Nadal Gets First Win in O2; Federer v. Murray Battle Tuesday

by Sean Randall | November 22nd, 2010, 10:07 pm

For all the world it looked like London’s O2 Arena’s curse on Rafael Nadal would continue on Monday. But credit to the World No. 1 who recovered from a set and a break down to rally past Andy Roddick 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 in opening round-robin play at the ATP Finals. ADHEREL

“[To] win a match here is very important for me,” said Nadal after his first career win at the O2. “I can play with a little bit more calm the next match. But even if I lose the next match, I’m still going to have chances to be in the semis. So that’s relaxing me a little bit more. Is very positive victory for me and very, very important.”

Nadal, who missed Paris because of an alleged shoulder injury, looked sluggish and out of sorts as the start while Roddick looked eager. The American raced out to a 4-1 lead before Nadal finally found some footing.

But Roddick kept battering his serve, attacking when given the chance and taking it to Nadal. And after securing another break to lead 2-1 in the second, things didn’t look promising for Nadal.

The Spaniard has been down before and he didn’t panic. Nadal started dictating with his forehand and clawed back to level. He finally edged Roddick in the tiebreak to win the second set, and snap a 7-set losing streak he had at the O2. The momentum was his and he never let go in a match he really had to have with Novak Djokovic looming Wednesday.

“I was a little bit lucky tonight,” said Nadal. “That’s the truth. But at the same time I started the match a little bit nervous. Five weeks without play. Playing against the best players of the world in the more difficult surface for me, the first match will always be difficult.

“I think I was very close to losing, that’s true. I was in critical situation when I lost my serve [in the second set] because that’s the normal thing. You play against one of the best servers of the world; I wasn’t feeling very well on court. What I can do is try to keep playing with positive attitude, try to play a little bit better, and wait [for] the chance. It happened. For that reason, I am here today for the victory.”

Despite the loss, Roddick’s set win keeps him in the hunt, and if he can beat Berdych on Wednesday he’s right back in the mix.

The early Group A match went to form as Djokovic hammered a lackluster Tomas Berdych 6-3, 6-3 in his opener.

Tomorrow, in perhaps the marquee match of the round-robin Brit fav Andy Murray and Roger Federer renew their rivalry. Murray leads 8-5 including recent wins in the Toronto rain this summer and last month in Shanghai, both finals.

In the UK, however, it’s Federer 1-0 with the one victory coming a year ago at the O2.

So while on paper Murray gets the edge – he’s won the last two in straights, he had a better win on Sunday – I still think the pressure catches up to Andy here. But it should be a tight match with the winner all but assured a semifinal berth.

In the late match, I expect Robin Soderling to get through David Ferrer. It’s the fourth time this fall these two will hook up. Oddly, Ferrer won two of those meetings at Beijing and indoors in Valencia. But Soderling leads 8-4 overall and if he still has his head he should prevail.

Tennis Channel has live singles coverage at 9am ET with Federer and 3pm ET with Soderling.

You Might Like:
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Murray Scores 3-Set Win Over Londero In Shanghai; Federer Opens Play Tuesday
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138 Comments for Nadal Gets First Win in O2; Federer v. Murray Battle Tuesday

Kimmi Says:

bad for roddick. the match was there for the taking, just could not hold his serve when his life depended on it…

congrats to nadal..if he loses to djoko on wed he still has a chance of beating berdych in straights. he is right about the importance of this win today. I think berdych will be the whooping boy of group A

federer and muzz…ah nervous!

zola Says:

Rafa-Roddick was the first exciting match of London, thanks to both players. Great play by Roddick and great come back by Rafa. They played some really exciting points.

Fed-Murray should be another great match. They both played excellent first matches.

Lucky London residents!

dari Says:

Grateful to Rafa and AndyR bringing the excitement tonight! Tie breakers and deciding sets are what WTF is all about! Good luck to both of them getting to semifinals.

dari Says:

Good night, and for the morning,

Skeezerweezer Says:

Goooo Fed. :)

Skeezerweezer Says:

Quality match today with Rafa and Andy. Loved seeing that s & v stuff.

Hope Fed & Murray have a great match tomorrow, it’s a great match up for both

margot Says:

Disagree with Sean, Andy enjoys playing Raf/Rog and brings his A game. He’s also said how much he likes O2 arena, which is a completely different ball game ;)from the hallowed portals of Wimbledon
London Calling tomorrow.
Meanwhile: COME ON ANDY!!!!!!

killerc Says:

I thought the match today with Roddick/Nadal was good!
Roddick gave up momentum letting rafa back in the beginning of the second set, when he had the mini break lead. Than he had a horrendous three minutes in the tie-breaker of the second set serving. He could of very easily won. It seemed like he ran out of gas in set three (maybe even middle of 2) from the s/v.
He also got into too many long rallies which is a NO-NO; also the case when he battle’s federer. Nadal even got em with the short slice a couple times. Roddick’s bh down the line needs work from what I could tell.. did too much fh pattern.
Promising aspect to Roddick’s game was the attacking when he was attacking! also standing to take nadal’s second serve on the ad side with his forehand. Nadal saw that and developed pressure throughout. Stefanki thought up a decent plan, almost worked but Rafa’s x factor with fitness and consistency were too much in the end.

Federer will most likely have a good showing. Murray will bring it because the crowd. Hard to say who will win. If Murray is too tentative and pro-pusher like he will have trouble. If he plays Murray-aggressively he might pull it out!

