Djokovic, Wawrinka Bake Breadsticks At ATP Finals; Federer, Murray In Action Tuesday

by Sean Randall | November 10th, 2014, 8:13 pm

It hasn’t exactly been a rip-roaring start to the 2014 ATP Finals in London. Through two days of round robin play, all four matches have ended in straight sets culminating with today’s identical double breadstick blowouts.

Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka got off the snide blasting Tomas Berdych 6-1, 6-1. I questioned Berdych’s hunger at the start of the event, and I’ll ask again, does he have any? How the hell does a guy with that kind of talent and power win just two games on a quick, indoor court? No wonder Ivan Lendl turned him down.

After the match Berdych admitted to playing his worst match of the season, which almost naturally comes at the ATP Finals.

“Unfortunately, it was my worst match of the whole season and I kept it for the start here,” said Berdych who has lost five straight to Stan and 8 of his last 9. “Today, I didn’t really feel anything right. I can just keep fighting and try to play good tennis.”

As for Wawrinka, what a great start for the 2013 semifinalist who really needed a quality win like this.

“I didn’t expect to win that easy,” said Wawrinka. “But I was ready to play well. I had a great week of preparation. Even if the result wasn’t there in Basel and Paris, I was feeling the ball really well on the practice court.

“When I feel good on the court, I’m ready to beat everybody. It’s never easy, but you have to fight for it.”

Unfortunately I don’t think he can carry the momentum against Novak Djokovic. Not after the Serb looked awfully good against Marin Cilic in a 6-1, 6-1 destruction to win his 28th straight match indoors, 11th at the ATP Finals.

Unlike Berdych, I give Cilic a bit of a pass. He’s playing the 2-time defending champion and World No. 1, and he’s making his Finals debut against a guy who’s now beaten him in all 11 meetings.

So on Wednesday we’ll get Djokovic against Wawrinka and in battle of two guys who won a combined four games today, Cilic versus Berdych.

“Winning in straight sets helps a lot for the rest of the tournament,” said Djokovic, who is riding a 28-match indoor winning streak. “But I’m going to try to win every match I play.”

Before then, tomorrow should finally see some quality tennis. Roger Federer is on against Kei Nishikori. The two have split four meetings (two this year in Halle and Miami), but indoors on familiar ground I like Federer to win and possibly secure a semifinal spot.

In the late match, I think Andy Murray gets on his game against Milos Raonic. The Canadian actually leads 3-1 including a win in their only meeting since 2012 at Indian Wells this past March.

Given the stakes, Murray’s needs this match more than Raonic so I’ll lean his way. But my guess is it won’t be pretty.

Tennis Channel continues will live coverage starting at 9am ET.

DOUBLES B / 12:00 PM
SINGLES B / 02:00 PM

DOUBLES B / 06:00 PM
SINGLES B / 08:00 PM

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43 Comments for Djokovic, Wawrinka Bake Breadsticks At ATP Finals; Federer, Murray In Action Tuesday

Tennis Vagabond Says:

I think Raonic is hungrier than you credit him for. He wants to win. He hates losing.

I think that if a similarly styled Andy shows up, reactive and defensive, Milos will win this. If Andy plays attacking tennis, it will be a great match.

Humble Rafa Says:

It may be strange to some of you, but my doctor recommend I need treatment on my back. Before you ask me, which back, let me guarantee you, I only have one.

As always, Humble will handle these adversities with grace and be thankful for all I have.

skeezer Says:

^so about thise embryos….

Michael Says:

It is an absolute disgrace that Berdych played so badly. This is a unique tournament where the eight best in the World participate and naturally you expect intense competitive matches. But the intensity of matches so far have proved to be even worse than the grand slams in initial stages. I am not sure what is really the problem ? Both Berdych and Cilic have been hammered down 1 and 1 and are they really that bad ? Granted that their opponents played very well but still the poor scoreline reveals that all is not well with the attitude of the opponents. Still Berdych and Cilic can provide a shocker and quality for the knock out stages because this tournament gives such opportunities where one match melt down is not the end of all. I think they can take a leaf out of this and make amends in their remaining matches. I do not mind them losing. But only vexed with the way they are losing without a whimper.

Giles Says:

This WTF will probably go down as the worst in history. Players who are supposed to be top of the pile being white washed with gay abandon. Havnt seen any quality matches so far. And this is supposed to be the creme dela creme of tennis? Give me a break!!

Sienna Says:

Well I have to say that since the BABY. Djokovic is putting away his opponents with considerable ease. Like he is floting on clouth nine.

So far he hasnot set a footh wrond in claiming yearend #1. He wants to top his season with the tropy and reassert himself as the topdog.

With a good performence (maybe a win on sunday) Fed could set himself to take #1 somewhere in the year. May a good showing in the clayswing could be enough to get enough points to eclips novak in the running year.

