Australian Open QF: Federer Schools Wawrinka 6-1, 6-3, 6-3

This was just what the doctor ordered. A convincing win before a semi-final showdown with Djokovic. Again, I wouldn’t say it was JesusFed, but a very convincing performance nonetheless. Roger got off to the ideal start by breaking Wawrinka early on and then broke him once more to win the first set. It looked like he was cutting down on the errors although he did hit his fair share of shank backhands as well. Wawrinka’s backhand down the line was looking threatening early on but not enough to bother Roger an awful lot. The second set was again two breaks of serve for Roger. The third set delivered some entertaining tennis and Roger hit a tweener at some point but ended up losing the point. At 3-3 in the third Roger did face a break point but got through it unharmed. He got the break in the next game which was enough to secure the win.

The one stat about this match that stood out was Roger’s first serve percentage which was at 77%. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen him serve at such a high percentage and is perhaps the result of a conscious decision to make more first serves. It certainly helped him to hold serve comfortable and put the pressure on Wawrinka’s serve. The other stat that stood out was the 5/7 break point conversions which was much worse earlier in the tournament if you remember. When Roger converts more break points ity is usually a sign that he is gaining in confidence. You’s certainly have to say that this was an improvement on his last match against Robredo. There was no slump this time. Roger just stayed pretty much solid throughout. I wouldn’t call it JesusFed because there were still too many unforced errors.

It was just a very competent all-round performance, not giving Wawrinka any chance to get into the match. And as I said there was some very entertaining stuff there as well. Roger will now face Djokovic who took care of Berdych equally easily. Djokovic have been in good form throughout the championships. It won’t be an easy match. But I like how Roger is hitting from at the right time again. What happened up until this point in the event is pretty irrelevant. Roger is deadly when it comes to semi-final time in slams and I won’t be surprised if JesusFed shows up for this one. I think it is overdue. The form that we have seen from the Masters Cup have been absent for a while now and we may just see it return here. The semi’s and final is where you can expect to see Roger’s best form. He may just have been saving his best for last as well.

The fact that he put in a performance like the one against Wawrinka also points to that fact. It is like he is getting ready for something big. It is just a question of something clicking, and then Djokovic basically have no chance whatsoever. We saw what JesusFed did to him at the MC and on many other occasions. When Roger is at his best Djokovic is just no match for him. The time of day they play could also play a roll. I would think that Roger plays better at night, although the faster conditions of the day may favor him as well. We will see. I am just happy that Roger is through to a 27th grand slam semi-final and an 8th consecutive one at the Australian Open. Very impressive stuff. There is now only two matches between him and the record of 5 Oz Open titles. If there was ever a good time for JesusFed to show up it is now.

Interview: http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/news/interviews/2011-01-25/201101251295931327873.html

Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itdNg1IHrZk

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53 Comments

  1. Great analysis as usual Ruan. Agree that it wasn’t JesusFed level and that we can hope/expect that to show up against DJ next.

    One thing though. You say that “The form that we have seen from the Masters Cup have been absent for a while now and we may just see it return here.” I do think, though, that we saw that form in the Doha finals and also the first round here, where Fed was road-tested the new aggressive game on AO court conditions against Lacko before putting it away.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah there has been Jesudfed at Doha and the AO. Im not saying it was completely gone but i expect him to step it up here once more. A lot of people are already saying that Nadal is gonna win this thing and i want him to prove them wrong badly.

