Masters Cup RR: Ferrer Stuns Djokovic 6-3, 6-1, Berdych Escapes Tipsarevic

Well what an unexpected result we had today. Who would have ever expected Ferrer to beat Djokovic, never mind 6-3, 6-1. I missed both matches today so I can’t really understand how Djokovic could lose that badly. All that I can gather is that he made loads of unforced errors, a total of 33. He must have been really off his game. I mean it’s not like Ferrer can dominate him with attacking tennis. Apparently Ferrer served well, he struck his forehand well, and his defense was top notch. Still a very surprising result. But it goes to show that Djokovic really is struggling still, and that his grinding game style is costing him big time towards the end of the season. I keep saying this but I think he should have skipped Paris and focused on London. It looks to me now like he can’t qualify in the top position of his group anymore, which means if he qualifies he will have to play Roger probably.

I wouldn’t mind that. With the form Roger is in I can’t see him losing to this Djokovic. That would give Roger his second win for the year over Djokovic. And it could be a trashing like we saw last year. But Roger could play Berdych too, or Ferrer for that matter. Whoever Roger plays in the semis I think he will be confident that he can win. But the amazing thing about group A is that Ferrer might well qualify on top of the group after being the whipping boy of his group last year. Today Berdych was lucky to win against the sub Tipsarevic 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(6). Tipsarevic had a match point in the tie break but steered a backhand volley wide which would have had Berdych in trouble. That all but ended Tipsarevic’s chances of making semis. Tomorrow we will find out who qualifies second in group B when Tsonga and Nadal faces off.

Tsonga can still qualify on top of group B if he beats Nadal in straights and Roger loses to Fish, but the chances of that happening is so minute that we can pretty much eliminate it. Roger will probably beat Fish in straight sets, and then the winner of Tsonga and Nadal will qualify in second place. It looks like the winner there will then face Ferrer in the semis. So we are probably looking at a Roger vs Djokovic/Berdych and Ferrer vs Tsonga/Nadal semi. It is tough to say who will qualify, but I wouldn’t mind if it is Roger vs Djokovic and Ferrer vs Nadal. That way Roger has a good chance of beating Djokovic and Nadal again. But I think there is a good chance Tsonga will beat Nadal, in which case Roger could face Tsonga for the third time in two weeks if they both make the final.

I would be surprised if Ferrer made the final. I’d rather it be Tsonga or Nadal so that at least we have an exciting final. If it is Roger against Ferrer in the final it will be a blow out. Another Fedal final is also a mouth watering prospect as Roger will have a great chance of making Nadal his indoor pigeon, but somehow I don’t think that final will happen. Tomorrow Roger is first up against Fish. Like I said, I think Roger gets this done in straight sets. He will be relaxed also knowing that he has already qualified and the match won’t take much of an emotional toll on him. The Tsonga/Nadal match in the evening session will be the really interesting one. Can Nadal bounce back after his humiliating defeat against the GOAT? That will be hard. But if anyone can do it it’s probably Nadal. Tsonga has a great chance though. Enjoy!

Roger Federer


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32 Comments

  1. Hi Ruan, i have watched all the matches this week and the only person playing well other then Roger in his Maestro mode is Ferrer. He is not the underdog this year but i think a contender. Murray is out with more ass problems, Novak doesn’t have the stamina to go the whole season, same with Nadal. Fish has an injury but has stated he’s not leaving. Berdych is sometimes good. He barely beat Tipsy today. I was rooting for tipsy because Berdych has been rude to Roger in the past and i never forget. Then Tsonga who is playing ok, maybe he will bring it tomorrow. I”m not counting David out, think it will be hard for him with Berdych not because of B’s game but his heigth. What is he 6’4″ or 6’6″? David is barely 5’9″ Anyway, can’t wait to watch Roger again tomorrow. Even if he walks over Fish it will be glorious to behold his shot making.

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    Muhammad Reply:

    I disliked berdych when he was interviewed on court after rafa thrashed him in wimby final 2010.He was asked about defeating roger in the quarters and the interviewer infact referred to it as a dream for berdych.Berdych in reply was quite cocky with his gross smile and said “well its not a dream,it happened actually”.I have disliked him from that day till now!

