Djokovic Edges Raonic To Reach SFs, Thiem Wins At ATP Finals; Murray Returns Wed.
by Staff | November 15th, 2016, 5:43 pm
  • 143 Comments

Novak Djokovic and debutante Dominic Thiem were winners on Tuesday at the ATP World Tour Finals in London, where the Serb secured a spot in the semifinals to finish first place in the Ivan Lendl group while Thiem kept his hopes alive.


Djokovic was pressed to the limit by big-serving Milos Raonic, edging the Canuck 7-6(6), 7-6(5).

“It was a very close match,” said Djokovic. “I think very few points separated us tonight. It really could have gone either way. I was fortunate to get through the first set tie-break. I was down very early in both tie-breaks tonight. But I just managed to stay committed and put pressure on his second serves.”

Raonic held leads in both tiebreakers but couldn’t convert.

“I believe all the break points, except for maybe the set point at the end, he put in a first serve every single time,” Raonic said. “I believe when he had his break points, I didn’t put in one. I think it’s those little things that make a difference.

“Those moments he stepped up and played well. I just maybe hesitated a little bit too much. But overall I created a lot of opportunities. I did a lot of good things. A lot of things to be proud of.”

Djokovic improved to 2-0 in round robin play while Raonic dropped to 1-1 and has now lost all eight meetings with the Serb, winning just one set. Djokovic is attempting to win the title and surpass Andy Murray for the coveted year-end No. 1 ranking.

Raonic will next play Thiem with a semifinal berth on the line. The 25-year-old Canadian is now 51-16 in 2016.

Thiem continued his breakout year by beating Gael Monfils 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 to improve to 1-1 in round robin play, eliminating the Frenchman’s hopes of reaching the semifinals as he dropped to 0-2 in round robin play.

The 23-year-old year-end championships debutant broke fellow London debut-er Monfils at 5-4 in the third set.

“I was trying to stay tough in the third set but at the end, of course, he helped me a little bit with the three double faults,” Thiem said of the flighty Monfils. “But I’m very happy with the win. This tournament, the big crowd, gives me and probably all the players a lot of energy.”

Thiem improved his record in deciding sets this season to a tour-leading 22-3.

On court Wednesday in London will be (1) Andy Murray vs. (5) Kei Nishikori and (3) Stan Wawrinka vs. (7) Marin Cilic.

Murray leads Nishikori 7-2 however fell to the Japanese in the US Open quarterfinals two months ago. “I would say this is probably his best year that he’s had on the tour,” Murray said of Nishikori. “He’s one of the best players in the world. He’s been playing very well the last few months especially.”

Added Nishikori on the contest, “This year we played three, four times. I had a tough loss in Rio. But US Open and Davis Cup, we played, you know, some good match. I feel more chance, you know, to win the match against Andy. Obviously it’s the toughest match maybe in this group. Yeah, for sure I have to play well and play hundred percent to beat Andy.”

Wawrinka has won the last six against Cilic to hold a 10-2 advantage over the Croat.

Murray and Nishikori are the only players who can qualify for the semifinals on Wednesday:
- Murray qualifies if he defeats Nishikori and Cilic defeats Wawrinka
- Murray also qualifies if he defeats Nishikori in 2 sets and Wawrinka defeats Cilic in 3 sets
- Nishikori qualifies if he defeats Murray and Wawrinka defeats Cilic
- Nishikori also qualifies if he defeats Murray in 2 sets and Cilic defeats Wawrinka in 3 sets

WEDNESDAY ATP FINALS SCHEDULE
noon
[5] H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) v [7] R Klaasen (RSA) / R Ram (USA)
2pm
ANDY MURRAY [1] (GBR) v KEI NISHIKORI [5] (JPN)

6pm
[1] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) v [4] F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP)
8pm
STAN WAWRINKA [3] (SUI) v MARIN CILIC [7] (CRO)


You Might Like:
Murray Wins in 1st Small Step Toward Year-end No. 1 at ATP World Tour Finals; Djokovic-Raonic Tues
Roger Federer, Kei Nishikori Could Qualify For Semifinals Tuesday In London
Raonic Reaches SFs At ATP Finals, Djokovic Back In No. 1 Lead; Murray v Wawrinka Friday
ATP Finals 8-Man Field Is Set: Dominic Thiem Takes Last Spot, Novak Djokovic Lone Former Champion
ATP Finals Groups: Novak Djokovic = Easy, Andy Murray = Not So Easy

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143 Comments for Djokovic Edges Raonic To Reach SFs, Thiem Wins At ATP Finals; Murray Returns Wed.

Travis Bickle Says:

Here is a suggestion for Milos Raonic:

Next time when you decide to lie about “not being able to play” use a better lie; don’t say you tore your muscle and then 10 days later run like a rabbit against Djoker!

After tonight, everyone knows Milos decided (or was told) to give the walkover in Paris to Murray so Murray can get the #1 ranking. However, Milos could have said something more believable like upset stomach or family issues – that way his running 10 days later in London would have been believable.

Or perhaps, Milos choose the “torn muscle” explanation intentionally, to give us all a hint that he was “asked” to do what he did in Paris…

Whatever the reason, Raonic’s dirty behavior makes him deserving of tonight straight sets loss against Novak. I hope Thiem beats him too so he can have more time to “heal” his torn muscle ;-)


jane Says:

woot nole!