Margot Says:

Do hope Andy “turns up” tonight. Tho not too hopeful as Milos has a winning H2H and not sure this surface favours Andy’s game. Think he plays better on quicker tbh. Was at Sunday’s match and he looked out of gas to me. Kei is so dangerous these days, you just can’t be sub-par and expect to win.
A big nod towards Kei’s 4hand too. It’s amazing, whipped, with no back spin and taken so early. It had us all gasping in disbelief.
Yes, the singles matches have been very disappointing so far and it’s expensive too. The arena is fabulous, very rowdy and exciting with loud music and flashing lights. Am going again at the end of the week.
If, and it is of course a big if, the weather is good, Wimbledon and Queens offer much better value for money.

Colin Says:

Margot, you say Kei’s forehand has no “backspin”. A drive wouldn’t have, would it? Do you perhaps mean “backswing”?

Regarding the surface, Andy has just been quoted as saying it’s quite fast, so let’s hope he can play accordingly, though I’m going to watch the Raonic encounter with no expectations. Mind you, if it’s like the previous match, it’ll be expectorations!

Margot Says:

Of course I mean “back swing!” Duh!
I think Fleming was saying the surface suits Raonic’s serve? Also, OMG it’s hot and humid in there which of course effects the ball speed.
I have zilch as well. Think the supreme effort was getting there tbh, or rather getting back into the top 10, prior to AO.

Goose Egg Says:

I’m thoroughly jealous of you! Hope you have a good time at O2!

This gets me thinking… Where is everyone on this forum from geographically? Sorry if this was ever discussed in the past, but I’m curious about what the demographics of tennis-x’ers are

El_Flaco Says:

That’s an astute observation Margot. Kei’s backhand has been nasty since he’s come on the tour, but his forehand has improved quite a bit. I don’t see the wild misses and shanks that he used to have off that wing.

brando GOAT poster Says:

Fast conditions, decisive wins, confidence in tact= Fed being the fav more. For me: when he’s fit, confident, playing well and with great mental focus his top level is the best from the big names. He really is- with only Pete Sampras arguing- the perfect fast court player the game has seen. For me what Fed know needs to do is:1- keep court time to a minimum, as freshness is a must. 2- be in the habit of maintaining optimum level concentration for a great lengths of time: meaning no lapses, moments of mental walkabout etc. 3- play with ruthless aggression: game after game go for the kill, play the aggressive shot, be the one forcing the issue. He seems like he is and when he’s like that then he’s truly got no one to fear. I fancy him for the title to be honest IF he can stay fresh and is mentally solid playing without concentration lapses since aggression and dominant tennis is second nature for RF. Says:

brando, Fed did not play fantastic tennis today, and he needs to serve much better to deal with Novak.
On the other side, Novak played superb against Cilic.
So I like Fed’s chances, but to say he’s the favourite I think is still premature.
In any case, if the match happens, it will be one of the best of the year, I’d wager.

rogerafa Says:

The majority opinion seems to be that it is medium paced and not exactly fast. Margot talked about humidity which would slow down the conditions further. I think the bounce appears inconsistent which upsets the timing. Players who rely purely on precise timing to generate power are likely to find it difficult.

Polo Says:

Federer remains a formidable player but to say he is the favorite in a tournament where Djokovic is also entered is a stretch. Age, no matter how well Roger is playing right now, will always be his liability against anybody. He is just so good that it does not factor much against many players, but against a high caliber player like Djokovic, all other factors should be present in Roger’s game for him to win.

the DA Says:

I think this WTF has been one of the most underwhelming in recent memory. Andy was so off (and couldn’t take advantage of Kei’s 30% first serves – WTF indeed). Group A matches were blow outs. Roger vs Kei was a little better but Milos & Andy better bring it tonight. If I’d been a ticket holder I’d be fuming.

Enjoy yourself Margot. Send our boy all the positive energy you have.

contador Says:

Murray is serving for the match. Much better from him today.

contador Says:

I feel sorry for Raonic. He is capable of better tennis than he has showed so far. Murray needed this win. Still the Murray first serve was not impressive; but he got the win :D

sienna Says:

So Roger needs 1 game to stay above Murray….

am I right or wrong?

RZ Says:

Yay Murray!

@Margot – hope you enjoyed it. :-)

Margot Says:

Phew! So glad Andy decided to turn up and Milos didn’t!
Enjoy? What is this word “enjoy” of which you speak? ;) It’s a “Murray match” after all.
@ the DA and Goosey
Cheers m’dears. You may be sure I shall “enjoy” any match Andy isn’t playing…;)

Hippy Chick Says:

Didnt see the match,but so glad Murray has a win,and therefore wont suffer a whitewash,which was what i feared,even if he loses to Roger now,but could be a good momentum boost now for his match against Roger….

Daniel Says:


Roger needs 1 set and he is in. If Kei loses Murray qualifies first due to direct confront with Fed if he beats Fed, regardless if Fed wins 1 set going 5-2 and Murray 4-3 because they will be the only 2 with 2 wins in the group and as Murray beats Fed, he is first.

