ATP London Semifinals Set With Federer v Murray, Djokovic v Del Potro; Picks And Pans
by Sean Randall | November 10th, 2012, 7:47 pm
  • 171 Comments

The last four are set at the ATP Finals in London this on Sunday. And no surprises to speak of. After six days of round robin rumbles, tournament favorites and group winners Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are joined by Juan Martin Del Potro and Briton Andy Murray.

Earlier today Del Potro snuffed out Federer for a second straight time indoors this fall season. With Federer’s semifinal spot already in hand, there wasn’t much for the Swiss to play for while Del Potro needed the victory and got it 7-6, 4-6, 6-3.

“[The] important [thing] is to move on right now, to be quite honest, not talk too much about this match for me,” Federer said. “Mentally, it’s important to look ahead and rest because it’s a quick turnaround for tomorrow. I tried everything I could and was a bit frustrated at times, but it shouldn’t affect me tomorrow.”

Added Del Potro on the big win, “It’s a surprise for me now. I just was thinking about my game, trying to beat him and go to the semis. Here I am feeling confidence with my game. My serve is working really well. Maybe the surface helps to play short rallies, to be aggressive all the time. That, for my game, is a very good advantage.”

And then David Ferrer, who was out of the competition after Federer lost, turned away Janko Tipsarevic 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 to give Roger to the top position in the group – Federer, Ferrer and Del Potro all finished 2-1 but Ferrer lost out because of his set win/loss.

With Ferrer’s win, Federer meets Murray. But first Sunday it’s Djokovic against Del Potro.

Novak Djokovic vs. Juan Martin Del Potro
“I don’t know who is the No. 1 favorite. Djokovic, Murray or Federer can win the tournament,” said Del Potro. “I can tell you, I’m the No. 4 for sure. Anything can happen. I beat Federer, Novak and Andy long time ago, so maybe if I have luck, I can repeat here.”

And he’ll need that luck. Djokovic has won six of eight in this series and he just beat Del Potro handily twice this summer on hardcourts at the US Open and Cincinnati. Novak also seems to have his focus back after his father was ill before the tournament.

“Good news every day,” Djokovic said referring to his father’s improving health. “Makes me happier, makes me play more relaxed on the court. I switch off on the tennis court. I try to think only about the match. And it’s been working well so far.”

Djokovic is also a former champion and I think his defense and movement really blunts Del Poto’s power, regardless of surface. And the extra day off should help Novak. So even though Del Potro is playing in rhythm, which bodes well for 2013, edge to Djokovic here.
The pick: Djokovic in two

Roger Federer vs. Andy Murray
In the main event it’s a third meeting between Federer and Murray this year in London alone. They split the first two with Federer winning under a roof at Wimbledon then Murray, with the roof opened just minutes before play, gained revenge at the Olympics.

This time there’ll be no uncertainty, we know the they’ll play under a roof. And that’s advantage to Federer.

“He’s played great indoors the last few years, that’s for sure,” Murray said speaking of Federer. “I played him quite a few times indoors, had decent success against him early on. The last few times I played him, haven’t done so well indoors. But, yeah, his record speaks for itself.

“He’s played very well so far here. Yeah, he likes the conditions when they’re like this. It helps his timing. When he’s timing the ball well, he plays great tennis.”

And Federer’s beaten the Scot twice at this event in 2009 and 2010. But Murray, though, leads Roger 10-8, beat him in Shanghai comfortably and has won the last two.

So far this week Murray has looked pretty good in wins over Tomas Berdych and JW Tsonga, and he very nearly pulled out a victory against Djokovic. Meanwhile, Federer really didn’t have a good win, per se, because his group was so weak. So maybe he’s not as hardened. Maybe.

The numbers favor the Swiss who has taken this title six times and before today he had won 12 straight matches. Plus, Murray is the one with the pressure tomorrow.

But I think Murray has been the better player of late and with the confidence he’s gained the last half of the year I’ll take him here.
The pick: Murray in three

Of the two matches, Novak is only clear favorite while Federer-Murray really could go either way. Both should be great matches.

ESPN2 has coverage Sunday of both semifinals.

SUNDAY ATP FINALS SCHEDULE
CENTRE COURT Start 12:00 pm
[3] Leander Paes (IND)/Radek Stepanek (CZE) v [5] Mahesh Bhupathi (IND)/Rohan Bopanna (IND)

Not Before 2:15 PM
[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) v [6] Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG)

Not Before 6:00 PM
[8] Jonathan Marray (GBR)/Frederik Nielsen (DEN) v [6] Marcel Granollers (ESP)/Marc Lopez (ESP)

Not Before 7:45 PM
[2] Roger Federer (SUI) v [3] Andy Murray (GBR)


Also Check Out:
Djokovic v. Tsonga, Federer v. Isner; London Olympics QF Picks And Pans
Nadal, Murray Try To Complete Fab Four’s Return To The French Open SFs; QF Picks And Pans
Nadal v Del Potro, Djokovic v Tsonga; Shanghai SF Picks And Pans
Del Potro Dumps Murray, Gets Djokovic; Can Berdych Really Beat Nadal? Indian Wells SF Picks And Pans
Federer, Murray On Track For An Australian Open Semifinal Showdown, Will It Happen? Picks And Pans

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171 Comments for ATP London Semifinals Set With Federer v Murray, Djokovic v Del Potro; Picks And Pans

the DA Says:

“The pick: Murray in three”

Noooo! Let’s hope the pick curse has worn off. ;)


maintenanceman Says:

Picks:
Djokovic over Del Potro
Federer over Murray


The Great Davy Says:

Hah. If I were I federer I am happy. Not only because I’d would have 17 grand slam and GOAT status, but because Murray is hilarious pitiful pushover in WTF semi!!! Remember in the 2008?


Brando Says:

Agree with sean’s picks.

Based on how the 4 have played a Nolandy final looks likely.

I’m going to pick NOLE , changing from fed, for the title.

He has not been his brilliant best, IMHO, BUT he is way more consistent and has alot of fighting spirit about it in this tourny.

He’s the toughest one to beat- and IF he improves his game moreso in the remaining matches- I see him winning the event.


