Janowicz has come through the qualifying rounds to reach the final of a masters event. That is some achievement. Was he helped by poor performances from the favourites he played? Cilic was always going to struggle as he doesn’t like facing another big server. Murray controlled the match right up until he served for the match at 5-4 in the second set. Normally so strong in those situations the Scot imploded and Janowicz took full advantage. Tipsarevic was ill having won the first set. Either that or he had made the point that he was the better player and took the early flight to London.
Simon couldn’t cope with the big serves and his own serving performance was pretty awful. It was standard Simon in the end.
Janowicz was again very emotional after his win over Simon. Again he is unlikely to have had proper rest but this is his last match of the year. He can sleep for a week after it’s over. Adrenelin rather than Red Bull will give him wings at least in the opening set.
People are saying that Ferrer was lucky to win the first set against Llodra as he saved 10 break points. Like Llodra those people are missing the point. Ferrer isn’t a consistently big server. He has clearly worked on this part of his game especially over the last 6 months but there are days when it’s just not there in every service game. The more important fact is that he found the big serves for the big points and there are few bigger than break points against a player like Llodra. The difference between winning and losing a tennis game can be millimetres. A ball lands wide or clips the line. A shot hits the net cord and drops over or doesn’t quite make it. A slightly mis-timed swing and the ball hits the frame and hits some guy in the face in row Z. The top players , when they are on their game, tune everything else out of their minds when a point REALLY needs to be won. Ferrer is no exception. The other top 9 players have a big serve. How good would Ferrer be if he had the serving power of a Del Potro, a Berdych or a Tsonga?
Ferrer has vastly more experience of playing main tour finals. He has won the same number of tournaments this year as Federer although this would be his first Masters title. It is so difficult to gauge how Janowicz will cope with the situation. He has been able to make the most of the poor play of his opponents so far although it shouldn’t be underestimated how much his own play and in particular his serve has at times forced the errors from those opponents.
As I said yesterday Ferrer won’t believe that he can win next week. He is just 1 match away from winning his first Masters title and he won’t be giving it away. If Janowicz wants to end his dream week with a trophy we can be sure he will have earned it. He’ll need as many cheap points on serve as he can get because if Ferrer gets him into rally after rally then even running on adrenelin or taking his magic pills before the match just won’t carry him through.
Janowicz needs the first set as I feel reality will kick in if he goes a set behind. Ferrer is also good at turning the screw when a set ahead. The Spaniard is a rare breed among tennis players. He’s smart. He has made the very best of what talent he was born with and you don’t do that by being a typical ATP airhead.
1.40 is too low as Janowicz will try to come out swinging. I want Ferrer at a price above 1.85 but I feel he will be lifting the trophy later this afternoon.
Update: Order is restored. Ferrer won 6-4, 6-3.