The round robin play in London is two-thirds of the way complete… and what have we learned so far? To be honest it is much of the same.
Roger Federer continues to play top notch tennis. He dismantled Andy Murray yesterday 6-4, 6-2 in front of Murray’s own crowd. This result reinforces we we already knew about both players. Federer plays big in the biggest moments, whereas Murray cannot rise to the occasion when it matters most. Sure Murray has a winning head-to-head record against Federer (8-5), but in addition to this most recent match, he also came up rather short in the 2008 US Open final and 2010 Australian Open final. I still have faith that Murry will win that big title someday… maybe it will be a day he doesn’t have to play Federer, or a day that Federer doesn’t bring his best (unlikely on both).
Another trending result, Andy Roddick loses his first two matches in London. He fell to Nadal in three sets on Monday, and today lost in straight sets to Thomas Berdych (aka Birdman). I will Roddick a slight nod because he had chances in both matches. He lost the 2nd set tiebreaker to Nadal that would have won him the match, and today he squandered two set points to Birdman in the first set. Honestly Roddick has not looked right since the spring season when he had great results in Indian Wells and Miami. Part of me gives Roddick a pass for most of this season, considering he had a battle with mono in the summer. Since then he hasn’t played with the confidence he needs to win big matches. Roddick is a true confidence player, and when he has it, he is ripping serves and forehands all the way through tournaments. Maybe he will show up with that fire in Australia.
Lastly, Rafael Nadal is 2-0 so far in London, with a convincing win over Djokovic today. If you ask me, Rafa has been playing his way into this tournament as it goes along. Expect him to continue to play better each match. The question will be whether or not he can get back to his highest gear in order to take down the likes of Federer and win the ATP Tour Finals. Everyone is hoping for a Nadal vs Federer showdown to end the year, and I definitely wouldn’t mind either.
More good match-ups ahead, including Federer vs Soderling and Roddick vs Djokovic… stay tuned as things continue to heat up.