Brando Says:

‘BUT he is way more consistent and has alot of fighting spirit about it in this tourny.’

Correction’s:

- Consistent in his play in comparison to the other remaining 3.

- Has shown fighting spirit in his matches so far- seems to be a man on a mission!


gannu Says:

“[The] important [thing] is to move on right now, to be quite honest, not talk too much about this match for me,” Federer said. “Mentally, it’s important to look ahead and rest because it’s a quick turnaround for tomorrow. I tried everything I could and was a bit frustrated at times, but it shouldn’t affect me tomorrow.”

Good attitude….guess thats what made him silence his critics everytime they said he is dead and anyways they will never stop so…Fed cdratinly hasnt been playing well and he has to raise his game several notches above but we have seen him doing that in the past…yestdy’s dead rubber made me feel that he was less motivated…guess today he would be more charged up…all the best feddy bear!!! will be there supporting you all throughout


gannu Says:

one thing many forget is the ability of feddy bear to suddenly switch over and play unreal the next match,,it can easily go the other way round…

for eg in wimby i dont think fed played a great match against benneteau and was on the verge of a defeat..somehow came through that match and then played superb against djoker and murray…

The real tough ask is Djoker whose mentaility is now second to none…he has become such a strong fighter and you can see that in his eyes…its certainly looks like an herculean task for federer to first defeat murray in a night match and then come back next day with a much shorter time to recover (compared to djoker and defeat him


Michael Says:

I go with Sean picks. It should be Novak Vs Andy in the final. I do not think neither Roger nor Del Potro have much chance in their matches. Roger is playing awfully bad and he is downcast. He shanks the ball at will on both flanks and unless he improves a few notches, he might not even extend Andy to three. It should be over in two. There is not much rhythm in Roger’s game and it is shocking that this is happening in his favourite surface the hard court indoors. Age has a large say in his dip in form and I hope he recovers his form as soon as possible. On the other side, although Del Potro is playing really well, it would not be enough to dislodge Novak who is playing like he did in 2011. It would be a shock if Novak loses, it might happen, but chances are very limited. Finally it would be Andy Vs Novak with a thin edge to Novak (48:52)


sienna Says:

Everybody fails to understand that the best tennis has to offer in these weeks were present at groupe b.
Ofcourse excluding tipsarevic.

Delpo defeating fed is a clear signal that he is reaching the final.
Djokovic murray seems to be in form but berdych is preparing for next week and tsonga cannot put a string of ralleighs together. he would have had trouble against tipsarevic.
It is clear for me tomorrows final is a Fed delpotro one.
Maybe one of the leading rivalries of 2013.


racquet Says:

oof, that smash.


the DA Says:

Delpo takes first blood, Will serve for the 1st set. I had an inkling that JMDP would come to play today.


dari Says:

both are bringing it this morning, especially JM with the movement to set up monster forehands. he has been working on the movement, i have not seen him like this before. let’s go JM!


racquet Says:

Delpo takes the 1st set. He’s looking very strong but, as we all know, it could be a long way to go to finish it off.


the DA Says:

hehe..not so lucky with the hot dog attempt this time.


dari Says:

yes, racquet, we all know who novak is


the DA Says:

Nole has gone off the boil in this 2nd set.


racquet Says:

Oh boy, Delpo is running Novak around the court. Breaks to lead in the 2nd. His FH is really on. As the commentators say, lots of work to be done yet.


the DA Says:

Normal service resumed


Giles Says:

Delpo is throwing this match away!!


Giles Says:

Did that ball double bounce? The.mighty Lahyani says no!


the DA Says:

It’s all but over now.


jane Says:

Phew! Tough match. Glad Nole made it!! Delpo is back. And such a nice guy too. Nole was subdued at the end there, relieved actually, methinks.


Brando Says:

Delpo played very well IMO- better than many would have thought.

We need to remember that Delpo played yesterday- a 3 setter v fed, so tiredness was always going to be an issue for the big man.

For me Delpo has shown that he is MORE than good enough to take on and beat the big boys.

The MAIN AREA he needs to improve going forward is: FITNESS.

IF he can improve his stamina and endurance then I reckon he’ll win these type of matches in the future- ATLEAST increase his chances of doing so.

His movement, IMHO, is pretty good for a guy who is 6’5!

For now, nole has won as expected- and deservedly so.

Well done to him- I reckon he is the fav WHOEVER he faces in the final from tonight’s match!


Duro Says:

Novak the (all)mighty!


jane Says:

Delpo’s movement front-to-back court maybe could use work too? If he came in more, wow, he’d probably be really tough to beat.


the DA Says:

Fitness has always been his weakest area, imo. If he’s hitting the lines consistently he can overpower his opponents and win relatively quickly. But if the match turns into a long battle he always runs out of steam. It was the same in the Montreal final with Andy, he dominated and lost the 2nd set by a whisker and had nothing left for the 3rd. The only exception I can think of is the USO final but that had quick points. Against the Nole’s, Andy’s, Ferrer’s, etc, he needs to improve his fitness/endurance.


Brando Says:

@Jane:

‘Delpo’s movement front-to-back court maybe could use work too?’

It could, but generally speaking the big man moves well for his height, i feel.

‘If he came in more, wow, he’d probably be really tough to beat.’

AGREE with this- IF Delpo were to come forward more, with his wing span advantage he could be really tough to pass.

IF he goes forward more and with time improves his net game (as rafa and nole have shown- not an impossible task), then I reckon he could posses the MOST AGGRESSIVE game of the top players going forward.

He could be unbelievably tough to beat.

All in all though, SF at WTF, beating federer AGAIN, testing nole- the world no.1- even pushing ferrer etc- things are heading in the right direction for the big man, IMHO.

A VERY GOOD season for Delpo, and I think he can look forward to a good 2013 season also- hopefully!


Brando Says:

‘Against the Nole’s, Andy’s, Ferrer’s, etc, he needs to improve his fitness/endurance.’

^^THIS!

IMHO, I think fitness/ endurance is the KEY AREA for Delpo going forward.

Should he improve this, then IMHO he’ll be a genuine GS contender on VIRTUALLY ALL of the 4 slams.

