Federer, Thiem to Practice Together in Preparation for Monte Carlo

Federer, Thiem to Practice Together in Preparation for Monte Carlo

Just a quick update about something interesting that has nothing to do with Miami. As you can see Roger invited Dominic Thiem, who I have raved about and called the real ‘baby Fed’ of late, for a practice camp on clay leading up to Monte Carlo. I also posted a video of them practicing at Wimbledon a couple of posts ago so this won’t be the first time. It seems Roger has taken a liking to the kid which is not surprising to me. He is very respectful and hard working like Roger himself. They both have great attitudes toward the game. Thiem is also a player who hits with loads of top spin which makes him a good player to train with on clay for Roger who have historically struggled with Nadal’s huge topspin.

From Thiem’s viewpoint he is skipping the tournament he would have played in Casablanca to train with the GOAT. That shows you he has his priorities right. Even though there is points and prize money available in Casablanca it is clearly better in the long run to go on a training camp with the GOAT. The experience and advice Thiem will get from the training camp is invaluable. Who knows when Roger retires he may even coach Thiem. I wonder how Dimitrov feels about this development. He would probably give up Sharapova to have a one week training camp with the GOAT, which in itself would be the greatest thing he could do for his tennis. But Thiem is showing more promise and like I said his top spin shots makes him a better candidate for the clay.

The three(sportsmanship) musketeers

I am already looking very much forward to see how Roger and Dominic both fare in Monte Carlo, but of course today is the final in Miami. And as expected it will be another Djokoray final. It is not the most exciting match up in the world but I enjoyed the Australian Open final and I’m looking forward to the Miami final too. Djokovic has won their last six meetings so of course he is the favorite, but you can’t underestimate Murray who has beaten Djokovic in two slam finals. But first back to the semis where Djokovic schooled Isner 7-6(3), 6-2. The first set was close as the scoreline suggests but then Djokovic was basically toying with Isner in the second set. Isner was playing at a very high level in the first set but once Djokovic weathered the storm Isner couldn’t keep that level up.

Djokovic is still the best player in the world by quite a margin and should he win the title today against Murray he will have reached another big milestone by winning a record third Indian Wells/Miami double. He is already the best slow hard court player in history as far as I’m concerned but that would really lock it up. This week he has once again shown how unplayable he is on slow hard with the victories over Klizan, Dolgopolov, and Isner. Isner himself defeated a whole generation of top players in Dimitrov, Raonic, and Nishikori, but couldn’t take a set off Djokovic. Murray is a better player than anyone Djokovic faced so far but the level Dolgopolov and Isner showed may be better than anything Murray is capable of.

Ps. I forgot to mention that Djokovic out aced Isner 10-9 which is extraordinary in itself. Djokovic’s serve is much improved and is now a serious weapon. As if he wasn’t already good enough.

Highlights:

Posted in Uncategorized.

25 Comments

    1. Federer has invited Krygios before. Goffin as well. And he has hit quite a few times with Dimitrov. Looks like he wants to be a mentor to all the young guns out there !!

      Ru-an Reply:

      Right but Dimugtrov is beyond mentoring it seems. As far as becoming a really top player. So is Goffin.

      Charlie Reply:

      Yeah the most important thing for any young player is mentality. Federer had it, taking out Sampras at WB in 2001 at just 19, Rafa had it taking out Fed in Miami in 2004, and Novak had it winning the 2008 AO beating Fed. Even Murray, beating Fed in Cincy (2006?). Anyone who can score a big win in a significant tournament at a young age, without succumbing to the pressure has a bright future.

      Dimitrov seems to be another of these young players who has let a few early successes get to his head, and is now enjoying the life of the rich and famous but is doing very little to improve his tennis. I mean when Fedalovicray were his age, they were training hard, practicing with top players whenever possible, working on their fitness and always recognising that there is room for improvement. Dimitrov on the other hand seems to be satisfied with a top 10/20 career, but doesn’t have the drive required to be a great champion.

      Ru-an Reply:

      Haha Fedalovicray. I like that one and it is also in order of best to worst. For now anyway. Thiem hasn’t scored a win over a big 4 yet but hasn’t played vs Fedal. He already showed he is pretty close to Murray though with two three set losses, and he put in a solid showing vs Djokovic in Shanghai. It’s just a question of time before he becomes a serious threat to the big 4, given his attitude.

      Florian Reply:

      Hey Ru-an!
      I also think that Thiem has a bright future ahead.
      Federer is the only big one he hasn’t played before. He lost to Nadal last year at Roland Garros. But he beat Wawrinka in Madrid right after his win over Fed in the MC final. Stan was number 3 then and although Wawrinka is known for his ups and downs I would rate this win as big one.

      Ru-an Reply:

      Ah so he did play Nadal before. Glad you corrected me. And as expected soundly beaten at the event Nadal has only ever lost at once before.

      Ajay Reply:

      Dimitrov at some point definitely will come good. Right now it doesn’t seem like happening though. Goffin is too small and short to make really big I think. Thiem has got everything to make it big but he really needs a consistent backhand to take down the big guys. Lets see how it goes !!

      Ru-an Reply:

      What do you mean by come good though? As for Thiem his bh is just fine.

      Ajay Reply:

      Come through meaning once the Big 4 fade I think Dimitrov will be ready to take up the mantle. I know right now it doesn’t look likely but he is by far the most talented of the lot and it might just take something as simple as a change of coach to get him to his best.

      Ru-an Reply:

      That’s a pretty optimistic view about someone who will soon be caught by the generation behind him. He could become another Verdasco too. At the moment his heart is not in it. Guys like Kyrgios, Coric, and Thiem will soon catch up with him and start beating his ass if he doesn’t become more committed. All these guys have great attitudes and have the talent to take up the mantle from the big four. Include Zverev or Rublev and you are already looking at a big four to take up the mantle from the current big four. How does one guy take up the mantle from the big four anyway? I think that is disrespectful toward the current big four. Not to mention that Dimugtrov is the last young guy who currently looks like doing it.

      Ajay Reply:

      Yeah its true I phrased my sentence badly. But let me put it this way. By around 2018 I think all of Big 4 would have passed their peak. Raonic, Dimitrov and Nishikori will actually be the guys at the prime age, around 26-27. I think among those three if each of them were to hypothetically work their asses off, Dimitrov is the one most likely to win more Slams. As for the next generation of Krygios, Kokanaikis, Zverev, Thiem and Coric I think we are underestimating the role of their age. Being in the quarters of a Slam and winning it are two completely different things. I doubt they are going to be winning Slams before they turn 25-26 meaning there is good window of about 2-3 years for atleast one of Raonic, Dimitrov and Nishikori (or all three) to seriously dominate. Once again I know it looks unlikely now but stranger things have happened.

      Ru-an Reply:

      Well there is no reason for me to take Dimugtrov seriously at present, so I won’t. I will only change my mind once he does something of note in my opinion. Until then Kei, Raonic, Kyrgios, Coric, and Thiem are all more promising. Talent doesn’t mean shit if your attitude is shit. I think Fedal is on their way out. They are past peak anyway. Djokovic and Murray can be at the top for some time still. Raonic and Kei are starting to knock hard on the door already. Kyrgios already has a win over Nadal at a slam. His ascent to the top won’t take long and he will probably be #1 at some point. Coric is not wasting much time either. Already he has wins over Nadal and Murray. And Thiem is primed to make another big move this year too. That doesn’t leave Dimugtrov with much time, and he is losing to mugs left and right at this stage. I can actually see him falling out of the top 20 soon.

      Ajay Reply:

      I totally get what you are saying but I just think all he needs is a change of coach right now. Bring in someone who preaches tennis not just fitness. Someone like Annacone. And he should be fine. I am going to go with Dimitrov. What I want to point it which is 100% true is that it is taking players much longer to mature nowadays. Tomic reached the Wimbledon quarters in 2011 has done nothing much since then. Janowicz reached the Wimbledon semis in 2013 and he has been woeful since then. And I think with Krygios’s hit and miss game its easy to see him not doing much until his game becomes a lot more steady. Coric though is one who I would keep an eye on. These days clearly the more defensive players have an advantage and among those we mentioned above Coric has easily the most steady game.

      Ru-an Reply:

      This is a more balanced comment I thought. I agree that Dimitrov should change coaching staff(did you hear that from me?). But I’m not sure Annacone is the way to go. He has already copied Fed in every way imaginable. He needs to become his own man if he wants to really make progress. And ditch Sharapova while he is at it. Then there is a chance.

      Ru-an Reply:

    1. Hi Ru-an! Like your new post, excellent…good news about Roger inviting the youngster, Dominic Thiem, to visit his camp in Zuerich for practice sessions. Exiting times in tennis are ahead, looking forward to Monaco.
      Love the picture of “The three (sportsmanship) musketeers” you posted on your blog.
      Kindly,
      Dolores

      Ru-an Reply:

      Hi Dolores. Always nice to hear from you. I hope you are well. Yes exciting times ahead!

    1. Hey guys, what’s up?? Happy Easter. Finally, today Miami will be over. And that is not a “dig” because Roger is not in it, but because…. I don’t know….. not many good matches to see. Not even with the girls. I am very surprised that Mannarino is doing so good. Did not know that of him. Kudos to Novak for winning the matches against Ferrer and Isner. He really was playing great. Kudos to Isner for beating Nishikori. He totally outplayed Nishi, but when Isner walked to the net to shake hands with Nishi, I just knew he couldn’t keep THIS level up against Novak. And he didn’t, but ofcourse, credit where credit is due, Novak played amazing.
      The reason I say that finally Miami will be over is that…… it seems to take so long?? I mean, do you guys remember that Delpo played?? Do you even remember that Stan also played?? And why does it seem so long that Rafa is out??
      Indian Wells was more excited somehow. NOT because of Roger !!!, but the matches were more exciting. My God, even the one of the girls !!!
      I think today Andy will either push Novak to the limit, or he will lose even more badly than in IW.
      I read a great comment: “If Novak is tired, Andy will lose, if Novak is not tired, Novak will win” :-)

      And Ru-an, I agree with you on Thiem, but…. I haven’t given up on Nishi or Goffin yet. And Raonic really impressed me at IW.
      But isn’t Thiem’s playing style more like Stan the Man??

    1. Oh and Ru-an and guys, some of you left really sweet comments for me. Thank you for that. I am just so busy with learning, but I am trying to keep up. Although Ru-an is not making it easy with what seems like a new post every day :-) So I am still reading all and will comment later. Next week Goat time :-)

    1. Thiem is an interesting prospect, would be good to see him go far in the next few years.

      Meanwhile, Djokovic plays arguably the worst set of tennis he’s played all week in Miami, yet still wins it 7-6. Murray may have developed a bit of a mental block I suppose.

    1. Murray has lost a bagel set in each of his last three matches against Djokovic and Federer. These days whenever the match crosses the 150 minute mark his legs seem to get really heavy. Really sad to see someone like Murray struggle so much for fitness which was once his forte !!

      Ru-an Reply:

      Yeah well he does weigh 84 kg which is not exactly light for a tennis player. He plays too defensively for a player of his weight and ability. He needs to be more aggressive and shorten points.

      Ajay Reply:

      I think he is trying to be more aggressive but his biggest problem vs someone like Djokovic is just that he is not as consistent. Where Novak will back his defense to hold him steady at any point of time Murray always presses the panic button faster. And his serve lets him down big time at all the important point. Murray just needs to toughen up both mentally and physically soon if he is to beat Novak anytime soon. Andy vs Roger in clay would be a pretty interesting match though as believe it or not they have never played on clay before !!

    1. Right now in both the men’s and women’s game there is absolute domination at the top. Novak has won the last three Masters Tournaments as well as the last Grand Slam and the last WTF. And Serena. Well Serena has just continued to be Serena. What do you think, is this good or bad for tennis ?

    1. Pingback: Djokovic Wins 5th Miami Title to Do Record 3rd Indian Wells/Miami Double | Ultimate Tennis

 

Federer Tells Fan to ‘Go Away’

Federer Tells Fan to ‘Go Away’

Anyone in particular?

Novak Djokovic for example. I’m a big fan of his game but I also found out he’s a really nice guy. I remember the first time I saw Djokovic, I was with my coach from the ITF Touring Team, and I just stood in my place, completely star-struck. And she was like ‘you have to get used to this, they are all over the place’.

I was in a queue to get food and Tomas Berdych came to get some pasta and the cook told him he had to go stand in the queue. And I couldn’t believe it, that’s Tomas Berdych and the guy won’t give him food because he’s not in the queue. I didn’t have the best experience with Roger Federer, in the players’ lounge, I asked him for a photo and he told me ‘no, sorry, go away’. I was a bit shocked. Maybe I caught him at a bad time. Djokovic however, was so nice when we took a picture and he asked me if I was playing and he wished me luck.

Hi, folks. I hope everyone has by now recovered from grand slam withdrawal and gotten back to their normal sleeping routines.

I don’t have any tour news for you yet because the current events don’t quite fall under ‘cutting edge men’s tennis’ but I have something else more interesting for you.

And let me just make it clear from the outset that this post is not made with the chief aim of criticizing Federer. I’d like to think I am now above that kind of tennis fan pettiness.

I make this post to emphasize a difference between Federer and Djokovic which could be detrimental in their ultimate destinies in the sport.

There is a huge difference between telling a young admirer to ‘go away’ and taking a picture with him while wishing him good luck. It’s perhaps a small thing for the player but for the fan it is a huge thing.

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And it tells you a fair amount about the characters of Federer and Djokovic. It’s easy to be classy and nice when you are winning and the top dog. The true test is when things are not going your way.

And we all know that for Federer things have no exactly gone his way of late. He is not the chased one anymore. That honor now belongs to Djokovic. This is not the first time we have seen this kind of thing from Federer in recent times.

In the semi-final against Djokovic in Melbourne, he told a cameraman who was filming him during a changeover to ‘Get out of my face, please‘. There is a certain arrogance/aggression to what he says.

Now, I understand that he doesn’t like losing and that he is used to being the top dog, but as a public figure who is very famous I don’t think that sets a good example.

It comes back to that whole Federer cult thing where Federer is lifted up to a divine status which means he can do anything without having to be held accountable. My hope is to expose the establishment and give Djokovic his due credit.