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    Susan Reply:

    Yes Muhammad, thats the remark i will never forget. He’s a cocky punk. Some of these guys beat Roger once or twice and they think they will be number one in a year. He will never be a number one or win much of anything.

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    booya719 Reply:

    I remember the quote to some extent. The lady asked him, “You beat Federer here on grass. That’s like mission impossible. How did you do it?”

    He said: “Well it’s not impossible because I just did it.”

    Possibly it was just a language barrier as to why he replied that way. “Mission impossible” is a figurative term in English which means a difficult task, but he took the word “impossible” literally. Sometimes you get strange replies from people who are unfamiliar with these types of English idioms and terms.

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  2. Djokovic was nothing but a flash in the pan. Knew he would fizzle out by the end of the year. What’s that line again? Form is temporary, Class is permanent.

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  3. Ru-an, thanks for this interim post in between Roger’s matches. Good take on the whole and I agree with most of your analysis and predictions.
    In fact the fitness/injury/fatique problems faced by the top three (and younger) players really serve to accentuate Roger’s achievements during his peak years.
    Besides, it put to rest who has the better year: Roger 2006 vs Djokovic 2011. Unless Djokovic pick up his form (and health) hereon and win the tournament, it’s a no contest in my eyes. Cheers.

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  4. Roger is first in group whether he wins or loses to Fish because whoever wins between Nadal and Tsonga will have 2-1 record, tied with Roger. And because Roger won against both Nadal and Tsonga, he will win the tie. He is first even if he loses 6-0, 6-0 to Fish.

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  5. It’s looking like we’ll have Djokovic vs Federer in the SF. It would be nice for Federer to beat Djokovic here but he has nothing to prove really. He’s already beaten Djokovic in grand slams and Masters 1000s more often than not, and Djokovic has not been the same since he injured his shoulder in the US Open final. I don’t see Djokovic winning a SF over Nadal or Tsonga either if that happens.
    I thought Djokovic could be the GOAT after this season but it’s clear that his consistency is not there to play at a high level for a full season. Djokovic’s 2011 season, in my opinion, is not as good as McEnroe’s 84, and Federer’s 04, 05, 06, and even Federer’s 07 season where he only won 8 titles in my view are all better than Djokovic’s 2011 at the moment. Djokovic won everything earlier this year by combining a style of play that encompasses Nadal’s defense with Federer’s offense but it was not a sustainable level of play for him. It took its toll on Djokovic. Nadal was right when he said Djokovic’s level would not last.

    GOAT’s don’t get injured for this long, and GOAT’s don’t withdraw or retire from tournaments so often. Djokovic quit in Cincy when he was behind and losing, quit the Davis Cup match vs Del Potro, showed up in Paris to collect his appearance money then quit when he got to Tsonga in the draw. Djokovic’s history of retirements throughout the years is definitely a knock against him and is a reason why I don’t respect him very much as a player. He can show up to tournaments for the appearance money but can’t play through them? If his injury is that bad that he hasn’t been able to play well for nearly 3 months then he should just take the necessary time to recover properly and come back when he’s ready. It took Del Potro a year to recover but he went about it the right way and I hold a lot of respect for Delpo as he tries to get back in form.

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  6. More “class” from Djokovic. Did you see the last point of the match? Djokovic sent the ball to the roof with no apparent reason. He just gave up. World #1, in his prime, couldn’t take it anymore. And Ferrer which is such a fighter and a classy guy gave Djokovic a look and gestured like saying “Are you serious? You’re giving up?”.
    And by the way, Ferrer played more or less the same number of matches this year as Djokovic. And you know Ferrer works hard in his matches. He didn’t play in grand slam finals but still, he doesn’t seem half as tired as Nadal and Djokovic after their long season.

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    booya719 Reply:

    Thanks for the insight. I never saw the match either, but I’m definitely not surprised. I can remember many, many times when Djokovic has given up and quit during match play. It would be fun to compile a list of all the times Djokovic gave up and retired. A few I remember offhand are:

    2006 French Open vs Nadal: Djokovic gave up and quit after he was down 2 sets to none.
    2007 Wimbledon vs Nadal: Djokovic gave up and quit due to fatigue with the match tied at a set a piece.
    2008 Monte Carlo vs Federer: Djokovic gave up and quit with a sore throat.
    2009 Australian Open vs Roddick: Djokovic had actually won the first set but gave up and quit because it was too hot.
    2010 Serbian Open vs Krajinovic: Djokovic gave up and quit with the flu I think or some other problem.
    2011 Cincinnati vs Murray: Djokovic gave up and quit from a losing position to deny Murray a proper victory.
    2011 Davis Cup vs Del Potro: Djokovic gave up and quit after losing the 1st set 7-6.