He has the potential, with the game he has, to posses the MOST AGGRESSIVE game of the top players in their 20′s (Rafa, Nole, Muzza).

IF he works hard and commits himself to really improving his fitness, then IMHO a GS in 2013 is within his reach!


racquet Says:

I agree with most of the above. I do think another component is strategy. He often seems to lack a clear strategy. He always goes for broke but if that doesn’t work I don’t see evidence of a plan B or willingness to change tactics mid-match. It’s just a quibble but it’s that 2/3% which could make a difference.


Alok Says:

Congrats to Djoko reaching the finals.

I’m very disappointed in Delpo. He began the match so strongly, and then just gave up after he got broken. He looked much slower and didn’t seem interested in running down balls, and added to that, he was over-hitting.

If JMDP wants to compete with the top 4 players, he’ll have to stop being so disinterested when he loses a break. He needs to build up stamina and endurance. i thought as much would happen after he had to play 3 sets and then come back again today. Perhaps if he played a much lower-ranked guy he would have gotten the win, but a top gujy will always make him work for the win.


jane Says:

Delpo did good on Nole’s second serves, but he didn’t get back many firsts. That’s another area that would make him tougher to beat; getting more first serve returns back in play. Nole won 82% of firsts, whereas Delpo won 67% of firsts. And arguably Delpo’s first serve is more of a weapon.


Brando Says:

‘ It’s just a quibble but it’s that 2/3% which could make a difference.’

VERY VALID POINT.

But IMO, does he really need a plan B?

For me Delpo’s game is similar to rafa’s in a sense.

Rafa pretty much play’s his game with a plan A, not much of a plan B- IF at all one even exists.

Yet, since rafa’s plan A is so good, or should I say very successful for him, he’s doing fine with it.

Delpo also, for me, possess a brilliant and powerful plan A that a plan B really is not all that necessary.

What he needs to do is follow and copy rafa’s example- In what manner?

BY making the MINOR ADJUSTMENTS in his tactic for specific opponent’s on specific surfaces.

Rafa has done this to great success WITHOUT having to change his game/style of play at all- delpo could do the same!

With BETTER fitness and a few strategic changes in his play, he could reap great success v the top players!


Mila Says:

I strongly believe sienna’s pearls of wisdom deserve to be repeated here. After all, she was explaining us all something we “failed to understand”. We should listen to this smart person more from now on. She was always very insightful and objective on this site…

“sienna Says:
Everybody fails to understand that the best tennis has to offer in these weeks were present at groupe b.
Ofcourse excluding tipsarevic.

Delpo defeating fed is a clear signal that he is reaching the final.
Djokovic murray seems to be in form but berdych is preparing for next week and tsonga cannot put a string of ralleighs together. he would have had trouble against tipsarevic.
It is clear for me tomorrows final is a Fed delpotro one.
Maybe one of the leading rivalries of 2013.

November 11th, 2012 at 4:16 am”


Brando Says:

@Jane:

‘That’s another area that would make him tougher to beat; getting more first serve returns back in play.’

Good point made. Delpo needs to use his reach more effectively and get more ROS in- could make alot of difference for him if can do so.

ROS is a key area of strength for 4 of the top 5 (Nole, Muzza, Rafa, Ferru)- some may say their best strength.

Delpo’s, in comparison, needs ALOT of improvement.

He’s lucky that he has a tremendous reach, as that is a good starting point to have in this regard!


Andrea Says:

Im glad Novak won…..of course, I’m hoping for roger to win over Murray and would prefer him to meet Novak in the final. But still one more match to be played. Let’s see!


Brando Says:

I must admit my BIAS in what I say as Muzza is my 2nd fav after rafa, but do others feel that a Novak v Andy would be a fitting end of season final?

I think it would for many different reasons:

1- Undisputed world no. 1 v the most improved top 4 player.

2- Rivalry of the season: 4-3 to nole so far, with arguably 3 classic contests (AO, USO, Shanghai).

3- Future rivalry/ power struggle: For MANY these 2 could be the top 2 for the next 2-4 years. Of course FEDAL will have alot to say in this, but it is not some far fetched notion either.

4- Best match up in top 4?: ARGUABLY when these 2 meet the matches are GENUINE 50/50 contests- so wouldn’t it be exciting to see such a season closing final?

5- Fed’s age and schedule: At age 31, can you HONESTLY see fed playing 3 matches back to back v Delpo, Muzza and Nole and performing at his best? I just do not see it happening.

He lost v Delpo and now has Andy and Novak back to back- too much to ask of someone aged 31? I think so.

IMHO, Andy stands the best chance of possibly beating Novak in the final- all things considered.

Of course, as I mentioned earlier- I RECOGNIZE that I may be biased towards Andy in this and i could quite easily be wrong (not the 1st time either), so hope no one is offended as this is what I honestly believe in this regard, to be the best possible contest!


trufan Says:

I think Fed will play well today against Andy. Can’t say who will win, but it won’t be a blowout either ways.

The problem is tomorrow.

If Djoke plays Fed tomorrow, he wins for sure (Djoke). the 3 setter aaginst Delpo was not a good thing for Fed. He should have won the first set tie break, otherwise just lost the second set too to save energy. He did himself and Delpo no favors by making it a 3set match. Delpo didn’t have a choice, since he had to win it to qualify.

Murray is completely fresh today, and on home court.

Perhaps we will get another 4 hour snoozefest between Djoke and Murray tomorrow. Though I think Djoke takes this one.

Federer can peacefully rest on his laurels now – it was a great season for him (70-12). The old man has almost every record that matters, most of them likely to last a LONG time.


Brando Says:

Tim Henman summing up Nole v Delpo PEFECTLY IMO:

‘”It was almost a match of two halves. For a set-and-a-half, Del Potro played unbelievable tennis. He dominated the baseline exchanges, he was dominating on serve. He got a set and a break up, but when Djokovic broke back straight away, he got the momentum and won 11 of the last 14 games. That’s the response you expect from a world number one. I think Del Potro has the ability, but he needs to build up his stamina if he is to challenge the world’s top four.”‘


trufan Says:

BTW, just like the USO, this tournament has a seriously flawed schedule, where 2 players get an extra day of rest, while the other two have to play 3 days in a row to win the title. Delpo was just too tired in the 3rd set today while Djoke was fresh.

