Retirements

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Which criteria have I adapted for this stats? All retired players whose I have included to the ‘Biographies’ page due to their singles achievements.  Beside names there’s the highest ranking (singles),  in parenthesis – age  at the retirement and the … Continue reading

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Two points away, set points…

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Two points away I don’t know exactly when I thought that would be interesting to prepare such a stats, perhaps three or four years ago. Obviously there’s important info considering matches in which a player won an encounter despite a … Continue reading

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World Tour Finals – Day 8

The Final

(4)Roger Federer d. (6)Jo-Wilfried Tsonga   6-3, 6-7(6), 6-3          [ 2:19 h ]           H2H: 8-3

They played against each other third straight Sunday! It was their eighth match of the season which is a new record # Actually Federer should have won it in two sets, but wasted many opportunities in the 2nd set as he led 5:3* having not faced a break point, had also a mini-match point at 5 all (Tsonga missed in that game all 10 first serves!), 5:2 in the tie-break and a match point on return – Tsonga fought it off with a forehand winner. In the 3rd set deciding was the 8th game, in which the Frenchman saved two break points but at the third one he left too much space off his right side – it allowed Federer to make a crucial break. In the following game the Swiss won four straight points with offensive attitude, smashing on match point. A moment later he reacted very emotionally, it’s his 17th consecutive win (three titles) and a record sixth ‘Masters’ title (70 ATP titles overall), surpassing Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras – both won five titles at the season-ending event. “I couldn’t be more happy. I couldn’t be more exhausted,” Federer told the crowd, “Jo sucked every last bit of energy out of me today.” Tsonga stated: “Today I fought all I can. I’m just happy tonight because I had a good week. Of course, to win is better but I gave everything. Tonight I can look [at] myself in the mirror and say, ‘Yeah, you fought enough.'” Stats of the final

Doubles results:
(3)M.Mirnyi/D.Nestor d. (8)M.Fyrstenberg/M.Matkowski 7-5, 6-3

# Eight meetings between two players within a year:
2011: Roger Federer vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (6-2)
Seven meetings between two players within a year:
1984: John McEnroe vs. Ivan Lendl (6-1)
1995: Michael Chang vs. Jim Courier (4-3)
2007: Rafael Nadal vs. Novak Djokovic (5-2)
2009: Rafael Nadal vs. Novak Djokovic (4-3)
Six meetings between two players within a year:
1984: John McEnroe vs. Jimmy Connors (6-0)
1986: Ivan Lendl vs. Boris Becker (3-3)
1989: Boris Becker vs. Stefan Edberg (4-2)
2004: Roger Federer vs. Lleyton Hewitt (6-0)
2006: Rafael Nadal vs. Roger Federer (4-2)
2008: Paul-Henri Mathieu vs. Marin Cilic (3-3)
2008: Rafael Nadal vs. Novak Djokovic (4-2)
2011: Novak Djokovic vs. Rafael Nadal (6-0)
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World Tour Finals – Day 7

Semi-finals

(4)Roger Federer d. (5)David Ferrer                  7-5, 6-3                 [ 1:25 h ]

Federer is the worst match-up for Ferrer. The Spaniard in 12 matches against the Swiss won only 3 sets, but never was close to win a match. It’s tough to say sometimes why some players are totally supreme over the others, and I think it’s one of those H2H’s. Ferrer is good enough to beat Federer two or three times in twelve matches, but he hasn’t done yet. Maybe it’s a matter of psychological advantage, Federer won their first five matches in straight sets, before Ferrer jumped onto the higher level in tennis hierarchy, and that initial difference takes its toll regularly. Today decided the 10th game of the 1st set, Ferrer led 5:4* and was five times two points away from the set, but every time at ‘deuce’ couldn’t play the shots he usually does. Federer took the momentum by winning five consecutive games and never looked back moving to the 100th ATP final! #

(6)Jo-Wilfried Tsonga d. (7)Tomas Berdych     6-3, 7-5              [ 1:34 h ]

I didn’t see this match because I was partying at the time :) Tsonga was broken once in the 2nd set, finished the match with an ace. “Roger is the best player for the moment indoors,” Tsonga said. “It’s going to be really special here, for my first final here. It’s going to be an amazing atmosphere on court, and I like that. … I know it’s the last match (of the year) so I will give it everything.”

