Djokovic Edges Murray In Thriller At ATP Finals; Federer Meets Ferrer Thursday
by Staff | November 7th, 2012, 11:52 pm
  • 130 Comments

In the rivalry of 2012, Novak Djokovic outlasted home favorite Andy Murray 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 in the round robin stage at London’s ATP Finals. It was the duo’s seventh meeting of the year, and now the Serb leads 4-3 after another hard fought win.

“Another great match,” Djokovic said. “Another great performance from both of us. I hope that people who watched it agree with my opinion. I didn’t expect anything less, you know, other than a tough match that went down the wire and was decided in the last point. It was important for me after dropping a first set to stay mentally tough and believe that I can get my opportunities, and when they’re presented to try to step in and use them.

“That’s what I’ve done. I don’t think I’ve played bad in the first set. It was him playing really well, serving extremely well. He lost only couple of points on his first serve throughout the whole set. So that says enough about his quality.”

In a topsy-turvy final set, Djokovic was up a break, then lost it, then regained it before closing it out. Murray, who had won his first match in three sets over Tomas Berdych, came up just short against his longtime rival.

“In about the last two minutes of the match probably is what decided it,” Murray said. “He broke from 15‑40, and then I had 15‑40 next game and didn’t break. So that was the moment that decided the match.”

It was the third straight time these two played right down to the wire after Shanghai and the US Open final.

“The intensity of my matches with him have been extremely high this year,” Murray said. “I’d say with Rafa, you know, on these surfaces in the past I’ve had a lot of very intense, close matches with him, as well. But the one thing I would say is, this year I think both of us probably have seen things in each other’s games probably improve, and that’s why there’s a lot of long rallies, and the matches are incredibly tight.”

Djokovic improves to 2-0 in Group A play and on the brink of a semifinal berth while Murray falls to 1-1. Murray will clinch a spot in the last four by beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets. Any other result will leave the Scot at the mercy of other factors.

The only way Djokovic does not qualify is if he loses to Berdych in straight sets and Murray beats Tsonga in straight sets.

In the late match, Tomas Berdych remained a big factor in Group A defeating Tsonga 7-5, 3-6, 6-1. The Czech who is also 1-1 like Murray must at least win one set Friday against Djokovic to have a chance to get out of the round robin.

“I don’t like mathematics at all. I will try to play tennis, and that’s it. I will try my best,” Berdych admitted. “But Novak just shown how great he’s playing right now and that he deserve to be No. 1 player in the world. It’s a huge challenge for me. But the other hand, he already has two wins, so let’s see what’s going to be in that last match.”

Meanwhile, at 0-2 Tsonga is still alive but barely. The only way the Frenchman reaches the semifinals is if he beats Murray in straight sets and Djokovic does the same to Berdych.

On Thursday Group B play resumes with Roger Federer taking on the streaking David Ferrer following by Juan Martin Del Potro against Janko Tipsarevic. Federer has won 11 straight matches at the event and has dominated Ferrer winning all 13 of their career meetings. But the Spaniard comes in fresh off a Paris title and a winner of his last 11 matches including a three set win Tuesday over Del Potro.

If Federer beats Ferrer in straight sets the six-time tournament champion will again qualify for the semis. If Ferrer beats Federer and Del Potro wins David earns a spot.


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130 Comments for Djokovic Edges Murray In Thriller At ATP Finals; Federer Meets Ferrer Thursday

Michael Says:

Andy always reserves his best against Novak. And yet again these two gave an enthralling match ofcourse not to the high level that was witnessed in the Shanghai finals, but still a match to be remembered. Andy was yet again near the finishing line and was away just two points to win the match, but Novak proved a difficult customer as he is always known to be. His motto is “never give up”. Not all players can have such a temperament except Champions. But in this match, Novak had the upper hand against Andy in the second and third sets where he outlasted him in rallies and he appeared to be the better player overall. I think a lot of unforced errors undid Andy but he did produce some excellent shots particularly that sliced back hand and forehand cross court shots which were revelation. This rivalry is acquiring a modicum of attraction and it can be equated with the Roger Vs Nadal rivalry and in a way it is compensating its absence today.


Margot Says:

On our screen in UK, came interesting stat that Nole has covered twice as much ground playing Andy, than against any one else on tour.


Wog boy Says:

Margot,

I have seen that one too. No wonder he ran out of legs at USO. I think it is two way street, Andy is covering lot of ground too. In Shanghai it was his turn to be legless at the end of the match.


marko Says:

I saw that stat as well, however it seems unimportant. The vast majority of matches that the “big four” play are actually against run of the mill journeymen so you’d expect them to run less than when playing against another top player. What I would’ve loved to see is average distance run vs. Murray, vs. Federer, and vs. Nadal independently for each. I think they would’ve been fairly close.


jamie Says:

What a let down, Andy. He’s lost his mojo after winning the USO. Hope he gets it back in time for the AO!


jamie Says:

ATP 2013: 3 Bold Predictions for Andy Murray to Follow Up a Great 2012

2012 in men’s tennis really has been the year of Andy Murray.

His place at the top table of the game alongside the likes of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal was confirmed by his winning an Olympic Gold and finally securing his first Grand Slam title.

Despite stating that he would now be content with his career if he retired without winning any more big titles, there is still much, much more that he is capable of achieving—and his continued success in the major tournaments is still a huge possibility.

Gazing at the crystal ball for 2013, there are three main targets that should be well within his reach if he continues the remarkable progress he has made in the second half of 2012.

1. Win the Australian Open

The first target has to be securing his first Australian Open title.

He has come agonisingly close over the previous three years, losing in two finals and one semifinal. The Australian Open has consistently been his best Grand Slam during his career so far, and this owes much to the hard work he puts in in the Miami heat throughout the Christmas and New Year period.

With his newfound confidence and better attacking game thanks to the stewardship of Ivan Lendl—as well as playing on his favourite hard court surface—he should be feeling confident that he can reach another final and can add to his Grand Slam collection.

2. Prove his Ability to Win on Other Courts

Murray generally struggles throughout the clay-court period of the season, and though I can see him improving on this next year, his sights will firmly be set on ending the long wait for a Wimbledon champion.