DMB Says:

I’m a really big fan of Roger but somehow i think Murray gets the win.

Colin Says:

Come on folks, let’s be more positive about Murray! Pressure, says Sean. In view of the head-to-head IN 3 SETTERS, I’d say the pressure’s on Fed.
Not only can Andy win this, he ought to.

TGiT Says:

Love Fed but his duece court wide serve is easy pickins for Murray. Murray really has a read on that serve. Fed has to be ready to deal with it coming back and getting to net. He waits for the return which he thinks should not have happened. I did notice Fed is moving that serve up a little bit but we will see.

I give Murray the win in two tight sets and they both go to semis.

Gannu Says:

Kimmi…same here.. feeling nervous ;-)

Will be there to cheer him all the way

and thank God Sean hasnt jinxed federer.. and he has left it open ended… I know he loves federer and wants him to win ;-) Hahah
So fed fans – kimmi, madmax, huh, skeez, contador, daniel, fot etc all there to cheer our man.??

Leaving eraly my office to see feddy bear ;-)

Every match i am gonna enjoy now!

And where is our darling nut case Fedend,.. I hope u are also there to add some nasty comments..
Its sometimes fun to read ur gibberish ;-))

So guys catch you in 2hrs time!!

Rick Says:

Told you that, Soderling sucks! He won Paris without playing the top 5. Murray beat the craps out of him the other day. So will Federina. I think Ferrer would be the only player that Soderling has a chance again. Edberg is being such a fool to has picked Soderling to win this tourney. Just because they are both Swedes.

Daniel Says:

Hum! Fed won but choose to receive. Interesting.

Gannu Says:

He does that these days Daniel..when he starts the match serving first.. at times he serves very badly!!!! So its a good idea i would say..

watever he does..let him win!

dari Says:

in dbls, happy for the melzer-petzschner win!
Daniel/gannu I was not aware of this new trend.
Let’s go., Roger!

Gannu Says:

Nice to see fed being very aggressive.. thats the only way u can win…

Gannu Says:

Well done federer… there is some oomph in ur shots today ;-) Lol

Daniel Says:

Some hostility fron Fed, he aúnes Murray’s face, high in the middle. Murray had to remove his head fron the ball.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Fed gets the break- this is extremely aggressive play from Fed, and his shotmaking so far is spot on. These two are beginning to make a great rivalry of their own.

Daniel Says:

Fed didn’t put a single first serve fron 7 tries. Murray’s backhand are awfull.

Ben Pronin Says:

I feel like Federer dislikes Murray the tennis player. There’s no reason to think he dislikes the person, but he certainly doesn’t like the player. Those passing shots aimed at Murray resonate “how dare you beat me regularly?”

Gannu Says:

Ben come on… thats not the case… they have patched up i guess ;-) Murray always calls fed the greatest ever…;-) and fed also has been complimenting Murray… ;-)

margot Says:

at the mo., Andy looks as if he’s still in bed, his first serve is awful and he’s almost in double for UE. If he doesn’t buck up it’s going to be an easy win for Fed.

margot Says:

PS I agree with Ben. Don’t think Fed feels Andy gives him enough respect.

Gannu Says:

margot: thtas an unfair assessment.. murray calls fed the GOAT everytime… In 2008 masters he said i am reday to do anything to win against fed even if it means jeopardising my chances of winning the tournament… i think that speaks vvolumes abt how much murray respects fed and how much does a win count for him against fed…Thts how i interpret

Gannu Says:

Thank God..federer takes the 1st set… Seriously feddy bear seems to suffer from ” Fed endinitis” these days… just cnat close a set or a match easily…!

margot Says:

Uph! damp squib that! Hope Andy gets out of bed for the second set or it’ll be all over very soon.

Daniel Says:

Both are serving below 50%.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

The project of turning Murray more offensive-minded is not a quick one. It seems that he can turn it on when he absolutely sets his mind on it and has it in his focus as a game plan going in, as does now against Fed and Nadal but few others. Yet it is not his comfort zone, so he stays defensive against other players and falls back to defensive play if he gets flustered, as now.

Gordo Says:

First set to Fed, who only lost 3 points on his service game.

Both guys having trouble on their first serve –

Fed – 48%, Murray – 35%.

Whoever picks up getting that first serve could win this. Murray had better improve his or it’s buh-bye in 2.

Gordo Says:

Murray saved 2 break points in his first service game but Fed broke him on the 3rd. It is going to be tough for Murray if Fed breezes through this next game.

Gordo Says:

4 for 4 in first serves and 1 ace for Fed in his first service game of the second set.

Fed is going to have to have one of his mental collapses or else he will find himself in the semis in about 25 minutes.

Gannu Says: c feddy bear play so well.. hope he maintains this momentum all th way!! ;-)

Skeezerweezer Says:

Like the Fed man playing this type of aggressiveness. Chip and charge has to be executed perfectly to work….but when it is it’s quite claustrophobic. Hard to cheer against Murray, but Fed is the man….go Fed!

margot Says:

No, Andy still in bed and has forgotten how to serve as well :(
Andy’s serve is the key to him playing well and in this match its been AWFUL!

Gannu Says:

claustrophobic or catastrophic?? Skeez;-)

Gannu Says:

margot come on dont be biased.. give some credit to federer.. he is also playing well though i garee that murray is not at his best

Daniel Says:

Murray saved a virtual bagel.

i am it Says:

Whenever the two have seriously fought over a point, Federer has prevailed, time and again toying with and mastering Murray.
This match is long over. Murray failed to show up at a big occasion again. Fed seems to be comfortable winning important ones, against Murray.