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I don’t like this idea that Federer is the candidate of the establishment and that he is therefore beyond reproach. That’s a lot like Hillary Clinton who is the candidate of the democratic establishment despite taking vast amounts of money from corrupt Wall Street in campaign donations.

That kind of blind fanaticism is very dangerous and destructive in my view and it is something I am working to expose and eradicate.

To get back to the tennis, Djokovic is viewed as the outsider because of where he comes from and for what he is doing to the establishment. And because of coming from a tough background where everything wasn’t handed on a platter to him, he is very appreciative and down to earth.

He takes nothing for granted in tennis or as a person. This bodes well for him in his quest to become the greatest of all time. He is always looking to grow and improve which means there is no danger of becoming complacent like Federer did.

Is Federer as classy and nice as the establishment wants us to believe?

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Ps. I started writing my book yesterday 😀

The is in your court.

Posted in Uncategorized.

8 Comments

    1. Hi Ru-an,
      No offence, what is your point?
      Obviously Federer is not just a sports Star but a celebrity too. It was well reported Federer mingled with the who’s who in the celebrity cycles and they come and see his matches in likes of Wimbledon, USO etc.

      Morever, he is a Swiss that comes from a country blessed with the milk & honey. People associate Federer more to a fine wine or luxury watch; and this is how the media play with his character whereas Djokovic more a villain that is tough and up there to steal the show from Federer.

      Obviously he is not as nice as people perceive him to be as a real person when you reach the celebrity status.

      people around th world still adore him because he is truly exceptional with his all court skills and there is something magical about his playing style that even attracts the casual fans to watch him. Moreover, he is in his twilight in terms of tennis career hence fans appreciate more of him even so, and rooting for him to win at least one more slam.

      Djokovic has his fans base too so I don’t think he is unloved by what the media widely reported him to be. However, I read a U.S. Report Djokovic does not get a high TV rating when he is playing anyone other than Federer in the U.S. Open so he still has work to do. So long as Federer is still playing and still making deep to tournaments, Djokovic is always going to be at the sideline when it comes to the popularity contest. However, I think it helps him because he has less pressure to measure up whereas Federer because of his celebrity status the pressure has got to him. How many times we watch when Federer is playing against anyone he is ten times more confident than playing a Nadal or Djokovic and that shows in his face. It almost like he knew he can’t win unless he is prepared to slog all day at the court and sweating it all. Though he doesn’t show it but experienced players can tell he is struggling physically just as much as his opponent. Whereas Djokovic is more a ‘in your face’ type of player not afraid to show his personality and fist pumping which unfortunately didn’t go well with fans. Whereas Federer is always perceived as classy, cool and elegant. What do you think?

      Ru-an Reply:

      I think you made another good comment, IWC. I like your objectivity as a Fedfan and don’t take any offense from your comments. It is like you say. Being famous gets to everyone, and changes everyone. I hope you didn’t take offense to my post.

      It really wasn’t about criticizing Federer. I am fully aware of what he has meant to tennis and I certainly don’t think he is a bad person.

      I was simply drawing a comparison between the two players and stating why I thought Djokovic might well surpass Federer. I hope people can look past their personal bias and take the post for what it is rather than thinking I am out to get Federer.

      The focus is here on Djokovic and why I think he has the right character for becoming the GOAT. Federer is just there for comparison.

      universal123 Reply:

      I really do understand why tennis players sometimes say something they don’t mean sometimes. To put it another way, imagine doing a normal job, or in education, and you get fired or fail an exam, and you’re in a really bad mood. Imagine then having to speak to a team of reporters monitoring every word you say so they can spin it and take it out of context. Probably caught Federer at a bad time, and I understand the point of your post. The thing about Djokovic is that whether he deserves it or not, the vast majority of the media will never accept him as GOAT, because he’s not from a “conventional” country: namely the North American countries or the Western European countries. Sadly, there is still a lot of racism in the West. In the last year the UK agreed to accept just 20,000 Syrian refugees over the next five years when far smaller and poorer countries have accepted millions. There was even a recent poll and most of the British public said the UK should accept even less. It just disgusts me the more I read about it. It’s why Agassi v Sampras and Nadal v Federer were considered big rivalries more than Federer v Djokovic which is of about equal quality, perhaps even better. Agassi and Sampras are both American, Nadal and Federer are both from Western Europe, whereas Djokovic is from Eastern Europe and so will never be regarded the same. Sometimes I wonder whether the West really has the right to claim a moral high ground over anyone.

      Ru-an Reply:

      I also understand that you are sometimes just in a bad mood and don’t feel like talking to people. I just found Federer a lot more disagreeable and grumpy of late. He’s not the player I knew. He is on the edge and seems bitter. It’s like he can’t accept that Djokovic is better now.

      Like he has the right to better and Djokovic has no business spoiling it for him. He changed or something. When I look at the 2011 AO SF between him and Djoker, for instance, I see him accepting the loss with much more grace, whereas Djokovic is the bratty and insecure one.

      Now the roles are reversed. Djokovic seems to have grown into his skin while Federer seems like the immature and awkward one.

      About the media not accepting Djokovic as the GOAT I don’t know about that. If he has the numbers on his side the experts will proclaim him as the GOAT and the rest will follow.

      universal123 Reply:

      Yeah it’s not great publicity for someone who is arguably still GOAT for now (not gonna say anything more than that as I don’t want to start that debate again) and whether he is or not he is still one of the all time great players, so it’s not great. However, I do have some sympathy. Picture it from Federer’s position as well. For about seven straight years he was in the top two players in the world, winning major title after major title. When someone else came up and took his place at the top (first Nadal, then Djokovic) that was always going to be difficult. To be a fair comparison I think we would have to wait and see how Djokovic reacts when the next up-and-coming player starts beating him consistently. Not suggesting at all he would react the same as Federer, just saying we don’t really know. But it’s an interesting point you have raised nonetheless, and I never bought this idea of Federer (or any other player for that matter) being perfect and incapable of doing anything wrong. The fact is these people are great tennis players with really good media training and years of experience of dealing with people when they have had a bad day, and they still get it wrong sometimes.

      TL;DR: I basically agree with you, it took me a massive long paragraph just to say that lol.

      Ru-an Reply:

      Djokovic will never become complacent, though. He doesn’t have that streak of arrogance in him. And besides, he is already portrayed as the bad guy so if he acts badly that would only be according to his nature as far as the media is concerned. He doesn’t have this fake image to uphold so in that sense he is unburdened.

      The establishment doesn’t realize it but all their worship of Federer is what made him complacent and brought him down. And portraying Djokovic as the villain is achieving the opposite. It is making Djokovic more motivated to prove them wrong and takes pressure off him.

      He will always be portrayed as the outsider so no danger of taking himself too seriously. It must be immensely frustrating for Federer that he stuck around long enough for Nadal to decline only for Djokovic to spoil it for him.

      universal123 Reply:

      You never know, he might somehow outlast Djokovic as well, given the up and coming players at the moment he could wait until he is 40 and then start winning slams again lol. I’m actually only half joking, it’s a combination of the old guard still being good players and that the young players are just nowhere in comparison.

      Ru-an Reply:

      Yeah, that’s a little unrealistic, to say the least. Especially after Federer just had surgery. It is more likely that Djokovic will be dominating at 40 the Federer with his thin frame, meditation(slows down aging in case you didn’t know), and elasticity.

      I don’t know how many more big losses Federer can stand mentally and physically against Djokovic. He can just keep being in denial about it telling himself he is finding a solution but as you see the problem can manifest in a physical way. In one way or the other, it is going to take its toll.

      I am amazed that Federer up until this point just kept coming back for more beatings without showing signs of backing off. So I’m not surprised about this injury.

 

Federer Surprises Djokovic to Win 7th Cincinnati Title

Federer Surprises Djokovic to Win 7th Cincinnati Title

Congrats to Federer on a much deserved seventh title in Cincinnati yesterday. I can easily say I told you so, that Federer had it coming after losing three big finals to Djokovic, or that it was inevitable with the Cincinnati court speed. I mean let’s face it, Federer keeps winning the matches on faster courts over the best of three sets. But I’d rather focus on the fact that Federer surprised Djokovic in my opinion.

  • Opening Set
Federer tried the surprise tactic of taking the second serve on the rise early on and it was a big flop. It actually had me laughing. Taking the second serve of the likes of Anderson, Lopez, and Murray on the rise is one thing, but not only does Djokovic have a good second serve, he also has great passing shots. So when Federer tried the tactic again and actually won the point, it surprised me.

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It also surprised Djokovic because he missed a straightforward passing shot into the net. Federer was the one applying all the pressure to Djokovic’s serve and had him 15-40 early on but couldn’t convert. He had him at 30-40 in another game as well. As the set progressed Djokovic started holding serve more comfortably and I figured those early missed chances by Federer would come back to haunt him. But when the set came down to a tie-break Federer had the audacity to take Djokovic’s second serve on the rise again. It paid off again and that seemed to be the straw that broke the camel’s back because Djokovic only managed to win one point in the tie-break. Advantage Federer.
  • Second Set
How would Djokovic respond to these audacious tactics from Federer? Not well. He got broken in his opening service game and quickly found himself 0-3 down. After that he still kind of hung in there but never looked very interested in fighting back. Whether it was just tiredness or the fact that Federer’s tactics took him totally by surprise I’ll leave to you to decide. It was probably a bit of both.

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I think he was caught off guard and then he pretty much decided to throw in the towel. He’d already had four very tough three setters in the last couple of weeks and he probably just figured he will conserve some energy for once. As usual he was very sporting at the handshake, though. No bitterness like we have seen plenty of times from Fedal.
  • Final Thoughts
So it was a well-deserved first Masters title of the year for Federer and he played very well all week. I liked the fact that he tried something new with taking the second serve on the rise. Of course, it didn’t hurt that the surface was fast and it would be very hard to do the same thing at the US Open without getting passed, but it was something fresh and only Federer is talented enough to pull off something crazy like that. I also think Federer has been playing too well this year not to win something above ATP 500 level. The level he showed at Wimbledon was as good as anything he has ever played. He’s been consistent all year but falling over the final hurdle in the big events, very much like last year. I think if Djokovic defeated him in Cincy it would have really hurt. It would also have been the first time either of them had won four matches in a row in this tremendous rivalry which Federer leads by one again. It’s really so much better than the overrated Fedal rivalry as well as the Djokoray rivalry because the matchup is perfect. A great server against a great returner. A great offensive player against a great defensive player. With this title, Federer is also back on equal terms with Djokovic in terms of Masters titles with 24. Nadal is still leading with 27 Masters titles, but he will easily be surpassed by Djokovic.

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Djokovic also loses for the fifth time in the Cincy finals and misses out on the career Masters again, but I’m sure he’ll get it eventually. For now this loss may have been a blessing in disguise. Someone told me on Twitter that Djokovic became cocky and expected to win. I actually think that may be true. And you can hardly blame him after the way he won all the important titles against Federer this year. Nonetheless, losing now and then, even when you are dominating is a good way to stay humble and motivated. I think with the eye on the one that really matters in New York, it may have been better for Djokovic to lose this one than to win it. He will still have many chances to complete the career Masters, but for now winning the US Open is huge. One US Open title is not good enough for a player of his qualities and winning his tenth slam in New York will put him right on track to get into the GOAT debate. It sure as hell won’t be easy, but I think it is better for his chances to taste defeat now and stay hungry and motivated. Now he has something to prove, as opposed to having won Cincy and everyone just expecting him to collect the US Open trophy. He has been so dominant this year that he is still easily the favorite for the title, but now at least he will feel like he has something to prove again. Two Masters final losses would be a good exchange for another US Open title. Edit: Federer won the first four matches in the rivalry, but I think you catch my drift.
  • Highlights
The is in your court.
Posted in Cincinatti, Masters 1000.

65 Comments

    1. Nice balanced article. I think like Federer, Ruan is back to his best as well :-)

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: Just telling the truth, no?

      [Reply]

      Charlie Reply: Obviously this depends on the draw but my thoughts on the USO: Murray in Fed’s half: Djokovic win over Murray/Federer Murray in Djoker’s half: Federer win over Murray/Djokovic Obviously you can’t completely count out a random upset or Murray pulling an incredible run beating both Novak and Roger, but I think it is pretty unlikely. Yeah and I am glad Ru-an that you are back to talking about and analysing the tennis because although I enjoyed the put-downs of some of the less positive comments on your blog, but it’s like different surfaces: you are probably no.1 in tennis analysis, but you don’t have the week-to-week consistency in your put-downs to be no.1, because it tires you out. :-)

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: Haha! We are on the same page. I enjoy some of the put-downs myself, but that’s not what this blog is supposed to be about. It’s supposed to be about intelligent analysis and interesting discussion. It’s a two-way street and if I just put negative or biased comments down all the time it’s too much of a one-way street. Interesting that you think Federer would win if Djokoray is in the same half. You think he’s gonna pull it off at 34 after 7 years?

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      Charlie Reply: The reason I think that is because there is less pressure on him at the USO. Last year he got unlucky (as did everyone else) because of god-mode Monfils, Cilic and Nishikori. Probably unlikely to happen two years in a row. Remember what he was saying before the Wimbledon final ‘I want this one on Sunday’, and I thought that perhaps he was feeling the pressure which is why I wasn’t too optimistic. But he hasn’t really been saying that before the USO this year from what I can remember. He seems to do better when no one is considering him as a contender more recently, like RG 2011 when everyone was talking about Djokovic-Nadal, or Wimbledon 2012 when he had that close match against Benneteau and everyone thought he would be too tired/ not good enough to beat Novak and Andy in back-to-back matches. So I’m glad he goes into the USO being underrated. Commentators and bookies can underrate him as much as they like, but there’s a reasonable chance it could come back to haunt them. There’s an interesting argument as well about who Djokovic would rather face if it’s a Federer-Murray semifinal, it’s a tough one because Murray can’t attack as well but would be better if it went to five sets, but Djokovic is likely to win eventually, but if he plays Federer there is a chance of a Federer god-mode day where he is just unstoppable, but then if Djokovic were to get it to a 5th set he would likely win. It’s an interesting discussion but until the draw comes out we can only speculate. And as for the age thing and the 7 years since he last won, I think that it’s a little different with him because of his game-style. I can’t remember what the article was called, but it talked about the two stages of decline. There is the first part where you can make adjustments to your game and remain at the top of the sport, but the second part is irreversible. Federer managed to turn his stage one decline around in 2013, it remains to be seen if Nadal can do the same. I accept Federer is not the favourite, but I think he has at least a 25% chance (Djokovic 50%, Federer 25%, Murray 20%, The Field 5% IMO).

