London: ATP World Tour Finals

I arrived in London yesterday morning and after a quick nap hit Regency Street, for a bit of shopping (Uniqlo!) and to see the Christmas decorations,   before going out to the O2 for the ATP/WTF. Fortunately I left early as the Tube line was late and crowded.

The O2 is a big arena, named after one of the big telecoms here, 02 (sort of like ATT). In addition to the arena, there are tons of restaurants and a huge megaplex cinema and lots of bars too. And all the restaurants were crowded.

The format of this event is one afternoon and one evening session with a doubles match (at 6pm for the evening session), followed by a singles match not before 8pm. Since the doubles is no-ad with a match tiebreak in lieu of a third set the doubles, even if very competitive (and the doubles matches have been the only competitive matches this week) they finish normally in under 90 minutes. The singles have finished in under 70 minutes pretty much though.

The doubles was Lindstedt/Kubot (Sweden/Poland) vs Peya/Soares (Austria/Brazil). The Kubot duo dominated the match even though it went to a match TB, with superior returning, I thought. There were some good rallied but really, the final match of the super senior world team championships in the men’s 60s in Turkey was more exciting with longer rallies…but it was played at a slower pace and on red clay. Lindstedt/Kubot won 10-6 in the MTB. Given that any deuce point is also a break point, there weren’t many breaks, only one in each set, but both were at the beginning of the sets.

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The singles, Novak Djokovic vs Stan Wawrinka I thought might be very good as they’ve played epics at the last two Aussie Opens. But those courts are better for Stan, higher bouncing and slower. After an early break and hold by Wawrinka, Djokovic went on a tear and the match was over in 65 minutes 63 60. The fans were polite…instead of booing Stan for not being able to put the ball in the court (and that had a lot to do with Djokovic who played amazingly), they cheered him on and encouraged him. Djokovic did everything better last night and Stan  had no answers. When the players walk out, they come out with young ball kids which is endearing.

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