Doubles results:
(3)M.Mirnyi/D.Nestor d. (1)B.Bryan/M.Bryan 7-6(6), 6-4
(8)M.Fyrstenberg/M.Matkowski d.  (4)M.Bhupathi/L.Paes 6-4, 4-6, [10-6]

# Players to participate in 100 finals or more:
161 – Jimmy Connors
146 – Ivan Lendl
109 – John McEnroe
104 – Guillermo Vilas
100 – Roger Federer 
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World Tour Finals – Day 6

Group A – third round
(alt.)Janko Tipsarevic d. (1)Novak Djokovic           3-6, 6-3, 6-3                    [ 2:07 h ]
The stake of this match was unusual, Djokovic would have won it and didn’t qualify, he would have lost it and qualify, because he knew the last match at the group stage between Berdych and Ferrer would be crucial. In these circumstances a more eager player was the older of two Serbs, for whom it was not only a unique opportunity to beat a No. 1 in the world for the first time in career, but also to get a better check (for a multimillionaire like D’Joke, additional 120,000$ doesn’t make a significant difference). The best player of the season is visibly out of gas and suffers lack of enjoyment, he was broken twice in both losing sets, and actually only once in the entire match showed a positive emotion (it was at *3:4 ‘deuce’ in the 2nd set when he had still a decent prospect to win it in straight sets). “I had an unbelievable year,” comments Djokovic,  “Nothing can really ruin that. I will always remember this year as the best of my life. I just want to prepare well for 2012.”
(7)Tomas Berdych d.  (5)David Ferrer                      3-6, 7-5, 6-1                      [ 2:07 h ]
The Spaniard was playing almost a perfect match through a set and a half, but is he really so good to win a group in such an impressive style on his third/fourth favorite surface? He isn’t, and his dream week came to an end as he led *4:3 (40-15) in the 2nd set. He made two unforced errors then from the baseline and the momentum completely shifted – the Czech won 10 out of the next 12 games and finished the group on the first place despite a worse win/loss ratio in sets than Ferrer. Perhaps it’s good for the tournament because Djokovic, who is out of form, was five points away from advancing to the semi-finals although he suffered two defeats at the group stage. “I think I was playing good the first set, and [then in] the middle of the second maybe at 4-3, 40/15, I didn’t serve really well,” admitted Ferrer. “I served very badly and I played my shots very short. In the third set, he was playing with more confidence.”
1. Berdych 2-1… 5-3
2. Ferrer 2-1… 5-2
3. Djokovic 1-2… 3-5
4. Tipsarevic 1-1… 3-3
5. Murray 0-1… 0-2
Doubles results:
(7)J.Melzer/P.Petzschner d. (6)R.Lindstedt/H.Tecau 6-3, 6-4
(4)M.Bhupathi/L.Paes d. (1)B.Bryan/M.Bryan 6-4, 6-2
1. Bhupathi/Paes 2-1… 4-2
2. Bryan/Bryan 2-1… 4-3

3. Melzer/Petzschner 1-2… 3-4
4. Lindstedt/Tecau 1-2… 2-4
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World Tour Finals – Day 5

Group B – third round
(4)Roger Federer d. (8)Mardy Fish                       6-1, 3-6, 6-3                    [ 1:48 h ]
It was a pure formality: Federer had secured first place in the group whilst Fish hadn’t any chances to qualify. The exhibition mood of the encounter of two 30-year-old guys was underlined at 4:1 in the 3rd set when Fish played an overhead with a frame, although the ball would have landed ‘out’, but Federer who could easily hit the ball back wasn’t interested in the rally at all, and a moment later both guys laughed… The American No. 1 had the best period in his long career between July 2010 and August 2011, thanks to that he participated in the World Tour Finals, but at the end of the season notched one of the worst periods in his tennis life losing 7 out of the last 8 matches, and I expect him to drop in the ranking outside Top 20 in the next twelve months, despite his optimistic post-match statement: “I’m going to go away 0-3, which is hard. But I had a great experience just being a part of this. It gives you a lot of ammunition to want to come back next year.”
(6)Jo-Wilfried Tsonga d.  (2)Rafael Nadal       7-6(2), 4-6, 6-3                 [ 2:42 h ]
It was the best match thus far, mainly thanks to Tsonga, who was dictating the pace throughout the match (46-14 in winners). He was winning his serves easier in the 1st set and confirmed it in the tie-break (Nadal lost one point on serve trying to hit the volley which would have landed ‘out’). The Spaniard increased the level of his own tennis in the 2nd set and made a crucial break in the last game – Tsonga saved three set points (all with overheads!), but in the end missed two risky forehands. In the deciding set, Tsonga enchanted the crowd a couple times with a brilliant points obtained at the net (even Nadal’s father Sebastian applauded). Admittedly he lost his serve with 3 double faults at 5:2, but in the following game won four straight points, ending the contest with an inside-outside forehand winner. “Tonight I just played, well, amazing tennis,” Tsonga said. “I was really aggressive. I had a good percentage on winners. I put a lot of pressure on him today.”
1. Roger Federer 3-0… 6-2
2. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 2-1… 5-3
3. Rafael Nadal 1-2… 3-5
4. Mardy Fish 0-3… 2-6
Doubles results:
(8)M.Fyrstenberg/M.Matkowski d. (5)R.Bopanna/A.Qureshi 6-2, 6-1
(3)M.Mirnyi/D.Nestor d.  (2)M.Llodra/N.Zimonjic 4-6, 6-3, [10-7]
 The pair Mirnyi/Nestor had guaranteed a semi-final spot. Llodra/Zimonjic had to win this match, no matter 2-0 or 2-1, and they led 3:1* (deuce) in the 2nd set – at that break point Mirnyi had played three volleys before Nestor won the point with his first volley during the rally (on the other side of the net only Zimonjic participated actively). In the ‘super tie-break’ the Belorussian/Canadian duo came back from a *3:6 deficit which allowed the Poles in advancement further. The final standing:
1. Mirnyi/Nestor 3-0… 5-2
2. Fyrstenberg/Matkowski 2-1… 4-3
3. Llodra/Zimonjic 1-2… 4-4
4. Bopanna/Qureshi 0-3… 1-6
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World Tour Finals – Day 4

