Murray Leapfrogs Federer; Tennis-X Wrap, Previews
by Staff | October 16th, 2011, 11:44 pm
  • 56 Comments

Monfils Debuts in Stockholm as No. 1 Seed, Del Potro No. 2

Frenchman Gael Monfils is the top seed in Stockholm where he will make his tournament debut, while locals mourn the missing Robin Soderling who continues to struggle with illness.


The tournament is a big one for Monfils, who is looking for points to sneak into the Top 8 and the ATP year-end championships. He is joined by fellow seeds Juan Martin Del Potro, Stan Wawrinka, Juan Ignacio Chela, Kevin Anderson, Milos Raonic, Ivan Dodig, and Tommy Robredo on the indoor hardcourts.

Floaters in the field include (WC) Bernard Tomic, (WC) Tommy Haas, Marcos Baghdatis, David Nalbandian, Xavier “X-Man” Malisse, and James Blake.

Monfils after a bye will likely face Tomic in his opener. The No. 6 seed Raonic starts against the former champ Baghdatis, and the Nalbandian-X-Man winner will likely face the No. 7 Dodig second round.

Homecountry hero Soderling pulled from the event, still suffering from mono. “I’m extremely disappointed and sad right now,” Soderling wrote on Facebook. “Playing in Stockholm is very special for me and it’s a title I still miss and dream about. I made an attempt to train, but my body just could not do it. I felt worse after practice and so had to make a tough decision to not play in Stockholm.”

Past champions in the field are Baghdatis (2009), Nalbandian (2008), and Blake (2006-05).

Troicki Hopes to Turn Trick Again at ATP Moscow; Zvonareva Top Women’s Seed

Serbian Viktor Troicki is the defending champion and No. 2 seed, and countryman Janko Tipsarevic the top seed as the Serbs look for a Moscow take-over during the 2011 Kremlin Cup, an event where more often than not a Russian raises the trophy.

They are joined by fellow seeds Alexandr Dolgopolov, Russian Nikolay Davydenko, Alex Bogomolov Jr., Russian Dmitry Tursunov, Gilles Muller and Andreas Seppi.

There are few floaters in the field, but the No. 8-seeded Seppi will have a difficult opener against Russian Igor Andreev.

Returning champs in the field are Troicki (2010), Igor Kunitsyn (2008), Davydenko (2007-06,’04), and Andreev (2005).

The women’s seeds are Vera Zvonareva, Agnieszka Radwanska, Marion Bartoli, Francesca Schiavone, Jelena Jankovic, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Roberta Vinci and Dominika Cibulkova.

Returning champs in the women’s field are Schiavone (2009) and Jankovic (2008).

Ivanovic, Goerges, Kirilenko Among Line-up at WTA Luxembourg

One of the hottest WTA fields in history will contest the title this week at the BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open on indoor hardcourts, led by the lone Top 10er in the field, Victoria Azarenka.

Completing the stunning line-up in Luxembourg are Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Sabine Lisicki, Flavia Pennetta, Ana Ivanovic, Julia Goerges, Maria Kirilenko and Daniela Hantuchova.

Floaters in the field include Tamira Paszek and the ageless Kimiko Date-Krumm.

There are no returning champions in the field. Kim Clijsters, currently injured, won the event in 1999, 2001-03, and ’05.

REVIEWS

Murray Continues Run with ATP Shanghai Title

Brit Andy Murray successfully defended his Masters Shanghai title on Sunday, his third Asian title in three weeks with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Spaniard David Ferrer. Murray will on Monday overtake world No. 3 Roger Federer on the ATP Rankings.

“If you finish in front of Federer in a year, then there’s not many people the last five, six, seven years that have been able to say that,” Murray said. “So that’s obviously a nice thing if I can do it.”

Murray has now won 25 of his past 26 matches after previous titles in Bangkok and Tokyo for his fifth title of the year.

Wimbledon Champ Kvitova Emerges for WTA Linz Crown

Petra Kvitova finally made good on her 2011 Wimbledon title on Sunday, as the top seed defeating No. 7 seed Dominika Cibulkova 6-4, 6-1 for her first title since triumphing at the All England Club.

“The semifinal with Jelena was tough, but it was very nice tennis from both of us,” said Kvitova on coming back from a set and a break down in the semifinals against Jankovic. “And the first set with Dominika was very close. I know how well she plays and I knew I had to play well to beat her.”

It was Kvitova’s sixth career title, while Cibulkova is still looking for her first career title, losing all three final appearances.