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      Ru-an Reply: Well, the odds are against him to win another slam as far as age goes. And he is already in stage three of decline. I think the last two Wimbies were his last best chances and that he wasn’t at all unlucky with the draw last year. Everyone thought he was lucky in fact until Cilic showed up. He should have lost to Monfils probably but fought through and was flat vs Cilic. I think there are many players who can make life difficult for him and get him into a long match. But of course, there is always a chance.

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      Charlie Reply: Yeah with Federer these days it’s all about getting through the early rounds without tiring too much. If he can get to the semis without having to play any five-setters he has a chance.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: Right. Last year he was tired from the Cincy/Montreal double too. This year he could possibly to do that. But he’s got a pretty tough draw.

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    1. Nice post Ru-an. It’s quite telling that Fed can beat Djokovic in a big final at this point in his career, especially when the stakes were so high for Djokovic. Once he wins Cincy, which I’m sure Djoker will eventually do, that’s an unprecedented record in tennis, and it does bode very well for his inclusion in the GOAT debate. Especially so if he wins all 4 GS and all 9 MS, which basically means he’s won all the big events out there. As far as this final was concerned, this is my perspective about it- Djoker knew he had a good chance to win, since Fed hadn’t beaten him in a big final since Cincy 2012. In the first set, he looked focused and determined, showing a lot of clutch play to stay ahead in the scoreboard. What he( and many spectators) probably expected was that Fed succumbs to pressure at the end of the set, or maybe in the TB. Djoker knew winning the first set would be very vital for his prospects of winning, since in the last 2 matches on similar surfaces, he failed to win even a set against Fed. Credits to Fed for showing no signs of nerves whatsoever. The TB might be one of the best he has played ever, or atleast against Djoker. The BH return on the rise at 3-1 in the TB was like a final knockout blow for Djoker. His reaction after that point, where he almost smashed his racquet again, proves it. Once the first set was done, he knew he had no chance anymore. If the surface had been slower, it would still be 50-50, since there have been a lot of times when Djoker came back from a set down to beat Fed. It was quite strange actually to see him check out mentally in the 2nd set though. Especially conceding 3 DF in a game to get broken. So long story short, Djoker was hoping to end the losing streak against Fed on fast hard courts, and tried his best in the first set, and once he lost it, he knew he couldn’t win it anymore. On the other hand, Fed was quite smart himself. He said in the interview to SKY sports after his SF win, when asked about the significance of the match for his no. 2 seeding at USO, that the focus should be on Djoker and the career golden slam. He was cautiously optimistic about his chances, while at the same time preferring to stay out of the spotlight. P.S. One more thing I realised while watch the Djoker vs Dolgo SF was that Djoker might actually use the rope-a-dope tactic most of the times when he seems injured. I know it’s hard to determine what actually transpires with him, but there is a slight possibility that he was faking injury that day. I’m not being judgmental when I say this, but for a while, this behavior reminded me about dull and his antics. That made me doubt for a while whether I should like Djoker as much as I do now. I’m still ready to give him the benefit of doubt though, and he’s still my second favorite player.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      [Reply]

      Charlie Reply: Haha, just trolling everyone by losing in Montreal and Cincy to sweep the USO without dropping a set or something, right?

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: :))

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      Nakul Reply: https://twitter.com/CaroGrgicevic/status/636245588187684864 Guess who this is

      [Reply]

      Nakul Reply: :B

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      Ru-an Reply: Come on man this is not a blog for gay dudes. Gross.

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      Joe Reply: Masterly put-down – as usual. :-bd

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      Ru-an Reply: Well, it’s Nadull after all. I can’t think that Fedfans would find that very interesting, especially if the idea arises that he is getting ready to ‘bang’ Federer again.

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      Joe Reply: eww Ru-an. Sounds like I’m lucky I didn’t read the article! And just for the record, I never actually called him KnobDull; I just asked if you would object if I did call him that…

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    1. Good stuff, Ru-an. Great match, from the Fed perspective. I didn’t think it was close. Body language, ball striking, dictating points, the much discussed strategy of Rog. . . it was embarrassing, actually, but in the bigger picture we know this does not mean Novak is doomed lol. Hoisting the goods in NYC will cure all. But seriously, Djokovic looked like he was barely alive, a couple of brilliant passes to keep the monster from tearing him to shreds in the first set. How about that nod of assurance he gave his box after DF x3 to lose his serve early in the 2nd. Damn. Beatdown.

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      Charlie Reply: Several players have been interviewed over the years about this (why beating Federer is so hard): 1. He is one of the greatest frontrunners of all time, meaning if you are having a bad day you can never get settled because he is pressuring you on every point. 2. He is also one of the best comeback players, so if you are having a good day and get well in front, there is no guarantee you will win easily, Shanghai 2014 and the 2nd set TB in the Wimbledon final are probably the best example. 3. He is an attacking player, meaning either his pressure makes people go for too much and commit a lot of UE’s, or they start playing too defensively allowing him to move the ball all over the court.

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      Ru-an Reply: Thanks, Matt. Yeah, who cares about losing in Cincy when you win IW, Rome, and Wimby? I mean if Djoker won Cincy too, the dominance would be almost boring. Federer needs to stay in it to make it a little interesting at least. The Cincy final may have been a beatdown for Djokovic, but the last three years have been a beatdown for Federer.

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      Matt Reply: Rog is six years his senior. Either way (and of course the series has been even), Roger’s current form is ridiculous. USO should be interesting. The big three are all in the mix with question marks alongside each one.

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      Ru-an Reply: Yes, Federer’s current form is exceptional at his age. It is a surprise that he won Cincy? No.

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      Matt Reply: Agree. What would you say is Rog’s weakest surface? Clay? He’s been to 5 FO finals, kinda ran into the clay GOAT. Tough to make any kind of GOAT claims if your weak surface is Cincy/US Open type hc, no? I stand by the Djoker potential, but it’s tough to see him struggle like that (and fatigue is not an excuse, of course) on a very legit surface. Many greats have excelled on that surface.

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      Ru-an Reply: Nah I don’t agree. Djokovic is probably better on the USO-type surface than Federer is on clay. Already one USO title and three finals. If he wins it this year there would be no question. He’s still got time to win more titles and make more finals after this year too.

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      Matt Reply: Well, nothing definitive there (Rog has a title and four finals at FO, again with the most prolific winner ever in the field). Perhaps we can agree on this: Djoker needs this USO to keep his conversation going.

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      Ru-an Reply: Yes, we can agree on that. But like I just corrected myself, it’s 4 finals, not 3. They are equal in the numbers now. Just a question of time before Djokovic passes him.

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      Ru-an Reply: Actually four finals so he is already equal with Federer. Anyway, he is long overdue a USO title. I didn’t watch the final with Murray but I heard the wind didn’t help him, and in 2013 he came off that FO loss to Nadal. That doesn’t mean he will win the USO this year, but it seems overdue.

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      Matt Reply: I think any reasonable tennis fan could appreciate Djokovic certifying his ATP dominance with a 2015 USO title. Hopefully Murrederer can make him earn it in dramatic fashion. :-)

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      Ru-an Reply: Fedfanatics are not reasonable tennis fans so they won’t appreciate it. That’s one of the reasons I hope it happens. But mostly just because I am a reasonable tennis fan. It would clearly make the GOAT debate and tennis, in general, more interesting. I think he deserves another USO title, but like we saw at the FO deserve has nothing to do with it.

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      Matt Reply: Right you are. Are you continuing the prediction contest for the USO? Speaking of predictions, who are real contenders in NYC? Something tells me Stan, if healthy of course, could make a run. Seems to still be quite a gap between the contenders and pretenders. The more I think about 2014 USO, the more nauseous I become. Pour me whatever Cilic was drinking then. Unreal.

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      Ru-an Reply: I don’t know we will see. I have less time for these things now. The USO seems quite open at this point. Djokovic has not been himself in Montreal and Cincy. Federer can be a real contender, but the problem for him is his stamina over five sets. He hasn’t made a HC slam final in almost 6 years.

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      Hari Reply: If by chance Federer makes the final, he wont be the favourite unless the opponent is not Djokovic. Firstly he cant have his own way there as the court is slower than Cincinatti for sure. Secondly, his body doesn’t seem to recover the wear and tear of a 5 setter these days. He can play 4 sets for sure but if he is stretched to a 5th set, he is bound to lose the next round even if he closes out the 5th set that particular match. Thirdly and basically, I have not seen a totally in-prime player losing to a 34 year old legendary champion. You may say he is ranked no.2 and all but I just can’t see Djokovic losing to Federer unless the courts are fast and Federer is serving like he did against Murray in Wimbledon which in my opinion is just a 5% probability. On the whole, Federer is surely playing really well and clearly still has it in him but to expect a Grand Slam from him I believe is too much.

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      Ru-an Reply: Good, balanced comment Hari. It is difficult to see Federer win seven BO5 set matches. At Wimby, he comes close because the surface suits him better and he can win basically everything in straight sets. The USO is a different story. Many players can draw the match out against him. His stamina is very poor. One five-set match and he is pretty much finished.

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    1. The second serve attack is one he can use more on the quicker courts like Shanghai, Paris and Cincy. I don’t think Federer will use this tactic at the US Open unless he’s some way ahead in the scoreline – most likely in the first 2 rounds when he’s already 2 sets up or something like that. I have to say, it’s worked well over the past week – the matches he played against Anderson and Djokovic were particularly good to watch. Novak will look to win the US Open to cap off another great season, but I could see Murray really pushing for this one. Best scenario for Murray is to draw Federer in his half, hope he (Fed) crashes out before the semis and have a lot left in the tank for a potential final against Djokovic.

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      Charlie Reply: I disagree Krish, the best time to use it is on break point.

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      Krish Reply: I agree with that Charlie, I said I don’t believe that he will actually use it on those kinds of points.

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      Charlie Reply: I don’t understand why he wouldn’t use it at the USO on key points, the surface is slower but it’s still a good surprise to catch someone out, particularly if it is 15-40 or 0-40 and you still have another chance to break if it fails. If you mean that it’s confidence based, he had the confidence to use it against Djokovic and Murray so I think he should be fine. Perhaps you are right though, given his record on the biggest stages recently he may not have the confidence to do it in say the US Open final, but I hope he does. At the very least it gives the opponent something else to think about.

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      Ru-an Reply: Right, Charlie. He could use it at the USO. But I don’t think Djokovic would be surprised next time. He will be mentally prepared for it and pass Federer. The downside of having used it to win Cincy is that Djokovic now knows about his secret weapon. It won’t be a surprise anymore. And it will be less effective on slower courts.

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      Charlie Reply: Even though if it fails, it’s still something for Djokovic to have to think about (‘what if he takes my second serve on the rise and rushes the net?’) so he may overhit and give away a double fault. Anything Federer can get Djokovic to think about on the crucial points in a match is a useful advantage. As I said particularly if you have two or three consecutive break points, it makes sense to try it on at least one of those perhaps.

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      Ru-an Reply: Right, it could theoretically work. I just think Djokovic has a good record vs Federer in NY in recent times and that over BO5 Federer would have to pull that play off several times which is difficult. In Cincy Federer can kind of rush Djokovic and bully him, but with the slightly slower courts in NY it is that much more difficult. Djokovic’s consistency and depth from the baseline are very difficult for Federer to overcome unless the courts are super fast. His returns are more effective too.

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      Charlie Reply: I think the key with Djokovic is that you have to really smash him off the court. Most of his losses this year have been in straight sets IIRC, where the opponent has just been having a very good day, aiming for the lines and everything is going in. That would be Federer’s best play against Djokovic. Just go all out for the straight set or four set win, because Novak will likely win in 5 otherwise.

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      Ru-an Reply: It’s hard to see that happen. Fed smashing Djo off the court in straights? Ain’t happening. More likely to be the other way around.

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      Charlie Reply: Yes it is unlikely, but at the moment it is one of the few ways it is possible to beat Djokovic. He is the best baseline player at the moment by some distance, and possibly one of the greatest baseliners in history up there with people like Lendl, Connors and Agassi so I think relentless attacking would be the way to go.

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      Ru-an Reply: He is probably a better baseliner than those guys. All out attack would be the way to go but Djokovic’s returns and defense makes that a risky tactic.

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      Joe Reply: Yes Krish, but who cares about the best-case scenario for Murray? ;-)

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    1. “I could have done some things better, but I lost to a better player, no question about it. I have to deal with it.” http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/news/cincinnati-2015-sunday-djokovic-reaction Always gracious in defeat.

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      Charlie Reply: Yeah you really have to give the Djoker credit for that, when he loses there is no crap injury excuses. He may occasionally pull out some objectionable stuff during matches (like so-called ‘strategic’ MTOs), but after the match he never tries to take credit away from the other player. Obviously as the last player out of the Big Three to arrive on the scene he had to deal with a lot of tough losses before he became world no.1, but he never gave up or sounded bitter about it.

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      Ru-an Reply: Yeah, I suppose that is the good side of being a late bloomer and having had to deal with the Fedal era. He took many tough losses and didn’t have it all his own way. That made him more humble and more hungry while Fedal had it all their own way. Federer especially became arrogant and complacent, and he paid the price in the form of Nadal who made a big dent in his GOAT claim.

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      Charlie Reply: Yeah that is the only thing I can see (personality-wise), why someone wouldn’t particularly like Federer. I sort of say well he’s won enough so he’s allowed to brag a bit, because he is fairly upfront about it. The thing I don’t like is Nadal’s fake humbleness. But I can see how some people would be OK with Nadal’s fake humbleness and dislike Federer’s ‘air of superiority’, or dislike both. Fair point Ru-an.

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      Ru-an Reply: Since I’ve become less biased I have also noticed Federer’s arrogance and Nadal’s humbleness more. I think they are equally guilty. I prefer Djokovic now because he is very gracious in defeat, but he doesn’t mind celebrating and getting in the face of someone like Nadal which you have to do to beat him. He is not fake arrogant like Federer who crumbles under Nadal’s onslaught. He is truly arrogant and isn’t scared of anyone. It’s a good balance.

