Thursday, November 19, 2015

WTF Day 4: Murray Cuts Hair, Nadal Cuts Murray

Hey Y'all. Galileo here.

Well here we go again.

First of all, congratulations to the Czech Republic on winning the Fed Cup again. Russia blew it. With the players they have it really is unbelievable that they lost. Kvitova and Pliskova is a great combination, though. Pulling out the doubles win at the end was particularly impressive. When will Kvitova beat Sharapova? Congrats also to Safarova on winning the Fed Cup Heart award for her performance in the semi-finals.

Pierre Hughes Herbert looks and sounds like a model. Six foot on and stunning he is French to the core. His opponent Zimonjic could, at 39 years old, be his father. The 24 year old is just French enough. He doesn’t overdo it like Monfils. His net play can be a little sketchy at times, but the flair is fantastic. His lob on set point set up the winning smash. Another lob on match point caused a miscue from the Serb. He is swiftly becoming one of ATP BACKSPIN’s favourite players to watch. The French pair won the match 5-7, 6-3, 10-8. They are a win away from the semi-finals. If they can top their eight aces from this match they should be well on their way.

In the other match, Melo lost for the first time in two months and his partnership is now out of the running to be the top ranked pair in the world. The second seeds have been on fire. They were up 6-4, 3-1 in a blink. They held on for a solid 6-4, 7-6[3] win over the world’s best doubles player. They have been on fire the whole tournament and their partnership prowess was on display for all to see. They were aggressive and every volley was perfect. It was a big serving, hard-hitting match. Just five break points seen the whole match, and only two of those were taken. Though I think the sudden death deuces are not taken into consideration by the stats guys. The second seeds are turning into the heavy favourites here.

Now for tomorrow. Bolelli/Fognini are out and the 8th seeds have sealed the group victory. And that is why I am picking the 5th seeds to inexplicably pick up a win. It makes no sense and there is no logic behind it. And that is the logic. It would be so Fognini to win this match and I think it happens. The 5th seeds take the dead rubber and leave with something to cheer about. A big fat wad of cash. There is no way I can pick against the Bryans, slamless though they are. If I did Todd would have stern words for me. So they beat the 4th seeded Murray/Peers in three nervous sets to advance.

In the singles, Federer continues to roll. He dismissed Kei and moves forward to the semi-finals, neatly avoiding Nadal. Right now Federer doesn’t look like he's losing a set. If Kei can push him to a breaker I will be impressed. If the Japanese man wins he could still go through. Djokovic is going to sweep Berdych aside as if he were the Cavaliers and the Czech was the Celtics. Yes, BACKSPIN acknowledges the fact it is NBA season.

McEnroe/Fleming : NADAL D.MURRAY
...Remember those days from 2008-10 when every tournament the semi-finals would be Federer versus Djokovic and Nadal versus Murray? Nadal would never have any trouble dealing with Murray. Djokovic could cause Federer problems occasionally. Nadal would usually lose fewer games than Federer. The scoreline here of 6-4, 6-1 and Federer’s of 7-5, 6-2 is eerily similar to how it used to be. Wawrinka beating Ferrer 7-5, 6-2 is also strange. With the WT Finals field feeling a bit weaker and the ATP being disappointing, the year is finishing like a damp firework. With a phizzle, ftt. Anyway, Nadal looked back to his old self. He did sometimes run a little gingerly on the knees but his forehand was vintage Rafa. He was broken to open with but once he took a fairly competitive first set Murray crumbled. The Spaniard remained in command and looked like the player we know and love. He moves to 15-6 against the Scot. Murray gave himself a haircut in the middle of that match. Becker did it at Wimbledon on Centre Court apparently according to the commentator. BACKSPIN has been thinking he needs to get a haircut for ages.
...I spoiled the result for you all I’m afraid. Wawrinka did indeed dismiss Ferrer 7-5, 6-2 today. He and Murray will play to see who goes through behind Nadal. Ferrer is the first player to be eliminated from the tournament with another disappointing loss. Rafa has been dominant so far but Wawrinka has shown here he can beat Murray and his ever so slightly shorter hair. I believe the reason Nadal is through and Federer is not is because Berdych lost in three. That has been our only three-setter so far, much to the lamentation of many, myself included. Wawrinka takes second off Murray with a strong performance here. Though Wawrinka won, in an hour and a half if you were interested, Ferrer maintains a 7-6 head-to-head lead. Wawrinka has won the last four including this one. One of them was two years ago at this event in round robin play. This was their first and last meeting this season. If Wawrinka beats Murray he will give Federer the opportunity to take the world number two ranking back. Federer cannot afford to lose a match if he wants the number two ranking. The key stat here is that Ferrer hit 3 doubles and no aces but Wawrinka hit three aces and no doubles. Ferrer is normally a great returner but he won just 29 per cent of returns to Wawrinka’s 44 per cent. Ferrer has been poor and up next is big bad Rafa.

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

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