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World Tour Finals (WTF!) 2015 - Day 6 (was Day 5!)

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Post by laverfan Thu 19 Nov 2015, 2:09 am

First topic message reminder :

PDF version - PDF version
Day 6 link - Day 6 link (and it does work!)
Live Scores on the ATP Web Site - ATP Live Scores
Barclays Live Scores - Barclays Live Scores

MoTD : Murray v Wawrinka.


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Post by laverfan Sat 21 Nov 2015, 3:37 pm

Well controlled by Djokovic. clap

Nadal, good tourney. OK

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Post by temporary21 Sat 21 Nov 2015, 3:39 pm

Yeah a great end to a hard year. Novak with the chance to cap a near perfect year. Maybe better than the other great years

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Post by kingraf Sat 21 Nov 2015, 3:39 pm

Lettuce be real. The last time Nadal beat Djokovic in this stage of the season, Djokovic was blind in one eye. Still he's made significant strides I think over the last few weeks and it bodes well for next year
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Post by laverfan Sat 21 Nov 2015, 3:40 pm

lags72 wrote:laverfan - I too expected more from Nadal after the last few weeks he's been having.

But Djoko is a master at moving him around, which in turn takes time away from him.

A pretty potent combination.

A base-liner has no chance against the current Djokovic, it requires the variety of Federer and aggressive play to take him out of his comfort zone. Murray tried the variety play and failed in Paris, because he could not sustain it.

Nadal did not see a BP, IIRC.

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Post by Josiah Maiestas Sat 21 Nov 2015, 3:41 pm

I do not see Federer beating Novak twice in a week so it's all up to Stan in my opinion, the holy End of season Masters still eludes Nad.
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Post by Jahu Sat 21 Nov 2015, 3:41 pm

Correct, no BP for Nadal. Djoko 3/5.
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Post by HM Murdock Sat 21 Nov 2015, 3:41 pm

Well, now we know where Rafa really is: better than he was at the start of the year but still way off his best level.

I thought the first return game from Novak was stunningly good but I don't quite know what to make of the rest of his match. Moments of brilliance but also moments that were quite wasteful.

Maybe the flat atmosphere of the match is dampening my view of the performances, but I think the final is far from a foregone conclusion, whoever the opponent is.

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Post by summerblues Sat 21 Nov 2015, 3:43 pm

Easy win for Novak.  He played well - and quite well in patches - but Nadal was also quite poor today.  Much like the rest of his 2015; no worse, but not better either.  Some good shots but plenty of weak forehands and nowhere near consistent enough overall.

Who knows, maybe today's matches will provide HE with an opportunity to add to her Beautiful & Entertaining vs Ugly & Boring topic.

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Post by bogbrush Sat 21 Nov 2015, 3:43 pm

Clearly only Federer can give Djokovic a match this year (winning a couple in straights and taking sets in losses too). The other two 'notables' just have no ability to take him out of his comfort zone.

Stan can do it, but not reliably and certainly not here.

Edit: didn't notice your post laverfan but clearly we see it the same way.


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Post by temporary21 Sat 21 Nov 2015, 3:44 pm

I think the rankings don't lie lads. Nadal is 5th and that's about where he's at, it's not the doom and gloom we feared though it's at least around the right place

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Post by summerblues Sat 21 Nov 2015, 3:44 pm

Jahu wrote:Correct, no BP for Nadal. Djoko 3/5.
He did not even get to deuce on Novak's serve all day.

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Post by summerblues Sat 21 Nov 2015, 3:48 pm

HM Murdock wrote:Well, now we know where Rafa really is: better than he was at the start of the year but still way off his best level.

I thought the first return game from Novak was stunningly good but I don't quite know what to make of the rest of his match. Moments of brilliance but also moments that were quite wasteful.
Agree with this all.

Rafa is better than early in the year, but not that much better.  TBH, I think people have been extrapolating to the extreme from Rafa's performances.  He has never been all that bad this year - yet people were talking as if he has been dropping out of top 20.  And now he is not playing that great, yet you see people talking about huge improvements.

