Federer Upsets Djokovic in London Round Robin

In the second match yesterday, Federer upset Djokovic when he gave him his first defeat of the post-US Open season. It’s been an impressive run for Djokovic but yesterday he lost 7-5, 6-2 to one of his big rivals. It was probably his worst match of the year but credit to Federer as well.

I had a bad feeling about this one since the start. Djokovic has won all the important matches against Federer again this year and eventually he had to lose one again. And Federer’s best shot at beating Djokovic will always be indoors over the best of three sets.

Federer served well and was aggressive as you’d expect while Djokovic was simply way too passive. It was a very uncharacteristic performance where he made plenty of unforced errors and I’m sure he just chalked it up as a bad day at the office and moved right on.

The loss means nothing as long as he still wins the title and in that sense it may be better that he got the loss out of the way. If the two players meet in the finals again and Federer wins then it would be a more meaningful victory.

But you’d think Djokovic will improve a lot if that happens. He was just woefully passive and was mentally poor too, losing the important points. But even if Federer wins the title Djokovic still won the important slam meetings like he did last year.

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And one shouldn’t get greedy as a fan. Yes, I’d like it if Djokovic chalks up a better year than Federer did in 2006 by winning the World Tour Finals but if he beats Berdych he will already be ahead in overall ATP points for a season.

The main thing is that he won the Wimbledon final again and the US Open final. It’s already been an incredible year and not winning the World Tour Finals is not gonna spoil it. That said, it would be the ideal way to finish such an incredible year and I still think Djokovic is the favorite.

The format in London is unique in that one poor match doesn’t cost you the title. You can afford to play a bad match and save some of your best form for the semis and finals. Sampras used to do it all the time in the Masters Cup round robin where he often lost one match and won the title.

Yesterday Nishikori had a good 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 victory over Berdych which still gives him a shot at qualifying for the semis, while Berdych seems to be pretty much out of it.

  • Monday’s Action

Since the last time I posted Nadal destroyed Wawrinka 6-3, 6-2 in another disappointing match from Stan. Stan is the kind of hit-or-miss player who loses badly to a player like Nadal if things don’t go his way early on. He just doesn’t like grinding it out all day.

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Then Murray had a 6-4, 6-4 win over Ferrer as well.

  • Today’s Action

Finally, the first match of today has already been played and Nadal destroyed Murray as well, 6-4, 6-1. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. I think Nadal has just about secured a semi-final spot with today’s win already and has been looking great so far.

  • Highlights

The is in your court.

Posted in World Tour Finals.

9 Comments

  1. Hi, first time commenting on this site and recent fan.
    I admit not having great knowledge about tennis and coming from Serbia being very focused on Novak matches. That being said, I really like your style of writing, sharp observation and normal reasoning. These days most authors and readers online like to stick to short articles without much substance or well founded personal opinion. Even with your support to Bernie Sanders this is easily recognized and moved me to read an article or two, despite not that much interested in topic.
    Anyway, Ru-an, congratulations and keep up good job. All the best from Serbia.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Great to have a Serbian comment on my blog! Thanks for the nice words, Hideo. I admire and respect Djokovic a lot, having come from a tough background and era during which the two most dominant tennis players in history were in their primes.

    It’s simply remarkable how he rose above all those odds and became the most dominant sportsman in the world today. I draw a lot of inspiration from it and I genuinely like his personality. The mainstream tennis fans have struggled to embrace him and give his proper dues, but who cares about them?

    The fact that Djokovic is just not a status quo, mainstream kind of guy is one of my favorite characteristics of him. Every time he beats down the status quo Fedal duopoly it gives me a massive kick.

    Anyway, I appreciate your comments a lot. I was just thinking today whether it’s even worth it to make long posts instead of just doing what everyone else does which is like you said is short with no substance.

    What’s the point of that? It just shows me they don’t have a real passion for the sport and that they are just doing it fo traffic, clicks, money, etc. This is something I have always enjoyed doing and I have never made much money out of it.

    That’s not what it’s about for me first and foremost. I host my own blog, write what I have a passion for, and don’t answer to anyone. I just get to put down trolls, which is great fun too.

