Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Deuce Court: Oh, Janko!

The deuce court looks at Tomas Berdych's win over Janko Tipsarevic today.

Deuce #1: Wow, Tipsarevic

Janko Tipsarevic had a match point against Tomas Berdych today, but sadly, he couldn't convert. I'll start by paraphrasing something I read by Steve Tignor this week, that definitely applies: "Big points and momentum, that’s what drives tennis, we hear. The player who wins the former, gets the latter." He's right, you know. It always comes down to that. A few points here, a few points there, all these matches turning on dimes...

Today, you could throw away three sets of tennis with one errant volley. Janko Tipsarevic learned that -- the hard way.

Tipsarevic had trouble in today's 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(6) loss. He didn't execute on match point, and that was trouble. But what made the trouble ever more troubling was his reaction to his match point failure: a double fault. It was a second serve that more resembled a pity party, and it's truly a pity for the Serb, who continues to be one of the ATP's most entertaining players.

It was a car crash at the end, and it's unfortunate. But Tipsarevic needn't hang his head. Yes, he blew it, but at least he blew it in style, and he will be stronger because of it.

Deuce #2: A Fine Year, Really

It's been a very solid year for the Serb. Tipsarevic reached a career-high five finals this year. He also earned his first and second career titles, his first Grand Slam quarterfinal, and his first Masters 100 semifinal.

The 27-year-old need not be discouraged. There is clear proof that he's rapidly improving. This is not a time for him to be dejected, it's a time for him to continue to grind. It's also a time for him to learn to deliver in the clutch. If he can improve his tiebreaker results (he's 19-19 on the year) and his record in deciding sets (he is 8-9 after today), he can definitely have another top ten year, maybe better.

Ad In: Berdych deserves props, too

Berdych, meanwhile, deserves all the credit for staying with Tipsarevic in a very tense third set that featured much elevated tennis. He failed on a match point against Djokovic in his first match, so maybe it was fitting that he was able to save one against Tipsarevic.

It certainly wasn't a case of luck. Berdych was bombing the serve, and playing some very effective "aggro-tennis." More notably, Berdych has been competing very well. I've always wondered about what I've perceived to be indifference by Berdych in big matches in the past, but in London he appears to be feisty.

Deuce #3: Bryans Take Group A lead with win over Lindstedt and Tecau.

The Bryans are starting to play some good tennis. And when the three-time WTF champs start heating up, watch out. Bob and Mike were never threatened today, as they stormed to a 6-1, 6-2 56-minute thrashing of the No. 6 seeds.

Ad Out: Rafa-Tsonga set to meet Thursday

Thursday's marquee match-up will feature a reeling Rafael Nadal, fresh off a head-scratcher at the hands of Federer, and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who is a beast of an indoor player and still very much alive in the hunt for a semifinal spot. Tsonga is only 2-6 lifetime vs. Rafa, but given Rafa's current form and the fact that one of those two wins came less than 6 months ago, I'd say Tsonga has a really good shot to win this pivotal tilt.

Before this tournament started I was tipping Rafa; after what Roger did to him yesterday, I'm not feeling so confident about that call.

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