Federer Embarrasses Murray At London ATP Finals; Djokovic Set To Clinch No. 1 Friday
by Sean Randall | November 13th, 2014, 10:28 pm
  • 71 Comments

What a wacky ATP Finals thus far. The first four days saw all straight set matches, that until today when Milos Raonic withdrew with a leg injury before his match against Kei Nishikori. Able-bodied David Ferrer stepped in and the former champion finally created some drama pushing the Japenese to three before falling in the end 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.

“It’s never easy playing against David because he’s very consistent from the baseline,” said Nishikori. “If I want to win, I have to do something to break his tennis. From the second set, I was more aggressive. The final set was almost perfect.”

In the main event, which really should have been called the “pain event”, local favorite Andy Murray felt the hurt like never before coming within two points of being force-fed a dreaded double bagel by rival Roger Federer in front of his home fans.

Federer, the nice guy that he is, had Murray 6-0, 5-0 with Murray serving 0-30 before he eased up and let the Scot salvage some dignity, but it was still a humiliating for Murray to end his year.

“At the end I was happy I didn’t win the second to last game to be quite honest,” said Federer who now leads Murray 12-11. “Yeah, it’s uncomfortable. I don’t know. I don’t like it.

“I had the upper hand from the baseline, which hasn’t always happened against him,” he said. “But I definitely was able to play on my terms. For me, things went very well. I was able to put Andy under pressure very often, and I think the match couldn’t have gone any better for me really.”

Addded Murray, who suffered his joint worst loss of his career (Djokovic at 2007 Miami), “It wasn’t what I was looking for when I went on the court,” said Murray. “Everything he tried tonight came off. He has the ability to do that.

“I now have six, seven weeks before the next tournament. I have time to work on some stuff.”

Ya think, Andy? Good luck not thinking about this loss the next six weeks!

Federer’s win caps a perfect first three week to the ATP Finals. He’ll have a day off before his semi, and by earning the top spot in Group B, it should keep him from having to run into Novak Djokovic on Saturday. Instead, he’ll probably be paired against either Stan Wawrinka or Tomas Berdych.

Nishikori finishes second after an excellent round robin debut. If his wrist is OK, he’ll likely run into Djokovic.

So tomorrow, a forgettable round robin stage mercifully ends with Djokovic against Berdych and then Wawrinka taking on Marin Cilic.

With Djokovic ahead 16-2 against Berdych, it’s awfully tough not to pick the Serb. I think Djokovic wins that, but I actually expect a tight match.

Should Novak win not only will he take Group A but also clinch the year-end No. 1 ranking. So the match has some extra importance.

In the second match I think Stan comes through. He own Cilic 7-2 and a win would likely set up that semi against Roger. And the Croat has really been struggling this week in his debut.

“I just hope he beats Cilic and makes it somehow, whatever that scenario is,” Federer said of Wawrinka. ‘I’d love to play against Stan here in the semis. It would be historic for us to make it for a second consecutive year into the semis. If we play each other, it’s a good thing that one of us is going to go to the finals. It’s an extra match for Stan, in particular. It’s an opportunity for both of us to play a quality match ahead of Davis Cup.

“I’m happy that Stan has also picked up his level. I hope he can qualify and make it special for the weekend.”

Tennis Channel again has the early match. ESPN2 will have the Wawrinka-Cilic affair.

FRIDAY ATP FINALS SCHEDULE
FRI, 14 NOV 2014
AFTERNOON SESSION
DOUBLES A / 12:00 PM
J ROJER/H TECAU VS L KUBOT/R LINDSTEDT
SINGLES A / 02:00 PM
DJOKOVIC VS BERDYCH

EVENING SESSION
DOUBLES A / 05:45 PM
B BRYAN/M BRYAN VS A PEYA/B SOARES
SINGLES A / 08:00 PM
WAWRINKA VS CILIC


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Here’s What Novak Djokovic Has To Do To Finish 2013 No. 1
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Federer Falls To Raonic, Slips Further Behind Djokovic In No. 1 Race; ATP London Field Set

