Murray Forgets To Show Up At ATP Finals, Federer Gets Revenge; Djokovic Opens 3-Peat Bid Monday
by Sean Randall | November 9th, 2014, 7:13 pm
  • 66 Comments

One of the hottest players this fall, Andy Murray, fell completely flat in his ATP Finals opener today in London. Murray, who had won three titles since the US Open, was never in his opening round robin match with Kei Nishikori losing lifelessly to the Japanese No. 1 6-4, 6-4.

“It’s obviously disappointing to lose the first match,” said Murray. “I would have liked to have done better. I didn’t serve well enough today. I would say that was the biggest difference in the match. He was able to dictate a lot of points, especially behind my second serve. That was statistically the part of the match, I mean, that was the part of the match where he had the upper hand. That was the difference.

“Both of us struggled at the beginning of the match… there were a lot of mistakes. Then, he definitely started playing better at the end of the first set and started feeling a bit more comfortable with those conditions.”

Considering how well Murray had been playing, his intent on qualifying for the event and the fact the tournament is in his home country, I, and probably everyone watching, expected a better performance from the Scot. But it seemed in the end like he didn’t know it began on a Sunday!

What was so striking was that Nishikori didn’t play much better, serving eight double faults coupled with a poor first serve percentage. But he did just enough to come away with a big win in his Finals debut.

“I was a little bit tight in the beginning, but I started feeling a little more confident in especially second set,” said Nishikori. “I was very, very solid… I was a little bit surprised at how I played on the court: very confident. I’m looking forward to play the next match.”

The victory sets up Nishikori nicely for the week. A Thursday win over Raonic could get him in.

As for Murray, who’s never made the final in London, the straight set loss really damages his chances of getting through Group B. Luckily the format does allow him to get back in, but he’ll now have to beat Milos Raonic on Tuesday then likely Roger Federer on Thursday.

“It’s harder to qualify when you lose your first match,” Murray said. “That’s pretty obvious. But unlike the other events, you still have a chance to go through. If this were anywhere else, I would be out of the tournament. You need to try to forget about today, work on some things tomorrow, and hopefully play better on Tuesday.

“Now I need to win my next two matches more than likely and win them well if I want to go through. That’s going to be tricky because Milos obviously played fantastic last week in Paris, and Roger always plays well at this event. So I’m definitely going to have to play better if I want to get through.”

In the late match, Federer had his revenge over Raonic. Ten days ago it was Milos stunning the Swiss in Paris, this time Roger got off to a quick start then finishing strong blanking the Canadian in the breaker to win 6-1, 7-6(0).

“I think I played really well for probably one and a half sets,” said Federer. “It was good to get off to a good start like I did against him at Cincinnati and Wimbledon. I broke in the first game and sort of never looked back.

“Thankfully he didn’t play quite so well like he did in Paris. He gave me a few shots here and there, especially at the beginning of the breaker. I think those were crucial. I was happy to bring it home because it was very close at the end of the second.”

Roger looked really sharp early on against Raonic who may have been a little overwhelmed in his debut. The second was much, much tighter as Milos failed to convert on several break chances and a set point late in the second.

“Obviously it can come down just to one play, and we might be playing a third set,” said Raonic. “But it’s obviously disappointing, very disappointing actually, the way I finished that second set off…Today the big difference was when he would get his racquet on the ball, he would make me play all the time. He was giving me some shots in Paris in that sense, some quicker points.

“I get pretty angry when I lose, so I’m going to have to learn how to slap myself out of it.”

And I should add that Federer helped Murray by straight-setting Raonic. So technically Raonic (7 games) is last in the group behind’s Murray 8 games won.

On tap tomorrow, defending champion Novak Djokovic opens his bid for a three-peat against Marin Cilic. In the early match it’s Tomas Berdych and Stan Wawrinka. I like Djokovic and I’ll take Berdych stop the rot he’s had against Stan.

MONDAY ATP FINALS SCHEDULE
AFTERNOON SESSION
DOUBLES A / 12:00 PM
A PEYA/ B SOARES VS J ROJER/ H TECAU
SINGLES A / 02:00 PM
WAWRINKA VS BERDYCH

EVENING SESSION
DOUBLES A / 06:00 PM
B BRYAN/ M BRYAN VS L KUBOT/R LINDSTEDT
SINGLES A / 08:00 PM
DJOKOVIC VS CILIC


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66 Comments for Murray Forgets To Show Up At ATP Finals, Federer Gets Revenge; Djokovic Opens 3-Peat Bid Monday

TennisVagabond.com Says:

Novak and Stan in straights.


jane Says:

gah! i’m so excited. hope nole can win and keep momentum alive. but that cilic is a tough customer (….paranoid android that i am, ha ha.)


Andrea Says:

Milos had his chances in the second set. Little unlucky on some shots. But horrible breaker for him. Rog looking good. I’m pumped for him and kei.