Wanted to see 3 setter between these two, so I am grumbling a bit, while at the time rejoicing in Fed’s win.
Looking forward to Fed-Rafa semi for the thrill of Fed proving against his naysayers. I believe he will deliver one this time.

Shows Maradona has taste for good players’ boxes: Djoko and Federer.

Gordo Says:

For Fed this is making up big time for the last loss.

A little more fire from Fed. Usually up 4-0 he eases up a bit, happy to win 6-2. Methinks a message is being sent. And not just for this tournament.

At least Murray got 1, but Fed’s serve is tuned right now.

jane Says:

margot, so true about Andy’s serve; it’s the key. Today, he’s at 41% first serves in for the match! : ( Not going to get it done that way, especially against Fed. Thought this match would be a barn-burner.

Ben Pronin Says:

Not in the sense that Murray doesn’t respect Fed, just like, “I’m the best and you beat me regularly and that pisses me off,” that kind of dislike. Like I said I don’t think Federer has a problem with Murray as a person, but the tennis player who really picked him a part the last time they played even though Federer was playing well leading in.

This is a revenge match for Federer no matter what he says. He wants the kill. Of course Murray is helping the cause. It seems like, lately, if one of their games click, the other one falls a part. This match is an exact opposite of their Shanghai encounter. There Federer was missing too much trying to attack and Murray’s defense was impenetrable. Here, Fed’s attack is clicking like crazy and Murray is making a million errors.

Skeezerweezer Says:

Commentators said when Fed gets his 1rst serve in he as won 95% of the points

Ben Pronin Says:

If my math is correct, if Soderling-Ferrer go to 3 sets later today then Federer is assured the top spot, right? Or at least he’s into the semis. I’m pretty sure he’ll be on top of his group, though.

And based on Ferrer and Soderling’s history, it’ll probably go 3.

blank Says:

Well done Fed! Now I hope Rafa finishes 1st in the other group ;-)

jane Says:

Fed’s second serve is a weapon of sorts, I think; Murray is a great returner and Fed gave him quite a few looks at seconds today, but Andy wasn’t able to capitalize. Congrats to Fed. Go Andy M next match!

Who does Murray play next then? Is it the loser of Ferrer vs. Soda match? Is that how it works? Thanks.

“happy for the melzer-petzschner win!” – I agree dari.

blank Says:

I think everyone plays each other in the RR stage and the top 2 from each group qualify for the SF. So Murray should meet Ferrer next.

Ben Pronin Says:

Murray plays whoever is left for him to play – Ferrer.

Skeezerweezer Says:

Maestro! Nice to see Fed slam the second set home on an opponent for once. Today Fed was on, and Murray wasn’t. Murray, a great thinker on the court, got out thought today. Hope he bounces back. These two are great to watch, tactically speaking. It’s not all about “bash the gopher game”.

margot Says:

Two words for Fed: well played!
Two words for Andy: bloody awful! And why wait till game 17 to play some decent tennis?
I am it: “the curse of Corretja” strikes again.
jane: his consistency – it’s non -existent :( If I didn’t know Andy better I’d say he’d just had a night out on the town with the lads!

Kimo Says:

Roger is the man. He’s just THE MAN.

dari Says:

Yayyyy! Nice play from Roger today, Andy not so much.
Where I thought Andy would dominate is in those longer points on this court, but old man fed was chasing balls and forcing error from Murray or coming up with his own shot in the end. Well done.
To top it off, the GOAT catches his pants on the net-tightening thing!.
Way to go, Roger! Keep up the good play

blank Says:

margot, when are you going to O2? hope you get to see a Murray win. I am sure, unless something goes wrong badly inside his head, he should pull off a win against Ferrer.

jane Says:

Thanks blank and Ben; you’d think after watching this event for about 4 years now I’d get it! LOL. (Never used to watch YEC; started in 06 or 07).

Gannu Says:

Fed’s backhand was awesome.. flawless… womnder why he doesnt use that slice so often.. he was very very consistent… 10 unforced errors in the entire match.. fed indeed brought is A game today// well done feddy… u made my day

Skeezerweezer Says:

Gannu & dari

Fed was brilliant today, no?

However he needs to practice more walking around the net post :-)

margot Says:

blank: I’m going tomorrow/thursday and Friday.
Tomorrow I’ll see Andy R and what’s his name ;) and in evening Rafa and Novak. Thursday and Friday just the day session, so I don’t know.
Not sure Andy will beat ferrer, depends which Andy shows :(
Foolish, foolish me, I thought Andy’s bound to get to the semis and I’ll try and get tickets..oh she who counts her chickens…..

Kimo Says:

Until Andy is able to play consistently against Rafa and Roger, he’ll never win a slam until one of them retires. I’m not saying he should beat them more often than not, coz that’s a very tall order, but at least I wanna see him play at the same level every time he plays against them. If he does that then he just might capture that elusive first slam.

Since RG 2004, you don’t win a slam unless you beat Roger, or beat Rafa, or beat them both, and that has happened only 3 times in 26 slams (AO 2005, AO 2008, USO 2009).

Gannu Says:

Yeps skeez.. Fed was FED toay for change ;-) They should ingrain that word in oxford dictionary….

