No Surprise: It’s Djokovic v. Murray For The Shanghai Title
by Sean Randall | October 13th, 2012
  • 158 Comments

I know I had Roger Federer winning the semifinals, but in my original draw I, along with many others I’m sure, had Andy Murray reaching the finals against Novak Djokovic. And in the end that’s what’s happened.

Earlier today in two relatively easy wins, Murray continued his mastery over Federer taking down the Swiss 6-4, 6-4. Djokovic remain hot beating up on Tomas Berdych 6-3, 6-4.

First to the Murray win. Since that Wimbledon loss, Murray has dominated Federer – he’s now 10-8 lifetime against Roger – crushing him in the Olympic gold medal match and really again today. In their last five sets, all won by Murray, Federer hasn’t even gotten to five games!

I thought with the urgency of the No. 1 race and maybe some Murray fatigue, a revenge-minded Federer would have gotten through. Save from a few points, the match was all Murray thanks in some part to a poor serving day from Fed.

“He didn’t serve that well for him tonight, so I was able to be very aggressive on his second serve,” said Murray. “He maybe slowed down his first serve a little bit, so I was able to take a few more chances. Obviously that helped. I went for it, like I did the past few times I played against him, and it worked tonight. When you’re beating the best player of all time probably, it’s obviously going to be special.”

Federer, who was playing his first tournament since the US Open and who had been under added security due to to a death threat, didn’t sound thrilled with his play in the Murray match or for the week.

“It was a bit up and down, too up and down for my taste,” said Federer who won just 66% of first serve points. “To probably beat him tonight, I played okay at times, but overall Andy was just the better player and he deserved to win at the end really.

“It’s been an OK week overall. I played all right. I didn’t play great. But I did come here and reach the 300 weeks. I guess I have to be happy with that. I wish I could have played better tonight against Andy and pushed him further, even though it was somewhat close. I know as well that it could have gone the other way as well, it could have been even more one sided. I tried hard, and that’s all I could do tonight.”

Right now between the two, Murray is simply the better player. There’s no debate.

In the first semifinal – the one I didn’t see – Djokovic cruised to a 10th win over Berdych setting up a US Open rematch with Murray.

“I don’t like the word ‘revenge.’ I never like revenge,” said Djokovic. “I just play tennis and I try to win every match that I play. He’s a bit more aggressive. It’s obvious on the court. He goes more for his forehand, which wasn’t his strength in the past. Now this year he’s improved that stroke and he’s more confident on the court, has more self belief. He’s got the results. He won a Grand Slam.”

As for my pick…

Novak Djokovic vs. Andy Murray
Murray’s obviously the hot player here. He’s won the gold, beat Djokovic for the US Open title and just dominated Federer again Saturday. And sure doesn’t hurt that he’s 12-0 in Shanghai winning titles there the last two years.

But Djokovic’s been a buzzsaw this month. He won Beijing and has looked impressive all week in Shanghai. And, like Federer, he too wants a piece of Murray.

In this series, it’s Djokovic leading 8-7 but Murray’s won the last two and certainly has the psychological edge. Novak was listless at the Olympics, on a grass surface that’s his worst. Then was troubled by the wind in New York.

“I’ve known him for 14, 15 years now,” Murray said of Novak. “We’ve obviously had some incredibly tough matches which can maybe test a friendship. But we’ve always been I think pretty respectful of each other.”

And now they bring their growing rivalry to the Far East.

For me, if Djokovic plays like he has been he’ll win. That means serving well, making few errors. If Djokovic is off his game, Murray can pounce. It’s the same storyline. Murray, though, has stepped up his aggression, but it’s just not his natural form. Against the bigger player I think he still needs help from his opponent. On Sunday, I don’t think Novak gives him any. Murray may have never lost in Shanghai, but with a chance to really sew up the No. 1 ranking Djokovic needs this win more.
The pick: Novak in two

Tennis Channel has live coverage of the final at 4:30am ET.

SUNDAY SHANGHAI SCHEDULE

STADIUM start 2:00 pm
[4] L Paes (IND) / R Stepanek (CZE) vs [7] M Bhupathi (IND) / R Bopanna (IND) – DOUBLES FINAL

Not Before 4:30 PM
[3] A Murray (GBR) vs [2] N Djokovic (SRB) – SINGLES FINAL


Also Check Out:
Roger Federer Confirms Shanghai Participation
Davydenko Derails Murray, Meets Djokovic in Shanghai Masters Cup Final
Roger Federer Lands In Shanghai [Video]
Roger Federer Gets Mobbed In Shanghai, Except That’s NOT Roger Federer! [Video]
Roger Federer Withdraws From Shanghai Due to “Nagging Injuries”

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158 Comments for No Surprise: It’s Djokovic v. Murray For The Shanghai Title

Jannet Says:

Federer’s play was pretty bad. He made too many UFE and his serve was dramatic at times. I found it actually suprising that roger only lost by 6-4 6-4.

BTW
I think it’s a bit too much to say murray the better player between the two. He is the best in form, but thats about it. I wouldn’t be suprised if federer starts regaining his form the moment the indoor season begins for him. He always plays well there.


Number99 Says:

Andy is in form of his life now.
Roger was a bit rusty in China.
Today Andy was better but overall …


Tony Says:

How can you say Murray is a better player than Roger Federer?Roger Federer is the Michael Jordan of tennis.And who is better then Michael Jordan?Roger Federer can only beat himself.With too many unforced errors!When Roger Federer is on 100 % do you really think Andy Murray can beat him?Roger Federer can only beat himself! People,learn that fact once in your life


trufan Says:

Djoke will win – he’s the better player.

As for Fed, at 31 years of age, he really can’t compete with a 25 year old at his peak who has just won a slam. Its not a fair fight anymore.

Would love to see more of Fed-Nadal in the future as Nadal ages too….


lazslo Says:

Yesterday Murray was playing possum against Stepanek, “I’m sick, I’m tired, not playing well. Today before the Fed match Koenig said he had the flu and was sick with a cough. He ran out there like a rabbit. What a faker.


Tennis Fan Says:

Murray plays some high risk lights out points during the second set that let him take a fairly tight match.
I like Sean’s revisionist writing of his call of the match above. Have you got no pride?
Murray is playing very good tennis at time’s lately … although Raonic spanked him down the river just last week in Tokyo.
Fed will likely win the next match up between the two … but I think Fed has played alot of tennis this year and should maybe scale it back a bit to refresh himself for next season. He doesn’t have his family with him this week, and with the stupid death threat thing and an overbusy schedule … he wasn’t quite the Roger I’ve come to enjoy. Yes, a couple of spectacular points during the match … but not a consistent performace (like he said) froom the maestro.


Steve 27 Says:

Would love to see more of Fed-Nadal in the future as Nadal ages too

yes , Nadal would be scared!


steve-o Says:

I blame you, Sean Randall, for picking Federer (which you try to weasel out of above). Curse the Sean Randall jinx!

Federer has to play his absolute best to stop Murray. He can get by many opponents without having to play at his best, but never Murray.

Murray is never forced to do anything particularly special against Federer; he just has to play solid, and he inevitably wins if Federer is not on top of his game.

However, when Federer plays at 100%, then Murray has zero chance.

I’ll be contrarian and pick Murray for the title. Sean said the hunger for the #1 ranking would decide the winner of the Federer/Murray semi and look what happened. Now he’s saying the same thing about the final.