Wog Boy Says:

Torn muscle my a??, torn conscience, maybe, if he has one?


Farah Diba Says:

Wow!Milos made 42 winner compared to Nole 11..Although UE’s between them not different that much,around 20 something but as usual the mental strength that made the difference.Good to see Nole handle his emotion on court today..That’s the way it should be,don’t give a reason for them to pounce on you..Also good to see Nole interacted with fans in the end..gave towel and signed autograph..True Champ!


Wog Boy Says:

FD,
14 aces are counted as winners.


J-Kath Says:

Oh Travis – I never thought you’d jeopardise your tennis acumen like this. I think you are more worried about Nole than you care to admit. Why not leave Nole to do what he does so well – ie look after himself rather than question his integrity as you do here?

I have to say you are not amusing this evening.


Travis Bickle Says:

J-Kath,

You don’t have to be amused by me, but please don’t pretend to be naive… You are quite smart and I know it.

I’m sure than even our dear poster Willow figured out by now that Raonic was not injured when he gave Murray walkover last week.

Pretending of noticing that obvious fact, or at least not commenting on it, is rather strange even for a Murray supporter (especially an honest one)!

I noticed that on this site only Wog Boy and Danica have raised the issue of Raonic’s peculiar “injury”. Frankly, I expected some non-Novak fans to mention it too. Do not tell me you find this business about “torn muscle fully healed in a week” completely legit!?!


Farah Diba Says:

@WB..14?Oh!Sorry about that mistake..


Wog Boy Says:

FD,

It is not mistake, they are still winners, but can be deceiving when you judge the match through the winners with players like Raonic, Isner…


jane Says:

i read that milos played amazing and had novak on defense the whole, time, bombing forehands from all over and running around his backhand. that could explain the winner differential.

ubaldo said it was the best match in london so far and croft said there was some extraordinary tennis on display.

missed it because at work, but happy to know novak is getting some of his fire back. makes me happy. :)


Wog Boy Says:

Nole should be guaranteed first in the group spot regardless of Monfils result?


chrisford1 Says:

Jane, I didn’t see the match but some of Djokovic’s greatest moments have come when he is in a big match and gets hammered by a big serve and forehand foe – but doesn’t break. The 2013 Wimbledon SF classic of Delpo and Novak may be the best example. Juan pounded the stuffing out of Djoker over 5 sets, but couldn’t shatter Novak’s defense.
MIlos had a ton of winners, but Novak served well enough to be hard to break on top of his usual amazing defense taking the tiebreakers.
We got the Nolecoaster though, as Wog Boy alluded to. Up 30 love, 4-3 in the 2nd set, Djokovic lost focus and gave his break back.
I have mentioned. maybe too many times here, that in 2007 -2009 I selected Novak, del Potro, and Marin Cilic as faves I could root for. Those picks were good. Then I added Milos in 2013, saying he will one day take Wimbledon. While Andy grew on me once I realized he was not really a whiny Pussyboy – I think I had fan glory when Novak emerged against the “Greatest 2 ever” and proved a better player in 2011 when both were still in their prime. My fan glory continues. Now I root for Milos, Andy, Marin, and Del Potro when they are not facing Novak. And on a couple occasions rooted for Stan and Rafa as they had to beat Novak to have a huge accomplishment. Rafa at the 2010 USO to get his career slam, Stan when he beat Novak in the QFs at the 2014 USO.


Daniel Says:

Yes WB.

Even if Djoko loses to Monfils (can’t see it), the winner of Raonic x Thiem will be second because the winner and Djoko will both be 2-1. Direct confront whereas Djoko beat both players puts Djoko first in his group, regardless if he beats Monfils or not.


Daniel Says:

Hoping for Murray to beat Kei tomorrow and Cilic beat’s Wawa, this way Murray is also guarantee first in his group and eliminates Stan (who can play Djoko in semis if he qualifies and spoil the party) as he tends to play big versus Nole.


Ronn Says:

Hate to say it but there’s no way he beats Momma’s Boy or even Nishi if he keeps playing at this level. He was way too passive and tentative in the big moments and was just pushing the ball over the net and waiting for Clark Kent to self-destruct. Lucky for him Clark basically gave the match away by tensing up during the tie-breakers…


Ronn Says:

Jane, not quite like that. Sure, Clark Kent had his moments and hit some awesome winners but he wasn’t bombing Djoko off the court. Djoko played great defense, though. Only Raonic tensing up during the tie-breakers is why he lost but he was up a service break in the 1st TB and should’ve done better in the 2nd. Djoko was lucky to escape this one, tbh. That 2nd serve is really becoming a problem for him…


Ronn Says:

Wog Boy, yes, Djoko will win the group ’cause he’s beaten both Raonic and Thiem and Gael is most likely already out of the picture…


jane Says:

hmmm, i hear different accounts of the match from different people. maybe i can catch a replay.


Wog Boy Says:

Thanks Daniel and Ronn.


courbon Says:

Torn muscle? I did not know that Milos cited that as a injury in Paris.No way-he was running like a mad…hmmmm, strange.
Jane, while Novak was steady and good in deffence, he was not shot making on his level…so Ronn is “kind off” right, but..he often plays like that on the begining of tournaments ( safe ) just to raise his level to the better opponents. So, its hard to judge how Novak will play in semis.
Serve still a weak point – even Milos exploited that.But overall, mentally, composire and emotionaly much better then previos months…


Van Persie Says:

Jane,

7:49 pm. Yes it was indeed the best match on O2 arena until now, from all that I managed to see at least.

