|Posted on November 25, 2011 at 8:30 PM|
Barclays ATP World Tour Finals Friday Briefing
by Greg Sharko | 24.11.2011
DJOKOVIC & BERDYCH FIGHTING FOR LAST SEMI-FINAL SPOT
The last semi-finalist - Novak Djokovic or Tomas Berdych - will be determined on Friday, as the round robin portion of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals wraps up with Group A at the O2 in London.
The first match of the day features World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 9 Janko Tipsarevic. Tipsarevic got into the group as an alternate replacing an injured Andy Murray, and he nearly won his first match, getting to match point against Tomas Berdych - however he barely missed a backhand volley and ended up losing in a third set tie-break. Tipsarevic cannot qualify for the semi-finals, but in this match could have an effect on whether Djokovic will qualify (even if Djokovic defeats Tipsarevic in straight sets it is still possible Djokovic may not qualify, and the better Tipsarevic does in this match - wins a set, wins the match in three sets, wins the match in straight sets - the tougher it will be for Djokovic to qualify). Djokovic has won all three previous meetings with Tipsarevic, but Tipsarevic has taken a set in each of those matches. They have met once on each surface, all outdoors (grass, clay and hard). This is their first indoor meeting.
The evening match features No. 5 David Ferrer against No. 7 Tomas Berdych. Ferrer, who has already qualified for the semi-finals, is the only player not to lose a set this week and after overcoming negative head-to-heads against his first two opponents this week, Murray and Djokovic, he can come into this match with some extra confidence. The Spaniard is 5-2 lifetime against Berdych, winning their past four meetings (and winning both of their hard court meetings as well). This match will be the ultimate decider of who will become the last player to qualify for the semi-finals at the year-end finale:
- If Ferrer defeats Berdych, Djokovic will qualify.
- If Berdych defeats Ferrer and Djokovic loses (vs. Tipsarevic), Berdych will qualify.
- If Berdych defeats Ferrer and Djokovic defeats Tipsarevic, Berdych will qualify unless Djokovic won his match in straight sets and Berdych was pushed to three sets before winning (in which case Djokovic qualifies).
Ferrer’s 63 61 win over Djokovic on Wednesday not only qualified him for the semi-finals, it was the equal-most lopsided win over a No. 1 in 28 and a half years - in a completed match, and in terms of games lost (in March 1983, Ivan Lendl lost a match, 61 62 - since then, nine times have players lost only four games in beating a No. 1, Ferrer’s win over Djokovic being the ninth time since then it has happened).
FRIDAY SEMI-FINAL SCENARIOS
Here are the Group A qualification scenarios after the completion of the 2nd round of the event's group stage:
1) Regardless of score, if N. DJOKOVIC defeats J. TIPSAREVIC and D. FERRER defeats T. BERDYCH, then D. FERRER wins the group and N. DJOKOVIC qualifies 2nd.
2) Regardless of score, if J. TIPSAREVIC defeats N. DJOKOVIC and D. FERRER defeats T. BERDYCH, then D. FERRER wins the group and N. DJOKOVIC qualifies 2nd.
3) Regardless of score, if J. TIPSAREVIC defeats N. DJOKOVIC and T. BERDYCH defeats D. FERRER, then T. BERDYCH wins the group and D. FERRER qualifies 2nd.
4) If N. DJOKOVIC defeats J. TIPSAREVIC in 2 sets and T. BERDYCH defeats D. FERRER in 2 sets, then D. FERRER wins the group and T. BERDYCH qualifies 2nd.
5) If N. DJOKOVIC defeats J. TIPSAREVIC in 2 sets and T. BERDYCH defeats D. FERRER in 3 sets, then D. FERRER wins the group and N. DJOKOVIC qualifies 2nd.
6) If N. DJOKOVIC defeats J. TIPSAREVIC in 3 sets and T. BERDYCH defeats D. FERRER in 2 sets, then D. FERRER wins the group and T. BERDYCH qualifies 2nd.
7) If N. DJOKOVIC defeats J. TIPSAREVIC in 3 sets and T. BERDYCH defeats D. FERRER in 3 sets, then D. FERRER wins the group and T. BERDYCH qualifies 2nd.