Hippy Chick Says:

Although i hope Novak tears Cilic apart,i think it will be three tight sets,as Cilic is now confident against the top players,i think Stan will also win in three sets,go Novak,and go Stan….


Tennis Island Says:

Roger is a king. How quickly he can forget about the lost match a week ago and play well in London:) Too bad for Andy. He is playing in front of own audience so we are looking for better results


TennisVagabond.com Says:

I need to see Cilic bring his USOpen game against top players again to believe in him as a true elite player. Today will be his first real chance.


Humble Rafa Says:

The Good Swiss is about to bagel the nastiest man on the tour. Sometimes good people win.


sienna Says:

@tv.com
cilic bringing that game is something tennis is walging for. Weet should hold our breath because it could determine the future.

Some people on this site dislike the guy, maybe because Kroatië v Servië or something. they even go as far as claiming nishikori run at USOPEN was more impressive.
You would only have to look at final or even just the stats to see who is the most likely to dominate.

Cilic should be aware that tennis world is watching tonight.


sienna Says:

wawa finding AO form??

that means the suisse are in business

Djoker is about to get tagteamed.
wawa got the game (when on) to trouble him.
So first Cilic would want to clean out the Serb. Just because they they hate eachother and he can.
then wawa for the kill and giving Fed ticket to yearend.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

I said Tomas would be the whipping boy of the event!
I said Stan was due!

You see that kind of play from Stan and wonder how he doesn’t have multiple slams.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

and I say that as one of the fee TXers who likes Tomas.


Gordon Says:

1 and 1? When game and sets count?

This is why it should have been Ferrer instead of the Czech dud. The top guys might still beat him but at least he would make them work for it and they’d know they have been in a match.

Berdych – good lord man; can’t you even try?


michael Says:

All credit to Wawarinka for he played really well. But the scoreline reads so poor because of pathetic display by Berdych who was totally out of sorts. To play so poor on such a big stage is a let down and only goes to show that Berdych doesn’t deserve his position.


Ben Pronin Says:

Doesn’t deserve his position? Pretty sure he earned it fair and square.

So much hate, Sienna. So much hate.


RZ Says:

That result is really going to help Stan and really going to hurt Berdych just purely on a number of games won/lost level.


RZ Says:

BTW, I read on Twitter that Wawrinka has the best percentage in terms of wins against top 10 players this year among those who have played more than 5 matches. Interestingly, his last match win against a top 10 player before today was in the Monte Carlo final.


andrea Says:

@sienna/ben…..while numerically, berdych did earn his position based on how the annual ranking #’s work, even the writers @ tennis.com went as far as saying that berdych being at the WTF was essentially this: “But can he do anything more than fill space at the O2?”

he’s essentially another ferrer. can give some grief here and there but never a consistent threat for the big prizes.


sienna Says:

Hate? where is the hate?
a spade is a spade.

i like to be clear about things.

Djoker needs to be brought down in order for Federer to become#1.

So DC team suisse will be trying to upset Djokovic and bring Federer the trophy. What boost that would give the team? almost sealing the deal for final DC because the wholeteam would see it as the ultimate dream.
DC winning and giving Federer #1.

Nog hate from me to egglover or Rafa. they happen to play for history and this is it.


brando GOAT poster Says:

Did not see the match at all but judging by that scoreline: berdych sure looks like the sacrificial lamb for the big boys this year.


jane Says:

people are surprised stan and cilic are threats when both won slams this year and have wins at the slams over top players. it’s worth noting that because kei, andy and milos have all played a lot to qualify, especially andy, maybe they’re a bit tired, in contrast to cilic and stan who fresher maybe? you could see the fatigue in paris for andy (and even kei though it might’ve been just from the ferrer match) when nole played them. it’s tough to predict form, but stan is a quality and experienced player. i am not surprised to see him beating berdych, although obviously 1 and 1 is extreme!


sienna Says:

Jane absolutely. you dont fluke winning slams.

if both Cilic and Wawa hit anyware form that brought home the slam then who got thethoughest draw?

it is up to the suisse to capitalize on it.


Felipe Says:

I stand by my prediction that Wawrinka will win the WTF.


Steve 27 Says:

the bh of Raonic is not worth of a top 10 player.
His groundgame is awful, if his percenteage of first serves is down, his game is very pedestrian.
The tb confirms that.
I dont know how much he can improve this obvious weaknesses.


jane Says:

that would be ironic felipe; it could mean that stan himself would hold back fed from finishing number 1, depending on match wins of him and others.


Emily Says:

I think this match has proved my predictions that Stan will play his best against the big players. I love the prediction Felipe, but if Stan keeps up this form, he’ll make the semis (fingers crossed).