Being Fed or federised ;-)

contador Says:

i missed the match Gannu : (

fed was the old fed? not the old man fed?

blank Says:

From here, it sure looks like an awesome place to go visit. Have fun and hope you get to see your faves win, which I am sure will make it more enjoyable :-)

Ben Pronin Says:

Where’s Fedend when you need him?

jane Says:

Have fun at O2 margot! I am feeling sad about Andy’s loss. It’s always possible to lose against an in-form Fed, but Andy just wasn’t all “there” today either. If he’d’ve lost in 3 sets, then it wouldn’t make me as sad. He’ll win against Ferrer; I am sure (fingers and toes crossed!!!!). I also think Roddick will beat Berdy tomorrow. Not sure about Ferrer vs. Soda, but leaning toward Soda and with Rafa vs. Nole, i don’t know either. I think Nole has a better chance in a 3 setter vs. Rafa, but Roddick kept is so close and still Rafa prevailed. Rafa will take confidence and momentum from that.

Gannu Says:

Contador… Fed was FED today ;-) FED means the old fed and not old man Fed ;-)

He was very very consistent and hardly any unforced errors… did play well..though i must say that the ease of victory was also due to Murray not playing well!

Skeezerweezer Says:


I was just thinking the same thing, lol

At least he/she gave us a moment…LMAO

contador Says:

thrilled Gannu!! i really picked murray to win but i guess the old fed isn’t going away so easy ; )

have a great day! i am xD

dari Says:

Big sigh for the fed fans,right guys? Nice to see him play well even thougj Murray didn’t.
Question: how are the semifinals decided?
#1 plays #1
Or #1 plays #2?
Either way, fed looks good to make it there, in which case I am ready for ANYONE who will be on the other side of the net!
bring. It on.

Skeezerweezer Says:


Feel bad now you got 02 tickets. :(. Well, hope you get to see Andy play anyway, and hope you post your adventures up here when you get back :). It will be high quality tennis nonetheless, all great players in a small bunch.

contador Says:

conrgrats to ALL FEDFANS!!

commies to andyM fanners. will be revenge of the argyle next match, i think.

margot Says:

blank: thankyou. I saw Andy beat Verdasco last year and that was gr8! Of course he also lost to Fed then.
jane: Thankyou too. Me too re ferrer but honestly, who knows? Today was just so poor:(
I hope a better Berdych turns up tomorrow so we have a good match but I’m going to be cheering very loudly for Andy. I’ve never seen him play so that’ll be a real treat. Of course I saw Novak and Rafa last year, don’t you know ;) when Novak wiped Rafa out but I feel it’ll be a lot closer this year.

Kimo Says:

dari, #1 plays #2. Always.

margot Says:

Thankyou Skeeze: :) but I love tennis so don’t feel bad for me and if Thursday’s match is Fed v Sod hey, how is that something to be sad about?

dari Says:

My inclination, kimmi, thanks.
Margot, you’re at the o2, period, i wont feel bad for you ;)
That’s fantastic for you and cant wait to hear all the happs!

margot Says:

dari: will try and get to a computer while I’m there and blog on the spot, how cool would that be ;)

jane Says:

“commies to andyM fanners. ” Contador, what, no capitalists? Sorry I couldn’t resist. : ) Liked “revenge of the argyle”!

margot, hope you see some competitive, fun matches, come what may.

contador Says:


was supposed to be commiserations shortened, : )

commies to you and capitalists, if you want them ?

the black shirt argyle will definitely be getting revenge next match, i imagine.

FedEnd Says:

Its good to see people miss me here. Lets have some fun.

jane Says:

conty, I’ll take a socialist. LOL. In sports, though, I suppose it’s dog-eat-dog, winner takes all, even though would love to see “spread the wealth” a little more, specially at slams. ;) Okay metaphor silliness over.

contador Says:

great to see petz and melz won too.

i like them. not as much as the bryans and zimonjic nestor but …actually paying attention to doubles these days.

dimwitted recluse Says:

I’ve never seen Federer look so nervous, or even nervous at all, in the prematch interview just before going on court. The tension coming off him practically crackled the screen. Ben Pronin is right – this match meant a huge amount to Federer.

As Gannu points out, only 10 ue’s, and actually it felt like less. Federer was playing it very canny, hitting it hard sometimes, but generally well within the margin of safety. Often, he deliberately denied Murray pace. Murray is so very very good against pace. When they actually got into great, stunning rallies – not often, but there were some of the very highest class – Murray usually won them. But Federer was determined not to give Murray rhythm.

Fed’s second serve, incidentally, is indeed a formidable weapon, few better; but Murray is now rectifying that gap in his armoury, there were some crackers from him – he must be pleased, at least, with how that part of his game is going.

Murray hit one astonishing winner from the corner right to the other corner (diagonally), landing spot on the line, whilst being hit very, very hard. My guess is such a shot (so hard, so long, so accurate) would be impossible except when the adrenalin is flowing. Other shots – glad to see Fed’s having no trouble with the drive volley these days, or the tricky smash from very good lobs – there was a time one could barely watch Federer attempt such shots.

Bad day at the office for Murray, but this loss was not nearly as significant for him, imo, as the win was for Federer – whose confidence v. the elite players cannot have been good. Murray will be so annoyed with himself, count on him to bring his A game to the table against Ferrer.

