Australian Open Preview(Nadal Withdraws)

Hi guys. Your comments on my last post has touched me so deeply that I decided to make another post as soon as I could. There are a few people who I missed like Steve, Feddybear, and Vily(off the top of my head), but most of you commented and there were even one or two new names. I was really touched by all your comments and it almost felt like a reunion after the crazy last six months I’ve had. I missed you all and found you in a new way. Some of you have come a long way with me and that is something special. We are connected as Fedfans even though we live all over the world. Now let me get to the subject(with my new laptop. Yes I finally got it and it will enhance my blogging). The first major of the year is already right around the corner and I want to cover it as well as I can. So I will start with a preview post.

The big news is that Nadal withdrew from his second consecutive slam after his shock exit to Rosol in the second round of Wimbledon. That is quite a big deal to say the least. Roger has not missed a grand slam event since starting out in 1999. He has played in a staggering 50 consecutive slams. Yet Nadal has already missed 3 slams since starting out and he has now missed 2 straight. Incredible. It just doesn’t add up. Something seems off. Some people are speculating he is under a silent doping ban. There were already such rumors back when he lost to Soderling at the French Open and then missed Wimbledon. Personally I wouldn’t be surprised at all if that is the case. There is just so much suspicion surrounding Nadal. I never trusted the guy. He is just totally false as far as I am concerned. I have said this time and time again, but it is mostly about winning for him and he will do whatever it takes to achieve that end.

Him and Roger have a striking difference in that regard, as Roger plays first of all for the love of tennis. For Nadal it is about fame and fortune. He represents everything what is wrong with this world, which is greed and selfishness. He is the worst possible role model for young people. Greed and selfishness is at the root of every problem in this world and make no mistake, there are huge problems in this world. Because of this I have never cared for Nadal. Roger has been accused of being arrogant, but he is a brutally honest guy. I don’t care if he is the most arrogant person of all time(which he definitely isn’t), it is always better to be honest than false. If Roger is arrogant then at least he is openly arrogant, which again is a million times better than being falsely humble, which Nadal is. I just can’t stand falseness.

That is the worst possible quality for any individual to have as far as I’m concerned. What I’m getting at is that I won’t be surprised by anything that Nadal does or has done. I simply don’t trust the guy. It is hard to believe he has been injured for almost 6 months now and there is no end in sight yet. And if he has been I guess we should not be surprised, given how brutally he has punished his body over the years. Anyway the fact that Nadal withdrew from Melbourne is a positive for Roger. Roger has a great record in slams when Nadal was not a factor. He won the French Open and Wimbledon in 2009 and Wimbledon this year. Unfortunately he missed out at the US Open this year when Nadal was absent. Point is it just a weight off his shoulders when he knows that Nadal is not in the draw of a slam or lost early.

He can just swing that racquet a little more freely, believe that little more in his chances. Of course Djokovic and Murray are still big stumbling blocks, especially Djokovic. Djokovic just won the Abu Dhabi exho, and although you know I put little to no stock in exhos, Djokovic will be ready and capable of defending his title in Melbourne. Murray gave him a very tough match in Melbourne last year, and the win over him in the US Open final will give him even more confidence that he can beat Djokovic this time. It’s the type of surface that suits Murray well, and after winning his first slam he will be a strong favorite for the title. Then of course there is also Del Potro, who is starting to threaten the top four. The draw will be important. With Nadal’s withdrawal Ferrer will be the fourth seed. It would help if Murray ends up in Djokovic’s half of the draw.

That would give Roger another great chance to make a slam final. The good news is that Roger won’t have to face either Djokovic or Nadal in the semis. Those two players are extremely tough for him to beat in Melbourne these days. Murray is tough too but not quite as intimidating as Nadal or Djokovic. And Del Potro is even less intimidating. It would be nice however if Roger doesn’t get Del Potro in his quarter. Not getting Del Potro in his quarter and playing Ferrer in the semis would be the easiest draw, but it’s hard to believe things will work out that way. Roger is more likely to either face Murray or Del Potro in the semis. But like I said, no Nadal improves Roger’s chances. He has nothing left to prove and he can just go out there and enjoy himself. The slowish surface favors Djokovic and Murray no doubt, but Roger 3.0 is not to be underestimated.

