A Celebration of Federer 3.0

Hi Guys. Since this is my off weekend and I’m at home I am trying to catch up for lost posts. So I hope you appreciate it. I am enjoying your comments on my last two posts as well and I hope we can keep the discussion going on this post. There has been a lot of talk about Roger 2.0 and Roger 3.0 in my last two posts. There has also been some criticism and negativity so I want to try and make this posts a bit more optimistic. And a good way to start doing that is by looking at the above Roger Federer Australian Open Best Points. That was Roger 3.0 in full swing. I enjoyed these highlights because I could only watch Roger’s match against Murray. There are some unreal points in those highlights. For instance the point at 4:25 in the first video against Davydenko where he makes a ridiculous backhand flick pass.

Or the unreal defense at 7:44 against Tomic where he wins the point with another genius backhand flick. But I want to turn your attention to three consecutive points against Tsonga in the second video highlights, starting at 1:50. In the first point Tsonga drills a backhand cross court to Roger backhand and he just punches it up the line for an unbelievable winner. Pure genius. I love Tsonga’s reaction too. Then the next point is the one that really sums up Roger 3.0 for me. It is 5-5 in the third set with the two having split the opening two sets and we are at a crucial juncture in the match. Roger is down 0-30 on his serve and in a tight spot to say the least. If he loses the next point he goes down 0-40 and he faces 3 straight break points, which are almost like set points. Note that he misses his first serve as well. More pressure. He hits a kick serve to Tsonga’s backhand and Tsonga makes a solid, deep return down the line.

What he does next defines Roger 3.0. With utter abandon he rips a backhand down the line for a clean winner. Tsonga is left stranded in the middle of the court and he can only watch as the ball disappears out of his reach. Roger was not having a particularly good day. He played some great tennis but it was patchy stuff. It was his ‘off’ day but he still found a way, which I noted in my last post as well. It is all about belief and confidence. Despite not having the best of days he still had the belief and confidence to rip a clean backhand winner off a 50/50 ball under immense pressure. Then for good measure he hits another ridiculous backhand return in the next game which sets up the point for him and leaves Tsonga cussing in French. Those three consecutive backhands in the highlights is really a thing of beauty to me.

He then hits another backhand down the line winner in the tie break to set up two set points and the rest is history. His backhand was really working well for him in Melbourne and it is a thing of beauty when on song. That whole highlight package is a thing of beauty. I think we have had some good discussions on my last two posts and I think we can conclude that Roger 3.0 didn’t necessarily leave us. Thanks to Steve for making an insightful comment as usual and bringing an important fact to my attention. After the heavily packed schedule of 2012 I wasn’t too happy hearing that Roger would go to South-America to play exhibitions matches, if you can remember. I thought he badly needed the rest after such a season. But he chose to go, and although it was inspiring it did not allow him to get away from tennis and everything that goes with it.

He was travelling far and dealing with the media and fans all day. It was tiring. He had to opt out of playing Doha because of it. But it wasn’t enough. He still needed more rest. No doubt he was ready for Melbourne, but the body and mind needs more time to recover. I think he recovered enough to be able to give it his all for two weeks in Melbourne, but at the cost of another burnout. Yes, I think he is still suffering the aftereffects of the 2012 season and not completely resting out. So…I don’t expect much from him in Indian Wells. I think he will make semis at best probably. But then comes his two month break and then he will finally be able to fully recover from 2012. So I think that break is a very good thing and the fact that he is not playing Miami this year. There is no incentive for him to play Miami anyway which is slow as sandpaper.

Then he can come back in Madrid and start anew. The clay court season is not his favorite but it will be good preparation for the grass court season anyway, where he will defend his Wimbledon title. You probably heard today that Nadal won Acapulco beating Ferrer 6-0, 6-2 in the final. No vulturing Mickey Mouse events for Ferrer when a big name is around. Nadal’s comeback looks to have been a success and he is confirmed to play Indian Wells too. Indian Wells should be pretty interesting now with Roger kind of falling a bit at this point and Nadal rising. Roger and Nadal have always alternated like this in their careers. I hope it’s not a sign that Nadal is now on the rise and Roger is falling, as in for an extended period of time. But I’m not gonna worry about that too much just now. I will wait until after the clay and grass court seasons before I will really make a call.