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      Charlie Reply: I agree, thanks Ru-an for making good well-thought out points as usual. Definitely beats reading Talk Tennis, one of the first threads I saw was one suggesting that Federer rushing towards the service line on a second serve is cheating/unsportsmanlike. WTF? You also hear bitter fans from all sides complaining about ‘rigged draws’, ‘unfair scheduling’ etc. I was just thinking to myself whilst reading it, IT HAPPENS TO EVERYONE, GET OVER IT. You don’t hear reasonable fans bitching about this kind of crap every time their player loses. Sometimes the other player is just better, like Djokovic at Wimbledon and Federer in Cincy. Nothing to complain about, the other player was better, period. Again thanks for making this blog what it is, you have somehow managed to set aside any personal biases and to come up with objective posts time and time again. I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to deal with some of the ridiculous comments you occasionally get, and well done on being able to accept criticism as well, as on many sites if you speak out against a particular player you are just insulted, rather than someone giving an intelligent response. I hope this blog can continue to be a place for all reasonable tennis fans to debate and discuss tennis, without having to deal with extreme and unreasonable viewpoints. Charlie

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      Ru-an Reply: Thank you very much for your comment, Charlie. As a relatively unbiased(I admit to a certain amount of bias because I do have favorites) analyst of the game, I don’t get that much praise. People like to compliment you when you praise the player you like, but that is empty praise. What you just gave me is true praise which is something that I really appreciate. I do have to deal with bias and annoying people so it always helps when someone like you comes along and shows true appreciation because you are a true tennis fan yourself. The average tennis fan is a pretty ignorant, annoying, and selfish. They just want the player they are a fan of to do well and when they don’t they come up will all kinds of dumb and ridiculous excuses. I know there are only a few of us, so it’s always nice when someone like you who knows and appreciates the game comments here.

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      Charlie Reply: With people like that the issue is they are closed minded. People choose to discard facts and well researched evidence in favour of their own, usually flawed analysis of a situation to decide their opinion. A common example is people who praise a tennis commentator if they say something complimentary about their favourite player, e.g. Federer fans when JMac initially said Federer was GOAT. Then when he changed to say Nadal he is ‘biased’ and ‘doesn’t understand tennis’ and when he reversed his decision again this Wimbledon he is back in the good books of the average Federer fan. Of course no one can claim to be perfectly unbiased as you quite rightly said in your previous comment, but the types of bias seen on most forums is pretty ridiculous towards one player or another. There are certain people who are biased but open-minded, and it is worth debating with them. But some people are so completely closed-minded that you may as well not even bother. The best thing to say to these people as you have been doing recently is to tell them to take their extreme views, closed-mindedness and bias elsewhere. There’s no shortage of fan blogs where you can praise your favourite player as much as you want with no fear of being challenged, and if people choose to live their lives without facing people with different viewpoints that is their decision. And as for the last bit of your comment about excuses, the thing you notice about tennis players and fans is that the better they get the less excuses they make. Less biased fans understand that losing is a part of being a fan, just as a good player understands it. Do you ever hear Federer or Djokovic or Nadal openly say (for example): “I played badly and lost but I was tired/injured)? That is what biased fans are like. Just takes all credit away from the other player, his team and his fans for supporting him. Very bad sportsmanship, so it is good that your blog does not allow it.

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      Ru-an Reply: Well said.

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    1. Nadal and Djoker in the same quarter; Nadal to play Coric first round. It should be interesting!

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      Bharata Reply: Yes, I was wrong because I earlier predicted the draws are ‘partially’ rigged to ensure a dramatic Federer-Nadal quarter to get the US viewer interested. Actually Djokovic has a simpler half I think, he avoided Murray and Wawrinka. His biggest seed is Nishikori who probably will twist his ankle or something before the tournament starts :-) Also he avoided Berdych, who is in Fed’s quarter. We all remember 2012. Interestingly Murray has Kygrios in his opener. That should be a lesson in manners..

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      Joe Reply: I would have lost money betting as you said, that Roger and Nadal would be in the same quarter…

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      Krish Reply: Wow, Nadal might even lose 1st Round if he’s not careful. The insurance will certainly be a spanking in the Quarterfinals. I’m not overly excited by Murray’s section – aside from Kyrgios, he may have to go through Wawrinka/Federer/Djokovic to win the thing, but I really doubt all the seedings will hold.

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      Joe Reply: Good point Krish, it’s hard not to see the draw opening up.

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    1. Hi Ruan, well obviously I want My boy Roger to win like I always do, but I’m interested and a lot of other things too, Djokovic having a chance to pull closer to evening his head to head with Nadal, hoping Donald Young does well. (He grew up in my city and was a big influence for us and I hate seeing him under perform), and this is kind of the last stand for the year for the less talked about top players (Gasquet, Dimitrov, Thiem, Kyrigos). But anyway, I’m curious, who would you say is Djokovics biggest rival. I thought about that today watching Pre US Open tennis highlights on YouTube

      [Reply]

      Darrell Robbins Reply: And I mean right now and over the big picture of his entire career

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      Ru-an Reply: Right now probably Stan, Murray, and Fed. Over his career Fedal.

      [Reply]

 

Federer’s Shanghai 2013 Attire

Federer’s Shanghai 2013 Attire

Hi folks. I hope you all had a relaxing weekend. What do you think about the outfit? I’m not particularly impressed simply because of the color. I don’t have a problem with the design. I bet you guys are really starting to miss Roger by now. Just one more week now but check out my new blog The Tennis Analyst if you are missing tennis too much. I have covered Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur and will cover Beijing and Tokyo in the coming week as well. Djokovic and Nadal are back in Beijing and it will be interesting to see how Djokovic responds after another tough loss to Nadal in the US Open final. Can he fight back or has Nadal broken him mentally? I think he may struggle to beat Nadal again at least until the end of the year. We will see. Nadal said today it will be very hard to overtake Djokovic in the rankings which is of course nonsense.

I’m pretty sure Nadal will end the year ranked #1. With Murray out for the rest of the year as well it is hard to see anyone beat him if he keeps playing the way he has of late. Berdych goes back to #5 in the rankings tomorrow which means of course that Roger is back to #6. I would have liked to see Roger play Beijing or Tokyo as well as Stockholm or Paris given how little he has played this year. But of course we don’t know what his situation is. The fact that Murray is out for the rest of the season is definitely helping him. Did Murray not pull out Roger would have been in a battle with Stan and Gasquet to qualify for the Masters Cup and he would probably have been forced to play Beijing or Tokyo. Roger has played so little this year it is almost like he is semi-retired. But it means he doesn’t have many points to defend next year and I’m sure he is just resting up for another big onslaught in 2014.

With Tsonga back Roger may have to add Stockholm or Paris to his schedule if he wants to be sure to qualify for London. I guess he is waiting to see what happens in Shanghai where he has a semi to defend. The fact that he is back to #6 in the rankings means he won’t be seeded in the top 4 in Shanghai and can play Nadal or Djokovic in the quarters. He also has a final to defend in Basel. We will see how things pan out. I’d like to see him add one event just so he can get some more confidence going in the indoor season which has always been a good hunting ground for him. He needs some kind of platform he can launch another big season in 2014 from. It would be nice if he can end the year ranked in the top 5 too. Well that’s a wrap from me. Like I said keep an eye on my other blog(s) in the right sidebar if you’re gonna follow tennis in the next week or have an interest in spirituality.

Let me know your thoughts.

Posted in Uncategorized.

16 Comments

    1. I love the new color and I can’t wait to see Roger back on the courts. I haven’t been watching any tennis since the US Open. I also have been reading your other blog “The Tennis Analyst” which is quite enjoyable.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Thanks Chris! You should drop me a comment over there.

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    1. “With Tsonga back Roger may have to add Stockholm or Paris to his schedule if he wants to be sure to qualify for London.” According to his website, Paris is already in his schedule.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      He just added it then. Good to see and expected.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Not sure if he added it or if it was there before. Different people telling me different things now.

      [Reply]

      Jiten Reply:

      He did not (have to) add that. It has been there before in his web-site right from the beginning of the season.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Yeah I figured that out. I got confused because he left out Basel at the start but then added it later. Good to see he is playing Basel and Paris. Looking forward to the indoor season for Fed!

      [Reply]

    1. I might get criticized for saying this but I feel that glamour and fashion have been an unnecessary distraction in the second half of his career.

      He could still have had an excellent endorsement portfolio without being as fashion savvy as he is. It’s of course fine to be actively involved with one’s endorsements and dressing but Fed is so interested in fashion that the attention and limelight took his focus away from Fed the player. Ruan genuinely understands Fed’s game and career but there are many fans out there who just cheer him for the glamour aspect.

      One aspect of Nadal that I appreciate although I just don’t trust him and his persona is that his entire focus has always been on one thing: winning the biggest tournaments. In the prime of his career, he never let any other concern such as fashion, image, the vagaries of media attention, sometimes even ATP rankings get in the way of his # 1 priority: Winning the biggest tournaments. It’s a different matter that he doesn’t also let fairplay, rules, sporting ethics or sportsmanship get in the way of his goals. For example, with all the talk about the possibility of his doping he comes back from whatever 7 month break it was, keeps a low profile and thereby keeps the media attention away from him and wins RG and USO. Whether or not he is doping, it would have been all too easy to get dragged into that talk and draw unnecessary attention toward himself. If Nadal knows one thing it is that at the end if you win the biggest tournaments your image takes care of itself. In modern sport, there is only one rule: the winner is the hero in every sense of the word. Look at how they gave him the stefan edberg sportsmanship award in 2008. I mean it’s a joke but you have to give credit to Nadal that for understanding that what matters is winning and he never gets carried away into anything else. He deliberately downplays his chances relentlessly. He rarely underestimates his opponents and is always on guard.

      Fed deserves every bit of his stature as the embodiment and epitome of what a great tennis can be. But if he really and deeply wanted to consistently attain the heights he was capable of even in the second half of his career, he would have been better off without the cardigans, jackets, red shoes, Ann Wintnour and whatever else. IMO, all that added to his hubris and hurt his legacy in the end. Again, I repeat that it is his absolute prerogative and who am I to judge him anyway? But IF we are talking about the ‘Art of War’, on court fireworks on the biggest stages speak a lot louder than offcourt ones. He himself once said in 2006 in an interview explaining his success by something like ‘if you want to chase the money and celebrity you can forget about it’.

      [Reply]

      Dolores Reply:

      Lob, your comment is well voiced, I liked what you say, much of it I agree with you. You are correct, Roger loves fashion, no doubt. You bring in the difference between Roger and Nadal’s success. There is another thought that I would like to add to your comment. To compare the two one needs to also keep in mind that Roger is a husband and father of two children. Nadal is free of any of these responsibilities, he is fancyfree, Roger not so anymore. Even though he has said that he keeps tennis and family separete. But how can he? Not possible. Whenever he has been travelling without his family, he has said he misses his family. This, in my mind separetes the two, Roger and Nadal. Will be anxious what Ru-an’s comment might be to your thoughts, Lob.
      Ru-an knows who I am, a Grandma.
      Whether my thoughts play a role in all this, I don’t know.
      Kindly,
      Dolores

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Of course your thoughts play a role Dolores! I just replied to lob.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Well first of all I don’t think Roger was necessarily chasing celebrity but you make some good points. The fashion stuff is just part of who he is. He is a stylish guy and looking good is important to him. You may as well say the same thing about Nadal who has made a music video with Shakira and had something to do with Rihanna as well if I remember correctly. Then that underwear collection and I’m sure many other things. Also it is clear that he has been chasing after the appearance fees, putting money in front of his physical well-being and scheduling badly.
      Roger on the other hand turned down vast appearance fees on countless occasions because he values his health more than money. It’s easy now that he is past prime and not winning everything anymore to find fault with his approach, just as it is easy to praise Nadal because he is on a high. In the end I don’t find much merit in what you are saying. Roger is Roger and Nadal is Nadal. No need to make any judgments.

      [Reply]

      Katyani Reply:

      Hey Ru-an, I just have to comment on this. First of all I agree with all three of you. Roger is first tennis, but he also likes to look good and stylish.
      But I don’t agree (with anybody for that matter) when they say Rafa was or is chasing money. I don’t know him personally of course, but from what I have seen and know about him, he really does not care about money. For him it is one thing only: winning. Way after that comes love for the sport. And somewhere at the end comes money.
      Lets be honest, he does (from far) look better and more handsome than Roger.
      (Trust me, NOT to me, but to most fans or female fans). If Rafa would care about money, he would have taken advantage of his body, his looks, his tan a long time ago. He would have those sponsor contracts that Roger has.
      Rafa really does not care about his appearance. Otherwise he would have found a way to stop picking his b..tt.
      Roger conducts himself like a gentleman off the court but also on the court. Rafa does not. He does not care that much about looking good or looking like a gentleman and stylish to land sponsor contracts. He is all in for the win.
      Roger is different. He loves the game, but he also loves to dress nice and stylish and gentlemanlike.
      For Rafa it is one thing and one thing only: winning. Atleast that is my opinion.
      As much as I don’t like Rafa (and I don’t), I have to admit, he could have done more to become a “gentleman” like Roger and to make far more money.

      Speaking of Roger… man, is it still not time for him to play???
      The wait seems like forever. I miss seeing him smile and play tennis !!!

      [Reply]

    1. Hi Ru-an, just a quick note to respond to your blog on Roger’s Shanghai outfit. I do like it, how it will look on Roger we shall find out soon. All of us, Fedfans in particular, are excited about his first appearance in a long while, so it seems. From what I have read, he is in Shanghai already. Your blog is great, particularly like the picture of Roger and his girls that goes with it. Thank You! Also, have visited your other site and like it, too. Keep up the good work, Ru-an.
      Best,
      Dolores

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Thanks Dolores I appreciate it.