He came close last year—eventually succumbing in four sets to the brilliance of Roger Federer—but the way he came back to thrash the same opponent on the same court four weeks later showed to everybody that he has the ability to win the biggest grass court tournament in the world.

3. Secure a Top Ranking

The final target—and it is one that Murray has touched on in recent weeks—is to finally secure his place at the top of the rankings.

He reached a high of No. 2 in August of 2009, but has bobbed around in third or fourth place ever since. The one thing that Murray has lacked throughout his career is the consistency that the other top players around him show.

He is capable of beating the best, but he has also lost to players far below him in the rankings, and we have seen some early exits from tournaments where he was expected to collect big ranking points.

Murray knows that to get the top spot, you have to play well all year round and not just at the big tournaments. Now that he has lifted the Grand Slam monkey from his back, this should allow him to focus on other tournaments as well, which I think will see him claim the top spot in late August next year.

If 2012 was his breakthrough year, 2013 should be the year when he becomes the dominant force in the sport.


jamie Says:

Boris Becker believes Andy Murray could be world No. 1 by 2013!

London, Nov. 4 (ANI)
Tennis legend Boris Becker believes Andy Murray can be world No. 1 by the next Wimbledon.

Murray, the US Open champion and Olympic gold medallist, would play in the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, marking his first appearance in UK since the New York win over Novak Djokovic in September that brought him his first Grand Slam.

“By next June he could be there. He has a very realistic chance of taking top spot. The reasons for Andy being where he is now has been in his self-belief,” the Daily Express quoted Becker, as saying.

“As long as Andy stays fit, he can do it. I can see a great rivalry developing between him and Djokovic that could equal the one between Borg and McEnroe, and Nadal and Federer. He knows he is good enough to win at the highest level. Winning the Olympics changed it all, and a lot of that was down to Ivan Lendl,” he added.

Becker belives Murray is the only emerging star as of now in the tennis circuit.

“don’t see any emerging stars and that’s why Andy can be dominant. He and Novak will be fighting it out over the next four years,” he said.


jamie Says:

Nolandy is the next big rivalry. Watch them win at least 3 of the 4 slams in 2013.


jamie Says:

2013

AO Nolandy
FO Fedal? if not Nolandy!
Wimbledon Nolandy
USO Nolandy


alison Says:

Although i can see Novak/Andy winning more slams,and been the next rivalry in mens tennis for a while yet granted,i dont see them been so dominant in 4 years the way Roger did at the age of 29,both seem quite seceptible to injuries.


Polo Says:

Andy’s first agenda should be to beat Federer and Nadal consistently in 2013 to show that he is worthy to fight for the top spot. Federer is getting older, Nadal has health issues. If he cannot run well ahead of them, he should not even think of Djokovic who I feel will be able to do better against Federer and maybe Nadal. I sill think Murray’s attitude needs a lot of fixing.


the DA Says:

Fed’s 1st serve is off, only 37% today. Despite being a good returner, Ferrer can’t take advantage. Oh, and Mohamed screwed Daveed over on that overrule on BP. tsk tsk


the DA Says:

Roger is all out of sorts today. Missing serves and lots of UFEs. I guess even the best can have an off day. The thing is: can Ferrer capitalise? I’m not sure he has the belief against Fed.


racquet Says:

Yes, Roger definitely isn’t himself…yet. I like the way Ferrer has evolved. He not only has a better serve but much more variety – slices, dropshots, netplay, etc. I too wonder whether he has the belief to beat Roger. He has the same look as when he plays Rafa.


the DA Says:

Fed suddenly strings together 4 good points and sneaks the 1st set. Fortunately he’s not playing in the other group today.


Tz Says:

@The DA,

just praying that fed wins in straights. Then u will see him playing one of the other groups player


the DA Says:

The schedule is out for tomorrow: Nole/Berdy in the afternoon and Andy/Jo in the evening. Excellent. That means that Nole will try extra hard to beat Berdy.


racquet Says:

@ the DA

Excellent news. Much better for Nole to go first, it helps with the permutations for Andy ;)

The tennis in this 2nd set has been scintillating, definitely up a gear from the 1st set.


the DA Says:

A lot better from Fed in this set. Now, will he repeat and break Daveed to take the match?


racquet Says:

Ferrer is really playing out of his comfort zone. It’s the only way if he wants a chance to win. Great stuff.


the DA Says:

I bet Federer is relieved to come through that. Ferrer really blew a great opportunity, he had 10 BPs. If I was a Fed fan, I’d hope today was a blip.


volley Says:

never in doubt.


jamie Says:

Ferrer will never beat Federer anywhere. Not even on clay. Not even on PEDs. LOL.


Sienna Says:

Best to think is that David Ferrer is in the best shape of his life.

probably the final will be between Federer – Ferrer.


Sienna Says:

Best to think is that David Ferrer is in the best shape of his life.

probably the final will be between Federer – Ferrer.

Iam not impressed with all the other players. They look tired and out of sorts.


steve-o Says:

Glad he’s through, gets the job done in straights. He played solid, not a masterclass, but against Ferrer it’s enough. He’ll have to save himself for Del Potro.

As for the new rivalry, they are both 25, which is middle-aged in tennis years. It won’t last but a couple more years.

If Murray wants to be the next #1, he’s sure going about it in a strange way. Three straight tournaments losing from match point up, failing to defend two titles on his best surface. He lost quite a few points which he needs if he wants to be at the top next year.

If he really wants to be #1 he needs to make hay during the hard-court run and dominate that surface.

The only other way he could be #1 is to have a miracle year where he wins Wimbledon and a hard-court major, but otherwise it will be very difficult for him to be at the top. He may manage it once in his career, but more than once would be very difficult.


rogerafa Says:

Never say never. Davydenko won his first match against Roger after twelve losses at this very venue in 2009. David did miss a good opportunity today. Roger was ripe for the picking but David was a bit too tightly-strung himself. Tried just a bit too hard. Roger will be humiliated in the semi final if he keeps playing like this.


Giles Says:

Hey Jamie. You keep mentioning PEDs. Are you addicted? It sure sounds like it!! #getalife


jamie Says:

Giles is a sore nadulltard.

When will Nadull come back? Acapulco?