Milos was amazing, he played offensive and his movement on the court was also very good, but Djoko was like a wall. Have also to agree with the “injury skeptiks”. Do also wonder, if a torn muscle can heal that quick.


Margot Says:

Wow! Grudging Andy his No 1 status.
#darkdays


jane Says:

thanks for your thoughts on the match, all. i guess it was a mixture of positive and negative for novak by the sounds of it.


Willow Says:

Well i did actually think Milos pulling out of Paris against Murray the other week, and then being fit to play the WTFs was rather a quick recovery, so i dont even bye that he was injured in the first place, and he played Novak very close, and was running around very well, and you cant do that against Novak of all players if your injured ….


Willow Says:

Hoping for wins for Andy and Stan, and Stan relishes playing Novak if he makes the semis, so i think that would be the most interesting contest for Novak the rest are his pigeons, but he seems to be finding his best tennis this tournament ….


J-Kath Says:

Travis:

I said more than once that Milos had indicated he would play one match indicating that his “injury” meant he might have to withdraw.

For you to say:

“everyone knows Milos decided (or was told) to give the walkover in Paris to Murray so Murray can get the #1 ranking.”

I may as well say: “everyone knows Milos decided (or was told) to lose in London to Nole so Nole can get the No.1 ranking back.


Willow Says:

It gets silly the theories that people come up with sometimes….


Giles Says:

J- K. Good response. 5.04 am


Willow Says:

I Think if Novak plays like the old Novak, then he will win this WTFs, and i will be happy for him and his fans, but i think it would be refreshing to see a new champion here, if thats OK ! ….


Margot Says:

Well Kath, judging by the way Milos bottled the first tie break, I think you may well be onto something.
And it will be very interesting to see what tactics Monfils of the “I think I’ll beat Novak by not bothering to play Novak” employs this time.
Such a horrible group.


Daniel Says:

I also agree raonic “over rated” his injury but he had some niggling. Even if he played Murray in Paris he would have lost so murray would be #1 reagrdless. He just chose to try to recovery better without having to play that match to have time for London. This are the things with injuries, somedays it is just not worth it. Same as Federer did London finals 2 years ago. A day after a close mach is where you feel the pain the most.

But Raonic sure doesn’t have a torn muscle, he should have said a different injury.


Margot Says:

Sorry Daniel, thank you for your contribution, but that interpretation just isn’t in the script.


Willow Says:

Its a horrible group Margot indeed, 3 GS champions in one half of the draw, and 1 in the other, its a horrible tournament, and thank goodness its only once a year, talk about survival of the fittest, most players are too knackered to make an impression anyway, they all broke their necks to get there in the first place ….


J-Kath Says:

Margot:

I’m feeling a bit like Judy today – very stressful to watch Andy……


Farah Diba Says:

Judging from the unnecessary UE’s so far,i would say ‘Gong Gate’ very much in Andy’s head atm..He needs to calm down a little bit and swing freely..


Ronn Says:

Kei is already gassing out. Andy easily wins the next 2 sets 6-3 6-2 or something like that…


Khb Says:

Kei is pathetic. Up 4/4 40-30 then tries a cute topspin dropshot.
Clown of the highest order. Vomit, why bother to show up?


Khb Says:

Kei will tank 1-6. Fraud.


Daniel Says:

Checking scores and Murray breaks again, 4-1 and serve.


Margot Says:

Crikey, that was nerve wracking. Andy played really badly, couldn’t time the ball and made so many UEs.
But “winning ugly” who cares?


RZ Says:

Quick check-in to say “Woohoo Andy!” Only had a chance to check the scores now between meetings. Back to work…


Willow Says:

Well played Andy, that match did not make for comfortable viewing, wonder which Stan will show up against Andy, and against Cilic, go Stan ….


Daniel Says:

If Cilic wins, Andy qualifies first in his group and avoid Djoko before finals regardless of him losojg third match or not.
If Stan wins Murray can still qualify first either if he beats Stan or depending on others resulta if there will be a 3 players 2-1 scenario. Best for him is just win his 3 matches and win his group with a statement, something he never did in WTF before, winning all 3 round robin.


J-Kath Says:

Right-on Margot. Andy only found his good first serve for a very short time. We should be grateful that Kei’s serves were equally bad.

Andrew Castle called Andy “bad-tempered” which of course he was – but I took exception because that know-it-all-prig said it. I’m having a word with myself about my bad attitude towards these mouthy experts.

Yes, Willow, I also want Stan to win.


Margot Says:

Kath: the tennistv stream froze so I had BBC on…..mute :) I cannot stand him!
Henman cut him off yesterday, saying, “Let’s get back to the match.” At the time bouncy was wittering endlessly….how unusual….not!


J-Kath Says:

Giles @ 5.55am

Didn’t see your comment until now – but many thanks.


J-Kath Says:

Margot @ 1.06pm.

Yes, and Henman also cut him off today.


Daniel Says:

How is Murray straek of matches win right now: 5 Beijing, 5 Shangai, 4 Viena (one walkover), 4 Paris (Milos walkover) and now these 2 = 20, plus his last DC (lost first match to DelPo). So 21 as of now. 3 more to secure #1, close the season and enter 2017 on a 24 match win streak.