So, Fed better do his part and win to go first and in contention for #1. But if this match is the night match (most likely) than he will know what he has to do to qualify,

As for tomorrow, YE#1 can be decided because Djoko ain’t losing to Berdych and if he beats Wawa, pretty much will lead his group and has his 3 needed wins to warp YE#1. All hope with the other swiss:-)

sienna Says:


he will need 6/7 games to stay on top of Murray. jumpedthe gun.

sienna Says:

ok the results against eachother are determining the outcome. but ofcourse not with 3way tie.

sienna Says:

yeah Daniel,
we need old fashion tagteam tot pull this one out of the hat.

Hippy Chick Says:

It will probably be the only time im rooting for Berdych to actually win when he plays Cilic,IMO the Novak/Stan will be the most interesting match of the tournament so far,i cant see the Novak/Berdych match been much different to the Novak/Cilic match….

Daniel Says:

No sienna, it depends on Kei match, if Nishikori loses and Fed loses to Murray, Murray goes first regardless because the first criteria is direct confront. If Murray and Fed goes 2-0 and Kei and Raonic 1-2, Murray goes first and Fed second. But if Kei wins and Fed loses than three of them tie at 2-1 and if Fed wins a set he is first.

the DA Says:

@Margot – Woo hoo. Thank heavens for small mercies (and Milos’ errant FH) ;)

Here are the various scenarios:

There are 5 permutations where Andy can end up winning the group. Bizarre. Math is a crazy thing sometimes.

Margot Says:

@the DA
Realistically, I can’t see Andy beating Fed, or Milos beating Kei tbh.

the DA Says:

@Margot – Ah, the legendary optimism of an Andy fan ;P

Kei has a wrist problem and Roger has a lot at stake. You never know.

sienna Says:

a few years ago we had games won % determining a group I believe.

This year we want…..

#Wawa to beat Djoker
#Roger to beat Murray
#Roger to beat Djoker in semi
#Roger to win final
#Roger to win his singles
#Suisse to win DC
#ROGER Yearend #1

Margot Says:

@The DA
Lol but a true Murray fan surely can not be an optimist…especially after Sunday!
4got about Kei’s wrist that’s true, but Milos has been poor.

Hippy Chick Says:

This is the reason i dont really care for this format,Andy could beat Roger?and still end up going out,if all the permatitions go against him,it takes the fate out of your own hands,by sometimes relying on the results of the other players….

RZ Says:

@Margot – I meant, I hope you enjoyed the outcome. I understand about not being able to enjoy the match. :-)

Hippy Chick Says:

Milos is playing for pride now,so has nothing to lose,he wont want to suffer a whitewash,so he will play freely,also if Keis suffering with his wrist then the match could be quite interesting,and doesnt Milos have a good record against Kei anyway?….

the DA Says:

Roger and Andy will have the evening slot on Thursday so they’ll be in the position of knowing exactly what will be needed to qualify. Makes it a little more exciting. And Andy has been good with tight qualifying scenarios this Fall. #justsayin

RZ Says:

Here’s a site with a chart that explains the standings and who goes through.

calmdownplease Says:

And yet he’s never pulled it off against Fed at the WTF.
The wheels have always come off for some reason, or he has simply been outplayed.
I’m open to him surprising me of course, he’s more than capable of it. He’s getting better as the tourney proceeds (not hard however). And Fed, despite the toadish obsequiousness of Greg Rudseski, has not looked unbeatable at all. But it will be a first when he has yet to beat a Fed/Nadal/Djokovic all year.
But there’s a first time for most things eventually. Says:

Probably fair criticism that its a boring tournament so far, but if you’re a Fed, Novak or Stan fan, I’d wager you’re enjoying it so far.

I’m really looking forward to the Stan/Novak match, this looks like the match of the RR stage.

I’ll add my voice in dissent to the chorus criticizing the round robin format. This is used in so many sports at the highest level- world cup soccer and rugby, olympic hockey. If it was a regular knock out tournament with 8 players, we’d be done tomorrow! Three rounds of matches, with a total of 7 matches. Instead we get 12 matches in round robin alone. Each match, a potential classic. The players who make it to the finals have run a gauntlet unlike ANY in the Grand Slams, where you might face 2 top tier opponents before the finals- max.

Daniel Says:

RZ gret link. So Fed has 1 in 12 chance of not qualifying (if he loses in two to Murray and Kei wins in 2) and even so goes to game ratio; and Raonic has o ly 1 out of 12 chance of qualyfing if he wins in 2 and Fed wins in 2 and even so goes to Games Ratio.

skeezer Says:

“Probably fair criticism that its a boring tournament so far,..”

I don’t think so. The format is exciting, lots of possibilities as some posters have pointed out. Every match is a good matchup, no qualifiers or wild cards. Although Rafa has branded those matchups can be exciting, LOL.

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