FedEnd Says:

Federer says:
“The top guys – I’m talking about Murray, (Novak) Djokovic, and Rafa (Nadal) – we’ve kind of beaten each other on and off. I don’t think anybody’s beaten the other guy five in a row or something. So you always look for new ways of trying to beat him again, look back at the matches, what happened, what went well. A lot has to do with form on the day as well, obviously.”

The big mouthed Federer is out again.
Hope one of the FEDTARDS here remind him that he got beaten by Rafa for FIVE CONSECUTIVE times. And in the last 3 years he has beaten Rafa ONCE….i repeat ONCE.

contador Says:

a great big socialist hug for you, then!

you probably have snow in vancouver too.

my poor car is not liking the blizzard. i bought i used. hate car payments. i think it was from florida.

i feel bad for roddick losing that second set yesterday. he kinda choked trying to hold serve 2nd set. then rafa’s form came back. i think i saw the rocket serve make an appearance or two, maybe three.

cant wait for the djoko- rafa match!

contador Says:

against ferrer? DR?

my man soda is in the do or die match later, isn’t he? he’ll win!

thanks for the match fed-murray report. i have to go look for match on youtube.

jane Says:

contador, I saw the tiebreak for Roddick and he was up a minibreak a couple of times, but when he needed a big serve he couldn’t always pull it out of his pocket. Too bad. So close to another big win over Rafa for him. I really thought Roddick still had a shot in the 3rd and when I had to leave it was 2 all. But Rafa is Rafa. He seized the match.

Yes, we have snow! And temps in the minus. How strange! People here are confused. Power is going out. People are wearing shorts with parkas. LOL. My car is a VW (folk car, :)) and so far its doing fine. But there is no blizzard, just cold and a little crunchy snow. BUT SUN! Who loves the sun? So nice rather than dreary drippy darkness, which is our usual November. Stay warm girlie.

Kimberly Says:

Hey all. missed the fed match as I was playing my first match in the leagues in a long time. I won 6-4 6-2 on hardcourt (thankfully when I saw some clay courts I got nervous). I was only a substitute as someone else was out of town but I forgot how much fun it was!

Congrats to Fed and his fans. I was reading the comments of both players on the atp site and it stuck me that Roddick was very gracious saying that it was lots of fun and a great atmosphere. And Rafa was very relieved to have the monkey off his back.

contador Says:

it’s tough to stay warm, Jane!

the wind has been blowing gusts up to 40mph! but i am used to it. i’m tough, jane. but was not trying to be cutesy abt my car! it’s not liking this. a 2002 BMW not a wise choice. (was picking shallow. love at first sight, kinda like i’d be if i saw that spanish model kylie was next to yesterday) the car is from florida and i’m guessing now that the price was right cos it survived a hurricane, seriously. a real “lemon” in the cold!

yes. excuse me. my live stream was as frozen as i was yesterday. i should not attempt t comment abt a match. all i remember really was roddick had his chances and blew it. of course the stars in rafa’s box – screen froze on them, which was nice.

rafa looking good in the end. i was hoping roddick could win.

margot Says:

dr: from you, a much more positive summary of Andy’s match than mine. Gloom has come upon me, like the gloomy November weather outside. Are you really in a Pollyanna mood about him, because I sure feel like EEyore?

dimwitted recluse Says:

contador – yeah, Ferrer v Sod tonite – another of these matches difficult to call (alright, I think Soderling will win, but Ferrer has good record against him). Anyway, say Sod wins, and Murray beats Ferrer on Thursday. Then from Murray’s point of view, all hangs on how the Sod does against Fed. No doubt number of sets won will come into it etc. But as of now, it does look really like Fed and Murray will be through. Since we have no idea who’s going to win the other group, you can’t say as yet whether it’s advantageous to win group B or come second.

As of now, I’d say Nadal is slight favourite to win group A. That’s because whilst one would have thought Nadal 50-50 v. Djokovic, a Roddick playing well is probably 50-50 also against Djoko, whilst poor Berdych is going to get beaten by everybody.

Still, although tempting, silly really to try to guess so far ahead? Who could have predicted today’s result, never mind the manner of it?

dunbar aka dr aka grendel Says:

yes, well, you love Murray, margot, and one is harsh in one’s expectations of those one loves. I just think it’s logical. Murray’s had a bad match, he’s got to pick himself up – so he will. We’ve all been saying how much Murray likes playing Federer, which is true, but he did tend to be in the position of the brilliant young outsider putting the old champ on the rack. He’s no longer so young and, so far from being outsider, he was the favourite. I guess he didn’t like that. I mean, who would like to be favourite against Federer? Nadal, certainly – but he’s a freak of nature. My guess is that Murray, as he gets more success, will learn to accomodate being favourite.

p.s. it was you who called me “dimwit”, which was rather nice, but then you joined the DR or dr brigade, and I confess to not liking that at all. Sounds like a detergent or something. So yet again, at the risk of being seen as a preening self-adorer, I’m going to change my name, to dunbar. A minor character from modern-ish literature.

the_mind_reels Says:

@dimwitted recluse:

“Federer – whose confidence v. the elite players cannot have been good”

Counting the matches that have been played so far this week, Federer has the best record on tour against the Top 10 this year (13-6). I think Federer is confident going into most matches, even those against the Top 10 — that’s part of what makes him so tough. Nadal is the same way. These guys can bring out their A-game even in pressure situations.