He definitely has a chance of winning a record fifth Australian Open. No doubt about it. I don’t see anyone else having much of a chance at the title than the top three. The favorites are probably in this order:

1) Djokovic

2) Murray/Roger

3) Del Potro

4) Berdych

5) Ferrer

Of course Roger won’t play any tournaments leading up to the Australian Open. Murray is playing Brisbane this week and Djokovic is playing the Hopman Cup with Ivanovic. I like that Roger is taking some time of and getting rest before the big one. He will be fresh and ready to go for the slam which probably has the best atmosphere for me. I’m looking forward to another slam without Nadal and to see if Roger can rack up his 18th slam title!

Roger’s outfit: 

I like it! The pink is something different. Wearing the same colors all the time gets boring, no matter how good it looks. Thoughts?

Merry Christmas from Ruans Federer Blog

Hi, guys. Just a quick post to wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy new year. Of course 2012 was another ground breaking year for Roger and we are all excited for 2013. I never made a post about the South American exhos because exhos don’t interest me, but it was nonetheless a very positive experience for Roger. Veronica posted all about it in a comment on my last post so take a look if you haven’t seen it. Or even better I am gonna quote it right here. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind as a loyal fan of my blog. She may even feel honored.

I can’t believe the craziness surrounding Roger’s SA tour. He is worshipped there. Full stop. Puts Switzerland to shame; their “cool” treatment of their beloved son. I understand now why Roger made this trip. I thought the matches were high quality with many awesome shots. Really enjoyed all of them. Roger also seemed overwhelmed by the euphoria of the devoted/extremely passionate and enthusiastic fans. The stadiums were packed and had so much of a football match feel. So proud of Roger. Not any player, past, present or future, will ever be this popular. The man is PHENOMENAL. The other players, if they are watching; must be shaking their heads and wondering what they would have to do to command such love and adoration!! Much as Roger must be enjoying this tour, it can be emotionally overwhelming for him – all that endless giving of himself to the fans. He is such a patient, conscientious and obliging champion. I hope he doesn’t get too drained and that he would be able to be refreshed again after the tour and by the time AO comes around. Ole! Roger!

There are more comments to follow, but this one pretty much sums it up. It was an uplifting comment, the kind of vibe that Angelica(my nickname for her angel-like persona) continues to bring to this blog. She just lights up the place. I am singling her out because of the comment, but of course you are all angels for sticking around after my move to the US and for continuing to help me keep this blog alive. I have become more dependent on you guys to help me keep this blog alive and you have really responded in the best possible way. There are a few stalwarts on this blog of which Veronica is one.

I don’t wanna single out any more of you because I don’t want anyone to feel left out, but you know who you are. You are the kind of people who don’t crave recognition either. In true Federer spirit, you are humble and take part in this blog for the love of Roger and tennis, not for recognition. So this post is dedicated to you guys. I will continue to depend on you in the new year. Just like Roger plays less as he ages I post less, but when I do make a post I will make it quality. It’s not about quantity but quality. I’d rather Roger plays less and play at a high level every time he steps on the court than wear himself out and play at a low level.

To get back to Veronica’s comment, I was concerned at one point about Roger going on this trip after the demanding year he had. But as is always the case with Roger, he turned this into a positive experience. He is just an extremely positive individual. It looks like this experience has inspired him and given him a shot in the arm. Veronica seems slightly concerned that Roger will be drained from this experience, but I think it will have the opposite effect. He just has that way of turning things into a positive. It is all about his attitude. And that is why he is such a great role model and inspiration.

He always seems to turn negatives into positives and comes back really well from adversity. The best example of this was at the beginning of 2009 when my journey with this blog had just begun. Losing to Nadal in the Australian Open final that year was the lowest point of Roger’s career and excruciatingly painful for me as a fan. It was as though my blog got off to the worst start possible. But even then there were my readers who came to my rescue and encouraged me to keep going. Of course, we all know what happened then. Roger won that first and only elusive French Open title and then broke Sampras’ slam record at Wimbledon.

