ATP World Tour Finals, Day 3 Preview: Federer v Nishikori, Murray v Raonic

The third day of action at the World Tour Finals in London will see the second set of matches from group B with Roger Federer against Kei Nishikori at not before 2pm and Andy Murray against Milos Raonic at not before 8pm.  After a day of breadsticks, it would be nice to see a competitive match! In case you missed it, I posted a review of my day at the O2 on Monday with photos and videos from the Federer-Raonic match HERE.  For more photos, check out the Moo’s Tennis Blog Facebook page HERE… and please give it a like 🙂

Recaps from Sunday

Murray

Nishikori d. Murray, 6-4 6-4: In a disappointing first match, Nishikori prevailed for his first ever win at the World Tour Finals with a straight sets victory over Andy Murray.  I was only able to watch the first set, but Murray was disappointing.  After going down an early break, Nishikori settled and he was the more solid and aggressive player.  There were a couple of potential turning points in the second set as Murray saved break points to go 6-4 *4-0 down and then broke to get back on serve at 6-4 4-3*.  However Nishikori regained his focus to win the final two games of the match.  The telling stat from the match was that Murray won just 26% of second serve points.

Federer d. Raonic, 6-1 7-6(0): Federer saved a set point in the second set to earn his first win of the week in straight sets over Raonic.  Federer cruised through the first set, but faced some resistance from Raonic in the second set.  The Canadian player, who was up against a heavily pro-Federer crowd, was the better player in the second set as he found some accuracy on his huge forehand.  Raonic had plenty of opportunities, earning break points in multiple games, but Federer held on for the tiebreak where he dished out a tiebreak bagel as Raonic crumbled.

Previews for Tuesday

2014_08_14  W&S Tennis Thursday Roger Federer

Federer v Nishikori: The winners of the first match will play in the afternoon session.  This promises to be an interesting match with Nishikori likely to have gained some confidence from a first win.  The pair are tied at 2-2 in the H2H; they have split their 2014 match-ups with Nishikori coming from behind to win an exciting quarter-final in Miami, 3-6 7-5 6-4.  Federer won their most recent match in Halle, 6-3 7-6(4).  Nishikori has played extremely well since reaching the final of the US Open.  He’s beaten Fed before and should be able to keep up the pressure, unlike Raonic.  I’m going Fed, but this should be a tight match.

Prediction: Federer d. Nishikori in 3 sets

Murray v Raonic: Despite a lacklustre opening set and second set tiebreak performance, I thought Raonic showed some encouraging signs in his match with Federer.  He was the better player in the second set.  Murray was disappointing and will need to pick up his level significantly.  Raonic started to return much better in the second set against Federer and he could have a field day if Murray serves like he did against Nishikori.  Raonic leads the H2H 3-1, winning their last two matches at Indian Wells (4-6 7-5 6-3, 2014) and Tokyo (6-3 6-7(5) 7-6(4), 2013).  Perhaps i’m way off, but I think Milos has the beating of Andy in this one.

Prediction: Raonic d. Murray in 2 tight sets

Second photo in this post by Omar Boraby Photography

10 thoughts on “ATP World Tour Finals, Day 3 Preview: Federer v Nishikori, Murray v Raonic

  1. I’m thinking Federer in 3, and Raonic in 3. If Raonic finds his forehand like he did in that second set v Federer he will be all over Murray’s second serve. If Murray can get his 1st serve percentage up to the high 60s/70s then it may be a slightly different story.

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  2. Murray was much improved but Raonic wasn’t at the races today. Way too many unforced errors, and you just can’t serve those kinds of numbers with his type of game and hope to beat Andy Murray. That being said Raonic had 0-30 on Murray’s serve several times in the second set and played some really poor points. Well done Murray, job done, but he will find life far, far tougher against a red hot Roger.
    2-0 Federer

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      • Yep, absolutely. Noone seems capable of figuring out exactly what the permutations are in that group though. The pundits kept saying Federer has already qualified but I don’t see how he can have. Clearly it’s highly, highly unlikely he’ll get wiped out by Murray, but it’s theoretically possible. The way I see it everyone can still quality. And Murray is in the interesting position of being able to beat Federer and get knocked out or lose to him and go through! I wonder what way round they’ll play the matches on Thursday and if anyone is smart enough to figure out the most intelligent way of doing it to maintain maximum interest in the evening match!

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  3. I think there’s a real chance we will complete the group stages without a single match having gone to a deciding set. Has that ever happened before?!

    Federer Murray is in the evening on Thursday it turns out. Andy could be eliminated before he swings a racket.

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  4. Wrist pain reported for K.Nishikori…. Probably he will let go the 3rd match, since he has 2 losses, the probability for him to qualify is not large.

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