They keep doubles before singles so that people are forced to see doubles matches. Who really cares about doubles, really? They should have all 4 singles matches on the same day (mon, wed, fri), so that all players get saturday off. Keep doubles matches on tues, thu, sat. Then all 3 semi on sunday, both finals on monday.

What’s wrong with that? Its fair to all, and let people watch what they really want to watch.


Alok Says:

In the past the complaints used to be that the schedule favored Fed. In this tournament, however, Fed got the bad end of the stick


trufan Says:

Delpo has shown adequate fitness in the past (he was the fresher person against Fed in the 5th set of the USO final in 2009).

Delpo has been playing every week for about a month now. This was his 17th match in perhaps 25 days. That’s got to take a toll on anyone.

Remember Djoke in the cincinnati final??

Maybe Delpo made a tactical mistake by playing so many tournaments in a row, and then got unlucky by playing second. If he had a day off like Djoke had, he might have pulled this out.

Fed played early yesterday, and is playing late today. Delpo played late yesterday, and played early today – he barely had 16 hours between his two 3 setters.

Its not as much fitness as scheduling bad luck for him.

Federer has nearly 27 hours between his two matches, so I think he may be OK in his match today against Murray. But even if he wins today, now HE will have a shorter turnaround for the final, relative to Djoke. That’s why I think Fed has pretty much zero chance of winning the title.

Its Djoke all the way. Delpo can hit ANYONE off the court, so Djoke was in trouble the first hour. Murray doesn’t have THAT much firepower, so Djoke will handle him just fine.


trufan Says:

Well, Fed at least made the semi. HAd he been with Murray, Berdych and Delpo, he may not have even made the semi. So he got initial luck, but finally it hurt him that he had to play second.


Brando Says:

‘Its not as much fitness as scheduling bad luck for him.’

Could be it, regarding this contest.

I think we ALL can agree that the USO and WTF need to sort out their scheduling- presently it’s nothing short of unfair on one of the finalist’s and publicly its a JOKE that a major event cannot or does not address such a GLARINGLY CLEAR ISSUE!

Secondly, Delpo NEEDS to improve his fitness- it can ONLY help him going forward.


Wog boy Says:

Not bad for someone with mediocre indoor results, hehe:)


Giles Says:

If Murray beats Fed tonight he overtakes Fed in the rankings – world No. 2!! #fact


Brando Says:

‘Not bad for someone with mediocre indoor results, hehe:)’

LMAO WB, who could Nole MEDIOCRE on indoors, lol?


Wog boy Says:

Brando,

Some do:)


Brando Says:

‘If Murray beats Fed tonight he overtakes Fed in the rankings – world No. 2!! #fact’

Is this correct? NO ONE has mentioned this!


Brando Says:

@WB:

Lol, well record books indicate otherwise. :-)


Tz Says:

@Giles,

in which site did u find that ranking?? Fed is more than 1800 points above murray. As murray lost RR match, all he can get by winning the title is 1300 points. So, fed should be no. 2 till the AO


boss Says:

@Giles:

no. you are wrong. even if murray wins the tournament he’ll still be 1000 pts behind federer. the rankings on the atp website already have last yr’s wtf points taken off…


Giles Says:

Brando. “no one has mentioned this”. I have. Check it out.


the DA Says:

‘If Murray beats Fed tonight he overtakes Fed ..”

I don’t think that’s right. Even if Andy wins he’s still about 500 points behind Fed. I could be wrong.


Giles Says:

boss. I wasn’t aware that the points had already dropped off in which case I am wrong. It is strange though, as the drop date for the WTF is 12.11.2012.


Brando Says:

@Giles:

Checked on ATP. Following:

1- Difference is 1865 points.

2- BOTH have WTF taken off ALREADY from last year. NEITHER have DC concerns involved.

3- SHOULD Andy win tonight and the tourny- he still is 565 POINTS BEHIND fed pre AO!

4- fed is GUARENTEED 400 POINTS from WTF!

BOTTOMLINE:

REGARDLESS of what Andy does from now until AO, fed will be ATLEAST 875 POINTS AHEAD of him pre AO!

He is GUARENTEED second seed at AO- no matter what happens from now until then!


jane Says:

Wog boy, here’s something for you: Andrew Castle pointed out that Nole is second only behind Borg in deciding sets. Nole is also second only behind Borg in winning after clinching the first set. So I guess we have to worry about the middle sets. ;) Really happy he made it through today; it was tough to ride the Delpo storm.


boss Says:

@Brando: yep correct, cept that fed will be at least 975 pts ahead, not 875.


jane Says:

I wonder if Fed’s group started second due to Ferrer; they had to wait for him to get back from Paris?

But yes, WTF is similar to the USO. The schedules are tough. This year at the USO Nole had to play 4 best of 5 matches in 4 days, not only due to the schedule but due to inclement weather, which seems to be a fixture now during the fall in NYC and hence the USO. At least they’ve amended the schedule going forward haven’t they? Or they’re going to? I remember reading about it. And at least the WTF is under a roof so weather isn’t an issue here! :)


jane Says:

Sorry 5 days!


Brando Says:

@Boss:

Fed has 90 points to defend at Doha prior to AO- so I just took them off.

Regardless of that though, he is GUARENTEED no.2 rank and seed at AO no matter what he or Andy do from now until then.


rogerafa Says:

Sad to see Delboy’s legs getting heavy within fifty minutes. The sluggish movement and tiredness after such a short period was kind of surprising. This probably caused a mental letdown. He can not hope to win playing only one good set of tennis against players like Novak. Delboy had to play at a very high level to win that first set. A drop in level was expected but I did not expect him to fall off that much. Novak has to be commended for raising his own level a notch and putting Delboy under pressure. He has played well the entire week and looks to be the clear favorite to lift the trophy tomorrow.


Giles Says:

Brando and others. I apologise for stirring up a hornet’s nest. It was good while it lasted! Lol


Sidney Says:

One half of my dream final match-up is in. Go Nole!