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  2. I saw the result earlier today and I assumed JesusFed had turned up. Just finished watching the recorded match and I must admit to still being quite concerned. Roger hit far too many errors and he wasn’t playing a totally aggresive game- when he tried to he mishit the ball. He wasn’t timing it well.
    Stan was poor. There were again flashes of brilliance and he was pretty solid and kept his concentration. His first serve and his return were awesome. They allowed him to dominate. I’m loving Fed’s aggresive return game- I used to get so bored of Roger chipping the ball back on second serves. Now it’s exciting on his return games!! Much more fun
    Anyways- a good performance but not as great as the media have made out. His winners to enforced errors was similar to every other round. What did impress me a great deal in this match is that Roger deployed perfect tactics against Stan to beat him easily. He kept the ball high. He hit it deep. He let Stan go fort his winners and defended when he had to. Before Annocombe I often felt that Roger didn’t think at all about who he was up against. Now he has a ‘game plan’ and he’s sticking to it. Good to see
    Thank you for your post Ru-an. Everything else on the net talks about how wonderful Roger played and forgets about the shanks! Good to see such great objective thinking for someone who loves Roger. Sugar coating performances would be annoying.
    Now all we have to do is sit back and wait for Nadal to thrash his Spanish mate. I’ll be surprised if Ferrer gets 9 games in the match.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Youre welcome Andrew, yeah i dont expect Ferrer to make much of an impression. Boring.

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  3. I don´think Wawrinka came short in this match, it´s just that Roger didn´t get a chance to Stan to show the form he had shown in the past 2 rounds.Roger has the ability to bring out the worst of his opponents.I think a lot of this has to do with his understanding of the game.In his semi he will need his A game from there on.
    I believe he will do so.Roger is wonderful physically and tecnically.He´s also a genious.
    Go Roger! keeping my fingers crossed for your 5th Aussie
    Open crowd!

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  4. The win against Wawrinka was certainly more reassuring, as there weren’t the sometimes awful lapses that Roger has shown in some of his previous matches. However, I certainly expected Wawrinka to do better. I think it was one of those matches where the other player lost in the locker room.
    I have puzzled at Roger’s sometimes over-frequent deployment of the drop shot in his matches; it is as though he is practising it. That may well be. Part of his game plan, should he meet Nadal in the final, or another defensive player like Murray, could be to use the drop-shot rather than try to force a way through their back-court defensive wall. If they stay too far back they are vulnerable to that shot; if they come closer into court, knowing he has the drop shot option, he can attack better with pace and depth.
    I now expect a good match against Djoko, and unless Roger’s form slips he should take this one. Nadal, meantime will dispose of Ferrer, probably without the loss of a set, although the match will be very physical.
    Murray should beat Dolgopolov but again he could be in for something of a battle, given the Ukrainian’s efforts so far – he is a dangerous attacking player off the ground. If Murray wins well I give him a very good chance against Nadal – it is a good matchup for him on hard-court.

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  5. According to me, the matches against Simon(going 2 sets up only to lose next 2)or the Robredo match(winning set 1 comfortably & losing 2nd pretty much easily) are not an indicator of Federer’s pro’s & con’s.

    Because such good openings & quick bad(errors on serves,ground strokes etc..) seem all part of his (Grand)PLAN!!!

    Yes its as though he is making it happen voluntarily to study his strategy,skills,stamina etc…He is not the kind of player going for every point he plays(at least not NOW in his Career) Of course one could argue that a 16 time Grand Slam Champion has enough experience & skill to dispatch anyone at will.But one must also remember he plays not just to win but to be the “Best Ever To Have Ever Won”.I say this because he plays naturally(And Every Federer fan knows this).

    He is a great athlete with an intellectual Mind,doing analysis of every possible improvements(here they pertain to what he truly sees possible) & achieving them.The string structuring with customized hybrid between gut & lexicon,increased racket head or varying tension for different surfaces or even opponents is proof of his “GENIUS”

    And many players on ATP are imitating him but with limited success!!
    So we just cannot expect him to annihilate every lower ranked player while also winning pretty much comfortably with TOP players…

    I have been watching Tennis since his TRIUMPH at Wimbledon 03.Now i believe(and probably rightly so..) not even the greats of the past would match up with FEDERER

    Federer will forever (is to)be the PINNACLE of (not just Men)Tennis

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  6. Spot on analysis, Ruan. I am pretty happy to see Roger played a solid game like this just before the semi, where the real battle begins. Yes, not JesusFed mode yet, but at least he kept his concentration and intensity throughout the match. His serves was very good, majority of his game were working fine, shot selections were better too, despite some shanks and UE here and there. I slept better yesterday and truly looking forward to the DJ match. Too bad i will be travelling on Sunday and will miss the final should he make it there.
    On the other half, I am keeping a close eyes on Murray and Nadal’s form. Would like to hear your assessment and prediction should the two of them meet in the semi, which is highly likely.
    Thanks again for the wonderful blog.

