World Tour Finals – Day 3 + 4
Group B – second round: Day 4
8. (6)Juan Martin del Potro d. (8)Janko Tipsarevic 6-0, 6-4 [1:16 h]
The Serb had some bizarre problems with his equipment, he broke strings in his four racquets (twice already during the warm-up!). Actually since *0:4 in the 1st set the match was pretty equal (DelPo broke in the 5th game on 6th break point which signalized Tipsy’s improvement), but the Argentine is too experienced to lull into a false sense of security. He got a vital break at 2:2, and finished the match winning all service games of the 2nd set to ’15’. With just four games won in each of his two matches, Tipsarevic looks like the biggest “whipping Masters boy” since 1994 (Alberto Berasategui). Because he is so prone to retire, I’m afraid he may pull out of his last match against Ferrer. In four matches against Del Potro thus far, he hasn’t won a set yet.
7. (2)Roger Federer d. (4)David Ferrer 6-4, 7-6(5) [1:48 h]
[If Not Now, When?] could think Ferrer before entering the court. Federer is his worst match-up, but Ferrer was more self-confident than ever having won 11 indoor encounters in a row. Last time they met (Madrid) Ferrer was trying to hit 2nd serves with additional risk, this time he came back to his standard plan assuming there’s no need for experimentation because everything worked out over years has been perfectly functioning in the last two weeks. He can’t blame himself for another loss, he played pretty good, ambition match, nonetheless Federer was always one step ahead (jumped to 3:0* in the 1st set saving six break points in the process). In the tie-break, the Swiss struck two great serves from 4:3 up, and another one on match point. It’s his 14th win over the Spaniard in 14th mutual meeting – one of the most lopsided H2H’s in the Open era # The Swiss becomes the first semifinalist with a perfect 2-0 (4-0 sets) record after two rounds of the tournament.
# Most lopsided H2H’s with no wins for one of players:
17-0 Bjorn Borg vs. Vitas Gerulaitis (1974-1981)
17-0 Ivan Lendl vs. Tim Mayotte (1980-1990)
16-0 Ivan Lendl vs. Brad Gilbert (1982-1991)
16-0 Ivan Lendl vs. Scott Davis (1980-1991)
15-0 Bjorn Borg vs. Harold Solomon (1974-1980)
14-0 Roger Federer vs. David Ferrer (2003-2012)
14-0 Roger Federer vs. Mikhail Youzhny (2000-2012)
Group A – second round: Day 3
6. (5)Tomas Berdych d. (7)Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 [1:52 h]
Last year at the O2 Arena they fought against each other for a final berth, twelve months later completely different scenario: who wins – extends chances for semifinals. Berdych is recently too consistent for Tsonga, it showed their October matches in Shanghai and Stockholm, it confirmed their scuffle in London. Tsonga seems confused and torn between natural will for improvisation and a tactical concept which supposedly prepared for him the new coach. The Frenchman was spreading shanks from both wings the entire match and is already almost eliminated from the event, rather in lousy style (he needs to beat Murray 2-0 on the assumption Djokovic beats Berdych 2-0 as well). He will have to figure out something brand-new to play in London next year because his record against Top 10 players in 2012 is abysmal, so his fall outside the Top 10 probable soon. “I don’t like mathematics at all. I will try to play tennis, and that’s it. I will try my best. But Novak just [has] shown how great he’s playing right now and that he deserve to be [the] No. 1 player in the world. It’s a huge challenge for me.” said Berdych on his next match.
5. (1)Novak Djokovic d. (3)Andy Murray 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 [2:34 h]
Fantastic rivalry between Murray and Djokovic continues. This match maybe couldn’t be classify among the most beautiful ones (many unforced errors; rather lack of breathtaking points), but it’s woth mentioning they met seventh time this year and as always in 2012 there was intensity and uncertainty until the last point. The Scot (very likely dressed up in yellow shorts for the first time on tour) won the toss and elected to receive which was a good choice – he broke immediately winning on a break point perhaps the best point of the match (running forehand passing-shot after a long rally). It decided the outcome of the set because Murray was serving as good as in the 3rd set against Berdych (again he didn’t lose a point on 1st serve!). There was 1:1 in the 2nd set when Djokovic fought off a break point with a lucky drive-FH-volley hitting an intersection of side- and baseline. The Serb got a break in the 6th game after Murray’s failed attempt to play S&V. Djokovic gained another break at 1-all in the decider in the consequence of Murray’s backhand errors. The Scot didn’t surrender, he saved break points at 1:3 & 2:4, and managed to establish a good position to beat his peer. He led 5:4* (30/15) when very cool Djokovic played a dropshot and Murray slipped trying to chase it. In the following point Serbian player attacked the net with an on-line forehand approach to put away BH-volley winner. Well, Murray had notched amazing streak of three consecutive tournaments lost having match points prior to London, I guess those wasted chances could haunt him as he lost again a game being so close to victory. At 5-all he played one of the worst service games lately, making three errors directly after Djokovic’s return. In the 12th game he was 40/15 ahead, but Djokovic responded with good serves, took four points in a row and celebrated with a calm fist-pump. Djokovic and Murray are just fourth pair to play seven matches against each other within a season: John McEnroe vs. Ivan Lendl (1984), Michael Chang vs. Jim Courier (1995), Rafael Nadal vs. Djokovic (2007 & 2009), Djokovic vs. Murray (2012).
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