Now, it’s Roger’s turn.

Let’s have a #1 vs #2 final to end this amazing year!

Come on, Roger!


Brando Says:

@Giles:

No need to apologise at all- it just took me by surprise.

You would have been right had they not taken off last year’s WTF points already.


Wog boy Says:

jane,

I told you it is going to be rough ride for Nole and that I am scared. That Gentle Giant is hell of the player. I am more than happy for Nole regardless of what is going to happen in the final. Nice way to finish the year. He proved once again what the worrior he is, and that he is the best when his back is against the wall. Thanks for that.


Wog boy Says:

jane,

BTW, the thing that is against Murray is that almost everybody sees him already as a winner against Federer and that is huge presser plus playing in London, Federer is to smart not to use that as his advantage and to be honest his game can be only better. It is going to be another great match. I am not going to jinx, no prediction;)


bstevens Says:

I think it would only be fitting if the top 2 ranked players duked it out in the final. Having said that,Djokovic-Murray was the best rivalry this year and having the year end with one of their matches would also be a fitting conclusion to 2012 (save Davis Cup).


trufan Says:

There’s a greater chance of Nadal losing No 4 after the AUS open, than Fed losing No. 2. Fed and Murray are both defending 720 points at the AO, but Nadal is defending 1200, and Ferrer is barely 300 points behind (he is defending 360).

Nadal has to either win the AUS open, or at least be two rounds ahead of Ferrer to keep No. 4. If ferrer makes the QF, Nadal needs to at least make the final. If Nadal only makes the semi, then Ferrer has to lose in the 3rd round to NOT be no. 4. If Nadal doesn’t make the semi at the AUS open, he drops to No. 5, regardless of what Ferrer does.

Big change in rankings coming next year. Fed will, at some point, lose his No. 2 ranking. I think Murray takes it. But Djoke remains No. 1 throughout the year. Nadal needs to clean up the clay season again, and Hope Ferrer doesn’t win much, to stay No. 4.

Would be really wierd and interesting to have Fed at no 3 and Nadal at no 5. They could meet in the QF!!!


jane Says:

Wog boy, I feel the same about Nole reaching the final. I am good with whatever happens now. He has reached the final undefeated and along the way has beaten four fabulous players in Tsonga, Berdy, Murray and Delpo. So I am proud of him come what may in the finals. He’s also added a few points, so that’s good too. No complaints whatsoever.

I thought Delpo was incredibly scary through to the middle of the second set. And then he dropped slightly and Nole dug in so he could turn it around. Delpo seemed determined to hang in there early in the 3rd too, holding to love a couple times, but Nole was fresher in the last set, and he just kept working.


jane Says:

trufan, Ferrer is also defending Auckland, btw.


van orten Says:

being no 5 could have huge impact on nadals chances to win slams or masters 1000. qf murray semis fed finals djokovic. tough 1/16 almost certain!!! ao will be very tough!!!!


Daniel Says:

Murray already noticed that Fed is error prone and is just putting ball back in play, it worked, broken Fed to start.


grendel Says:

Not only was del Potro a break up in 2nd set, he should have been 2 breaks up, as he let Djokovic off the hook in his 1st service game 2nd set. If he had taken his opportunity, we might have seen a different result since confidence is all at this level. Remember that extraordinarily easy smash that Djokovic not only missed but missed badly, hitting right into the bottom of the net, it was a beginner’s error. He was plainly very embarrassed, and it affected his play – which was subdued – for a few games.
In delPo’s final service game, the ball was hit hard into the left hand corner. Djokovic scampered right across the back of the court, got his racket on to it, and gave it a very wristy flick to land it respectably in delPo’s half. He couldn’t have reached the ball using his doublehanded bh – so he used single hand instead. Wonderful improvisation.


Daniel Says:

Fed making a few errors in easy shots. Murray slight better, but in both Murray’s service games Fed had chances and even was 15-30 after the break.


jane Says:

Both having a relatively low first serve percentage thus far.

Wog boy, here is Hannah Wilks’ wrap up of Nole/JMDP:

http://www.tennis.com/news/2012/11/world-tour-finals-djokovic-d-del-potro/40094/#.UKAEVZjN45Q


Brando Says:

VERY, VERY EARLY in the match, but am i the only one who thinks fed is looking in poor form here?


van orten Says:

back to form fed !


Brando Says:

What an awful, awful, awful BH by andy there on that big point!

SHOULD have passed fed there!


Brando Says:

Andy needs to pick up the intensity in his play here- the match is there for the taking, YET he seems to be walking around with a sulking look!


Brando Says:

THAT is how he should play- attacking, with an aggressive intent!

GO ON MUZZA!


Tz Says:

Always attacking the BH of federer


Brando Says:

federer looking the more composed and sure of himself out of the 2 now.


Brando Says:

‘Always attacking the BH of federer’

Wonder WHICH legend wrote the manual on that one, no? :-))))))))))))


Wog boy Says:

jane,

Thanks, nice read.

Andy is just too passive, Federer is sensing It.


Tz Says:

Brando,
Rafa, I guess


mat4 Says:

The old lion fighting to show that his time has not come to pass yet… Great play by Fed.


TJ Says:

As usual rafa fans up to their lying and cheating.

Giles with its stupid post! LOL! fed will lose no.2 ranking? how stupid can a person get?

it was long known fed’s backhand was weaker wing. nalbandian had exploited that much before nadal was anywhere near the top 5!

nalbandian also showed the world how you could hit flat on rafa’s forehand side and open up his backhand corner – a fact djokovic exploited beautifully when he screwed rafa good with those 7 defeats in a row!


mat4 Says:

I thought they were playing in London…


Brando Says:

@Tz:

I know- i was just kidding though :-)

‘Andy is just too passive, Federer is sensing It.’

That makes 2 of us then who think as such!


Giles Says:

Guess the old lion stole that set. C’mon Muzz!


Tz Says:

1 more set fed! Come on!


Sidney Says:

Roger is amazing!

Wins the first set!


Brando Says:

Andy deserved to lose that set- you just CANNOT be passive against the top 3 players- and Andy was in the key moments in that set!