Roger 3.0 could be back after his two month break. But if Nadal 3.0 rises it could make things difficult for him too. An in form Nadal in the mix is extra baggage for Roger to carry. Nadal could potentially win the French Open and be a serious threat at Wimbledon again. But it is not a given that he will win the French Open again. This may just be Djokovic’s year. Speaking of Djokovic, I think in 2012 he had a lot of pressure to follow up his amazing 2011 season. I think he has less pressure in 2013 and he could do big things. He already did by winning in Melbourne but I think he will win a minimum of two slams. Three is certainly a possibility and the calender slam is not entirely out of the question, although it is pushing it. I think he wins 2-3 slams this year. He is looking very good. I like his chances at the French and he can definitely win in London and New York too.

But it depends what happens in Paris. If Djokovic wins there it will take a big effort and at some point it will catch up with him, leaving the door open for Roger or Murray to win Wimbledon or the US Open. If Nadal however wins the French then Djokovic could potentially repeat what he did in 2011 by winning Wimbledon and the US Open. Or Nadal could even win the French/Wimbledon double again. I hope Djokovic wins the French because a rampant Nadal does not bode well for Roger’s success. Either way all these different possible scenarios makes things interesting. The rise of Nadal is not the worst thing that can happen either since it opens the possibility of more beat downs of him in finals to Djokovic, which is a match up I enjoy a lot. So I hope you are as excited as I am about what lies ahead in the tennis world.

Ps: I’m missing Wilfried and Veronica.

Posted in Uncategorized.

38 Comments

  1. Hey, Ru-an!!

    I love your enthusiasm and a sense of positivism about Roger! I agree that after a sweet 2 months break and proper practice we’ll see Roger back to his best!

    The sun always brights better tomorrow than today and similarly, Roger will be back to his best and be at his peak when Roland Garros and Wimbledon roll around!

    Allez, Roger!!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Glad you are being more positive too Vily.

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    Rajeesh Reply:

    What has changed in Current Federer from last year? I believe there is no difference, apart from that he hasnt won a title for some time. Let him win a title , atleast an ATP 250 event, whole situation will change and Federer 3.0 will be back.

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  2. Thank you Ru-an for looking back at Roger’s games/matches point by point but this time focusing on all the positives of his game–not the few missed points, even if they were critical ones. What a refresing critique this time and I hope you will keep it up as I was about to stop reading your blog as many of my friends have. Roger 3.0 hasn’t gone away but you are right he needs more rest from his exhausting 2012 season where he accoomplished even more than he thought possible! His trip to So. American was exhilerating for him and he wanted his fans there to finally see him play but it took a lot out of him. He is such an excellent role model and good man to put his fans, his Foundation and his Player’s Council responsibilities first at times. Then the back problem @ A0 and after couldn’t practice for Rotterdam because of it so you are right–he wasn’t ready but due to those circumstances, how could he be? Let’s keep focusing on his still brilliant play and not be so critical and focus just on his errors. I would respectfuuly request also that you watch every point of his matches and not just the partial match which you admit to only seeing at times. Would rather wait for your blog after you have watched the entire match. Thank you again for this blog and all your hard work! :-)

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Many of your friends stopped reading my blog? I’m sorry for their loss. As for watching every point of every match that is simply not possible. That was not even possible in the past, much less so now when I’m working 9 hours a days and every second weekend. Oh and you’re welcome.

