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Federer-Djokovic, Murray-Youzhny To Meet In Finals

Posted by gauloises1 on November 8, 2009

An excellent line-up for the finals at the end of two fun tournaments. Anyway, it’s to nobody’s surprise that Federer will be there; he survived a tough first-set challenge from friend and compatriot Marco Chiudinelli to come through in straights, 76(7) 63.

roger federer marco chiudinelli

It was a tougher road for Djokovic, who came through in what turned out to be a thriller against Radek Stepanek. Sadly I only saw the first set (rugby intervened) but the quality of play was brilliant, Steps edging it 7-4 in the tiebreak.

radek stepanek

Djokovic surrendered three match points in the second set, serving at 4-5, but rallied to save them all and break Stepanek’s serve for the set before racing away with the third, 62. Good on him for toughing it out (and points for having the lovely Jelena Ristic in attendance).

novak djokovic2

jelena ristic

Both Valencia semifinals went to three sets. I watched the very beginning of Davydenko-Youzhny, and thought Kolya was hitting the ball beautifully. I was surprised when I checked to see that Youzhny had taken the match 63 in the third, but then I don’t think there can be any question that Youzhny is just about the hottest player in the ATP at the moment. It’s great to see him somewhere near his best again.

nikolay davydenko

mikhail youzhny

I was very worried about Murray’s match against Verdasco, but thankfully, the Scot took it 63 in the third. I do think Murray was there for the taking; he was definitely unsure at the net and ripe to be hit off the court, something Verdasco should have excelled at. However, a plethora of often wild unforced errors hurt Verdasco; I don’t know whether the pressure of playing at home or of securing his WTF spot (all but guaranteed at this point, I should think) told at him, but he wasn’t mentally there, and in the end Murray was the more solid player in the big points. To, and let’s be honest here, my total delight.

fernando verdasco frustrated

andy murray

This will be Murray’s seventh final of the year (he’s won five of them). Not bad after a not inconsiderable layoff since the US Open ended in disappointment. C’mon Tim!

15 Responses to “Federer-Djokovic, Murray-Youzhny To Meet In Finals”

  1. Arun said

    Murray had to withdraw from the Dubai QF.
    If we neglect that he has reached at least the SF of every HC tournament he has played in 2009, except USO and AO.

    • AmyLu said

      I knew Murray had played incredibly well in hard court tournaments this year, but I didn’t realize he’d played that well.

      That’s a mind-boggling stat, much like this one to me: Nadal has reached the QFs or better of every tournament he’s played this year, except one — the French Open, the tournament where he’d previously been undefeated.

      • Arun said

        yeah. Murray has blazed through his quarter in every HC tournament. Even in AO, USO he was either sick or injured, though his opponents played well to beat him too.

        ok. Now, as a Fed fan, let me counter. 😀
        Fed too has reached at least the QF of every tournament he’s played this year, except Monte Carlo. In fact he has reached at least the SF of every tournament he’s played, except Montreal and Monte Carlo.

        • AmyLu said

          Oh, I wasn’t trying to do the stat as a “yeah, Rafa is great!” stat — just that for both Rafa and Andy, I never would have predicted the tournaments in which they’d have their “worst” losses (in terms of round) would be the French Open for Rafa and the two hard court slams for Andy. 🙂

          But, yes, the stats for Fed are impressive (and even more impressive when you consider the commentary that Fed’s career was over at the beginning of the year). And, to counter with the last member of the “big four” (which I think is more like a Big 5 now), I’m pretty sure Nole has the same stat line as Rafa (making the quarters or better of every tournament, except the French Open).

          All of which shows, I think, how strong the top of the ATP is.

          • Arun said

            omg. I was just kidding. 🙂

            I think Nole is doing well; better than many people give him the credit for. But I do agree with a poster in TW who seems to think he has compromised his explosive shot making for an even more emphasis on movement/defense which is hurting him a bit. or something like that.

            • AmyLu said

              Ha, sorry that was a complete mis-read on my part. Sometimes I miss kidding in written form. 🙂

              I would agree with that analysis of Nole — while I think Nole has done well, I still think the year is a bit of a disappointment, just in that I think he can play much better than he has for portions of this year. I think he’s also struggling a bit with his emotions, in that he’s trying to play without his fire and emotion (and worries too much about crowds).

              • Arun said

                Yeah. He seems to feel a lot of weight on his shoulders. But, as difficult as it is, the Basel final will be a good opportunity for him to hit out and play some free flowing tennis (like the Madrid final was for Fed) since all the eyes and expectations will be on the local boy. I hope I’m wrong.

  2. irefusetotellyou said

    Just watched all the above matches (or at least most of ’em) … Youzhny was a bit of a surprise, since Kolya looked so good in the 1st set, though he eventually unraveled.
    And I almost punched myself in the face 90000 times for every FH error Verdasco kept making … and making … and making. Frrrustratttingggg.

    Oh yeah, and Federer was Federer. I’m looking forward to his match-up with Djoko. (Pretty ambivilent about Youzhny/Murray, really.)

    • AmyLu said

      I’m just watching the Valencia semis now — we finally got a DVR, and I’m so excited because it’s going to make it much easier to catch up on matches I missed live. I’m really curious about the Youzhny/Kolya match because I assumed Kolya would win pretty easily. I do like the Youzhny resurgence, but I was really hoping Kolya could at least make it to the final (if not win it) to really help his WTF bid.

      I did watch Nole/Stepanek, and I thought the first two sets were really high quality (and Nicole’s disgust with some of Stepanek’s errors were too funny — way to be supportive, Nicole!)

      • irefusetotellyou said

        Hah — yeah, during the Kolya/Youzhny match they kept on showing Irina (sp?) (who looked fabulous, by the way), and the commentators kept on saying things like, “Well, that didn’t make the misses very happy” or “I think he’ll be sleeping on the couch tonight.”

        • AmyLu said

          Did you find the lighting in Valencia to be strange? I really think it’s bizarre how the court seems to be under a spotlight and behind the baseline is in the shadows (it’s not that disparate, but it does seem to be darker behind the baseline). I’m guessing the lighting is not so stark in contrast at the tournament itself, but I feel like it’s not the best lighting for TV purposes.

  3. irefusetotellyou said

    P.S: Did anyone see the beginning of the Valencia matches where the little kids walked out the players? Verdasco/kid and Murray/little girl were especially hilarious, as both pairs were holding hands … but Murray was holding her hand very gingerly, like she had the plague or something, and when she “dropped him off” at his seat he just let go and she ran away.

    Heh.

  4. Carrie/Cubbie said

    Yea! I am so happy for Misha that he is doing well. I hope he can carry it into next year. When he is on form he is one of my favorite players to watch. Not to mention that I find him incredibly sexually attractive in a Red Army type of way (the racket smash didn’t even diminish it much even)- my husband even noticed my face flushing when we were watching him in dubs in Toronto last year. hehe…

    I wish Nando could have pulled out the win- at times I think he cares too much. But good for Andy. I just am crossing my fingers that Nando gets to WTF because gosh darn I do like him.

  5. Isabelle said

    Interesting final in Basel. I hope Nole wins this one. But that’d be hard to do with Fed AND his home crowd.

  6. mrdarnley said

    Is that Nole’s bird? I hope Fed beats the socks off him.
    Sucks about the Kolya result. Regardless go Andy (ah don’t call him Tim). I was thinking – Andy played this week, he’s playing next week in Paris and then the next week in London, all while coming off an injury – is that too much? He must be determined not to drop to 5 and let Elf get to 4.

    And more from acheivement files – Nestor and Zimonjic won their 50th match of the season in Basel and Nestor is 37!

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