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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 Thu 19 Nov 2015, 11:59 pm

If Murray does get to the SF, he will most likely play Federer.

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Post by Henman Bill Fri 20 Nov 2015, 1:40 am

Djokovic still favourite against Nadal
but maybe 60/40 favourite now vs 75/25 if you asked a week ago

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Post by laverfan Fri 20 Nov 2015, 2:51 am

The court favors base-line slug-fest. Fewer errors will decide the winner.

Djokovic is the favorite, and Nadal is the underdog, IMO, but percentages are hard. A 6-1 beating of Murray indicates Nadal is in a good place.

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Post by summerblues Fri 20 Nov 2015, 3:58 am

Henman Bill wrote:Djokovic still favourite against Nadal
but maybe 60/40 favourite now vs 75/25 if you asked a week ago
Or maybe 85/15 now vs 90/10 a week ago?

I cannot see Nadal even keeping it close.  Stranger things happened, so one can never be certain, but I will be very surprised if Rafa manages to beat Novak.

In fact, I think it is a pretty good match for Rafa.  If he wins or keeps it close, it will definitely be a confidence booster.  But even if he loses relatively easily, he will be in good company - the current #2 player in the world has been getting some fine beatings from Novak recently.  So Rafa can still be happy with the tournament overall.  Short of some really bad beating - to the tune of 6:1, 6:2 or worse - this tournament will have been reasonably good for Rafa.

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Post by summerblues Fri 20 Nov 2015, 4:02 am

bogbrush wrote:Dammit, Federer gets his semi on Saturday night ahead of Sunday while the infinite energy guys get to play earlier.
Maybe the loss to Fed was all a master plan by Djokovic to give himself more rest for the final.  With the tournament scheduling the way it is, it was always more likely that the second placed player from their group would play the first SF.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Fri 20 Nov 2015, 4:12 am

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
.

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Post by summerblues Fri 20 Nov 2015, 4:22 am

HN, how close do you expect the score to be? I do not think he will get entirely blown away, but I expect relatively easy straight sets for Novak.

I would say somewhere between 6:3 6:3 on the more one-sided end and 7:5 7:5 on the closer end.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Fri 20 Nov 2015, 6:28 am

summerblues wrote:HN, how close do you expect the score to be?  I do not think he will get entirely blown away, but I expect relatively easy straight sets for Novak.

I would say somewhere between 6:3 6:3 on the more one-sided end and 7:5 7:5 on the closer end.

If Im honest I cant answer that precisely.. The signs Im seeing in Rafa is that his confidence has improved immensely.
His latest wins again Warwrinka and Andy will have boosted that. However  you  want to downplay those wins, citing that neither were playing well, you cannot detract from the fact that the score must have reflected a vast improvement in Rafa's game
His loss to Roger in Basel was by a hairs breadth.  Nadal is playing much closer to the line, and coming inside the court far more than he has ever done.  It will largely, imo, depend on whether Rafa gets sucked into the game that Novak will attempt to dictate or, if he shows the aggression he has in his two previous matches, that he attempts to push Novak around like he did Andy.  If the former is the case then a two set win to Novak.. if the latter, then I can see him unsettling Novak . who, I believe is not mentally in the right place at the moment. Ive been wrong before but Rafa may well lay out his stall here in preparation for 2016 Wink

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Fri 20 Nov 2015, 8:45 am

If Rafa can dictate the way he did at Montreal 2013 then I like his chances. He was also playing more close to the baseline then. Right now he even steps into the court more often, as long as he serves better, I think he can go toe to toe vs Novak. Novak isnt impressive so far this WTF but he will raise his level in the SF as usual.

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Post by bogbrush Fri 20 Nov 2015, 8:46 am

There's a lot of ifs & buts so the semi-final will decide for certain where Nadal is.

On the one hand I think he's playing harder and his forehand is looking much more aggressive.

On the other, I think Wawrinkas attitude was a disgrace (and he repeated the dose early against Ferrer), and Murrays commitment is questionable. I also don't think Basel was as close as Haddie says, Federer should have done that it 2 (but should've, could've... I know.....).

Like I say, we'll all know for sure after Saturday.
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Post by HM Murdock Fri 20 Nov 2015, 10:03 am

Between two closely matched players, I think momentum counts for a lot.