He can only win tournaments on clay for years now anyway. LOL.


El Flaco Says:

Ferrer used to hit 99% of his backhands cross court, but it seems he is hitting it up the line more often now.


jamie Says:

steve-o Says:

“The only other way he could be #1 is to have a miracle year where he wins Wimbledon and a hard-court major, but otherwise it will be very difficult for him to be at the top. He may manage it once in his career, but more than once would be very difficult.”

_________________________

That can happen next year. Murray winning a HC slam and Wimbledon in 2013 is very possible.


Giles Says:

Jamie imagines he is an astrologer/psychic. Please leave that to the experts and don’t give up your day job. #hairdresser


alison Says:

I think its quite possible for Murray to win a couple of GS next year,and claim the no 1 ranking,although im with Steve O in the sense that i dont think the rivalry will go on for years to come,the rivalrys great dont get me wrong,but they play alot of long brutal rallies which are punishing on the body,Rogers style is so effortless,and thats the reason he was still at the summit of mens tennis at the age of 29 and beyond,its possible i suppose im just wondering how realistic though,however we will see.


grendel Says:

“He may manage it once in his career, but more than once would be very difficult.”

But that’s ok. How long was Moya #1 for? But he made it, however briefly, and that’s a nice thing for the memory banks.


TJ Says:

Jamie dont bother with the nadal fans. everyone who has watched nadal play will tell you he is a prime candidate for PEDs. Even the nadal fans know it.

You say drugs and these people will immediately get defensive. It is just a question of when they are going to catch rafa and not if.


Giles Says:

TJ. Keep barking! It suits you!! #BarkingDogs


Dave Says:

This is Federer’s 10th semifinal in 11 consecutive appearances in the year-end world championship since 2002. His 41-7 win-loss is both most wins (over Lendl’s 39-10) and best winning percentage (over Nastase’s 17–3).

Federer’s 70-10 win-loss record for the season ties him with Nadal’s 42-6 in terms of best winning percentage (87.5%). Next: Djokovic’s 72-12 (85.7%), Ferrer 73-88 (83%), Delpo 63-16 (79.7%), Murray 55-15 (78.6%).

Umpire Mohammad Lahyani needs to stop overruling calls he is not sure about — he’s been making too many mistakes. In this case on a critical point against Ferrer.


Giles Says:

Just read a very funny tweet from Roger Rasheed. “Cutest thing. Roger’s girls walking down corridor of O2 pointing at every picture on the wall saying “RAFA”. Mmmm they know the rival. lol”


alison Says:

Hi Dave Ferrer had quite a few BP oppotunities,no offence but do you think Roger today might have been there for the taking had he took his chances,just wondering,about your take on things?


alison Says:

Giles Rogers kids are so cute,sounds like the kids respect dads rival,as much as dad does lol.


mat4 Says:

@alison:

I watched the first set between Roger and David today. The surface seemed so slow, slow, and Roger almost couldn’t hit a forehand through Ferrer. Then, there is that stat: Djokovic running twice the distance when he plays against Murray.

It seems that they all play punishing duels one against the other: Roger against Rafa, Rafa agaist Novak, Novak against Andy… Perhaps the only one that is not that gruelling is the Roger-Novak rivalry.

And the toll on the body indeed seems severe. Last year, Rafa and Novak were finished after the USO. A similar match up could be between Novak and Andy.

But I don’t think that Novak’s or Andy’s style of play is that much demanding: we should analyze the length of their matches, the number of points or rallies to get a reliable opinion on the matter.


alison Says:

Mat4 yeah true,i think i was guilty of comparing Roger and the way he plays to everyone else,Roger and Novak seem to go for it more against each other,where as the other two get more tentative against Novak,and get involved in long rallies as they dont seem sure of themselves,or how to end a point.


alison Says:

Mat4 also i enjoyed the style that won Rafa the USO in 2010,a raquet with more on the serve,flattening out the groundstrokes,also i liked the way he played against Berdych in the Wimby final that same year not so many long rallies,and ending the points quicker,i really miss that style(sigh),im hoping its all something his team are now working on in the off season,just wondering if its all too late now though.


mat4 Says:

alison:

Yes, there is more than one problem: they all play great defence, the surfaces are slowed down, they all return quite well. Roger tends to take more risks and try to finish points quicker, but is more conservative on the return. Djokovic lacks power, Murray tends to play defensively when he is a bit off, Rafa is very conservative in rallies.


wilfried Says:

@Jamie
Why would Murray suddenly be number 1 in 2013 with all the other topplayers still around? Is he going to sweep them all and make a landslide happen in tennisland? Well honestly, I don’t see this happen yet in 2012. He still ‘s got to be more solid in adversity and not let his state of mind start swinging instead of his game, and should more come forward to finish points at the net. I’ll believe in him if I see him doing this a bit more.


courtside Says:

wilfried,
Let Jamie and others have their fantasies.


volley Says:

yes, Andy’s fans had fantasies about him winning an Olympic gold and a slam. nole’s fans had fantasies about him winning Wimbeldon and beating Nadal on clay. let all fans continue to have their fantasies.


the DA Says:

There’s a slaughter going on at the WTF tonight. It makes a mockery of the rankings, as in is this a match between the 7th and 9th ranked players. Granted Tipsy looks all at sea but still.


Sienna Says:

Dave Says:
Federer’s 70-10 win-loss record for the season ties him with Nadal’s 42-6 in terms of best winning percentage (87.5%).

But the somparisson ends with the % because Fed played out the year and took it on the chin like man when it was needed. He never backs down the way Nadal did after the Rosol root.

How do you rate the post Olympic Roger?
I feel he let it go a little after the Murray loss. He is still a step off wih regards to the preolympic level. He wasnot truly focussed or fit(?) at US Open. He needs to step up to stay competative at the buss end of slams nd indeed against the top and sub topplayers like Murray, Djoker, Delpotro and to some degree Berdych.

The way Delpo is kicking ass against Tipsarevic means that we need to put Rogers first match in perpective.


steve-o Says:

I never said it was impossible for Murray to be #1 next year.

But as I said, if that’s his plan he needs to be cleaning up right now during the fall hard-court season. If he can’t garner a lot of points on his best surface, where is he going to get the points he needs to be #1?