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  3. Thanks for the Australian Open highlights Ruan. I needed that after having to endure these two disappointing losses. I agree with the common opinion that Roger might have lost a little motivation and may also have lost the plot a little. Nonetheless , I still believe Roger is capable of winning more tournaments regardless of the competition. In my opinion Roger needs to work on his return of serve. Whether or not this will ever improve who knows. I am not going to go nuts criticizing every game he loses and/or condemn him for not giving 110 % all the time. We can only imagine a small part of the stress and responsibility he has to deal with and this monster of an image he trying to maintain plus having a family and other commitments that take a little away from his focus. Let us not be too hard on him for he has spoiled all of us with his talent, his records and his grace and style.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes Dave I realize that. You just get used to a certain level from him and you feel a bit disappointed when he suddenly falls off it. But like I said there may be reasons for that. I realize Roger is spoiling us. But if you look at how he played against Berdych he was still playing very well, coming back from a break down in the tie break and then serving for the match, and then just loses the plot for no reason. It is the manner in which he lost that disappointed me. I don’t think I’m not appreciative enough of what he has given me. I am just holding him to the standard which he himself has set and which I know he is capable of.

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  4. Hellooo!! Ru-an! Guys! Grandma dolores!! I’m here!! . Been away in wifi-less country!! Gosh! I’ve missed so much and boy did I miss you bunch of fed fanatics?!! – Because what are you all but fanatics to be so loyal and faithful and……making “excuses” for roger’s loss, huh??!!!! Haha!! Roger got bird shit all over ………again. I’m suffering from birdshit indigestion right now. Anyway can’t stay long, just to let you guys know that I’m still alive and kicking …… Kicking all that birdshit out of my system! Ha! Will post my thots later. Cya!!

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    Jiten Reply:

    Hi Sunshine. Welcome back. You are badly needed in Ru-an’s blog as much as the guy Roger himself (LOL)! Well folks, don’t take the risk of writing Fed off so soon. History will repeat itself. Just have faith on him. Bird(s) just cannot shit on the same person all the time. His time will come for sure.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yep, she is needed as much as Roger. Same goes for everyone else who is part of this Fedfamily.

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    veronica Reply:

    Thanks for the warm fuzzies, bro G-10, hehehe!! Yeah, right, birds can’t always do it at the same place; but if that place keeps allowing it, what do the birds do?!! Shit on it again, right?!! Hahaha! I’ve got things in my head on our dear Roger from AO to Dubai. I’ve got to get it together before I post; otherwise it will be one long thesis which I’m sure would put some of us (esp Rich) forever out of this blog!! So I gotta be “considerate” and condense everything to a “short essay” first before I post! Haha! Btw, where is Katayani, our bigest Roger fan from Netherlands?!

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    Jiten Reply:

    Hi Sis, yes it is your bro G10. I am sure our hero won’t allow himself to be shit-ed by the same bird over and again. Now, on to Katyani. If memory serves me right, she had semi finals ticket for the Rotterdam Open. I am sure like all of us, he got very disheartened, more so because she actually wanted to see our hero play live (who does not?) in her own country. So Angel-ica, why don’t you kindly spray some of your sunshines on Katyani so that she can come out of her disappointment and get back her own bubbly enthusiasm?

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    Katyani Reply:

    Hi Veronica, sis, hey thanks for mentioning me, I really liked that. I thought you guys had forgotten about me. Well I have not forgotten you all, just a little bit too busy with work and stuff to read the articles and comments, but just like Arnold…… I WILL BE BACK !!!

    And yes, G-10, I love that man so much, I cannot take his loss too got. I really disappear from the web, etc.
    It really really hurts me so much when he loses….

    And Jiten, you did not want to be near me when I bought semi tickets for both matches to ensure I would see my hero and he lost……. Really you did not want to see me at that moment !!! I really felt like someone near me died. Overreacting much?? Yes, but oh I wanted to see him so so so so badley.
    But I am not giving up, if I know that he will be there next year……..