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  7. If God-mode Federer makes an appearance in the semis, it should be straight sets over Djokovic; if a more mortal version shows up, it’ll be a long day. Djokovic is indeed playing very well, so it will take a great performance to beat him.

    Federer said the Simon match got under his skin; Simon hits so flat and has such a strange way of constructing (perhaps deconstructing would be a better word) points, it threw Federer off. He had to really adjust his game plan, and that mental effort, coupled with the pressure of facing a tough opponent whom he had never previously beaten, affected him for days.

    Robredo and Wawrinka are more conventional opponents, they both hit heavier, with more spin, and I think it took Federer some time to become reaccustomed to that patterns of play.

    I agree that God-mode Federer didn’t show up against Wawrinka. I didn’t see a lot of perfectly constructed points beautifully finished off with clean winners. But he played a very solid match, throwing Wawrinka’s timing off and forcing him into errors by mixing it up. He also showed his creative side, improvising and experimenting on court. That’s always good, it stimulates him and helps him play more relaxed and free, which is when he is at his best.

    It will be good for Federer to get used to longer rallies against Djokovic; should he make the final, he will almost surely be up against a very consistent baseliner. As Neil suggested, he will have to use his all-court game to force them to come forward and break up their comfortable baseline rhythm.

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  8. Murray is through, as Dolgopolov seemed to remember his ranking, although he did take a set. Murray played his usual game of daring his opponent to miss. That won’t do for the rest of the tournament.

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  9. Well well well!! Nadal down a Set already! Why is it that whenever he starts to lose the trainer or doctor appears?

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    muhammad Reply:

    what else do you expect from a toothless champion!!!

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  10. Can someone give a brief update? What’s happening? How come the score seems to have stopped for so long? I am only following the result from my office so can’t tell..

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  11. Ferrer wins 6:4; 6:2; 6:3
    Wow!
    Rafa’s run has been stopped – in straight sets – not by Federer, not by Murray, not by Djoko – but by someone who nobody expected to do so. Just wow!

    Go Federer!

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    Ilya Reply:

    Sadly, as Rafa goes, so goes our dream Fedal final. I was really cheering for Fed to win and for Rafa to lose all the way along, but I can not feel very happy about Rafa’s loss bc of injury. I know that a loss is a loss, and Fed is such a great champion in part bc he has never retired from a match in his life, so if Rafa cannot play in such a was as to stay healthy, too bad for him. But one of the greatest things about their rivalry was that they were pushing each other to the very limit, to the very best. That is why I am feeling a little sad that there will be no other epic final re-match between the two, when Fed is in the best shape of the last two years.

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  12. Dear rafa fans,
    Congrats for the rafa slam.
    P.S. No pun intended.

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    Andrew Reply:

    LOL!

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    jane Reply:

    well..congrats to fed losing, one good deed deserves another i guess

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  13. Ha ha!! So much for the ‘Rafa Slam’ Defeated in straight sets. He was as usual “injured” for most of the match but at least this year he didn’t retire. Federer will now be the red hot favourite to win the title- let’s see how he reacts to that pressure because in the past he’s always loved being top dog. Murray highly likely to get to his 3rd slam final now.

    The best thing about this though? RANKINGS! Rafa won’t get any more points as he didn’t advance past quarters again and if Roger can win then he’ll keep the same gap and can have a really good go at Nadal in the summer for the number 1 ranking.

    I like Nadal as a person and this loss will hurt him alot but really it should be expected because of how he plays such a defensive, running game.

    Roger’s biggest challenge will be DJ now.