Bartoli Wins WTA Osaka, Spanking Stosur

France’s Marion Bartoli kept alive her chances of qualifying for the year-end WTA Championships, defeating Aussie Sam Stosur 6-3, 6-1 to capture the title at the HP Open.

“I felt my level dropped in August, especially at the US Open, but now I’m playing well again,” Bartoli said. “Obviously to win a title is great. Now I have two this year, so I’m really happy.”

It was the seventh career win for Bartoli, while Stosur falls to 3-10 in career finals.

TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
At the $100,000 First Republic Bank Tiburon Challenger in Tiburon, Calif., former U.S. Davis Cup doubles players Ken Flach and Rick Leach competed together, losing in the first round to Americans Brian Battistone and Chris Wettengel in straight sets…No joke, Maria Sharapova will be debuting a candy line, “Sugarpova.” Brand yourself more in every direction?…The 2012 Gerry Weber Open grasscourt event in Halle, Germany, the 20th anniversary of the event, will shell out the money to get both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in attendance…Li Na has signed with Penguin publishing to release a memoir after becoming the first Chinese woman to win a Grand Slam title at the French Open, and now in 2011 is the first Chinese woman to qualify for the year-end championships, even though her game and confidence have completely dropped off a cliff since winning at Roland Garros.


Also Check Out:
Dementieva on Top at Kuala Lumpur; WTA Previews
Miami Title Moves Djokovic Past Federer For Lead In 2012 Rankings; French Open Top Seed Still TBD
Can Serena lose the title now?
Serena v Lefty, Crying Game v Slicy in Wimbledon Women’s Semis
Henin, Benesova, Win Titles — WTA Wrap

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56 Comments for Murray Leapfrogs Federer; Tennis-X Wrap, Previews

jane Says:

COngrats to Murray again! Good fields this week, especially in Stockholm. Lots of interesting matches right from the get-go.

Hilarious about “Sugarpova” – seriously? :) Also interesting that Penguin will publish Li Na’s memoir; that’s generally a very “literary” publishing house, or it used to be. I.E., they don’t usually publish “popular” fiction. Makes me curious about what “she” will write (assuming she will have a ghost writer? Or perhaps not?).


Lou Says:

Good to know that Murray was finally able to win 2 back to back titles. He has to learn the key to anger management. But the big question is can he finally do the same at GS stage in front of Fedal and Djoker? Thats where he is known to choke:Here is good one on him and anger management:http://bit.ly/qhjpaO


Lou Says:

Good to know that Murray was finally able to win 2 back to back titles. He has to learn the key to anger management. But the big question is can he finally do the same at GS stage in front of Fedal and Djoker? Thats where he is known to choke:Here is good one on him and anger management: http://bit.ly/qhjpaO


Stella Says:

Now all Murray has to do is win some slams and right now he has quite a trio of players to pass.He can start with Novak who has 4 and then try and run down Nadal with 10 and of course Federer has 16.

Good luck Murray. You have about 5 years barring injury to get the job done!!!


Deborah Says:

I find it interesting that the emphasis is on Federer falling out of the top three versus how long he managed to remain there. In addition to Murray getting a Slam, he only has 8.5 years to stay in the top 3 to pass Federer’s time there.


Just Me Says:

How can she call her candy Sugarpova when she always looks as though she’s sucking a lemon? Sourpussova would be more apt.


Kimberly Says:

Deborah Says:
I find it interesting that the emphasis is on Federer falling out of the top three versus how long he managed to remain there. In addition to Murray getting a Slam, he only has 8.5 years to stay in the top 3 to pass Federer’s time there.

____________________

Because its just happening. Until Federer retires or wins something else big all you are going to here is dropping out of this, this streak broken etc etc. Then a year after he retires he will be glorified as the greatest of all time, which I acknowlege he deserves.


Colin Says:

It doesn’t matter a damn about the career totals achieved by Federer and Nadal. Obviously Murray hasn’t got time to equal those, but so what? If he can win a major, I think he’ll win several, and if he does that he’ll still be remembered with respect.
True tennis fans do still talk about past players who had fewer titles than Roger or Rafa – which after all applies to just about everybody!


margot Says:

Hear, hear Colin! Johnny Mac will always be in my top 5, don’t care his total nowhere near Fedal!


skeezerweezer Says:

Congrats Murray, hope you get a Slam next year. All this competition at the top is great for Tennis!!


alison hodge Says:

nice one muzza,congrats on your asian swing hatrick,and bagging that no 3 ranking,well deserved,now go get that 1st grand slam,congrats to muzzas fans,margot,colin and myself,what a fantastic 3 weeks,a great achievement for us brits,go muzza bloody brilliant.