Margot Says:

Kath: funny isn’t it, when a player, some hope will lose, actually wins, why an accusation of how the other player “choked” is made.
Whereas, when their own favourite wins that accusation is never made.
Strange that….or rather, no it isn’t.


chrisford1 Says:

J-Ksth – ““everyone knows Milos decided (or was told) to give the walkover in Paris to Murray so Murray can get the #1 ranking.”

I may as well say: “everyone knows Milos decided (or was told) to lose in London to Nole so Nole can get the No.1 ranking back.”

========
You could say that, but quite a difference between dropping out on a walkover and losing a hard fought contest that could go either way in 2 tiebreakers MIlos had the early lead in.
Without buying into any conspiracy theory that some mysterious powers that be – ordered Milos to fall against Andy – to get #1 for a week, lets just say a torn groin muscle was the wrong excuse to use if Milos had the intent of not totally trashing himself at Paris against Andy to be ready for the London Championships. He should have used some better sudden onset malady, like a 24 hour stomach bug or lower back cramps and spasms. Or slipping in a deserted shower room and getting a concussion or such…that he would be back at 100% from in a day or so.
And it is NOT atypical for a hurting and tired player to pass on a mandatory event so they can mend and recover for the NEXT big event. They all do it, even ironmen like Fed and Novak. And Milos is no ironman – lots of injury, hip surgery, ankle surgery..
The questions arise because Milos has played completely unimpaired a week after his serious “torn groin muscle” happened. Normally a 4-6 week rest and recuperation injury. When in doubt if you think you must bail but be back at 100% in a few days – I’d go with a better medical alibi.


J-Kath Says:

Chrisford 1

So what is it you want to say?


J-Kath Says:

Margot: One of the comments made by adults (before I became one and stands true now) – “there’s none so deaf as those who don’t want to hear”


Willow Says:

J-Kath when i said go Stan, i meant against Cilic, but not Andy, sorry just clearing that up, would like to see both Andy and Stan in the semis, dont care about the other group ….


Travis Bickle Says:

News flash:
Monfils just pulled out, so that Djoker plays against fresh player (Goffin) tomorrow. Not surprising since before the tournament Monfils stated he didn’t want himself to win but wanted Murray to win.
The plan is a bit spoiled now since Djoker beat Milos who was giving his 110% last night, which means he could treat the Goffin match tomorrow as a light practice session, iron few kinks in his game, stay fresh for semis, and still win his group.


Wog Boy Says:

TB,
Actually, even if Nole wins WTF, but Andy wins all the matched to the final, Andy will stay #1. Now, everything makes sense, only blind and brainwashed cannot see it.
Torn muscle, pulling out after two matches when you have to play only one more and have two months rest, really?


Wog Boy Says:

^^in a case Nole loses Goffin match and wins WTF


J-Kath Says:

TB: Don’t worry about beating a dead argument as long as it makes you feel good. Fragility needs to be nurtured.


J-Kath Says:

Willow: I said something similar to you. Yes I want Stan to win – except against Andy.


Wog Boy Says:

Who has more chances to beat Nole, Goffin or Monfils?


Willow Says:

Yeah you did sorry ….


Travis Bickle Says:

Wog Boy,

I think you are wrong.
If Djoker wins this tournament he is #1, no matter what. At least that’s what I’ve heard…


Willow Says:

Id give Goffin a slim chance, id give Monflis no chance ….


Wog Boy Says:

Ni if he loses to Goffin and Andy wins all the matches


Wog Boy Says:

All the matches but final


Willow Says:

Commies said Andy has to equal or better Novak to remain number 1 ….


RZ Says:

@Willow – All we are saying is give Goffin a chance ♩♫♩♫♩♫


Van Persie Says:

WB, it is better for Nole to train with Goffin, a serious guy. No Abracadabra on court.
Nole can be Nr. 1 if he wins 121 ranking points more then Andy at this tournament.


Van Persie Says:

Andy will lose the 295 points from Davis Cup at the End of November.


Wog Boy Says:

VP, Difference is 405 points atm?


Wog Boy Says:

VP,
Year end #1 is declared after WTF.


Travis Bickle Says:

OK, I’ve just checked the numbers myself, and if Djoker wins this tournament he finishes the year as #1, regardless of his Goffin match.

And frankly, the fairest way to finish as #1 for Djoker would be to beat Murray in the final. That way it is a clean kill and untainted by arguments of weak competition. That is how Djoker always got his #1 in past… beating the current #1 at the time!

For example, today was the first time Murray faced Top 5 player since RG final – that is more than 5 months without facing a Top 5 player! It has to be some kind of record…
Looks like he is about to face Djoker soon, and do something about that lopsided (10-24) head to head record.


Wog Boy Says:

In that case my math is wrong.


Van Persie Says:

WB, yep. 405 points.


RZ Says:

On a quick doubles note, Kontinen-Peers are finishing their year on a strong note. And Murray-Soares have a chance to snag that #1 ranking from Herbert-Mahut, who just needed to win one match to end the year as the #1 team but have lost their first two.


chrisford1 Says:

Chrisford 1

So what is it you want to say?

1. Milos had no groin muscle tear that happened right before the Paris match with Andy.
2. You cannot compare a walkover that Milos gave to a tough close match Raonic was fighting like mad to win. Yes, they are both losses, but one was a capitulation while the other could have been a win if a couple more balls had gone Raonic’s way.
3. I do not impute Milos is a liar and scoundrel for ducking out of Paris to rest and repair some ailments less serious than a muscle tear – because with mandatory play in event after event and some guys and their coaches know a break is needed to prep for a bigger event – it happens all the time.