Giles Says:

If Tipsy is feeling under the weather he should withdraw and let Gasquet have a go. He is taking a thrashing from Delpo.


Wog boy Says:

It wouldn’t be fair to Ferrer if Tipsy pulls out. That is giving unfair advantage to Federer and Delpo if you know what I mean. That is one thing I don’t like with this rule.


alison Says:

Wogboy i think the sensible thing would have been not to play in the 1st place,he was under the weather last week and still is,however as you cant turn back the clock,maybe he should just carry on playing,to try to salvage some pride,Delpo has to beat Roger now hmm,JMO but i think Ferrer has to be the favorite to join Roger in the semis,if Delpo beats Roger,and Ferrer beats Tipsy,then it starts to get complicated.


trufan Says:

Ferrer will probably beat tipsy in straight. That makes it 4-3 for him in sets, and 2-1 in matches.

Delpo is right now 1-1 in matches and 3-2 in sets. He HAS to beat Federer in straight sets, and then Ferrer has to lose a set to Tipsy, for Delpo to qualify.

Both unlikely.

So most likely, Federer will be on top of the group, with Ferrer second.

Federer should just play lights out to get one set, then just shorten everything and keep it short, even if he loses – he is at a disadvantage since he has to play saturday, sunday, monday, while the person he faces from the second group will have saturday off. So he can’t afford to have a 3 hour match with Delpo on Saturday.

Federer got a GREAT draw, but got unlucky with scheduling – not only is he playing second, he also played Tipsy in his opening match (rather than Tipsy in his last match on saturday). He gets to play the toughest match on saturday (Delpo), then needs to play a rested player from the other group on sunday, and then again monday, to win it.

SO for ALL YOU GUYS who were cribbing that Federer got a soft draw – he DID, but that just made it easier for him to get the semis. The fact that he is playing second, puts him at DISADVANTAGE in the latter stages of the tournaments.

So it sort of evens out, right????????????


volley Says:

@ trufan – correct.


trufan Says:

If Delpo beats Federer in 3, he will be 5-3 in sets, which is inferior to 4-2 (since both would be 2-1 in matches).

H2H, Ferrer qualifies since he beat Delpo (if both have same matches won and same sets % won).

So Delpo needs a BETTER sets won % than Ferrer. For that to happen, either Delpo needs to beat Federer in straight (so 5-2 in sets), or Ferrer needs to drop another set to become 5-4 in sets). If they both end up 5-3 in sets, Ferrer qualifies since he beat Delpo.

So two things have to happen for DelPo to make it – he must beat Federer in straight, and Ferrer must lose a set to Tipsy.

Not likely.


steve-o Says:

Del Potro played well, even though Tipsarevic was under the weather, he wasn’t easy to beat in that second set. He’s got confidence from the win and didn’t have to spend a lot of time on the court.

Next he meets up with Federer, which should be another great match.


alison Says:

Theres no such thing as an easy draw at the WTF,its the top 8 players of the year,any of the players can beat any of the other players on any given day,who would have thought that Daveydenko would win the title in 2009?


mat4 Says:

It seems to me that if DelPo wins 2-0, which is unlikely, he would be 5-2 in sets, Ferrer 6-3, and Fed 4-2. So DelPo would be first.


mat4 Says:

Sorry, Delpo would be at 5-2, Fed at 4-2 and David at 4-3.

If Delpo wins 2-1, he would be at 5-3, Fed at 5-2, and David 4-3. This rule applies:

“Comment 3: 3 players have 2 wins and the other player has 0 wins. The player with 0 wins is eliminated. Of the 3 players with 2 wins, they are ordered by their % of sets won. This produces a 1, 2 & 3 order and the players finishing 1 and 2 move to the semi-final round and the player finishing 3 in % of sets won is eliminated. The player with the best % of sets won is the winner of the group.”


mat4 Says:

So, DelPo just have to win this match. I am very tired, so I could be wrong. I hope I didn’t misread something.


skeezer Says:

“Theres no such thing as an easy draw at the WTF, its the top 8 players of the year”

Yep, well said alison. Waaaayyy different. No playing #100 in the world here.

Fed is now 14-0 against Ferrer, but Ferrer is #4 in the world. Wow.

And all the time Fed is dealing with this;

http://msn.foxsports.com/tennis/story/Roger-Federer-handles-David-Ferrer-discusses-prize-money-issue-110812


racquet Says:

Jane (if you’re around), I found a blog that worked out the permutations for tomorrow’s matches – and they have an easy-to-read graph!!

http://letsecondserve.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/world-tour-finals-group-qualification.html

It’s fascinating how Tsonga can win in 3 and, as long as Nole wins, Andy can still go through. But if Andy and Berdy win in 2 sets, Nole doesn’t qualify.


jane Says:

I guess Delpo’s form may mean his match with Fed could be an exciting one.


jane Says:

Thanks racquet! Well, that’s very clear: the only way Nole doesn’t qualify then is if Murray wins in 2 sets AND Berdych beats Nole in straight sets. So it’s not impossible. But it would be disappointing given his performance thus far. :/ Hope Andnole qualify!


Wog boy Says:

Actually I can see Delpo going through, even beating Federer in two, if Federer turns up like he did in first set with Ferrer.


racquet Says:

@ jane “Hope Andnole qualify”

So do I!! Fortunately Andy has 9 scenarios where he can qualify. Tsonga only has one, so if he sees Nole win in 2 he’ll do everything in his power to win in 2. It adds a little spice to the proceedings.


mat4 Says:

It seems I was right: DelPo would qualify for the semi if he wins.

On this surface, I think that both DelPo and Berdych have better chances than usually.

Hope that Nole will win the set he needs to qualify.

BTW, who plays first, tomorrow?


the DA Says:

@racquet – thanks for those links. fascinating stuff.


the DA Says:

Nole/Berdy in the afternoon; Andy/Tsonga in the evening.


Alok Says:

Fed was shown on the TC being interviewed. He talked about his draw, and his upcoming match with Delpo, which he envisions to be a tough one. However, he stated going by his H2H over all of the players in his group it has given him confidence to get to the SFs.

