Both came to London not feeling 100%. After such a long season, who is? Rafael Nadal is also nursing an injury or two, while Roger Federer seems to be the only one of the top 4 to arrive at the ATP World Tour Finals in his best shape. It didn’t stop Novak Djokovic from winning a 3-set thriller against Tomas Berdych, while it did stop Andy Murray from impressing in his loss to David Ferrer.
It was an ugly performance from Andy Murray, who while sustaining an injury and playing through it, looked like on his bad days, when his mental strength doesn’t hold up and cursing himself at every opportunity seems like his only escape from the bad day.
David Ferrer broke his serve in the first set and managed to come back twice in the second set from a break down. Murray made 44(!!) unforced errors. Ferrer wasn’t exactly clinical with his Tennis, committing 35. But Murray’s horrid first serve percentage, 46%, made it impossible to win. If he does choose to withdraw from the tournament, Janko Tipsarevic is standing by to fill in for him.
Djokovic had it just as rough against Berdych, mostly due to Tomas’ fantastic forehand and adventurous hitting, but the shoulder injury probably played a part in it as well. Novak dropped the first set 3-6, reeling 0-4 at some point. But then came the resiliency and fantastic return game we saw all year, the best baseline game in the world.
Djokovic’s serving pulled him back into the match while Berdych stopped being so damn perfect and his game faltered away, with his forehand looking inconsistent as ever. He had a chance to win the match in the third set, 6-5 up in games, but blew it, and his mind was never truly there in the tiebreak game.
In Today’s action, Tsonga and Fish play the early match while the biggest showdown in the world for a few years before the rise of Djokovic, Nadal – Federer, takes place to close out Day 3.