So Marin didn't exactly roll over, but I think we saw in the final in Beijing exactly what's holding him back - he can't back up a hot performance like the one against Nadal with an equally hot one. So unless his hot performance comes in the final, he's sort of on his own.
I don't know. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe he just had a better game plan against Rafa or was able to impose his game better - because that's certainly what happened there: Cilic totally imposed his game on Rafa and Rafa was unable to respond. I guess Novak was just not so vulnerable...
...and one cannot get around the fact that Cilic just didn't play as well.
He didn't play badly - I mean, he got that second set to a breaker after a very limp first set - but he needs to step it up if he wants to mix it with the big guys.
Speaking of the big guys, Novak Djokovic is now back at #3 in the world. I can't remember a year where we saw this much shuffling among the top echelons - in the best of the rest spots, sure, but among the big guys? Not so much. For ages, it was just Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, bam, done - now the introduction of Murray has really shaken things around. He's fallen from #2 to #4 in the last few weeks, and I can't imagine he'll be too happy about that... but with that wrist injury, how well is he going to be able to respond?
Shout outs also go to our other weekend winners, Tsonga and Kuznetsova. I might write more on these guys later, but for now - congrats.
China Open (Beijing)
Novak Djokovic def. Marin Cilic, 6-2 7-6 (7-4)
Svetlana Kuznetsova def. Agnieszka Radwanska, 6-2 6-4
Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships (Tokyo)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga def. Mikhail Youzhny, 6-3 6-3
Roger: older and not quite out
6 months ago