      [Reply]

    1. can’t help sharing the goat comment by Jondos in response to the article named “Tennis ‘likely’ to change anti-doping rules after Viktor Troicki case” on CNN : “This is GREAT news! Why don’t we weaken the doping rules because the players don’t like them? They are so burdensome and intrusive and inconvenient. Forget that the rules are put in place to protect the FANS from players who might cheat with steroids and the like! Here is a STUPENDOUS idea! Let us forget about anti-doping altogether. Who needs a clean sport, legitimacy, credibility? Let the other sports fight over that. Tennis can be the sport that actually PROMOTES steroid use and HGH and PEDs. Nadal and Williams and Troicki and Cilic, and Odesink, wouldn’t have to deal with those ugly RUMORS any more. Tennis could even go one step further. Oh, they could have displays at the tournaments. Educational ones, of course! There could be one tent for adults and one tent to teach children. One tent where you can buy the designer PEDs that Nadal uses or Federer or Djokovic or Serena! Imagine buying the sneakers AND THE DOPE that your favorite star uses! They could allow the people to take the steroids and show them how their new serve or forehand will look. The children could be given literature about incremental usage and adapting to how their game and size could dramatically change. They could be wrapped in bright colors like candy and gum. We don’t want to tell anyone about the possible side effects though. THAT would be counter productive! Oh, I long for the day where the tennis court might be adorned with signs and endorsements from our favorite, currently banned, drugs. Nikethamide, Testostorone, Adrafinil, Ephedrine, oh and imagine the money that could be made from all of this, yes the money, I said the money, that is right, MONEY!”
      http://edition.cnn.com/2013/10/02/sport/tennis/tennis-doping-troicki-itf/index.html?hpt=isp_c2

      [Reply]

 

Federer Spotted at Dubai Players Party Sporting New Hairstyle and Doing Diaper Duty….

Federer Spotted at Dubai Players Party Sporting New Hairstyle and Doing Diaper Duty….

I found some pictures at Mens Tennis Forum for you where Roger made a quick appearance at the players party, and he had a haircut as well. It’s quite short, which makes him look younger. Seems like the birds were also flocking to the man :-) I’m not so sure about those big nosed portraits, but it looks pretty funny 😆 At the bottom you will see a pic of Roger on diaper duty :D

Ps. Roger updated his Facebook profile http://www.facebook.com/Federer?ref=ts

Posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , .

7 Comments

    1. I like Roger´s hair short.Nice to see him in the party Infection is not contagious? What a terrifying portrait.Funny to see Roger´s face, he´s polite, but thinking”it´s awful”.

      [Reply]

    1. tanx, man. that’s cute… See? there is loads of stuff to post about, even if he isn’t playing haha…

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: Lol yeah we’ll see ;-)

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: Btw Tristan i see you havnt signed up for the newsletter which you requested. Can you see it in the right side bar?

      [Reply]

Federer Scores 200th Clay Win Over Nieminen in Istanbul

Federer Scores 200th Clay Win Over Nieminen in Istanbul

  • Federer vs Nieminen

So Roger notched up his 200th career win on clay today with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Nieminen in the second round of the inaugural Istanbul Open. I watched and although it was not an awfully exciting match at least Roger got another win on clay under his belt after the Monte Carlo blunder. With a head-to-head of 14-0 between the two Nieminen was never gonna trouble Roger, but at least he put up better resistance in the second set and made Roger work a little harder.

Nieminen has about as many weapons as Wozniacki which means he provides Roger with a good practice hit basically. As far as Roger’s game goes he served well with 63% first serves and 9 aces, but he made too many unforced errors off the ground. Fortunately for him it was just Nieminen so he didn’t pay for it. Roger will play Gimeno-Traver in the quarterfinals who he has never played before and who is just about your standard Spanish dirt baller.

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The Spaniard has never won an ATP title in his life and sits at #62 in the rankings. Roger’s draw is now even easier on paper than it was at the outset because Gimeno-Traver defeated the 6th seed Kukushkin with ease. It looks like Roger will stroll to the title here which he should do if he wants to become a factor in the clay court season. The most difficult opponent he can face is Dimitrov who has had a pretty pathetic season so far. I won’t even be surprised if he loses before the final.

  • The Young Guns

As far as the youngsters go this week Alexander Zverev had a first round win over Becker but then lost to Kohschreiber. Kyrgios also won his first round in Estoril in the third set tie-break and just defeated his second round opponent too. Coric also won his first round in Estoril against 6th seed Chardy but plays his second round tomorrow. Finally, Thiem survived his first round in Munich by the skin of his teeth as he defeated Pospisil 9-7 in the third set tie-break. He plays Fognini tomorrow which should be very interesting.

The youngsters are coming!

Highlights:

Stats:

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The is in your court.

Posted in ATP 250, Istanbul.

9 Comments

    1. Great post Ru-an. Judging by the highlights, the court seems to play fast. Do you reckon too?

      Ru-an Reply:

      Thank you Gargantouas. Yes, the clay doesn’t look very slow or anything.

    1. Good morning, Ru-an! Now that is what I call a PROPER pic, Ru-an! Yeah, you’re right, I can’t deal with another Serbian fist pump in my face, especially in the morning, Ru-an! hehehe! Thank you! Couldn’t watch the match but so glad Roger won. About Madrid over Rome, what I meant was that Roger is confirmed to play Madrid but he is not sure about Rome. My observation is that Rome plays more similar to RG and therefore better prep for RG. And Dolores, I totally agree, it is a SIN to cut his locks! He hasn’t won significant titles since losing his locks!! His locks are his trademark and his lucky charm!! Can’t even recognise him sometimes with his combed up hair, ugh!

      Ru-an Reply:

      Good morning, Veronica. I’m glad you like the pic but it won’t stay that way so enjoy it while it lasts! I think Roger should play both Madrid and Rome but that’s just me.

      Veronica Reply:

      Yeah I think he should play both; especially if he doesn’t go deep. He said he wasn’t sure about Rome. Im thinking if he had to choose between Madrid and Rome, the latter would be a better choice as it’s more similar to RG. Many people have commented about the fast Istanbul courts, that it is not quite playing like clay. If that is true, Roger would not be getting much clay practice, (as he specifically said he is not comfortable and need to play more on clay) because Istanbul and Madrid may not be the best prep for RG.

      Ru-an Reply:

      Well, three weeks in a row is quite a lot but then it depends on how deep he goes in Madrid. This is the reason he plays Madrid, because he’d like to play both Madrid and Rome but if he goes all the way in Madrid then he may feel the need to skip Rome. Anyway, if Roger doesn’t play Rome he will still have like two weeks to prepare in Paris so he should be fine.

    1. A much less straightforward match today for Federer. He returned poorly and shanked on a lot of key points. Somehow he lost the second set despite winning eight more points than Gimeno-Traver, but he regrouped for the third and finished strong, showing considerable mental toughness. He needs these kinds of matches to get rhythm on the clay. Hopefully, he’ll be able to clean it up for the next couple matches.

      Wouldn’t count out Dimitrov. He got his first win over Djokovic on clay (after being a set and 5-2 down!), so he can play very well on the surface. If he’s in the final, it won’t be easy for Federer (although of course Federer has to win one more match to make the final as well).

    1. I didn’t see the match today, any comments on it? Was Traver playing nothing to lose tennis, or was Federer a bit sloppy? The danger of course is getting too tired after a 2 hour match.

    1. The blog looks great !! Btw Federer got the most difficult draw I have ever seen for a Masters 1000. Krygios, Isner, Berdych, Nadal, Nishikori/Raonic/Monfils/Murray. The only saving grace is that Djokovic is not gonna be in a final if it comes to that.

 

Federer’s Back Problem

Federer’s Back Problem

I’m back guys. I missed a post this week when Roger played against De Bakker so I owe you one. But since I have some time and the subject of this post is an important one, I probably would have made this post regardless. Roger’s back. That’s right. Roger’s back is something that has bothered him for a long time now. In fact it may have always bothered him. I read somewhere that it has been a problem for him since he was a kid. That makes sense because it definitely is not an injury. It’s not an injury that he picked up somewhere that can be treated and healed. It is similar to Nadal’s knee issue. It’s a chronic problem. I used to have lower back problems when I was playing tennis too. It wasn’t something that I could ever get rid of. It was just something I had to live with and manage as well as I could.

I think this is the case for Roger too. I am not speaking from an expert point of view and I don’t have all the facts about Roger’s back, just for the record. But this is what seems to be the case judging from what I have seen from Roger over the years and from my own experience with back problems too. I don’t think this is something he will ever get rid of completely. He will just have to manage it as well as he can. Give it adequate rest and treatment and try to make the muscles stronger where there is a weakness. The back muscles is very important for a tennis player. There is a lot of twisting and turning and stretching going on. It is also important on the serve where Roger’s problem seems to be. This goes back to my last post where I just could not explain Roger’s performance against Benneteau until one of my readers left a comment.

The comment said that Annacone mentioned Roger had been struggling with his back throughout the week in Rotterdam. Also I read somewhere that Roger had not practiced for Rotterdam until last Sunday. On top of that he was playing with two shirts in Melbourne in his last two matches as far as I can remember. So I think it’s pretty safe to say he was having problems with his back against Benneteau. So yes my post was off base to a certain extent. But if you have been following my blog for a long time you will know that I am similar to Roger in many ways. First of all I am very honest, and like Roger I don’t ever look for excuses. Roger never mentioned anything about his back in his presser. I have a lot of respect for that. He was rather looking at where he went wrong and crediting his opponent, rather than blaming his back. This is the attitude of a true champion.

But there is no doubt in my mind now that his injury caused him to lose. When you are injured you can’t give 100%, and that would perfectly explain why Roger looked like he was lacking his usual passion. That injury is always in the back of your mind because you don’t want to make it worse. That would also explain Roger’s body language. He looked kind of nonchalant, like he was almost in exho mode. Come to think of it, my last post wasn’t really of base. Like Roger, my approach has always been to criticize myself first and then look for excuses. It may seem like I am being too harsh on myself or on Roger, but that is just the way I do things. Now that I know about the back problem it is obvious to me the fault is not with Roger, I am going to say it. I have total faith in Roger 3.0 and I know he is not going to put in a performance like this if there wasn’t a serious problem.

Roger with some fans in Rotterdam. Funny look on his face.

On the one side I am happy to have found an explanation for his loss against Benneteau, but on the other hand his back worries me somewhat. If he didn’t practice until Sunday it means he had two weeks rest after Melbourne where he could have gotten treatment for his back. Yet it still bothered him all week according to Annacone. I thought Roger made a great start to the season in Melbourne and he was primed to win Rotterdam. So his back is certainly not helping his momentum at the start of the season. Rotterdam is one of the few indoor events and those are the ones Roger really needs to cash in on. Also, the excuses about his family and not caring about smaller events really need to stop. I think Roger has proven that his family is not an obstacle in his tennis career. If anything it makes him better.

Also he clearly cares about the smaller events. Why else would he have won 5 of them last year? They are important to help him keep his ranking and to give him an unbeatable aura, so that when he goes into the slams it makes things easier for him. I said in my last post that he may have to play Miami, but now that I heard about his back that will probably not be a good idea. With his back problems a limited schedule is even more important. Next up for him is Dubai in about a week where he is defending another title, and then a week later he is also defending his title in Indian Wells. I hear Murray won’t be in Dubai so I hope Roger can make at least the final there so that we can have a Djokerer final. I really hope his back will be better for Dubai, but I guess there are no guarantees. I suppose as Roger gets older his back is becoming more of an issue too.

But it doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. We will just have to wait and see. Maybe it will bother him more from now on. Maybe it won’t. We can just hope for the best. As for the Rotterdam final Del Potro beat Benneteau 7-6(2), 6-3. I wasn’t interested in watching. I was more interested in the Sao Paolo final where Nadal was facing Nalbandian. I thought Nalbandian had a good chance winning this after an impressive win over Almagro in the quarters. But he got hammered 6-2, 6-3 by Nadal in the final. It was disappointing and I guess Nadal is not doing badly on his comeback, although he has been looking vulnerable. He lost against Zeballos in the Vina del Mar final and have been dropping sets all over the place. He was also doing his usual ‘I’m not the favorite’ thing before the Sao Paolo final and then goes on to destroy his opponent.

Also he complained about the surface speed before the final, saying Sao Paolo is faster than the US Open. So his downplaying his own chances combined with excuses seemed to work to the tee for him as he scooped up another clay title and $2 mil in appearance fees. I guess it’s really tough being Nadal with all the injury problems he has had and the ATP conspiring against him by making all the courts slower these days. Well it hasn’t exactly been the weekend of tennis I’ve been hoping for but at least we know Roger had a good reason for losing now. Lets hope his back is ready for Dubai!

Posted in Uncategorized.

14 Comments

    1. The back should be better in Dubai since it’s very hot there. It seems to act up more in colder weather (it was cool at the AO I think).

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Yes it was. Good point.

      [Reply]

    1. Hey Guys. I am a bit more skeptical than you. It may be that Roger is really coming of that 3.0 status. One of the main characteristics of Roger 3.0 was that he was winning those close matches, following up with easy wins afterwards and getting his hands on those titles.

      I read that he is going to South Africa for a few days to support his organization. To me, it shows that he is not 100% commited and that his mind is occupied with something else. He’s no longer interested in going back to Number 1 and to him it doesn’t matter if he is ranked 2,3 or 4 in the world.

      I hope I am wrong but I started seeing this towards the end of last year when he lost to Murray in Shanghai, then lost to Del Potro both in Basel and in London.

      Now he lost to Benneteau. Who knows what might happen in Dubai.

      In any case, he is just cruising right now and there is no urgency and passion in his play. In AO 2013 it was different and after the loss to Murray I predicted that this would happen. He really wanted to win that title and now thar he didn’t there is a low point which I expected.

      It may last until Madrid.

      [Reply]

      Kyle Reply:

      The motivation is still there I’m sure. He lost to Haas last year in Halle in similar fashion and we all know what happened after that. If he did indeed have trouble with his back, then it will get better for Dubai and he’ll give it his all to win there, and at IW. Those are the only tournaments he’ll play until Madrid which is over a month away after IW so he’ll have plenty of time to practice.

      [Reply]

      Fedfan Reply:

      Hey Vily,
      as a Federer fan, first thing is do not doubt the master! until the day he leaves the game, I’ve learnt my lesson too many times, be a bit more optimistic, Roger knows what he is doing, he’s got the best judgement of any athlete so don’t be too worried!

      Well I certainly do NOT believe Roger 3.0 has abandoned him and us. Roger 3.0 was playing the first four rounds of the AO against some tough opponents, pretty impressive for the start of the season. It’s all about WHEN AND WHERE Roger 3.0 shows up. 3.0 has to make an appearance at latter stages of tournaments and slams in particular consecutively. Will it be tough? Yep but is it possible? Of course. Roger is pretty good in playing his best in the bigger moments so I’m sure Roger 3.0 is still there waiting to come out when the time is right (I personally believe this Roger will be making a full appearance it at the US Open but we shall see). Dw dude, he can’t always be that Roger and 2.0 is even pretty good, he just can’t win everything so need to take that perspective.

