US Open Rd 1: Federer def Giraldo 6-4, 6-3, 6-2

That was far from ideal. Roger started well enough as he raced to a 5-1 lead in the first set. But given how he has played of late it wasn’t a huge surprise when Giraldo broke back twice to get back to 5-4. But at least Roger then broke serve again to win the first set. In the second set Roger once again broke early and took a 3-0 lead, but again Giraldo broke back to get back to 3-2. Roger broke again to take a 4-2 lead and then held on to take the second set. In the third set Roger played well to take a 5-0 lead, and the bagel was on. But true to his form he could not serve out the match. Giraldo broke back and held serve to make it 5-2. From the scoreline you would guess that this was pretty good stuff from Roger. But I was not impressed. Roger is clearly still struggling with his confidence. The score should have been 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 at worst.

This kind of tennis won’t get Roger far in this tournament. I also noticed that he was trying to hit the ball harder. If that is a tactic he is employing with the eye on beating the power hitters like Tsonga and Berdych, then he has obviously learned nothing. We have long ago established that going toe to toe with the power hitters is suicide, and yet stubbornly Roger does it time and time again when he comes up against them. We will just have to see what happens if he comes up against another power hitter. The only one he can really run into is Tsonga, and Tsonga may not get that far. So maybe this is not really on Roger’s mind. It shouldn’t be anyway. He needs to focus on getting to the quarters first of all. That will be difficult enough. If he then happens to play Tsonga then he needs to think about changing things up instead of stubbornly trying to win the battle of power.

Maybe Roger is just trying to find his confidence that way, which I am not against. I felt against Berdych in Cincy that he was way too tentative in the decisive moments. So maybe he is trying to find his confidence by going for his shots. This would be a good tactic in my opinion. I think he needs to so something to find his confidence anyway, and taking some chances may be a way to get that done. If he misses then so be it. But at least he is giving himself a chance to find confidence by doing that. We will see how it works out for him, but I am glad he is at least trying something different. I don’t  think he is getting far by just playing the way he did in Montreal and Cincy, so he way as well. Roger’s first serve percentage was good at 63% and 7/18 break points won is not the worst we have seen. He shouldn’t worry too much about those if he is trying to take more chances.

Loved the clothes!

So after weighing the options I’m gonna say that this was an overall positive match for Roger. For everything he has given me the least I can do is believe that he knows what he is doing. I will probably be proved wrong, but I guess some part of me wants to believe that he can still snatch this title and become the first man to win majors for nine straight years. Nothing is impossible, right?



The Reason Behind Djokovic’s Vast Improvement this Year

Well there you have it. No, it’s not doping. Everyone who said Djokovic is doping can now eat their words. The effect that the pressurized egg has is very similar than the effect of doping as far as I’m concerned. The egg is twice as effective as blood doping, which is illegal, in helping the body to absorb oxygen. So at least the doping accusations have been accurate in that regard. But the pressurized egg is 100% legal. So you have to say Djokovic was smart for finding a legal way to get ahead of the other athletes. I have always thought that his gluten free diet does not quite explain the significant improvements his been able to make this year. I mean since when does a gluten free diet transform an athlete like that? For me it is clear that this egg is what made the big difference. You can read all about the benefits of using it in the article.

The main thing that is does is help with recovery time. You can see this very clearly in Djokovic’s game. He used to become out of breath very easily and retired from matches due to fatigue. I have read some people’s reactions to this article and some people say it nonsense or a placebo effect blah blah blah. Well the facts are there. I don’t know how much more obvious can it get. The gluten diet does not explain why Djokovic is all of a sudden in supreme shape and never gets tired anymore. The egg works. I have no doubt about that. The question is now what the reaction of the other players will be. I mean the effects of the egg is similar than doping, so other players are gonna want to use it, or Djokovic will have an unfair advantage over them. But it is one thing to buy one, and another to carry it around with you.

For that you would need a private jet. I’m not sure how Djokovic does it, but while in New York he is staying with someone who has an egg. The top players may be able to gain an advantage if they can afford private jets. Should Roger use one of these? Clearly he can afford it and and he even rents a private jet from Netjets. Using one of these things could extend Roger’s career. It is clearly beneficial and could help him to win one or two more slams. At this point he has to try whatever it takes to stay ahead, since the rest is catching up with him fast. And he has the money after all. But knowing Roger, there is no way he would do it. I mean he can hardly stomach the idea of hawkeye, how would he stomach a pressurized egg from the future? He is just too stubborn. This type of technology may help players to extend their careers in the future, but sadly I don’t see Roger taking advantage of it.

Today Roger plays his first round match in the US Open against Giraldo. The two have never met before. I think Giraldo is more of a clay court player and Roger should be OK. Other matches that may be interesting on day one is Cilic vs Harrison and Dimitrov vs Monfils. It seems that hurricane Irene was not too brutal in the end and that it won’t interrupt the US Open. My thoughts go out to the families who lost loves ones in the hurricane.