Some of you will get a kick out of the following, from Skeezer’s favorite blogsite, NOT, which some of us know is very fan-lopsided, and is extremely anti-Fed from the three groups of fans on there.

The pseudo-pundits on that site has deemed the WTF to be nothing more than an *exhibition* featuring the top 8 players. LOL. I suppose it’s a natural response considering their main faves have never won the title. The new Spanish hope is Ferrer. My stomach churns when I read all the Fed put-downs.

I go there to read the articles which are terrific and to get some news updates, but for some laughs. However, it’s difficult to read some comments, especially those which de-mean Fed’s accomplishments. One poster called Fed a two-headed snake which bites from both sides. It’s hilarious, and the laughs are priceless, except for the stomach churning digs.


mat4 Says:

@Alok:

A link for that blog?

“Skeezer’s favorite blogsite, NOT”


Alok Says:

@WogBoy, 5:23pm, would it make you very happy, because it will mean your guy will definitely win the title. He’s No.1 for good reason, but every little ounce of luck helps. yes?

I suppose many are hoping thatDelPo gives Fed a tough match, which will ensure that Fed won’t get to the finals from exhaustion.

Trufan gave a very good example of what Fed is being faced with going forward. Raching the SFs will mean he has to beat Nos.1 or 3 to get to the final and then one of those again at the final. On the other side of the coin Nos.1 and 3 will have it a lot easier.


Alok Says:

@mat4, on second thoughst, maybe I shouldn’t have said anything because I don’t want to open a can of worms due to a very nasty experience i had when I initially began posting here. Anyway, here it is, Tennistalk.com. You will have to go through all the topics. The one with the mention of Fed being a two headed snake is:Jerzy-boy shocked, and the other one bashing Fed: There’s somthing about Federer. one poster said Fed should cut his hair and sell it for pashminas. That was so very funny and sick also.


mat4 Says:

@Alok:

Thanks. I know that site, although I don’t read the comments there. Cheryl Murray writes good articles every now and then.


the DA Says:

Steve Tignor also questions the importance of the WTF :-

http://www.tennis.com/news/2012/11/fifth-wheel/40063/#.UJw6Wo6rF-Y


Alok Says:

@mat4, yes, sometimes she writes some good articles. However, she’s very biased in dealing with the anti-Fed posters. They can do no wrong.


Alok Says:

I didn’t read the article, but Tignor is anti-Fed, so it doesn’t surprise me he would question the WTF’s importance, especially since Fed’s won it 6 times. That must grate on Tignor a lot.


mat4 Says:

@Alok:

The article seemed OK to me. I never felt Tignor is against Fed.


mat4 Says:

Anyway, I think one should sometimes see/read things from another angle.

I still like to read “Ruan’s Fed blog”. “Tennis brain”, mainly about Murray, was an excellent read too. Chris Odo writes well too, Hannah Wilks had a good blog, and Dan Markowitz and Scoop have an interesting blogsite too.


The Great Davy Says:

Wow, I always liking Ferrer but, come on. I mean, even I, THE Great Davy, needed only 13 try to beat Federer. He has is playing really bad! Even Australian Hewitt can do better than this!


volley Says:

to think Tignor is anti-Federer is ludicrous .


Alok Says:

@mat4, I’ll try to read it later. Maybe Tignor is not so much against Fed as he is for another player.

Hewitt in his day was very good especially ROS.


andrea Says:

sorry to see ferrer lost again….i figured this year he might have a chance of getting at least one win in. must be frustrating for him!


skeezer Says:

Tignor is not so much “anti- Fed” as he has his bias’s imo when he writes. So do other journalists if you read close enough. Rafa is for sure a fav of his, and his fans know it. They all things Tignor, he is the Man.

The great writer list is;

Jon Wertheim, Matt Cronin, Bodo, Skeezer(totally unbiased), Sean Randall, grendel, and the new hot star writer Matt McGladrigan


Wog boy Says:

Alok,
To answer your first question, I love tennis but I am also Nole’s fan, yes I do want Federer to lose because he still have a chance to get back to #1 after AO if he does weel in London. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, I don’t want him injured, sick or to have privet problem but I want him to lose, at the end he is main oponent of my man for #1 and you don’t cheer for your main oponent, do you?

Secondly, what do you mean by “definitely win the title” did you forget there is other players in London who beat Federer not long ago twice and once, Federer is not playing or wasn’t allowed to play his best since Wimbledon so I don’t consider him most dangerous for Nole ATM, Andy and Delpo are the one to beat even indoor HC and then Roger ATM.


Sean Randall Says:

Thanks Skeezer, what do I owe you again? Haha.


the DA Says:

Interesting piece on who should win the Player of the Year award :-

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/tennis/news/20121106/atp-world-tour-finals/index.html

I agree with Bruce Jenkins and Jon Wertheim ;)


mat4 Says:

@Skeez:

I have no doubts that grendel is the best on your list, IMHO. I am quite serious about that.

The best tennis writer I have read is a certain Yoda, or Karim, but he writes only in French. BTW, he is, unfortunately, a Fed fan, but he wrote some great articles about Nole last year.

Just like Skeezer, he is totally unbiased.


mat4 Says:

Sorry, Sean. If I knew you were reading…


Wog boy Says:

One more thing, don’t tell me that Fedfans were cheering for Nole against Tsonga, Murray and will cheer for him against Berdych:)


the DA Says:

Matt Cronin and Bodo?? Surely you jest?


Wog boy Says:

….. but I know Fedfans were cheering Nole in 2011/12 in every GS final he played Rafa, we all know why, don’t we;)


Sean Randall Says:

DA, the PoY award should go to the guy who finishes No. 1 and in this case that’s Djokovic.

The Olympics in name is a big event, but by Tour measures remember it’s not even as big as Ferrer’s win in Paris (point allocation). Maybe in four years it will be deservedly elevated above Masters Series events, who knows.

Murray also played so-so the first half of the year while Djokovic has been consistent throughout.

I think Federer, who’s also been steady all season, has a stronger case than Murray.

Even if Murray wins the Finals, it’s hard to make a case for the No. 3 player to be crowned the best (assuming he finishes No. 3). This isn’t women’s tennis.


the DA Says:

@ sean – we’ll see. But I think both Bruce and Jon make strong cases, especially about the player having the most impact. There’s already an ATP No. 1 player award.