Also agree on your assessment of Novak.  He played one stunning game and beyond that it was just ok.  But I think he was just on cruise control, he has gears to click into if needed tomorrow.

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Post by Jahu Sat 21 Nov 2015, 3:48 pm

sb, that's embarrassing, and Novak was not magic today either.

Let's hope the swiss duo gives us a better match.
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Post by sirfredperry Sat 21 Nov 2015, 3:48 pm

Djoko far too good for Rafa. No real excitement, in that Rafa was just unable to put the Serb under any pressure. I really thought Rafa might be able to make a match of it today, but he was outplayed. At times Djoko was just toying with him (the drop shots followed by the lob) and you never thought Rafa would win any of the longer rallies.


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Post by lags72 Sat 21 Nov 2015, 3:50 pm

No, don't believe he did see a single BP, laverfan.

But then again even if he had earned some BP's, it's another thing to actually convert them against this machine that is Djokovic.

In this year's USO Final, Federer had 23 (yes, that's twenty three !) BP's against Novak ; but converted a grand total of just four.

Some of that was down to Federer being very wasteful at times (a common characteristic with him these days)  But I also distinctly remember some incredible retrieval stuff from Djoko too.

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Post by summerblues Sat 21 Nov 2015, 3:51 pm

temporary21 wrote:I think the rankings don't lie lads. Nadal is 5th and that's about where he's at, it's not the doom and gloom we feared though it's at least around the right place
Exactly, he is around #5 in his quality of play. But I do not think it should ever have been total doom and gloom. All this year he has been playing to the level of the second-tier guy - somewhere in the #5-#8 rankings range. He has improved somewhat in the tail end of the year, but he is still playing somewhere in that range. No worse, no better.

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Post by kingraf Sat 21 Nov 2015, 3:51 pm

Forget that. He didnt get a lead on Djokovic's serve after two points the entire day. He was never ahead by better than 0-15
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Post by Jahu Sat 21 Nov 2015, 3:51 pm

Nadal with 54% of first serves won.

So Djoko loosing from Fed, was good, gave him motivation to wake up.
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Post by summerblues Sat 21 Nov 2015, 3:59 pm

Haddie-nuff wrote:All the talk about "Rafa wont lay a finger on him"  "not keeping it close"
Nobody thought Berdy would give him a match  but he did.
I love the way the anti Nadal brigade don't even credit him being any better than Berdy. He will give Novak a match
.
He certainly did not give Novak a match today.  Indeed he did not "lay a finger" on Novak nor did he "keep it close".

You know I do not like Rafa and am happy when he loses, but I would like to believe I can still assess his level of play reasonably fairly.  When I said he would not keep it close, it was not just wishful thinking.  I have seen enough of both of them this fall to be reasonably certain Rafa was not going to trouble Nole today.

Let's see how Rafa does next year.  I expect he will be better than this year, but I hope I am wrong.

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Post by TRuffin Sat 21 Nov 2015, 4:03 pm

So much for the guarantees from Nadal fans here that he would give Djoko a match with all his renewed confidence. It doesn't look like he has anything that can hurt Djoko anymore.  Complete control by Djoko playing in 2nd gear.    He'll be nice and rested for Fed/Stan tomorrow.

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Post by Guest Sat 21 Nov 2015, 4:07 pm

Djokovic showing the clinical execution of a winner. The frustrating consistency continues! His FH today, impressive stuff. Everything has clicked for him.

As for Nadal. I think reaching the semis is great in his books given Wawrinka and Murray both held victories over him this year.

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Post by Guest Sat 21 Nov 2015, 4:08 pm

Glad I haven't got a final ticket. Djokovic in it and Federer and Wawrinka to play second tonight, 3 sets and a W/O looming Laugh

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Post by Jahu Sat 21 Nov 2015, 4:09 pm

Andy would of done more damage tonight to Djoko.
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Post by summerblues Sat 21 Nov 2015, 4:13 pm

Andy would have done the same amount of damage, i.e., none at all.

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Post by YvonneT Sat 21 Nov 2015, 4:14 pm

I really quite enjoyed that. I don't think Djokovic was clinical, but he could afford the odd wild shot. If only he wasn't stopping other players I like more winning big titles, I think I would be a big fan, haha!

