at least his drops are awesome.


Kimmi Says:

federer just not concentrating!


Daniel Says:

Looks like Fed can have an even better score than Murray.


Skorocel Says:

Is it just me who thinks the court in O2 Arena is a bit too slow for an indoor one?


Kimmi Says:

federer wins the set but havent liked the way he plays. he looks rusty a little. Forehand still not firing.

get it on roger.


jane Says:

Skorocel, apparently Murray said it was slow too – see Skeezer’s link at 1:46 pm. Murray said this:

“The court is really slow for an indoor court. I used the slice really well, it was staying pretty low, and played a lot of drop-shots which some of the commentators don’t like, but they worked today.”


jane Says:

4 double faults from Ferrer and a 56% first serve percentage isn’t going to help his cause. But you can tell how slow the court might be from Fed’s ace count too, which is only 1. Contrast this to the bombs people were serving indoors at Paris. Changes the prospects perhaps?


Skorocel Says:

Thanks jane. Maybe it’s just me, but it really seems like an eternity till the ball bounces twice here…


Daniel Says:

Skorocel. All comentas here in brazil ate saying the courts are super slow. You can see the ball just don’t get that speed.


blank Says:

Slow court…hmm. Guess who is gonna love it! ;-)


dari Says:

blank, yes slow. These points are loooong. Low bounce, though, which is supposedly a problem for Rafa, but doesn’t seem to mind it at Wimbledon.
My question, is it any slower than last yearor is it just remarkably slow considering recent Paris?
WHOAAAAAA! Nice backhand roger! Let’s go!


Kimmi Says:

these FH on the net form fed on break point not good


Skorocel Says:

Same as the court, Fed seems a bit slow as well ;-) Still winning the 1st set easily, though… No surprise, however, as Ferrer is (and always was) a tailor-made opponent for the Swiss…


blank Says:

dari,

I agree. Rafa these days is as good as anyone on all surfaces. On a slower surface, he is just simply better than everyone by quite a distance. If he is fit, I guess it’s very likely he’ll be holding the trophy here next week. For Fed’s sake, I hope I am wrong though :-)


Mindy Says:

dave,

Wow! It’s really impressive to see your ability to pull up links to make your case! Guess what! That doesn’t count as “stats” and “facts”, however, it certainly makes it easier when you don’t have to actually think for yourself and make an argument. That would require some effort.

gannu,

Why don’t you lose the offensive, repetitive comment about Rafa! It’s getting old.


dari Says:

Way to hold, Roger!


Skorocel Says:

Blank: If for nothing, Nadal has 3 good reasons to win in London:

1. It’s the only big tourney (apart from Miami, Cincy, and Paris indoors) which he’s NEVER won

2. A win here will further increase his lead in the rankings, as he’s not defending even a single point from last year

3. There’s no DC finals for him to play in December (+ he should be rested enough), so he can give it all in London


rickyscrotler Says:

having watched a lot of tennis this year i agree that nadal if fit and up for it will be very hard to beat this year. but murray was awesome this afternoon and would have beaten anyone…


blank Says:

Skorocel,

Besides a real injury or a threat of an injury, I think he is the outright favorite here.

The only advantage for others is that there isn’t going be any 5 set match here, including finals. Beating a fit Rafa, in the current 2010 form…well so far no one has managed to do it!


Kimmi Says:

bad game..c’mon federer


Vulcan Says:

Ferrer is (and always was) a tailor-made opponent for the Swiss…

I can’t figure out how Canas beat Federer in back to back Masters series events and Ferrer cant beat him a single time…Canas and Ferrer are virtually clones.


blank Says:

Vulcan,

Unlike Ferrer, maybe Canas wasn’t so tight when holding break chances.


Kimmi Says:

Great win federer. BUT needs to sharpen up his game in the later matches.


jane Says:

Fed & Murray have announced themselves as serious contenders here, both with strong first wins. Still early goings though.


Vulcan Says:

Solid, routine match for Federer…Ferrer had a sliver of an opening at the end but choked his opportunities away – pretty inconsistent performance from someone who is lauded as a “grinder”


blank Says:

Kimmi, I think like Murray, Fed should do just fine against Soderling. Maybe the real question is, who finishes 1st and/or who gets to face Nadal in the SF?


Skorocel Says:

Vulcan: “Canas and Ferrer are virtually clones.”

As strange as it may sound, it’s true… Both “human backboards” with no real weapon except a mindless returning of (almost) everything you throw at them… Call it an exception to the rule (I mean those 2 losses to Canas) ;-) After all, Fed avenged them quickly in Madrid and Rome, if I remember it correctly…


blank Says:

Hi jane, Hope you are enjoying the last tourney of the year. Being in the west coast, you may even be able to watch Djoko match tomorrow?


dari Says:

Ok, Roger! Way to get the win! I will look for improvement in running around the forehand in the next match. Also, I hope he finds a way to shorten the points on this slow court against the likes of Murray, and, dare I say, nadal!


Kimmi Says:

congratulations roger. fans favorite award!


Skorocel Says:

Blank: “The only advantage for others is that there isn’t going be any 5 set match here, including finals.”

Isn’t it a pity that an event like this doesn’t have a best of 5 sets finals? :-( Especially when we consider that it’s the very last tournament of the year… Plainly stupid!


dari Says:

Congratulations to Roger, on the straight sets win and receiving the fan favorite award on court!