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71 Comments for Federer Embarrasses Murray At London ATP Finals; Djokovic Set To Clinch No. 1 Friday

Sivaji Says:

Djokovic demolishes Berdych and Stan wins against Cilic in 3 sets.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

I like that. You don’t often hear an athlete say, “This guy’s my buddy so I actually hope he beats that other guy”.


jane Says:

i didn’t see the match but read that andy played horrible and fed played great, which i guess makes sense with that scoreline!

this can’t be a good way for andy to end the year, so it makes me sad that it wasn’t at least a tighter contest. maybe he’ll use the loss as motivation; it’s odd given that he played fed so tightly at the australian open first thing this year, and then worse at the end, considering he was right off the surgery at the australian. but maybe it’s the coach change too. lots going on for him this year.

fingers crossed for nole to do well tomorrow.


Michael Says:

What caused this humiliation for Andy ? Is it the genius of Roger or is it due to the desperation of Andy to somehow qualify for knock out stages and thereby going for broke throwing caution to the winds ? I didn’t see this match and so I am not in a position to comment with element of justice. But, certainly the scoreline looks quite horrible from Andy’s angle and is a sort of whammy where he was slaughtered mercilessly little giving recognition to his position in the sport. Losing 0 and 1 to a nearing 34 year old player doesn’t reflect well on Andy’s profile favourably and it may take a while for Andy to get out of this whacking. Actually, Andy it seems escaped a bagel in both the sets with some element of luck. Nevertheless, congrats to Roger for another qualification to the knock out stages. He is proving again and again as to why he is held in such high esteem in this Sport by virtue of his class performance. That the current crop of players cannot get the better of a nearing 34 year old who is also perceivably playing below his best just goes to show the wide gap that is to be covered.


Eric Says:

Considering that Andy poured his guts out to qualify, it’s got to be horribly disappointing to end it like that, but maybe not altogether surprising. Still, an end to the 2014 season; time for a tabula rasa and new accomplishments in 2015.


kjb Says:

Murray’s second serve is just not good enough right now, amoung alot of other things. He has got to regroup in the off season, I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes a deep run at the Australian but he has got some work to do. Fed is looking pretty good. I have been impressed with his backhand, he hit some nice down the liners today. Which, I believe is key against Nole(If they do in fact play each other). His cross-court slice returns are looking deadly. Most importantly he is moving so well, it boggles my mind really.
I really would like to see a Nole/Fed final. I will be rooting for Fed but Nole looks crazy good right now. Nole is obviously the favorite, but in a 3 set format, on this surface, at this venue, it can’t be by much.
My big concern is Stan the man…..get it together dude! You got DC coming up here!


Wog Boy Says:

“Tabula rasa”, I haven’t heard that one for ages, reminds on my school days..ages ago:)


Wog Boy Says:

^^”reminds me of my school days”


skeezer Says:

For those of you who did not see the match, I would suggest watch it. It wasn’t that Andy played that bad, especially in the beginning, but Fed played THAT good, and Fed did not serve that well at all. It was mostly a dominant backcourt front court all court game. A Maestro perfomance.


Emily Says:

Your big concern is Stan, kjb? Clearly you didn’t see his beat down of Berdych where he had the highest 1st serve percentage of anyone in their first round robin match.


jane Says:

a friend did mention roger was “sublime” skeezer.


kjb Says:

@Emily

I did see that. But I also saw him get bageled 2 days later. He has been hit and miss since Monte Carlo.


Michael Says:

Serving below par and yet winning in such a contemptuous fashion ? I am disappointed that I didn’t watch this match to witness Roger’s brilliance from the back of the court. If opportunity arises, I would definitely like to see Roger’s histronics on court in this particular match.


senorita Says:

I didn’t think I’d ever say this, but Fed was in sublime mode yesterday. He played an all-court game and everything worked. The more the match went on the worse Murray got because everything was working for Federer.