I think Nadal will be back in the top 4 soon enough - he's playing better than #5-8 recently - but interesting to see who drops to make way for him - Wawrinka, Murray or maybe Federer? Surely none of the top 4 would want Nadal in their quarter in next year's draws over Berdych, Ferrer or Nishikori?

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Post by Matchpoint Sat 21 Nov 2015, 4:23 pm

[quote="summerblues"]
Haddie-nuff wrote:All the talk about "Rafa wont lay a finger on him"  "not keeping it close"
Nobody thought Berdy would give him a match  but he did.
I love the way the anti Nadal brigade don't even credit him being any better than Berdy. He will give Novak a match
.
He certainly did not give Novak a match today.  Indeed he did not "lay a finger" on Novak nor did he "keep it close".

You know I do not like Rafa and am happy when he loses, but I would like to believe I can still assess his level of play reasonably fairly.  When I said he would not keep it close, it was not just wishful thinking.  I have seen enough of both of them this fall to be reasonably certain Rafa was not going to trouble Nole today.
/quote]

Exactly, you took the words out of my mouth.

I expected Djoker to win, but didn't expect Nadal to be so flat. He was often too slow, out of position or misfiring. Turns out "Rafa wont lay a finger on him" "not keeping it close" are spot on. Curse of the dead rubber yesterday? Perhaps the gruelling 3-setter sucked out too much from him. Still a good week for Nadal though.

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Post by lags72 Sat 21 Nov 2015, 4:48 pm

Agree that it was a good week for Rafa overall, and I believe he will see things that way himself - once he gets over the obvious disappointment of this lacklustre performance v Djokovic today.

Rafa has undoubtedly improved in recent weeks but is clearly still some considerable way from being able to trouble Djokovic. He will however pick up enough points to continue climbing the rankings and should be inside the top 4 in the early part of the new season.

Yvonne T was musing on who might be first to drop down  .....Federer, Murray or Wawrinka ...?
Hmm. Interesting conundrum.

- if Murray continues failing to make a consistent challenge v Novak, Fed or even Rafa, then his confidence could begin to ebb away

- Wawrinka could just as easily go on a really average run as he could a really good one !

- Federer (even Federer....) cannot hold down a place in the Top 4 forever

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Post by It Must Be Love Sat 21 Nov 2015, 4:56 pm

A good week for Nadal, he was a bit flat today; but overall played at a good level here in London.

He will never get back to his prime level, but I think he has shown in the last month or so that next year in the big events he can be right up there with Federer, Murray, Stan.
He needs to play his like he did during his prime to have chances against Novak, and that's not going to happen with his decline.
I don't see Federer beating Djokovic in a Best of 5, Murray is Djokovic-lite, and I don't see Stan redlining against Djokovic in a slam again like French Open. So no one basically can beat Djokovic in a Slam next year.

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Post by lags72 Sat 21 Nov 2015, 5:12 pm

If Murray is unable to win a Slam next year, then you have to wonder if he will ever win another.

Unless we go back to live in the 1970's, men don't win Slams at 35 so that rules Federer out.

Any chance that a 'youngster' could somehow make a meteoric rise ??

Failing which, Djokovic cleans up. But does Nadal have another RG in him .....? chin

You're (possibly) right about Stan IMBL

That said, other megastars in the past have suffered shock/freak losses against unheralded names. So if Djokovic were to go out in an early round of any of the Slams, then all bets are off surely.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Sat 21 Nov 2015, 5:17 pm

Disappointing for Rafa but heh ho. what an improvement overall.
2016 fills me with more optimism I have to say.
I hope he can keep up the momentum after a Good Christmas with his family.
From No. 10 to No. 5 in a few short weeks cant be a bad way to end the year.