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  14. Why am I not Surprised!!!! Nadal always seems to find excuses… Ha ha huh ha!!!After having reached the quarters in straight set matches….???Ferrer has shocked everyone(including you i guess).At the very start of the match he made Nadal work hard for his serve which he won after about 20 minutes.Then he continued the Onslaught breaking Nadal at will.

    I see this match similar to Roddick-Wawrinka match,where Wawrinka came up with the goods when it mattered!!!
    Unfortunately he lost tamely to Federer.
    Could it be the same with Ferrer??? Only time will tell??

    And this is the same guy who after having gone through 5hr14min semi was fit enough to beat Federer in yet another 5 setter in approx 4hrs30min!!!!

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  15. One thing about Ferrer: if he continues playing the fiercely attacking style that he has played against Nadal today and continues to go for winners, Murray may be in big trouble against him. Ferrer’s performance today against Nadal (injured or not) was anything but boring.

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  16. Didn’t see any of the Nadal match, and was pretty shocked this morning. Even without seeing it, and reading the description in the news, I can just imagine. Head down, almost in tears. I’ll never forget Federer saying that, “unfortunately, injuries are part of the game.”
    Someone said they were sad they don’t get to see Rafa play Federer. I just hope we get another smackdown on Murray. He’s one of those people I enjoy seeing given a beatdown. Its just too bad that Ferrer can’t feel like he deserved this win, cause Nadal was injured. I, for one, ain’t buying the bs, and I didn’t for Federer at Wimbledon either. Everyone has an off day, and after all, Ferrer is ranked #7 in the world, and ended 25 consecutive wins at slams.
    And, finally, Mr. Ruan, you said a while ago that winning the 4 slamsin a row, was very very difficult, and thats why no one has done it in 42 years. You also said you didn’t think Rafa would do it, and you said that, a LONG time ago. Good call Ruan!!! I actually feel very good today, and lets all continue to enjoy the Maestro. I wonder how hes feeling about his chances. I will bet his confidence just is through the roof.

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    Andrew Reply:

    A great point Gary. The GOAT has a mental block when it comes to Nadal. It affected him at the US Open against DJ and now that he’s out Roger might regain the confidence he had at the start of the week. He’s had lots of thumpings on DJ recently to also help him along.

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    gary Reply:

    Andrew, you might like this one….”Nadal does the right thing and losses to Ferrer in AF,..avoids possible dismantaling by Federer”

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    gary Reply:

    Meant QF. Sorry, G

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    Andrew Reply:

    haha. Yeah that’s a good one! If Roger beats DJ easily I would have fancied his chances against Rafa in the final.

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  17. Hello everybody!
    I am extremely satisfied to see the exit of so called greater than GOAT who was to easily achieve what GOAT could not do in two attempts. And trying to change the momentum be it by calling the doctor or being absent and may be for getting coaching or pretending to be not playing good because of injury are all cover-ups to show that he is still unbeatable but due to injury he could not play at the highest level. All this is bs. Why not give credit to Ferrer? It may be recalled that at one of the Master cups he dismantled everybody including Nadal to lastly fall to the GOAT Federer.I would like to hear what the people who thought that in best of five matches Nadal was unbeatable would want to say now. As is evident from his loss today it does not happen to be even four sets. Fantastic thing indeed. My thanks to Ferrer for putting a plug to this silly hype about Rafa slam. Now, I am not really worried about Federer. 3 grand slams per season is not a big thing for him. He has achieved the feat three times and that is by itself a record.

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  18. What can I say? Another lost, another injury. Not sure what to feel for Rafa, really… He’s a very nice person, so naturally I feel bad for him for having to exit because of another injury, again. However, life is always fair in this world, the way he pushes his body to the limit in pursue of Roger, so it’s only natural that it would catch up on him eventually, it’s just part of the game, and it would not be the last.
    Now, I look forward to tomorrow’s game with DJ. It could be the game of the tournament for Roger. I hope Jesusfed turns up tomorrow and show the world who the really GOAT is!

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  19. Oh My God I´d said that if Nadull losses before the final I´d run knaked for the streets…and i´d be his rival fan, that´s for sure.Go David!!!
    What a pity no?

