Thursday , May 6 2021

Novak Djokovic v Roger Federer: ATP Finals – live! – The Guardian, Google News


“Roger is Roger, but at the same time Novak is Novak,”says Daniella Hantuchova with tautology that would grace the Wire. She, and Rusedski, feel that the crowd should show the latter more respect.

Annabel Croft says she feels sorry for Djokovic,whose double faults were being cheered by the crowd. He is human and he needs to be loved, basically.

Federer won 81% of points on his first serve.That is not bad, and the cornerstone of a performance that was pretty much perfect. It’s fair to say that Djokovic was off, but he was knocked off right from the start.

Federer says it’s incredibly special.“I enjoyed it,” he deadpans. “Magical, you guys are super-special, I can’t thank you enough.” What did he do different today, that he didn’t do at Wimbledon? “I won the matchpoint,” he joshes. He says it was an honor to play that final though, and that he played a great tournament to beat Nishikori and Nadal. He then says it’s hard to play your best in the groups and compliments Thiem. “It was a great performance tonight from me,” he says, the kind of line that sounds ludicrous from almost anyone but him. He’s looking forward to the weekend, enjoying the city and the food – the food in London? Do me a lemon – and that’s about it from him.

Roger Federer beats Noval Djokovic 6-4 6- 3, and goes through to the semi-finals! Djokovic goes out and cannot now finish the year as world number 1!

* Djokovic 4-6 3-6 FedererFederer races to 0 – 30, and then when he balloons a forehand, so does Djokovic, only super-long! And what a return Federer produces, backhand, down to the ankles as Djokovic comes in! WHAT A PERFORMANCE FROM THE GREATEST! WHAT A PHENOMENAL HUMAN BEING! WE ARE PRIVILEGED TO BE LIVING HIS TIME! _______________ I AM SPEECHLESS!

Djokovic 4-6 3-5 Federer *“ Super uncomfortable evening for Djokovic ”we’re told; when did “super” replace “very” as an intensifier? Recently someone described someone else to me as “super not academic”, unaware of the hypocrisy such phrasing revealed. Anyway, Federer is super not playing badly, and it’s 5-3 in a trice. Djokovic will serve to stay in the tournament, and to save his chances of finishing the year as world number 1.

* Djokovic 4-6 3-4 FedererA careless backhand from Djokovic – what a sentence that it to type – hands Federer 15 – all. But it’s quickly 30 – 15, and a luscious drop raises game point, quickly taken.

Djokovic 4-6 2-4 Federer *Federer is just not donating Djokovic a sniff. But then at 40 – 15, a couple of loopy forehands off not the middle allow a winner … so Federer finds yet another first serve-forehand combo move, and he’s two games away.

“People have been suggesting that Federer might be past it for years,” says Matt Dony, “and he just keeps laughing and hitting beautiful shots. The man is two weeks older than me, and I’m pretty certain I’ve been past it since about 2003. I’d say he’s a machine, but he’s just too darn elegant and creative to be reduced to mechanical metaphors. (And I’m starting to think I might have left it a bit late for a tilt at Wimbledon.) ”

I feel you. I’m ages, more or less, with Rio Ferdinand, and I remember saying he was past it then remembering that I was at my unchanging peak. My knee hurts when I sit at my desk for too long, but otherwise I’m absolutely good to go.

* Djokovic 4-6 2-3 FedererFederer is winning almost all the short points and Djokovic is winning most of the long ones, but currently there are way more of the former. And all of a sudden, just as Djokovic was scratching his way into the match, Federer has 0 – 40! Djokovic saves the first break point with a backhand winner, but then goes long with a forehand and this is nearly over! The way Federer is serving and the way Djokovic is returning, not a chance he breaks back … except this isNovak Djokovicwe’re talking about and he can do anything.

Djokovic 4-6 2-2 Federer *And he we go, Djokovic finding his way to 0 – 15 … a situation that Federer quickly resolves. On average, points on his service are lasting two shots. Absolute joker. Then at 15 – 30, Djokovic goes long with a return – that’s a missed opportunity, but evidence Federer is cooling slightly – and a forehand into the corner gives him a first break point of the match! Naturally, Federer thunders down a serve that looks like an ace, but Djokovic challenges and it’s wide, by a breath – but it’s extremely whatever because Federer then cleans up.

