Raonic Reaches SFs At ATP Finals, Djokovic Back In No. 1 Lead; Murray v Wawrinka Friday
by Staff | November 17th, 2016, 10:16 pm

Milos Raonic earned his first ATP Finals semifinal berth today knocking out Dominic Thiem 7-6(5), 6-3 to finish 2-1 in round robin play and in second place in the Ivan Lendl group. Thiem had a chance up 4-2 in the first set breaker, but the Canadian won five of the last six points, and then broke immediately in the second to pace to win.

“I did a lot of things quite well today,” said Raonic. “I stepped up when I had an opportunity in the tie-break. I stepped up at the beginning of the second set and the end of it. There’s a lot definitely to be proud of, playing under that kind of pressure, because I really wanted to get out of the group stages and I wanted to give myself a chance in the semi-finals.”

Raonic improves to 2-0 against Thiem and has yet to face a break point in two matches. And he reaches his first semifinals.

“It’s very big for me,” said Raonic. “I had a very big goal of wanting to win my first Slam this year. I came up short on that.

“Right now I think I’ve put myself in a good situation,” he added. “I’ve done well to give myself this opportunity.”

Thiem finishes his first ATP Finals having at least played well in all three matches despite a 1-2 mark.

“I think it was a quite good first set,” said Thiem. “Neither of us faced a break point. The tie-break was pretty open. The mistakes I made, I think, is still the difference between me and the very top [players]… I hope that I will be back here in the future. It’s one of the best tournaments. It was an amazing experience. I’m also happy that I won one match and that I still had the chance to reach the semi-finals in the last match… You have to be 100 per cent from the very start. I learned a lot of things.”

In the early match, with Gael Monfils sidelined with a rib injury, David Goffin took the Frenchman’s place and proceeded to get crushed by Novak Djokovic 6-1, 6-2 in 70 minutes.

The 4-time defending champion Djokovic finishes the Lendl group at 3-0 and for the moment, moves ahead of Andy Murray in the No. 1 race.

“Everything has been going, as I said, in a positive direction. I’ve been playing better and better as I proceed in the tournament. I have now a day of rest,” Djokovic said. “I’m looking forward really. It’s the last couple matches of the year hopefully. One thing is for sure: I’m going to give it my all on the court and see what happens.”

Djokovic has now won 21 of his last 22 matches at the event.

On tap Friday, the last two semifinalists will be placed. Andy Murray takes on Stan Wawrinka. If Murray wins a set, he advances. Murray leads Wawrinka 9-7 but Stan beat Murray a year ago in this same situation, though the Scot had the Davis Cup around the corner.

“All I know is if I want to have a chance to qualify, I need to win,” Wawrinka said. “That’s all I know. That’s all I’m trying to do. I’m going to try to play my best tennis, to beat the world No. 1. It’s going to be a tough match. We played many times each other. He’s playing his best tennis so far. It’s going to be interesting. I’m happy to play here in front of his home crowd. I’m sure it’s going to be a great atmosphere.”

Later, Kei Nishikori challenges Marin Cilic. If Nishikori wins then he will go into his second semifinal in three years.

If, however, Murray loses by straight sets and then Nishikori wins, then Djokovic can celebrate early, he’ll finish No. 1.

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36 Comments for Raonic Reaches SFs At ATP Finals, Djokovic Back In No. 1 Lead; Murray v Wawrinka Friday

Farah Diba Says:

Andy will be nervous,that’s for sure..but i think he’ll give his best and win this maybe in 2 or 3..C’MON ANDY!!

Farah Diba Says:

I think i have to give Andy some of my Supermoon power..Via telepathically that is..Be ready Andy!Open all your power sources..

Margot Says:

Into the semis he goes. Andy Murray you beauty.
Absolutely fantastic FSP suddenly!
*Gives big shout to darling Farah*
Might be promoting you to Andy Murray first class fan quite soon!

Daniel Says:

Murray wins first set and qualifies. If he wins the macth he qualifies first and avoid Djoko till final.