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  20. I don’t understand why everybody here is so satisfied. It is never nice to see a player injured even if his name is Nadal. The gloat is misplaced here.
    Federer has a better chance now though I think the next match would be very difficult. All the four players now think they have a better chance since the #1 seed is gone. Djokovic will go to war and Murray will surely give his best.
    If Federer gets to the final, it won’t be easy like last year. If he doesn’t get there, Murray-Djokovic final will not be that bad – it will definitely be a good match and very refreshing.
    In the long run, Fedal final would have been a good thing only if Federer would have won it. If Federer would have lost it could have been a disaster for the rest of the season. Now Federer can really give it all for the rest of the season – the #1 rank is reachable.

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  21. I hope you’re ok Ru-an? How are you healing? I’m worried about you because after the huge upset today I thought you’d have posted your views.
    Would you say that slam number 17 is now Roger’s for the taking?

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Im ok thanks Andrew :-) Actually damn good that Nadal has lost lol. Ill wait for Roger to play before i make a post. I dunno if its enough for a single post and besides i dont wana seem over excited about a player losing due to injury. But i am pretty happy with whatever happens from here on. I obviously want Roger to win the thing but that fact that there will be no Nadal slam is great for Rogers legacy. It seems more and more obvious that Nadal wont catch him in the GOAT debate. For safety i think Roger should add at least a couple more grand slams. That will make me very satisfied anyway :D

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  22. slam dunk selections at ausopen website is favouring djoker in 4 sets…that is strange

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Im going with roger in 4 here.

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    Ilya Reply:

    Seems to me that the only purpose of this “prediction” is to spur controversy. It makes no sense whatsoever, just as the prediction of Li Na’s win over Klijsters in 2 sets. Just ridiculous nonsense.

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  23. well djokovic played really well but federer should really have got the second set.also federers stratergy of fighting from the baseline didnt help also there werent many net approaches in the match by federer
    but djokovics playing incredibly well and tip him to win the title

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  24. and the drought continues…Oh roger…
    but we Love you man…
    nole was too good for him today…
    some wild errors from federer were really unbelieveable…
    don’t know what else to say!!!

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    Ilya Reply:

    Well, its up to Ruan now to fill us in as to what can be said and how to live from now on, after the order of the world has been utterly shaken

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    muhammad Reply:

    yeah right…
    tried to be at peace with myself for a possible defeat during the match but failed badly…
    nole was brilliant today…no doubt…

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  25. Federer fans,

    Congradulations on Federer winning his 5th australian open title and regaining his no 1 ranking as he is the true world no 1

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    muhammad Reply:

    look who is here…you guys are done with your rafa slam celebrations????

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  26. well nobody really said so mr dumbass
    federer did have chances but didnt make use of them
    but djokovic played really well
    federer got his strategy totally wrong

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  27. A terrible match from Roger. Even tho DJ played well you can’t get away from the fact that Roger choked when serving for the 2nd set and then was broken twice in a row. The match against Simon was the killer in this tournament- it robbed Roger of all his confidence. His first serve percentage today in the 2nd set was pathetic- yet he served so well against Warwinka.

    he wasn’t really playing very well since the 1st round. At least he survived Simon and got to the semi’s. his dream of re-gaining the number 1 ranking looks unlikely now and if DJ wins the whole thing can he go up to number 2? It’ll be close again.

    The only good thing about the last 2 days is that Rafa didn’t pull off the Rafa Slam. At least Roger’s legacy is safe for now and he’s still the GOAT. Won’t be easy for Roger to win at Roland Garros.

    I hate it when he loses at US Open or Aussie open because it’s such a long wait until his next tournament so I now have months to dwell on this bad performance.

    I just don’t understand how he got it so wrong tactically?! he’s thrashed DJ in recent months but today he was easily beaten really. Such a shame :-(

    A sad day to be a Fed fan. I guess we have to get used to them these days as he’s not getting any younger and it’ll be harder and harder to win slams from now on as DJ and Murray are getting themselves into the finals much more often.