Murray didn’t even have enough zeal left to berate himself or his team. He took it like a man.


Giles Says:

Andy came out too nervous, must have been the pressure of qualification. He had to win the match in straight sets to qualify I think. He played pants and the old fella took full advantage of his nervousness and poor play. Who can blame him! Andy will drill the old fella next time. Can’t wait!


Michael Says:

“At the end I was happy I didn’t win the second to last game to be quite honest,” said Federer who now leads Murray 12-11. “Yeah, it’s uncomfortable. I don’t know. I don’t like it.”

Even the one game, Andy managed to snatch in the end, it appears was gifted by Roger out of pity.


El matador Says:

I still think it’s murray’s back which is responsible for his struggle against fed.. An aging fed can never beat a more talented andy,the hero of this generation..lul


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Skeeze, I respectfully disagree. Andy was awful. He was hitting moon ball after moon ball into Fed’s wheelhouse. It was just like a practice session for Fed. He pulled off incredible shots, but they were from as easy set-ups as possible.

When he was at the net, Murray hit the “passing” shots with NO pop, and no accuracy.

It was beautiful, picture perfect highlight reel tennis from Fed, but does not compare to playing well while under pressure.


michael Says:

Andy was playing awful ? Well, is that a rare instance ? He almost repeats it adnauseam. I do not think it is fair to undermine the victory of Roger citing Andy’s meltdown. As a professional player he is expected to perform with consistency. He failed and paid the price in the form of a rout. The matter ends there without making flimsy excuses.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Saying someone was awful is making an excuse?
Boy, everyone really gets their ears perked up for any perceived slight, imagining them when they are not there.

Fed’s form against Andy is certainly promising- he couldn’t have done any better. But since Andy was giving him every chance to crush winners, its hardly indicative of how Rog will perform against better competition.


Sirius Says:

Got a feeling that berdy might upset djokovic today…. Even though there’s no reason that he will!


Ben Pronin Says:

It takes two to tango. With a scoreline so lopsided, no matter if the two guys are ranked 1 and 2 or 51 and 52. If the scoreline is 6-0 6-1 then one guy surely played well but the other guy definitely played way too poorly to make it competitive.


Jeez Says:

STATS
Aces 0 3
Double Faults 1 4
1st Serve % 39% 45%
1st Serve Points Won 14/14 (100%) 7/19 (37%)
2nd Serve Points Won 14/22 (64%) 9/23 (39%)
Break Points Saved 0/0 (0%) 1/6 (17%)
Service Games Played 7 6
Return Statistics
1st Return Points Won 12/19 (63%) 0/14 (0%)
2nd Return Points Won 14/23 (61%) 8/22 (36%)
Break Points Won 5/6 (83%) 0/0 (0%)
Return Games Played 6 7
Points Statistics
Total ServicePoints Won 28/36 (78%) 16/42 (38%)
Total Return Points Won 26/42 (62%) 8/36 (22%)
Total Points Won 54/78 (69%) 24/78 (31%)

So Federer expended just 6 more points than bare minimum[48] to win the match.!!!


Tennislover Says:

As much as I love this event, this edition has been quite disappointing so far. The absence of a Delpo or a Rafa is being felt. The court’s slowish speed and slightly higher bounce are perfect for players of the calibre of Djokovic, Rafa and Murray to dominate this event. Djojovic’s game, in particular, finds its best expression in such conditions and, to his immense credit, he has cashed in not only here but at Paris as well ever since the courts were slowed two years ago if I am not mistaken. London has never been a quick surface – a far cry from the fast carpets of the 1990s and not even close to Shanghai’s TMC surface, but it seems slower than ever before. The lack of many winners indicates a difficulty in hitting through the court. Djokovic had more UEs than winners in his “stunning” performance against Wawa and Fed was merely 12/12 on that count in his “masterpiece” against Murray. Granted, both played pretty well but their opponents, especially Murray, were awful. Fed’s 39% first serves could potentially result in a similar scoreline against him if he ends up meeting a seemingly dialed-in Djokovic later in this event.

