Murray Becomes World Number and Wins Paris Masters

(Saturday)

Congrats to Murray who became number one today for the first time! Surely deserved after a very consistent year although he’d probably wanted to at least win his match over Raonic to get it done.

I must say it feels strange that Murray got the number one ranking after Djokovic’s strong start to the year and winning the personal slam. He did better than Murray in the big events but he can still win Paris and London.

If he does that I’d feel he deserves it a bit more but hopefully this situation will make the people who are always acting like slams are the only thing that matters take note. They can’t have it both ways.

Either they accept that there are more to tennis greatness than the number of slams you win or they don’t accept the fact that Murray is number one after Djokovic won the most slams this year.

I think there is more to tennis greatness than the number of slams you win and therefore I accept that Murray is number one. I also accept that Djokovic did something that hasn’t been done since 1969 when he won the personal slam which is why I am not constantly on his case about the fact that he is slumping.

I never really thought he would ever get over his burnout before the end of the year but, of course, as a fan, you are always hoping. Now I am convinced he won’t after what I saw in Paris.

He lost 6-4, 7-6(2) to Cilic in another shocking performance by his high standards. The defining moment was when he broke serve in the second set and served for the set at 5-4. He served two consecutive double faults to drop serve.

If that doesn’t smack of burnout I don’t know what does. The mojo is just completely gone. And understandably so. As a fan, you are always hoping for more but in hindsight, it is crystal clear that the French Open and personal slam took an awful lot out of him.

I’ve already written about it. Everyone should just give the guy a damn break. He was on the most dominant run in tennis history and he doesn’t own anyone anything including his own fans.

I find it quite sad that he doesn’t get the credit he deserves for winning the personal slam but that he does get all the coverage for being in a slump. Am I the only damn person in the world who appreciates the enormity of what he achieved?

Sometimes it feels that way. But that’s fine. The fact that I can appreciate it makes it that more enjoyable. For instance, I understand the slump that he is going through which is why as a fan it doesn’t bother me.

If by next year things don’t improve then it may start to bother me. I never expected him to recover before next year, to begin with, which is why everything he achieved since winning the French Open was just a bonus.

I thought he did great by winning Toronto and making the US Open final. But you wish he could just take the second half of the year off because he is not enjoying himself out there but unfortunately, that is how the tennis season is set up and why I am not so concerned with him losing the number one ranking.

I think people have short memories. I have no doubt that he or any of his fans would gladly have sacrificed the year end number one if before the French Open they were given a choice between the French Open title and the year-end number one.

I mean it’s a no-brainer.

  • Murray Wins Paris Title

All right so I am back today to finish my post after Murray won the Paris title yesterday against Isner 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-4. So congrats to him once more. I’m sure he feels better now that he justified his ranking with a win as opposed to a walkover.

And Isner was playing very well this week. This means Murray end the year with one slam title and three masters titles as opposed to Djokovic’s two slam titles and four masters titles.

It seems inappropriate to me that Murray is number one but he can still win London and like I said he can have the number one ranking after what Djokovic achieved this year and last year. And I think Murray will win London too.

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Djokovic is just too burned out and there is no Federer or Nadal either. Certainly, it seems the competition has weakened toward the end of the year. I’m not even sure Djokovic will pass the group stage in London.

He looks that fried. He could make semis but I definitely don’t see him getting back to number one in London. It may take a long time for him to get back to number one because he has plenty of points to defend in the first half of 2017.

But that’s fine he won’t have much to defend in the second half of the year. The main thing is to come back refreshed next year and focus on winning more slams. That is still more important than being number one.

  • Highlights

Djokovic and Murray Both Make Quarterfinals in Paris

Hi, folks. I had a quick opening to do a post during my exams. Since my last post, Djokovic and Murray won both their matches to make quarterfinals in Paris. That means Murray has not gained any more ground on Djokovic in the rankings since he won Vienna.

Both players had one straight-set win and one three-setter. Murray was pushed hard by Verdasco in the second round but after having two breaks points at 5-5 and 40-15 on Murray’s serve in the third set and failing to take advantage he dropped serve in the next game to lose 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-5.