Plus Djokovic looked unstoppable until the USO final and he still lost.

The wind is immaterial–it didn’t seem to bother him last year, unless you’re saying that there was never any wind in any of Djokovic’s matches in 2011.

The problem was Djokovic’s mind, not the wind. He’s not the player he was last year and he has lost quite a few finals this year. He missed a few chances to seal that first set at USO, that was the issue.

And I’m gonna go with the guy who has never lost on these courts over the guy who has never won the title before.


Wog boy Says:

Shean says,

“Murry’s won the last two”…..actually he’s won the last three, you forgot Dubai.


Wog boy Says:

Sean, couldn’t you pick Andy to win?


steve-o Says:

@Wog boy: you’ve forgotten the Miami final already?


Wog boy Says:

Steve-o,

Actually, I did, thanks. One of those mornings after big late nights, I need another short black coffee, double shot:)


Chobbs Says:

I think djok won in Miami or IW after Dubai . I can see fed missing Paris now but hopefully winning in Basel and London again !


Brando Says:

Yep, IF nole wins tomorrow then I think fed would be wise to skip Paris- stay fresh for WTF. BUT andy has beat novak at Dubai, cincy and USO- so maybe fast courts kind of help him abit in this matchup. For me it’s 50/50, with maybe novak having the edge as he has been playing, quite possibly, as well as he can do so. Another highly anticipated match in arguably the rivalry of the year.


trufan Says:

Steve 27, lets see how Nadal fares from his long break. He is at an age beyond which really few players have won slams. He’s no spring chicken any more.

Though I would love to see Murray Nadal as well. What with both playing possum and then running like a rabbit!


trufan Says:

At the AUS open, who do you think Fed would like in his half – Murray or Rafa? I think Rafa. Murray has finally proven people (including myself) wrong, and has truly joined the big boys club. He is super fit, moves fast, and can now attack quite well. I think he will beat Nadal the way Nole does.

Nadal is now looking down the barrel to see TWO younger and superior players – Nole and Murray. In 2010, he had none. In 2011, he had just one (Nole), and we know what happened to him. In 2013, he will have to face both Nole and Murray at their peak, or near peak, full of confidence, one year younger to him, without the handicap of a one-handed backhand (that Fed always had).

Given that Fed is going to play fewer tournaments next year, I guess he will play only a couple of clay tournaments – and may not go very deep there. So Fed and Nadal are more likely to meet on hard courts from here on.

Tack on Nadal’s six month break – and it doesn’t look good for him. I know his fans will dismiss all this, since they will not want to see the writing on the wall.

As for Fed – again, he is 31. He has pretty much every single record that matters. I doubt if he will play more than 15 tournaments next year (4 slams, 7 masters – I think he never comes back to Shanghai – hopefully the YEC, Basel, Halle, and Qatar). This year he will end up playing 19 or 20 tournaments (depends if he still plays Paris).

So Fed MIGHT, MIGHT just win another last slam, who knows. This time he beat Murray and Djoke to win Wimbledon, so it was completely legit (unlike Sampras’s 2002 USO, when he didn’t have to face a top 5 player to win that last slam). If Federer gets that kind of luck, where he can bypass the other top 3 players, he could win another slam. Otherwise, he will probably play as long as he stays in the top 4…. which could be another couple of years.


Brando Says:

WOW, some people are really putting in some overtime in the whole “rafa is finished” narrative. I guess everyone has to have a hobby- even if some are of the petty kind!


trufan Says:

Assuming Djoke wins tomorrow (most likely scenario) – Fed will be only 195 points ahead in 52 week ranking points.

Even if Fed wins Basel (Murray is there!!), he is still only 195 points ahead of Djokovic at the start of Paris.

From then on, in 2 weeks, Fed has to defend 2500 points, while Djoke has to defend only 380.

So theoretically, its entirely possible that Fed goes on to win Basel, Paris and London, and still end No. 2 in the world.

If Djoke reaches the finals in Paris, he is guaranteed year end No 1.

Imagine this scenario. Say Fed wins Basel. Then Fed beats Djokovic in Paris final. Then Djoke wins only one of his 3 round robin matches at the YEC, but still qualifies for the semi (it CAN happen). Fed wins all three round robin matches. Then Fed beats Djoke again in the semi, and goes on to win the YEC.

YET, FED WILL END THE YEAR RANKED NO. 2!!!

Again, if Djoke reaches Paris final, not only does he get to No. 1 immediately, he GUARANTEES his year end No. 1 ranking!!

Fed is done as fas as YEAR end No. 1 is concerned.

The only SLIVER of hope for him is that Murray beats Djokovic tomorrow…..


trufan Says:

That’s why I think its almost certain that Fed will skip Paris, just rest up and focus on a 7th YEC title. Given that its indoors, he has a better chance than in Shanghai due to the outdoor conditions.

Never mind, he gets to be No. 1 for either 301 or 302 weeks (depends if he wins Basel). Neither Djoke nor Murray are coming anywhere close to it (or Nadal). Murray is at zero, djoke is around 50, Nadal is around 100. Djoke and Murray will most likely jostle for the No. 1 ranking the next couple of years, but neither of the three will end their careers anywhere near even 200, not to mention 300 weeks.

Old man should rest happily hereafter.


Steve 27 Says:

However, when Federer plays at 100%, then Murray has zero chance.

Yes, the Swiss is unbeatable! Give me a break! Fans never learn to separate feelings of reason. They do not learn yet.


Steve 27 Says:

Though I would love to see Murray Nadal as well. What with both playing possum and then running like a rabbit!

Indeed. I expect at leat one grnd slam final at Wimbledon next year!.


Brando Says:

‘Fans never learn to separate feelings of reason. They do not learn yet.’

The TRUEST thing said for along while here!

RARELY do fans look at thing’s OBJECTIVELY, and most importantly, WITHOUT PREJUDICE.

Sad, but very true.

For now, let’s just wait and see what happens in the final in Shanghai.

It is a very exciting contest, and one that deserve’s attention being placed upon it as opposed to branching off onto trivial topics such what player x, y, z is going to do 2013!


Steve 27 Says:

I never have understood this kind of mentality from some tennis fans. Where your idolization of your tennis hero leads you to refuse to understand that they could ever be legitimately beaten, or play badly. I’m a giant Rafa fan and I never want him to lose, but never once have I blamed his losses on anything other than the other guy played better, or Rafa played poorly, or both. I love Fed as well, but the better player won today. No one plays to secure a ranking and then stops trying. What an idiotic statement.


Margot Says:

Steve 27 @ 8.07
Excellent point
@ 11.57
Completely agree. On any given day I’d say any top player can be beaten by any other, who simply plays better on the day.
In fact Fed, Rafa and Nole have all had fabulous years when they did seem almost invincible. Still think Nole’s 2011 is the stand out, however.
Here’s hoping Andy’s is coming up ;)


racquet Says:

@ brando

Take it with a pinch of salt. Trufan’s predictive powers have been way off, especially regarding Murray. No reason to assume they’re any sharper regarding Rafa. BTW, have you seen the pix of him and Pico hanging out in Mallorca?


courbon Says:

@Trufan (post:7:50)
I completely agree with you.But, we still have to give benefit of doubt when Rafa comes back.He may come back with different aproach, better game and surely he will train to defend Andy and Nole.He may be even better!Most likely not, and this long absence is not good as you say…but Nadal is no ordinary tennis player and sometimes you can get unexpected from him.(I personaly, even being Noles fan, would like to see him come back in top form and we get great tennis rivalys and matches…)


andrea Says:

not a particularly strong match for roger or andy, but andy capitalized when he needed to, and roger had some pretty shaky moments – 3 double faults in a row in one game? some great rallies.

i didn’t watch the novak match but hopefully the final goes the distance.