Roger turned the biggest disappointment of his career into the biggest triumph. That is just the measure of the man. We can’t let out failures define us. It is about how we respond. It is not about how hard we fall but about how hard we hit back. Even back then people were already writing Roger’s epitaph. But JesusFed rose from the dead and became the greatest tennis player of all time. You see, this blog has come a long way, and it is not going to crumble under adversity. There has been adversity this year but my blog and it’s readers have endured. If people think my blog aged and is over the hill they are in for a big surprise.

This blog has hit back time and time again after adversity and it will keep doing so. I have always felt this strange cosmic connection with Roger and that is really the core of this blog. There is a chemistry between Roger, me, and my readers which other blogs can only dream of. When I call this a legendary tennis blog it is not a self-centered, arrogant statement. I am making a statement about the whole of it. That includes Roger, me, and my readers. All three those parties make an equal contribution and all are interconnected. There may be an underlying feeling that my blog has gone to sleep.

Far from it. Like I said, I may post less and have less traffic. But that doesn’t mean the quality of this blog has gone down. I think my blogging is better than ever and there is a maturity about my blog these days. I don’t feel like I have to always have the most readers or get the most comments anymore. Those are superficial things. I’d rather make quality posts and have a few true fans, rather than many fair weather fans. Since I made the move to the US I have found out who the real fans of this blog are and they are pretty much the ones I expected to be. They are the ones who have been around for a long time, are true Fedfans, and are knowledgeable about the sport.

I’d rather have a few of you around than many superficial fans. And when I say ‘fans’ I mean fans of the blog as a whole, not of me as a person. It’s always flattering to get compliments about my blogging, but I am just one of the links in the chain that makes this blog what it is. Now enough of the blog and back to Roger. Roger will not play Doha or Miami in 2013 which are both great decisions, and already makes me excited for next season. He won’t be playing the exho in Abu Dhabi either over new year. You can view the schedule here. I really like this schedule. The biggest surprise is that he is not playing Basel, after a dispute with the tournament director.

But he still has plenty of time to change his mind and there have already been reports that he will reach an agreement with them to play. Like I said I think it’s great that he is not playing Doha and Miami. He needs the rest after 2012 and the trip to South America. So playing Doha would have been a mistake. I haven’t liked Miami for some time now because it has been slowed down so much and I have actually asked that he should skip it on several occasions(although I don’t think on my blog). There really is no point in him playing it. Maybe his withdrawal will cause the organizers to rethink that ridiculously slow surface they are using.

It is kind of like a boycott from Roger which I like. I’m sick of everything being so damn slow these days. Why should he play these events when it doesn’t favor his game at all, and instead favors the base line grinders like Djokovic, Nadal, and Murray? Enough is enough. Well this post has become pretty drawn out. There is just so much to cover and I haven’t even gotten to everything. So much for the quick post! It’s Christmas Eve and I am alone in a foreign country. I guess spending it on my blog shows you how I feel. I come from a broken family and you guys are like my family. You are my Fedfamily.

I am grateful for you all and I truly feel like some of you have become my family over the years. I think 2013 can be another very good year for Roger and that he can even win another slam. His schedule is reduced and it is all about the slams now. Personally I would love to see him pick up a record 6th US Open title. That is the slam where he really missed out badly the last four years and I have a feeling he may just be due for a title there. On that note I wish you all a blessed Christmas and hope you enjoy it with your families. I also hope that you did not forget your Fedfamily here at my blog.

Federer’s Epic 2012 Season in Review

Hi guys. Long time no post. I hope you are all doing well and haven’t quite forgotten about my blog. It’s been an eventful year for both Roger and me. I decided to come work in the US and didn’t even know if I would be able to keep this blog going. It was a rough start for me in the US but things have finally settled down. I heard today that my working visa will be renewed which was a big deal for me. It was a nice birthday present for me and I wanted to share this day with you as well. I know I have posted much less since my move over here, but it was the best I could do. I appreciate those of you who stuck around.