I’m not sure this wasn’t a significant loss for Murray since he’s not out of the weeds yet. I don’t think he’ll lose a ton of sleep over it, but I’m sure he’ll be kicking himself knowing that he has one match with Ferrer left. Ferrer played a poor match against Federer, so either he’ll step it up against Soderling, which will put a lot on the line for the Murray-Ferrer match, or Ferrer will lose to Soderling, which will give Ferrer motivation to beat Murray since he doesn’t want to crash out of this tournament winless. Either way, Murray may have his hands full.

Reminder: Ferrer has a 3-1 H2H record against Murray, with 2 wins coming this year. All his wins are on clay, but the added pressure of playing at “home” may be enough to trouble Murray.

skeezerweezer Says:

“Counting the matches that have been played so far this week, Federer has the best record on tour against the Top 10 this year (13-6)”


Nice stat.

contador Says:

thank-you for clearing up my confusion, DR. this is only the 2nd year i have been ( sort of ) be able to watch the world tour finals live or follow them. last year i remember having a great livestream. i don’t know what is wrong with it this year but it’s been pure cr@p. no tennis channel available means no dvr’d matches either.

someone on the “chat” was saying the loser of the match “tonight,” or at lunch for me, was out.

i am done trying to pick or predict fed or murray. when i pick one the other one wins. it’s a law i think.

i would have put money on murray winning today, considering his win over fed in shanghai.

but i think djoko has a chance against rafa, if rafa comes out with signs of rust like he had v roddick. djoko will get to those shots roddick couldn’t in the rallies.

yeah. agree djoko roddick 50 -50. but imo, djoko has not been tested yet, imo.

exactly, silly to try and predict. my limited experience gives me little hope predicting to whom the trophy goes, unless it’s clay court season.

so far i still say rafa.

contador Says:

too many imo’s LOL. insecurity guessing!

skeezerweezer Says:

too many “i’s” not “imo’s’ contador……LOL :)

stay warm, and find a place where ever you are that won’t freeze your screen so you can watch tennis….what else better to do when you describe the weather your in! :)

dunbar Says:

well,by “elite” I did mean Fed against Nadal, Murray and Djokovic. i don’t know what the figures are – not too good, I should have thought?

contador Says:

i dunno skeeze, should not be attempting to from work.

my “ride” is having trouble in the snow. but i’m good, thanks. everyone on the “chat” from all over, including the aussies are complaining about the streams. it’s interesting when the stream freezes in the middle of roddick serve or on andreas velencosooo-oh tho.

still a bit confused about who will be playing whom. thought i had this figured out last year. :/

contador Says:

meant “post” from work. okay, the end.

jane Says:

conty, read poems about snow to make you feel warmer ;) There’s a good one by Mary Ruefle, quite funny, and a number of lovely haikus if you like brevity.

the_mind_reels Says:


Yea, this year. Perhaps a little hard to believe, but it’s true.

A fair guess would have been Nadal (who’s gone 8-4 against the Top 10 this year), but remember that he started out his year with losses to Davydenko, Murray, and Roddick. Also helpful in explaining: of the 7 titles he’s won this year, he faced a Top 10 opponent in the finals only 3 times. Actually, he only played 2 guys ranked inside the Top 10 (at the time) during the entire clay season swing — I find that surprising.

kimberly Says:

Rafa didn’t play that many atp top tenners because some of the atp top ten are not top ten on clay. Take murray for example, lost to ferrer twice and frankly was expected to do so. He did repeatedly play the top clay players, ferrer, almagro, ferrero, verdasco, bellucci etc.

dari Says:

So, Roger, perhaps the greatest to ever strike a tennis ball, meets maradona, perhaps the greatest to ever kick a football.

Roger, was of course very happy, but check out his little comment

“Yeah, I did meet up. Everything went okay. Really relieved that everything was okay,” a smiling Federer, who met the Queen during this year’s Wimbledon championships, told reporters after chalking up his second successive Group B win.

“I’m a big soccer fan. It’s been a pleasure to meet him. I heard he’s a big tennis fan, a big fan of mine.

“I think he was almost more excited to meet me than I was to meet him, and I was very excited. It was a big pleasure.”

so federer super excited, and according to him, maradona even more so! i cannot be mad at him, as crazy as it is for someone to say that!

Swiss Maestro Says:

well played roger! not too bad for an old man to have the best record against top 10ers this year.

keep going maestro.

the_mind_reels Says:


A fair point. I wouldn’t bet my lunch money on Murray on clay any day.

Historically, though, Djokovic and Federer are both better clay-court players than any of those guys you mentioned (in terms of W-L record), with the exception being Ferrero, who’s career W-L record on clay is about the same as Djokovic’s. Also, they are two guys who have been able to push Nadal on clay (and in Federer’s case, beat him a few times).

Not making excuses for Nadal’s success — it’s ultimately not his fault if Top 10 guys don’t make it through the clay season draws.

Also, my two cents: I’d hardly call Bellucci a top clay court player (or at least I’d reconsider including him in a list with those other guys…).

Catherine Says:

Very nice of AM to not show up today! I’m starting to like him.

(j/k) – well played by Roger, but Murray obviously slept on the wrong side of the bed last night. Even Roger himself sounded a bit surprised about how ‘easy’ it all went for him.

the_mind_reels Says:

Typo: “who’s” should read “whose.”

dari Says:

the brits should know AM is not a morning person!!

madmax Says:

The big mouthed Federer is out again.
Hope one of the FEDTARDS here remind him that he got beaten by Rafa for FIVE CONSECUTIVE times. And in the last 3 years he has beaten Rafa ONCE….i repeat ONCE.