Travis Bickle Says:

J-Kath,

Just saw your comment about “beating a dead argument” above ;-)

Here are the quotes from Monfils’ presser today:
“I couldn’t practice today.”
“I would have pulled out even if I’d won one of my opening matches.”

Let me beat up this dead argument more with your help.
I hope you know that, during a tournament, players taylor their practice sessions based on the opponent they face the next round.
What do you think then about Monfils’ decision to announce his withdrawal today after Novak has finished his practice, instead of doing it earlier, or even last night?

Wouldn’t it be fair to announce withdrawal before Novak’s practice today, so that he could find a hitting partner similar to Goffin’s style like players typically do?

But who cares for fairness when Novak is in question, right? After all, this is the guy who wins a tight match 2-1 against Thiem and British media focuses only on a single thing that has nothing to do with the match – incorrectly (or unfairly) implying that he launched a ball into the stands.
The same media that didn’t say much when Murray hit the ball towards a chair umpire and missed his head by an inch or so…


chrisford1 Says:

IT would have been better for Novak if he had played an easy match with Gael vs. play a match he doesn’t need but a match where Goffin wants to make the fullest gain from his luck to be in it. In 2011, friend Janko Tipsarevic was an alternate and he got lucky and was an energized, happy replaceent in a match. He took Novak down.
Then again, I would not argue with someone that says the opposite is true…a tough match with Goffin may just hone Novak to where he needs to be to play Andy or an inspired Kei, Stan or Marin. Win or lose…
I believe Novak is #1 if he wins the Final regardless of other circumstances, or he makes the Final while Andy does not. If neither reach the Final, Andy is #1 and obviously, if he wins it.


Khb Says:

Of course, silly!
Novak is a nasty boring player that abused people, but Nadal & Murray are angelic gentlemen.
Why put Novak on TV when we can watch Murray-Nadal, Fed-Murray & Fed-Nadal over & over?

Monfils makes it clear that the best player should lose his #1 ranking for a long time. He is sacrificing his top 8 reputation for Murray! LOL!


J-Kath Says:

Travis:

I don’t recall any argument about Monfils. I recall he said he didn’t know if he would continue which meant Goffin would take over.

Cheers


J-Kath Says:

Chrisford 1

No way will Goffin beat Nole.


Zeke Says:

I actually think Goffin could cause Djoker some problems. Goffin beat Djoker at Boodles in June and earlier this week they had a very competitive practice, which was streamed live on the ATP YouTube channel. At the end of the practice Djoker said to Goffin, “I hope you get to play, David.” Well, it looks like Nole might get his wish.


J-Kath Says:

OK Zeke – but Boodles wasn’t a competitive match.


Travis Bickle Says:

Friday just became interesting…

Cilic is out, has the DC Final ahead, and is likely to not put so much effort against Kei. Kei in straights!

In that case, if Stan beats Murray in straights, Murray is out. And if Stan plays like he played today that could easily happen.


J-Kath Says:

Travis:

If Murray takes one set from Stan he is thru – just read that – assume that is 100% true.

Goffin vs. Nole – No way is Goffin going to win. No way.


Wog Boy Says:

Let me make one thing clear, I am pretty sure Andy would beat Milos in Paris regardless and this behavior (Milos and Gael) has nothing to do with Andy, but doesn’t do him any favor either.
Where the tour is going if everyone adopts Milos and Gael attitude? It is disrespectful for tour, tennis and other players to do what Milos and Gael did, pulling out of masters SF, announcing that I might play one or two matches and pull out of WTF, is that ok to other players, fans, tour?
What if Nole’s last match was decider? Would it be fair for Nole to play fresh player who has noting to lose, but only to gain and can play freely and hit the ball freely and the other one who is competing for the place in the SF (Thiem for example) play against somebody who played already two tough matches?
When did anybody see that attitude from Rafa, Roger (except WO), Andy or Nole?
Some of the players, in this case Gael and Milos, are showing disrespect to tour, other players, fans probably thinking that they are above all of it and the tour is their becaouse of and not the other way around.
Too much money sometimes hits straight in the head.


Wog Boy Says:

Every match but one Nole played agains Goffin was tough and last two Nole won he was very lucky to get away with a win. Goffin can beat Nole, very much so.


Wog Boy Says:

Goffin is better version of Simon.


J-Kath Says:

Wog Boy

I didn’t know Goffin was any way a threat to Nole. Has he ever beaten R, R, or A? Yes, he will be fresher than Nole but seriously very much doubt a real threat – Nole is almost back to his usual top form.

Both Milos and Gael went to O2 under suspect injury form. Not wise…they will reap there own rewards for that. Watch.


Wog Boy Says:

JK,

I know they earned their right to play WTF, but if you are not sure you can compete give the other player chance, otherwise tournament is on the verge of being irregular (if that’s the right word to use) and I said why. It is not professional, sportsmanship and I can go on and on.


Wog Boy Says:

We are also talking about 200 points that Nole was very likely to win against Gael but not so likely against Goffin, 200 points that can make a difference in the race for #1 next year.


Danica Says:

I also think that David can sink Nole. He is a tough fighter, with great skill set and, most importantly, fresh. I am not gonna count that match as a win for Nole until he does it.