Rafa is definitely moving forward and has had two performances that he can draw a lot of confidence from.

Novak appears to be slowing down and has had two performances that will concern him.

Based purely on what I've seen this tournament, I fancy Rafa to take it.

But Novak's year has been fully of patchy play throughout a tournament but then going up a gear for the big matches. He may well do that again.

But he definitely has to improve to win.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 20 Nov 2015, 10:08 am

I'm fully expecting Rafa to be in the top two by this time next year. He's looking much more like his old self. Agree that Djoko may have been keeping his powder dry and that he will come out with all guns blazing for the semi. Should be a good match.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Fri 20 Nov 2015, 10:36 am

Im not too sure that it is Rafa's intention to play Novak with the same plan as previously.. I have a suspicion he may have a plan B given how much he is now coming nearer the baseline and into the court.
Reluctant he has been in the past  to come out of his comfort zone but its test of his confidence if he can produce the play which I think he needs to do to beat Novak. Otherwise another slugfest is on the cards and certainly something Rafa cannot now afford. If he does produce more of the play he had against Andy then for sure he is back mentally

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Post by Guest Fri 20 Nov 2015, 10:43 am

I think Rafa might go it all out aggressive. Don't think he could get lower than the performance at RG.

Could be a cracker if he does.

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Post by bogbrush Fri 20 Nov 2015, 11:34 am

I have a very good record of predictions this week, so here goes:

Rafa is going to get pushed back from the baseline over a tough first set, which he will lose. He will lose the second set more decisively as he becomes unable to hold the baseline. The court speed will mean the match is very physical; rallies will be long and Nadal will be trying to end them quickly, hence the necessity to stay on the baseline.
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Post by kingraf Fri 20 Nov 2015, 11:49 am

Im not gonna predict here, but I think Rafa should make a fist of it. He's not at his absolute best, but ge doesnt always have to be against Djokovic. Just needs to keep his base game high enough to profit from Djokovic's moments of stupidity. You can generally tell a lot about how Nadal will do against Djokovic from how he does against Murray, due to the similarity in their games. For example when Rafa got sparked in straights by Murray on clay it became quite apparent that this probably wouldn't be the year of La Decima if he met Djokovic. Now though I'd give Rafa a good chance. His backhand is standing up well. His forehand is relaiable again. And he did break the greatest serve of all time by hitting three successive first serve return winners not too long ago so his returns are pretty much as good as they can
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Post by HM Murdock Fri 20 Nov 2015, 11:54 am

bogbrush wrote:I have a very good record of predictions this week, so here goes:

Rafa is going to get pushed back from the baseline over a tough first set, which he will lose. He will lose the second set more decisively as he becomes unable to hold the baseline. The court speed will mean the match is very physical; rallies will be long and Nadal will be trying to end them quickly, hence the necessity to stay on the baseline.
If the pre-London Novak turns up, I'd agree with this.

If the somewhat wobblier Novak of this week turns up I predict this:

A tight first set which Rafa wins with a late break or perhaps on the tie break.

Rafa's level will then drop a touch, he'll miss the lines on some big forehands and Novak will win the scrappy second.

Rafa will re-group, Novak will get irritated. Rafa wins the third with a single break of serve.

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Post by HM Murdock Fri 20 Nov 2015, 11:58 am

I'll also add - this match will swing on Rafa's first serve %.

Novak tends to be all over Rafa's 2nd serves. I don't think Rafa can win with the 1st serve % he had against Murray.

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Post by Calder106 Fri 20 Nov 2015, 12:02 pm

bogbrush wrote:I have a very good record of predictions this week, so here goes:

Rafa is going to get pushed back from the baseline over a tough first set, which he will lose. He will lose the second set more decisively as he becomes unable to hold the baseline. The court speed will mean the match is very physical; rallies will be long and Nadal will be trying to end them quickly, hence the necessity to stay on the baseline.

So the sensible bet is Rafa to win in 2 then Smile


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Post by Guest Fri 20 Nov 2015, 12:10 pm

Rafa is facing someone that won't have the lack of attitude or application which is why I think it will be a fascinating match. I hope the level is high for this encounter Fingers Crossed

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Post by Born Slippy Fri 20 Nov 2015, 12:45 pm

Stan to win in 2 the obvious call this evening. Suspect it will again be something like 64 62.