The Great Davy Says:

All tennis journalist sucks. No one ever named me ‘play of the yearer’ No bodies ever consider me a contention for the grand slam title!


Alok Says:

IMO, I’d also include MMT among the good writers, because he knows tennis, and he sticks to only tennis.

Dave’s got to have a vote also for his superb stats and everything there is to know about Fed. He’s a Fed wiki.

I don’t fully understand the criteria that’s used for the Humanitarian award.


Alok Says:

@wogBoy, “at the end he is main oponent of my man for #1 and you don’t cheer for your main oponent, do you?”

I prefer not to answer that question for the sake of peace. But yes, generally, fans do not cheer for the main opponent of their fave players.

How do you feel about some wanting an AndOle final when one of them is a fave?


Wog boy Says:

AndOle or NolAndy proved to be worthy continuation of FedAl, RafOle finals and rivalry and I think it is more than good for tennis and tennis lovers and I can see everybody or almost everybody enjoys them. I din”t see a problem with people who have second or third favorites, I have them myself in ever sport I am or I have been following and if they are to meet I go for my first favorite and still feel bad if he loses but not as bad as when he loses against Federer, that one is hard to digest without two Pariets and bottle of good Plum brandy. So if Nole loses agains Andy or Delpo I can manage that with one Pariet and half a bottle of plum brandy….. that is roughly scale of my suffering after Nole’s defeats.
As for the others, you have to ask them, we are not all the same.
This was an honest answer, to the best of my knowledge.


TJ Says:

Murray, player of the year? really? As Shaun said, he can try for that on the WTA. on the ATP tour, there are 3 better players than him. The reason he got to no.3 is because Rafa was injured. So, please!

Looks like the murray fans have realised there is no realistic way this guy is going to get to no.1, hence the player with impact and what not theories. Ofcourse there will be some m0r0n journalist out there who will try to get a few hits by stirring controversy. If you have a brain and you have followed tennis this year, you know Murray is at best the 3rd player of the year this year. Even that is questionable.

Olympics mean zilch in tennis. That’s why the ATP gives it a pitiable and pathetic 750 points. They would never do that to a really important tournament like say Wimbledon or USopen, year end masters or even miami/rome!

Let’s face it, the olympics gets a boost because of the stars who do it a favor by turning up. Not the other way round. Most of GOAT candidates – Sampras, borg, laver dont even have a olympic medal. Olympics was so important that Sampras asked them to go fcuk themselves!


TJ Says:

Andole/rafole in the same league as Fedal? That’s like saying lendl-wilander or lendl-becker rivalry is in the same league as borg-mcenroe or sampras-agassi.

Fedal is cult sports rivalry. Andole is the worst of the lot. Absolutely, 0 creativity or aggressiveness from both ends. Djokovic who plays so positively against fedal, kind of plays like a deer stuck in the headlights with murray. I guess that is because he feels he is a much superior player than murray and he shouldn’t be losing to that clown! much like mcenroe against gilbert.

Djokovic has played some of his worst tennis against murray. Another factor is the slow courts which means these guys have no chance to finish points without mindless ball bashing! They have to tire each other out before they have some opening to finish the point.

The ATP needs to make the balls lighter, use the ones the WTA uses. [serena kicking these defensive player’s behind is just a joy to behold. That is how the sport should be. The aggressive player should always be rewarded. Like how grass court tennis/USopen tennis is as compared to the moon-balling that goes on in clay courts!


Wog boy Says:

Different strokes for different folks.


skeezer Says:

Waaaayyy to early to compare Andole to Fedal. It may very well rival Fedal, but so far ,no way. There games are mostly more so alike than not. What makes a great rivalry?

Historically, contrast.


The Great Davy Says:

And noooo journalist ever talk about the greatest rivalry of our times, FeDavy! Fedal, more like Fedull! heh, heh.

Nolandy. More like Noentertaining. Heh!


The Great Davy Says:

And buys the way, Rafole sound like the pasta I ate last week.


skeezer Says:

FeDavy!
…..lol


Wog boy Says:

I said it is “worthy continuation” I didn’s say it “a better” I didn’t compare i just said “worthy continuation”, I know my English is not perfect but it looks pretty clear to me what “worthy continuation” means, or you think everything stops after Fedal matches and it is not worthy mentioning, maybe we shouldn’t even watch tennis any more.


skeezer Says:

@Wog boy

Have a drink on me. No harm intended ;)

Yes you did say ( worthy continuation ). And it most likely will be. Just imo wrt too early to tell, no harm no foul. In the end you may be right.

For me, I still find the Nole/Rafa matches more entertaining than Nolandy, as there is more style differences and the chess match they play with there style is intriguing to me. Just wish it was all over under 3 hours instead of 6+.


Wog boy Says:

Skeezer,

Thanks, I’ll have it later. I have to drive now. No drink and drive, nonono !


volley Says:

someone should inform this TJ creature that the Olympics are run by the ITF and not the ATP.


skeezer Says:

@volley

Your words are so…………emotive.


Giles Says:

skeezer. “Fed is now 14-0 against Ferrer, but Ferrer is #4 in the world. Wow”. Err, aren’t you jumping the gun a bit here? Since when is Ferrer #4 in the world? Last time I checked the rankings he was #5!! #NotSoFast


volley Says:

@skeezer – i’m pleased i have the ability to move you.

>>The reason he got to no.3 is because Rafa was injured

surely nobody is foolish enough to open this door? this kind of reasoning would also cast doubt on how Fed regained No.1 as well as several titles including FO 2009, W 2009 and AO 2010. it’s puerile to assume one player’s success is entirely due to another’s absence. one should really think before committing to the ‘submit comment’ button.