    That’s cool that you like Sanders too. I am currently writing exams so I didn’t have time to write a recent post because the second democratic debate was on Saturday and I wanted to. I’ll get back to it again soon.

    [Reply]

  2. I understand that you gave some credit to Federer, but IIRC after the US Open you were always saying Djokovic doesn’t get enough credit. Now it seems like you are trying to take credit away from Federer. Even if he (Djokovic) played badly, even his worst match of the year, how much of that is down to Federer? Probably most of it. The commentators when I was watching the match remarked that he had changed tactics, by using the kick serve more to give Djokovic less pace on the returns, making it harder for him to land as many damaging returns as normal. Djokovic said that he ‘handed the win’ to Federer in the second set, but the first set was a much better set, and Federer’s half volley on set point to win it was great. Also, if you watch Federer’s interview, he was asked about what Djokovic said, and he said that he is not particularly happy that Djokovic said that, and he disagrees with Djokovic. Not remarking on who is right or wrong, but to say Djokovic deserves more credit and Federer didn’t play badly in the US Open final (a perfectly legitimate comment) and then say that not all the credit goes to Federer for this win because Djokovic played badly sounds hypocritical to me. Perhaps it was just the tone of your writing, if so I apologise.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    That’s ok I see Federer sat on Djokovic’s chair again so I’m not worried about what he said. Federer didn’t play badly in the USO. He played very well but as usual choked when it really mattered against someone with true mental strength. Even with the entire fanatical crowd behind him.

    So now he’s won a RR match of zero significance(with the status quo crowd behind him again btw), and you want me to act like he just defeated the best version of Djokovic? A match which according to you would make the difference between Djokovic having a better year than Federer had in 2006 or not.

    I can’t take that kind of reasoning seriously and I don’t take Fedfans seriously in general. Whatever I write they won’t be satisfied and I know you won’t be satisfied with this reply either so go ahead and have fun replying again. I have a post to write.

    [Reply]

    universal123 Reply:

    No I never said I wanted you to act like he just defeated the best version of Djokovic. All I am saying is it was far from his worse loss of the year. Perhaps the second set was one of the worst he has played all year, but you’re having a laugh if the first set was anywhere near his worst. You may call me biased but I’m not like the other troll Federer fans. I am willing to compromise, and as I said I was never hailing it as his best win ever. You have gone from the sublime to the ridiculous. I said it was far from the worst match he has ever played. That doesn’t mean it is anywhere near the best. And as for the match in question, it does matter about whether a WTF win is undefeated or not. For example, Djokovic is a four-time winner at the WTF, whilst Sampras won it five times. Djokovic is considered to have surpassed him by a lot of people. Why? Because only one of Sampras’ wins was undefeated.

    If you want a piece of advice from me, perhaps you should reduce the aggressiveness of your tone. I wonder why there have been so few comments lately. Regardless, even if we don’t see eye to eye I will continue to read and comment.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I just don’t feel like arguing about small pointless stuff like this. Like that comparison you just drew to Sampras. Again, I can’t take it seriously and I don’t feel like explaining why anymore.

    Don’t take it personally. It’s just how I feel about it. I gave credit to Federer and yes I thought it was Djokovic’s worst match of the year. I don’t know what else to tell you.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    About the few comments that’s due to my blog shifting from the mainstream Federer focus to an under appreciated player who threatens the status quo. I don’t control that. People are free to comment or not comment as they like.

    I have never done this for popularity, comments, traffic, money, etc. You can get plenty of that at PeRFect Tennis Blog if that’s what you are looking for. I do this because I have a passion for tennis and because I enjoy it.

    I also made it compulsory for people to register on my blog recently to be able to comment due to a Fed troll who kept changing his IP address so he can leave abusive comments. Yes, people are that nuts and fanatical. So that may have had an influence too.

    The main thing you must realise is that it doesn’t help to tell me I have few comments or something superficial like that. In fact, fewer comments may be better for me because then I have less biased crap to deal with.

    [Reply]

    universal123 Reply:

    Yeah I understand that’s not a major thing, and I was pretty annoyed at the time of writing that post, and looking back on it it looks a bit stupid to say something like that, so I apologise.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    No worries.

    [Reply]

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