As far as Milos is concerned, my observation doesn’t have much to do with Andy. I have no doubts whatsoever that he would have won that semis. His spot at the top is where he belongs. The thing is that Raonic said the doctors told him he had a muscle tear, grade 1. That kind of injury requires therapy, rest, absoluely no practice, minimal movement for at least couple of weeks. How was it repaired and healed so fast? Maybe that was an error on his medical team part? But wouldn’t it be nicer to then just say so then?

I would think that THAT should provide inspiration for the press, rather than a nonexistant “ball bashing” by Nole. That is a story.


Wog Boy Says:

I watched last night their match, I have never seen Milos covering so much of the court and so fast, I have never seen him returning better, I have never seen him coming so fast in position to hit BH (extremely well) or running around BH to hit FH and coming back into position for the next shot so he doesn’t leave himself open for a kiill.
At the end of the first set they showed stats and contrary to yesterday belief, he was actually running more than Nole and yet he didn’t show any signs of being tired. Yes, Nole was moving him more than he was moving Nole around, though it looked differently on the TV. The difference (at the of the first set was more than 10%, Nole was below 1km and Milos was close to 1.1km. I haven’t sern stats at the end of the match but these are telling enough.


RZ Says:

For those asking about/commenting on the race for #1, here’s what the ATP site has posted:
- If Murray and Djokovic meet in SFs, the winner of that match will clinch No. 1
- If they don’t meet in SFs, the player advancing farthest in the tournament will clinch No. 1
- If they both lose in the semi-finals, Murray will clinch No. 1 unless Djokovic has a better round-robin record

According to the article, Djokovic has already clinched a SF spot but Murray still needs to qualify for the SFs depending on how he and his groupmates do in the 3rd round of matches.

http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/news/battle-for-no-1-finale-2016-wednesday


Farah Diba Says:

Even though Andy won against Kei last night but the manner in his winning certainly won’t give him any comfort.TBH his path looked trickier and trickier.He has to play 3 tough matches in 3 days[should he make it to the final though]..And,he’s already spent 3 hour 20 minutes against Kei..While Novak,after playing today will get a day rest tomorrow..And i suddenly feel the urge to cry so bad!WAAAA!!!!Sobs!Sobs!


Daniel Says:

Murray 2 wins, 4-1 in sets
Kei 1 win, 3-2 in sets
Stan 1 win, 2-2 in sets

- Scenario 1: If Murray wins
Qualifies first

- Scenario 2: If Murray loses but wins a set and Kei loses: Murray qualifies first and Wawa second

- Scenario 3: If Murray loses but wins a set and Kei beats Cilic; Murray and Kei qualifies. if Kei beats Cilic in straights, Kei qualifies first, if Kei loses a set, Murray qualifies first

- Scenario 4: If Murray loses in straights and Kei loses: Wawa qualifies first and Murray qualifies second

- Scenario 5: If Murray loses in straights and Kei wins in straights, Kei qualifies first and Wawa second

- Scenario 6: If Murray loses in straight and Kei wins in 3, Wawa qualifies first and Kei second.

So, only chance for Murray not to qualify is him losing in straights and Kei winning. It’s basically in Murray’s hand. He just needs 1 set and he qualifies regardless of others.


Daniel Says:

A lot of tiebreaks this WTF, at least the matches are competitive.


Travis Bickle Says:

Even Tim Henman has become a douche without integrity… This ongoing British campaign to prop poor Murray as the ‘second coming’, ‘King of Clay’, and the best player on the planet is getting more ridiculous every second.

This is what Tim the Hypocrite Henman said for Daily Mail defending the journalist who pestered Novak about non-issue bouncing tennis ball on the ground that ended up harmlessly in the stands: in his role as a BBC analyst, said:
“From the journalist’s point of view, he is in a press conference and he knows that Djokovic has been a little bit edgy recently. He has thrown the bait and Djokovic has bitten. The journalist is there reeling him in.”

Is this what Brits think journalistic standards are when it comes to Djokovic? Seeing that he is a bit edgy and throwing the bait and reeling him in…? This guy is a former high-level pro! Really Tim?

Even more spicy is the fact that Henman has done something much worse – in 1995 he actually pounded a ball in anger to a ball-girl’s face 2 feet away from him, for which he was disqualified. Novak actions are not in the same universe Tim action was, yet the hypocrite is eager to comment about “throwing the bait” and “reeling him in”…

It appears that anti-Djoker frenzy has reached the all time high, which means he must be doing something right. I cannot even imagine what would happen if he beats Murray in London and regains #1… Brexit-like petitions across the isles, anyone…


Travis Bickle Says:

For those who care to see it, Henman hitting a ball-girl in her face:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bmdZEDnckw


Danica Says:

Daniel,
All these scenarios make me dizzy :)) . But look at this: scenario #5 happens and Andy doesn’t qualifies for semis. Nole loses to Goffin but is already in semis anywas. Loses in a tightly contested match. Well, even though he technically went a step further, both he and Andy have 400 pts from two round robin wins and Andy remains #1.


jane Says:

sigh, kinda to bad that la monf waited till after novak’s practice to pull out. prep may be different for a fresher alternate opponent.

oh well; tis what it is, as they say.

round robins confuse the heck out of me; i have no idea what’s going on points-wise, etc.

agree that what tim said is questionable: “take the bait”, “reel him in” – what? is this a game of “gotcha!” or a tennis press conference?

one journo even wrote “we all want a story -not just [to] write about forehands and backhands”.

lol, because that would actually involve match analysis. :) i really think tennis journalism is the worst, but to be honest, most journalism is bad these days. fact checking doesn’t seem to exist or if it does, it doesn’t matter.