* Djokovic 4-6 2-1 FedererJust when it looks like Djokovic is breezing through a much-needed easy hold, Federer flips a backhand past him for 40 – 30. But Djokovic strong stands, to win the next point; he’ll know that he’s hanging in there now, especially with that elbow situation – it’s giving him gyp – but if he can hold his serve, he’ll fancy a point here or there when he needs it most.

Djokovic 4-6 1-1 Federer *We see a map of Federer’s serves and it’s ridiculous, so many of them on the lines. Meanwhile, after a murderous forehand gives him 15 – 0, Djokovic clutches his elbow, but takes succour from … are you sitting down … a Federer double fault! I know! But he responds with a lovely wrongfooting forehand, cross-court from the backhand corner … but they wind up at deuce. What price that hold in the previous game now! Er, 0p. Federer quickly closes out.

* Djokovic 4-6 1-0 FedererDjokovic just could not get going in that first set. Federer put him under right from the start and played beautifully all the way through, but it’s the quality of serving that must’ve been most dispiriting for his opponent. And here we go again, Federer nailing a second serve down the line at 15 – 0 before earning 15 – 30 … and a forehand into the bootlaces forces Djokovic to net! Two break points, and might this be that? A wild forehand from Federer saves the first, and then a nondescript approach allows Djokovic to go cross-court. But at advantage, Djokovic makes another uncharacteristic error, before a pause for a clown wearing a bobble hat indoors to put his camera away. Djokovic cleans up thereafter, and I wonder if we’ll look back at that as the key hold of the match.

Roger Federer takes the first set, 6-4

Djokovic 4-6 Federer *Off we go. A service winner gives Federer 15 – 0 and a forehand, whipped cross-court, confirms Federer’s status as the foremost geometrist of the age. Another booming serve follows – this is poetry – and an ace wraps it up. IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO SERVE BETTER THAN THIS, AGAINST THE GREATEST RETURNER IN THE GAME!

* Djokovic 4-5 FedererFederer is a joke . A big forehand gets him 0 – 15 and then a wild one from Djokovic puts him two points away from the set; he’s seeing it, and even if Djokovic hauls him back, he’ll know that a break just is not on the agenda the way they’re both playing. He does haul him back – Federer plays an ill-advised drop not for the first time, a tactic he should drop because Djokovic is doing well at the net – and two points later, the game is did. After a quick relax, Federer will serve for this first set.

Djokovic 3-5 Federer *Djokovic has done nothing on the Federer serve yet so far, and he can’t do anything here either, an ace down the middle making it 40 – 0. This is really brilliant from yerman, another pearler of a second, out wide again, too good for yerotherman, who’ll now serve to stay in the set.

* Djokovic 3-4 FedererA fine forehand return from Federer gives him 30 – 15, and then another forehand, somehow down the line but hit from the middle of the court, gives him a sniff. He then comes in following a second serve – Djokovic has been so good in that department lately, but it’s not working for him tonight – but a pass sets up game point, and a big first one clinches it.

Djokovic 2-4 Federer *Federer gets to 30 – 0 making it 12 out of 13 first serves made, and an ace makes it 40 – 0. Not bad. And have a look! A second serve, Edberg-style, kicking onto the sideline for an ace! I say!

* Djokovic 2-3 FedererDjokovic needed that. He ends up holding to 30, but that was a much more authoritative game for him, and finished with him having the better of a net confrontation.

Updated

Djokovic 1-3 Federer *I do feel like we’ve seen this before: Federer starts well but can’t sustain his level, especially with Djokovic wearing him down. And here we go, Djokovic crashing a forehand winner cross-court to open the game. Then, at 15 – all, he runs down a drop to spirit a winner cross-court, but Federer is having none of him and resolves the game from there.

* Djokovic 1-2 FedererDjokovic begins with a double, then sends down another fault immediately afterwards … and another! That second one, down the middle, missed by an aeon! Federer then makes himself a chance with a backhand slice, which he nails with a forehand down the line! The best rally of the match follows, Djokovic dictating, but then Federer finds a backhand down the line! These two are so so good, and watching them play is ridiculously moving.

Djokovic 1-1 Federer *That was a decent start for Federer; or, alternatively, that was his chance and he missed it. We shall see. We’ve started seeing. Federer rushes through the game to 15, and that was something of a statement.

Updated (at 3.) PM EST

* Djokovic 1-0 FedererDjokovic serves to Federer’s forehand and the return – a free one really – goes wide. We get a rally next though, and it’s even until Djokovic swipes a backhand cross-court – his consistency is something else. But he then comes in and isn’t definitive enough with his volley before making it 40 – 15 and serving a double; now then. Federer comes in himself and Djokovic can’t pass, then Djokovic goes long with an awkward forehand off the baseline; deuce. But from there he quickly serves out.

