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Autumn 2021 Tournaments

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 19 Sep 2021, 9:30 am

First topic message reminder :

After what could be described as a sensational USO, we move into the autumn tournaments that will round off the 2021 season.

The big tournament coming up is Indian Wells which has been moved from its usual March spot to early October.

But there are tourneys before then, including Metz in France where this week Andy Murray takes on Humbert. Andy really needs some wins but at least he's playing and seems injury free.

The lady of the hour, Emma R, may play IW although her schedule is still uncertain. The Romanians are trying to get her over for a tournament in Bucharest, too.

We have two new GS champs, which is something that has happened for a while. It's possible we could have a new men's number one, as well, in the months to come.

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Post by lags72 Tue 09 Nov 2021, 6:25 pm

All well-made points CC thumbsup

Yep, so much going on and still only a teenager, and turning 19 next week I believe. Getting old !!  🤣 🤣

Meanwhile on court …… second set now on serve, though Wang still looks favourite to take this match, which would make for a slightly disappointing conclusion to Raducanu's season. Time to rest and re-group in readiness for 2022 and the many battles ahead.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue 09 Nov 2021, 6:28 pm

Meanwhile, Andy Murray going along nicely in First Round of the Stockholm Open. He leads qualifier Durasovic 6-1 2-0.
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Post by lags72 Tue 09 Nov 2021, 7:44 pm

Great to see Andy back on the court.

Emma goes down in a hard-fought three-setter, with some very high quality tennis from both players. The Brit appeared to suffer a minor injury (requiring a MTO) towards the latter stages - but all credit to her opponent, who performed impressively well and deserved her win today.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 09 Nov 2021, 8:15 pm

Andy M thru in straight sets after making rather heavy weather of it in the second set.

It's all a learning curve for our Emma and I would see a 2hr 30min match in which she fought back and saved MPs is a useful lesson.

It cannot be overstated how inexperienced Emma is and it also cannot be overstated how extraordinary it is to say that about someone who has won a Slam. Doubt there will be anyone else in the future who will be in this position.

Murray gets at least one more match. His win today was his 14th on the main tour. This doesn't sound much but he only won 21 main tour matches in the period 2018-20 so this, at least, is progress.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 10 Nov 2021, 7:51 pm

Excellent win by Murray, taking out top-10er Sinner, who was the number one seed, in straight sets.

If you look at the season stats, Andy, who normally has a good tiebreak record, has too often been on the wrong end of breaker scorelines.

But after a no-breaks first set, he managed to win the tiebreak tonight and then broke twice to take the second set and the match.

With his next opponent being Tommy Paul and not, as seeded, Taylor Fritz, Murray at last has a chance to go deep in a tournament.

Also still alive in Stockholm is Dan Evans who now plays Tiafoe who could be a tad weary after recent heroics. What chance an all-British semi?

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Post by No name Bertie Wed 10 Nov 2021, 10:28 pm

sirfredperry wrote:Excellent win by Murray ..... With his next opponent being Tommy Paul and not, as seeded, Taylor Fritz, Murray at last has a chance to go deep in a tournament.
The trouble with progressing in a tournament is that you always tend to meet in form players acclimatized to the conditions.  I think on his day Andy Murray can beat the majority of players, the issue has been recovery times and going up a level when meeting players that are also progressing along in a tournament. This will be the first time these two have met on the ATP tour. Tommy Paul is 10 years younger than Andy.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Thu 11 Nov 2021, 10:48 am

So Andy ticks off another win against a player ranked inside the world's top ten. Beating Sinner 7-6 6-3 he showed better mental toughness and better consistency when the going got tough. I was a high quality and entertaining match and it shows that Murray can still compete with some of the best players in the world. Later today he takes on Tommy Paul in the QF's.
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Post by lags72 Thu 11 Nov 2021, 11:43 am

Andy Murray continues to impress.

He has brought much added interest to the Tour these past few months, whilst making his current ranking (though technically accurate of course) look every bit as ‘false’ as we know it to be. His various WC’s have been fully merited.