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Post by lydian Sat 21 Nov 2015, 5:25 pm

Some obvs today from me:

1. Rafa looked flat - his 2h40 match vs Ferrer with less than 24h recovery must have affected him in some way, it really wasn't worth screwing himself in that match for today
2. Hit short all match - hardly beyond the service line most of time
3. No bite on his FH which is weird
4. I think he has a mental mojo-knock vs Djokovic - he doesn't seem to play his normal game, Petchy said it best when he said that Rafa seems too fixated on Djokovics game and not his own. I agree.
5. Not a bad week but at the end of the day, it's against Djokovic he has to measure himself - he needs to focus on his strengths and not get stuck on Djokovics side of court.
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Post by Guest Sat 21 Nov 2015, 5:26 pm

Was this a case of Djokovic deciding to switch on the afterburners and swatting away Nadal?

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Post by lags72 Sat 21 Nov 2015, 5:28 pm

And I believe he will leave London with around half a million dollars in his back pocket for his efforts on court this week, which kinda puts things into perspective. Enough to buy some nice Chrimbo presents.

It's never all about money of course. But suffice to say that Rafa has a very, very, very, good life - in so many ways ; perhaps better than 99% of mere mortals on this earth Wink

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Post by Guest Sat 21 Nov 2015, 5:28 pm

lydian wrote:Some obvs today from me:

1. Rafa looked flat - his 2h40 match vs Ferrer with less than 24h recovery must have affected him in some way, it really wasn't worth screwing himself in that match for today ...
He has always done that in the past ... in the sense of playing a meaningless but high earning tournament when ill and before the Australian Open then injuring himself during the Australian Open.

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Post by Guest Sat 21 Nov 2015, 5:34 pm

I hope when Djokovic hangs up his racquet he has a better record than Nadal.  I think Djokovic is the smarter player and overall a better player on non-clay surfaces.  It just took a little time for Djokovic to impose himself on Federer and Nadal (both of whom are all time greats of the game, with Federer declining with age).

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Post by Josiah Maiestas Sat 21 Nov 2015, 5:37 pm

I heard he didn't create a single break opportunity, which even Berdbrain managed to do against the same player. He does seem a bit paralysed when he knows who he's playing like Rog used to be playing him. He really needs to stop playing so safe in rallies and go gung ho more.
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Post by Guest Sat 21 Nov 2015, 5:39 pm

lags72 wrote:If Murray is unable to win a Slam next year, then you have to wonder if he will ever win another.

Unless we go back to live in the 1970's, men don't win Slams at 35 so that rules Federer out.

Any chance that a 'youngster' could somehow make a meteoric rise ??

Failing which, Djokovic cleans up. But does Nadal have another RG in him .....? chin

You're (possibly) right about Stan IMBL

That said, other megastars in the past have suffered shock/freak losses against unheralded names. So if Djokovic were to go out in an early round of any of the Slams, then all bets are off surely.

Is there a Cillic out there? I think it will take something extraordinary for an event of similar proportions to happen in a Slam or even a Masters event.

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Post by summerblues Sat 21 Nov 2015, 5:42 pm

Josiah Maiestas wrote:I heard he didn't create a single break opportunity
Indeed. As I said earlier, he did not even get to deuce in any of Nole's service games.

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Post by Guest Sat 21 Nov 2015, 5:44 pm

legendkillarV2 wrote:
lags72 wrote:If Murray is unable to win a Slam next year, then you have to wonder if he will ever win another.

Unless we go back to live in the 1970's, men don't win Slams at 35 so that rules Federer out.

Any chance that a 'youngster' could somehow make a meteoric rise ??

Failing which, Djokovic cleans up. But does Nadal have another RG in him .....? chin

You're (possibly) right about Stan IMBL

That said, other megastars in the past have suffered shock/freak losses against unheralded names. So if Djokovic were to go out in an early round of any of the Slams, then all bets are off surely.