TJ Says:

See the shot fed hit at murray serving 5-6, 30-0. only fed could hit that shot on this planet and probably this universe!

The all time GOAT of tie-breakers gets another tie-breaker to his win column!

Allez Fed. let’s have the undisputed No. 1 of all time against the no.1 of the year!


Wog boy Says:

mat4,

I thought too.

Andy is only to blame himself for losing first set.


jane Says:

Well, Fed ekes out set one. It’s very close, and hard to say what’ll happen now. I think Andy has to get in more first serves as Fed is winning more of his second serves.


mat4 Says:

WB:

Fed deserves some credit too, I guess.


Brando Says:

aarrgggghhhh- what are you playing at Andy!

40-0 to deuce!


Wog boy Says:

mat4,

You are right, he is on the other side of net:) that is enough to make any player feel unconfortable.


Sidney Says:

Roger breaks for 2-1!


Tz Says:

Ho ho fed breaks!


Brando Says:

Andy- that was APPALLING match play by you in that game!


mat4 Says:

WB:

Anyway, don’t count on me to root for Andy. I fear Skeezer won’t pay me the beer he owns me if I do.


TJ Says:

Has murray beaten djokovic in a final other than the US open?

You can safely bet murray is not winning this title, unless fed/djokovic retire or give a walk-over.

The cold fact is the he is an inferior player compared to those 2 and he needs them to play below their level for him to have a shot at victory. Today federer played well below his best and murray still can only win in 3 sets, if that!

and now he’s a break down! to a player 5 or 6 years his senior! maybe they should let murray play on the senior’s tour. that way he will live up the expectations of some of his stupid fans! I am guessing he will not have trouble beating borg or mcenroe ;)


Giles Says:

I just wish Andy would settle down and compose himself. Showing too much frustration! #CalmDown


Wog boy Says:

mat4,

I never did.


Brando Says:

Andy on a mental walkabout here!

very dismal showing!


Brando Says:

A 0 hold, something to build on……


mat4 Says:

@Brando:

Come on… show some faith… Andy is just a set and a break down… like Nole today… piece of cake…


volley Says:

>>Has murray beaten djokovic in a final other than the US open

Three: Miami, Cincinatti (twice)


jane Says:

volley beat me to it. Yes, Murray has a few masters titles wins over Nole. Plus a slam final and then the Olympics win.


skeezer Says:

@mat4
Lol on the Beer….

Fed DOES deserve some credit here, he could have easily folded in the break game down 0-49, but dug in and forced play. His serving location is sublime today……


Tz Says:

Double break!


skeezer Says:

0-49, lol


Brando Says:

Fed swipes andy’s challenge away with a BH!


mat4 Says:

The decompression is almost visible. Murray completely lost on the court.


skeezer Says:

This will be how many finals at WTF Fed has been in?


Brando Says:

@Mat4:

The difference between andy and nole, in terms of their game, IMO is not alot.

BUT mentally- a colossal difference!


TJ Says:

stick a fcuking fork in murray. he’s cooked :)

atleast federer keeps this match to 2sets unlike the delpo match yesterday.

Allez fed!

If anyone can beat the 1 and 3 seeded players back to back after them having a 5/6 year advantage and a one-day rest advantage, it must be federer!


jane Says:

Quite a turnaround in Fed’s form this match; he began looking shaky but finished strongly. Nole will have his hands full tomorrow!


Tz Says:

Its 3:32 a.m. and i can sleep now with a smile :)


skeezer Says:

Fed had the mojo today. Hope madmax loved it. The guy is still special at 31.


TJ Says:

8th final, along with 8 wimbledon finals, 6US open finals, 5 french open finals, 5 australian open finals


Brando Says:

Well done fed.

Nole’s fav tomorrow for sure- BUT on this showing fed can beat him!

As for Andy: :-(, and then some more :-(((((((((((


jane Says:

Commentators mentioning that crowd booed while Andy changed his racquet; that is strange. :/


the DA Says:

Andy just went away after the 2nd set, nothing was clicking. Roger raised his game at the right time and didn’t need to do too much. Still, it was the end of a great season. Lots of positives going forward.

“The difference between andy and nole, in terms of their game, IMO is not alot.”

I wouldn’t bother. That will fall on deaf ears.


Brando Says:

@Jane:

Fed has strong support in London, and Britain generally.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he had more fans in the stadium even.


TJ Says:

It looked like the crowd were more pro-fed than pro-murrayy! LOL!


Salleh Ahmed Says:

Boris, Croft, Rusedski

all were wrong

at the end the maestro won


TJ Says:

well, it could be worse, murray could have got booed at a place where he was most dominant and won 4 titles there #rafa got booed in paris! LOL!


Wog boy Says:

From mid first set Andy just folded up, for no other but mental reason, look at my post at 2:01pm.
Sorry Andy ‘s fans:(

jane,
I am trying to think about Nole playing in Belgrade or Roddick playing in New York or Tsonga playing in Paris or Hewitt playing in Melbourne and having this kind of reception, I cannot see it happening. I feel sorry for Andy, I really do.


gannu Says:

as said earlier fed can switch on and suddenly be FED himself…today he did play well and converted 3/3 break points implying he used his chances when presented to him and played the big points well…

well done feddy bear…will be waking up at 1.30 am in India on a Diwali and would be watching you as ever

Congrats to all fed fans and commiserations to Andy fans…Andy had by far the best year of his career and no regrets…well done andy

Wish you all a very happy Diwali!


mat4 Says:

@Brando:

I even think that stroke for stroke, Andy is better. He has a more powerful forehand, backhand, he volleys better, his first serve is better too. Why do you think I simply love Gasquet but I don’t like Murray?

But you’re right: the way he made a mess of his game in this match was syncretic.


Robert Says:

Federer will ‘destroy’ Djokovic in the final….