Michael Says:

Roger served three double faults consecutively in a game and lost it. I am sure this has happened to him for the first time in his career. His serve totally deserted him and even the first serves that he landed lacked direction, spin and pace which helped Murray to take a swing at it and keep hitting winners. It was a lack lustre Roger on display yesterday against Murray and it was really painful to see him in that fashion where he even failed to wage a fight and Murray was just on top of him almost the entire match and was the better player overall. Roger deservingly lost and that too was good for him for had he faced Novak in this kind of form, he would have decimated him.


Michael Says:

It is clear that age is taking a heavy toll on Roger and now-a-days inconsistency has crept into his game more often than not. He is still feeling easy against lower ranked players even when he is not playing well, but against the top players he struggles a lot unless he has a good day in Office. I think Roger is slowly descending to the brink of his illustrious career and we might probably see him in the top four for another year.


steve-o Says:

@Steve27: Again a ridiculous distortion of what I said! I understand now why mat4 gave up posting for a while.

Federer doesn’t always play a masterclass. Sometimes he produces a mediocre performance. When he does play at that supreme level, the other guy has no chance. When he has a bad day, then it’s possible for the other guy to beat him.

Is anyone really going to say that Federer played a great match yesterday? He played like shit, and it had nothing to do with Murray, because he was playing like shit for most of the tournament. Against Wawrinka and Cilic he was shaky and inconsistent.

It’s a compliment to Murray to say that Federer can’t beat him unless he plays 100%. Because there are many players Federer can get past with less than 100%: even a top player like Del Potro, for instance. Not Murray, though.

But the resident anti-Feds like Steve27 choose to twist it into an insult.

Yes, the better player on the day won. One played an indifferent match, the other was more solid and took advantage of that. End of story.


Dave Says:

In 1998, Pete Sampras finished year-end No. 1 by a mere 245 points (about 500 points today) over Marcelo Rios by skipping the Davis Cup semifinals (after US Open) and focusing his efforts on securing the No.1 ranking — to do this Sampras played seven tournaments after the USO! That’s how Sampras scrapped his way to his sixth year-end No.1.
http://www.atpworldtour.com/Tennis/Players/Sa/P/Pete-Sampras.aspx?t=pa&y=1998&m=s&e=0#

Given the urgency of the No.1 race, Federer’s response in Shanghai would have been disappointing if not for the death threats. The moment Djokovic lost the US Open final, Federer should have ditched Davis Cup and instead played Beijing (Federer wasting time on Davis Cup ultimately might cost him the year-end ranking). And Paul Annacone should have done a much better job preparing Federer, especially on serve.


Dave Says:

Murray did not ‘crush’ Federer today. Murray winning 55% of 137 points in about 100 minutes does not meet the definition of ‘crushing’ (“to defeat or humiliate, utterly, totally or completely”). As you can see from this link of matches between the Big 4 Players, winning 55% of points is about average.
http://tinyurl.com/c58gprs

Otherwise we have to accept that Federer ‘crushed’ Murray slightly more at 2012 Dubai, winning 55% of 130 points in less time. And don’t forget that Federer’s mastery of Murray is defined by the fact that he owns the two biggest ‘crushing’ beatdowns of their rivalry: 2010 World Tour Finals (winning 60% of 106 points in 77 minutes in Britain) and 2008 US Open (winning 59% of 162 points in 111 minues) — Federer’s two beatdowns of Murray are more lopsided than Murray’s Olympics beatdown (58% of 165 points in 116 minutes). Don’t let facts get in the way of re-creating what ‘crushing’ means.

The issue isn’t that “Federer hasn’t even gotten to five games!” against Murray. Given how poorly Federer had served and how inconsistently he played all week, Roger did well just to get to four games in each set on a bad serving day. Federer won only 54% of his service points (won only 66% first serve points and only 36% second serve points) and he even had to slow down his serve just to get his first serve percentage up to 59%. Federer’s mental errors were a key reason he got broken in those three service games: the first break he started the match sluggishly, allowed Murray to seize the initiative and get ahead in the service game; the second break Federer donated the game at love with three consecutive double faults; and the third break Federer sloppily threw away a 40-0 service game by failing to close the game. Murray returned well, but Federer didn’t hit his service spots, made bad decisions on his serves and made mental errors. This was not the Federer who showed up at Wimbledon or Cincinnati — his serve was not dialled in. Murray smelled blood looking at Fed’s performances through the week, and to his credit he went for the kill.

Murray was clearly the better player in Shanghai. But indoors, it’s a new ball game. Back in Basel, I expect Federer to play better against Murray. If Federer had served better, today’s Murray probably wouldn’t be good enough beat Federer.

In the past three years (since after 2009 Indian Wells) Murray in his prime is still 4-5 against Federer. Though Murray is 10-8 lifetime against Roger, 5 of those 10 victories came from Murray’s 5-1 run during Federer’s relative slump between 2008 Australian Open to 2009 Rome (precipitated by mononucleosis and recurring back injuries during this period).

Murray’s beatdown of Federer at Olympics is due in part to Juan Martin Del Potro’s marathon epic against Federer that squeezed the life from Roger’s 31-year old legs. Remember that epic 2012 Australian Open final played at a snail’s pace between Nadal and Djokovic? The Federer-Delpo’s 58-game marathon was three games longer than the AO final! Federer-Delpo’s 366 point marathon was only 3 points less than the AO final. And Federer-Delpo on average played at a much faster pace between points so there was less time to rest, recover and catch their breath. After the epic AO final, young Nadal and young Djokovic took four to six weeks off the tour. After his Olympic semifinal, 31-year old Federer had to return two days later to play Murray infront of patriotic British fans.

What fatigue did Murray have at Shanghai? First, Murray (and Djokovic) were truants from Davis Cup the entire 2012. After the US Open, Murray (and Djokovic) did not have to waste time on Davis Cup — they were able to rest, recover, train and focus on the Asian swing. Second, Murray had the perfect preparation for Shanghai — he had four days of match practice at Tokyo, lost in the Tokyo semifinals and then had a walkover in his first Shanghai match. Without match practice, Murray was knocked out at Tokyo semifinals by Raonic and endured a three-setter against Wawrinka.

As much as revenge might have been on Federer’s mind — it certainly was on the headlines of every major Swiss newspaper before the match — Federer’s mind was probably preoccupied and mentally/emotionaly exhausted by other recent events (particularly dealing with the serial death threats since September 25, protracted negotiations with Grand Slams, ITF, ATP and players for massive prize money increases for his fellow players, other ATP Player Council business). Furthermore, after the US Open the 31-year old “wounded, tired and exhausted” Federer played Davis Cup on clay in an away tie in the Netherlands — where he played three best-of-five set matches on three consecutive days. Having to deal with death threats, prize money negotiations and Davis Cup takes a mental toll on any player. And Federer came into Shanghai without a warm up event, unlike Murray. Federer just did not look mentally focused and prepared throughout Shanghai like he was for Cincinnati or Wimbledon.