If he loses and Kei loses, Wawa first.

If he loses and Kei wins in 2. Kei first, Murray second.

If he loses and Kei wins in 3, Murray first, Kei second.

Bests case, just go on and win next set and Kei qualifies second reagrdless if he wins or not. His set/won will be better than Wawa and Cilic.

Daniel Says:

Already a break up in second set. Looks like this will be a clean straight set win.

The fastest for him the better. He already got lucky to not play night, so more time to recover for tomorrow agaisnt Raonic.

J-Kath Says:

Murray through. Just wish Andrew Castle would shut up.
Congrats to Jamie Murray and partner No 1’s in doubles.

Margot Says:

Have had to mute sound because of Bouncy, Kath.
DK if it’s safe to turn it up yet……

Margot Says:

Golly Gosh, that’s the best I’ve seen Andy play for absolute yoinks!
Undefeated in the “group of death.” What a tennis player. Privilege to be a fan.
Means Kei is through whatever.

RZ Says:

Phew! Hopefully we’ll get a Murray-Djokovic final. That would be an appropriate ending to the ATP season.

Margot Says:

RZ: It wasn’t really a “behind the sofa” match surprisingly. I was tense because of what was at stake, but Andy was brilliant.

lakie Says:

I do not know how this RR thing works but if Cilic wins, then all three second spot contenders will have 1 win each. So it will probably be decided by sets and games. I hope Wawa goes through as he is the only guy who doesn’t seem knackered. After all the rigged draws, it would be a travesty of justice (in the cosmic sense), if Nole gets year end # 1. I am not a Andy fan but I am rooting for him as he got tough draws and he gave up chances of winning more ranking points by focusing on Olympics and Davis Cup. Come on Andy, you are almost there. If Nole falls in the semi, then Andy immediately becomes year end #1 even if he too loses his semi. Otherwise, Andy can be year end #1 by defeating Nole in the final which will probably be more thrilling but will be more stressful for his loyal fans and also for me, although I am a temporary Andy fan.

J-Kath Says:

Agree Margot – however, the first 20 minutes was a bit chastening – Stan was playing guts out tennis. Andy kept his nerve thank goodness.

Andy vs Milos
Nole vs Kei.

Congrats to Jamie & Bruno no. 1 in doubles.

Farah Diba Says:

@M…Hey,i thought being a Farah Diba means i’m already a 1st class Andy fan..AndyMira was the 2nd class..Urgh!Alright..You’re the Boss..Anyway,Robbie Koenig said,this is the best Andy’s perfomance in whole tournament so far..And what’s more,he’s defeated another top 10 player today..and will add another one tomorrow..And hopefully he will shut the ‘voice’ who said he became no 1 without defeating a single top ten player..

PS..M..I think he showed an astounding perfomance especially for you..He knows what happened in Wales and want to cheer you up!

J-Kath Says:

No spoilers on this thread yet….so peaceful.

Danica Says:

So, the semis are set. Bring ’em on!

Margot Says:

So I must promote Andy Mira then? Consider it done!
Lol re PS the dear boy probably did….;)

Daniel Says:

I think at this point Kei has a better shot of upsetting Djoko in semis than Raonic upsetting Murray. Murray just plays well agaisnt big servers and of the Bog 4 is the one who handle them better.
But the problem with Kei os even that he breaks Djoko, he will also be broken so a lot will depend on his serve and Djoko’s (lately) weaker second serve.

Still think we have the final we won’t, at least Indo, Murray and Djoko battling for 1500 pts, London title undefeated Year End #1!!
Hope for an epic three setter

Farah Diba Says:

M…To celebrate Andy superb perfomance today,please listen to this..one of the member,Eos Counsell is from Cardiff..


SG1 Says:

I hope Andy truly WANTS to play Novak in the final. If you’re going to end up as year end No.1, what better way than to unseat the guy who’s been number 1 for several years now.