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  28. Well, Djokovic played about as well as he could but he was certainly helped by Federer tonight. Roger played perhaps even a little worse than in his earlier matches – the unforced errors were again very costly – but at no stage in the last fortnight has he inspired confidence that he was in his best ‘slam-winning’ form; there have been flashes of brilliance but not a reassuring base of a high level of play; he has appeared ‘streaky’. While that was adequate for his previous rounds it wasn’t going to be good enough tonight, against a determined and inspired opponent. This was not a great match because Roger failed at any stage to produce the kind of play that has distinguished him in his career; surprising and more than a little disappointing – his face after the match showed as much. However, full credit to Djokovic, who took the match to Federer, attacking and defending with equal intensity, refusing to be demoralised by fluctuations in his ability to execute, and above all playing with the apparent conviction that once again it was going to be his time. I hope he is able to find more of the same for the final. A nice touch at the end; he did not triumph on the match-winning point and I felt that was out of respect to his rival. Djoko seems to be growing up, as well as getting better. But rest assured, Roger will be back.

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  29. Dang!!! I got up really early, and my eyes weren’t quite in focus. The way I saw the score was Federer almost up two sets, and then reality set in. Oh, and Mike, you’re a jackass. No need to rub anything in like that, cause we all know you are just a typical troll. Go troll somewhere else.
    Djoker was on today, and I don’t know who to route for. I think I’m leaning towards Murray for his first.
    Ruan, looking forward to the analysis, cause man, he broke back, and then lost it? Looks to me like his serve failed him today. See you all next tournament, and keep the faith. G

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  30. Hey Guys it seemed like Federer came out to lose with some of the “old winning game plans” from the last decade. His tennis looked so retarded….disaster!How come you can play like god in London just few months ago and than get close to that level in Doha and play like a top 100 player. He didn`t even try to change anything. Why the hell he hired Anaconne when against Simon and today he use his retarded shots and tactics from the past?!?I tought this was the reason to hire- a change that happened in London but evaporated here.he didn`t even try to be agressive and he has so many ways to make a shot a winner ….and he was just returning the ball…I understand if u cannot always hit the lines or have some bad luck in some moments but last 2 sets were total disaster. Howcome you cannot close after 5-2 lead?Whatta GOAT. Even Pete Sampras at this age could hold that serve!No service, no backhand no nothing….Djikovich played amazingly well but only because Federer played nothing most of the time. if he was injured or soemthing fine but all healthy and than saying “i had a great tournament”- that`s bullshit man.Its no shame to loose to a better player when you were competitive but he didnt even try after 5-2 in the 2nd set.Its not becaus eof Jockovich game it was something in his brain that affected his play.Shame shame shame. He won`t get any grand slams anymore….with this draw and Nadal missing and the game ven from Doha not to make trough Jockovich who lets face it was not that better than usual- just our man underpeformed-that`s it.

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  31. I have to congratulate Djokovic, he played fantastic, returning to the brand of hard-hitting, big-serving baseline tennis that was his trademark in his breakthrough years.

    Federer made questionable tactical choices and tried to beat Djokovic at his own game, by trying to outhit him from the baseline; not the way to victory.

    It wasn’t a great match tenniswise, but he showed great fighting spirit in the second and third. Those sets could have gone to Djokovic 6-2, 6-2 but Federer fought hard to make the scoreline close.

    I said if he wasn’t ready he wouldn’t be in the final. And he wasn’t.

    It’ll take more time, more work, before he is ready to win a major again, before he is truly comfortable improvising and mixing up his tactics on court. I believe firmly that he will win the next Grand Slam final he makes–no matter the opponent.

    This isn’t the end. It’s just part of the journey.

    As for what remains in this tournament, Djokovic is surely playing well enough to recapture this title; however, if his opponent is Murray, Murray will do what Federer is well capable of doing but chose not to do: slow the pace of the rallies and mix it up to throw Djokovic off. And he is hungry for a Grand Slam title. So the victory may well go to him.

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