Sights and sounds from Tuesday at the World Tour Finals

At Rafael Nadal’s practice on Tuesday afternoon, some onlooker pointed to Nadal and asked the person next to her, “Who is that?”

Yes, this is the kind of stuff that happens when the practice courts are open and free to the public. Situated several hundred yards away from the actual match arena and before fans have to go through the turnstiles, practices can be watched by just about anyone and everyone inside the O2.

Fortunately, for the most part people who are at the arena for other reasons and know nothing about tennis–like the aforementioned woman–tend to stay away. So prime real estate at practice sessions is generally available to the hardcore tennis-lovers.

Nadal working on forehands:

Backhand practice:

On the match court, Bob and Mike Bryan stayed alive in their round-robin group by doing a complete about-face following their disastrous first match. The Bryans, who previously lost easily to Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea, made quick work of Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli. The Italians are eliminated, while the Americans will face Jamie Murray and John Peers for a place in the semis.

Chest bump:

Afterward, the Bryans thanked the fans–sincerely–for coming out. Then they added–jokingly, sort of–that they knew they were really there for the following match between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.

At that point Bob was asked to pick the Djokovic-Federer winner. Instead of answering himself, he polled the crowd. First Federer. Then Djokovic. Surprisingly, at least as much noise was made for the world No. 1.

While Federer’s upset win proved to be surprisingly straightforward, the day ended with some press-conference gold.

It began when Djokovic argued that he “handed the win” to Federer. Told of what the Serb said, Federer responded that he “would like to give myself credit” for making Djokovic play well below his best level.

Djoker
Federer’s presser concluded with a question regarding his choice of bench. Having been introduced to the court first, the Swiss appeared to choose the bench that was assigned to Djokovic. Towel-gate ensued:
Fed

22 Comments on Sights and sounds from Tuesday at the World Tour Finals

  1. “Okay, a towel doesn’t mean much to me, to be quite honest. I’m not going to be pushed by a towel. I sat on that chair when I walked out against Tomas. I said, I’d like to sit here again. I walked out first. Usually the guy who walks out first decides which side he wants to sit on. That’s the rules to me, not a towel, to be quite honest. Maybe to you a towel matters more. To me a towel is to take a shower with.”

    • Love the studied insouciance of Fed’s response. He’s the arch exponent of subtle pre-match gamesmanship – and post match gamesmanship as well 🙂

  2. Ricky:
    “It began when Djokovic argued that he “handed the win” to Federer. Told of what the Serb said, Federer responded that he “would like to give myself credit” for making Djokovic play well below his best level.”

    How arrogant of Djokovic to say this about Federer who has 17 slams and 88 titles plus the holding the record for the #1 ranking? They were 21:21 going into the match so either of them could win it.

  3. —At Rafael Nadal’s practice on Tuesday afternoon, some onlooker pointed to Nadal and asked the person next to her, “Who is that?”—
    ==

    This “some onlooker” was a member of somebody’s rent-a-crowd team. 😆

  4. Let me clarify the above comment. The O2 crowd are notorious for their lukewarm support for Andy. Indeed in 2012 (when he was the tennis hero of the Brits) there were contingents of young English people booing him.

  5. What a pity the journalist who elicited the response ‘I just handed him the win’ didn’t have the balls to ask him to explain how and why.

    I understand for many cultures not ‘losing face’ is paramount but Djokovic’s comment was an inappropriate response and beyond disrespectful to Federer.

    • I don’t think what Djokovic’s said mean any disrespect to Roger but implying that he didn’t play good enough which resulted in handing Roger the win. Its not in him to say something arrogant like that. Word can be be taken out of context so you really have to hear how he said it to see if he

    • I don’t think what Djokovic said meant any disrespect to Roger but he was probably implying that he didn’t play good enough which resulted in handing Roger the win. You really have to hear how he said it to see if he sounded arrogant.

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