Group A – second round
(7)Tomas Berdych d. (alt.)Janko Tipsarevic           2-6, 6-3, 7-6(6)                 [ 2:26 h ]
In February 2011, Tipsarevic’s appearance in the season-ending championships could seem ridiculous. The Serb was No. 52 without having won an ATP title, without spectacular results at the biggest tournaments, but in the second half of the year, Tipsy made an astonishing improvement to reach semifinal in Montreal, quarterfinal at the US Open and in Autumn won his first two titles (indoors). A meeting with Berdych was a very good match-up for him due to a favorable H2H. The Serbian player from the very beginning was playing without a stage-fright of the debutant. Berdych needed an hour to break him for the first time – it happened in the 8th game of the 2nd set. Both players were serving very well in the 3rd set (Tipsarevic in six service games won all points on 1st serve!) and for the third time in this year’s event a tie-break was decisive #. Berdych got two very important points at the net (great 19/21 at the net in the entire match) and led 5:3, but just like two days ago against Djokovic, forehand let him down. Tipsarevic had a match point worth 120,000$ on serve – attacked the net and missed a relatively easy backhand volley. He was so concentrated and tense that forgot to change the ends. He lost the serve again (double fault) and Berdych converted his first match point with a semi-lob forehand winner seeing Tipsarevic’s fall – the Serb returning the serve twisted his ankle a bit and left the court limping! “I was a bit unlucky on Monday“, said Berdych. “I got luckier here. So 1 all. Before the tie-break, I was feeling pretty good, I would say pretty confident. [The] last few games that I was serving was kind of quick [and] easy. But as long the tie-break went, it was really close.”
 (5)David Ferrer d.  (1)Novak Djokovic                    6-3, 6-1                           [ 1:15 h ]
Two shocking evenings in a row at the O2 Arena – the two best players in the world completely destroyed: Nadal won three games yesterday, Djokovic today just one game more against the rock-solid David “Pics” Ferrer, who wins the group and joins Federer as the second semifinalist. Djokovic stated: “All the credit to Ferrer, he played great match. It was the worst match I’ve played this season so far definitely. So many unforced errors. I’m not playing well – that’s a fact.” There’s no doubt D’Joke is exhausted after the extraordinary season, it is visible especially in his footwork when tries to hit his trademark shot – backhand down the line. At the current configuration to advance to the semi-finals, he needs to beat his compatriot Tipsarevic, counting on Ferrer’s win over Berdych *, and even if this happens, Federer awaits in the semi-finals as the leader of the other group…
Doubles results:
(4)M.Bhupathi/L.Paes d. (7)J.Melzer/P.Petzschner 7-5, 6-3
(1)B.Bryan/M.Bryan d. (6)R.Lindstedt/H.Tecau 6-1, 6-2
# Tie-breaks in the deciding 3rd set:
(.692) 9-4 Novak Djokovic
(.580) 18-13 Mardy Fish
(.565) 13-10 Tomas Berdych
(.500) 10-10 Rafael Nadal
(.250) 3-9 Janko Tipsarevic
* Djokovic advances also by a better ratio if he beats Tipsarevic 2-0 and Berdych beats Ferrer 2-1
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World Tour Finals – Day 3