Dave Says:

Hi alison: On the surface, it seemed as if Ferrer could have beaten Federer today, especially if David had gotten one of those BPs in the first set. But Federer probably would have tried to play at a higher level if he got behind. Federer tends to use his B-game against players from his age generation, especially those he likes. In recently years, he rarely puts a beatdown on them, even when his game gives him an advantage, the way he consistently does against Tipsarevic for example (probably because of Tipsarevic’s big mouth at the 2008 Australian Open). Since 2007 Roger seems to have used Ferrer more as a practice match, and no matter how well Ferrer has played (e.g., 2009 Cincinnati). The one recent exception is 2012 Madrid, when Federer faced a slew of top players (No. 23, No. 18, No. 6, No. 8, No. 7) in his first event after a long break so he probably did not want to take any risks, especially after the long first match against Raonic: I don’t think it was coincidence that Federer played with more focus to efficiently beat Ferrer on clay in 82 minutes, winning 58% of the points and allowing no breakpoints, while leaving Ferrer the respectable scoreline of 6-4, 6-4. That was Federer’s first clay event (regardless of the blue clay aspect) while that was Ferrer’s fourth or fifth clay event at that stage. Otherwise Federer seems confident enough against Ferrer that he can drift along but raise his game when he really needs a game, tiebreak or set.


the DA Says:

@ volley – good post.


the DA Says:

@ dave – “if David had gotten one of those BPs in the first set.”

Agreed. I remarked on that yesterday. A great disservice was done by Mohammed when overruled one of those BPs. Ferrer was in prime position to win the point. Who knows what might have been? Fed would probably have won but it might have extended the battle to 3 sets.


Giles Says:

the DA. Seems like even the umpires have favourites!


Dave Says:

the DA and Giles: Certainly Ferrer did not deserve it. I’ve seen Mohammad screw up about half a dozen over-rules not involving Federer on court. If not for such mistakes, Lahyani is one of my favorite umpires.


Dave Says:

SI’s Bruce Jenkins is a name dropper and cherry picker who cherry picked certain comments of the more credible Jon Wertheim. Jenkins: “…although Jon Wertheim also sided with Murray (for Player Of The Year award). The reasoning: For the first time, Olympic Games tennis carried the weight of a fifth major…” Based on Jenkin’s misleading comments, the casual reader would presume that Wertheim endorsed Murray for POTY. Not so simple.

Probably not coincidentally, one day after Jenkin’s article, Jon Wertheim summarized his various views over the past several months and referred to both Jenkin’s and Nguyen’s articles on POTY: “I would add that the World Tour Finals in London — unfortunately abbreviated WTFs — brings extra excitement this year. We’ve had some debate about the ATP’s Player of the Year and I think there are credible cases to be made for Federer, Djokovic and Murray. In the likely event that one of them wins in London, it will factor heavily in the MVP considerations.” Notice the order in which he mentioned the players. (from Wertheim’s article: “Janowicz breaks through in career run at Paris Masters, more mail”)

*****

I had a good laugh reading tennis Magazine’s Steve Tignor’s “Fifth Wheel” article on the significance of the World Tour Finals year-end world championship (WTF). I had a bigger laugh reading comments blasting Tignor’s comments as “irresponsible”.

The biggest party pooper for the WTF are American tennis writers such as Tennis Magazine’s Steve Tignor and SI’s Bruce Jenkins, whose irresponsible comments about the WTF do a disservice to Tennis. Most European tennis writers are more enthusiastic, refreshing and intelligent about this “prestigious season-ending tournament.”

The WTF’s 42-year history of past champions is more impressive than the Australian Open and French Open since 1970 (see link). Only the cream of the ATP tour wins the WTF: 36 of 42 past WTF champions have been ranked No. 1 in their career (the remaining 6 have been ranked No. 2 or No. 3 at some point in their careers). No grand slam, not even Wimbledon, boasts such pedigree since 1970 (the first WTF, then known as Masters Grand Prix). I can easily list the many no-name, one-slam wonders who have won Grand Slams. And, of course, only the cream of the ATP Tour is allowed to participate in the WTF.
http://tinyurl.com/akyqvba

Tignor diminishes the WTF when he claims “the season’s events of record, the ones that will be at the top of every player’s career résumé—the Grand Slams… Sampras and Lendl won (the WTF) five times, and Federer has won it six times, but those numbers aren’t typically cited when their careers are assessed—in most people’s eyes, the number of Slams they have trumps everything else.” Tignor ignores Federer’s assessment since at least 2005 that the WTF is on par with a Grand Slam. On Ivan Lendl’s official site, he includes his five year-end championships as one of his career highlighlights: “Ranked as the world’s top player 1985-87 and 1989; Held World #1 ranking for a total of 270 weeks; Captured 8 Grand Slam titles; Won 5 year-end Masters Championships; Competed in a total of 19 Grand Slam singles final; Career prize money: $21.2m.” Tignor’s opinion is irrelevant next to greats such as Federer and Lendl.

Tennis writers such as Tignor pass on their ignorance to new generations of tennis fans who are influenced by them. Tignor ignores the fact that for most of tennis history certain grand slams did not were not considered the most important tennis events of the season by the top players and analysts of those eras. For example, the 1971 and 1972 WCT Finals (a form of year-end championship) were considered among the four greatest events of both years. So it really does not matter that the WTF is not a Grand Slam. The Australian Open was a Grand Slam, but before 1988 it was not considered one of the most prestigious events. For several years in its history, neither was the French Open. What matters is how prestigious and important the WTF tournament is considered — but with irresponsible writers such as Tignor and Jenkins devaluing the WTF, it contributes to the mis-perception that it’s always historically been less important.

A favorite moronic argument of Tignor is the WTF’s “timing—i.e., it comes after the U.S. Open. For those aforementioned casual fans, at least in the States, that means it might as well not exist”. Funny that Tignor des not mention that, on average, more people watch the 15 men’s singles matches of the WTF than the 127 men’s singles matches of the US Open. In each of the past three years, over 250,000 ticket-buying spectators and last year over 70 million television viewers in 184 countries watched the 15 men’s singles matches as well as men’s doubles matches of the 2011 WTF. The WTF’s O2 Arena’s 17,500 capacity makes it the second largest tennis stadium (after the US Open’s Arthur Ashe Stadium’s 23,200) — so capacity for 15 matches is 262,500 — yet the entire complex of stadiums and outer court seating of USTA National Tennis Center at Flushing Meadows attracted only 710,000 to watch the men’s AND women’s singles, doubles and mixed doubles matches of the 2012 US Open. Funny also that Tignor, who is concerned with casual American fans, does not compare whether more Americans watch Australian Open than WTF matches.