TennisVagabond.com Says:

I wish someone would clarify whether Thomson is really ustashi-loving neo nazi, or just some fans, so I know whether I should be cheering for Cilic!!


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Yes Jane. His lyrics and statements are not really provocative, but there must be a reason he’s become a hero to the neo-nazis.


jane Says:

it says why on wiki methinks.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

You know, Novak is a really, really good tennis player. He should stick with the sport.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

WOW, breaks Cilic to love for a 2nd break! Haha, I’m glad i stayed off the Cilic bandwagon.


jane Says:

nole’s on a roll so far. hope he can maintain this momentum. often his level drops after a set. cilic made a few loose forehand errors early on that he wasn’t missing during the us open.


sienna Says:

pfffff Cilic UsOPEN form is not in Londen.
bummer for the tournement.
please take it over to south A.


jane Says:

true sienna. but nole’s in the zone though too. he’s returning with clarity thus far, even tough body serves that kick up high are coming back to the shoelaces. look:

http://clips.tennistv.com/g/v/xP4XcRBtjSY


Felipe Says:

Stan has been consistent in the big events, and if he can catch some fire, he can win the whole thing, beating old pal Federer in the process. This year he has beaten Nadal, Djokovic, Berdych, Ferrer and Federer, and he should have beaten Nishikori at the US OPEN (multiple break points and set points wasted in the third set). He likes the conditions, and he fears nobody.


Sirius Says:

Djokovic looks good on black outfit


mat4 Says:

Nole`s shot selection is outstanding.


skeezer Says:

Nole is proving he can play on any surface/speed………well.


Rishi Says:

An interesting stat to note is the 1st serve % of the players at the end of the 1st match at the World Tour Finals:

KN – 46%
AM – 58%
RF – 56%
MR – 46%
SW – 66%
TB – 56%
ND – 60%*
MC – 52%*

* – Currently Playing

Barring Stan, the rest are at or below 60%. Perhaps they are going for a bit too much, given the nature of the court surface?


jane Says:

^ thanks rishi. interesting for sure. wow, look at raonic and nishikoir both below 50%

thanks to nole, also, for allaying my fears. after many close contests with marin this season, i expected a much tighter match. not so. the tougher test, it seems like, will be against stan.


Mr. Larvey Says:

Yesterday I was saying that I wouldn’t be surprised if neither Nole or Fed gets in to the finals of WTF. Now I feel maybe a bit stupid… Yesterday evening Fed was convincing and this evening Nole was crazy good!

OK, torunament is still young and at least Wawa seems to be playing well as well. So let’s see what happens.


sienna Says:

wawa is the last straw…

back to drawing board for Cilic.
he doesnt need 1 slamwonder like his coach.

bring me new bandwagon!


Rishi Says:

Thanks Jane.

Wow….Novak just displayed a “Stan-tastic” performance. Can’t wait to see Wawa and Nole play.


Giles Says:

Just watching joker interview. He looks a bit ill?


andrea Says:

breadstick monday.


Rishi Says:

Tomorrow’s first singles match will be Roger vs Kei. I am predicting a 3-setter, and have a feeling that Kei might pull it off (Fed fan here). But seriously hoping for a Maestro performance tomorrow.

Watched the highlights of Roger-Milos match yesterday. Courts were fast, but Milos was engaging Roger in long rallies in the 2nd set. Probably the bounce played a big factor in Roger not being to finish points quicker.


Wog Boy Says:

“So first Cilic would want to clean out the Serb. Just because they they hate eachother and he can.”

No he (Cilic) can’t, and they don’t hate each other but you hate Nole and the nation he belongs to.
Cilic publicly thanked Nole for beeing the only one to support him last year in his drug case and he said that he owes him that until the end of his (Cilic) life, here is the link, nise picture of Goran, Cilic, Boris and Nole together, use google translate:

http://www.rts.rs/page/sport/sr/story/38/Tenis/1739889/Čilić%3A+Do+kraja+života+biću+zahvalan+Đokoviću%21.html


mat4 Says:

Two years ago I read that the surface slowed spin, but not flat shots. It was also my impression last year, but I have the impression that it is now a bit faster. But, just an impression.

Novak played well, but then, Marin played below expectations. Novak’s shot selection was good — he wrongfooted Marin time and time again. He used his improved slice effectively, and his FH worked quite well, I-Out, I-In, but especially CC.

But he still has two very difficult opponents to beat.


Wog Boy Says:

The people at O2 should ask for their money back..both matches.

The best game in the match was fifth (I think) in the first set when Nole hit thise two FHCC when he was on the back foot way behind the base line to pass Cilic who was rushing to the net, they were really crazy shots.
I am not worried abot Nole as long as they don’t give him OH to hit ..and FH volley;)


RZ Says:

Cilic had said before the tournament that he’s been dealing with an arm injury. Wondering if he will stick around for the whole round robin phase. Just based on his serve alone he should have gotten more than one game per set.