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Post by Jahu Fri 20 Nov 2015, 1:02 pm

legendkillarV2 wrote:Rafa is facing someone that won't have the lack of attitude or application which is why I think it will be a fascinating match. I hope the level is high for this encounter, and hope Nadal beats Djoko, of course... Fingers Crossed


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Post by Jahu Fri 20 Nov 2015, 1:03 pm

Hope too LK Smile

( I corrected your previous post Smile
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Post by HM Murdock Fri 20 Nov 2015, 2:46 pm

Wow.

Ferrer 3-0 and double break down against Rafa... but then wins 4 games in a row!

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Post by Born Slippy Fri 20 Nov 2015, 2:50 pm

Hmm, if Ferrer were to win the 1st set, is Rafa really going to want to go all out to win with Novak to come tomorrow?

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Post by lags72 Fri 20 Nov 2015, 3:07 pm

And so to a TB !

This has developed into an intriguing set for any tennis lover, great entertainment from two committed top players on a chilly November afternoon in London. All the more so for those actually in the arena.


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Post by Matchpoint Fri 20 Nov 2015, 3:23 pm

I'm confused. I thought Nadal was doing great vs much tougher Murray & Wawr in straights. Is he tanking the 1st st vs Ferrer now (no disrespect to David)?

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Post by bogbrush Fri 20 Nov 2015, 3:30 pm

So if Ferrer does well here does that mean he's playing at his absolute best or that Nadal is less than fully motivated?

I just ask because that's been a controversial subject with some earlier matches and I wondered whether there was a settled opinion?
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Post by Guest Fri 20 Nov 2015, 3:35 pm

He would be superior sir Wink

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Post by lags72 Fri 20 Nov 2015, 3:39 pm

bb - don't know about 'settled opinion' but I honestly think we (and I mean all of us) can be prone to over-analysis at times.

My own perspective on this particular match is actually quite straightforward. No evidence to me of any 'tanking' (not even remotely) or lack of motivation. Lots of errors on both sides, sure and maybe not the highest quality of all-round play. But this is sport after all. Two players putting in their best effort and the better guy on the day will win, simple as that really.

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Post by slashermcguirk Fri 20 Nov 2015, 3:44 pm

Since nadal has already won his group, should he really be slogging in this match? I suppose it is the pro in him that he wants to win every match but it could really affect his chances tomorrow if he goes really long in this match

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Post by bogbrush Fri 20 Nov 2015, 3:48 pm

lags72 wrote:bb - don't know about 'settled opinion' but I honestly think we (and I mean all of us) can be prone to over-analysis at times.

My own perspective on this particular match is actually quite straightforward. No evidence to me of any 'tanking' (not even remotely) or lack of motivation. Lots of errors on both sides, sure and maybe not the highest quality of all-round play. But this is sport after all. Two players putting in their best effort and the better guy on the day will win, simple as that really.
It's interesting, because one thing we know is that Nadal is playing a fully focused opponent today who will play to his potential.

I think we'll find out where Nadal is after tomorrows match.
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Post by Matchpoint Fri 20 Nov 2015, 4:00 pm

i guess Andy and Stan weren't fully focused then. Good to know.

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Post by temporary21 Fri 20 Nov 2015, 4:02 pm

back with a vengeance suddenly, surprised hes giving this much but thats who he is

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Post by lags72 Fri 20 Nov 2015, 4:04 pm

Indeed we will (ie "find out after tomorrow's match")

This week here in London really is becoming very pivotal in so many ways for Rafa. His motivation has, IMO, been virtually 100%. You can't fault his effort one iota.

- If he were to take down Djokovic, and then go on to win the title, his confidence for 2016 would be sky-high

- if he were to run Djokovic close but go out in the semis, I think he would consider it a respectable week

- but if he were to lose heavily to Djokovic (unlikely I feel) then the old doubts could re-surface. In which case, good for him that the season is over and he can start afresh in January.

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Post by Matchpoint Fri 20 Nov 2015, 4:16 pm

lags, agree, no tanking, no lack of motivation, very clear now.