It’s not just Federer’s age. If Federer chooses to overload his plate with non-tennis activities and Davis Cup, he will continually be at a disadvantage against his younger rivals who are focused on tennis. Imagine: could the NHL’s negotiator and union leader Donald Fehr handle also being an NHL player? According to Federer himself, he has to sacrifice a Masters event for every Davis Cup tie he plays — his two Davis Cup ties and Olympics cost him Monte Carlo Masters, Toronto Masters and Beijing 500. Federer is not superman — at some point this extra non-tennis stuff impacts his ATP tennis results. Then throw in serial death threats or some other unexpected event, and the scale suddenly tips against him.


Rafael Says:

If you have seen and followed tennis for a while, you know that federer is the absolute greatest player to have ever played on hardcourts and grass and nadal the same on clay.

To beat either of these on their favored surfaces, you need help from them. if they bring their very best there is not much the other players can do. [ this definitely includes murray, though maybe not djokovic]

i cannot think of federer fans crowing over the fact that he has beaten sampras who was 10 years older than him or agassi. [infact, agassi won 1 set in the last 20 or he played against roger]. it would be a knock on murray if he cant even beat a guy 6 years older than him. all said, you can safely predict that murray will just be a footnote in tennis as compared to the volumes that will be written about federer, nadal and djokovic. [except ofcourse in britain - a country so starved of success, they should be aided by UN like they aid those starving countries in africa]

these guys have won football world cup once in their entire history and they have performed even more pathetic in other sports. for them murray would be 2nd coming of Jesus. for the rest of the world, he is just a tennis player who is not even in the top 3 best players of this century.


the DA Says:

Oy vey!


Rafael Says:

I hope nole gets his winning ways back against murray. he should have never lost that US open final. He is definitely a much better player than mr. lady forehand!

let’s go nole.


racquet Says:

Wow, they have both come out with guns blazing. Early days but this looks promising.


the DA Says:

It that’s a lady forehand, I want one.


steve-o Says:

@DA: Oy vey!

I know, right? The anti-Federers and pro-Murrays both got what they wanted (a Federer loss/Murray win respectively) and yet they’re still harping on and on about how Federer’s given too much credit/Murray isn’t given enough. You’d think they’d enjoy life a bit more.

And hey, your guy’s in the final for the third straight time and has a chance to lift three straight titles! It’s a great accomplishment. Why the long face?

Isn’t the final going on right now? How do you think your guy is playing? Does he look good? Any comments on that?


steve-o Says:

Djokovic lets it get to 30-all from 30-0 up. I smell a break point coming on his serve.


racquet Says:

Andy breaks! Playing so aggressively.


the DA Says:

@ steve-o

My oy vey was directed at Dave’s OTT post. FWIW, I think my guy is playing fabulously. Hope he maintains it.


the DA Says:

I also think Nole is playing great. He just seems a little rattled at how strongly Andy has come out of the gate.


Dave Says:

Flashback: “Near Flawless Federer Masters Murray To Win Fifth Dubai Title”
http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2012-03-03/8986.php

In this article there is no mention of Federer “crushing” Murray despite the many statistical similarities between both matches (Shanghai and Dubai) in total points played, percentage of total points won, length of match, breakpoints converted by both players, service and return point differentials, etc. Federer just “masters” and “upends” Murray, who came into the match as a hot player. [Federer fans have long realized that tennis articles tend to portray Federer's rare losses as more 'catastrophic' than the losses of the other big four players... hence words such as "crushing"]

Federer fans might find this early March blog thread worth reading because the poster ‘Dave’ wrote several posts explaining how Federer could return to No. 1 — much to the chagrin of several of the usual posters who refused to consider the possibility that Nadal/Djokovic’s stranglehold on the majors would be broken or, worse, that Federer was capable of returning to No.1 .


the DA Says:

^ have a sherry. Move on. The pain will pass.


Sienna Says:

Dave
Roger probaby is aware of DC diminshing his chances for year end. But on the other hand he tends to overplay his hand from time to time.

SOmetimes when he is on top of things he thinks that he can take risks etc.

I still am dissapointed of the journey he took to africa where he caught lung infection, just after winning AU Open 2010. Or the exho’s he played with Sampras in 2007 which probably led to the mono. These are bad scheduling decissions on his part which has costs him a lot.

I feel the DelPotro match has taken the sting out of his game for the rest of the year. His sharpnes is gone and the crispness is also gone.
He needs to work hard to get it back for WTF.
Year end should not be on his mind because he might end up with nothing. ANd that could even mean injury or fatigue before prepairing AU Open.


steve-o Says:

@DA: I know whom your post was directed to. Just using the opportunity to make gentle fun of various other posts.

Djokovic is making some mental mistakes, as when he tried to put away the ball at 30-15 and ended up clipping the top of the net. He’s playing well–just not as well as he was last year.

Murray is playing well and taking advantage of Djokovic’s lapses, as he did Federer’s.


racquet Says:

Typical Nolandy match. Breakity-break. Nole is starting to look a little frustrated.


alison Says:

A country so starved of success yeah right,Mo Farrah,Jess Ennis,Bradley Wiggins,Ben Ainsley,Mark Cavendish,Chris Hoy,Tom Daley,Alistair Brownlee,Johnny Brownlee,Greg Ruthersford,Andy Murray,to name but a few,Chelsea also won the champions league,in what way are us Brits so starved of success?


alison Says:

^Missed out Victoria Pendelton^.


steve-o Says:

Djokovic was up 30-0 on Murray’s serve at 4-5, and he still lost the game despite Murray’s poor serving.

Now he’s 40-0 up on his own serve, and now it’s 40-30. I smell another break.


The DA Says:

Oof. Murray breaks and Nole loses his rag. I’m sure a certain poster will come along to denounce this.


racquet Says:

It has been a long time since I’ve seen Nole that angry on court.


alison Says:

Raquet remember the FO,the smashed bench?


steve-o Says:

And there’s the racket smash!

His technique’s not very efficient, though: when Federer did it, he only needed two smashes to completely demolish it. Djokovic needed at least three or four.

He really needs to commit fully to the smash when you choose to do it. He should take lessons from Safin.


racquet Says:

Finally Andy strings together a few good points to close out the first set. 7-5. That racquet smash reminded me of dear old Gonzalez.


racquet Says:

@ alison – oh yeah, I forgot that. Well if I was to grade it that was about a 7.0, this was more of a 9.0.


alison Says:

Raquet lol.


Margot Says:

First blood to Andy.:)
Hope neutrals are enjoying this!
Please stay focused now Andy. No dips and please get back your first serve.
Let’s hear it for Heather Watson too. :)


alison Says:

Margot fantastic win for Watson,its all been about Laura lately,so its great to see our other girl grabbing some headlines,congrats to Heather on her 1st WTA title,hope Murray can keep this up,great tennis from both guys,your right Margot a superb match for neutrals.


steve-o Says:

Checking Youtube, I was wrong: Federer needed only one smash to completely destroy the racket in Miami.

That’s why he’s the most complete player in history–even his racket-smashing technique is perfect! No waste!

As for Safin, he didn’t really do the overhand smash, he more bounced it and cracked the edge of the frame instead of breaking it in the middle. To each his own.


Giles Says:

Nole’s racket sponsors should drop him like a brick! #NoRespect


the DA Says:

hehe so he’s the GOAT of racquet smashes? Okay. i’d add the GOAT of unsuccessful challenges to his titles. ;)


racquet Says:

That was some lob.