“There have been 66 majors since and including Wimbledon 2003, ”tweets Brand King. “Of those 66, Fed, Rafa and Novak account for 55 titles, with only seven other players breaking through. That’s 8448 entries into the main draw & only ten different champions. The elite breathe rarefied air. ”

I’m not sure sport has seen anything like it, never mind tennis.

Djokovic to serve, and …PLAY.

Harry Kane has put England 2-0 up.They need a point to seal qualification for the Euros.

The O2 is terrible for music – Leonard Cohen aside – but it’s absolutely great for tennis.And actually, it’s especially good in the nosebleeds, where you get a much better idea of ​​how hard the players hit the ball and when they really open their shoulders to put a bit more in.

Here they come!

Goran Ivanisevic says that Djokovic is feeling good,and that Federer will be thinking about the matchpoints he missed. Djokovic needs to be more attacking than he was against Thiem. He’s told that the court is quick, and asked who that favors – Federer, basically – but he says it’s the court, the balls are just flying about and hard to control.

Elsewhere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has put England ahead against Montenegro.You can follow that with Paul Doyle.

Djokovic needs to win here to end the year as world number 1.I’m sure he fancies that, but I’d be astonished if it inspired nerves so intense they hindered his performance tonight.

In the box, they can’t see a way for Federer.I wouldn’t quite go that far – if he can work his approaches, get to the net, and put Djokovic under, he’s got a chance. But that’s about the size of it.

Rusedski points out that Thiem hit 51 winners to beat Djokovic,otherwise known as the Stan method. I guess it tells us that he still doesn’t think he can outplay Djokovic, so he went for broke and hit the seam. It’s hard to pull that off more than once in a year, never mind more than once in a tournament. I think I’ve just talked myself into backing Djokovic to lift the trophy on Sunday.

Breaking:Tim has informed us that the winner is into the semis and the loser is going home. More news as I get it.

Updated

Even thinking about this has put me in a fair old spin.How can we make sense of the world?

On this topic,Tumaini Carayol, now of thiskehilaparish , has some thoughts on the subject.

Tumaini Carayol(@ tumcarayol)

Men’s tennis has been dominated, defined and driven by three players for 15 years. Women’s tennis has only one legacy star left at the top of the game. How will their departures affect tennis?@ ringerhttps://t.co/fnOSv9ZzsX

September 5, 2019

I know that comparison is the death of beauty and all that, but how are we ranking them?I’d go Federer first I suppose, but is that an aesthetic call? Did Nadal have his number when both were at their best? is Djokovic less beatable when facing another top player playing well?

I say all of this, but really, what am I chatting about?Anyone who can conceive of anything without Federer, Nadal and Djokovic is a fabulist.

Ooonnnnn the other hand,Thiem has since been beaten by Berretini, Zverev then lost to Tsitsipas, and Nadal did eventually get by Medvedev. But it’s a start, because the issue isn’t yet one of consistency, rather ability: they have to beat the best before they can beat the best repeatedly. Of course, none of it will really mean anything until someone wins a Slam – now that you ask, I think Medvedev and Tsitsipas will, Thiem will in Paris if Nadal quits while he’s still good and fit, and Zverev won’t because his volleying and reliability will never quite get there. I might be wrong.

Preamble

Well!Is the playing field finally level? These two meet tonight having both lost to Dominic Thiem, while Rafael Nadal was beaten by Alex Zverev then only just sneaked by Daniil Medved ev. It’s taken years and skipped a generation – we’ve seen the false dawns of your Griggsys, your Nickys, your Miloses and the rest – but finally, aged 127, 109 and 106 respectively, the big three are losing big matches to children. Quite how tennis copes with that, I’ve not a clue – for a decade, it was the best sport in the world in terms of how good its greatest were, and it’s inconceivable that these will be anywhere near them – but we’re good for a change, and it looks like we’re getting one.

Whoever wins tonight will join Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semi-finals, with Zverev and Medvedev fighting over the final sport tomorrow. I’d be buzzing for that if I wasn’t replete with buzz for this – we don’t know how much more of these boys we’ve got, so it’s our duty as human beings to wade right into them while we can. Yalla yalla!

Play: 8pm GMT.

Updated

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