    Those are just a few I remember off hand. I know there are a lot more. I think this is a point against Djokovic’s GOAT status because he is too much of a quitter over the grand scheme of things. Even though he has had a tremendous season, his retirements still continue.

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  7. It seems Novak forgot his new “diet”.
    Advice:don´t judge the year before it is complete, don´t claim a player as GOAT based on one season.
    Roger´s words:”the mark of a Champion is what he has done over many many years, not just the last few months”.
    COME ON ROGER KEEP IT ROLLING!!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    GOAT? LOL! Anyone who proclaimed Djokovic the GOAT after this season is a clown.

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    ines Reply:

    I absolutely agree with you but you know that some people were comparing him with Roger´s best year.Roger is unique full of talent!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well he needs to win the WTF to be compared and there is only a remote chance of that happening now. And what do you mean by ‘some people’? You know i was comparing them in my posts.

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    ines Reply:

    I´ve never read here that Novak was the new GOAT, BUT IN OTHER SITES (TENNIS-X,
    Roger´s haters).Happy Roger won!!!

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  8. If Djokovic had been able to play at that level for the whole season and had kept winning, he could be considered as a candidate for the GOAT. If he would have won Cincinnati, won an Asian tournament, won Basel, won Paris, and then won the Tour Finals to finish with 14 titles or 15 titles, and in addition break McEnroe’s 82-3 record with a 9x-2 record, then for sure Djokovic could be considered GOAT. However, he has been finished since the US Open. His high level was not sustainable for a whole season…so really you can only judge him for 3/4 of a season.
    When Roger won for 4 straight years, he won almost everything from the start of the year in Doha right up until the Masters Cup, 4 years in a row. Therefore, in my books, Federer’s 04 to 07 are all better than Djokovic’s 11 because Federer played at a high level for the entire season and has never retired or quit during a match even once in his whole career.

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  9. Fed getting back to form and joko fall apart makes 2012 very interesting
    I don’t mind Roger meeting Joko in semis, beat Joko and Rafa back to back to win the title, will be like icing on the cake.
    Joko’s fall once again proves that no can match Fed in terms of consistency over a period time, Fed dominated of almost 3 yrs, but Rafa and Joko can hardly do it for 2 yrs

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    FeddyBear Reply:

    true.
    why “almost 3 yrs”? Fed dominated @ 04, 05, 06, 07. 4 years. each one with multiple GS titles and single digit no. of losses.

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  10. This Masters Cup is quickly turning to Roger’s tournament to lose. With Nole carrying fitness problems (and perhaps even not qualifying the group stage), Nadal’s game being unfit to the surface (and also perhaps even not qualifying the group stage) & Murray withdrawing, there are no real competition from the field. This way even if JesusFed does not show up, as long as it is not Federror, Roger’s chances look very nice.

    Maybe even Federror is allowed to show up if for just 1 set in between.

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    booya719 Reply:

    As it stands now we are looking at a Federer vs Tsonga final. This could be a tricky and dangerous match for Roger but he’s played Tsonga enough lately to know what to do. He’s played him 5 times I think already in just second half of the season I think. Wimbledon, Montreal, US Open, Paris, London, and then they could end up playing again in the London final. It’s getting to be a pretty good rivalry.

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  11. Djokovic has only a slim chance of making the semis. Doesn’t he have to more or less win in straights against Tipsarevic?

    Against Tsonga, Nadal will be physically stronger than in his match against Federer. He will be noticeably faster and hit harder.

    His mental state is another question. Last year he grew more confident by grinding through every match, but this year Federer dealt a serious blow to that confidence.

    Still, I wouldn’t pick against Nadal. And if he makes the final, Federer will have to play even better than he did in the round robin to turn aside the Beast.

    Having to beat Nadal twice to win one tournament is a novel experience for Federer, and it would be tough for him to come up with another such inspired performance, but I think he will be able to play well enough to win.