Big Nana Says:

Congratulations to Petra Kvitova. I must say her game is not conducive to good heart health though. She is either hitting impossible winners or crashing out on playable shots. Great watching but gives me palpitations when I want her to win.


Humble Rafa Says:

Mr.Lady Forehand from Scotland has had a good 2 tournaments. His chance to choke will come when the big boys show up. Bet on it!


Dan Martin Says:

The only thing I find funny about this is that Murray complained a lot at the US Open about the schedule. He raised the possibilities of a strike etc. He then goes and wins 3 events – 2 of which he was under no obligation to play. I am glad he won the 3 events. He is super talented. I just think the temptation to play when other guys may be resting is going to be too great to see serious schedule reform.


Goat Galz Says:

Remember: Until Murray can show that he can win slams he is not the favorite at any slam.


Dory Says:

Federer not in top 3 for first time in eight years!! Speaks for itself what a great great player he is and why many people already consider him the GOAT. Salute the GOAT.


Goat Galz Says:

goat fans:

The only good thing Murray has done this year is defeat Nadal….once….at a time of the year when Nadal is usually good for crap….big deal. He won these tournaments because he had weak draws and because Nadal was off his game in their Japan final.

So Murray had better stop kidding himself. He’s winning when the other three top guys are taking a vacation from tennis.


andrea Says:

goat galz – you make a valid point. ferrer couldn’t find a first serve to save his life in the final and kei basically imploded in the semis…those are the two rounds where murray gets wiped out in the GS’s, when the heavy hitters are playing.


grendel Says:

Goat Galz – your point of view is certainly a valid one, which (to a degree) I shared.

Now, I’m not so sure. Oddly enough, following the Nishikori rout, Skysports replayed last year’s Shanghai final, in which Murray overwhelmed Federer. Well, we know Murray can do that in 3 setters, and the doubt has always been that he can carry this form into the final stages of a slam.

The only question really is: has anything changed? It is absolutely not possible to be certain. We will have to be patient, and wait upon that stage in the earth’s orbit about the sun which signals the arrival of mid-January. Especially since they don’t – disgracefully – play five sets in the final of the Masters Cup.

But there are, arguably, signs that Murray is evolving. There is always the temptation to think that because so and so has always behaved thus wise, he always will. If that were really true (always, as opposed to sometimes) then there would be no possibility of development, ever – a depressing thought.

So what has changed – and remember, it doesn’t need to be much, at this exalted level of tennis? Primarily, I think, Murray’s level of confidence. This, in turn, has enabled him to give free rein to what has become an excellent attacking forehand, and to rely more upon what was always, potentially, one of the very great serves in the game – certainly far better than Djokovic’s or Nadal’s.

Such hopes could indeed prove illusory. Nothing is certain. Just as well – or why bother to go on living?


alison hodge Says:

@goat garlz i see your point,however it is nice to give a player credit for what they have achieved rather than critisism for what they havent achieved,the only thing any player can do is there best to beat whoever is stood in front of them,its not his fault that roger and nole have not played this past couple of weeks,and correct me if im wrong but did he or did he not beat rafa last week after rafa took the 1st set,come on give the guy a break,who knows this could be the start of something you never know.


El Flaco Says:

If Murray can win the WTF that would be a big stepping stone and perhaps give him the confidence to win in Australia.


jane Says:

Agree grendel: life would be rather dull if we were always “assured of certain certainties.” Things change. Thankfully. I will believe that Murray cannot do it when he doesn’t. He still has time. Not loads, but he is only 24, so.

