Monday, November 16, 2015

WTF Day 1: Dominance, Anyone?

Hey Y'all. Galileo here.

It’s been a long year, as has been written here a lot. Welcome to the Tour Finals. So ATP BACKSPIN will try to update every day. The doubles will be talked about here before the two matches are focused on. It’s simple, really. Shall we get started?

Before we do I just want to send out my condolences to the city of Paris. It makes me very sad to see a great city that I love on its knees.

Bopanna/Mergea have had a good year but not a stellar one. They snuck in the back door as the eighth seeds and were placed in the Ashe/Smith group. Playing the still-impressive Bryans they were surely out of their depth. The top seeds are 4-2 in their six finals at this event and are also defending champions. When they broke in the first set it looked as if the underdogs wouldn’t be around long. But they broke back, recovered and eventually took the set 6-4. In the next set they had momentum and belief. They broke once and held on until 5-3 where they took it on the sudden death deuce with a great passing shot winner. The underdogs had won, after going 5-2 on breaks against the top seeds.

In the first match, the forgotten Murray brother and Australian Peers took on fifth seeded Fognini/Bolelli. They are the first all-Italian pair in this era to win a slam. They backed up that Australian Open win with a semi at the French. Peers and Murray, of course, made back-to-back finals in London and New York. The fourth seeds won their first set of the tournament 7-6[5] but lost the second 6-3. It was a very entertaining match. Perhaps this is because Fognini’s crazy is mitigated a little by a partner and a bigger court to hit into. In the champion’s tiebreaker, the Italians were initially up with a mini-break but fell 11-9.

Now for tomorrow. Matkowski has a final here and Zimonjic has won it twice. The 7th seeds have split their two meetings with the 2nd seeds this year. Still, Roger/Tecau have been on form of late and I can’t really pick against the 2nd seeds so I’ll take them in a champions breaker. In the other match of the Fleming/McEnroe group the third seeds Dodig/Melo will take out 6th seeds Herbert/Mahut. They have the world number one. They should get it done in straights. Surely.

In the singles in the same group, Murray will beat Ferrer but Wawrinka should have Nadal. That is a real toss-up. However, I think Nadal will get it done. Something just says he will.

...Novak obliterated Nishikori. This was not just a win. This was a statement. Djokovic was supreme throughout and even finished the free lesson off by sweeping to the net and smoothly crunching a volley home. Nishikori won just 32 points in 14 games despite being healthy and not playing too badly. Djokovic was simply in no mood to hang around. He was in the mood to rip somebody apart. And that is what he did. He made the rest of the field sit up and take notice. Djokovic broke four times and never faced a break point himself. Throw in five aces and this was a perfect match. What else is there to add?
...Federer answered the Serb’s statement with one of his own. He beat Berdych down 6-4, 6-2. And that is almost as impressive as the dominant performance of the world’s best player. Almost. There is supposed to be a kind of parity at this event. That is a myth. The key to the Swiss man’s victory was the fact he won 48 per cent of return points. Berdych went 28 per cent. Federer broke the big server four times but did surrender his own serve once. Federer’s forehand was smooth and flowed beautifully throughout. Berdych was never at the races and this was over all too quickly. After day one there is little worth commenting on.

Please do go and visit WTA BACKSPIN . See you tomorrow!

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