Dave Says:

DA: Speak English. We don’t speak yiddish here, dah. If you have any courage and integrity, prove your claim that my post was “OTT”. If you can’t back up your yapping with facts and logic, then toches ahfen tish!


Sienna Says:

hehe DA you know he is GOAT because of 17 slamwins and being #1 for 300 weeks……


racquet Says:

And Andy breaks! No more behind the couches margot.


racquet Says:

@ giles – wow, that went up quick.

Okay now, breathe Andy. Serve it out.


racquet Says:

What a couple of points! Astonishing.


racquet Says:

Good grief. Nole earned that break. He looks revitalized. Big test coming up.


steve-o Says:

There’s another example of Djokovic’s wavering: after breaking back from match point down and holding easily, he messes up a chance to break for the set, starting with the backhand error on the first point.

And then another example: double faulting in the tiebreak after he got a minibreak and went 3-1 up, and then shanking a backhand after being 4-3 up.

Unlike last year, he’s having trouble holding a lead once he gets it and can’t maintain momentum.


racquet Says:

MP #4…I can’t take this!


Maso Says:

This is one hell of a tie break!


racquet Says:

Can you say epic!!


Margot Says:

Phew! So close. Sensational play from Nole at 5-4.
Can’t predict this one.
Andy, focus. Come on!


Dave Says:

Murray should have won this match at the 134th point of the match. Instead he lost the set over the next 37 points.

Murray should be the fresher of the two players (played one match less at Tokyo and one match less at Shanghai). Both players practice a lot with each other, there are no surprises.


racquet Says:

margot – can’t guess either. At least we know Andy won’t be the first to run out of gas.


alison Says:

Dave i agree,but thats the thing with Novak,you can never count him out,when hes up against it hes at his most dangerous,ill be gutted if Murray doesnt win this.


Giles Says:

3 hours and counting! C’mon Muzz!!


racquet Says:

Sloppy game by Andy and Nole gets the break. Not looking good.


Brando Says:

DAMN! Muzza should have nailed one of those 5 championship points- probably going to regret that!

Oh well, thanfully he won the decider in USO final!


Kimmi Says:

murray losing :(


Brando Says:

MP novak….


Wog boy Says:

TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
NOOOOOOOOOLEEEEEEEEEEEE
CAREEEEEEEEEEEEE


Brando Says:

Congrats to nole- EPIC comeback (again)!

This guys like Arnie in the Terminator- just when you think your safe he keeps on coming back!

Congrats to his fans: jane, Wog Boy, courbon etc.

No.1 is virtually in the bag for your guy- well deserved!


racquet Says:

Nole wins after the comeback of the year. Stunning tennis, both guys left everything on the court. One of the matches of the year.


Daniel Says:

S….t. Jut waks up to see the final 2 games. Bye Fed YE#1.
Wow Djoko. Another match saving match points. Impressive that after he set #1 as a goal to end the season he did his part and won both toruneys played.

Now he has a record for his own: 7 different Masters titles (missing only Monte Carlo and Cincy, which he would win eventually)! Fed and Nadal has 6 different each and Fed is the only other one to have reached all Masters final, together with Djoko (Nadal doesn’t hace Cincy final).

Congrats Djoko, looks he is almost back to his 2011 self. Ad as much as some are predicting Murray, nect year he won’t have the pressure to repeat his stelar 2011. It will be a great fight between the 2 and hope Fed can still the party a few times.


Kimmi Says:

congrats to nole! didnt see the whole match but it looks very close. nole has been winning a lot of close calls recently.


Brando Says:

Let’s keep things in perspective: Andy did EXTREMELY WELL here!

Remember, he had 5 MP to win straight sets- so quite clearly he was doing something right and more than can hang with nole!

Had he won it would have been 3 in a row, on 3 different surfaces!

Maybe he should have won- BUT he didn’t ultimately!

I would not write Andy of at all- he did beat fed yesterday and could still end the year on a high note- possibly winning WTF!


racquet Says:

Nole always so gracious whether in victory or defeat.


Brando Says:

WOW, check the match stats here- ONLY 2% difference in points won:

http://www.atpworldtour.com/Scores/Scores-and-Stats.aspx?completed=1&from=topnav


Margot Says:

Well played Nole :) Big congrats to all his supporters on here.
And congrats on No 1. Fantastic :)
Well played Andy but u should know u can’t blink when u play Nole.
Can’t wait for 2013.
NolAndy rocks.
Congrats to Sean too. Jinx broken…;)


racquet Says:

margot – fortunately, Andy didn’t look devastated. Any other year he might have been. We can’t complain too much.


Wog boy Says:

Brando,

Thanks, such a huge confidence boost, I don’t want to think what would happen if he lost sixth final this year.
Great match, these two are going to rule next few years, methinks.
Commiseration to Andy’s fans, he was so gracious in his defeat and his speach.


Wog boy Says:

Margot,

Thanks, they are going to battle many more battles !


Wog boy Says:

jane,

Where are you, you can come out now, it is finished.
Nole won:)


Kimmi Says:

congrats to watson fpr winning first wta title. she got it first, her rival laura has to wait.


jane Says:

Woot for Nole and the epic comeback. Squeaked through by the hair on his chinny chin chin. Maybe it all started with the tweener and the smile that followed it. Nice that he’s now got Shanghai for his collection.

Commiserations to Andy, hugs to Margot and racquet especially. But he was so tough – fought until the very end! I notice he is edging closer to number 2…

Am exhausted, am off to sleep.

Great final.


Wog boy Says:

jane,

Spot on, smile was turning point:)


El Flaco Says:

Very impressed with Murray’s play this week. He is hitting the ball harder than I have ever seen him and moving forward more to finish points. I used to think his forehand was his weakest shot, but now I think it’s the serve.


Brando Says:

Very impressed by Andy’s post match take- he’s showing some good mental fortitude now:

‘”I’m obviously disappointed I lost the match,” said Murray. “But it was a top-quality match. Both of us played some unbelievable tennis at times.
“It was literally the difference of one, two centimetres in winning the match and losing it. You have to put things into perspective. It was obviously a bit frustrating but it was so close and could have been a different outcome.”‘

I think Andy knows he should have won this one today- he’ll learn from his mistakes and come back stronger in the next one.

Overall- NO LETDOWN post USO, as some predicted.

Upwards and onwards, Muzza!


Michael Says:

Today the winner was Novak, but Andy was clearly the better player on court. It is the never-say-never-die attitude of Novak and his tenacious approach which won him this match although he was inferior to Andy today on the court. When Andy was serving for the match at 5-4, and 30-0 it was all, but over for Novak but somehow things turned out in his favour and then it went to a tie break where it was yet again Andy holding all the aces with so many Championship points. But despairingly for him, he was not able to convert and finally Novak won that tie breaker. The old version of Andy would have been trounced 6-0 in the final set with all that disappointment. But the new version of Andy fought yet again only to be outpaced in the end. My hearty congratulations to Novak for his win as he has now won 7 of the 9 Master titles, a feat which has not been possible for even Roger and Nadal. As regards Murray, he need not be disappointed with this loss, he fought as hard as he can and he is developing into a Champion material. I see him winning many more majors in his career.


Brando Says:

@Michael:

EXCELLENT POST- and agree with your thoughts.

First and foremost, ALL CREDIT has to go to nole for winning a match, which in all fairness, seemed destined to go the other way.