    Ps: Just like Veronica I have some thoughts about AO to Dubai, but I have to sort them out too, so to be continued. And don’t get me started about his fans, who party when he wins and when he loses three times they write him off…. Well if they came ever face to face with me…..

    And still, no matter a win or a loss,
    a die hard fan of Roger, yesterday, today, tomorrow and for eternity.
    Really, I am not kidding, his biggest and greatest fan in Holland (accept for the stalkerpart !!!).

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    Veronica Reply:

    Gosh!! Must have sucked real time getting all those expensive tickets!! What I do these days (since like 3 years ago already), I buy
    the first two days of a tourney which guarantees I can watch roger, eventho it most prob won’t be an exciting match coz its first round. But the important thing is to watch roger play live, that’s all. Then I purchase quarter final, I never buy semi or final, coz these days you can’t tell with roger plus tkts are not cheap so I don’t wanna end up wasting them. Also I try to “stalk” all his practices; that way, I ensure that at least I see him live hitting balls even if i I missed all his matches. Following roger cause havoc in my work and personal life and i suffered frm serious dizzy spells. Wasn’t a nice experience at all. After that, I decided enough, I’m not going to suffer near heart attacks for our dear hero anymore. I dont trust myself to watch live matches nowadays unless I feel up to it ( I know, I’m such a coward) so, sis, watch out, don’t get too emotionally invested!! Haha!!

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    Katyani Reply:

    Hi Veronica, you are not the only one.
    As much as I love to watch Roger play, I don’t want to watch his matches. I am such a wreck, even if he is clearly winning. I am always waiting for something to happen. I am so nervous, I only relax after matchpoint !!! Silly ha, a Roger fan who is to nervous and scared to watch his matches. But that is how much I want him to win.
    Hey thanks again for replying. I am now at my work. To be continued, hopefully in the weekend. And I hope Roger realises now that he has to step up, to win (he and Berdych are the only ones in the top ten who have not won anything this year) and to stay number two.
    Veronica, please take care of your health. I really like your comments and your replies. And about the prices of the tickets…. don’t get me started on that. Take care of your health and to be continued.

    Katyani

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    veronica Reply:

    You are so forthright, Katyani – there’s no holding you back, is there?! Ha! Hats off to you, Katyani; not many people are able to express as freely as you do; or feel as comfortable as you obviously are in your own skin. Roger is blessed to have fans like you.

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    Dolores Reply:

    Grandma Dolores is delighted to see you back on Ru-an’s blog….we missed you, Veronica. We need your bubbly enthusiasm for Roger and fans. Cya….
    Kindly,
    Dolores

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Delighted to have you here too Dolores.

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    Veronica Reply:

    Gee!! Thanks, nan, big hug to you for all those lonely nites when someone cud hv been with you. Never mind, when they grow older, they wud know how it feels like to live alone, eh?! I don’t know abt you guys here but I love big families, believe in big families and not becoz I’m biased coz I’m from a big family becoz it was pure hell when we were kids but in retrospect now, the suffering taught us so much, esp to love unconditionally, nothing can replace it. I’m all for talking with and taking care of the old no matter how difficult they can be coz let’s face it, it will be our turn to get old one day and the way we treat our old wud be how we would be treatd too!! Still if everyone abandon me when I get old, I will not be bitter, I’ve loved the old and that’s all that matters!! Hurrah to all grandmas/grandpas!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yay you guys are back! Been a bit worried about you with your long absence and good to see Wilfried back too. A wifi-less country?! Were you in Antarctica? Ha. You better be back soon!

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    veronica Reply:

    Ru-an, you crack me up! Yeah, sure, I’d been to Antarctica and back!! I hate and fear flying. Thought I’d gather up all my courage, do all the long distance travelling this year; then stay put, settle down and be full time companion to my computer for the rest of my life, haha!! I hope to travel to London and Europe in August and just maybe USA later in the year; ie if my money holds out!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Gonna come visit me then?

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  5. Hi Ruan and you all tennisfans,

    I haven’t got any time at all lately to watch tennis and won’t have till the end of march.

