Murray Secures Semifinal; Nadal, Djokovic Look to Join
Friday marks the last day of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals round robin play. Group B is set with Roger Federer and Andy Murray advancing. Today, two players will emerge from Group A.
On first at 3pm local time is World No. 1 Rafael Nadal against Tomas Berdych. Nadal leads the head-to-head 8-3 against Berdych having won 7 straight and with no sets lost in over four years now (17-0 in sets, with only three going to tie-breaks). In their most recent meeting, Nadal never dropped his serve in a 63, 75, 64 win in the Wimbledon final on July 4.
If Nadal beats Berdych for the ninth straight time he’ll qualify for the semifinals as Group Winner. If Berdych loses in three sets and Roddick defeats Djokovic in straight sets, Berdych will qualify for the last four.
The the round robin finale at 8pm, it’s Novak Djokovic and Andy Roddick. Roddick has enjoyed the upper hand against Djokovic in their rivalry, leading the head-to-head, 5-2. And Roddick has dominated since the start of the 2009 season going 4-0 against the Serb (losing just one set in those four straight wins). The standout statistic there is Roddick’s near-invincibility on his serve: combined over those last four meetings, Roddick is 146-31 on first serve points (82%) and 43-3 in service games (93% – broken only three times).
Whoever wins the second match, there are several scenarios for the group, all dependent on the first match. There are possibilities for a three-way tie at 2-1 (if Berdych and Djokovic win their matches) and another possibility for a three-way tie at 1-2 (if Nadal and Roddick win).
In Thursday’s matches, both Federer and Murray rolled in straight sets. Federer notched his 16th win in 17 tries against Robin Soderling with a 76(5), 63 victory.
After a slow start, Murray stormed past David Ferrer 62, 62 to clinch his semifinal spot.
“I think it’s great. All the best players in the world are here,” said Murray. “It’s not an easy thing to do. I qualified the first time I played it. Last year was obviously tough for me. But this year I’ve won two matches against very good players. I’m glad I got through to the semis.”
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