Okiegal Says:

There is also a poster on here who is a douche without integrity………..


Margot Says:

Jeez Nole fans, could you turn the whining noise down, I can’t hear my TV.
All very ironic actually as, if Nole could’ve hand picked his group, that is the group he would’ve hand picked.
Yes, Andy may not even qualify, that’s what the “group of death” looks like. But, as he was always targeting 2017 as his bid for No 1, Andy fans aren’t losing too much sleep, in spite of the whining noise.


Wog Boy Says:

I don’t think anybody can beat Brits in whinging, as saying goes “whinging Pom”, trust me, we are puppies compare to whinging Poms.


Margot Says:

We are talking on here, now!


Danica Says:

I was not whining :))


theDA Says:

@Margot – As I like to say, can I have some nice cheese to go with all that whine? ;) Even with one of the cushiest groups in WTF history they can’t resist the kvetching. The icing on the cake has been the conspiracy theories about Brit journalists trying to throw Novak off recapturing the No.1 spot with tough questions in interviews. H-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s. Get a grip nolefam!! This ranting and frothing has been an unedifying debacle. Not so much from the young, been-into-tennis-for-5-years types, but from fully grown adults. All over a year end ranking 😂

Lastly, whenever anyone resorts to nationalistic stereotyping, the argument was lost eons ago ;) Just remember Margot: he’s made from girders (and so are his fans) whatever happens #irnbru


Wog Boy Says:

I tried to educate lady from America, but by the look of her comment it didn’t work, there is only two reasons for that, arrogance or dumbness, or both.

Let me start from the beginning, if something is not PC in UK or America it doesn’t mean it is not PC in Australia or NZ, if you didn’t notice before they are independent countries with their own customs and culture. We had here discussion long time ago about word “bugger” that poster from UK was shocked that we are using it even asking “do you really know the meaning of the word?” Lucky for me poster by the name of Grendel, who lived in Australia, Burwood suburb, stepped in to explain that that word is commonly used in every day speach, on TV, even in parlament. Same goes for the word “Pom” or “whining Pom” in Australia and NZ, and there is a reason for that saying and history, don’t blame Aussies and Kiwis, but your behavior when you are settling here. So there is nothing “nationalistic” just the truth and truth hurts. I don’t have anymore time for education and the lessons aren’t anymore free, you used your bonus, two free lessons.

And here is example of using word “buuger” in TV, you can find “Pom” word in everyday use userself:

https://youtu.be/cbBx4Ql6Umo


Wog Boy Says:

^^^ “bugger”…..”yoursef”


Wog Boy Says:

On the second thought, what else to expect from the person that calls me racist for using moniker “Wog Boy” and I am Wog and proud to be one.
It is the same if you call racist the person for using moniker “Chinaman” and the man is really Chinese:)

Arogance…dumbness..? You choose.


J-Kath Says:

Too much merriment for me this morning – happy to see the x and current Commonwealth countries are enjoying themselves.

Seriously, I don’t really know what the fuss is all about. Perhaps we need Rafa and Roger to return asap for us all to recover our sanity.


Wog Boy Says:

The first “bugger” was Kiwi one, and me being “nationalistic Aussie” can’t let it go without Aussie “bugger” and real nationalistic Aussie cattle dog:

https://youtu.be/OwWMDpGrf0o


Margot Says:

@the DA
Hooray! The cavalry just came over the hill! Good to see you, sir.
@Danica
My dear, your heart is good, you can say what you like and I wont think for a minute you’re whining.
@OK
Hmmm…not the only one tho…..just saying, as Skeeze likes to say.


Willow Says:

I Remember Tim getting disqualified from W in 1995, but he later issued an apology to the lady in question, and gave her a bunch of flowers ….


Willow Says:

And this was supposed to have been a difficult match for Novak hmm ….


Giles Says:

Joker with a bunch of jokers in his group. Lol. So what else is new!?
Anyone counting how many times the faker bounces the ball? No TVW? He does get away with murder, doesn’t he?
😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😖😖😖😖😖😖😖😖


Farah Diba Says:

Agree Willow!..They should bring RBA instead..At least we will get a very competitive and interesting match..full of amazing gets and slide fiesta..

#SoDisappointed..


jane Says:

Goffin was apparently horrible, so it didn’t matter in the end that Monfils pulled out later than expected. Thought Goffin would put up more of a fight to be honest . Round robin is weird. Dead rubbers seem so pointless.

For Novak fans there is a good interview with Vajda here, by Carole B:

http://theyellowballcorner.blogspot.ca/2016/11/vajda-it-happended-at-cost-there-was.html?m=1


skeezer Says:

“And this was supposed to have been a difficult match for Novak hmm ….”
Who said that? Would like to have a discussion with them about that. ;)


RZ Says:

I thought Goffin would have made at least one of the sets close.
Looks like Novak is back (not that he had gone far away in the first place)


jane Says:

Not sure if he’s back RZ but I am just glad to hear he seems to have his “fire” back. From the interview with Vajda sounds like they will focus on slams but not as concerned about number 1. Agree about Goffin – expected more: he can be so persistent, pushed Novak really hard at Cincy before, but it sounds like his effort level was minimal. Nice cheque though? 😒😇


Khb Says:

Henman was remembered for losing.
I hardly remembered his matches.
I guess he was reeled in by the
Brit media & Sampras so much that he clucked like a hen.

