Masters Cup Draw – Roger Federer and Andy Murray in Same Group

http://www.barclaysatpworldtourfinals.com/Results/Group-Standings-2010.aspx

You will see above  that Roger got Murray, Soderling, and Ferrer in his group. I guess you could say he got a tough group, given that he has a 5-8 head-to-head with Murray and Soderling just won Paris. But the players in each group doesn’t matter all that much, since Roger should make the semi’s either way. Ideally I suppose he would have liked to get Nadal’s draw as one of the top two players. He has good records against Djokovic, Roddick, and Berdych. Roger has had problem with big hitters in the past, and of the two big hitters Soderling is the one in form right now. This all means one of Roger, Murray, or Soderling won’t make semi’s. All these guys have a title shot, so it’s a pretty tough group. Roger opens on Sunday against Ferrer, which is not a bad match to start with and get used to the conditions.

He should win that one which means he has to win at least one more match to qualify for the semi’s. If Ferrer ends up losing every match and the other players each win two matches, then sets will come into play as well. Preferably Roger should win all his matches during group stage, and if not then he needs to win try and win as many sets as he can and lose as few as he can. The other group isn’t so certain either. Nadal and Djokovic are the top ranked players in their group, but we have seen that Djokovic looked mentally tired in Paris. It’s definitely not impossible that Roddick or Berdych can sneak into the semi-finals. Berdych has not been in form of late, but when he catches fire he is capable of beating anyone. I am feeling a little more positive about Roger’s chances at present. It’s hard for me to say he can’t win it just to avoid disappointment, because that is simply not true.

The truth his he can win it, but it won’t be easy. With Nadal he is probably the joint favorite. This will be the true test of whether he can keep his from throughout an event because there are no easy matches. To win the event he must play five matches against top eight opponents and win at least four of them. He probably can’t afford to have a drop in form like he did against Murray in Shanghai or Monfils in Paris. If he does happen to win the event it will make me happy, because he will have turned a somewhat average year into a pretty good one. If he does not win it he will still walk away with a slam, a Masters Series, a 500, and a 250. It would just look so much better with the Masters Cup there as well, and give him a lot of confidence heading into next year. He has had a great stretch of form now and is still the most in form player at present.

Therefor I’d really like to see him take advantage of that fact and win this, making a big statement at the end of the year. But Nadal will be just as hungry for a first Masters Cup title. We have seen how hard he is to stop of late when he sets his sights on something. He may be impossible to stop even.

Attire for London: The shirt and shoes changes, the rest stays the same. Always love the red.

Article: Thanks to Jiten for posting this article on my blog about Roger’s adjustments which is starting to pay off. Lets face it, since he started working with Annacone things have changed for the better, and him and Annacone haven’t even been together long. Hopefully that is only a sign of better things to come. It’s a positive article and I recommend it. You can find it here.

New Federer Mercedes Benz commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3P8vv1Hbq0

Roger Federer


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28 Comments

  1. If Federer wins it will be a nice surprise indeed but I don’t see it happen. As you said, Nadal has heard many times lately that it is not “appropriate” that he never won the year-end tournament. So he ‘set his sight’ on it – he quit Paris and got some rest and he is preparing to explode in London. It is very similar to the process prior to the US Open.
    I think Federer will be too tired, after a busy month, to play in the same high level for 5 matches. Reaching the semis should be the goal and he should take it from there. Of course, if he plays in the level we’ve seen from him lately, it shouldn’t be that difficult. Good luck

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  2. “Preferably Roger should win all his matches during group stage, and if not then he needs to win try and win as many sets as he can and lose as few as he can.”

    Ru-an,

    Nice to see you becoming defensively optimistic about Fed’s chances (LOL). I would like to change it to “Preferably Roger should win all his matches in O2 and win all the sets.”

    Whoever wins in London, Roger is going to make sure that it is not easy for them.

    Hope my prediction about Roger winning all the matches in O2 comes true; of course, with that a whooping 1500 points.

    COME ON CHAMP!