      South Africa is a good thing for a number of reasons:
      1) Helps his image as an ambassador which is really important as just being a tennis player, he hasn’t had time to go out for his foundation so I think this will be great. Roger is South African remember so maybe he has family over there and has a tonne of fans to meet, what’s not to love.
      2) Wants to take his mind off the loss and his BACK issues. This will help him regroup, refocus for Dubai and give him the extra motivation needed if so.
      Roger is very committed but he is also committed to the philanthropic side as well, gotta balance the two out in a way. Roger will be back in time to get ready for Dubai, we don’t know what the whole story is with his back so he may need to rest up…

      Vily we cannot expect Roger to win everything he enters anymore. Roger was mentally drained at the end of last season and was very very close against Djokovic in London, that match was on his racquet for sure. The Australian Open was a positive tournament for him despite the loss to Murray. Yes you could see how badly he wanted to win in Australia but that just proves that he is more motivated than ever at the tournaments that mean the most to him now! At 31 to play back to back five setters and show the fight left, we are being too greedy of Roger.

      “It may last until Madrid”
      Not at all. Roger’s grit in Australia proved how hungry he still is. Just because he lost early in Rotterdam we cannot base his whole season on this one loss, it’s just not right by any means. If he plays his best (injury barring) and gives it everything he has in Dubai and Indian Wells there’s no reason to feel disappointed. I think Roger will be ok for Dubai and if gets the rest he needs for his back and the weather and a good draw is going his way well then could be just what he needs!

      Hope this helped to give you a new perspective
      Fedfan.

      [Reply]

      Vily Reply:

      Hey Guys,

      Thank you for the replies and your comments. When I said that it may last until Madrid, I was referring to the low point.

      I believe that after IW and a month of rest and proper practice, Roger will come back stronger and be ready for Roland Garros and Wimbledon.

      What I am trying to say is that last year, which was special, and even before that, post US Open 2011, Roger was on fire. He was closing matches and was winning matches that perhaps he should have lost.

      I don’t want to jump the gun and I will be proven wrong if Roger manages to win Dubai, but last year I was confident and rooting for him.

      This year is slightly different.

      I think that Roger felt the same. He wanted the culmination of his efforts to be that Australian Open Title. But a combination of factors – tough draw, slight lack of confidence, combined with the brutal wear and tear of the consecutive 5 setters in AO left him with empty handed. Yes, he played amazingly and should be proud of his achievements, but looking forward, he only managed to defend his SF appearance.

      He already felt like that if he won the AO he can crash afterwards until Madrid. Now that he didn’t win, he just doesn’t feel like going the extra mile just to defend his titles in Rotterdam, Dubai and IW.

      I thought that if he somehow pushed himself to lift that Rotterdam title, the hunger might come back and he might defend the DUBAI title also but now I feel that is less likely.

      To me, that shows that Roger is just not at that 3.0 level.

      He’ll still play amazingly in the slams, but in those lesser events he might not give the extra effort.

      I really hope I’ll be wrong but I just have this feeling. It will change when April and May come around.

      Until then we have to hope that he manages to make those finals and SF appearances in Dubai and SF so that he doesn’t lose it all very quickly.

      Maybe, just maybe if he does get there he might have something extra.

      The next couple of weeks will tell us a lot about the state of Roger’s game. I feel that he is sitting way to comfortable for my liking and that he’ll slip to Number 3 very soon unless he changes something.

      Nadal is on the come back and Roger has to watch out.

      But nonetheless, when the Slams come around, I expect Roger to be at his best.

      I feel however, that his best will probably come around in the summer and maybe at the US Open. We’ll see.

      [Reply]

    1. ruan and fellow fed-fans,
      i’m from california, and indian wells at night can be quite chilly. like ruan, i too suffer from lower back pain (but unlike him, i’m a mere 4.5 recreational player), and do manage to still play quite a lot by resting, stretching etc–i imagine roger is getting the best care possible and that he will play well the next time around. the challenge now in my view is for him to keep up great form over the course of two long weeks of a major. that’s where i see the difference. my dream is that he beat nadal again at a major to quell all the rumors of him not being able to win his nemesis. and if it’s on clay that would be even sweeter. given that nadal is slipping in the rankings rapidly, my sense is that this year’s french open may see a completely different set of players in the final.

      [Reply]

    1. i meant “win against his nemesis” above. and to clarify, nadal’s lower rankings means that he may run into federer, murray and/or djokovic well before the semi-finals, which will only make things interesting. if it’s the two young turks, we can predict a tedious slugfest that will last five hours and leave the winner too depleted for the next match!!

      [Reply]

    1. Pingback: Rotterdam Recap: Federer Crashes to Benneteau – peRFect Tennis

    1. Federer is plenty motivated. His game is lacking at the moment, and if his game is lacking, motivation alone won’t do the job.

      Who can say what really happened in Rotterdam? Fast indoor courts make it easy for a very aggressive player to blow away the opponent. In a best-of-three format, five bad minutes can decide a match. And Benneteau is a player with a great all-court game, lots of variety and a great serve. If he had better mental strength, he’d be top twenty at least.

      For these reasons, and because Federer only played six matches going into Rotterdam (as opposed to nine last year), I don’t think we can draw any definitive conclusions. There are just too many unknowns involved. It could just be a freak loss, which did happen to him a couple times even in 2004-05.

      Perhaps if Federer had drawn Benneteau instead of Davydenko last year in Rotterdam, he wouldn’t have made it back from a set and a break down, and he wouldn’t have had the confidence to go on that winning run that allowed him to reclaim #1 last year.

      Conversely, if Federer had snuck past Benneteau this year, maybe his back would have gotten better by the semis and he’d have left Rotterdam with the trophy–assuming his back is the issue, and not something else. Who knows?

      He’s got the right attitude, just taking some time off to deal with his other commitments before he goes to prepare for Dubai. He trains in Dubai so he doesn’t really have to acclimate himself too much.

      I’ve said before I’m hoping for Federer to make a great clay-court run and then take that momentum onto the grass. All the talk is about how he can only win on the fast courts in his “old age”, so I want him to win on slow courts to prove that he is still the master of all surfaces.

      He may defend one of his spring hard-court titles, or he may not. He may even lose Madrid and win Rome. Any combination is possible.

      As for Nadal, if you want me to believe the Beast is dead, show me the body. He just crushed Nalbandian for his first title since coming back, so he looks pretty spry to me. Being counted out is just what he and Uncle Toni want, so he can slip into Roland Garros as the underdog (as if a 7-time champ could EVER go into a tournament as the underdog). Far as I’m concerned he will be back to full strength by RG.

      So I remain quite optimistic. It would be hard to replicate his winning run of last spring, but he need not do so to have a successful year. As long as he can get to the semis of most tournaments, he should be in good shape for when his game comes together. And I have no doubt that it will by late spring.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Steve I choose to believe that this was purely a back issue. The person who first left a comment about this issue on my blog said Annacone said Roger was struggling with his back all week. I could not confirm that but if it is true then the answer is obvious. But there is other proof like the fact that he didn’t train until last Sunday, the fact that he was wearing two shirts at the AO, the fact that Rotterdam had cold weather, and even just the fact that he has had back problems before. Having seen Roger at the AO I can’t accept that he lost to Benneteau without a physical problem. He is still too motivated and he badly wanted to win Rotterdam. I am surprised when I read comments on my blog that says otherwise. Disappointed in fact. You and me know how motivated and professional Roger 3.0 is. I refuse to believe any of the excuses that he was not motivated or that Roger 3.0 left us etc. Utter nonsense.

      [Reply]

      Bharata Reply:

      I also tried to find some report of what Amacone said about an injury but failed. At any rate I watched the match . Federer (as pointed out before here) was grunting on his 2nd serves, which he rarely does. Since the 2nd serves have a lot of twisting to get that extra bit of top/side spin, it suggests he was in pain. He also grabbed his back a few times, even after winning a point.

      I am worried this could be a serious back problem, but hopefully he can manage it. I am looking forward to him defending in Dubai or at least pushing Djokovic.

      As for Nadal the above poster is 100% right. Uncle Toni and the rest will be claiming he’s the underdog now for the rest of the year. It will be tough to stomach listening to that act of pressure-deflection. I just hope Ferrer can hang on to 4. THen Nadal might land in another quarter than Fed’s and have to deal with one of the other top 3.

      Great blog and excellent analysis as usual.

      [Reply]

    1. Ru-an, hope you are doing well and have a bit of time to watch Federer over the weekend.

      It was mildly frightening that Federer lost a set in the first round, but he came good in the end. Jaziri never really looked like he had enough to beat Federer (he’d been off the tour with injury for the last six months) so ultimately it might have been a good thing for Federer to be forced to play that extra set. It looked like a pretty routine match against Granollers.

      Tomic and Tsonga are out, so Davydenko and Berdych are the only obstacles to an eighth Dubai final and a shot at his sixth title. Davydenko could be dangerous in best-of-three, if he’s playing well, and Berdych is always tough for Federer. Not easy for Federer even to get to the title fight. Hope he can go all the way, though!

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Yes Steve I will have some time to watch this weekend. So hopefully Roger makes the final this time. That way I can at least see two matches. Shame the final has to be on Saturday.

      [Reply]

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Federer Says Visit to Ethiopia was ‘Cleansing Experience’ and Thinks that He’ll be Back in Indian Wells

Federer Says Visit to Ethiopia was ‘Cleansing Experience’ and Thinks that He’ll be Back in Indian Wells

http://www.rogerfederer.com/en/fanzone/forum/topicview.cfm?uNC=36334092&uPage=107&uTopicID=30251

Above is a link to two articles which I will post below. The article about Roger’s visit to Ethiopia does not have a link with it, and the link to the article where he says he should be ready for Indian Wells does not work. It’s at the RF.com so if you are not a member I will spare you the trouble of creating an account. Thanks to lovely and mustaq for posting this:

Roger Federer: “I just enjoy doing what I can to help.”

By Daniel Huber, Credit Suisse eMagazine

The Roger Federer Foundation has been supporting school projects in Africa since 2003. In mid-February, Federer personally visited one of these schools in Ethiopia. In this interview, he explains why even as a 22-year-old he always wanted to set up his own foundation. He also tells us what affected him the most on this visit to one of the world’s poorest countries.

Daniel Huber: You set up the Roger Federer Foundation back in 2003. How does a young professional who is only 22 years of age at the time manage to achieve something like that?

Roger Federer: I knew from very early on that I wanted to be actively involved along these lines. At the same time, I was often being asked to give various kinds of support even then. So I began to wonder: Where do I want to be five or ten years from now? I realized that I’d rather support projects that are designed in accordance with my own ideals than simply doing a bit here and a bit there. Basically, it was also important for me to start on something small-scale that could grow in tandem with my sporting success. So, the more success I achieved the more money I could generate for the foundation. But our main objective isn’t to raise as much money as possible in as short a time as possible and then spend it again; instead, we’re actually pursuing a long-term approach with the foundation. I know a lot of people who are frightened off by the idea of organizing a foundation such as this. For me, it’s become an important sideline in my life – one I really enjoy.

And how much money does the foundation spend each year?

We’ve now reached around 650,000 Swiss francs.

Is it just you supporting the foundation in financial terms?

No, it’s not just me. We also get support from private donors and generate additional money from the sale of calendars and other Roger Federer Foundation items. Recently, we’ve also been getting a substantial contribution from Credit Suisse, our new partner.

How do you go about choosing projects?

We always have a number of requests to discuss at our meetings. We then examine them based on clear guidelines before coming to a decision. To put it very simply, we want to do something to improve education for children in the poorest countries of Africa. As far as we’re concerned, it’s especially important to educate girls because they’re still particularly disadvantaged in these countries. It’s also important for us to be helping people to help themselves. If a project is almost entirely dependent on funds from donors, there’s always a risk of excessive concentration. We generally support projects lasting three to eight years.

And why are all your projects in Africa?

You can’t be everywhere at once. As with life in general, you need to make decisions about these things. For me, it was important we send out a clear message with the foundation and that we move systematically in a specific direction. Clearly, my personal closeness to South Africa – the country my mother comes from – played a role at the outset. That’s why our first project was also in South Africa. But we’ve now extended our commitments right across the continent, supporting projects in six countries there (Ethiopia, Malawi, Mali, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe).

Critics will say there are also many poor children and a lot of hardship in Switzerland too, so why isn’t Roger Federer helping out the needy in Switzerland?

The question obviously boils down to what you mean by poor. For me, someone is poor if they never or hardly ever get the chance to attend school and are only just managing to get by. We don’t have problems like that in Switzerland. On the other hand, I do play a fairly active role in young people’s sport in Switzerland. Through the foundation, I support the Swiss Sport Aid Foundation’s sponsorship program, which gives a financial helping hand to talented youngsters in sports like karate, badminton, fencing, and mountain biking.

How much work do you put in for the foundation?

In terms of time, my involvement is pretty minimal right now and confined to a few meetings a year, as I need to be relatively careful about conserving my energy. But after – or perhaps even toward the end – of my professional tennis career, I can easily imagine playing a much more active role in the foundation. But in principle there’s more to the foundation than just me as the chairman – we’ve got a whole team, most importantly my parents and our CEO Christoph Schmocker. They currently do the bulk of the work. What I do a lot, obviously, is talk with people that I meet about the foundation and try to get them to support us. I also had the idea of this special calendar: In the end we managed to sell 19,000 copies of it, generating revenues of around 250,000 Swiss francs. We also auction special items of mine on the website. Last year this raised almost 200,000 Swiss francs in total.

For your one-day visit, you left glamorous Dubai to travel to one of the world’s poorest countries. How do you deal personally with the enormous chasm between these two worlds?

Seeing things like that always has a very big emotional impact on me. Something happens to me. I get quite upset about it. On the other hand, the visit proved to be a cleansing experience for me. Somehow I felt much lighter afterward. But the main thing wasn’t the fact that I helped with this project; it was more about getting confirmation that it was the right project. Obviously, I have these charitable commitments because I feel a need to give some of my success back to the poor people of this world. But basically I also really enjoy doing it. I don’t want to exaggerate things. I just enjoy doing what I can to help. Not just me, the whole team. For example, my parents spend around 50 percent of their time doing charitable work.