Well it seems the article that wrote a story about this had it all wrong. Djokovic said in his presser today that he have only used the machine twice last year and not so far this year. He is also not planning on using it at the US Open, even though the person he is staying with has one. This means it could not have helped him since you must use it three times a week for results. This all strikes me as a bit strange, but I suppose it shows how the media uses lies to sensationalize everything and that you should not easily believe anything you read. It is still a bit hard for me to believe that the gluten free diet was responsible for Djokovic’s huge physical improvements. But…whatever.

Roger Federer

Cinicinnati QF: Berdych Crumbles Federer 6-2, 7-6(3)

Sorry for the late post. I thought that was possibly the worst performance I have ever seen from Roger. Berdych came out hitting the ball big, and we have seen that Roger has problems with the big hitters in the latter part of his career. And again he was content to try and match Berdych from the back of the court with power. He was stubborn that way and refused to change things up more. I thought he should have sliced and taken off the pace way more. We have seen it all before. So he lost the first set dropping serve twice. I can’t find the match stats but it looked like his first serve percentage was terrible as well. In the second set he perhaps mixed it up a bit better, but his inability to grind out a match ended up costing him. He struggled mightily just to hold serve to make it into the breaker. Then in the breaker he fell apart completely.

He couldn’t hit regulation forehands for winner and kept missing on that side. You would think after fighting so hard on serve that he would really play it tight in the breaker, but he just went away. Berdych did nothing special to win the breaker. Roger crumbled like a mental midget. He was hardly playing like a top 100 player. I mean it was a disaster. And I’m not making more of this than it was. It was really bad. It comes back to two things which have been a theme of the latter part of his career. The first one is that he is stubborn and unable adapt. In his prime he was used to blast players off the court and the power hitters had no chance. Roger thrived on the pace. Now that his footwork is not what it was and the game has caught up wit him, he is still unable to make adjustments. He still wants to go toe to toe against these big hitters as if he is too arrogant to chance his A game.

He wants the match to be on his terms. He feels like he is too great a player to have to adapt his tactics. The second problem with Roger is his mental fortitude. He just can’t perform in the clutch. When the chips are down he pretty much crumbles, which is sad to see.  He does not have the ability to grind out a win and win ugly. Last year in Montreal against Berdych was one of the few occasions where he was able to grind out a win and look what happened. He went on a tear and dominated the rest of the year. That is what grinding out a match will do for you. It gives you a lot of confidence, knowing that you can trust yourself when the chips are down. Unfortunately we see way too often these days how Roger simply crumbles under pressure. I mean it is a sad sigh to see from such a great champion. For me it damages his legacy somewhat.

Mental fortitude was never Roger’s biggest forte. I mean it is not that hard to perform under pressure when you have a huge aura and player choke against you under pressure. Nadal was the first player to break into that invincible aura, because he was never scared of Roger. This caused Roger to lose some of that aura, and more players started taking advantage. These days that aura is pretty much gone. He now has to work for his wins like all the other players, and seems unable to do so. That lack of mental strength have been exposed to the point where he completely crumbles under pressure like the tie break against Berdych. It is just not good to see. So those are the two things which have been the main problem in Roger’s old age. He needs to hustle and win ugly, but is unable to do so.

His pride or arrogance does not allow for it. If Roger is going to win more majors he has to fix these two things. If Roger is able to hustle and win ugly it will make him more confident under pressure as well. It all comes down to adaptability, and I have to wonder if Roger is capable of it. It seems getting down and dirty is simply not in his makeup. He wants things on his terms or he doesn’t want it at all. So I don’t see him changing. I think his best shot at a major now is if he has one great tournament like the French Open this year where everything clicks. If he goes into the event not feeling confident I don’t see how he can win it, which is why I don’t have much hope for him winning the US Open. I think this will be the first year Roger goes slamless in 9 years. In fact I won’t be surprised if his quarter final streak at slams is broken in New York.

We know he brings it at the slams, but Montreal and Cincy has not been very promising at all. He has never gone into the US Open this low in confidence, and he is a confidence player. Another thing which bothered me about the Berdych match was Roger’s handshake at the end. He did not even look at his opponent. I don’t like Berdych one bit, but that was not right. If you do what you can to win the match and your opponent was just better, then you take the loss like a man and look your opponet in the eye afterwards. This just shows me that Roger did not leave it all out there against Berdych. He was unable to look Berdych in the eye just like he was unable to look at his own game in an honest fashion. I think the Fedal era is now well and truly over as well. Nadal was also beaten easily by Fish in the quarters of Cincy, and has not been the same ever since Wimbledon.

Wimbledon was really the end of the Fedal era for me. Roger is old now and Nadal has been mentally owned by Djokovic. The Cincy final was played today as well, and Djokovic had to withdraw against Murray in the final. It was one too many matches for him. He he been looking flat overall in Cincinnati and today he was struggling with a shoulder injury. He could not even serve at full pace. It is a shame for him because to win the Indian Wells/Miami and Montreal/Cincinnati doubles in the same year would have been another record.But all the matches he player this year was clearly taking it’s toll on him. He is still the big favorite for the US Open for me though. This win from Murray over him really means nothing. It is not even a legitimate win. I don’t see anyone else stopping Djokovic either. He will have a week to rest now and should be ready for New York.


Roger Federer