It is tough to judge the form or level of play in the face of non-existent competition. Everything went wrong for Murray on a horrible day at the office. It was incredibly tough to watch as I like both these players and was scheming of a final between the two before the event started. Murray needs to just shake off this loss, take a break and start tweaking his game instead of spending too much time on physical conditioning. I sometimes wonder if Mauresmo is the right person for him at this point of time. He has some serious issues to deal with although I am still optimistic that he’d be a force to reckon with in Australia.


madmax Says:

Well, I think everyone should give Murray a break. Seriously, when someone is down and out (and I don’t believe this was his best match, of course it wasn’t), but all of our favourites going through hard times. This is what Federer said and at least he isn’t kicking someone when they are down. He should know the bashing he has got over the years for being “over” and listening to the chants of “when are you going to retire”.

Vultures in sport. Everywhere. Even here.

“As for Murray’s outlook after this chastening night, Federer tried to offer some words of encouragement. He too has struggled to rebuild his game after recovering from back trouble, although his superb form of late suggests that those problems are all in the past.

“I think he’s definitely had to work very hard to come back to a level that he’s happy with,” said Federer of Murray. “But if I can compare just slightly to me, because I guess we’ve had some similar issues in the last couple of years. You just tend to be up and down, especially against the top players. There’s just that little bit of doubt maybe that you need to play unbelievably well and the other guy you hope he doesn’t play his best. Only then maybe you can get it done.

“Maybe he has those kind of confidence issues. I went through exactly the same last year. It’s like an up-and-down battle. Every point is complicated. Every day is complicated. At the same time you do have your good days, you have your okay days. But they’re not so often.

“So I think the off season is going to be big for Andy. I’m confident for him that next year he’s going to be much more solid throughout, he’s going to be happier in the process, and he’s going to be playing better tennis.”

Margot, don’t be too disheartened. It will be another top 5 player soon.


madmax Says:

TennisVagabond.com Says:
Saying someone was awful is making an excuse?
Boy, everyone really gets their ears perked up for any perceived slight, imagining them when they are not there.

Fed’s form against Andy is certainly promising- he couldn’t have done any better. But since Andy was giving him every chance to crush winners, its hardly indicative of how Rog will perform against better competition.

November 14th, 2014 at 7:57 am

TV,

seriously?

Who are the “better” competition right now? There is one. That’s Novak.

Enough said.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Madmax, I don’t get it.


Sirius Says:

Djokovic ends year as no. 1. Well done novak, well done


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Just checked the stats of the Novak match, Novak is serving 59% and Berdych just 40%.

This is so bizarre! Why is everyone serving so badly here? Could it be the slow courts are making it tough to get winners so they’re amping their serves past their comfort zones?


Daniel Says:

Congrats Djoko for his third Year End #1.

Another Nadal and Federer record that he ties as they all lost YE#1 and regain it later in their careers.

Stepping even further to the greats of the games hope he wins RG eventually and reach doible digits Slams. As the player who stopped Fed and Nadal so much he deserves to be right there.


elina Says:

Well done Nole for YE #1.

Hoping Fedole will give us the match we’ve been anticipating to make up for all of these gluten-laden blowouts!


Giles Says:

Thank goodness we were spared the shirt ripping act!!
Maybe he is saving that for Sunday! Lol


jatin Says:

Congrts novak for clinching the year end no. 1. Well deserved.
Now all we want is another amazing Final match between the two best players right now.. Roger federer vs novak djokovic.. That would be the fitting of this year.


jatin Says:

fitting end i mean


Okiegal Says:

I just hate the byline of this article…..”Fed Embarrasses Murray”……like the guy doesn’t feel bad enough as it is, playing before his home crowd. Tacky, tacky!! Could have used a better choice of words. Let’s just kick him when he’s down. Of course, the Maestro was on the other side of the net….hence…..there ya go!!