His tenacity is truly admirable.

BUT, as you mentioned, this match (and his post match reaction) to me just underlines that Andy is going to win many more big titles in the future- and I also think he’ll win more big matches against nole.

BAR Dubai, he’s arguably been the better player and played the better tennis in 5/6 matches v nole this year: how many players can actually say that against the seemingly YE no.1?

So ultimately, IMHO, the positives outweigh the negatives for Andy after this final!


Brando Says:

Correction: should be BAR Miami, not Dubai- lol!


Wog boy Says:

Brando, Michael,

Disagree, in this game which is one on one (not team sport) better player wins, that is what the numbers say at the end, you cannot hide and turn last 15 minutes to play.
The other thing Brando, by which standards Andy was better at AO or Miami? This year was fair share, Andy was better in Dubai, London and NY (not taking wind as escuse) and he won. Nole was better in Melbourne, Miami and Shanghai and he won, that is what numbers say and they don’t lie.
Night:)


Brando Says:

@Wog Boy:

I’m sorry WB, but unfortunately I have to disagree.

Out of respect for your fav, and especially you, I’ll stay silent on the matter.

Congrats once again on nole’s win, and have a good night. :-)


steve-o Says:

Congrats to Djokovic! Fantastic comeback from match points down.

Murray played very well too. But in the end not quite able to shut the door on Djokovic.


Leon Says:

Congratulations to Novak and his devoted fans! Great win.
Nice work by Andy, too. Disappointing loss, but excellent semifinal, bright perspective, etc.
And a nice end of the season is coming. Hardly Novak would be satisfied to finish #1 with a too small gap, say, losing in Paris/London, especially to Roger, so we still may expect high voltage to the “very end”.
[A minor remark concerning "7 of 9" record. While it is correct wrt Nadal, it's not wrt Federer. He won Madrid in 2006 when it was an autumn HC tournament, i.e. before replacing Hamburg. So, the only two of nine calendar masters Masters Roger never won (but was in their finals) are MC and Rome. That is, he reached "7 of 9" last year in Paris (having been in all 9 finals throughout his career).]


courbon Says:

@Brando;Thank you, today quite proud of Novak.Great match.Andy was as good as Novak.Do not agree that better player lost but I’m OK to agree to disagree (or other way around?).Cant wait for Nadal to come back-It will be some 2013

@Wog Boy;Napij se rakije junace!!!


Giles Says:

Did not expect this result after Andy serving for the match. Well, this is sport! #AnythingCanHappen


trufan Says:

Nole pretty much secures the year end No. 1 ranking now.

He just needs 600 points from Paris and London to ensure he ends the year ranked No. 1. Finals in paris, or semi in paris followed by two round robin wins – and he is No. 1. Fed has practically no chance now.

Fed should skip paris and rest his old bones. I think we have seen the last burst from him. For the third time (only!), he will lose his No. 1 ranking, and this time for good….


dari Says:

Phenomenole! He will go down in history as having NO RESPECT for.match points against him! Such grit he has!
He has been in so kany finals, so consistent this year, no wonder he will end up year end no. 1!

As for Murray, he did better than I expected someone coukd do against the hard court king novak, and it soubds like he has freat perspective. Onward and forward, Murray! Keep bringing the goods like that and he will be in great position for the top spot jext year.

AND happy for both as they are coming up with a thrilling (if not exhausting!) Rivalry!


dari Says:

Congrats to Heather Watson, too!


Rafael Says:

Super nole! he should have done this in usopen final. there is no way he should be losing big matches to an inferior player like murray. he is just so much better than murray.

I will say it again, Nole will win end his career with at least 5 majors more than murray. dont be surprised if nole does not lose another GS match to this whiner!

Go nole!


alison Says:

Congrats to Nole and fans Jane,Wogboy,Courbon,Nina,Mat4 etc etc,what a fantastic game,and what a warrior Nole is saving 5 match points,sorry to fans Margot,Colin,Raquet etc etc ,you shouldnt be too down heated,and Andy shouldnt be too down hearted either,he was the better player for the most part and should take alot of positives from this game,he wont always be that unlucky,and he won the USO so the future looks bright for him.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Great tournament. It is incredible to me that Sean, and so many fans here, can continuously make the mistake of believing each match to be the defining one of any rivalry, as if what is said today is the final word on the subject.
1 data point does not make a trend, and 2 make an unreliable one. Take a breath, enjoy great tennis and rivalry, and forget trying to make every moment of your pastime a defining one.


alison Says:

Tennis Vagabond great post,too many predictions,too many assumptions,instead of people waiting to see what will happen next,domination is only a today thing not but not necassarily a tomorrow thing,people should enjoy the moment without getting carried away about what will happen in the future,the only thing we do know for certain is that we know nothing at all.


alison Says:

I had a horrible feeling when Andy squandered those match points,in that second set,that it was not going to be his day(sigh).


alison Says:

Michael he is developing into a champion meterial,err i thought he already was champion meterial?he won the USO,correct me if im wrong but doesnt that already make him a champion?sounds like a bit of a contradiction in terms sorry,why are you trying to belittle the guy?The guy actually has 24 titles altogether.


lazslo Says:

Here’s the deal. Koenig said before the match that Murray had a cold and cough. They didn’t mention it at all while he was winning. Towards the end when he was losing, they said he had a problem with his right quad. They had all the excuses at the ready for him.


courbon Says:

@Allison:Thanx.Actually I left room on those match points…I have to watch my heart, not a teenager any more.I get so nervouse that I can smash TV so I have a walk instead…Great match, sorry for your guy.
@Tennis Vagabond;You could not be more right…


Sienna Says:

alison Says:
I had a horrible feeling when Andy squandered those match points,in that second set,that it was not going to be his day(sigh).

Imagine to do it in a slamsemifinal two years after another!


Sienna Says:

But 5 is somewhat horrible. But again Fed had many of thosematches the last few years. It happens.


Dave Says:

Alison: Sorry he lost. There’s still Paris and WTF. He’s had a great year, regardless.


alison Says:

Sienna for one small moment i actually agree with everything you say,however you make your own luck sometimes it goes for you sometimes it goes against you thats life im afraid.


alison Says:

Thanks Dave its like when your favorite football team has a 3 0 lead,and ends up loosing 4 3 totally gutting.


Brando Says:

@Alison: AC Milan v Liverpool: 3-0 at half time leave feeling extremely happy that AC have won the CL, going of for a night out with friends. Come home by 3.am, put on the t.v for a while before going to bed. Sky news headline: Liverpool win in stunning comeback. Me: DEVASTED!:(


alison Says:

Courbon lol my late father used to be like that when watching Leeds UTD FC,pacing up and down in the living room saying get that bloody whistle blown referee if they were 1 0 up with a minute of injury time left lol,or he would go outside and do some gardening and say just tell me when its all over,anyway congrats to Nole the guys such a warrior and at his most lethal when hes up against it,as for Andy well it wasnt meant to be so better luck to him next time,it was a fantastic match,and a shame there had to be a looser.


alison Says:

Brando lol sorry not one to gloat but im a Liverpool fan,so i was delighted about that result,but your a Red Devil so i can see why you would feel that way,fantastic night that was for me so na na na na na lol.


Brando Says:

@Alison: LOL- i knew you would sense that I was a United fan without my ever mention it before, lol.