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  3. Seems as the Gods have decided to give Nadal the trophy(=USO.)Nadal will be given a wild card straight into the semis.No one in his group is in form.How the hell can anyone claim the groups are not unbalenced?
    The ATP have been fixing Nadulls draws, it´s becoming more noticable.He will run all day long and will be waiting for a half dead player in the semis and final.
    Roger wants this title badly and if he plays well he´s got a great chance.Let´s hope he serves well and his FH
    doesn´t have a off day. Come on!Remember you are ROGER
    FEDERER!!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah i guess anything the ATP does these days is believable.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Ines it sounds like you are already making excuses in case Roger does not win. If Roger doesnt win its because he isnt good enough. There are no easy matches for anyone in this event.

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    ines Reply:

    I´m not making excuses but no one in Nadal´s draw is in form.I don´t hate Nadal simply I don´t symphatised with him.But really his draws are at least
    “suspicious”.Roger has to play against the best top players, he will do it, and he will do his best as the great player he is.Please Ru-an be positive, i need it, a bit of support, BELIEVE IN ROGER!!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Ok, i will try.

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    Andrew Reply:

    I completely agree about Nadal’s easy draws.

    Remember the big one that started his current run? The French Open this year? before the final he didn’t have to play ANYONE in the top 10!! It was very very easy for him on his favourite surface- it just grew from there really. He became very hard to stop- it’s all about confidence for him

    At US Open this year Roger had to beat Soderling then DJ in a row in quarters and semis- who did nadal play!? I remember Youzny in the semis but I can’t even remember who he thrashed in the quarters- it was very easy for him again though.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I agree that the US Open draw was easy for him, but you cant say if it was harder he would not have won. The guy is extremely driven and was playing very well regardless. He beat the guy that beat Roger in the semis after all.

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    Andrew Reply:

    DJ was a shadow of the player who played in the semi final when he met Rafa in the US Open final.

    The same thing happened last week with Monfils- an amazing level shown against Roger only to go on and play badly in the most important match. Same thing happened with Soderling at the French Open he was no match for Nadal in the final after knocking Roger out in the quarters.

    And Rafa wasn’t playing that well going into the US Open- he’d had a really bad hard court run at Toronto and Cinny so no-one picked him for the title.

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    Dharmesh Reply:

    Well buddy i agree with you that Rafa had relatively easy draw at US OPEN. But what i believe is that if a guy called Andy Murray doesnt reach semifinal than it is nt rafa’s fault…u can say rafa was lucky…but this time roger has a group of death…

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  4. The ATP have been fixing Nadals draws? Thats why he always ends up in Murrays quarter in hardcourt grandslams, and murray is one of his worst matchups. The ATP or “god” didnt give Nadal anything, he won the USO fair and square. Ofcourse Federer is a greater player then Nadal but there’s no reason to hate on Nadal. Nadal will go down as the second greatest player of his era and one of the best ever which is quite an accomplishment.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Nadal will go down as the best ever if he wins more slams than Roger. He can probably win the French for the next 4-5 years. He can win Wimbledon like 3 more times. He can win more hard court slams as well. Thats why Roger needs to win more slams.

    As for the ATP, i agree that its wrong to draw conclusions without any proof. Anyway its the top 8 players in the world, so there is no easy draw.

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    Andrew Reply:

    Dear Ru-an

    I also wanted to say to keep up the good work! I read your blog on my blackberry every day and am always eager to hear your views. :-)

    Andrew

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks! I will try to post as much as i can! ;-)

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  5. French for the next 4-5 years? I think maybe for the next two or three years. Even if he loses 5 percent of his footspeed, it could make a major difference. I dont think 5 years, 3-4 max

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Ok 3-4 then. Point is he has a chance to break the record. When Nadal sets his mind on something he is just about impossible to stop and he has already said he wont be satisfied until he wins the most slams. Would you be surprised if he wins the Oz Open and thereby doing something Roger couldnt do? I wouldnt.

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    marron Reply:

    Oh, when did Rafa ever say he ‘won’t be satisfied until he wins the most slams’?
    I’ve never heard that come out of his mouth. Source?

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I read it on a tennis forum. He did say it.

