Masters Cup RR: Federer def Murray 6-4, 7-5, Djokovic Survives Berdych

In case you thought you read wrong, you didn’t. The title does read ‘Federer def Murray’. I thought I’d have some fun with the whole ‘war of words’ thing between Roger and Murray. Today Murray lost 6-4, 7-5 against David Ferrer, after ‘injuring himself in practice’. Again that seems like a very suspicious injury to me. First he injures himself in bed, and now in practice. I mean it’s not like the guy is 80 years old. He is a professional athlete for crying out loud. Does he not warm up before he practices? I think this is more of a mental injury. Why is it that every time Murray loses an important match he is injured? This is not mere coincidence. It is becoming an excuse. The pressure just got to Murray if you ask me, and then he got ‘injured’. He is playing at home and the pressure is big, and then he gets involved in a war of words with Roger to make the pressure even worse on himself.

If he just kept quiet and focused on the job things could have been very different. It is easy to dismiss this as a random injury which could not be helped. But think about it for a moment. Is this the first time this has happened? It happened just two weeks ago in Basel. Within the space of two weeks Murray got two freakish injuries. You can say what you want about Roger. You can say he is arrogant, playing mind games, or just being plain honest. But one thing you gotta give him is that he almost always seems to be right. He said that the Asian swing was weakened because him and Djokovic was absent. And what happens when they are back? Murray gets injured for two consecutive tournaments. I mean that is more than Roger has been injured in his entire career. And then he ends up losing to someone who he has previously owned on hard court.

Some of you thought Roger’s comments were arrogant and out of line. In my book you are not arrogant when you are right. If Roger made comments like these and he was proved to be wrong most of the time, then the ‘arrogant argument’ would be a lot easier for me to accept. But he gets proved right time and time again. Now, I know there are some of you that is going to say that Murray was injured and there is nothing he could do about it. That argument falls flat when you look at the astonishing regularity with which Murray fails when the pressure is really on. Whether it be through good old choking or through ‘injury’, he always fails. How often does he have an injury when he is losing a match he should be winning? It is just a way of not taking responsibility and looking for excuses. And it is not fair towards his opponents because it makes it look like he only lost because he was injured.

Oscar winning performance or real injury?

But either way I do think Roger had a role in this defeat of Murray. Not to take any credit away from Ferrer, but there is no way Murray should be losing to him indoors. Ferrer is basically a work horse with no weapons. He is a good clay courter and has had some decent results on hard court, but indoors he just begs to be dominated. Last year he was the whipping boy of his group and got destroyed by everyone. I mean Murray should beat Ferrer indoors on one leg. I just think the pressure was too much for Murray. He will now either withdraw before his next match or play on and not make the semis. Personally I hope he plays on so I can see him losing some more. Group A has opened up some more now that Murray is injured. Djokovic beat Berdych 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(3) today after saving a match point.

Djokovic is still not at his best but he was just better than Berdych under pressure. I think Berdych has a good chance of making semis now. He will probably beat Murray or whoever comes in Murray’s place and then it will be between him and Ferrer, as I think Djokovic will beat Ferrer too. Tomorrow is the much anticipated next chapter in the Fedal rivalry of course, and they will play the evening session. Someone has said that this is just a round robin match and therefor doesn’t mean much, but every Fedal match means something. Roger very much needs to win for the head-to-head. I think he will step it up against Nadal. In the Tsonga match Roger did just the necessary and his form was pretty average. I think he will be focused against Nadal and try to play at his highest level.

This is not a high bouncing surface where Nadal can moonball Roger’s backhand to death. Roger’s serve will be key as usual and he must remain on the offense. He has to do the same as he did in last year’s final in other words. Because the bounce is low he doesn’t have to allow Nadal to moonball his backhand and he can step into it. The main thing is to keep the points relatively short and not to let Nadal settle into a rhythm from the baseline. This is Roger’s domain and he must make that clear from the start. If he allows Nadal to win the first set then things will get complicated. I think as long as he wins the first set his chances will be good. For Nadal to win two straight sets against him on indoor will be difficult. I am hoping Roger can just get it done in straight sets. He has after all been the form player while Nadal has struggled.

Roger Federer


Posted in Uncategorized.

