Okay, I appreciate I'm probably going to jinx myself by writing this article - obviously the next few matches are going to be classics - but three days into the ATP World Tour Finals and we are struggling to stay awake, such is the nature of the early 'contests.'
Whether ATP organisers at the O2 Arena are concerned or not - probably not, they've made their money already - their showcase event has failed to get off the ground thus far, despite such a huge build-up.
Don't take my word for it though; six matches to date (emphasis), all straight sets wins, only even one tie-break (which ended 7-0) and the superior seed in each match has triumphed. How uninspiring.
Andy Murray kept his hopes of reaching the semi-finals alive in Tuesday's evening session by defeating Milos Raonic 6-3 7-5, who, as a consequence, faces an early exit. Earlier in the day, also in Group B, Roger Federer kept his momentum by trumping Kei Nishikori 6-3 6-2.
The day's results did little to atone for Monday's madness, or lack of. Novak Djokovic and Stanislas Wawrinka dropped just four points - BETWEEN THEM - in their wins that both took less than an hour to secure.
- Does Federer have the legs anymore?
- Nadal suffers new injury
- Sharapova break-up rumours with Dimitrov quashed
You have to feel a certain amount of sympathy for those who have shelled out megabucks - serious megabucks in some cases - to watch the one-sided snooze-fests in London so far. They could have watched the tide change on the River Thames for the same amount of predictability, it's much cheaper too.
The slow start is compounded by the aforementioned hype thrust down your neck by the very persistent ATP. 'The Race to London', as it was marketed, has turned out to be the main event. If the qualifying was the race, I presume the Finals must be something innocuous like the equestrian, prancing-type, show events; no excitement please.
Why is it so, we must ask?
Maybe the race had something to do with it. Such energy being exerted must have drained some players, especially those who left it late. Four of the one-sided wins have come from Federer (x2), Djokovic and Wawrinka, all of whom qualified with time to spare. Raonic has lost heavily twice, he, in theory, was the last to book a place.
That trail of thought wouldn't explain Murray's mixed bag, Nishikori's neither, nor the humiliation of the US Open, Marin Cilic, who skipped the Paris Masters, at the hands of Djokovic.
Nerves, pressure, quality divide...maybe there is no sticking reason as to why the Finals have failed to fly as yet. All we can do is hope for an upturn, and pretty sharpish too. The last thing we would want is for the TV companies to pull their coverage of future Finals, tennis isn't on the BBC enough in England! But don't you worry, as mentioned, I've already jinxd it by writing these words.
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