Is there a Cillic out there? I think it will take something extraordinary for an event of similar proportions to happen in a Slam or even a Masters event.
Murray just needs to remain hungry and motivated and more opportunities will arise. Federer will retire. Nadal will probably break down again. So as long as Djokovic doesn't clear up the next 16 grand slams, there will be chances for Murray.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 21 Nov 2015, 5:52 pm

It's possible to argue that if Rafa is so easily put away by Djoko then there's nothing, or no one, to stop the Serb dominating again next year.
But it's still a mighty ask to achieve the Grand Slam. Just look what happened to Serena. Almost beaten by Heather Watson at Wimbledon and then succumbing to an Italian she would normally beat easily.
Djoko was perilously close to going out at Wimbledon to Anderson this year and really should have won the French once Rafa was out the way.
It's still going to take an amazing effort to win all four Slams in 2016.

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Post by bogbrush Sat 21 Nov 2015, 5:53 pm

Pity Stan / Fed match is on 2nd; one of them has to win it very easy for tomorrow's to be interesting. As it turned out the 1st semi was a gentle run out.
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Post by lags72 Sat 21 Nov 2015, 6:05 pm

I think it would have been more reasonable to schedule the second semi (I mean every year) for 17.00h, given that there is so little recovery time before the title decider.

But money & TV talks of course ......

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Post by socal1976 Sat 21 Nov 2015, 6:57 pm

kingraf wrote:Lettuce be real. The last time Nadal beat Djokovic in this stage of the season, Djokovic was blind in one eye. Still he's made significant strides I think over the last few weeks and it bodes well for next year

Absolutely, I think indoors are by far Nadal's worst surface. He has played well this year in the indoors this bodes well for him when the slow hard courts and clay come around. If he stays healthy I think he will be a force next year at the slams and he has no points to that extent to defend early next year. He could be number two at wimby if he can maintain health.

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Post by HM Murdock Sat 21 Nov 2015, 7:05 pm

Nore Staat wrote:Was this a case of Djokovic deciding to switch on the afterburners and swatting away Nadal?
Worryingly for Rafa, is wasn't.

Novak played a marvellous first return game (broke to love, with 4 clean winners) but it looked like cruise control after that. He had a strategy and executed it efficiently, without really having to elevate his game.

It was a strangely listless match. Neither player exuded much enthusiasm and the crowd were very sedate.

On a vaguely related note, my goodness, Novak has become a boring interviewee. At some point in the last couple of years, he seems to have decided to give nothing but dull, diplomatic answers and even he now looks bored giving them.

I can understand why. The media are always looking to create controversy, as exemplified by the nonsense this week about whether he "handed" the second set to Federer. Easier for him just to play it safe.

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Post by socal1976 Sat 21 Nov 2015, 7:08 pm

laverfan wrote:
lags72 wrote:laverfan - I too expected more from Nadal after the last few weeks he's been having.

But Djoko is a master at moving him around, which in turn takes time away from him.

A pretty potent combination.

A base-liner has no chance against the current Djokovic, it requires the variety of Federer and aggressive play to take him out of his comfort zone. Murray tried the variety play and failed in Paris, because he could not sustain it.

Nadal did not see a BP, IIRC.

I think this a key point. I think that is why Fed has so much more success against Novak currently than Murray and Nadal because Fed is on today's tour a very unorthodox player even though he plays a very classical style. Djokovic plays 95 percent the same style of player who tries to do what Novak does while just not doing it nearly as well. Novak sensibly has his game geared towards beating the style of the other 95 percent who play an orthodox style of baseline and spin oriented players. Plus Fed has the serve that can bother Novak with variety, disguise and precision.

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Post by temporary21 Sat 21 Nov 2015, 7:15 pm

Yeah it's the same nonsense with fed in his pomp. Novak basically has to replace in the medias eyes fedal

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Post by Matchpoint Sat 21 Nov 2015, 7:25 pm

Temp, sorry, you make zero sense.

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Post by temporary21 Sat 21 Nov 2015, 7:39 pm

He's the top man. The example set by the other two puts pressure on him to temper himself

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Post by temporary21 Sat 21 Nov 2015, 7:44 pm

Like hulk hogan. People couldn't beleive he could lose clean. So we look for stuff, happens all the time in every sport. That's Novak now

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Post by summerblues Sat 21 Nov 2015, 8:13 pm

From a match where I was hoping for both guys to lose, we now go to a match where I am hoping for both of them to win.

Nevertheless, as always: good luck, Roger.

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