I have never watched “Curb Your Enthusiasm”; I should. I do like some of Larry David’s work. Thanks for your reply on the other thread. Definitely see what you mean about Fed’s life seeming to center around tennis, although with JMac, I am not as convinced. Yes, obviously he loves tennis, but he also quit tennis for a while to be in a rock band, and he tried to have a talk show, and he married a rock singer (after first marrying a film star). JMac likes the limelight. I gets the sense he’d've been seeking fame even if he hadn’t've, god forbid, found tennis. With Roger, even his wife was a tennis player. Not sure what he would have doen without tennis, but maybe soccer? Definitely sport, though, I’d think. All speculation, of course, but whatever works.


grendel Says:

yes, I see what you mean about McEnroe – he’s interested in paintings, too, isn’t he, or is it just their market value? But I do get the feeling he loves tennis where, for instance, Lendl, Sampras and Agassi came to hate it. Edberg became a farmer, I heard, which sounds a little hard to believe in one way, and yet I can imagine him up at 4 a.m., rounding up the cows, communing with nature….


carlo Says:

Goat Galz – other than Rafa being there, you are right, the Asian Swing draws were thin. Nonetheless, Shanghai is 1000 points, Tokyo 500, why not take the opportunity to wipe up the points and pass Fed. Good on Murray for beating Nadal, too.

I think he’ll build on this and play well in Valencia, maybe Paris and do better at WTF than he did last year.

Then in my Alternate Universe Murray wins 2 slams in 2012.


Colin Says:

Humble Rafe, I did enjoy your post. Firstly because you can’t count – you meant 3 tournaments, not 2. Secondly, because it’s nice to see that you no longer regard Nadal as one of “the big boys”.


Colin Says:

Carlo, I don’t think Murray’s going to Valencia. According to his website his next tournament is Paris.


jane Says:

Kimmi, thanks for posting that. :)


Kimmi Says:

yeah jane, news about nole is everywhere now :) Nole the man.

something unrelated. I thought this sign from fed fans in shanghai is pretty good.

http://ww2.sinaimg.cn/large/6df07ea2gw1dm3zg2o62gj.jpg


jane Says:

Ha ha, cute sign Kimmi. I need to catch up on the news, apparently. Maybe will search google now…

I see Milos beat Baggy in a close one today: wish I could’ve seen that match.


Kimmi Says:

yes, saw the end of that match. it was midnight in stockholm and the guys were still slugging it out. Great win by milosh. If he can stay away from injuries he can be good..

all the best milosh.


margot Says:

Bummer, for some reason that’s not working, but just google instead :)


margot Says:

Just ignore above! Click on link then click sport, then tennis and article comes up anyway! Aaahhhhh!
Right, I’m out, as Skeeze says……..


jane Says:

Thanks margot. Here’s a quoted bit from the article:

“Murray would like to link up with a wise head – either a coach or a former player – who knows what it takes to cross the winning line at a Grand Slam tournament, but experienced coaches in particular are in short supply. Murray would no doubt love to work with someone like Agassi, who was his boyhood idol, but many of the former top players are reluctant to jump back on to the touring treadmill.

In the short term, the Scot may link up with Cahill in London at next month’s Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. He is also hoping the Australian will be able to come to his winter training camp in December. “It wouldn’t necessarily have to be for the whole time because a lot of the time in Miami I’m just doing physical work and I’m not doing that much time on the court,” Murray said.”


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Great win by Another Game For against the Crafty Shin Baller. Petzchner didn’t play great, but at this stage in Milos’ comeback, its great to see him win against solid veteran players that he SHOULD be beating, and after surviving Baghdatis yesterday, who’s having a pretty good year, the signs are very hopeful for Milos. He’s getting the match play and confidence he needs to be ready to solidify himself as a top 20 player in 2012.
I expect we’re going to see some serious shake up of the top 20 next year with Milos leading the way, and Dolgopolov, Young, Tomic and maybe Harrison following.
I think Milos gets the day off tomorrow before taking on the winner of Chela/Dmitrov.
If its Chela, they’ll actually be fighting for Chela’s ranking position.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Now, who those young guns will be knocking out is anyone’s guess. Looking at the top-20, there’s not much obvious aging-and-falling guys there. (aside from A-Rod, but I keep expecting him to launch a rearguard action and stay competitive- even if not, that’s only 1 spot).
Immovable object, meet irresistible force.


Dory Says:

@Kimmi, isn’t that wonderful? :) Dear Nole is #19!


Wog boy Says:

Tennis Academy Novak Djokovic is open, official opening in few days, in Belgrade.
Nick Bollettieri was involved in advising and organizing Tennis center Novak and academy itself. Novak’s father and uncle are running the show. It is the most beautiful spot, where river Sava meets river Danube in old town of Belgrade ( Beograd ), lots of restaurants, bars with water views. I was there few months ago, first class when it comes to conditions for tennis players.
I wish them all the best, lets Djordje ( youngest of three Djokovic brothers ) be next GS winner.


margot Says:

Really nice article by Tignor entitled”Give Murray his Due for Now” on
http://www.nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/44963009/ns/sports-tennis/
Like Tignor’s writing, very much. Someone on here said it was “poetic”, I agree.


