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Who will end the year as world number one?
Andy Murray - 14 (60.9%)
Novak Djokovic - 9 (39.1%)
Total Voters: 23

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WTF 2016 Final: Andy Murray vs Novak Djokovic

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On Wednesday Andy Murray won the longest match ever played at the O2. At three hours and twenty one minutes his second round robin match against Kei Nishikori was the longest best-of-three match Andy has played all year. Three days later he has out done himself with a three hour and thirty eight minute semi-final battle against Milos Raonic, in which he clinched victory by just two points.

These are the longest best-of-three matches Andy has played since he refused to lose to Tommy Robredo in Valencia two years ago. That day he fended off five match points, collapsed on the court when the last point was won, and was greeted by not one, but two, middle fingers from Robredo at the net. Today he turned to his box, pointed at his chest and shouted 'I've got a f***ing big heart'.

Andy will need all the heart he has got in Sunday's final - his first at the World Tour Finals - when he faces world number two Novak Djokovic on a court where the Serb has lost just one match in five years.

This is the season ending showdown many had hoped for. The world's best two players in men's tennis battling for year ending control of the number one ranking. Andy is the current holder, but a win for Novak tomorrow will see the scales tip in his favour. It is the first time in the history of the tournament that the year end number world one ranking has come down to the result of the match on the final Sunday of the ATP's season ender.

After being destined to face each other in some of the biggest matches of their careers, Andy and Novak's paths have not crossed since the history-making final at Roland Garros in June. On that day Andy began well to take the first set before the long matches he'd battled through earlier in the tournament took their toll and subsequently he was never really able to summon the sort of challenge he would have hoped to pose. Novak became the holder of all four slam titles at once, and the first man to have won all four titles across three different surfaces.

With twenty-three match wins under his belt to Novak's eight since the US Open, Andy is undoubtedly the more fatigued player in this final. Novak has had an easier road in the group and semi-final stages of this tournament, and lady luck has been on his side this week, whereas she had favoured Andy in Paris.

Sometimes, though, you have to make your own luck.

This will be the thirty-fifth time Andy and Novak have faced each other. The match will be played at 6pm GMT.

[ Last edit by amongsttheleaves November 19, 2016, 09:53 pm ] IP Logged
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Thanks for opening the thread.

As you said sometimes you make your own luck, and I think it all evens out in the end.

It is fitting that this will be the final. Will be a tough match, Andy has looked the better played the last few months. But obviously Novak has the edge physically, feels a bit like the opposite of Rome this year. One thing I will say is that Andy's fitness seems to be very underrated on this forum.
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One thing I will say is that Andy's fitness seems to be very underrated on this forum.

Though I think there has been some evidence of tiredness, I don't think Andy is as tired as some are making out.

I don't think Andy will ever be as fatigued as he was at the end of 2014. That was outright mental and physical exhaustion back then. Andy responded to that by working with his team to overhaul his training and fitness regime.

Don't think he's ever been in better shape, just took a long time to get this level of fitness after the surgery. As ever, the impact of the surgery was grossly under-estimated.
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Though I think there has been some evidence of tiredness, I don't think Andy is as tired as some are making out.

I'm liking your optimism here...:-)

Just wish it wasn't so reminiscent of their paths to the final at Roland Garros...
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Well this is the match everyone was looking forward to, a final battle for the world end number 1. I say forget about the run-up and brace yourself for a hopefully epic encounter that they normally have.
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I say forget about the run-up and brace yourself for a hopefully epic encounter that they normally have.

Well I hope the encounter isn't like the ones they "normally have" - the stats have been pretty one-sided!

Feel it's in the lap of the gods right now. I so want Andy to win - trying to send just  positive vibes <zen> cmonandy
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Andy's comments after the Raonic match don't exactly inspire confidence that he's feeling or expecting to be at optimal fitness for tomorrow.

And against Djokovic, anything below optimal fitness is a rather large handicap. Andy's only saving grace is that it's 'only' a three-setter.
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I expect Joker to win comfortably. Andy had to beat Milos in an hour and a half to conserve energy. I think he needs to look at his tactics. He should have found a way to finish the points quicker.

However Andy has out-performed this year and I did not expect him to reach number 1, even if just for a few weeks, or reach the final at the WTF so its been a great year. Even winning Paris was a surprise since he has previously under-performed indoors.  He can have a good rest after tomorrows match and he will, barring injury, regain the number 1 spot early in the new year.
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Thanks for the intro AML: after watching DJ tonight it is hard to be optimistic. I know you (AML) have talked about different court surfaces and related conditions before. Given DJ's record at the O2 - it does seem to suit Djokovic. Wondered if there was anything specific here that Andy struggles with in relation to conditions
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Andy's only saving grace is that it's 'only' a three-setter.

Yep. I think Andy's only chance is to win the 1st set. And the 2nd.
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Yep. I think Andy's only chance is to win the 1st set. And the 2nd.
Seconded.  He's done himself more than proud this year, so that's good enough for me, and I'm sure Andy must know that too.  Novak can have his cherished #1 spot back, but there'll be opportunities for Andy next year.  After all, he can only go on improving, while I seriously don't see how Novak can raise the bar any higher than he has already done.


@ATL - "Though I think there has been some evidence of tiredness, I don't think Andy is as tired as some are making out."  I agree with that, and in fact I thought he looked remarkably fresh after yesterday's match, all things considered.  It might sound a bit strange to some, but I think Novak actually looks more fatigued than Andy does, if their faces are anything to go by, but then Novak has had a few 'difficulties' to contend with since he won RG, and these must have taken their toll.

PS - I did notice how easily rattled Novak got when he was playing Raonic, so if Andy can keep his cool as much as possible and not get distracted by too much, it might help his cause a little.
[ Last edit by Aileen November 20, 2016, 04:53 am ] IP Logged
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I think that we have to believe that Andy can win. He's going to need our belief.
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He'll have much of the crowd behind him too, and he's always said that he feeds off that energy.
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Sorry, got a bit distracted today. Embarassed

I've just put this year's matches on the H2H and my photos are from googling serious Djokovic and Andy Murray as just putting Murray bring up lots of photo's of Bill!

cmonandy

Slap him about a little Andy whack and keep a hold of the No.1 slot.  No mercy!  

And pretty crap timing for me WTF ignore as I'll be on my way to work Rolling Eyes


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Wot - no naked Andy this time?  Very Happy
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