    I think it’s not good to comment on something I didn’t get to see, but i hope to be able to see some afterwards and join the commenters next month.

    Kind regards to you all,
    Wilfried

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Looking forward to your return Wilfried. My blog isn’t the same with you!

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  6. I can understand how angry you have felt from your previous post. I am feeling exactly the same as you just that I don’t have a blog to vent out my frustration. I enjoyed this post as I believe you took the weekend to reflect and analyze his loss. You are right about the burnout, still lingering effects from 2012 season. Hopefully the 2 months break will do him good. He sets such high standard for himself, naturally we want him to hold on to that standard. It wouldn’t be the Roger Federer we know if he just let his form slide down further. I am positive about his 2013 season. If he can retain his SW19, that will be the awesome indeed.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Nice to see you still around Dippy. You have also come a long way with my blog. I feel bad that I don’t spend more time on here these days.

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  7. Roger’s gotta stop the bleeding at IW : Benneteau, Nadal, Berdych…….!!! I said it before and I say it again, there is a conspiracy to end Roger’s career asap. How else could you explain the tough draws that happen again and again and again. Well, Roger’s gotta choose what he wants to do when he gets to IW : continue losing the plot or grab the storyline and finish it!! Although I have no expectations for IW and we may have to wait for clay/grass season to see Roger’s best, I don’t think it would do his confidence (and his ranking) any good to continue the losing streak; especially to 2nd tier players. It took a lot out of him to overcome them last year where Roger 3.0 was born. If he is not careful and slips too much, I don’t know, at this age, with all his other commitments demanding more of his time, (family, media,ATP presidency,sponsors, foundation) if he can mentally/physically summon it all again to beat them again; let alone the top 3; whom he can’t even meet if he keeps getting stopped by the 2nd tiers!! But he is still no. 2, for goodness sake! I hope in IW he finds it within himself to win the important matches to regain some confidence. I hope the last two tough loses have served only to fuel the anger/desire in Roger. Allez Roger!!

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    V Reply:

    Just relax Angelica.This is one of the more fair drwas in recent times with all of the top 4(5 with Nadal included) having a testing draw.I dont think any quarter is easy.And this is a very good draw for all top players.If a draw is made similar to this in other tournaments especially the slams,then we would not see one sided semis and finals and one of the finalists drained and the other just being handed over the trophy with a cake walk draw.So in a sense,this draw is both good and challenging for Roger.If he can overcome this and repeat last years performance,then we are definitely in or a huge treat this week.

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    veronica Reply:

    V, “you cannot be serious”, right?! Have you looked at Djoko’s half?! If that is not cupcake, I don’t know what is. We all know very well why we are so anxious about Roger’s draw in recent years whereas in the past, it wasn’t a concern at all. We know Roger is more vulnerable these days. When Roger suffers from lack of confidence, drawing the same players that give him trouble tend to drag him down. Therefore drawing Benneteau and Berdych again at this moment in time may not be the best thing; and as if that wasn’t enough, Nadal is put to his half – for “added” insurance that Roger would lose or what??!! (although I don’t think Nadal is a factor given how Roger bagelled him; but Roger is not in 2012 form now and Nadal is very motivated and eager; so you never know)Honestly, I think Roger needs a breather from these pesky players; at least until he gets himself together in the summer. If he’s not up to it at IW, it would only increase belief in the locker room which is what he doesn’t need. So, Roger’s draw is tough. But then, this is sports, its competition. Roger relishes new challenges. He does well on these courts. His back seem fine. He is playing into form. I hope he spanks all these pretender nemesis including the real nemesis himself. Except…. I still stand by my opinion that Roger has got the toughest draw and a kinder draw at this point in time, may work out better for him.