26 Comments

  1. Good comments, Ruan. Like you, I want Fed to restore some balance to the h2h against Nadal. And on Murray’s injury I will offer this: apart from the possibility that his real ‘injuries’ are psychological – he is a choker – I think the extraordinary propensity these days for injuries amongst the chief ‘rabbits’ on the tour – Murray, Nadal, Djokovic included, Simon, Ferrero etc – could easily be the by-product of doping: it enables an intensely physical game way beyond the normal human capacity for effort and endurance – muscles, tendons and joints weren’t built to be used that way. Roger, on the other hand, gets very few injuries. Of course, to the true believers I offer this without a ‘shred of evidence’. The earth still remains flat.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Neil. Roger does get some injuries but he just doesn’t use it as an excuse. If he is out there then he gives it his all whether injured or not.

    [Reply]

  2. Ru-an,

    “But either way I do think Roger had a role in this defeat of Murray.”: exactly the same thoughts ran through my mind while watching the match. When Murray DECIDED TO rebut instead of ignoring Fed’s comment, I knew that “choke” is on the way; Fed was really getting under his skin. I have never seen any other top 10 player with such an attitude: always making faces and cursing himself (who knows, may be the opponent as well!) whenever something does not go his way during a match. He looks more like the member of a Shakespearean drama company than a tennis player when he is in the “choking” zone.
    On the Fedal match: in my opinion Fish could not get past Nadal because his inability to pounce on those short balls offered by Nadal, more so, because most of them came when he was up break points. I am sure this won’t be the case with Fed and his first strike tennis will prevail eventually. If he could maintain his concentration level, I also expect him to finish the job in straight sets.

    GO ROGER GO!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah Jiten it works like clockwork with Murray. Roger sets the trap and Murray jumps right in. I never get tired of it.

    [Reply]

  3. Every Federer/Nadal encounter brings something new (at least from Federer’s side). This one isn’t a final, but it has its own interesting dynamic.

    Last year Federer could go all-out against Nadal, because he didn’t have to keep anything in reserve for the next match.

    This year he must defeat Nadal while also keeping enough in the tank for three more matches (one of which may be another Nadal encounter), which poses an interesting challenge in its own right, given the difficulties Nadal usually presents.

    OTOH, Nadal will likely not be quite as sharp in the round robin as he’d be in the semis/final, though he’ll certainly be stronger than he was against Fish.

    As Jiten said, it’s important that Federer keep a clear head and win in straight sets to conserve his strength. I think he can do it.

    Federer was dead-on when he predicted that this YEC would be very open.

    Last year he swept the round-robin in straight sets. This year he lost a set in his first match and must play his great rival in the round-robin stage. If he qualifies for the knockout round, it will be a lot closer than last year.

    Djokovic also had a scare. Had he lost today, his chances of making the knockout stage would be in jeopardy. But unlike Murray, he fights hard when the chips are down.

    He will surely improve in the next match and be eager to down Ferrer in straights to ensure he moves on.

    As for poor “Andyyyyyyyy…”, you’ve pretty much laid it all out. Murray’s forehand isn’t his problem, it’s what’s going on upstairs.

    Berdych will smell his chance to blow Murray away and build a 4-1 record over the Scot; he always likes to get easy wins over top players when he can.

    The Slovakian Dominik Hrbaty (who has the distinction of a winning record over both Federer and Nadal) once assessed Murray thus:

    “I don’t think now is the era of tennis that you can use the tricks to win the grand slam. You can win maybe the small tournaments, but grand slams, where the guys always play the best, it doesn’t count.”

    I think he’s pretty much summed it up.

    [Reply]

  4. Great news about Murray, after having a Big mouth
    Murray fails to deliver. Guess Ferrer´s racquet did the talking…is Roger under Murray´s skin?
    Please Roger remember you are ROGER FEDERER and give your fans another win.Go ROGER!!!

    [Reply]

  5. I am new here, though I’ve been a lurker for a while. Love your blog, Ruan. During tournament Fed plays, I come by here everyday.
    Injured during practice, that’s a funny one. That’s an insult to the tournament, a tournament for the absolute elite of the sport. And Murray shows up claiming an injury incurred during practice. I think now that he’s squandered his easy draw, he’ll most probably withdraw. The first match is very important in this RR format, and he’s given Ferrer not Berdych. I don’t see he’ll man up to play Berdych and Djokvic.
    To my mind the Fedal match tonight is very important, the loser will most probably go on to face Djokvic in the semi.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Kit, nice to have you here.