This latest victory against rising star Sinner is another big step. But for me I would rate his performance in a couple of other matches as season highlights - even though one actually ended in defeat. So ….. I’m thinking back to his USO five-set battle against Tsitsipas ; and his very gutsy win - from a set down - against Alcaraz at Indian Wells. I know that Alcaraz turned the tables later in Vienna, but no shame there, given Alcaraz’s prodigious talent and energy of youth (a level of talent which I personally believe will see him inside the top 5 within two years).

His next opponent will be a decent challenge. I watched Tommy Paul play young Leo Borg at the Stockholm event last week and he’s an extremely solid performer. But certainly a winnable match for Andy if he can maintain this sort of form.

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Post by Oioi Thu 11 Nov 2021, 4:51 pm

Agree with all the hype around Alcaraz, he seems to have all the shots and be a well-rounded player, unlike many of the other youngish players who tend to have obvious weaknesses to accompany their strong points. He's also extremely athletic and seems mentally tough. Only injury could prevent him from greatness imo.

As for Murray, he's given us fans so much entertainment these past few months. Yesterday was the best I've seen him play this year by far, he was really going after the forehand for the first time in ages and was not getting down on himself. I personally feel he has a chance against anyone except Medvedev or Djokovic on a hard court at the moment. He's bound to get a rough draw in Australia but hopefully he can avoid drawing either of those 2 in the early rounds.

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Post by No name Bertie Thu 11 Nov 2021, 5:08 pm

I saw the highlights of Murray's match with Sinner.  He looked okay and produced some great shots.  However after the winning stroke and seeing him walk towards the net and his chair it seems clear to me that he has a hip issue - the way he was walking and his posture is noticeably out from the normal.  Maybe this is to be expected.  Ps: I don't know whether this is his new normal gait post op or whether it occurs after an intense period of exertion as in during a competitive tennis match.

pps: I think we can all agree that if Murray never had the hip issue and was using his "proper hip" - he would probably be number One right now, or there abouts.

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Post by No name Bertie Thu 11 Nov 2021, 5:36 pm

I have access to live text commentary. Early in the match the advantage and momentum is with Tommy Paul he leads 1-3 in the first set.

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Post by No name Bertie Thu 11 Nov 2021, 5:47 pm

Long game but Murray unable to stop Paul getting the double break. Paul leads 1 - 4 and currently serving. Paul's serving has been very strong.

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Post by No name Bertie Thu 11 Nov 2021, 5:55 pm

Andy Murray was able to adjust and up his level to get one of the breaks back 2 - 4, with Murray on serve.

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Post by No name Bertie Thu 11 Nov 2021, 5:59 pm

Having got a break back the energy he expended in that game caused him to suffer for energy in his service game and he promptly gets broken. 2 - 5 Paul to serve for the first set.

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Post by No name Bertie Thu 11 Nov 2021, 6:03 pm

Paul takes the first set 2 - 6, having broken Murray three times and being broken once. A fairly convincing set for Paul who played with very few unforced errors.

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Post by lags72 Thu 11 Nov 2021, 6:04 pm

I didn’t see the Sinner match but I AM watching now, and Andy is indeed struggling against a solid-looking Tommy Paul, serving and striking well.

Obviously still chance for Andy to turn this one around but (as ever, and for every player) it’s all about putting together a good run during these tournies and it’s that very consistency which seems to be his stumbling block : one really excellent performance, so often followed by a disappointing one.

Overall there are still very encouraging indicators for the new season ahead. And easy to forget that nobody - probably not even Murray himself - expected him to be still challenging, in 2021/22, at the highest level of the sport.

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Post by Oioi Thu 11 Nov 2021, 6:17 pm

Murray is really lacking intensity so far. Could be physical but there's a chance it's mental. He's not had recent experience of backing up big wins and bringing the necessary intensity level for a whole week.

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Post by No name Bertie Thu 11 Nov 2021, 6:29 pm

Second set going with serve but Tommy Paul is the stronger player with Murray having more difficulty in holding. 3 - 2 second set Paul to serve.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Thu 11 Nov 2021, 6:30 pm

Paul is the type of player who Murray always felt challenging - powerful hard hitters. Credit to Tommy Paul who has played great whereas Murray has yet to find a real rhythm. The performance has the feel of after the Lord Mayor's Show about it. He was impressive in beating the highly ranked Sinner and his mind has not adjusted to this match and he has not formulated a plan to combat Paul yet.
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Post by lags72 Thu 11 Nov 2021, 6:31 pm

I see a combination of Andy putting in a lot of effort here, whilst simultaneously looking physically drained.

I think his popularity with court-side spectators stems from a respect that knowledgeable fans are always ready to give to players who try their best - even when circumstances seem to conspire against them.

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Post by lags72 Thu 11 Nov 2021, 6:34 pm

And now he has a very hard-won - but thoroughly deserved - break. Impressive.

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Post by No name Bertie Thu 11 Nov 2021, 6:38 pm

First break of the second set and it is to Murray. Murray leads 4 - 2. I think Murray's performance is more associated with his physical condition. If there are any mental issues I will hazard a guess these are secondary to his physical condition.

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Post by No name Bertie Thu 11 Nov 2021, 6:41 pm

It has been suggested that Tommy Paul has dipped in his level and Murray seized the opportunity to get the break and remain ahead in this second set. 5 - 2 with Paul to serve.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Thu 11 Nov 2021, 6:50 pm

Murray, from 0-30 down, wins four points in the bounce and takes the second set 6-3. Into a decider we go.
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Post by No name Bertie Thu 11 Nov 2021, 6:52 pm

Murray holds on to take the second set 6-3. There was just one break of serve in that set and it went to Murray after what appears to have been a small dip in level from Paul. Murray appears to be playing as well as he is physically able to do at the moment.

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Post by lags72 Thu 11 Nov 2021, 6:54 pm

Paul’s level HAS dipped - but, as so often in pro tennis, that is partly as a consequence of Murray drawing more errors from him (and letting him know that he will not roll over !)

So it’s a one-set shootout as we begin the third.

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Post by lags72 Thu 11 Nov 2021, 6:58 pm

Interesting stat concerning the (ever-improving !) Carlos Alcaraz :
youngest player to win 30 ATP matches in a season since Nadal (2004).

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Post by No name Bertie Thu 11 Nov 2021, 7:13 pm

Final set on serve 2 - 3 with Murray to serve. It seems that Paul is looking the stronger player at the moment.

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Post by No name Bertie Thu 11 Nov 2021, 7:34 pm

Paul gets the break and goes on to win the final set and match 3 - 6.   A huge effort from Murray  to make this match close.

ps: I am going to hazard a guess that Murray's mental toughness must be off the charts in order to compete the way he is doing given his physical condition.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 11 Nov 2021, 9:14 pm

Really thought Andy could go deep here but it just shows just how fit mentally and physically you have to be to win day after day.

The good news is that Andy set out to play pretty much every week for the last part of the season and has achieved that. This period has included some stand-out wins and even when he's lost he's not been smashed.

Hopefully, 2022 will see him playing an injury-free full season. He's spoken of being ready to get right back up the rankings and there have been enough glimpses of his best form to suggest he can do that.

He'll continue to need WCs for a while but you feel he'll be awarded them and deserves them.



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Post by No name Bertie Thu 11 Nov 2021, 9:51 pm

I agree I think tournament directors would jump at the chance of having Andy Murray in their draw. No one knows how long Murray has left and people would come far and wide to go and see one of his matches. The tournament sponsors and broadcasters would also want to have Murray playing.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Fri 12 Nov 2021, 11:44 am

It was a defeat for Murray that sums up things perfectly. So near yet so far. He competed very well but just missed out on the win that could have seen him go very deep into the tournament.

It wraps up Murray's season and he can look forward with a far greater degree of confidence and belief in his physical fitness with his metal hip. Some will question why he is doing it but that is clear - his deep love for the sport. The love of a challenge and the competition. He can look ahead to 2022 with more tournament tennis assured and hopefully he can take his comeback as far as he wants.
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Post by lags72 Fri 12 Nov 2021, 4:23 pm

Have said before and will say again : Andy Murray’s most notable achievements  (of which there are many) are now in the past, certainly as far as the record books will show.