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    marron Reply:

    Sorry, Ru-an, I’m about the biggest Nadal fan around (at least here, LOL!) and I’ve not read about him EVER saying anything like that. No way. Uh uh. Not his style at all.

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  6. Tough group for Roger, regardless I think he can come out on top of his group. He needs straight sets win against Le Sod and Ferru. Murray if he can win over 3 sets it would be a gem. Optimist about his chances reaching semis or better. As for Nadal, just darn lucky…winds of fortune favors him of late.

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    Andrew Reply:

    Hello Ru-an

    I am a huge Fed fan and have been ever since his epic loss to Nadal at Wimbledon in 2008. Before that I just did what most British people do and I only watched Wimbledon and wasn’t really into tennis. Watching that match was amazing and I was so gutted when Roger lost that I realised I had for years been a fan of his and I then started to follow him closely.

    So for me it’s always been a rough ride following Roger! I was never blessed to follow his during his ‘peak’ when he won pretty much everything he entered.

    I think he’s playing well at the moment, he’s hitting it well and he’s more aggresive. I agree with you that since Annacone has started working with him there’s been a marked improvement.

    Regarding the draw I was annoyed that he drew Murray (again!- 3 years running!) but then I thought about it like this:

    2 top seeds
    I think the draw then works that number 3 and 4 in world are drawn next in groups (DJ and Soderling)
    So roger drew Soderling- a better draw than DJ who plays amazing indoors and is always a threat now he’s sorted out his serve- Furthermore Roger’s head to head against Soderling is unbelieveable.

    Then the 5th and 6th ranked players (Murray or Berdych) are drawn- Roger was unlucky here coz he got Murray and he could have got Berdych. But I think that Roger has struggled against Berdych in the last 3 matches they’ve played. In some respects he was lucky in Toronto because Berdych served for the match! So i think I prefer him to play Murray. Plus the pressure is on Murray against Roger and he usually chokes when that’s the case (hence the GS record of 0-2 against Roger)

    Then finally the 7th and 8th ranked players (Roddick or Ferrer) and he has a 10-0 record against David Ferrer. Roddick can always be dangerous. Plus he’s also hungry at the moment. Ferrer has played alot of tennis of late to qualify. I also agree that he’ll help Roger ease his way onto the surface- he’ll give him a good rhythm.

    So really it’s a great draw he’s got! How could it be better!!?

    Andrew

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Hi Andrew. I actually forgot Soderling is number 4 now and not Murray. But Soderling is actually on form right now while Djokovic is not. Also like you said Murray is tougher than Berdych. But i also like Rogers chances against Murray this time around. He beat him at the MC last year and i believe he will do so again her after losing the last two matches. Surely Murray cant beat him 3 times in a row in important matches. Ferrer or Roddick doesnt matter much as Roger own them both. I think Roger has a good chance of winning all his group matches. He recently double beadsticked Soderling and has a great record against him.

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    Andrew Reply:

    Ru-an

    I think Djokovic is playing pretty well at the moment- his focus has just shifted. I also think he will be out for revenge against Nadal after easily losing the US Open to him. Hopefully Berdych and Roddick will wake up and remember how to play tennis!

    Roger should easily beat Ferrer and Soderling though. If he doesn’t then he doesn’t deserve to go through to the semi finals anyway (also- I have tickets to the 2nd semi final on Saturday 27th November 2010!!) So i’m hoping that whatever happens Roger gets to play them.

    I was lucky enough to see him twice last year at the O2- once against Verdasco and once when he lost to Davydenko. Tv doesn’t do his artistry justice!!

    Andrew

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Awesome! :D Wish i was you!! I saw Roger only once at Wimbledon in 2001 when he was just about to make his big breakthrough and i absolutely agree about television.

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    Andrew Reply:

    Well I dunno if he’ll play in that second semi final yet- alot depends on whether he goes through and whether he goes through as top of the group. Am crossing my fingers!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I hope it works out for you!

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  7. Federer is still a very hard opponent of Murray. Murray should show some especial quality to win the game. Where as his opponent Nadal got a weak one.But finally or semifinal they will meet again.

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