HEAD TO HEAD
(5) David Ferrer (ESP) vs (7) Tomas Berdych (CZE) Ferrer Leads 5-2 (2-0 hard)
2004 Gstaad (Switzerland) Clay R32 David Ferrer 2-6 6-3 6-4
2004 Palermo (Italy) Clay SF Tomas Berdych 7-5 6-4
2005 ATP Masters Series Hamburg Clay R64 Tomas Berdych 6-2 2-6 6-3
2006 Stuttgart (Germany) Clay SF David Ferrer 6-3 7-5
2007 ATP World Team Chp. (Germany)Clay RR David Ferrer 6-1 6-3
2007 ATP Masters 1000 Paris (France)Hard R16 David Ferrer 6-4 6-2
2010 Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) Hard QF David Ferrer 4-6 7-5 6-4
W (1): Beijing (d Cilic); SF (7): Chennai (l Wawrinka); Dubai (l Djokovic); Nice (l Almagro); Halle (l Petzschner); Bastad (l Soderling); ATP Masters 1000 Cincinnati (l Djokovic); ATP Masters 1000 Paris (l Federer); QF (7): Aust. Open (l Djokovic); Rotterdam (W/O vs Tsonga); Marseille (l Cilic); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami (l Nadal); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid (l Bellucci); ATP Masters 1000 Rome (l Gasquet); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Montreal (l Tipsarevic)
YTD W-L: 52-21 (36-13 on hard, 8-4 indoor, 16-7 in Tie-breaks, 5-7 vs. Top 10)
YTD Titles: 1/Career Titles: 6
Date of Birth: September 17, 1985
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 7
• The 26-year-old Czech Republic native is 1-1 this week, with both matches decided in a third set tie-break…On Wednesday, saved one match point and defeated alternate Tipsarevic 26 63 76(6)…Was 1-4 vs.Tipsarevic…On Monday, fell to No. 1 Djokovic 36 63 76(3) after holding a match point…Also led 4-2 in final set (now 0-8 on hard vs. Djokovic)
• Went 1-2 last year, losing to Djokovic, defeating Roddick and falling to Nadal in RR play
2011 in Review:
• The top player from the Czech Republic has won a personal-high 52 matches…He is first
player from his country to finish in Top 10 back-to-back seasons since Petr Korda in 1991-92
• Last month captured his sixth career ATP World Tour title in Beijing (d. Cilic), his first title since Munich in May 2009…Has a 6-6 career mark in finals
• Advanced to seven SFs, four on hard courts – Chennai in January, Dubai in late February and ATP Masters 1000 Cincinnati in August (ret. vs. Djokovic due to shoulder injury), and ATP Masters 1000 Paris (l. to Federer) along withh seven QFs, including Australian Open for first time (l. to Djokovic)
• Overall he reached QFs or better in 15 of 22 tournaments and lost in 1st Rd. only twice during year, at Roland Garros (lost to Stephane Robert 9-7 in fifth set) and in Basel (l. to Nishikori in three sets)
• In ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events, played in all nine tournaments and compiled a 19-9 mark, with SF in Cincinnati and Paris and QFs in Miami, Madrid, Rome and Montreal
• In other Grand Slam tournaments, reached 4th Rd. at Wimbledon (l. to Fish) and 3rd Rd. at US Open (ret. vs. Tipsarevic due to shoulder)…Enters 2012 having played in 33 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments since ’03 US Open
W (2): Auckland (d Nalbandian); Acapulco (d Almagro); F (4): ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte Carlo (l Nadal); Barcelona (l Nadal); Bastad (l Soderling); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Shanghai (l Murray); SF (3): Australian Open (l Murray); Tokyo (l Murray); Valencia (l Monaco); QF (4): ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami (l Fish); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid (l Djokovic); Nice (l Dolgopolov); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Paris (l Isner)
YTD W-L: 58-17 (32-10 on hard, 9-3 indoor, 12-9 in Tie-breaks, 7-8 vs. Top 10)
YTD Titles: 2/Career Titles: 11
Date of Birth: April 2, 1982
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 5
• The 29-year-old Spaniard has clinched a spot in the semi-finals with a pair of straight-set wins this week…On Wednesday, he defeated No. 1 Djokovic 63 61 (was 1-5 on hard courts coming in and scored third career win over a No. 1)…On Monday, he opened with a 64 75 win over No. 3 Murray (was 0-5 on hard courts coming in)
• He is making his third appearance in the year-end championship (6-4 mark); reached final in 2007 (went 3-0 in RR with wins over No. 3 Djokovic, No. 2 Nadal and No. 8 Gasquet, then d. No. 5 Roddick in SF; l. to Federer in final); last year went 0-3, losing to Federer, Soderling and Murray, all in straight sets
2011 in Review:
• The No. 2 Spaniard (behind No. 2 Nadal) has already qualified for his 10th semi-final (or better) this season…He’s reached a career-high six ATP World Tour finals, winning titles in Auckland (d. Nalbandian) in January and Acapulco (d. Almagro) in late February…Jumped off to 14-2 start in first two months
• Runner-up in two ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events, Monte Carlo (l. to Nadal) in April and Shanghai (l. to Murray) in October…Also a finalist in Barcelona (l. to Nadal) and Bastad (l. to No. 5 Soderling) in July, both on clay
• Won 50-plus matches for third time in his career with 58 (61 in 2007, 60 last year)
• In January, he reached his second career Grand Slam SF (’07 US Open) at Australian Open, defeating No. 1 Nadal in QFs before losing to Murray
• In other three Grand Slam tournaments, reached 4th Rd., at Roland Garros (l. to Monfils in five sets), Wimbledon (l. to Tsonga) and US Open (l. to Roddick)
• Helped his native country to Davis Cup final (vs. Argentina) by posting a 3-0 record this year in wins over U.S. in Austin, Texas, defeating Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish, and over France’s Gilles Simon on Sept. 16 in SF tie
• In final two weeks, reached SFs in Valencia (l. to Monaco) and QFs at ATP Masters 1000 Paris (l. to Isner)
• One of seven Spaniards to win an ATP World Tour title this season (Almagro-3, Nadal-3, Ferrer-2, Granollers-2, Andujar-1, Ferrero-1, Robredo-1)…Spain is 13-20 in finals this season