BUT …… to many observers - including a good number of his peers - the determination and sheer effort involved to get himself back to winning ways at the elite level of the sport have, to a great extent,  been equally impressive and worthy of respect as his Slam titles and former number one status.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 13 Nov 2021, 8:19 am

Spot on, Lags. Almost to a man, the guys who have played Murray this year, win or lose, have praised his guts and determination to get back on the tour and to compete well there.

He's now playing guys who were small children when he first made his mark in the sport. They now can see just what a good player he was in his prime.


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Post by sirfredperry Sat 13 Nov 2021, 5:38 pm

Andy Murray's Stockholm conquerer, Tommy Paul, has just beaten Shapovalov in three sets to claim his first tour title.

Amid all the attention on Murray and Emma R, it's been easy to overlook the amazing run of Estonia's Anett Kontaveit - 12 wins in a row and a record of 28-2 for the last part of the season.

The men's WTF ( I suppose if you don't rate the tournament the abbreviation can be taken another way) begins tomorrow. Djoko looks to have the slightly easier four in that Rublev seems to have gone off the boil.


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Post by MrInvisible Mon 15 Nov 2021, 7:39 am

The World Tour Finals can be hit and miss. On paper it's great - top 8 players in the world competing but some years can be real duds, with players showing signs of fatigue of a long season. Really helps when number one ranking is on the line and some in form players qualify.

Yesterday Medvedev came through a competitive 3 setter against Hurkacz whilst Berrettini retired injured with abdominal strain after losing 1st set tiebreak against Zverev. Sinner will come in as alternate and at least give home crowd someone to cheer.

For me I can't foresee an alternative semi final line up to Djokovic, Tsitsipas, Medvedev and Zverev. Not convinced Djokovic will win the whole thing though - I'll go for Medvedev.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 15 Nov 2021, 8:52 am

Djoko is favourite for me, especially after winning Paris.

Not surprised Hurkacz gave Medvedev such a good game. Saw some of the Hurkacz-Murray match recently and H looked very solid.


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Post by lags72 Mon 15 Nov 2021, 11:29 am

Carlos Alcaraz provides yet further evidence of what lies ahead, rounding off an already-impressive season by taking the #NextGen Finals title. My wager on him to win the USO back in September was obviously premature ; but I remain in no doubt whatever that this talented young guy is destined for big things.

Does anyone know what sort of spectator numbers Turin is attracting ? Perhaps Covid has necessitated some restrictions - but all things being equal, I’d be surprised if the crowds ever come to match those seen in London during the years it hosted the ATP Tour Finals.

In other news, Ivan Ljubicic has given a very strong hint that Federer will not be fit enough to play the Aussie Open. One can’t help wonder if he ever will make it back to the main Tour, but fingers firmly crossed on that - always provided of course he has the game to compete seriously at 40+ Otherwise, I suspect his only option will be the Job Centre. (does Über operate in Switzerland …… ??)

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 16 Nov 2021, 7:44 am

Pretty sure there was no chance of Federer being fit for the AO in any case.

He said he would be away for many months and was on crutches until recently.

Much more likely that if he can return it will be for the grass-court season.

Got so used to having the WTF in London that it all seems a bit strange this year. Managed to get to the O2 a number of times, including seeing Rog dismantle Rafa 3 and 0.

I see Rublev had a good win last night after a poor run. May be his recent losses have meant he's come into this WTF fresher than the rest.

In the women's finals the top seed Sabalenka (very over-ranked IMHO) served up NINETEEN DFs before succumbing to Sakari.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 16 Nov 2021, 6:19 pm

Medvedev edged a tight match with Zverev, coming thru in a final-set tiebreak.

Berrettii has had to pull out, with Sinner taking his place and with a chance to make the semis if he wins his two matches.

I guess there's still a chance for second alternate Cameron Norrie to get a match if there is another injury.


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Post by sirfredperry Wed 17 Nov 2021, 12:31 pm

Now Tsitsipas has had to pull out of the WTF in Italy. So as long as Cameron Norrie hasn't already legged it home, we have to assume that the Briton will play Ruud today.

Good chance for Cameron to earn an instant 200 points.