Wog Boy Says:

RZ, agree, Cilic wasn’t at his best today but I don’t think the injury was the reason it could be mental thing playing for the first time WTF infront of packed O2..and Nole on the other side of the net. Thst could be the case with Raonic too. They couldn’t pick worst oponents to start WTF campain.


Brando GOAT Poster Says:

Wow, missed this match also and the scoreline…….. feel sorry for the public witnessing one sided matches today in both out’s!

RZ: Arm injury? That’s a shame if a an issue.

Well done to Nole and Wawa. For Nole it’s pretty much beat Wawa= job done for YE 1 since he’ll beat Berdych for sure.

Infact:

He could lose to Wawa and still seal the deal (with additional 200 points) if he beats his SF opponent (probably Kei on paper for now).

Cannot see Nole beyond YE1, as for the tournament:

Missed the matches so it’s hard to say: where Nole and Wawa too good or the others below par?

Berdych did lament his performance saying he was awful.


jane Says:

just curious: are the next matches nole/stan, berdy/cilic? i think that’s the case right?

and is it fed/kei and then andy/milos tomorrow?


django Says:

Sienna @10:01
What country are you from where you would use those dots over the letter ‘e ‘ in Servie? Albania?


Wog Boy Says:

Django, she is Dutch.


Wog Boy Says:

^^though she could be with the backround from Balkans.


mat4 Says:

@WB, jane:

Don’t bother about Sienna. I guess (s)he wrote more than (s)he wanted.

What do you thing of Novak’s game? I thought his serve motion (especially at the beginning) was a bit different.


Steve 27 Says:

Berdych favorite movie:
“Master of Deception”


Wog Boy Says:

mat4,

I agree, that is what Vajda was talking in that interview after Paris masters, they changed a bit his serving technice and now they are trying to add more power. Cilic wasn’t at his best, as I said, but Nole’s tactic was really good too. Same as against Raonic, when you are returning their serves (or balls) around their feet they can’t swing freely since they are tall and he streched them on either side of the court, and Nole again was playing often deep in the middle of the court (not as often as against Raonic), to denny him angles and big swing.
But Stanimal will be different animal to beat. Nole must stay focused, it is far from over (#1).


michael Says:

So far WTF has turned to be a big dampener with no engrossing matches at the league stages. Might be we are poised for thrillers from the knock out stages ? Let us hope for the best.

As regards Berdych, Ben says he has earned his position. But the question is if he is doing any justice to his position by such sloppy play ? That surely will earn him the ire of spectators. The point is it appears he is not trying on the court and reconciled to submission. Such an attitude is pretty bad. With Cilic suffering from physical issues, this group looks pedestrian and looks like a cake walk for Novak and Wawarinka to qualify.


skeezer Says:

“that is what Vajda was talking in that interview after Paris masters, they changed a bit his serving technice and now they are trying to add more power. ”
I find this excellant, as, although Novaks service has improved greatly over the years, there is still too much motion. Still too many unnecessary moving parts.
Firthermore, this is interesting in regards to todays game. You cannot just ” be good” but if you want to “be great” you have to continually improve. Guys figure your game out, and adjust. You have to keep creating new stuff in your game. Rafa and Fed have done this, and its not surprising to here this from Nole’s camp.


mat4 Says:

@Skeez:

I agree. You just can’t stop improving, and this year has been a perfect illustration of this truth.

I sometimes ask myself if Fed’s curse wasn’t that he was too good, and he missed two years, perhaps three, before he reacted and started to improve his game and to embrace modern technology. But I am happy he still plays so well (and in the course of the year, he improved steadily), and I hope he will have a career as long as Connors’.

Speaking of Novak, I noticed that he got his running forehand back — he lost it when he changed his racquet, but now, he finally got it back. At the beginning of the match, I had the impression that he used a shorter motion and a flick of the wrist when serving, but I am not sure any more. Just an impression I had.

But his main quality, for me, is that he plays schoolbook tennis: his shot selection is very good, his serve distribution versatile, his strategy adapted to his opponent and very sound. And he even improved his overhead.

I hope he, too, will play at this level for years to come. And if somebody plays better, so be it.


Wog Boy Says:

“And he even improved his overhead.”

Uhh, have you seen that OH in the first set (I think it was second game), when ever he does OH I freeze and sometimes close my eyes. It looks like somebody shrinks the other side of the court..


Wog Boy Says:

^^mat4


sienna Says:

time for novak to speak again about the so called hardship of serbian people (Servië) .

lmmfao with statement like that.


contador Says:

Interesting posts about Novak from skeezer, mat4, and Wog Boy. Did not get to see the match, so thanks, guys.

I did see the stanimal v t-bird. Hard to tell how good stanimal was because Berdych was so useless.

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