    [Reply]

  6. If I was Andy Murrays coach, I would give him some very simple advice. I’d tell him, “Andy, you’re 24 years old,,,,,grow up and act like ya got a pair.”

    [Reply]

  7. LOL LOL LOL Ru-an, you are SO funny! You gave me fits!! Moment of truth in less than 10 hours folks!! Common Roger! You can do it, YES, you can!!!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Lol thanks.

    [Reply]

  8. Allez, Roger not only a goot tactian on-court but off-court too. Today’s blog title is really funny and accurately true as well. Roger ‘help’ Ferrer getting his first win over Mugray. Lord Farq needs buy Roger a bottle a champagne for this.

    [Reply]

  9. I was taken back by your heading alright and as far as Murray? I shake my head. The guy wants to be with the big boys but seems to pull back at the last sec…nerves? lack of confidence?…..???????
    It’s a shame if he’s pulling these tricks and really isn’t injured as it does his psyche great harm in the long run.

    Go Roger!!!!!

    [Reply]

  10. http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/22112011/58/atp-world-tour-finals-injured-murray-pulls-tour-finals.html

    Murray has withdrawn, listen the fued between Murray and Fed for a casual is entertaining. The shame is, Murray has had injuries since his winning run in Asia, I watched the match from the start Murray did not look like his old self. I do not believe he is faking an injury, he is nowhere near an Oscar winner compared to Nadal eg French Open Final, interrupting Fed when he was leading 1st set & Wimby against Del Potro before the tiebreak they had. Nadal is comfortable in spotlight/media, Murray is not that comfortable so if anyone is going to fake injuries it would be Nadal not Murray. Back to main point, the shame is if Murray was fit, a Murray-Fed Semi or Final would have been great to watch. Since we all know Murray is a top indoor hardcourt player, who would not to lose to Ferrer when fit.

    [Reply]

  11. Tsonga beating Fish (in straight sets) made the next round much more interesting. As I said in a previous post, it was a good draw for Federer to meet Tsonga in the 1st match. Especially now that Tsonga is going to fight in the 3rd round, Nadal may be in trouble if he loses to Federer. And of course Federer gets Fish with no real reason to fight to the death. It looks good and it will be even better with a win against Nadal.

    And of the ‘war of words’, it’s pretty funny when it is summed up:
    http://www.dropshotdispatch.com/2011/11/20/top-10-roger-federer-verbal-jabs-at-andy-murray/

    [Reply]

  12. Isn’t it strange that Murray knew about his injury for a few days yet he still decided to reply to Fed’s comments and say that he’ll let the tennis do the talking? A lot of arrogance that is to me.

    [Reply]

  13. I am loving this!!!!

    Up a set and two breaks. Bagel? Please God. Have to say I think Djokovic has softened Nadal up quite a bit. He doesn’t seem very ferocious anymore. Or maybe his movement has slowed due to all that doping.

    [Reply]

  14. My oh my, what a performance by Roger!!!! Breathtaking!!! I haven’t slept all night just to wait for this match but it is truly worth it. Happy days ahead.

    [Reply]

  15. Congrats to the Maestro! Target practice tonight.

    One small word of caution, though: Super Nadal clearly wasn’t in the house tonight, but he will show up by the semis. If it’s a Federer/Nadal final our man will once again be up against the Beast, and he’ll have to raise his game again to win.

    Great day’s work, though: snaps a three-match losing streak against Nadal, hands him a bagel on indoor hard courts. Allowing Nadal only three games is a ridiculously dominant performance anywhere.

    Now he’s in the semis, regardless of the result against Fish.

    [Reply]

  16. Hey, Ruan!

    It was a very fun and exciting match against Nadal today. Congratulations to all Fed-fans indeed, this was a victory to be truly celebrated! The Swedish commentator here just said it was “a masterful exhibition” of tennis and not just beating Nadal but “outclassing him”- all true of course. Always love visiting your blog for fan reactions after an RF match. Thanks :D

    [Reply]

  17. As Fed-Fans we deserve such a win. Did Nadal play badly? 7 unforced error? That’s his standard, not bad. Federer was just firing all strokes. Backhand, Forehand, Service! Just incredible. Nadal’s only tactic to break down Fed’s backhand did not work. I love it.

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *