Federer, Murray Ease Into Paris QFs; Djokovic Struggles; London Field Set
by Sean Randall | November 11th, 2011, 1:09 am

Roger Federer and Andy Murray had little trouble Thursday advancing into the Paris Masters quarterfinals.

Neither of two have ever reached the finals at the tournament, but with both just a win from a semifinal collision, it looks like that could change this weekend.

Federer stomped out Richard Gasquet 6-2, 6-4 for his 799th career match win. Now it’s Juan Monaco in his way for 800.

“Draws are really difficult here and it’s not so simple just to cruise to a final like you think it is,” said Federer. “Just because I’ve done five or eight at other places, it doesn’t mean I have to make a finals here. I hope I can make it this year. I feel like my game is good enough for it. But then, again, depends if Monaco and all the other players agree with that.”

I’m sure Roger remembers, he lost just three games to Monaco at the US Open this year. The Argentine advanced when Mardy Fish retired with a groin strain at early in the third set.

Murray trounced the free-falling Andy Roddick 6-2, 6-2. Against the top foes, Roddick doesn’t seem to have much left anymore and I have to wonder if this will be the last year Roddick finishes in the Top 15.

“If I’m not able to get my serve through the court or drive a ball deep to the corner and get rewarded for it, I’m going to struggle most times against Andy,” said Roddick, who will finish the season outside the Top 10 for the first time since 2001. “I was stuck between two decisions: stay back and play a cat and mouse game, which is tough, or try to force the issue. He’s really good at defending that. So as far as a decision making process went today, it wasn’t always an easy one for me.”

Murray, who’s been the clear-cut hottest player this fall, has now won 27 of his last 28 matches and 17 straight overall.

On Friday, even though he’s lost to Berdych in their last two and Tomas is a past Paris champ, I think he gets through the Czech.

“He’s probably playing the best tennis of his career this year, so it’s gonna be tough,” Murray said of Berdych. “He’s a huge hitter of the ball, big serve, big forehand; goes for his shots and takes your time away. That’s what I have to get myself ready for.”

While it was questionable if Novak Djokovic was even going to play Paris, he did and he’s continuing to win. So credit to the Serb. Djokovic gained a spot in the quarters after beating countryman Viktor Troicki 4-6, 6-3, 6-1. Troicki hardly ever pulls off the upset, and this was the case again.

But for Novak, who has to be feeling some wear and tear on that shoulder, I think his Paris run ends tomorrow against JW Tsonga. JW is a streaky guy, a big match player and he’ll use the crowd and his emotion to knock out the No. 1. At least I think he will!

“Jo is one of the home favourites and one of the crowd favourites,” said Djokovic. “He is a great player, has a very powerful serve, and he kind of performs [with] as much as energy he gets from the crowd.”

Added Tsonga, who leads Novak 5-4 (though lost twice this year), “When I’m on that court, I have nothing to lose against him,” he said. “That way, I’m thinking when I go onto the court against him, he has more to lose than I do. So I always go to try to play my best tennis, and I’m sure it is the reason why every time I play against him I play my best tennis.”

Whatever works for you, JW.

In the last quarter, fourth-seeded David Ferrer meets John Isner. While the indoor environment and hardcourt surface might suit Isner, I give the edge to Ferrer who’s proven to be one of the best returners in the sport and he’s 3-0 against Isner.

As for the London Finals, in what was one of the most anti-climatic fall races the field is now set with Fish, Berdych and Tsonga grabbing the last three spots in the eight man draw.

Tennis Channel will again have live coverage of all the matches.



CENTRAL COURT start 2:00 pm
[5] T Berdych (CZE) vs [2] A Murray (GBR)
Not Before 3:30 PM
J Monaco (ARG) vs [3] R Federer (SUI)
Not Before 7:30 PM
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs [6] J Tsonga (FRA)
Not Before 8:30 PM
[4] D Ferrer (ESP) vs J Isner (USA)

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22 Comments for Federer, Murray Ease Into Paris QFs; Djokovic Struggles; London Field Set

WTF Says:

Nadal needs to take some lessons from Nole on recovering from injury. This guy is quick.

If he wins the title, it will really put into perspective his recovery skills from an injury flare up only a week ago.

Michael Says:

@WTF. ‘Nadal needs to take some lessons from Nole……’. In that case all Rafa needs is access to the EGG!!!!

alison hodge Says:

this message was put up on on sky tv teletext this morning ,nole has pulled out of paris,saying i have pushed myself to the limit,and after my match yesterday my shoulder got worse,for this reason,i have to put my health first and withdraw even though my urges as a profesional player are making me want to play until the last drop of energy,i am very sorry for all of you who bought tickets and wanted to come and watch me play.my season has been long and tiring,i played all of my matches at the highest level,and now my body is aching for recovery.hoping for your understanding and support.

alison hodge Says:

sorry i know it has nothing to do with tennis,but i would like to pay tribute,to all the people that lost there lives,on this our armistace day,saw a poster of our very own andy murray the other day,with the headline for the ones who didnt return,puts it into perspective some things are way more important,than winning or loosing a tennis match.

Brando Says:

@Alison: read the same on oter websites. Apparently nole said on his Twitter account that “his body is aching for a rest”. Time to call a spade a spade, I think had the bonus money- a massive $1.6 million- not been on the line then there is no way nole would have came to this tourny. The guy clearly is injured enough not even make it onto the court! I don’t doubt nole’s reasoning’s, but I do doubt his team. Whose interest were they concerned with? Nole’s or their potential Christmas bonus?

alison hodge Says:

brando yeah thank goodness common sense prevails at long last,noles doing the sensible thing,like you say ,whose interests were his team thinking of noles or there own,when money becomes an issue, funny how situations become very different indeed.