Sirius Says:

@TV,

djokovic was serving over 70% first serves in the first set. But eventually the rate decreased

Could it be the balls? I feel like the players don’t seem to have much control on them except djokovic


Wog Boy Says:

I am glad it is finished and Nole is YE #1, mainly because I started to worry for some Fedfans on TX, they have been doing the numbers since Shanghai, now they can stop doing the numbers, NO1E is the best player in the world, no?


jane Says:

woot nole! third year-end #1, am very happy for him.

daniel me too. :)


Giles Says:

They are HEAD balls, Joker’s sponsors!!!


jane Says:

madmax those are nice words from fed to andy. i hope andy is able to have a great off season.


Giles Says:

Congrats joker.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Novak is a very fitting year end #1, and he really appears to be getting better.

As a Fed fan, I’m more than happy with his season. He entered 2014 seemingly on a downward trajectory, now a year older, he seems to be right back at the top. Even if 2015 sucks, this has been a great coda for his career, and I’m sure the shellacking he’s given to the current and next-gen greats this week will be a lasting memory for him.

I for one am looking forward to great battles between Rafa and Novak next year, the return of DelPotro, and the continued invasion of the newbies. If Fed can remain in the mix, so much the better!


skeezer Says:

@TV
Ditto here and well said. And congrats to Nole YE #1. That Daddy thing was a good thing ;).


andrea Says:

congrats to novak for wrapping up #1.

after watching the fed/murray match last night and knowing before hand his first serve % was so low, it almost didn’t register since murray served poorly and roger was winning almost every point. it’s great to see roger put on such a nice display, but i prefer when there is some drama. someone has to shout at the TV in my neighbourhood….


Giles Says:

Commiserations to all fedfans for fed failing to clinch y/e #1. Never mind, next time. Lol lol


Okiegal Says:

CONGRATS to Joker from Oklahoma! You have got this year thingy down. I guess we will see who is whose daddy soon enough!! Lol

C’mon Andy and get it together. I feel like his confidence level is at the bottom of the barrel atm.
He needs Ivan…….imo!


Giles Says:

Ok now, this Daddy thingy has gone far enough!


Giles Says:

PS. Skeezer thinks fed is everyone’s Daddy, so there you go! Lol


Bob Says:

Such a hate, that stinks, Giles. How can you bear it yourself?


brando GOAT poster Says:

Lol Giles.


SG1 Says:

Murray’s loss was bad. Really bad in fact. But, he’s taken worse losses from an emotional stand point. His 4th consective GS Final loss seem to really shake him up.

I think a loss like this can be a wake up call regarding some things in his game that he needs to clean up. Pros and coaches (good ones anyway) know how to turn negatives into positives.

Every elite pro (even Federer, Nadal, Sampras, Laver etc) has taken some ugly losses. Murray will get the ship righted come January.

As for Federer, he sent a message. The message being, “I may not finish the year No.1, but if I win this tournament, I was only a couple of games away from having a better year than anyone.” If that is what he’s thinking…he’s right.


brando GOAT poster Says:

Fed fan’s: commiseration I guess but at 33 to even be in the conversation for year end 1 is huge so be proud and enjoy the ride. I doubt you’ll be too disappointed since having your fav being a genuine title threat and playing excellent tennis at such a age leads to genuine gratitude rather than over the top expectations. Well done to Fed for his year and ……… I know hope he wins WTF since he deserves a major singles title for an excellent year in my book. He can do it too should he play a + tennis that he can so forget this, dc and root hard for him here!


brando GOAT poster Says:

Nole, his fans: May4, wog boy, courbon, patson and django: major congrats on tour fab sealing the deal! Worthy no1 and overall: best performer from the big boys so well deserved and enjoy it!


brando GOAT poster Says:

Your fav > tour fab lol.


