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.
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.
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.
The is in your court.