Group B – second round
 (6)Jo-Wilfried Tsonga d. (8)Mardy Fish           7-6(4), 6-1                  [ 1:30 h ]
It was a weird match. Someone who knows they are good servers, looking at the scoreline would expect only two breaks of serve – there were eight in total. Players broke each other twice in the 1st set with Tsonga leading by a break twice. In the tie-break decided one mini-break which Tsonga obtained with a forehand passing-shot to lead 3:1. Fish began the 2nd set with a break only to lose six consecutive games, trailing 1:3 (0-15) he threw his racquet as the first player in this year’s event. Fish was more aggressive, but Tsonga adopted the right tactics and outplayed his opponent from the baseline winning important points with passing-shots and strong serves. Fish’s chances now to qualify to the semi-finals are illusive…
 A few minutes after the match was over, Andy Murray announced he withdraws from the ATP World Tour Finals due to a groin injury. He will be replaced tomorrow by Janko Tipsarevic, who said today that he had received five messages on his mobile phone yesterday when Murray received a treatment playing against Ferrer. The Serb becomes the ninth alternate to participate in the season-ending championships #
(4)Roger Federer d.  (2)Rafael Nadal                6-3, 6-0                     [ 1:01 h ]
Federer had his assets before the match, he has been in terrific form indoors, on a 13-match winning streak, having beaten Nadal on the same court in the last year’s final, but who could expect such a beat-down? Only first four games were characteristic for most of their encounters, from ‘2 all’ Federer simply smashed his old-time rival winning 10 out of the last 11 games. Nadal was hopeless from the back of the court but didn’t change anything in his tactics. The Swiss as the first player secured a place in the semi-finals, Nadal will face Tsonga on Thursday in the deciding for this group 2nd-place match.  The Spaniard has lost a match after identical scoreline – it was at the beginning of his career, in Lyon 2004 against Julien Benneteau. “Clay goes his way. At least I have one surface that goes my way.” said Federer, having won all four meetings against Nadal indoors (all at the season-ending championships – 2006, 07 in Shanghai and last two years in London).
Doubles results:
(2)M.Llodra/N.Zimonjic d. (5)R.Bopanna/A.Qureshi 7-6(6), 6-3
(3)M.Mirnyi/D.Nestor d. (8)M.Fyrstenberg/M.Matkowski 6-4, 6-3
# Alternates in ‘Masters’:
1996 Hannover: Thomas Enqvist (2 matches)
1997 Hannover: Thomas Muster, Tim Henman (both 1 match)
1998 Hannover: Greg Rusedski, Albert Costa (both 2 matches)
2002 Shanghai:  Thomas Johansson (1 match)
2005 Shanghai: Fernando Gonzalez (2 matches)
2008 Shanghai: Radek Stepanek (2 matches)
2011 London: Janko Tipsarevic (supposedly 2 matches)
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World Tour Finals – Day 2

Group A – first round
(5)David Ferrer d. (3)Andy Murray         6-4, 7-5                 [ 2:00 h ]
The Spaniard drew conclusions of four consecutive defeats to Andy Murray in the last twelve months and played his best tennis in terms of aggressiveness, especially his cross-court backhand was working exceptionally well. Besides that, he showed mental resistance winning crucial points at the end of sets (needed six deuces to win the last two games of the 1st set). Murray led with a break in both sets, in the 2nd set even twice: 2:0* (deuce) and *4:3 (40-30). When everyone would have expected a tie-break, in the 12th game the Scot leading 30-15 made a fatal backhand volley error. ‘Pics’ won the next two points at the net, he was lucky at ’30 all’ because his forehand volley from a comfortable position hit the sideline. Murray had some problems with his left groin (injury time-out between the sets), in the 1st set notched an abysmal 37% of 1st serves in. “I’m very happy,” said Ferrer. “I beat Andy, in London, in his home. It is not easy. I played very consistent all the match. Maybe the first set I played better than the second, [because] in the second [set], sometimes I was a little bit nervous.”
(1)Novak Djokovic d. (7)Tomas Berdych    3-6, 6-3, 7-6(3)      [ 2:38 h ]
The beginning of the match was shocking – Berdych led 4:0 against a player, who won so many sets  6-0 or 6-1 this year. On the other hand, Djokovic lost his charm in Autumn, which was confirmed during his last two – barely decent – tournaments in Basel and Paris. The world’s number 1 managed to back into the match though, and had three break points to erase a double break deficit in the 7th game. Berdych was a dominant figure in the 3rd set, on three different occasions would have seen himself as a winner: led *4:2, 5:4* (30-15) & 6:5 (40-30). On the match point his favorite shot (forehand down the line) let him down, and completely disappeared in the deciding tie-break – produced four mistakes from that side, at *1:3 from the easiest possible position standing at the net with Djokovic running in a wrong direction… The Serb converted his first match point with a service winner and broke a 5-tie-break losing streak (the Czech began the tie-break having won the last six). “It was the toughest match probably since the US Open. I knew that my opponent tonight is an unpredictable player, who has a powerful groundstrokes and great serve. If he’s on, if he feels the ball well, it’s difficult to compete with him.” analyzed Djokovic, for whom it’s the eight m.p. down win at the main level # I’m glad after first two days given singles and doubles, eight matches have been played, only two straight setters, two finished in a deciding tie-break, would have been more interesting if the underdogs (Berdych, Fish) hadn’t choked at the final stage 😉
Doubles results:
(6)R.Lindstedt/H.Tecau d. (4)M.Bhupathi/L.Paes 7-6(6), 6-1
(1)B.Bryan/M.Bryan d. (7)J.Melzer/P.Petzschner 6-7(4), 7-5, [10-7] – 1 m.p.
# Djokovic’s m.p. wins:
Wimbledon 2005: G.Garcia-Lopez 3-6, 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(3), 6-4 – 3 mp
Vienna 2007: JI.Chela 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(2) – 2 mp
Halle 2009: F.Serra 5-7, 7-5, 6-1 – 5 mp
Basel 2009: R.Stepanek 6-7(4), 7-5, 6-2 – 3 mp
Indian Wells 2010: P.Kohlschreiber 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(3) – 3 mp
US Open 2010: R.Federer 5-7, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 – 2 mp
US Open 2011: R.Federer 6-7(7), 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 – 2 mp
London 2011: T.Berdych 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(3) – 1 mp
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World Tour Finals – Day 1