Brando Says:

@Alison: absolutely. Really it’s easy money that causes problems, especially here I feel. Turn up, be oncourt for a few games- guess what you have just won over a million dollars! Couple of matches later, boom there goes the shoulder. Taking nole’s comments at face value, since I think he is a genuine person, His team really should have realised that keep their man fit and healthy and there shall be plenty of commercial oppurtunities for them- seeing as he is número uno- which would far outweigh 1.6 million and nole’s health would not be at a risk. I’m really glad that this a walkover though as opposed to a retirement, since that really would have created a PR disaster for his team .

Brando Says:

Nole’s comments: “I have pushed myself to the limit by playing, and after the match yesterday my shoulder got worse,” Djokovic said.
“For this reason, I have to put my health first and withdraw even though my urges as a professional player are making me want to play until the last drop of energy.
“I am very sorry for all of you who bought tickets and wanted to come to watch me play.
“My season has been long and tiring, I played all of my matches at my highest level, and now my body is aching for recovery. Hoping for your understanding and support.”

BT Says:

I hate to say it for Nole’s sake but Tipsarevic may yet play at the WTF. If not first lot of RR matches, the second or the third.

Hope I am wrong and he is able to recover.

Brando Says:

@ BT: I think and hope he’ll play- if he doesn’t then it shall be a shame, similar to rafa in 2008, when the best player in the world does not turn up to a showpiece event for the best in the world.

BT Says:

@Brando: I agree but I just don’t know if he will be able to survive all potentially 5 gruelling matches to win or even all three of the round robin matches. All pure speculation of course and I know he will try. But if the shoulder wasn’t better after six weeks its probably not going to be better in eight days.

Indeed it would be a massive blow to the WTF especially given the dominating season he has had. All we can do is hope!

Brando Says:

@BT: “The doctors have advised that I should rest my shoulder and start treatment as soon as possible. I look forward to returning to the court in London and competing at the WTF”. That’s from the ATP website, so sounds like he should play.

Whilst i hope he does play, there is the other side of the coin, like you mention, as to for what is he playing for?

He has participated in 2 tourny’s and has struggled his way, commendably, through both. But at WTF he can only play against the best- with the weakest possible opponent for him, relatively speaking, being possibly fish or ferrer- in nole’s present state i back either one of those 2 to win.

Best case scenario for Nole would be that, realistically speaking, he wins 2 RR matches and gets to the SF stages, worse case scenario would be him experiencing what rafa did in 2009: losing all 3 RR matches.

And in all honesty, as a rafa fan that was really awful to watch, way more worse than losing to soderling at FO 09. Considering the historical season nole has had, it would be mighty awful to see him go through that.

I personally feel he should skip WTF- there is nothing to gain from playing there atm.

Humble Rafa Says:

personally feel he should skip WTF-

When money is on the line, Djoker doesn’t quit. Remember that. Of all the top players, Djoker is the most money minded. Not sure why.

World No. 3 Roger Federer made 65 million in endorsements this year. Djoker didn’t even make 20% of that.

jane Says:

Lol! Nole is the most “money minded?” Who plays exhibition matches for millions? Who announced he won’t play Queens (at least in part) because of taxes? Who has shown up at events / players parties to get appearance fees even when ill and not playing tennis? That would be the last two number one players.

Nole did the right thing. He deserved the bonus! This might be the only year he is number one and can collect it for goodness sakes. He tried to compete and in the end he felt worse. The tournament doesn’t do any worse for having him there for a couple rounds. Who loses? Their guy – Tsonga – walks on.

I just hope he gets well.

jane Says:

Sad that Andy M lost. :(

Brando Says:

@jane: lol, relax jane. As soon as I saw HR post thought best ignore since that is a false statement- we all know rafa and roger in the past have also done a similar thing. It could be a heavy lies the crown kind of thing. Your number 1, you see financial oppurtunities, you pursue them ( like most would) but it may not be the best or right thing for you. It’s still early in nole’s reign, so I’m sure he’ll learn from this. And I do agree, he deserved the bonus no doubt.

jane Says:

I was just responding to the comment that Nole is the “most money minded” Brando, which is clearly untrue and in any case not proveable.. But I am utterly relaxed. :) Just have to stick up for Nole. Can’t help it.

Brando Says:

@jane: I understand. I think nole should skip WTF though, since I cannot see how such an injury concern can heal itself in a limited time frame to such an extent that nole can compete at a level good enough to face the top 8 players in the world.

jane Says:

Yes, I think it would be awful to watch him fight and struggle against all the top guys. It would be better to rest and come back strong in January. We will see. Have either Fed or Rafa ever skipped WTF?

Brando Says:

@Jane: Rafa did in 2008. It would be awful to watch nole struggle in the WTF. Hated it when i saw rafa go through it in 2009, and from what i have read elsewhere it seems that nole wants to try his luck.

He should be advised not to do so, as the consequences could be dire. :-(

jane Says:

:( Yes, well, not much I can say: at this point, like you, I think he might be better off to skip it.

For me, his playing Paris was not such a faux pas. I feel like his two worst decisions this year were playing DC and Basel. He might’ve considered skipping Cincy too but it worked out alright in the end; there I only wish he would’ve finished the final, that is all.

In general his scheduling has been smart this year. He skipped Monte Carlo, Queens, and all of the Asian swing. Those all were wise decisions that paid off – especially the first two.

WTF Says:

“Have either Fed or Rafa ever skipped WTF?”

Fed hasn’t, but Rafa has. A bunch of people skipped 2005’s at Shanghai.

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