I’ll give credit to your team- quite a comeback led by stevie ‘g- force’ gerrard.

BUT that’s the first and last bit of praise you’ll hear from me regarding LFC. :-)


alison Says:

Thanks Brando lol LFC have great history,and still have their moments every now and then,but its all the bits in between lol,MUFC are without shadow of a doubt the best team in this country except for last season(sorry couldnt resist)lol,Eric the king Cantona was one of my favorite players when he was at Leeds,however when he left for Man Utd i suddenly went right off him grrr,anyway i remember reading some months back you and Dave both saying you were Red Devils.


courbon Says:

@Alison:Ah, yes that famous match with Milan…I kind of always liked Totenham.But I loved watching MU also…what a team, what a manager.With all info you wrote I guess you are Northern girl?I would not get to down about Andy-he is here to stay, thats for sure.Also, Nadal will come back …


alison Says:

Courbon im a Yorkshire Gal,although i havent actually lived there since 1998,i moved as the unemployment was so bad there,and moved to Coventry in the West Midlands where my husband is from originally,however even though the city was thriving then the crime there is so bad,and we moved in 2004,we now live in Norfolk by the sea,THFC have a great FA cup tradition won it 7 times i believe,my brother in law went to wembly to watch CCFC play THFC in the FA cup final in 1987,CCFC WON 3 2,a fantastic final but CCFC have been garbage ever since,anyway thats for those sweet words about Murray and Nadal im feeling positive about Andy however not quite sure what to think about Rafas situation,we will see though i suppose.


alison Says:

^Thanks for those sweet words^ duh.


Wog boy Says:

YOU WILL NEVER WALK ALONE :)))))))))


alison Says:

Wogboy you will never walk alone indeed lol,congrats to you and your favorite,and what a fantastic match,i cant take much more been emotionally invested in two players Andy and Rafa,its bad enough when its one,but two the stress will give me a bloody heart attack if im not carefull.


Dave Says:

Alison, I can identify with your football analogy, sadly. The game’s in the bag until an idiot giveaway by a defender or midfielder, then the deluge starts.

Brando and I may be fans of Man U, but we’re not devils… no, really, not at all :)

Come on, Canton was at Leeds for only half a season or something. Leeds U were a fantastic passing team, particularly during the days of Billy Bremner, Allan Clarke, Peter Lorimer, Johnny Giles, Eddie Gray.

You might like this song…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-NB0GiPvh0


Michael Says:

Wog Boy,
Even Novak had that feeling that Andy was the better player on the Court for almost two sets and he expressed that thought in his after match ceremonial speak. I do not know why you are trying to deny the obvious. I or Brando never deny Novak due credit. He fought as hard as he can and his tenacity is remarkable. But remember with so many Championship points even on his serve, a simple ace or a good first serve would have given Andy the title. But that didn’t happen and that is hard luck to Andy and good luck to Novak. By the way, I cannot explain luck, it is like belief in God. As regards the Australian Open semi, the match was even in my opinion and Novak struggled to win. It was a close match than even the one he had against Nadal in the final whereas in Miami, it was Novak all the way. He was clearly the better player on the court. Therefore, do not try to dismiss the obvious and give credit where it is due. It is not that in Tennis, the better player always wins. It is a game which is decided by just one or two points and even one netcord at a crucial time in a tie break can change the complexion of the match. I am a fan of Novak too, but truth should prevail. Somehow watching Andy play I get a feeling that he is the most versatile player around today next to Roger and he has some weapons that even Roger doesn’t have just like his return of serve. His backhand slice is just a treat to watch.


courbon Says:

@Alison:Ah, that famous accent!I kind of like it.(I had a Yorkshire girl once, nice memories, probably thats why I like it).These days I dont follow much footbal (no sat tv at the moment),I’m trying to get in to rugby (South west France is all about rugby-Toulouse,Biaritz ) cause all my new french friends are in to that (and do not think that all French hate English-Its a friendy rivaly.At least that what they tell me…)


Margot Says:

Michael @ 12.24am
“He (Andy)…is the most versatile player around today next to Roger.”
I totally agree with you there, well I would of course, I hear many say, lol.
The sheer variety of shots, that Andy has in his box of tricks, is mesmerising. Too many as I’ve discussed on here a few times. Andy is not the instinctive player that Fed is, he is a “thinker” on court, and sometimes in the past he has thought too much.
He’s also such a perfectionist that in the past he hasn’t been able to let missed shots/games go and has lost matches he shouldn’t have.
Fortunately Lendl has brought significant changes to Andy’s mind and his game.
I can’t wait for 2013 wherein I hope Andy, with Ivan’s further input, will really make some waves.
You ain’t seen nothing yet……*fingers crossed.*


tennis coach Says:

No disrespect to Andy, he played well, however Novak was a slightly better player today, no doubt. The only thing that saved Andy not losing is straight sets was great amount of luck in the first set which both TV commentators admitted. At the end of match luck left him.


tennis coach Says:

Here is what Tignor from tennis.com said about the first set:

“At the start of this season, it seemed that Murray would also need to be more aggressive to beat Djokovic. That’s what he did in the Australian semis, and while he lost the match 7-5 in the fifth, it felt like a breakthrough. But in the U.S. Open final, and in the first set in Shanghai, Murray had more success drifting back into his customary defensive posture and making Djokovic to do the attacking and creating. Both times Djokovic was forced to raise his game. Both times he did, but only once was it enough. On Sunday, it was Murray’s outstanding defense at the end of the first set that drove Djokovic bananas and finally led to his epic racquet destruction.”


Sienna Says:

I agree luck is part of it but it cannot be called luck of the same player does it more then once or twice. Nadal is also an animal who seems to be relentless at those points. I remember a match where he had 7 MP down and still was able to win.

Besides luck you need to become 1 with your envorinmont body and soul on that field and believe you can do it no maater what happens.

So of course that is a great asset to have buit in the end of the day it surely must be also a lot of luck involved.


Wog boy Says:

Michael,

It wasn’t big deal, I just disagreed with you and Brando and still do.
I was about to take first set as example but tennis coach beat me so my answer to your post would be tennis coach’s post at 1:30am.
That is why we are here, to talk to agree or disagree:)
Cheers

I will give you example of another sport one on one that I loved and watched but not any more, boxing.
I was always fan of late Smoking Joe since he shut the big Ali’s mouth in NY. I watched so many times Manila rematch and I always thought That Smoking Joe should win that one but he didn’t. Ali didn’t know where he was at the end of the match, he was sitting on the flor asking what happend who won not knowing what is going on around him for a few minutes, but he won.
Or another tennis example. USO 2007, Nole had five set points in first set and three in second but yet he lost. Was he better player than Roger that day, well I wish I can say yes but the answer is no because Roger won as more experience, versatile, patient and why not say stronger mind, so he was better. That is case with Nole, he picked up his serve and game as match was going on and played better when it mattered, didn’t you notice that Andy was legless towards the end like Nole in the fifth set in NY. So who was the better player, one that won, Nole:)


alison Says:

Dave thanks for the video what stunning voices,my late father was the Leeds fan,they were a fantastic side in that era,the dirty Leeds era lol,i just thought Eric was an amazing footballer,i liked Leeds but was never a fan,i opted for lower division 3 rubbish York City,much to my fathers disgust,who have a giant killing tradition as you know sorry,but sadly not much else,i have 3 favorite football teams York City,Liverpool,and Coventry City FC as my husband is from there,in that order,and you and Brando are both lovely guys i love your posts.


alison Says:

Wogboy i wouldnt worry about it either way,both played fantastic,the winner wins the looser looses,it doesnt matter,its pointless when people dress things up with ifs and buts.