What did you take home with you from this visit?

First and foremost, it was about doing an official check on the status of the project on behalf of the foundation. But the visit also gave me as an individual an opportunity to gain an impression of a very fascinating country. The scenery is incredibly beautiful, you know. I’d already read some things about the country prior to the trip, but I was actually bowled over by it. I never expected it to be so green. I had an image of an austere, desert-like landscape. But in such a gigantic country you realize that there are also very different climate zones. Also, I wasn’t fully aware beforehand that we would constantly be above 2,300 meters. This altitude is somehow special and you can really feel it. I was also very impressed by the people, who gave us such a warm, heartfelt welcome and are also very proud.

And what’s your impression of the school?

I got a very good impression there too. The teachers and local project managers seem to be doing good work. At any rate, it seems to be going well for the children. Even when the T-shirts were being distributed and things got slightly boisterous, the people in charge calmly kept everything under control. Similar situations have gotten ugly, in my experience. I also really liked the fact that the children are clearly into sport in a big way. Throughout our visit children were always playing football, table tennis or volleyball – simply out of love for the game.

Federer looking for full fitness by Indian Wells

Roger Federer, speaking to Swiss tabloid Blick, says he is optimistic that he will be fully fit by Indian Wells after missing Dubai with a lung infection.

“This is not like the mononucleosis two years ago, where there was a lot of uncertainty. I think I’ll start back in Indian Wells, and when I start, I will be healthy and fit,” he said. “But as I said, it’s only possible if I get the green light physically [from the doctors]. The worst cases prognosis is a break of six weeks.”

Federer said he first felt ill last Tuesday. “After the Australian Open I took it fairly easy… so there’s no question of it being from strain. Last Tuesday, I practiced and it quickly went downhill. I felt chills, fever, a lot of pain in my ribs and couldn’t breather normally.

“The fatigue is still there, though it’s slowly getting better.”

The world No. 1 is scheduled to play a ‘Hit for Haiti’ exhibition match at Indian Wells on March 12, along with Rafael Nadal, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. Federer said he “will do everything” to try to play the event. “The people of Haiti need our help urgently,” he said.

Some interesting things here. It looks like Roger could well have picked up his lung infection in Ethiopia, because it started after he was there. But after having read the article about Ethiopia, I was glad that he went nonetheless. For someone like Roger who lives a charmed life, it can be easy to get caught up in a fantasy world which is removed from some of the harsh realities of life, so all credit to him for doing these kind of trips. Not surprising then that he felt it was a cleansing trip, because he will feel more in touch with reality now. I think many rich people are tempted to just ignore these kind of realities, and therefore they live in a kind of denial. Also it’s great to see that Roger thinks he will be back in Indian Wells. It’s a bit unfortunate that he missed Dubai, but these kind of experiences is important to be a balanced person. and will help his career in the long run.

Posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , .

9 Comments

    1. I think his philantropic work is great but the truth about Ethiopia and his infection is the truth, I bought
      the calendar for the 2° year to contribute.
      Nice to hear he will be in IW.,I´ve read that Roddick was going to replace him at he Hit for Haiti event.Hope
      he makes a completely and fast recovery.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Cool :D

      [Reply]

    1. Hows it going Ruan? Not been on much recently, real life is taking over just now but I will have a few months off in June/July to enjoy Wimby and the French.

      I stumbled across a post on menstennisforum recently which has someone Im sure is you, calling someone called habiko a racist.

      Just wondering what the story is there?

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Hey Paul, long time no see. Been wondering where you were.

      Why would you think its me and yeah its possible. There are many racists in MTF.

      [Reply]

 

Federer’s 10 Best Matches of the Decade

Federer’s 10 Best Matches of the Decade

I’ve already done Roger’s 5 best matches of 2009, but now it’s time to look back at the whole decade as the end of it is fast approaching. Starting with that breakthrough win against Sampras at Wimbledon in 2001, which has since been called ‘The Changing of the Guard’, Roger has played some awe inspiring matches throughout this decade. There are so many matches to choose from that this is not an easy list to compile. I have to take many things into account, including the significance of the match in terms of Roger’s career, how well he played on the day, and the heart he showed in a match. I have compiled a list of ten matches, in no particular order, and in the end I will let you vote on it.

 

Wimbledon 2009 Final vs Roddick 5-7, 7-6(6), 7-6(5), 3-6, 16-14 (The Fairytale)

I have already written about this match in my top 5 matches of 2009. Roger was not at his best during this match, but the way he hung in there and came up with the goods when it mattered most was extraordinary. He made great escapes in both the second and fifth set, and in the process fulfilled his destiny by winning the most grand slam titles in history. Together with the 2008 Wimbledon final, this was one for the ages. Just a titanic struggle with a fairytale ending. Roger’s serve was what kept him in this match while the rest of his game was sub par. He ended with a peRFect 50 aces, out acing maybe the biggest server in tennis by 23 aces.

Wimbledon 2008 Final vs Nadal 4-6, 4-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(8), 7-9 (The GOAT Match)

This match is many people’s pick for best match of all time, therefor I have no choice but to put it on the list. The problem for me is not only that Roger lost, but for me he just wasn’t at his best. The first two sets from Roger was sub par. Roger was still suffering the after effects of a bout of monocluosis that got him off to a poor start in 2008. I don’t know how long it takes to recover from mono, but even if he was 100% recovered, it was the loss of confidence that was the problem. Roger was not himself throughout the 2008 season, with the exception of the US Open where he made short work of Andy Murray in the final. Before the Wimbledon final against Rafa, Roger had also suffered his worst loss yet to Rafa in the French Open final, 1-6, 3-6, 0-6.

That definitely did not help his confidence either going into Wimbledon. Therefor I can’t say with 100% certainty that this was the best match off all time. It never looked to me like Roger was going to win. That is not necessarily the reason that it can’t be the best match of all time, but you would hope that the best match ever was not decided by the loss of form from a certain player. Roger did very well to fight back after losing the first two sets, and the match had almost everything in it. It was definitely one of the best matches of all time.

French Open 2009 Fourth Round vs Haas 6-7(4), 5-7, 6-4, 6-0, 6-2 (The Great Escape)

This match I also talked about before. It was definitely not pretty in the first two sets from Roger, but as you can see I have now called this match The Great Escape. Once again I’d have to say that Roger had a lot in common with another legend during this match. His name was Harry Houdini, the escape artist. This guy could apparently escape from anything, some people say he even escaped his own death. On this day Roger reminded me a lot of Houdini, especially when he was a virtual match point down in the third set. The inside out forehand winner he hit on that point is one of Roger’s signature shots, and that particular shot will be edged in our memories forever. It basically won him that match and the French Open. You won’t find Roger hitting a more important winner in his career than that.

This match showed the heart and determination of Roger more than any other. It also showed his guile and escape artistry more than any other. Therefor it is not always playing well or playing beautifully that matters, but showing grit and determination when things are not going your way.

Madrid 2009 Final vs Nadal 6-4, 6-4 (The Rebirth)

A clinical, clean performance if there ever was one. I call this match The Rebirth because Roger rose from the ashes through this performance. It was his rebirth after being in a slump since the start of 2008. Many thought he would never come out of that slump, never mind doing the French Open/Wimbledon double this year. This win came at exactly the right time for Roger. He had peaked at just the right time, while Rafa and Djokovic was dominating the clay season up until that point. When the French Open came around, both Rafa and Djokovic was upset early on, while Roger snatched up the title. It all seemed to be part of this master plan, or as though the universe was conspiring for Roger to finally lift the French Open trophy. Whatever you want to call it, this match is where Roger emerged from the shadows and stepped out into the light.

It was a huge turning point in Roger’s career which allowed him to fulfill his destiny as a tennis player. But not only that, it was a beautiful performance, against his main rival, in front of a fanatical home crowd, and on the Spaniards favorite surface. If ever Roger played a cool match, this was it. He even threw in a second serve ace when down a break point in the final game of the match for good measure. And when the match was done, Roger acted as if it was just another day at the office. Yet it was a very significant match.

Wimbledon 2001 Fourth Round vs Sampras 7-6(7), 5-7, 6-4, 6-7(2), 7-5 (Changing of the Guard)

Up until this match in Roger’s career he had always been a very promising young talent. I for one was very impressed by this kid from Switzerland, by his shots anyway. As far as his results go I wasn’t that impressed. I thought he was a waste of talent, and wondered if he would ever live up to his potential. I even saw him play live at Wimbledon this very year, against Xavier Malisse in the second round. It was a high quality match between two of the biggest upcoming talents in men’s tennis. Roger looked like he was cruising when he went up two sets to love, but Malisse hit back with impressive tennis of his own to take the match into a deciding fifth set. He even went a break up in the decider, and I thought this would be the end for the talented Swiss.

The mental case that Malisse is though, he managed to let this match get away from him. In a sense Roger was lucky to still be in the tournament, and he took full advantage of that luck by beating the king of Wimbledon himself, Pete Sampras, in the fourth round. This was Roger Federer’s coming of age. He had just beaten the player who up until that point at Wimbledon was pretty much unbeatable. In 8 years Sampras had lost only once at SW19. So this win from Roger definitely made the world take notice. It was a vintage display of classic serve-and-volley, grass court tennis. The young Federer at times made the experienced Sampras look like the novice, and when the moment of truth arrived, Roger moved in for the kill with a calm that was well beyond his years.

Sampras knew he was beaten by the superior player on the day, as he was almost lost for words in the post match interview. A new age of Federer dominance had dawned upon SW19, one that is still in full swing as we head into the next decade 9 years later.

Rome 2006 Final vs Nadal 7-6, 6-7(5), 4-6, 6-2, 6-7(5) (The Heart Breaker)

Even though Roger ended up losing this match, I think it was one of his best ever matches on clay. He lead 4-1* in the third set and had two match points at 6-5* and 40-15, but made unforced errors on the forehand side on both points. This match is a tribute to Roger’s main rival’s clay court genius and fighting abilities. With this match Rafa also equalled Vilas’ 53 consecutive match wins on clay, so it was a big win for him.

Masters Cup 2003 Final vs Agassi 6-3, 6-0, 6-4 (The Zone)

I still remember this Masters Cup very well. Back then I was still a big Agassi fan, and when him and Roger faced off in the first round robin match, I was still shouting for Agassi. That was another amazing match, with Roger winning it 6-7(3), 6-3, 7-6(7). With this close win I think something clicked in Roger, because from there on he completely dominated the opposition. In the next match he beat Nalbandian 6-3, 6-0, then Ferrero 6-3, 6-1, and in the semi’s he beat Roddick 7-6(2), 6-2. And in the final rematch with Agassi he blasted the most talented base liner in history off the court. This was simply scary tennis from Roger, and after he won his first Wimbledon title that year, this was yet another clear message to the tennis world that Roger Federer had arrived.

If Roger was ever in the zone in a match, this would be it. He could do no wrong, and Agassi was merely a spectator for most of the match. I think it was also after this match that Agassi said that Roger is a better player than Sampras. He couldn’t believe just how complete a player Roger was, and it was the best player he ever played against. I can imagine what it must feel like to face Roger in that form. I don’t think Agassi felt bad about losing, I think he knew he just lost to the best player in history and he knew there was nothing he could do about it but admire. US Open 2004 Final vs Hewitt 6-0, 7-6(3), 6-0 (The Demolition) Another demolition job from Roger and in a grand slam final. In the early days Roger could really make his opponents look bad out there, no matter who they were. A double bagel in a grand slam final is not something you see often, and against a quality opponent like Hewitt no less. You wonder how Roger would have done against other US Open greats like Sampras and Connors in this form, and I can’t help but feel he would have schooled them as well. Roger in this form was unbeatable. Simple as that. Wimbledon 2007 Final vs Nadal 7-6(7), 4-6, 7-6(3), 2-6, 6-2 (The Feel-Good Match) This match was almost an exact reversal of this year’s Australian Open final. Rafa was faring better than he did the previous year in the Wimbledon final, and when he won the fourth set it looked like an upset was on the cards. Especially when Rafa was up 40-15 on Roger’s serve twice in the fifth set. However, at 3-2* and Rafa serving, Roger blasted three forehand winners in a row to go up 40-0, and he broke to go ahead 4-2. He held serve and broke again to win his fifth straight Wimbledon title, and equalled Borg’s record of five consecutive Wimbledon titles. This was also the first time Roger was taken to five sets at Wimbledon since his fourth round win over Sampras in 2001. French Open 2009 vs Del Potro 3-6, 7-6(2), 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 (Rumble in the Jungle) This is definitely one of my favorite matches from Roger ever. I already wrote about this match, but I will do so again for completeness sake. I just love how he found a way to win this match after Del Potro was really overpowering him at the start. Del Potro’s serve and ground strokes was too heavy for Roger, so he just took the blows until Del Potro tired. The genius of Roger really came through in this match, because for anyone watching this match it looked like Roger was playing a losing game. That is why I have compared this match with the Rumble in the Jungle between Ali and Foreman. In that boxing match Ali really looked in trouble early on, and no one could understand what he was up to. But he, like Roger, knew exactly what he was doing. When Foreman finally tired in the latter rounds, Ali saw his opening and knocked Foreman out. Until the forth set against Del Potro Roger really looked in trouble, but Del Potro tired at this point and Roger delivered the knockout blow. Legendary stuff.   That’s it, my Christmas present to you my readers. Thanks for being such great, loyal readers, and I look forwards to keep writing for you in the new year. May the new year bring you all that’s good and bring us all many more beautiful Fed moments. Your present to me will be voting and deciding on Roger’s best match of the decade! Merry Fedmas all! :D

What is Roger's best match of the decade?

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16 Comments

    1. I love the “Changing of the Guard” because it was so funny how Pete looked pissed that Roger was playing so amazing and beating him! lol And because Rog was just absolutely zoned in. Such incredible play. Merry Christmas to you, Ru-an! Thanks for blogging, and we look forward to reading for another year! =)

      [Reply]

    1. Nice listing, but the Agassi match does not merit status. You should have considered his first Wimbledon final, the Hamburg 2007 final, and, even in a losing effort, the 2005 Australian Open semifinals.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: The only thing worth considering what you said is the AO 2005 match, where Roger played a silly trick shot on MP. The rest is just wrong.