Just like he did at Cincinnati….


jamie Says:

I think Tarantino is winning tomorrow.


madmax Says:

skeezer…great to see fed play yetagain…, but i saw him play yesterday,am so pleased he raised his game today. he was sublime, seriously, what an absolutely fantastic atmosphere, i love watching him play, took around 150 shots of him playing. he takes my breath away. tomorrow will be interesting. surely federer can play with dome freedom tomorrow now that he is in the final. cant wait. gannu hope u njoyed your ticket fest everyday watching federer what a great memory for you my dear friend.


jamie Says:

Murray was rubbish today.

He’s been rubbish since winning the USO.


gannu Says:

yeps madmax…thanks…shud have stayed on i guess to see the semis and finals ;-)….Here is hoping that our man takes the 7th WTF crown and POY award


jamie Says:

Londoners booing a Brit was lame… Shame on them…


grendel Says:

Right at the beginning, Federer looked flustered as Murray came charging out, and he could easily have gone two breaks down. But he hung on, and what we saw, imo, was the pride of a champion. If he was going to go down, he was going to go down fighting, although that’s not quite accurate. For all some of his recent poor performances, Federer has a well of belief to draw upon. And he dared when it counted,whilst Murray was hesitant. There is no one stronger mentally than Federer (it’s taken me a while to learn that lesson), and bit by bit he imposed his will on Murray.

The 3 matches in a row thing has lost its edge with such a relatively easy match tonight, at least on a physical level. Rusedski pointed out, though, that for Federer to have played so well in unpromising circumstances (recent form) must have entailed a big mental drain. He had to be absolutely focused, full time, and he was, and it showed in his play. I have no idea whether this will affect him for tomorrow.

If Federer is able to reproduce tonight’s form tomorrow, then we’ll have the classic tomorrow which we were denied tonight.


jamie Says:

TJ Says:
well, it could be worse, murray could have got booed at a place where he was most dominant and won 4 titles there #rafa got booed in paris! LOL!

November 11th, 2012 at 4:43 pm

________________________________________

Nadal is not French.


jamie Says:

Who knows when Murray will get his mojo back.


laslow Says:

Congratulations to all Roger fans. This certainly is the final I wanted. If Roger can’t take this, then I will be happy that Novak wins it.


the DA Says:

@ gannu – ‘Andy had by far the best year of his career and no regrets…well done andy’

Congrats on your man’s win tonight. Nice to see a classy Fed fan be so magnanimous – a rarity on this forum.


trufan Says:

Well, at least Fed kept it short (1.5 hours).

Given that tomorrow’s match is 8pm, he has almost 24 hours to recover. Hope that is enough.

Fed still in there with a chance!!

It would be an absolutely spectacular end for him if he could win – 7th YEC, 77th Title, 7th title of the year – and give him at least some chance of getting back to No. 1 at the AUS open.


Leon Says:

“For all some of his recent poor performances, Federer has a well of belief to draw upon…There is no one stronger mentally than Federer (it’s taken me a while to learn that lesson)…”
Me too, grendel, being his admirer for so long I am still astonished at this, hey, even scared to a degree! It’s tempting to start a hot discussion on the topic, but – not a proper moment, before the final, that is.
Rusedski made a valid remark. Well, we’ll see.


Michael Says:

Roger has surprised me yet again. I thought it would be Murray all the way considering the poor form Roger was in at the moment. But suddenly out of nowhere, he produced his vintage stuff Tennis and it routed Andy. You can never discount Roger and I admit that I made that mistake counting him out along with Sean and most of the Tennis Commentators. Now that he is in the finals, it would be just a toss up. Nobody can predict the winner. However, I will still give some edge to Novak. But the edge is quite small.


Humble Rafa Says:

I even think that stroke for stroke, Andy is better. He has a more powerful forehand,

You mean that Lady Forehand that breaksdown under pressure every time?


mat4 Says:

HR:

Be merciful, Humble. What did you want me to say? That there is no wind indoor?


tennisfansince76 Says:

Murray lost this match for the same reason he often loses to top notch competition, a low first serve % and weak 2nd serves. 47% 1st serve puts you in a hole thats hard to dig out of. also Murray only won 43% of 2nd serve pts vs 63% for Fed. Pmac and the other announcers were saying Murray has beefed up his serve. i think thats wrong. he always had a big 1st serve. he was just always prone to serving low percentages. i remember the first time i saw him against Nalby in the 2005 Wimbledon 3rd round. Murray won the 1st 2 sets and then got routed for 3 sets. Murray was hitting big bomb serves wide in the ad court against Nalby even then. he’s always had the pace. its the % that can be a problem for him


jane Says:

I agree with you tfs76. I noted that during the match at 3:26 and 4:08. I think Murray’s first serve is dangerous when it’s firing, but he has to have 60% and higher first serves in. Fed’s second serve is stronger, so even though he too had a low first serve percentage, he wasn’t as compromised in his service games. I was surprised, however, that Andy wasn’t able to take better advantage on the return game, as he has an excellent return of second serves. I believe he’s tied for first place with Nole in that category for the year at 56%.

But Andy has improved in terms of saving break points this year; in other words, he’s been able to serve well in clutch moments.

And it’s nice to see, generally, that both Nole and Murray are creeping up in the serving categories this year. They’ve always had great return games, but their serves are both improving.


TJ Says:

Please stop placing nole and the fang in the same league. Nole has 5 slams to fang’s flukey slam. He has been no.1 for about 50+ weeks [ most probably be no.1 for at least another 50 weeks]. fang will be lucky to just get to no.2 in the world, with his ugly defensive game.

I know people want to suck up to murray’s fans for support [ rafa and djokovic fans, as they need support to curse fed], but please dont make it too obvious!


TJ Says:

I never said Rafa was french, Jamie. I said the dude got his azz booed at a place where he won 4slams in a row!

Well, there is a reason that dude is not as popular as Maestro. Everyone knows it, but none dare say it :) Not to worry, truth will out, eventually :)


TJ Says:

Let us also not forget 2nd serve points won% as the only statistic for a measure of a great return.

Federer, today did not miss a 2nd serve return. 34 returns made of 34 2nd serves. which means, he most probably made murray play the point on a big point. which is what murray failed to win with his such a great RoS.

ATP should also have a corresponding big point category. It is all good to have a greater RoS. but what use is it if you cannot make it when things are on the line – some thing which murray is traditionally miserable at. [called choking]


jane Says:

It would be interesting to see some sort of “big point” category, but I am not sure what that would be?