Verdasco has all the talent in the world but he is mentally fragile and that cost him again against Murray. Djokovic, on the other hand, had a comfortable 6-3, 6-4 win in the second round against Muller.

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It was a promising start but today he was struggling again in the first set against Dimitrov. It has to be said that Dimitrov played probably his best tennis so I will give Djokovic the benefit of the doubt after coming back to win 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

He was playing much better in the second and third sets which hopefully bodes well for the rest of the tournament for him. As for Murray, he had a very comfortable 6-3, 6-0 victory over Pouille which was disappointing from Pouille.

But Pouille had a breakthrough year and played a lot so it is hard to criticize him.

  • Looking Ahead

Going into this week I wasn’t feeling very positive about Djokovic’s chances. I didn’t think he would get over his burnout until next year and although that may still be the case I feel more positive about his form after having seen him play.

Obviously, he is not just going to give up his number one ranking like that. Burned our or not, Murray now has a real shot at passing him and Djokovic’s champions mentality will kick in.

It must, or Murray will pass him. It’s too early to predict anything but there have been some promising signs for Djokovic. He plays Cilic next who won Basel last week. Obviously, Cilic is playing well but Djokovic does lead the head-to-head 14-0.

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Then Murray will play Berdych who he leads 9-6. Djokovic has the harder quarterfinal but Murray has the harder semi-final because he could play the winner of Tsonga and Raonic while Djokovic could play Sock or Isner.

In the end, Djokovic and Murray are the favorites to make the final but like I said it is still hard to make any predictions. Whatever the case may be, it is fun to follow and this number one chase makes things interesting for the end of the season.

I think tomorrow is quite a big day for Djokovic. If he makes semis then I like his chances of making the final and if he makes the final he goes to London still in the lead regardless of Murray’s result in Paris.

Looking forward to some exciting tennis this weekend!

 

Ps. My newsletter is not currently going out(at least for some people) and I am not receiving notifications by email when I receive comments. I have no idea why and I am trying to fix it. I did reply to recent comments when I saw them in case you left one and wondered why I didn’t reply.

  • Highlights

Battle for Year End Number One Tightens as Paris Masters Comes Around

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Greetings. I’m still writing exams but Murray won Vienna last week as expected while Cilic won Basel, defeating Tsonga and Nishikori in the finals respectively.

Murray also had a walkover in the semis against Ferrer which is good fortune for him as his freshness will be a big question this week in Paris in his bid to overtake Djokovic in the rankings.

For him to do that by next Monday he has to win the title and Djokovic must lose before the final of Paris or Murray must make the final and Djokovic must lose before the semis, as you can see below by clicking the image.

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It’s doable but I don’t think Murray will win Paris. As for Djokovic, he is struggling with his confidence right now and I don’t think he is winning the title either. He has won it the last three years but he seems completely burned out.

He has a tough draw too with Muller who just made semis in Basel and lost in the deciding set breaker to Nishikori. Then he likely gets Dimitrov and then Cilic or Goffin. In the semis, he could get Stan or Thiem.

Murray will play Verdasco in the first round who won today and can be dangerous. He can also play Pouille in the third round which I hope for. His quarterfinal doesn’t look very challenging and in the semis, he can play Raonic os Nishikori.

He’s got a better draw than Djokovic but we will see how it goes after the week in Vienna. That walkover against Ferrer sure was fortunate to give him some much-needed rest.

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This race to number one is now getting very interesting and one feels that Djokovic should clearly end the year number one after winning two slams, making the final of another, and winning four Masters titles already.

That said, Murray did have a very consistent year and won the Olympics as well. And there is still the World Tour Finals left which is another big event. Djokovic is currently struggling with his confidence which makes things tough for him but he has to somehow try to make at least semis in Paris and hope Murray loses early.

Murray has a real shot at this but he can’t afford to lose early in Paris. Neither can Djokovic. A very interesting week ahead!

To sum up: Murray still has 275 Davis Cup points that must come off before the year end so for him to end the year number one he has to make 691 points more than Djokovic at Paris and London.

Who will go deeper in Paris?

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