Good day. Since my last post, Thiem defeated Monfils 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 in the Lendl group while Djokovic kept improving against Raonic as he won 7-6(6), 7-6(5).
I was happy that Thiem got his first World Tour Finals win while I couldn’t feel bad for Monfils since he is just ‘there for Murray’. Why even bother to show up if you are there for another player? The last time I checked tennis was an individual sport.
As for Djokovic, I was very pleased with what I saw. It still wasn’t his best tennis but his mental strength and inner competitor were back. He simply refused to let Raonic get the better of him and made a big clutch play in each tiebreak.
— doublefault28 (@doublefault28) November 15, 2016
The first one was at 5-5 when he hit a perfectly timed lob on Raonic’s serve and the second one was even more important at 4-5 on his own serve when Raonic hit a very awkward ball to his feet at the net and he made a great two-handed half-volley winner.
That two-hander is such an important and versatile shot for him and it is great to see it back in full flow. This performance affirmed what we already saw in his first match which was that his desire and fire was back.
He was vocal and animated again. Once that part is back the game will follow as well as the confidence. He will now end at the top of his group regardless of what happens against Monfils but with how close things are between him and Murray he’d definitely want to win that match.
— doublefault28 (@doublefault28) November 16, 2016
That is an extra 200 ranking points if he wins. Ideally, he wants to play a good clean match that gives him maximum confidence before the semis. The match between Raonic and Thiem will then decide who qualifies second in the Lendl group.
- Murray Escapes Nishikori
Murray and Nishikori started today’s singles and Murray ended up winning 6-7(9), 6-4, 6-4. Nishikori started off very well in a closely contested first set but then faded in the end when he started playing too many drop shots and his serve betrayed him again.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) November 16, 2016
It’s a shame because if he maintained his level of the first set it is very likely he would have won. He just made some really poor decisions toward the end there. And he made a shocking volley to get broken for the first time in the third set.
Either way, Murray is now at the top of his group but won’t necessarily end there depending on what happens in the last round. Wawrinka can always catch fire and beat anyone. He is about to play against Cilic so we will see what happens there.