November 23rd, 2010 at 11:49 am

I’m actually going to see if you can have some proper dialogue fedwins, ummmmm? possible?….

you say…i repeat ONCE. I’d like to repeat ONCE too – how many times has rafa actually reached a tournament and then been knocked out, but fed has reached the final? Count them fedwins, i’ll start you off – Australia, Murray was beating nadal before nadal retired. Fed reached the final. Is that fed’s fault? That’s one. There are at least 4 others, but I’ll let you come up with the tournaments here and then let’s discuss.

you gotta back it up fedwins and not just throw a tantrum.

margot Says:

dunbar-catch 22- loved it! Yossarian has to be one of my fictional heros. Would’ve called u “dimwit” of course, if only I’d known.
dari: logic has failed you I’m afraid twas 2pm UK time, or do u think that’s still the morning in Andy Murray World?

dunbar Says:

they just showed Federer showing Annabelle Croft around his quarters at O2. Very affable. Back in the studio, Marcus thingy said “I’m sure Annabelle would stay there the night if she could”, not meaning what it looks like, but Annabelle is a Fed groupie, and there was no doubting her adoration. Marcus earlier had asked Annablelle what she thought would happen in Fed/Murray – both heart and mind, Annabelle being Fed supporter but also British and quite keen on Murray. She neatly dodged the question, I noticed. After watching her closeted with Fed in his restricted quarters, I don’t think there can be too much doubt..

dunbar Says:

margot – trust you to get it straight away, I wouldn’t have thought it was that obvious, I mean Dunbar is quite a common name? It’s a long time since I read catch-22, but there was a description of Dunbar which I’ll take with me to my grave. Dunbar, like everybody in the book, is desparately scared of dying – perhpas he more than most, can’t remember. Anyway, Dunbar HATES hockey, consequently, he plays hockey every opportunity he can get, on the grounds that he hates it so much, it being so boring, that the time spent playing hockey will stretch endlessly – thus effectively extending his (Dunbar’s) lifespan. of course, heller is clever enough to put all the above in just 3 or 4 lines.

Skeezerweezer Says:

Dunbar ,

Now that is a name I can type! Thanks! Sorry for the d.r. thing, but typing the name every time hurt my two finger typing technique.

Fot Says:

dari, he was a morning person in his first match. In fact, after the first round matches, more people were expecting Murray to just run over Roger than the other way. So I’m glad Roger proved those folks wrong today in his match. I just hope he can keep it up!

margot Says:

dunbar: yes! and remember Yossarian tried the same trick by lying in a hospital bed doing nothing. Only stopped when the person he was emulating, covered head to foot in bandages, died. Teehee. Has a marvellously uplifting ending too, desperately needed in view of all the horror!

margot Says:

PS Why is Soderling dressed like a canary? Is he trying to copy Widdiepoop? BTW Only UK folk will get that one…and not all of those…

dari Says:

margot- that’s still morning in Murray world! just basically meant that he prob still did have to get up pretty early. don’t worry, i buy into the whole “time zone” thing!
9am tennis match would be HORRIBLE!

at school, have test soon, can’t watch tennis. How is sod/ferrer looking?

margot Says:

dari: very even at mo. 5-4 Sod, with Ferrer serving.

Eric Says:

Soderling finally takes the first set 7-5 after Ferrer successfully saved 5 break points in his last couple service games. Very interesting match.

margot Says:

dari: first set to Sod 7-5. But feel so even could turn Ferrer’s way.
Good luck with your test, I’m heading off now, still v. cross with Andy :(
Have a feeling we’re heading for a rumble in the jungle ie a Fedal final. Have to see how Novak does tomorrow, though.

Eric Says:

margot, have to disagree… Ferrer has barely even gotten within sniffing distance of a break point yet. Soderling has held to 0 or 15 most games. Ferrer will have to start looking a lot more dangerous instead of hoping Soderling’s UEs overpower his winners before I would say he has a shot. The current game is 30-30 (Soda serving) which is the best Ferrer has gotten. And now it’s 40-30.)

And don’t give up hope for Andy yet. This is surely just the kick in the rump he needs to be properly motivated against Ferrer and his SF opponent! I think he’ll come through no. 2 behind Roger. (Actually, it’s virtually certain, assuming Murray can beat Ferrer… Even if Soderling manages to beat Federer in straight sets, which he essentially has to have a shot at qualifying, Murray’s games won % is likely to be better, so he’d come through.)

Eric Says:

Well, Soderling wastes a golden chance to win 7-5 6-2 and now has dropped his lead. Ferrer serving at 4-5. Soderling can still break right back to win, and I hope he does…

Duro Says:

Jane and Maxi, sorry for not answering you on time. I was busy, but didn’t forget it.

To be short, I saw Nole’s match a bit differently than you. For me it was efficient, crisp, focused display, very much determined by Berdy’s performance. Exactly as it should be considering opponent’s resistance and court ongoing. It was a job, to be done and nothing else. The best is saved for the best.

Maxi, Olly is in Dubai most probably. She’ll be there, don’t worry. Tomorrow’s a day. Nadal across the net. An inspiration for life…

What to say about your genius… That was music, beauty, grace, pure love of tennis… A God creates such a perfection in one player only once.