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    V Reply:

    Yeah the djoker is an exception to this.But thats the way it goes.rogers draw seems more tougher now that he has aged and these last couple of loses to benneteau and birdshit might make this more tricky but if you look at the overall seedings and their draws ,its pretty fair.murray nadal,delpo roger all have their work cut ot and even though djoker might be having luck of the draw on his side,this is pretty much a very good draw otherwise.i dont base it on just rogers quarter and thats why i feel that even though djoker has the easiest draw of the top5 again,i feel that the draw is pretty fair.

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    Fedfan Reply:

    This is a masters 1000, it plays like a slam so you need to keep that in mind when you look at the slams.

    No fans really have high expectations for Roger in this tournament which sucks, cmon guys where you at? Yes Roger has been a little out of it lately but just remember TWO MONTHS AGO where he was playing some amazing tennis in Australia? That Roger is still there and I think he’s ready to make an appearance this week, I can just feel it. Allez Roger! Make it title number 76!

    Also this is a masters tournament, so Roger will feel motivated and hungry to get some revenge you could say against Benneteau and Berdych and this is his last tournament before his break so he can just go out and play with no restrictions. The pressure is on to hold on to the ranking and defend this title after a let down in Dubai and Rotterdam but Fed always has dips in forms. This has gotta be the time to rise up.

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    veronica Reply:

    Yeah, V, Fedfan, I feel this is the time to rise and I hope he does it. He plays really well at IW. His back wasn’t quite up to it at Rotterdam, he lost the plot in Dubai; I think he’s pissed off enough already by IW! Haha! I do not lower my expectations for him; that’s why I get really frustrated; but on the other hand, I do not want to be too greedy and suck the life out of Roger. He has given himself so much to his fans. But there are certain unmemorable performances where we just cannot take it lying down and “allow” Roger to “get away” with it (the Birdshit match, USO 10/11 being some of them) We, as his loyal fans, must be with him all the way but at the same time must keep him motivated too – some tough love is necessary. Still, I promise myself, I’m not going to be angry and would forgive him if he doesn’t do well in IW!! Haha! I’m Zen……. Who am I kidding??!!!!Common! Roger Federerrrr!!!! One.match.at.a.time. You can do it!!!!

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  8. RUAN BACK WITH A BANG.Great turn around and i hope the situation brightens on the fed horizon as soon as possible.Roger,as many have said,is very much feeling the after effects of the grueling 2012 season especially after his grinding last two matches at AO. And then he loses the plot against bird shit in Dubai.So,i think he is not mentally very refreshed to think clearly in those situations and the 2 month rest that he is gonna get after IW will surely do him a world of good and he will definitely be back with vengeance(better lookout birdshit).Its also good that he is disappointed with himself for losing that match coz it shows that his passion is very much intact and puts an end to all our speculations about this about that,blah blah blah over these last two posts.

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    Fedfan Reply:

    I agree, I think Berd shit match reignited Roger’s passion like Djokovic did in 2011. He’s definitely lacking confidence and that makes him mentally weak in the crucial moments. However, we all know Roger…I think he can do it at Indian Wells, he just needs to get rolling and have some solid wins. And maybe his tough draw will allow just that.

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  9. great post Ruan, some very good points you make.
    still not the time to panic for us FedFans. 3 tournies and no trophy in our world seems crazy… we’ve been spoiled :-)
    yet at this time and age we can never be sure if it is just a phase or is time finally catching up with Fed.

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  10. Hi Ruan & gang. I have an awesome opportunity to go to Indian Wells for one day and wanted to get your wisdom on the best ticket to try to get. I was thinking next Thursday or Friday night could be magic. Quarter finals, they usually put Fed on at night, and he should run into Nadal in the quarters. Seats in the nose bleeds of that small arena are only $23. Semis and Finals would be too expensive for me. I would just LOVE to be there to see Fed take Nadal apart on one of the Maestro’s favorite courts. Any wisdom for me on which day/night I should go for would be greatly appreciated. Thanks very much. I promise to take photos and report if I get lucky enough to see Fed play!!

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