Giving tennis more than a shot

ATP World Tour Finals – I Blame The Shirt

This was a really easy joke to make, because I seriously don’t blame the shirt (still, what’s gotten into the Lotto people’s heads is beyond my comprehension). As a matter of fact, the decisive match between David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych left me with a big question: what the heck happened?

 

Oh, Lotto, what were you thinking? (Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

 

The answer to that, after a lengthy reflection, comes in two parts: first of all, Berdych played like a blessed soul in the third set, in which everything worked for him and with a consistency we hadn’t seen in him all week, nor during the first set and a half. Second, David Ferrer hit a brick wall, figuratively speaking. He who was so incredibly effective during the whole tournament and the first half of the match appeared suddenly to have lost all his energy after coming up a break for the second time in the second set.

 

Then all hell broke loose for the Spaniard, as heavens opened for the Czech. Berdych’s forehand seemed to have gotten back to what it should be, which is consistent, as his volleys became murderous. Brimming with confidence, he started to make Ferrer run for dear life from one side of the court to the other, often finishing with dead blows that left even Ferrer without a running answer… and an increasing amount of unforced errors. At the same time as his energy, David Ferrer’s improved serve (the wonderful article linked here is in Spanish, but worthy of reading, believe me!) completely left him, thus facilitating the task of his opponent.

 

Was Berdych feeling the urgency of booking his semi-final spot? Possibly. After all, his 3-6 7-5 6-1 win over Ferrer ensured him of a spot in tomorrow’s semi-finals. But it’s still pretty bizarre to have seen David Ferrer suddenly completely energy-less.

 

Tomas in, Nole out

Janko Tipsarevic, Novak Djokovic (Photo: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images)


Tomas Berdych’s win over David Ferrer also meant that Novak Djokovic, who had earlier lost to his countryman Janko Tipsarevic 6-3 3-6 3-6, is now on vacation, after an incredible 70-6 season, three Grand Slams and five Masters 1000. Completely spent physically, he couldn’t do anything more, but all the credit to Tipsarevic, who never gave up and relentlessly pushed his friend to the limit, earning himself a very nice win. And the genuine happiness on Djokovic’s face when he went to congratulate Tipsarevic was very nice to see.

 

Well-deserved vacations for Novak Djokovic, who can now rest up his bad shoulder and regain his energy, as he has a very tough year ahead of him and lots to defend. 

 

See ya, Nole! Congrats on the great season! (Photo: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Tomas Berdych, by defeating David Ferrer, also clinched the top of Group A and will face Group B’s runner-up, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, which should be a very interesting match, to which I am very hard-put to predict a winner.

 

As for David Ferrer, losing in that match today means that he will tomorrow face the Indoors King, Roger Federer, in semi-finals tomorrow, 16 hours after his match against Berdych. Roger Federer who has defeated him 11 times in as many meetings. As a Ferrer fan, I’m only hoping  that David will come into this match with all his energy and play of the first two and a half matches, in order to give us a great match and Federer a nice opposition. If Federer wins tomorrow, he will regain the no 3 spot in the world’s rankings.

 

It all starts at 12:15 PM local time (7:15 AM EST), with the first doubles semi-final, which, like the singles match that follows, has the feel of the final before the final, as Bob and Mike Bryan will face Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor. Then (not before 2PM local) Federer vs Ferrer. The night session, starting at 6:15PM local time (1:15 PM EST), features the second doubles semi-final, where Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes will face Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski, followed (not before 8PM local) by Berdych vs Tsonga.

 

Should be interesting, although it feels weird to have semi-finals, in singles, without the two best players in the world…

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