Roger and tennis is still an important part of my life, and so are you. At the beginning of 2012 we had high hopes for Roger after his strong ending to 2011. But we just couldn’t be sure that he would meet our expectations as he had a strong ending to 2010 as well, yet he only made one slam final in 2011. This year he made only one slam final too, but this time he got the all important 17th slam title when he beat Murray in the Wimbledon final. It was no doubt the highlight of 2012 which had many highlights. There was the record amount of weeks at #1 which he finally got after he lost the #1 ranking so heartbreakingly close to the record in 2010.

After that he seemed destined to never get this one important record. It would leave a hole in his legacy which the critics could exploit to detract from his GOAT status. He was also still in danger of being caught in major titles by Nadal, who won no less than three slams in 2010. Even after Djokovic 2.0 arrived on the scene in 2011 and Nadal won only the French Open, he was still a threat to Roger’s slam record of 16. Djokovic was owning Nadal in the head-to-head, but Nadal started clawing his way back in 2012. He lost a very close and epic Australian Open final to Djokovic, after coming back to win the fourth set and going a break up in the fifth.

Then in the clay court season he finally beat Djokovic in Rome and in the French Open final. Nadal was a threat again, while Roger, although having made a great start to 2012, was lacking the big breakthrough. He needed to take advantage of his momentum and win a slam. With Wimbledon on the horizon he lost to Haas in the Halle final. In the last two years Wimbledon was not a happy hunting ground for Roger, as he lost in the quarter finals in 2010 and 2011. There was a feeling that this could be his moment, but Djokovic and Nadal were still big threats. It was only when Nadal lost in the second round to Rosol that I felt this was his big chance.

There was still Djokovic and the resurgent Murray to take care of, but Roger seized the moment and beat them in the semis and finals consecutively. In the process he won that elusive #17 and also returned to #1 in the rankings. He also equaled the record 7 Wimbledon titles of Sampras. It was simply epic, and it happened at the most fitting of venues. After this moment 2012 was always going to be an epic year, no matter what happened afterwards. Of course the Olympics was still ahead, which played a big role in Roger’s 2012 season. Roger won a marathon against Del Potro but lost the gold medal match against Murray.

He was just too tired from that match against Del Potro, and Murray won his biggest title yet. He would use it as a springboard to win his first major at the US Open later in the year as well. Roger on the other hand continued his good form by winning Cincinnati, but when the US Open came around it became clear that the Olympics had taken it’s toll. He lost to Berdych in the quarter finals in inexplicable fashion. His mojo was gone. It had been a long, emotional year with the Olympics being the anomaly so to speak. It only comes along once every four years and messes with the schedule.

Winning the gold medal was important for Roger and the energy he expended in chasing that dream ended up costing him. Roger looked burned out as the indoor season started, but fought his way back to put in a very good performance at the Masters Cup. He lost to Djokovic in the final but it was a positive loss in the sense that the match was on his racquet. He had chances in both sets to put Djokovic away, but just wasn’t quite match fit enough. It was a good ending to 2012 despite the loss. He was still right there with the best player in the world. There was nothing in it. In fact he would have won that match if he was a little more confident.

Like I said, 2012 had many highlights. There was the Wimbledon title, the weeks at #1 record, the silver medal at the Olympics, the Masters Series titles in Indian Wells, Madrid, and Cincy, and the titles in Rotterdam and Dubai. It was a shame Roger could not win at least one more title during the indoor season, but like I said I was satisfied with the way it ended. All in all 2012 was another epic season in the GOAT’s career. I like the way it ended because it makes me excited for 2013. Roger 3.0 is still right there in the thick of things. It would have been disappointing if he faded towards the end of this epic season, but that did not happen.

With his performance at the Masters Cup he made it clear that he is not slowing down by any means in 2013, just as I made it clear that I am not slowing down with my blogging. I’m not going anywhere folks…

Ps. My site went offline today due to technical issues at my host. Funny how that happens just as I finally made a post again. Oh well it’s fixed and I’m back. Like I said, I’m going nowhere.