Vulcan Says:

Skorocel, Blank

Didn’t Canas play with an oversize racket as does Ferrer? Pushers and clones down to the rackets they use. Anyway Federer has never had a problem with carving up grinders like a Thanksgiving turkey. (Hewitt also comes to mind)


Kimmi Says:

jane – murray said “….and played a lot of drop-shots which some of the commentators don’t like, but they worked today.”

lol, so muzz has been listening to some commentators…who cares what they says.. he is done very well today.


jane Says:

hey blank, yes maybe I’ll catch some of it in the morning before work. Hope you’re enjoying it too!

Kimmi, I did think it was a little odd that Murray mentioned the commentators in that statement; maybe he’s watched videotapes of himself for analysis? They must do this sometimes maybe? I know hockey players relook at games/plays to see how they can improve. But he should stick to his guns.

Does anyone know if this event used to have 5 set finals, like the old version of Masters tournaments used to have?


steve-o Says:

@dave: good post at 9:41 am.


Kimmi Says:

Yes jane, i remember the final being 5 sets. The last time the 5 sets final was played was 2007 i think. The year where federer beat ferrer.

2008 and 2009 was best of three.


steve-o Says:

@jane: Yes, as recently as 2007. I think 2008 was the first year the final was best-of-three.


jane Says:

Thanks; I thought so but couldn’t remember when it switched over. I believe the MS events stopped having 5 set finals post-2006? I remember the Fed-Nadal infamous 5 setter in Rome, and that was a Masters, pretty sure in 06.


Benjamin Roberts Says:

Great matches from rogi and mandy! i wish soderling played better, but murray was all ready to rumble. where was this game in wimbledon semis, andy? better late than never, mr. murray.

and rogi in that bright red/orange showed so much variety in 1and a half hours that many players cannot show in their life-time. therez a great joy of watching super talented players like muzza and rogi at their best. their game transcends sport and becomes a piece of art. god bless you guys.

i dont care if djokovic wins or loses this tournament, but i want to see him play aggressive tennis like he played last fall and in the last set in the USopen semis.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Congrats to Fed, another match win. Cool that he got the fav award on court :)

Court surface being slow is not an advantage for the Fed however,,,,,guess we’ll see.


Thomas Says:

nice win for federer,he looked pretty solid. As for Murray,he looked great against soderling. It should be a great match between federer and murray on tuesday.


dimwitted recluse Says:

“Kimmi, I did think it was a little odd that Murray mentioned the commentators in that statement; maybe he’s watched videotapes of himself for analysis?” jane, he said it, grinning slyly,to Petchey in the post match interview. Remember, Petch, now a commentator, used to be his coach, and there was clearly a little bit of badinage going on between them.

Didn’t like the look of Federer – first flashy, then error prone. Murray’s looked head and s above the rest, so far.


dimwitted recluse Says:

“flashy” sounds bad, but all I meant by it is that he flatters to deceive so often these days. If Ferrer had any kind of a serve, he could have fought his way back. Sod’s still in with a chance, imo, although unlikely admittedly.


Kimmi Says:

demwitted recluse – re:federer, i also thought he was very inconsistent. luckly he was able to hold off the break points (3 i think) in the second set. lets hope he improves in his next match because it will get tougher. he did what he needed to do against ferrer. goodall on tennistv was saying federer only needed his 4th gear today:)


Benjamin Roberts Says:

great post dave @ 9:41 am. keep posting.


guy Says:

murray looked very impressive. soderling couldn’t get a ball past him and only won 1 point on second serve first set.


Nina Says:

Federer has been error prone all season but he can still win easy and he sometimes plays at his best, just not consistently.

Murray is a serious contender here. Watch out for him.

Can’t wait for tomorrow matches to assess Novak’s and Rafa’s form.

By the way, very nice video of the top players paying homage to Carlos Moya in London. I love how the Big 4 are hugging each other. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YS_8JsYC1R8&feature=player_embedded#!


Skeezerweezer Says:

Sean Randall,

“Soderling v. Murray Open Finals; Is Federer Still the Favorite?’

Yes, Fed is still the “FANS” favorite. :)

Nina,

Thanks for posting that, missed that….:)


Skeezerweezer Says:

Nina,

To add…

No greater send off can there be in pro tennis than the one given to Moya. At ATP finals where all the current best players are present, representing the tour, and giving Moya a moment of respect by being present and congratulating him. Very well done indeed!


jane Says:

Nina, that was sweet; thanks for posting it as I didn’t see it on streaming. Rafa’s speech was, as the announcer’s said, very heartfelt. And Moya’s was very nice as well: funny quip about beating Henman at Wimbledon! YAY Tennis!! Best wishes to Carlos.


jane Says:

It’s official that the ATP is extending the off-season by 2 weeks beginning next year:

“The ATP is extending the off-season in men’s tennis from five to seven weeks, starting in 2012, without reducing the number of tournaments. ”

Source: NYT’s http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/22/sports/tennis/22sportsbriefs-Federer.html


Skeezerweezer Says:

Jane,

Thanks for sharing that. Out tonight but will read more on that later…….-:)


Nina Says:

@Skee @ Jane

Yeah, that was a heartfelt farewell. I thought it was really sensible to put Moya in that grand stage in London to pay him homage with all the top players there and old Spanish friends like Costa and Corretja. Very beautiful and emotive. I’m sad that Moya, retires though, he was the first #1 Spanish player we got and everybody loved him. He also helped Rafa so much in his career.


dimwitted recluse Says:

I wonder if there is a younger fan of Moya – an oldie, after all, in tennis terms – than my son. He adored him right from the getgo, and he’s still only 14. He’s glad he’s retired, because it hurt him to see Moya getting beaten so often towards the end.

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