Last night the first alternate, Sinner, made the most of his chance with a straight-sets victory over Hurkacz.

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Post by slashermcguirk Wed 17 Nov 2021, 1:15 pm

Oh dear, Tsitsipas has now pulled out too. This is really grim for the tournament. I am just imagining I bought a ticket for two at this tour finals a few weeks ago and thought there was an opportunity to see Djokovic vs Medvedev or Zverev and instead getting Ruud vs Norrie.

hopefully there will still be some good matches but the field is definitely weaker now


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Post by slashermcguirk Wed 17 Nov 2021, 2:36 pm

It feels like the court at the Tour Finals is really quick. So many aces being struck across all the matches. I think Djokovic hit 14 aces against Rublev today in a pretty quick match 6-3 6-2. I would have thought the fast court would have suited Rublev more than Novak. Rublev had won very comfortably against Tsitsipas (admittedly he has since withdrawn with injury) but I thought his hard hitting would have made him very dangerous today.

I think this sort of fast court might make Medvedev the slight favourite this week. Zverev also a big threat if he gets out of the group despite losing yesterday, to be fair it was 8-6 in the final set tiebreak so that match really could have gone either way.

I would probably have it as Medvedev slight favourite, then Djokovic followed by Zverev. If Djokovic meets Zverev in semis that could be a very close match too.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 18 Nov 2021, 1:33 pm

Hopes that Norrie might pick up a win were dashed by Ruud who recovered from losing the first set 6-1 to take the next two and the match.

In Mexico Muguruza took the women's year-end title, beating in-form Kontaveit.

Two-time GS winner Mug can be absolutely brilliant at times, with amazing shot-making ability. But she has had a number of off days over recent years which have prevented her from staying right at the top.

She's now projected to rise to three in the rankings and there is still time for her to add to her Slams. Mind you, predicting how the big titles are going to go in the women's tour at the moment is an, er....Mug's Game?

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Post by slashermcguirk Thu 18 Nov 2021, 3:48 pm

Djokovic vs Zverev semi final confirmed. I would think the other semi is likely to be Medvedev vs Rublev (wouldnt rule out Ruud though).

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 19 Nov 2021, 1:07 pm

Medvedev held off Sinner after a spirited challenge from the young Italian who even had two MPs in the final-set tiebreak.

Djoko is assured of top spot and will have to play today, Saturday and Sunday if he wants to win the whole thing. So I just wonder if Cameron Norrie might be able to get a win in their match starting around now.*

More and more players are expressing concern about the fate of Chinese former player Peng Shuai who made sexual assault allegations against a leading Chinese government official two weeks ago.

If the WTA, ATP and ITF want to get tough over this they can always scrap some Chinese-held tournaments.

*Sorry. It's the Ruud-Rublev match which is now on. Djoko plays tonight.

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Post by slashermcguirk Fri 19 Nov 2021, 2:38 pm

Its an ideal time for Norrie to play Djokovic because there is nothing to play for really. Djokovic has already won the group and I doubt he will want to waste any energy today ahead of his semi final vs Zverev tomorrow.

It wouldnt surprise me if Djokovic is a bit disinterested in tonights match, he doesnt strike me as the type to tank a match but if he loses the 1st set I could see his mind wandering to tomorrow and understandably so.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 19 Nov 2021, 6:01 pm

At the O2 Djoko invariably won the first and third round-robin matches and lost the occasional second match.

Ruud has done well to make it to the semis but will now face Novak.

Just been watching a few highlights of the Med-Sinner match. Med does play some amazingly powerful shots even when driven wide or deep.

It reminds me somewhat of something Andy Roddick said when he first encountered the young Murray. He said he was staggered by not only the number of low, wide balls that Andy got to but how well he played them.

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Post by slashermcguirk Fri 19 Nov 2021, 9:12 pm

SFP, Ruud plays Medvedev in semis. He played Djokovic in his opening match

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Post by slashermcguirk Fri 19 Nov 2021, 9:31 pm

Djokovic didn’t hang about this evening!! 6-2 6-1 vs Norrie in 66 mins. I thought he might struggle for motivation having already won the group, clearly not

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