There will be competitors, athletes, champions, but when the time passes, it will only stay one arch-genius among them all.

dari Says:

congrats to sod, wish daveed would have at least gotten a set, but ya know, these things happen.
wtf produces the best post-match handshakes. sod doesn’t even like to touch people and here he is stroking daveed’s chest.
on to the next day!
i will cheer roddick and djokovic!

Eric Says:

Well Ferrer fought back heroically from the very brink of a 6-2 second set to lose it 7-5 instead…

Anyway, there are now only two matches left in group B, so we can more or less call it now.

The current standings are
Federer 2-0
Murray 1-1
Soderling 1-1
Ferrer 0-2

and the remaining matches are Federer-Soderling and Murray-Ferrer. Obviously Federer and Murray are the favorites. So probably final results:

Federer 3-0
Murray 2-1
Soderling 1-2
Ferrer 0-3

The only way Murray could fail to qualify is if Ferrer beats him and Soderling actually beats Federer; then the standings would be
Federer 2-1
Soderling 2-1
Murray 1-2
Ferrer 1-2

Even if Ferrer beats Murray, Murray can still qualify if Federer also beats Soderling:
Federer 3-0
Soderling, Murray, and Ferrer all 1-2.

Then it would come down to % of sets won, then games, in which Murray is currently the leader by a small margin. If Murray wins even a single set more than Soderling (so if he loses to Ferrer in 3 while Soderling loses to Fed in 2) he would come through.

But obviously, realistically Murray is going to beat Ferrer, which I think guarantees his spot in the SFs regardless of what happens in the other match.

Eric Says:

No, I take that back. If Soderling and Murray both win, then Federer, Soderling, and Murray would all be 2-1 and it would come down to % of sets and games… Federer has a huge lead in terms of games won (Murray is 50% and Soda 47%, while Fed is 68%) though.

jane Says:

Congrats to Soda; poor Ferrer.

jane Says:

Duro, well that sounds quite similar to how Nina and I stated it, except you’re saying that Nole purposefully didn’t play his best level of tennis. Either way, a win is a win is a win. He will have his hands full next match!! EEEEK. : )

contador Says:

i like both of them but i’m happy for dimples!

Duro- that was beautiful, what you posted. : )

jane, the weather is deteriorating, even for here! looks like i will have plenty of time to read snow poetry….burrrrr record low tonight -27 F with the wind chill. i lived in oregon and would laugh at the how the freeways and the entire city shutdown if it snowed a couple inches. and yes, i remember people wearing their usual shorts and sandals (rather, birkenstocks with socks) darting around, lol.

skeezerweezer Says:


ditto here re; Fed. Very complimentary. Thanks! :-)

Duro Says:

Jane, that’s exactly what I’m saying. He let himself down the stream. Counting this, he played excellent.

About tomorrow, we shall see… I think he’ll give all. With Rafa all is not enough often though…

Countess, thanks. We can cheer our faves, but it’ll stay so for ever. I left you an answer somewhere ending with – Baltic rocks!

Skeez, thanks for what? Do you think than anybody intimately thinks otherwise? Nothing will change that.

madmax Says:

Hi duro.

have to sleep now. busy. work. tired. catch you tomorrow. thanks duro :)

Jane, yes. I know.:)

dunbar Says:

I see John Cleese is the latest show biz icon to grace the O2. Petch did a small interview with him in between games. Cleese let on that his favourite match was between Drobny and Rosewall – “one of your countrymen, I believe” he remarked to the bemused Petch. I’ve never thought actors are much good at accents – although they tend to take it as a badge of pride that they are. A few are – but generally, hearing Americans trying to do English and vica-versa is a dismal experience. He looked pretty ancient, old Cleese, positively mothballed – now why would he want to draw attention to his immense age (Drobny played Rosewall at Wimbie in 1954) when he had this youngish floozy with him? Perhaps it’s his way of saying, “look, I know I’m older than Methusalah – but look who’s sitting next to me; and who’s sitting next to you, my dear young whippersnapper?”

Funny how we can feel sorry for people who are much better off in every conceivable way than ourselves. Take the lovely David Ferrer, you feel for him as he inevitably loses one match after another in this august company – and you forget that, after all, he made it into the august company in the first place, something he can whisper about to his great grandchildren when he’s John Cleese’s age.

contador Says:


actually looked up mary ruefle – slow work day due to the endless blizzard. and found mary ruefle’s “snow” LOL…i saved it too. now i get what you meant by warming up! can’t say snow grabs me the same way…wow. but thanks! *scratches head*… poets…

um, it’s all too creepy driving through a blizzard in the dark-terrified in my car. it’s hypothermia weather and the car frozen. not thinking of anything other than getting that baby ( my car ) home!

Duro- i didn’t see your post but yes, baltic rocks! however, it will be a long time before i see EG play again. meanwhile it’s nole-rafa tomorrow and i’m rearranging my day to watch. please, nole win this time!

Swiss Maestro Says:

Haha! looks like tennis-x has finally put a lid on Fedend and put him in moderation. Good on you tennis-x!

Skeezerweezer Says:

Swiss maestro,

Re; FedWins

How do u know this?

Swiss Maestro Says:

Skeezer :

very simple. contador’s post at 11:53 and even jane’s post following it, they appeared first and eventually, sometime later deadend’s post appeared! that tells you his posts are being delayed, which i attribute to tennis-x police.

there is only so much gibberish that is to be allowed! hope deadend gets the message!

jane Says:

contador, lol. Had the reaction it should then? Laughter anyhow. Yeah, poets *scratches head back*. : )

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