      [Reply]

    1. The Fairytale Changing of the guard was definitely the most important and historic but the way Fairytale unfolded was gettin on the nerves and the fact that Roger showed outstanding nerves throughout was remarkable too.

      [Reply]

    1. Excellent post. I am having trouble deciding who to vote for, I’m not sure what his ‘best’ match is but the match that gave me the most happiness, nervousness and all emotions you can think of was the Del Potro FO SF. You could feel Soderling was a walk in the park should Fed reach the final but this big lanky Argentine was taking Roger to pieces. It was a fine win for sure. Although I doubt that is the best match Roger played in this decade, just the best match I watched him play in (I only started watching Tennis proper about 2006)

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: Thanks Paul. That match isnt getting many votes so far but like i said its one of my favorites as well. As far as teh most emotional go for me it was the Haas match. That third set was incredibly tense.

      [Reply]

    1. Pingback: Next Up for Federer: The Grand Slam | Ruans Federer Blog
    1. You missed the 2007 Australian Open Semi – Finals vs Roddick (6-4, 6-0, 6-2). If ever there was a Zone or a Demolition, this was it.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: You are right, i did miss out on that one. Maybe because i didnt see it.

      [Reply]

    1. The best match of Roger’s career is in the 2007 australian open in the semis when he destroyed Roddick by 6-4 6-0 6-2…The 04 us open final against Hewitt pales in comparison about the Roddick match..from the 2nd set until the end, Federer wasn’t missing anything..he won more winners than Roddick’s points!!! Roddick had Connors in his box and had match points againt Roger at Shanghai 2006…people thought that he would upset Roger at Melbourne..for me this is the match i prefer the most…the 2007 AO is the only slam, Roger won without dropping a set….

      [Reply]

    1. 2 Best matches where his brilliance was at his peak — when he beat Pete 2001 in the Championships and the other when he lost to Safin in AO 2005 SF … great guy .. loads of char a true legend …

      [Reply]

    1. I can’t believe this list didn’t include Roger/Safin from 2005 AO — that is not only my favorite Roger match but also probably my favorite match of all-time. Rome 2006 and Sampras 2001 would be my next picks. Wimbledon 2008, although a bit overrated, still deserves a spot simply for being the “event” that it was. The demolitions of Roddick/Hewitt/etc are too many to count and would probably fill an entire list of his best performances!

      [Reply]

 

Federer Reverses US Open Result Against Robredo at Wimbledon

Federer Reverses US Open Result Against Robredo at Wimbledon

I’m gonna try to make this brief as I want to go catch some of the Nadal/Kyrgios match, even though I’m convinced Nadal will win in straight sets. This match captured my imagination a bit more than the Giraldo match as Roger had some unfinished business with Robredo from the US Open last year. That was maybe his worst result from last year and was a turning point as well. Roger has come a long way since that match and today he routined Robredo 6-1, 6-4, 6-4, reversing that US Open result in the process and getting his revenge. I predicted Roger would destroy Robredo if he played anywhere near his best, and he did play near his best. It was not absolute vintage Roger but still more than good enough to take care of Robredo. Roger cruised through the first set and delivered the bread stick.

That said he was poor on break point conversion from the start, ending the first set with 2/6 break points converted. In the second set Roger should have broken again at 3-1 but missed an easy lob long with Robredo right on top of the net. But Roger held on to his one break to win the second set. In the third set Robredo was looking more threatening and Roger was missing some forehands. Robredo was getting closer to Roger as the match progressed but Roger made up for his missed break in the second set by breaking Robredo at 3-3. At 5-4 Roger struggled to serve out the match as Robredo actually had a break point and threatened to be the first player to break Roger’s serve in the tournament, but fortunately Roger held on and avoided any more drama. And avoiding drama is exactly what Roger has been able to do this year compared to last year.

The winner to unforced error ratio has been exceptional at Wimbledon

I was somewhat disappointed that Roger did not break in the second set when he should have, and that his break point conversion ratio was poor. But like I said he made up for it when he broke Robredo again in the third set when Robredo was starting to look much more threatening. So in the end I would say it was a very satisfactory performance after what happened last year at the US Open. I knew Roger should straight set Robredo if he played like he did throughout this tournament, but you never know when a slump could occur, and it still had to be done. I don’t think Roger will slump during this Wimbledon. I don’t want to jinx him or anything but he has looked very solid and at home at Wimbledon this year, which is why I said in my last post that he is turning back the clock.

It is looking like the old days where Roger dominated at Wimbledon and it’s a great sight to behold. Even with Roger at age 32 we Fedfans are getting treated royally. What a privilege it is to be a Fedfan! The match stats for Roger was not as good as in his last two matches but still very respectable. The break point conversion rate was the only thing that was poor, but the thing that I was most happy about in this match was Roger’s intent to approach the net again. I had some strong words to say about it in my last post and it feels like Roger listened. I felt it was crucial that he controlled the net against Robredo at least and he did just that. 41 net approaches is a lot over three sets on this grass, and Roger had a good success rate too. I didn’t feel like Roger was necessarily at his best, but I was delighted to see that he showed real urgency to approach the net.

Thanks for listening!

Back to yesterday’s action and both Murray and Djokovic had straight set wins, all be it not having it all their own way. I have not always had the most positive things to say about my countryman Anderson as a tennis player, but I think he can feel very proud about being at a career high #18, making his deepest run at Wimbledon yet this year, and putting up a brave performance against home favorite Murray on center court. Tsonga managed almost exactly the same score line against Djokovic and Djokovic hit a ridiculous return winner on match point. Ring a bell? Djokovic may have the best return of serve in history, but I didn’t particularly appreciate his reaction after he hit that staggering return. Tsonga also challenged the call, which made Djokovic look stupid for the way he reacted.

That didn’t stop him from going over the top again after it was called good. It’s more easy to understand Roger’s dislike of him when he does things like that. But it was an impressive way to end the match and he will now face Cilic who has been a different player since hiring Ivanisevic as his coach. He straight setted Chardy and I can see him take a set again against Djokovic like at the French Open. Then we also have the blockbuster quarter final between Murray and Dimitrov which I hoped for, after Dimtrov continued to impress with a straight set win over Mayer. Roger now plays Stan who had an impressive straight set win over Lopez. Sadly Stan has to play for a third day in a row now after being screwed over by Wimbledon and it will probably cost him the match. Now we are just waiting to see who will fills up the final two quarter final spots…

Highlights:

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150 Comments

    1. I haven’t see much of Raonic apart from the fact that he has a monster serve and when he gets a first serve in play, he’s pretty much winning the point. For the most part, Roger is as well. However, will we see another if those performances like at the AO 2013 or another one like the in Madrid 2012 or Halle 2013?! Roger will need to bring his A game again to beat him. I am not worried too much about holding serve but the tie-breakers. They are truly a test of one’s mentality. If Roger is ready to win this title, his focus needs to be SHARP. Today and yesterday against Robredo, a Roger was shaky serving the matches out, obviously because of the pressure and expectations and also because he knows that he’ll be close. I would much rather see another clinic however. I just don’t want my heart to go up again like that, LOL!!! ;-))

      [Reply]

      veronica Reply:

      Yes, Vily, I don’t think my heart can take anymore tiebreaks! What a nerve-wracking match. I actually couldn’t bear to watch towards the end of 2nd set! Ha! But Roger did so well weathering the storm and taking his chances. And getting back to winning tb mode should bode well going into Raonic match. I would like to think that Roger has too much game for Raonic and it will be on his racket. If he can play his game and move Raonic around, keep the ball low and take care of his own service, he should win it. Don’t wanna get too much into tb’s as then it becomes a lottery. And I’ve had enough of lottery for now! Ha! I also think Roger has come too far and worked too hard to let this go. But then so is Raonic. He would be spilling blood for this. Hope Roger is sharply aware that Raonic isn’t the same player he played a year ago. But I’m bracing myself for another round of nail biting lotteries! Ugh!! As for the other semi, I think it is really a 50/50. Djoker is uncomfortable playing Grigor. Not surprising coz Grigor is similar to Roger. In fact Djoker does have a bit of problem with shbh – Roger, Stan, Grigor. If Roger wins, I would rather he meet Grigor than Djoker in the final; mainly because Djoker maybe more of a challenge to Roger being a better returner and defender; whereas Roger is still Big Daddy as far as Grigor is concerned! But if Djoker wins Wimby I wouldn’t mind too much as he totally earned it. Just look at the number of quality players he had to play in every one of his matches! I’m not ready for a Grigor maiden slam title; much as I would be excited about it too. Too soon. So hopefully Djoker/Roger would do their job and shut up all the “changing of the guard” murmurings! Sorry Eric!

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Agree and disagree Veronica. Sorry about your player losing btw. I wasn’t very nervous for Roger’s match vs Stan. It was only quarters. Roger was quite in control of the TB and when serving for the match things got slightly tense, but I would have been very surprised if he dropped serve there. You are right about tie breaks vs Raonic could be a toss up, but he has done well in breakers of late and I’m not too worried. He can also be sure to play at least one or two breakers vs Emperor Rao. As for Djokovic I was very happy to see him win. All the big four losing other than Roger would have been too much. It would have been a bad omen for Roger too. I still want to see a Djokerer final too. I don’t want Dimitrov to come through yet, and if he does there could be a feeling that a changing of the guard can occur. I think Djokovic is the favorite anyway, all be it a slight one. He is more experienced, and he did well to come from 2-1 down vs Cilic.

      [Reply]

      Veronica Reply:

      You are certainly a much calmer spectator, Ru-an, than I ever shall be! What got me nervous was how strong Stan was in the first set. Roger himself admitted that he was able to take his chances after Stan’s level went down because Stan wasn’t feeling well physically. So it was a close shave for Roger. I suppose that Murray send off sort of set a somber tone on centre court and when Stan came out blazing, it did look like he was gonna do what Grigor just did! It didn’t help to know too that Roger often struggles in his next match after Nadal loses. And I think you should be worried about tb’s with Emperor Rao! (haha! Good one!!) Raonic has the bigger and more consistent serve. He leads in the most ace dept in the tournament. I would like to see Roger do his darnest to break, take his chances at all second serves and not even think about “resorting” to tb’s going into the match. Must have a good mind set and not let these serve bots get away with tb’s all the time. Yeah, sorry Kyrgios lost but he didn’t go meekly and can only keep his head high. If Roger doesn’t get his 18, at least the sweet memory of Kyrgios whipping Nadal is there for consolation! Ha! Allez!

      [Reply]

      elizabeth Reply:

      Haha,yes Kyrgios beating Nadal will forever be good! I thought Stan played really good at the start but I was sure that Roger would find his game and win…thankfully he did. As for Raonic I hope Fed wins, he knows how to handle big serves as Roddick knows but we know that our man will have to be on his toes. I find that as a tennis fan
      Raonic just doesn’t do it for me, Raonic
      says he won’t be playing a 17 GS winner,
      Father of twins he’ll just be playing the man who stands between him and what he wants most! Of course he missed the
      really important bit about Fed his CURLS so C’MON ROGER x

      [Reply]

      Veronica Reply:

      Haha, good one, Elizabeth! He forgot the curls! The power is in the hair, didn’t Raonic know already?!! The curls will get it done tomorrow! Raonic doesn’t do it at all for me too, Elizabeth. That includes his countrywoman, Bouchard. So up herself. I hope Halep shuts her up tonight and Roger does the same to her countryman tomorrow. Btw, aren’t those curls just gorgeous falling over his head band??!!!!!

      [Reply]

    1. Helloooooooooooo!!!! Yo what’s up friends. I cannot believe what has happened the last couple of days. I think Joe might be right about me and RF being connected on this one. Crazy days at Wimby and crazy for me too. My whole plans got turned upside down at the last minute. Guess where I am and where I watched the last 2 sets of Fed vs Stan? Switzerland!!! Wow crazy. I cannot wait to go back and read all your comments on these days. But I have to say this 2 things several of you said I was crazy for believing 2 weeks ago. Grigor has a legitimate shot at winning and this is the beginning of a new generation coming in. I’m loving it!! I only saw 2 sets but did not seem like fantastic tennis from either of our Swiss boys. Am I wrong?? I really hope roger can keep the mental strength together. He will need it to go all the way. ALLEZ!! Long live the GOAT!!!

      [Reply]

      Veronica Reply:

      Hey! From China to Switzerland?!! Ok! Where would you likely be next? Timbuktu?!! Haha! Careful what you wish for, Eric! We are very happy with our present tennis generation. Don’t need a new generation coming in just yet! Could you just tell your man to lay off Djoker tomorrow?!

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      I’m with you Veronica. The new generation has done enough. I’d like to see order restored tomorrow.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Sup Eric! Good to know that you can watch some of the tennis now. Yes Grigor has a legitimate shot at winning but as I said in my latest post I’d prefer Djokovic comes through. Grigor too much of an unknown factor.

      [Reply]

      Eric Reply:

      I see what you’re saying about the unknown factor. I missed you guys!! Am thrilled I will be able to watch, thrilled!!

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      We are happy that you can watch too Eric and look forward to your participation in the comments!

      [Reply]

    1. Sorry Veronica, no can do. I like Djoko very much but I want Roger to win number 18 and he’s got a much better chance of beating Dimitrov than Dloko. So of course may the best man win, but I’d rather see Grigor take just one more step at Wimby.

      [Reply]

    1. Yes my trip got delayed. Maybe by weeks maybe more. I have zero control over it. So I was able to join my wife for her grandmothers 95th birthday in Bern. Gonna stay here for a while until I find out what’s up with the work trip.

      [Reply]

      elizabeth Reply:

      Eric, many people were thinking about you when Dimitrov won. He definately played a blinder, as they say ‘the boy done good’. Who knows who you might
      run into Switzerland!!!

      [Reply]

      Eric Reply:

      Well… Apparently the Swiss open is in a small village not to far from here and starts soon. I heard it’s a tiny stadium on a outdoor ice skating rink and the cheap seats are very reasonable. So, you never know. Fed won’t be there but Stan the man will be :) )))))

      [Reply]

    1. Ru-an,

      When are you going to preview the semis:

      Novak “The Djoker” vs. “Showtime” Dimitrov

      And

      Roger “FedExpress” vs. Emperor Rao

      LOL

      [Reply]