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Post by bogbrush Fri 20 Nov 2015, 4:17 pm

Matchpoint wrote:i guess Andy and Stan weren't fully focused then. Good to know.
So some have said. I couldn't possibly comment.
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Post by Josiah Maiestas Fri 20 Nov 2015, 4:18 pm

temporary21 wrote:back with a vengeance suddenly, surprised hes giving this much but thats who he is
He knows if he doesn't win the 3rd set convincingly he will get dominated in sf. Nadal needs a convincing rhythm of victories to have any hope against the number 1.
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Post by lags72 Fri 20 Nov 2015, 4:20 pm

Some irony that the best contest of the week so far is a dead rubber.

(Take note all you Tour members who don't put in similar maximum effort )

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Post by Haddie-nuff Fri 20 Nov 2015, 4:23 pm

bogbrush wrote:
lags72 wrote:bb - don't know about 'settled opinion' but I honestly think we (and I mean all of us) can be prone to over-analysis at times.

My own perspective on this particular match is actually quite straightforward. No evidence to me of any 'tanking' (not even remotely) or lack of motivation. Lots of errors on both sides, sure and maybe not the highest quality of all-round play. But this is sport after all. Two players putting in their best effort and the better guy on the day will win, simple as that really.
It's interesting, because one thing we know is that Nadal is playing a fully focused opponent today who will play to his potential.

I think we'll find out where Nadal is after tomorrows match.

Firstly they know one anothers play far too well. Secondly you are right David is extremely focussed. Thirdly I do not think k Rafa will tank anything. and lastly we will find out where Rafa is with his game tomorrow as you say.... however apart from Federer's match and I am none too sure that is a measuring stick to go by  unless Rafa  pulls out a win..his game will be no worse or better than the rest. I still feel sure that he will give Novak a match even so

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Post by Born Slippy Fri 20 Nov 2015, 4:25 pm

Looks like Rafa's going to be up towards 3 hours by the end of this match. Risk he may be tired tomorrow?

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Post by Haddie-nuff Fri 20 Nov 2015, 4:27 pm

An indication I think that Rafa does not like losing.. first set or otherwise Wink

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Post by lags72 Fri 20 Nov 2015, 4:32 pm

Born Slippy wrote:Looks like Rafa's going to be up towards 3 hours by the end of this match. Risk he may be tired tomorrow?

Wouldn't have thought so.

But if three (admittedly very tough) sets DO tire him out at 29, it doesn't really bode well for when he's 31 or 32 ........

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Fri 20 Nov 2015, 4:37 pm

It looks like Rafa is going to lose the SF quite easily judging by the way he plays now and spending so much energy slugging away. Its a really disappointing performance when he couldve finished this sooner having SP in the first set but ended up losing the set!

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Post by Born Slippy Fri 20 Nov 2015, 4:39 pm

I don't think its a question of age. Generally any player will feel 3 hours of tennis the next day.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Fri 20 Nov 2015, 4:41 pm

Belovedluckyboy wrote:It looks like Rafa is going to lose the SF quite easily judging by the way he plays now and spending so much energy slugging away. Its a really disappointing performance when he couldve finished this sooner having SP in the first set but ended up losing the set!

Oh ye of little faith Erm

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Post by lags72 Fri 20 Nov 2015, 4:44 pm

@ Born Slippy : Oh sure, that's true.

But Rafa has always been known for unusually high levels of fitness & stamina.

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Post by HM Murdock Fri 20 Nov 2015, 4:45 pm

I'm not a fan of either player but I totally respect the effort they are putting into a dead rubber.

That's proper professionalism and competitive spirit right there.

clap clap

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Post by Haddie-nuff Fri 20 Nov 2015, 4:47 pm

Im finding the comments about Rafa beating or not the No1. somewhat ironic.
At the beginning of this tournament no one would have given him a snowball's chance in Hell.
And we wondered if he would ever qualify. He has risen from No.10 to No. 5 in a few short weeks.

Whatever happens for me here on is a bonus leaving me with great optimism for  2016

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Post by lags72 Fri 20 Nov 2015, 4:48 pm

Fat Lady warming up now.

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