Wog boy Says:

alison,

Don’t give up on Liverpool, give them two years and they will be back where they belong, on top. I watched last year nice BBC story about Cantona, lot of people and ManU fans are giving credit to Ferguson and keep forgeting that Ferguson was in ManU already four years without title and then Cantona came and became lider and gave confidence to those ManU pups and won four titles in five years with them, I wish we got him:(


Dave Says:

Hi Alison, glad you liked it. You never know, some rich group might buy York City and turn it into a big-time winner!


Wog boy Says:

alison,

That is OK, I do like to exchange opinions with people as long as it stays within civilized conversation and I don’t remember Michael ever using nastiness in his arguments. I said ones I see this blogs as place like when you are sitting in the pub after the game with friends and talking about game over drink and little bit teasing each other, friendly way.
I send another post for you about Cantona but it is “awaiting moderation” I am in the bad books with Sean:-)


alison Says:

Courbon wow South West France sounds lovely,ive never been into Rugby only time was watching the New Zealand all blacks,football and tennis have always been my passion but its like you say it can be tricky getting it sometimes depending on where you live,having sky TV installed certainly helped us,thanks for that nice compliment about the Yorkshire accent,alot of the old dears i look after in the Nursing home i work in still struggle to understand me even though ive been working there almost 5 years.


alison Says:

Dave hi lol yeah right,i dont think i will hold my breath,personally i think theres more chance(i hope)of Rafa winning a WTF before he retires(but wont hold my breath on that one either),anyway they are back in the league now,so ATM my expectations are only about been good enough to stay up,and not go back down again.


alison Says:

Wogboy yeah Michael is a fair poster,as you say we dont always all agree,and what would be the point in that anyway?although im glad things have calmed down from what they were like the other day,talking tennis rather than trading personal insults,i came close to leaving but had a change of heart thanks to yourself and Harry,and i hope Mat4 also has a change of heart and comes back soon,i cant understand why anything you would say would be put in moderation,especially after some of the comments that get through sometimes,the other day was a case in point,sounds like the worlds gone mad,anyway just to say Cantona should have gone to Liverpool rather than the Red Devils when he left Leeds grrr.


Michael Says:

Wog Boy,

You mentioned about that 2007 US Open finals in which Roger won in straight sets. Yeah it was a very close match than the scoreline reveals. As you said, had Novak taken those set points in the first and second sets, it would have been anybody’s match for sure. Now coming to the point who was the better player on that day, I am sorry I could not remember that match. I did see that match live on TV but not able to recollect and hence not in a position to comment as to who was having the upper hand in most of the games. Roger won in the end. But it would be unfair to make a comparison of these matches. Coming to the Novak Vs Murray match, to dissect it it has to be divided into two halves, the first and second sets where Andy was having the upper hand and in the third set where Novak was the better player. I was just impressed with the ease Andy was breaking Novak at will in the first set especially considering that Novak’s serving was much talked about in this Shanghai tournament where he reportedly told the Press that he has put in more sting to his first serve to earn cheap points. But still Novak won only 45% of his first serve points and that will tell you something about the quality of return from Andy. It was a difficult match for Novak considering the way he was outplayed by Andy from the back of the court especially in the first and second sets and that doesn’t happen often. It was a high quality match in which both players gave their best. I am not sure whether Andy will be able to maintain such a high level and if he does that then he surely is going to scale great heights. Yeah, as you said in the end, the tenacity of Novak won him the match. But even for such tenacity to triumph you need some help from opponent and Novak was helped by the fact that Andy couldn’t serve out for the match in the second set where he was up 30-0 and an extraordinary shot from Novak from between the legs turned the point in his favour. Andy had opportunities in the tie break too to serve out but he didn’t take it when his first serve deserted him. The bottomline is I am not denying Novak any credit. He deserves the win for the number of finals he has lost this year. And finally, the fading away of Roger Vs Nadal rivalry is being compensated by the Novak Vs Andy rivalry and that is surely a blessing for Tennis.


Michael Says:

Margot,

I agree with most of what you said. It is nice to see that Andy is living up to his potential. It is not that he was not a great player before he won the US Open. He surely was. But somehow his nerves deserted him in the most important matches where he tried too much. Fittingly he won the US Open and now we see a new Andy who has taken the monkey off his back and is blossoming with confidence. I am extremely impressed with his style of play and the way he hits those backhand cross court and sliced shots. Right now the new weapon in his arsenal is the return of serve where he blows over the opponent and Roger and Novak had that experience in this tournament where Andy made some blind ferocious returns. I think 2013 might be a turning point for Andy with the sunset of Roger due to his age and Nadal coming back after a long lay off. His only obstacle could be Novak, but he always plays against him very well. So I expect a minimum of two Slams for Andy next year.


Michael Says:

Alison,

Thanks, I share your thought !!


Margot Says:

Michael. Agree with you completely. Bring on 2013.
Can’t wait :)
One of Andy’s ROS clocked 104 mph. Insane!


Wog boy Says:

Michael,

Thanks for your reply, Andy surprise me with his game in SF and F. Against Federer I thought he just had good night in ROS, but against Nole I realize that is actualy part of his game, very early (rocket) return. I think that he surprise Nole too. He was hiting hard with deep balls (like Nole) and it was joy to rewatch the match next day….. but it wasn’t joy to watch it on sunday, at the and I was nervous wreck. I said in one of my posts that I expect them to play more finals in a future and I think it be most likely like this year, one for you .. one for me…..than again….one for you….They respect each other, they know each other inside out since juniors days and I loved when Andy said after match about Nole’s team that they are very good people, that was nice.I know Federer is still here and he not going anywhere, yet but I don’t think he is going to play as many tournaments as he use to. Big question mark is Nadal, I would like to see him back 100%, I share opinion that he is missed on tour, at least I do miss him.


Michael Says:

Wog Boy, Yeah Andy lifted his level in the finals. Against Roger, he wasn’t compelled to do much because Roger was gifting him easy points with his shanking of shots all over the court and those double faults on his serve which was unlike the Roger we know. Even the first serves of Roger were easy meal for Andy who hit fantastic returns from theback of the court which put Roger in piquant defence right away. I have never seen Roger serve three double faults consecutively and that happened which must be a horror of sorts. In short, that was a lifeless match and not the kind everybody anticipated. However in the finals, Andy faced Novak who was in the best of form and yet he lifted his level and more than sufficiently matched Novak on court. True, Novak and Andy are good friends from their young days and they respect and care for each other. Their rivalry is here to stay and it compensates the absence of Roger Vs Nadal rivalry. About Roger, let us be realistic. He is 31 and age is counting. He doesn’t have many years left and his game is nowhere near the level that was when he was reigning in supreme and yet he is still No.1. Ofcourse he may not finish the year as No.1 considering that Novak doesn’t have many points to defend during the rest of the year whereas Roger has a mountain to defend. As regards Nadal, I hope 2009 repeats itself when he came back strong after a break although there was initial sluggishness. The absence of Nadal certainly takes away some charm from the competition and he is needed in the interest of the sport. I too miss him and is eagerly waiting for his return as well as Soderling from whose end nothing seems clear.

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