Novak said he had to do his preparation late because Monfils pulled out. Monfils with his acrobatics.
He also beat Raonic despite Raonic’s 71 mph average backhand speed compared to Novak’s 70 mph. At least Novak’s competition could hit winners. Imagine if Hewitt & Roddick had tried to crush Novak.
Murray was lucky that Kei was trembling & a nervous wreck at *4-4 40-30, 2nd second. Kei looked like Henman collapsing & hoping every shot went in.
Cilic desired a vacation. He was there for the money; not even trying.


Willow Says:

Skeezer see sone of the above ;-) ….


Danica Says:

I honestly thought Goffin would be a much tougher test for Novak. I remember some of their matches where the behind-the-sofa area was a welcome place :). I was surprised when, this morning, I checked the result and it was 6:1 in first set. I guess the thing with Gofffin was that yes, he was fresh, but he was not tournament ready. He was probably mentally and physically already taking vacation. Again, I haven’t seen the match but I can hardly believe there is such a drastic difference in skill. Not that I am complaining Nole won, of course :))


jane Says:

exactly danica, which is what he said i guess:

Goffin:”Yesterday I felt a bit on holiday, and they tell me I have to play Novak in front of 15000 people. Not easy” #ATPFinals


Willow Says:

IMO It wouldve been fairer if Gael had decided not to play right from the begining, he most likely wouldve lost anyway, and Goffin probably wouldve been better prepared then ….


Willow Says:

Andy will have to play 3 days in a row, and against another GS champion, where as Novak gets a days rest, and people are saying Novak is the one having a hard time ….


jane Says:

agree with you willow re: la monf. probably shouldn’t have played. but i guess he wanted the thrill of being at o2. and good on him for reaching it this year.

here’s a HILAROUS article for novak fans. :)

http://www.express.co.uk/sport/tennis/733533/Novak-Djokovic-ATP-World-Tour-Finals-world-No-1-Andy-Murray

first line: novak ” is under more pressure than he has been at any time in his career “. um, no. hee hee. i’d say trying to win french for 4 in a row was harder, or perhaps getting #1 the first time by beating fedal.

another choice quote. “All of a sudden, Djokovic had gone from being the charismatic, funny and dominant world leader to a hare being hunted by a blood-thirsty hound”

a hare! and andy’s a “blood-thirsty hound”.

meanwhile from another course andy said about seeing nole after becoming #1: “We don’t go, ‘Congratulations’ and talk about it for 10 minutes. We talk about our families.”

sigh… back to journalism school. :D
(this one i quite enjoyed though. )


jane Says:

source not “course”


Wog Boy Says:

Judging by the stats Nole didn’t play great, rather Goffin was awful, second serve points won still well below his standards, even Andy is better in that part of the game.


Willow Says:

Nole didnt need to play great, he only needed to put the ball in play, Goffin was terrible ….


Wog Boy Says:

Nole’s thoughts on Olympic games format and DC format, interesting, I don’t have English version so you have to do google translate:

http://www.rts.rs/page/sport/sr/story/38/tenis/2530128/kako-bi-djokovic-promenio-takmicenja-u-dejvis-kupu-i-na-olimpijskim-igrama.html


Giles Says:

What does he want now? OG to be held in Serbia and all DC matches in Serbia too??? Lol


Wog Boy Says:

I thought you are busy doing hair implants.

Do a google translate, he is just voicing players opinions, that is what is expected from the president of the professional players association, no?


J-Kath Says:

WogBoy

Below the belt.


Khb Says:

Sure, Novak sacrificed his ranking & health by fighting for the French Open.
Unlike Fed, Novak beat the next tough player,
Murray for most events, especially slams, instead of begging for opponent injuries.
You have to be extremely strong to battle back to #1 & not drop very much below that level.
At least Novak didn’t get bulldozed by his so-called nemesis Fed & Nadal. Tennis didn’t stop at age 29.
‘Sportsmanship winners’ & the most popular athletes are supposed to play all year & take down the top player.
Fedal is literally history. Infamously.


Wog Boy Says:

Ok, this is english version, some good ideas, some no so good, but they have to make changes, particulary in DC:

http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2016/11/djokovic-suggests-round-robin-format-for-olympics-davis-cup/62479/


Wog Boy Says:

JK,

Really? I don’t think so.


Travis Bickle Says:

J-Kath,

Are you again pretending to be naive in suggesting WB’s comment to Giles was below the belt?

Have you not seen Giles’ comment history here?
95% of his comments are below the belt, followed by the compulsory “LOL”…

BTW, Giles will soon disappear from here because he exist for Rafael Nadal Parera. And since Rafa’s career appears to progress at the same rate his hair grows, expect to not see our dear Giles for much longer on this blog ;-)


J-Kath Says:

OK Travis – Thank you for the information.


Giles Says:

President of the professional players association?? Don’t make me laugh. He’s only there cos nobody worthwhile wanted that job. The association, per se. is meaningless!


Giles Says:

Sooo, joker needs guidance from a loser who couldn’t connect racket to ball and has now taken up the profession of guru. Poor joker. He’s in such a tizzy, doesn’t know his @rse from his elbow.

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