I had some family stuff to do this morning so have only just fired up the PC. Heather Watson in a final? Wow nice one Hev. She plays Chang who beat Stosur in a third set tie break. Didn’t see that one coming. Chang has had quite week.
A few people emailed me this morning about the Djokovic/Berdych match and as predicted Djokovic was too strong. I normally have a break from the blog on Saturdays but this afternoon’s semi is too good to ignore.
Both Federer and Murray have had their problems this week. Fed’s week started with death threats. For a man who is usually almost worshipped wherever he goes in the world that must have been unsettling. Perhaps that was a factor in him losing the opening set against Wawrinka and almost losing the match in the second set which was settled in a tie break. His form was better against Cilic but still below his best.
Murray hasn’t been 100% healthy this week. Whether it has been a virus or just a cold isn’t known but we know from experience that he doesn’t handle illness or injury very well. He had a break in the first round when Florian Mayer withdrew from the tournament. Against Dolgopolov he wasn’t feeling well but got the job done. In the last round Stepanek was almost able to take advantage of a poor display from the Scot. Murray didn’t look comfortable from the first few games and it was Stepanek who broke in the 5th game and held on to take the set.
In set two it looked like Murray had found a way to win and Stepanek’s level dropped. Murray took the set with a double break. In the third game of the deciding set it was Stepanek who broke first but that was the kick up the arse that Murray needed and we saw something approaching his best form of the week. He broke back immediately and lost just 1 more game to take the set 6-3.
The market has Federer as slight favourite at 1.90 . Murray leads the head to heads 9-8 although Federer leads their 2012 h2h 2-1. They are 7-7 on hard courts ( including indoor ).
They have played twice in Shanghai. Once was the final of this event in 2010 and the other was when the ATP World Tour Finals were played there in 2008. Murray won both matches.
This is a really tough one to call. Neither player has served consistently well this week. I feel Murray will need to be 100% fit and well to take another win over the world number 1 and so I am going with Federer. I would be surprised if it is won in straight sets but I think Federer is in better shape right now.