In that context, Tignor’s American-centric comment that “Key Biscayne and Indian Wells, being 10 days long and dual gender, feel like junior Slams” is also moronic. Do the math: each of the past three WTF attracted over 250,000 spectators and this 2012 edition is expected to be even closer to 262,500 capacity. The 2012 Indian Wells event (tennis stadium 16,100 capacity) had 370,000 “visitors”, making it is the best-attended combined ATP-WTA combined event outside the four Grand Slam tournaments. Considering that Indian Wells is an unecessarily long two-week event with 91 men’s singles matches and 91 women’s singles matches, as well as mens and women’s doubles — it is reasonable to conclude that the WTF trumps the men’s portion of Indian Wells in terms of spectators, if not also TV audience.

Tignor generalizes “the old version at the Garden… was played in January of the following year”. Actually nine of the 13 MSG New York editions (1977 to 1989) were held in January. But most year-end championships before 1990 were held in early to mid December. In 1974, Bjorn Borg flew to Melbourne, Australia for the Masters held Decmber 10 to 15, but Borg did not bother to stay for the 1975 Australian Open at Kooyong, Melbourne which started one week later on December 21.

Tignor uses Ilie Nastase’s four year-end titles as Exhibit A of his inability to win more grand slam titles. But in the early 1970s, when Nastase was at his best, winning the grand slams was not an obsession and the Australian Open and French Open were not at the top of player’s lists. Furthermore, the talented Nastase was one of the three to four best players at beating top ten players in that era and his 56 titles includes 16 indoor titles and 9 carpet titles — so perhaps this explains Nastase’s four Masters titles in four different locations (Paris, Barcelona, Boston, Stockholm) against Borg, Connors, Stan Smith and 6-0 round robin (1971). The temperamental Nastase often lost in the early rounds of grand slams, like he did in many tournaments he played. In the same way that Nastase’s 1973 record on clay outshines Nadal’s very best clay seasons, Nastase was unable to consistently replicate his clay success in other years.

Steve Tignor is a Nadal fan. This is not the first time he has mentioned the point “Rafael Nadal has never won the WTF, but it isn’t seen as a hole in his career resume”. Even Peter Bodo has suggested that Nadal needs to win the WTF at least once. Tignor’s babbling about some Nadal and Federer fans devaluing the WTF and clay as a surface overlooks the real issue: clay makes up 23 events and indoors 15 events of the 65 event ATP calendar, so that’s why Nadal needs to win the WTF (and win more indoor events). Furthermore, although there are 15 indoor events this year, there used to be more indoor events in the past: in 1995, there were 24 indoor events, in 1978 there were 36 indoor events. Indoor titles made up a big percentage of titles won by great players such as Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl.


the DA Says:

Well here’s an unexpected turn. Peter Bodo also joins Bruce Jenkins and Jon Wertheim with his choice for Player of the Year:

http://tinyurl.com/d6wwjrc

Here he explains the rationale behind the POTY award:

“But the Player of the Year concept is a little different. At its best, it’s an honor bestowed upon the player who had the greatest impact on the sport in any given year, the player who crafted the best or most interesting storyline, the player who, well, got people talking.”

For once I’m in total agreement with Bodo.


Tz Says:

@dave,
great post!


skeezer Says:

Dave,

Thanks for “exposing” Tignor!!


rogerafa Says:

Tignor seemed quite confused in that article. He seemed to be hedging his bets and there were contradictions. Some of his points were absolute BS. A seriously terrible day at the office.


Dave Says:

Skeezer and Tz, you’re welcome and thanks. I hope someone re-posts what I wrote on tennis.com to teach those kiddies the quality of of tennis-X.com, haha. Tignor’s good writing skills resonate with the kiddies at tennis.com but it tends to cover up his dubious facts, logic and omissions.

Writers such as Tignor, Jenkins and Bodo are seeing it from the viewpoint of the news media product: Murray gives them something new to write about (impact on the news), they’ve written a lot about Murray (new storylines) and they’ve been reading a lot about Murray in their competitor’s newspapers (got newspeople talking). Murray is a shiny new toy to the newspeople that they fail to see the big picture from the shiny new object: apart from the US Open and the questionable Olympics, Murray did not do as much in most of his 19 tournaments. That’s why Rafa Nadal has still made more prize money in 2012 with 11 events played than Murray so far with 19 events played. Even Murray knows that he has not done enough.

Writers such as Sean Randall are seeing it more from the perspective of the tennis players. If the ATP players were to vote on the Player Of The Year, who would they vote for? It’s unlikely they’ll vote for Murray today, and even if he wins the WTF there may not be enough votes to carry him. If Federer fails to win the WTF, clearly then the POTY would be Djokovic. If Federer wins the WTF it would be a close vote between Federer and Djokovic depending on what criteria each voter prefers (e.g., titles, ranking, etc.).

The Player Of The Year should be decided by the players, not the newspeople biased by their need for news stories.


the DA Says:

Matt Cronin just joined the Peter Bodo, Bruce Jenkins and Jon Wertheim bandwagon over Player of the Year. There’s a growing consensus among tennis writers. It will all come down to who wins the WTF.


jane Says:

Hey guys! Nole already got the trophy? ;) At least in terms of ranking points, certainly, Nole earned it; he was very consistent all year, at all the slams and the masters events. I think he won 3 masters titles plus his 1 slam, not to mention appearing in 3 of the 4 slam finals for the second year running.

But definitely this year saw parity in terms of prize distribution and accomplishments, so in that sense I can see why there is a debate. And it is definitely interesting to read the various reasoning from all sides.

Even for Rafa, it’s notable how much he’d already accomplished in the first half of the year: including 2 slam finals and winning 1 of them.


Alok Says:

@dave, great write-up.

As I stated above:

Alok Says:
I didn’t read the article, but Tignor is anti-Fed, so it doesn’t surprise me he would question the WTF’s importance, especially since Fed’s won it 6 times. That must grate on Tignor a lot.

November 8th, 2012 at 6:08 pm

I read some where else where some fans were saying the WTf is jst an exhibition for the 8 top players. haha. Jealousy will do that to some people.

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