The ATP “reliability index” does have tiebreak records and then in “match facts” they have break points saved, and those are both clutch situations in some ways – although tiebreaks are really hit and miss.

I guess they could add things like % of success when serving out sets or matches; or perhaps set points saved, and also match points saved.

I think Nole would look good in the latter category.


tennisfansince76 Says:

yes Jane I agree. i think 60% or higher is generally a good day at the office. 50-60% is ok and below 50% is struggling. i think big pts are any pts that win you something of value like break pts, set pts and match pts. secondarily any pt that would get a player into position to do any of those things is valuable as well.


skeezer Says:

TF76,

You drop in and do Yoda from time to time. It’s good stuff ;)

You are spot on with Andy. His game has improved no doubt, and his serve also. But when he gets “in crunch time” the likes of Fed still know his second serve is a weakness. He needs to prove that in the clutch that his 2nd is a force, not a liability. When his opponents give respect to that, he can and will win his share of points.

Not to necessarily sympathize his fans, but Andy is still a work in progress ( is he 26 yet? ). He came along way this past year, his FH looks waaaay better, and he has gotten quicker/stronger. He got his 1rst Slam, and a Gold Oly medal. Quite a year for the likes of AM, and it should get better.

Fed, now the old codger, continues to work his magic and strategies against a players weaknesses. However, when he gets into “stubborn” mode, that is, “I am just going to overpower you”, he can lose, and often does. When he gets into “Maestro” mode, that is; serve location, Groundies with power and depth, when it matters, and a mixed variety of shots to keep his opponent off rhythm, he is magical and most likely wins.

Hope he does the latter tomorrow.


tennisfansince76 Says:

somehow Fed/Muzza matches don’t ever seem top notch to me. Fed has played many classics against Nole and Rafa but i don’t feel that any of his matches against Muzza qualify.


Alok Says:

Just watched replay of Fed’s match, and all I can is is YES, Fed’s done it again proving his detractors and naysayers wrong. He’s in the final once again. This guy loves a challenge and a mountian to climb over. He’s the only player among a bunch of 24 y/o doing what he does best, beat them and show them who’s boss. How awesome is that!


jane Says:

skeezer “is he 26 yet?” No, both Nole and Murray are 25. They will be 26 in May (one week apart).


TJ Says:

Exactly! remember when 31 years used to be in top 5 and beating federer in 2 big matches every year during his peak years? LOL! you dont? cant blame you. because it didn’t happen!

This is such a strong era that federer is comfortably ranked no. 2 even playing well below his absolute best tennis and being 31 years old! Let’s admire this wonderful strong era! LOL!


Alok Says:

speaking of 2nd serve percentages, Djokovic’s 2nd serve % in his match with DelPo was only 46%. His UFEs in the first set and up until midway 2nd set were high, but got better when DelPo’s form dipped and Djoker was able to dictate play a lot more.

Anyone saw that beautiful flick volley Fed made DTL toward the end of the first set, i believe at 6-5 Fed? Then there was a 22 shot rally which he also won in the TB. Vintage Fed, and so beautiful to watch. There were many shades of vintage Fed throughout the match, but those two caught my eye.

BTW, Murray did some racket damage, but got lucky with the umpire, who was very lenient to him considering the many f-bombs etc. he was using.


volley Says:

>>Let’s admire this wonderful strong era! <<

indeed! so far the H2Hs this year bear this out

Fed/Djokovic 2-2

Fed/Murray 3-2

Djokovic/Murray 4-3

Nadal/Djokovic 3-1

Nadal/Federer 1-1

Djokovic/Federer/Murray/Nadal = 1 slam each

#stronger era than ever


grendel Says:

“Anyone saw that beautiful flick volley Fed made DTL toward the end of the first set, i believe at 6-5 Fed?” Half-volley, I think Alok, on the bh. Yes, it was stunning. Sort of stopped dead, too, and Murray was caught in no man’s land.


rogerafa Says:

@ volley

“#stronger era than ever”

According to your own theory, an ‘era’ comprises more than a year although you were not very specific about what you meant by “several”. No offense meant but don’t you think you should wait for “several” years of similar H2H and major results before making a definitive assertion like that. The preceding two years were marked by a single player winning three majors and should not be counted according to your criteria. There were no multiple major winners in the years 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003 just like in 2012. I do not think anyone called it a ‘strong era’ even though the spoils were shared evenly. What do you think? Is it the first sign of ‘strength’ after eight years of ‘weakness’?


volley Says:

>>an ‘era’ comprises more than a year<>you should wait for “several” years of of similar H2H<>There were no multiple major winners in the years 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003<>I do not think anyone called it a ’strong era’<>though the spoils were shared evenly<<

but not by the same players, facing the same opponents, as consistently as in the last few years. The slam winners from 2000 – 2003 are Agassi, Hewitt, Sampras, Ivanisevic, Johansson, Ferrero, Costa, Kuerten, Roddick, Federer, Safin. not so even.


volley Says:

well that came out strangely. let’s try again.

‘an ‘era’ comprises more than a year’

correct.

‘you should wait for “several” years of of similar H2H’

but it’s not just about H2H. the consistency of players should also be taken into account, e.g. all top 4 players reached the SFs of each slam in 2011 and they also shared the 9 Masters on offer. Similarly in 2010, each of them at least reached a slam final and shared all Masters except for Paris (soderling).

‘There were no multiple major winners in the years 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003′

are you sure you phrased that correctly?

‘ I do not think anyone called it a ’strong era’

and so they shouldn’t.

‘though the spoils were shared evenly’

but not by the same players, facing the same opponents, as consistently as in the last few years. The slam winners from 2000 – 2003 are Agassi, Hewitt, Sampras, Ivanisevic, Johansson, Ferrero, Costa, Kuerten, Roddick, Federer, Safin. not so even if you consider it.


skeezer Says:

1 year ERA? Pfft! LMAO..


volley Says:

@ skeezer –

comprehension problems? re-read and you might get it the 2nd time round. nothing about a 1 year era, quite opposite.

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