Wog boy Says:

@margot

It is nice article. As Murray is my second favorite player, I am worried whether he peeked to early or at the wrong time, it is three months to go before AO. I would like him to get #2 so he and Nole can meet only in the finals.
BTW I booked my tickets for AO today. It is for QF, best chance to see all the best players in Rod Laver arena.


dari Says:

It was a great morning commute read, margot. Thx for posting!
I’m getting the willies thinking about andy and AO next year.
If he just relaxes I imagine we could see some lovely stuff. No one knows. Go Andy!


jane Says:

Agree margot: Tignor is a highly readable writer, and he brings something to his articles that others don’t. That was a good take on just enjoying Murray for its own sake, rather than always fretting about what he can or will do. I happen to think he will…but regardless, he is one of my favorite pllayers to watch, kevtches and all. And he is spirited: he keeps trying to get better, trying to break through, etc. and that is admirable.

Wog Boy, interesting news about the academy. Just hope Nole is practicing in it. ;)


Wog boy Says:

Jane, it is clay, I think he is someware else, getting ready for Basel, Paris, London……hopefully :-))


Wog boy Says:

Big problem for Nole when he is in Belgrade, he is so popular that they don’t leave him alone. He is better of practicing someware else.


sar Says:

Wog boy
I hope they make a successful tennis center and the event gets even better.


Wog boy Says:

@Sar

Thanks i hope so, too, for the sake of young people and his family, they did put so much in to this project.
We have saying ” iz tvojih usta u bozje usi” I hope there is somebody here who can translate meaning of saying properly, I can not and if I try I’ll probably stuff up:(


jane Says:

Wog Boy, of course, that makes sense. :) Well, wherever Nole is, I hope he is warming up. Be nice to see him playing again after a good break.


margot Says:

Glad u all liked it :) Remember match Tignor’s talking about and the commentator said something like, “When Murray’s smiling at his own brilliance, the other players better watch out!”
So very, very true, so very, very rare….alas.


Wog boy Says:

Somewhere and not someware, life is a learning curb and so is English.


dari Says:

Wog boy, you’ve done it again, making me smile!
It’s learning CURVE. :))
But that’s just your point, no?


Wog boy Says:

I knew it. That was my doughter that set me up. I said learning curve and she said ” no, no it is curb ” and walked away with a sneaky smile . I should know better, like mother like doughter, they are having me on.
At least I made you smile, which is good:-)


Wog boy Says:

There is no tennis on TV, but there is UK film ” The Bank Job” is it worth watching or better to go to sleep?
I think I’ll keep watching, getting interesting.


alison hodge Says:

@wog boy nole,roger,rafa,very popular wherever they go,roger and rafa probably more so,goes with the teritory of been a top player,they get used to it.


alison hodge Says:

margot and colin great for us brits with 3 girls now in the top 100,baltacha,watson,keothavong,and baltacha just outside the top 50,hopefully laura robson to join them eventually, although i think she has some way to go yet,and a brilliant win for keothavong yesterday against a former world no 1,all in all a good time to be a brit in terms of tennis.


margot Says:

Hi alison: Anne K doesn’t rock my boat, I’m afraid. Have seen her snatch defeat from the jaws of victory too many times. Of the 4, Heather is the one I really like. She is a gr8 mover, so gutsy and, although she doesn’t have a killer shot, she has a very neat all round game. Am hoping she can reach top 20, which would be very exciting.
Dunno about Laura. She a lefty advantage, huge serve, big forehand and…..? She, unlike Heather, doesn’t move well and has, what appears to me at any rate, quite a limited game.
I wonder if you can really substantially improve your movement, or if you’re stuck with what you’ve got? So much is to do with reading the game and anticipation of where the ball might be going.
A bit of exciting potential with our young men too, I feel.

Top story: Djokovic v Murray Halloween Friday In Paris; Raonic, Ferrer Fighting For Final London Berth
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Rankings
ATP - Oct 27 WTA - Oct 27
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Roger Federer2 Maria Sharapova
3 Rafael Nadal3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 Tomas Berdych5 Ana Ivanovic
6 David Ferrer6 Agnieszka Radwanska
7 Kei Nishikori7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Andy Murray8 Caroline Wozniacki
9 Marin Cilic9 Na Li
10 Milos Raonic10 Angelique Kerber
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