Insights from the UK and beyond
from Left field:
By Greg Rusedski
There was a lot going on in the press at The ATP World Tour Finals before the event started. The press asked Roger Federer who was the favorite for the event. The press had implied that Andy Murray was the favorite because of the three tournaments he had won in Asia. Federer answered this question by saying that neither he nor Novak Djokovic had played in Asia so how could he be the favorite? Federer came into this event having won the last two tournaments of the year, this event on five different occasions and also as the defending champion. This set up the tournament in a great way because the only way to settle this discussion would be on the court.
The two groups were Group A; Djokovic, Murray, David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych and Group B; Federer, Rafael Nadal, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Mardy Fish. Group B was the more interesting and stronger group.
Federer cruised through his group and won all three matches. Nadal looked in great shape but unfortunately had stomach problems and had to run off court at 2-0 up on Fish in the third set of his first round match to have a washroom break. He ended up winning the match, but looked drained after the match and did not recover to win another match in his group. Fish was a debutant at only 29 and did not win a match, but played well. On the other hand, Tsonga played great and beat Nadal and Fish to qualify for the semi-finals with Federer.
Murray limped out of the event after his match against Ferrer. He was up a break in both sets, but throughout the match you could see him pulling at his groin. He received treatment after the first set and was moving much better, but still decided that he could not continue with his groin strain. This allowed the alternate Janko Tipsarevic into the tournament which meant there would be two Serbian men in the end of season championships for the first time.
from Left field:
The Cincinnati Masters became a very important event before the US Open because a lot of the big names lost early in Montreal and needed to get match play before the Open started.
How would Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Andy Murray perform? Could Novak Djokovic continue his amazing run of only one match lost all season, having just won Montreal a week earlier?
from Left field:
Wimbledon 2010 has been a great Championships, the weather for the two weeks has been absolutely perfect. Sun and more sun, not a drop of rain, the first time since 1995. They should have built that 40 million pound roof sooner! There were a lot of question marks going into this Wimbledon Championships for Andy Murray but fortunately for him he had a dream draw and took advantage in the first week to play himself into form.
For me though, the match of the tournament and the first week was John Isner versus Nicolas Mahut. I asked the BBC to schedule me on a short match so I could watch the all important England vs Slovenia qualifying match for the knockout stage of the Football World Cup. They said βNo problem, weβll put you on the Isner/Mahut match, they only have one set to finishβ. So off I went with a rookie tennis commentator by the name off Ronald MacIntosh to finish the match he had started the day before. I joked that the outcome would be 27/25 in the final set to Isner, 8 hours 30 minutes later, over two days; I had been part of tennis history. We broke all records; longest match, longest set, most games ever played, most aces, longest match ever commentated on etc etc. It finished 70/68 in the 5th set for John Isner. This is a record which will never be broken. So much for watching the football, England did go on to win 1-0 though.