    This title is not going to be easy for Federer to win. Not that it ever is, but he was absolutely right to say it would be a very open tournament. Group A is in chaos after Murray’s withdrawal and Ferrer’s upsets. Group B has more or less gone according to expectations, but there’s a slim chance for Tsonga to upend the apple cart.

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    booya719 Reply:

    I really thought Nadal would find a way through Tsonga but it just wasn’t meant to be. Nadal just does not have the goods on this surface.

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  12. maybe somthng is wrong with me. you ppl seriously think Ferrer won today because he played good? well, thts not how i saw it. Djokovic clearly didnot want to win. i watched the first few games and knew he would hand the match to Ferrer. just so you know, i dnt like Djoko much. But i do know fo sure he didnot want to win last night! as to why, i have no idea, the reasons are many.

    as for the games today, hope Tsonga wins, truly. not sure i want to see another Fedal match ths year.

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    Susan Reply:

    Novak lost because he couldn’t win. Whatever the reason, health, his head being tired.If he could have won we would have. Nobody goes to the WTF and doesn’t want to win. If thats the case Novalk shouldn’t have gone. He may have showed up to get his award or more money just for showing up.

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  13. I watched the recorded Ferrer-Djokovic match and Ferrer really stayed with the rallies of Djokovic until Djokovic made errors. The win reminded me of the Masters Cup back in 2007,I think, when Ferrer was undefeated until he came across Federer in the final when he was blown up in three direct sets( it was then in best of three format).

    The word “GOAT”,to me , seems to be misused. If someone has a good season he cannot be considered the GOAT. Otherwise we should confer GOAT to McEnroe as of now since he had one season with 82-3 which is a record till now.

    Last year Djokovic started winning streak after DC and Federer has started winning after he played for Switzerland in Davis Cup. I expect him to continue winning a-la-Djokovic-at-the-beginning-of-2011.Let us keep fingers crossed.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Exactly mridul. How can you be considered GOAT for what you achieved over one season? That’s absurd. If a player wins every match he plays then Roger’s combination of 2004, 2006, and 2007 is still better.

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  14. To clarify:

    Roger has already won group B. There is a special rule in group B. If you deliver a B-agel you win group B.

    I think Ferrer will win group A. Ferrer played quite well yesterday. He served well. He just was too consistent from the baseline. He absolutly played at his limit. Djokovic couldn’t match his baseline play so he went for more and missed most of his shots. In rallies where Djokovic played defensivly he was outplayed by Ferrer. Ferrer is now 5:6 h2h against Djokovic. He also won against Murray and Nadal in his career. So I do not like all these comments also from TV reporters saying that Ferrer is a inferior player.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Are you sure? First time I hear of this rule.

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  15. Some further thoughts about the make-up of the semifinals.
    In group A Ferrer is already assured of occupying the top spot as he didn’t lose a set yet in this stage; Federer should normally be on top in group B; the fact is that he can only go down to second place if he loses to Mardy Fish in straight sets (which is very unlikely) and TSonga beats Nadal.
    For the second place in the groups, there is a lot more uncertainty of who will end up to be the lucky one.
    In group A Djokovic isn’t captain of his own soul anymore: he can only qualify for the semis if at the same time he is beating Tisparovic and Berdych is losing to Ferrer. In all the other possible scenarios Djokovic is out of the equation, and Berdych qualifies.
    Conclusion: in case Berdych beats Ferrer, we’ll have a Federer-Berdych semifinal, regardless of the result of the Djokovic vs Tipsarovic match.
    In group B the second place will go to Nadal if he beats Tsonga. In the opposite case, Tsonga can still occupy the top spot if and only if at the same time he beats Nadal in straight sets and Federer loses to Fish in straight sets.
    My take for the composition of the semis:
    Federer vs Berdych and Ferrer vs Tsonga

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I think if Ferrer loses in straights Berdych gets top spot cos he will have 5 sets and Ferrer only 4.

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  16. Nadal after his loss to Tsonga today:

    “But to compete I wasn’t in the right way. We can find excuses, we can find problems, but it’s not the moment to say that.”

    But he just said it. How about that Tsonga simply played better than him? The humble Spaniard always has something wrong with him when he loses. He should hook up with Serena.

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