J-Kath Says:


Good to see you supporting Andy – even if only for this tournament. You join Willow, Farah and Okie for whom Andy is their 2nd favourite.

Stan won’t go through as he has only won one match. Likely to be Kei over Cilic.

jane Says:

semis all set: murray/milos in the day; novak/kei in the evening.
tonight the rubber is a dead one.
too bad i have horrendously busy weekend. :/

RZ Says:

@SG1 – exactly! And I think Murray wants it.

Danica Says:

agree with you on all points. I can easily see Andy in the finals on Sunday while his opponent is not so easy to predict. I hope it is Nole but then again, Kei is capable of winning too.

As for finals, if Nole qualifies, I am glad I can’t watch atm :))

Daniel Says:

Yeah Danica,

But also, if Djoko is ij finals he is my bet to win it. Experience count and Andy shaw fel more pressure than Djoko in that match. First final in wTF and possibiltiy ti beat Novak again since forever to establish himself as #1. But it won’t be an easy math for neither me thinks.

lakie Says:

Will somebody explain to me how without the last match Kei is already through? Both Kei and Wawa have 1 win each and Kei beat Wawa. So Kei has the edge over Wawa. But if Cilic beats Kei, we have Cilc beat Kei who beat Wawa who beat Cilic. So how is the second place decided without the last match? Something in the sets and games and points must be such that the last match cannot overturn Kei’s advantage even if he loses. So what is it?

Khb Says:

Murray hasn’t had a tough draw since French Open.
It’s not like he was out of gas. Kei couldn’t handle the pressure & Murray waited it out until Kei self-destructed.

J-Kath Says:

Lakie: Cilic hasn’t won any of the contests. Kei has. Tonight is a dead rubber. Kei goes through as the second top from Andy’s half. Kei will play Nole in the semi-finals.

J-Kath Says:

The leader of the Ministry of the Untruthful and the Kingdom of the Blind is back having also taken the Ministry of the Deaf to add to his/her portfolio.

Danica Says:

No point trying to understand :)). I gave up :). Will just trust what the ATP WTF site says.

J-Kath Says:

Lakie: Should also have said Cilic gets the chance to win 200 points so the “dead rubber” gets played. But he is already out of the contest – apart from maybe winning ranking points.

jalep Says:

@ lakie
“So how is the second place decided without the last match? Something in the sets and games and points must be such that the last match cannot overturn Kei’s advantage even if he loses. So what is it?”

It’s here: http://www.flashscore.com/standings/8lvjqDJT/ATn9QRb9/#table

Form matches won lost sets w/l
1. Murray A. 3 3 0 6:1
2. Nishikori K. 2 1 1 3:2

3. Wawrinka S. 3 1 2 2:4
4. Cilic M. 2 0 2 0:4

The answer is simply in the sets. Even if Kei lost this match in straight sets to Cilic, (tho he just won the first set), he would be 3:4 in sets which is better than Stan’s 2:4 and Cilic’s 2:4.

Flash score link doesn’t include games w/l in their standings but for placing Group position in case of a tie in matches and sets, it goes to most games won for group rank.

Since Andy beat Stan in straight sets today, Kei was automatically out of danger from Stan. Had Stan won, this match between Kei and Marin would be a LIVE rubber. Stan would have gone through, not Kei, if he would have beat Andy and Kei lost to Cilic.

Cilic was eliminated from SF’s after his last loss.

Does that make sense? It’s very easy, otherwise I’d be confused.

Khb Says:

Kei even lost his focus against Cilic. He’s throwing his hand up in frustration!
Kei tried to look calm, to no avail.
This is Cilic on London indoor court. Lmao

jalep Says:

This is a dead rubber, Khb. Kei might or might not care about losing. Kei made the SF already when Andy won in straight sets. Cilic could use a confidence boost of at least winning three set match.

lakie Says:

Thanks Jalep!

jalep Says:

You are very welcome, lakie :)
It’s really more that people have a mental block and just don’t like the RR format idea and don’t bother with it, than the format itself being complicated.

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