Group B – first round
(4)Roger Federer d. (6)Jo-Wilfried Tsonga      6-2, 2-6, 6-4       [ 1:28 h ]
The finalists of the last Sunday (Paris), met again on Sunday, this time in an opening match of the third consecutive ‘Masters’ in London to create one of the biggest H2H’s within a season #. After two lopsided sets, seemed that a tie-break would decide the final outcome, but in the 10th game Tsonga made two errors (including a double fault – risky 2nd serve), invited the opponent to attack with a poor slice and all of a sudden Federer saw a triple match point in his favor. Tsonga saved the first one with a powerful serve, but a lucky sliced return helped Federer a lot and the Frenchman only delivered the ball to the other side – Federer passed him with a calm backhand down the line to notch 13th win in a row (fourth best result of the year). “Once he got the upper hand in the second set, he started to swing more freely and got more dangerous. With me, it was just trying to stay calm, trying to wait for my chance, trying to create chances when he was not serving as well as he did at times.” said the title defender.
(2)Rafael Nadal d. (8)Mardy Fish              6-2, 3-6, 7-6(3)          [ 2:55 h ]
Fish – arguably the weakest link of the eight-men field – began his first ‘Masters’ appearance timorously like he was afraid of his body (retired in his last two tournaments). He played an awful first game on serve, was broken again at 2:4 down. The level of play was incomparably higher (also literally – many rallies with semi-lobs) in the following two sets, Fish dictated the pace with his intelligent play, mixing the things up with nice volleys and drop-shots. In a tipsy-turvy 3rd set, Nadal led 2:0, then Fish 3:2 with a break, Nadal wasted two match points at 5:4 and a tie-break had to decide. Unfortunately Fish played it badly, couldn’t return any of first four Nadal’s standard serves, and the Spaniard converted the third match point with Fish’s backhand volley error. The match was capped at 11:28 p.m. local time. “I was just excited to get out there and be a part of this whole thing,” admitted Fish. “I didn’t play well. Obviously I got a little more comfortable after playing a set. Sort of getting used to all the surroundings with people in there. With the lights back, dark, it makes for good tennis. Conditions are absolutely perfect. That took a little bit of getting used to, I guess, 20 minutes or so.”
Doubles results:
(3)M.Mirnyi/D.Nestor d. (5)R.Bopanna/A.Qureshi 7-6(2), 4-6, [11-9]
(8)M.Fyrstenberg/M.Matkowski d. (2)M.Llodra/N.Zimonjic 6-4, 5-7, [11-9]
# Seven meetings between two players within a year:
1984: John McEnroe vs. Ivan Lendl (6-1)
1995: Michael Chang vs. Jim Courier (4-3)
2007: Rafael Nadal vs. Novak Djokovic (5-2)
2009: Rafael Nadal vs. Novak Djokovic (4-3)
2011: Roger Federer vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (5-2)
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