Okiegal Says:

Yeah, Fed has had one marvelous year. Kudos to him and his fans…..bragging rights for sure at 33……proving once again age really is only a number!


madmax Says:

Wog Boy Says:
I am glad it is finished and Nole is YE #1, mainly because I started to worry for some Fedfans on TX, they have been doing the numbers since Shanghai, now they can stop doing the numbers, NO1E is the best player in the world, no?

November 14th, 2014 at 10:57 am

Yes, he absolutely is Wog Boy! Congratuilstions to you and the rest of the Nole fans (me included!). He is my number 2, though Fed will always be number 1 to me :))

Giles Says:
Commiserations to all fedfans for fed failing to clinch y/e #1. Never mind, next time. Lol lol

November 14th, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Poor Giles. Must be missing Rafa.

Commiserations to all rafa fans for Rafa failing to even make the WTF Never mind, next time. Lol. Lol.


madmax Says:

Oki,

I agree.

It’s a horrible head line. Not designed to make Andy feel better. Don’t you worry however. He will overcome.


madmax Says:

Margot,

You need to come out of hiding you know. It’s okay when there are losses. Through thick and thin, okay?


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Brando, nice post, but you know, the WTF shouldn’t be seen as a consolation prize for a great year: the better player on the day will win it, and if its Novak, then it just means that Novak alone stood between Fed and multiple championships this year.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

And let’s not get ahead of ourselves: Kei and Stan are going to have something to say!


Polo Says:

Good job again, Djokovic. Congratulations! To those who graciously sent out commiserations to Federer fans like me. thank you! But I must say that even without a major or a number one ranking. Federer did himself and us, his fans, proud.


Giles Says:

madmax. You really are full of it. BTW why do you always mimic me? I give you a zero for originality! Lol


django Says:

Great match today from novak. May the best man win Sunday.


madmax Says:

Giles Says:
madmax. You really are full of it. BTW why do you always mimic me? I give you a zero for originality! Lol

November 14th, 2014 at 1:37 pm


Humble Rafa Says:

Mr. Lady Forehand played so bad, the British were calling him a Scotsman.


Michael Says:

There is no need for commiserations for Roger not able to make it Numero Uno.

The fact that he is No.2 itself reflects very badly on the so called young guns and explodes the myth of tough era in Tennis. Infact, it is in this era, save the top three, the competition looks pretty barren and this is despite an occasional Wawrinka and Cilic’s display of histronics to win majors.


skeezer Says:

^nailed it!


Michael Says:

Okiegal @ 1.02 PM,

Age is not a mere number in Tennis and Athletics atleast where physical ability is tested to the utmost. Age is a fact and its deleterious influence cannot be condescended. It is not easy to challenge the whims and fancies of Nature. But there are some exceptional Sporting personalities and crusaders like Roger who defeat Nature’s instincts through their weave of brilliance.


Okiegal Says:

@Michael 11:20…..I will agree with Skeezer, you nailed it and the post @ 11:46 also!! Roger is showing brilliance at the ripe old age of 33!!


Michael Says:

Okiegal,

Connors, Rosewall etc., are the other players who bloomed in their old age. It is really a difficult feat to manage. Ask Sampras for that !!


elina Says:

Throughout the claimed Golden Era since 2008, Roger has finished each year respectively at Nos. 2, 1, 2, 3, 2, 6, 2 (No. 6 an obvious anomaly due to an injured back).

Roger, at 33, finishing commendably at number two (and almost No. 1) yet again blasts nothing out of the water except that 2014 has not lived up to the highest standard set by this Golden Era and that Roger’s longevity near or at the top of the game is unparalleled.

To state otherwise ignores the fact that Nadal, Murray and Del Potro have for the most part had to deal with injury for the majority of the year. Add to that the fact that players like Berdych and Tsonga have regressed.

Only time will tell if 2014 is an anomaly in this Golden era or the beginning of the end bit to say it never existed to begin with based on this year is a flawed analysis.

Top story: Federer Books Final Four Berth At ATP Finals, Thiem Advances; Last SF Spot At Stake Friday