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June 28 • 12:48
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London set (or is it?); City of Lights lit up by top 6 seeds



November 11, 2011
If the Battle of the Andies today in Paris didn't feel like a featured production even with the #2 seed in it, there's a reason: while the best servers seem to be cruising in spite of the slow hard courts, Roddick seems to be a big server no more: he got in 4% more 1st serves in play than Murray (a respectable 61%), but won almost 50% fewer 1st serve points. Of course, this could be an argument for the importance of the return of serve or unneeded evidence for the strength of Murray's return, at least. In the ace department, would Roddick have trailed in that stat by 1 to 7 to Murray as he did? The Scot won over 75% of his own service points, and about 2/3 of all points in a 6-2, 6-2 rout.

Three other top 10 seeds won almost as easily:

- Federer defeated Gasquet 6-2, 6-4

- Tsonga defeated Seppi 6-3, 6-4

- Ferrer defeated Dolgopolov 6-3, 6-2 in the only match not won by the man with the more dangerous serve (Dogman had a bad serving

day, with a dismal 43% 1st serve percentage, against Ferrer's 70%)

#1 Djokovic also struggled on serve, winning less than 60% of his service points. No surprise Joker struggled to get going, losing the 1st set 4-6 to Troicki before going on to remember that he owns Troicki and is close to buying all of Serbia, winning 6-3, 6-1. The $1.6M bonus Joker will receive - simply for playing in his 7th ATP 1000 event as #1 this year - will help him pay for his homeland. Clearly, the money helped him get over the sore shoulder which he said made it nearly impossible for him to play last Saturday in Basel, where he lost 0-6 in the 3rd set. Odds are the sums he'll receive for playing each match in the London Round Robin later this month will assure his presence.

Thanks to Berdych's beating Tipsarevic today (7-5, 6-4), Mardy Fish has also qualified for London (Jo Tsonga qualified on his own by reaching the quarters). Fish may have more trouble finishing match, however, unless the next 10 days are enough for him to recover from the hamstring strain which saw him retire at 2-1 in the 3rd set against unseeded Monaco, after losing the 2nd set tie-breaker 6-8.

The final 8 in Paris are rounded out by unseeded American John Isner, a 6-4, 6-2 winner over Spaniard Lopez.

FRIDAY SCHEDULE: (Paris time)

FRIDAY, 11 NOVEMBER, 2011

CENTRAL COURT start 2:00 pm

[5] T Berdych (CZE) vs [2] A Murray (GBR)

Not Before 3:30 PM

J Monaco (ARG) vs [3] R Federer (SUI)

Not Before 7:30 PM

[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs [6] J Tsonga (FRA)

Not Before 8:30 PM

[4] D Ferrer (ESP) vs J Isner (USA)

Rick Devereux

erdevereux@gmail.com

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