Federer Dispells Silly Rumours via Facebook

Federer Dispells Silly Rumours via Facebook

http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/blog/busted_racquet/post/Power-rankings-Federer-resting-remains-No-1;_ylt=AhMzNf_SNC6T4Ip4bXsEieA4v7YF?urn=ten,197471

Above you will find a rumour that was started today about Roger possibly taking off the rest of 2009. I found out about this nonsense earlier today, and although I told myself it was just a rumour, I couldn’t help remembering that Roger’s withdrawal from Shanghai and Tokyo was also just a ‘rumour’ at first. So I was kind of holding my breath until I knew the truth. Bless you Roger for quashing this rumour almost as soon as it was started, I for one appreciate it. And shame on you Yahoo for starting this propaganda! I hate it when the media starts a rumour just to get exposure, while at the same time they just show how little they really care about their readers. After this I would be surprised if any Fedfan pays Yahoo sports any attention again.

Today I didn’t have anything specific I wanted to write about, and for a moment I thought I would write about this rumour. But what would be the point of that? It would just help these people get more exposure and it would put doubt in my readers’ minds. So I am happy to share with you that Roger dispelled this nonsense on his Facebook profile today:

I have been back practicing and training now for some time and all is going well. I feel much better. I am looking forward to playing my hometown tournament in Basel . I have also had a chance to spend some amazing time with my family. Myla and Charlene are doing great. After training yesterday, Mirka and I took them for a walk along Lake Zurich. I am always excited to be back in Switzerland!

http://www.facebook.com/Federer?sid=5436c463ab9899edfbc0978bb2129d01&ref=search

How cool is it to be a fan of someone that communicates so well with his fans?! Roger will be back in full force in his hometown tournament, and ain’t nothing stopping him! From what I have heard the Roger Federer Arena will also be done in time for him to be the first to play on it this year in Basel. It must be pretty cool playing in an arena which is named after you while you are still on tour, and it is symbolic of how he has owned that tournament as well. Watch out all other title contenders! It’s nice to see that Roger has spent some quality time with his family, and that should put him in good stead for his three remaining tournaments this season. Other info that I have gotten is that Roger has been back to his usual training spot in Dubai, and a Fedfan on rogerfederer.com actually spotted him in a shopping mall in Dubai with Mirka and the twins.

The fan was respectful enough of Roger not to invade his privacy and just politely said hello. I think that was nice, and it is what I would have done as well. Like we have seen today, Roger is considerate of his fans even when he is not on the tour, and he deserves the same consideration when he is spending time with his family. We excitedly await your return, champ! Ps. Thanks for Doots from AllINeedIsAPicketFence for making me aware of Roger’s facebook post.
Posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , .

5 Comments

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    1. Hey Ru-an, it´s not about tennis but I want to share with you that I´m emancipated,I´m 21 (free from judge´s decisions), it´s great for me. The same day of the month-birth of Roger´s baby twins.Sorry but let me tell you this ,just to enjoy.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: Yay! :D I didnt know how old you were. Really happy for you :D

      [Reply]

    1. Rafa seems to have closed in on Rog.Does the Atp masters carry points?and rg cant get points in basel i suppose.So paris and London to look forward to.But Rafa will definitely lose both

      [Reply]

 

Federer Destroys His Clone, Nadal Humiliated by 17-Year Old In Basel

Federer Destroys His Clone, Nadal Humiliated by 17-Year Old In Basel

Well that was quite an interesting day of tennis, wasn’t it? First Nadal gets upset 6-2, 7-6(4) by 17-year old Coric, and then Roger puts on another master class against Dimitrov for a 7-6(4), 6-2 victory. 17 years old. Are you kidding me?! Clearly the kid has a very bright future ahead of him. I certainly didn’t expect him to beat Nadal but he showed great composure and maturity in the second set to hold on and get by far the biggest win of his career. So there is another new youngster in the mix which is nice to see.The teenagers Kyrgios, Coric, and Zverev have all come to the fore of late which is nice because it has been a long time since any teenagers have made big waves in the tennis world. Nadal’s loss to Coric means his tennis season is over as he announced he will finally get his surgery done and miss Paris and London.

It’s a damn shame as I would have loved to his behind getting kicked a few more times in the indoor season, but as we have seen from Nadal he only competes when conditions are favorable. He is never ‘injured’ during the clay court season for instance. And of course with this loss he avoids Roger in the indoor season as well, keeping his 23-10 head-to-head over the GOAT nicely in tact. It’s the story of the head-to-head folks. Nadal was very seldom good enough to face Roger on surfaces that favor him, especially in Roger’s prime. But Roger was always good enough on clay to face Nadal, being by far the second best clay courter of his generation. The same can’t be said for Nadal about indoor or fast surfaces. He is a very lousy indoor player for a so called GOAT contender.

I’m not even sure Nadal really has appendicitis. It’s hard to believe anything he says anymore, and who knows what is next for him. He could be finished and win no more slams, or he could surpass Roger’s slam count. He will probably win the next four French Opens anyway and become the ‘GOAT’ with the most unbalanced resume of all time. I don’t even care anymore. It’s not worth giving attention to, because he comes across as a child who is throwing his toys out of his pram to look for attention. Rather I want to focus on Roger and all the fantastic things he has achieved this year already. What a privilege to be a Fedfan! I say it again and again but it is so true. Even at age 33 Roger just keeps scaling new heights. Roger has won more matches this year leading up to Basel than he did in 2007(61 vs 58)!

But that is hardly a surprise to me given how little he played last year. Leading up to Basel this year Roger had already played 71 matches, whereas last year at the same point he had played only 49 matches! Amazing. The Nadulltards have already began their doping allegations since Roger can play so many matches at 33, but in the process very conveniently ignored the stat I just posted. 2013 was basically a rest year for Roger and I always knew he was gonna play catch up at some point. It’s been absolutely phenomenal what Roger has done this year so far, and the best may be yet to come. I would really like to see Roger claim this Basel title. There is always one more title to win and one more thing to achieve, and really we should just be grateful that Roger is still playing.

But if he wins Basel it would just be very satisfying for a number of reasons which I listed in yesterday’s post. If he does that I don’t even care what happens for the rest of the year, because then he has already exceeded my expectations. Roger now plays Karlovic who defeated Becker 6-4, 6-4. We know Karlovic is a danger with his massive serve, but we also know that Roger matches up very well against big servers. You have to like Roger’s chances for the title now after the way he disposed of Dimitrov. I could only watch the first set of which was a high quality affair. The first set was obviously very close and I was quite impressed with Dimitrov. For a while there he was looking very threatening but in the end Roger’s mental superiority and experience won the day quite comfortably.

But he is also more talented than Dimitrov. Dimitrov is just a lesser version of Roger. They have very similar playing styles but Roger just does everything a little better. That is why I am not crazy about Dimitrov. Who wants to be an imitation of someone else, no matter how amazing they are? Certainly not me. I want to be my own man. So it was nice to see Roger giving him quite a spanking in the end. The big test came with Roger serving at 5-6 in the first set to force the tie break. He had to face down three set points there, which if he lost any of this match would obviously have had a very different complexion to it. So it was closer than the scoreline suggested. Roger went down 15-40 in that game. He first came up with a forehand winner and then a second serve ace to save the fist two break points.

Looking lethal in Basel

As clutch as it gets. And then he saved another with a serve-and-volley on a second serve. It was just very gutsy stuff. Once Roger came out of that very difficult and long game he quickly took control of the tie break as he broke Dimitrov’s opening service point and wrapped up the breaker 7-4. It reminded of the match against Benneteau in Shanghai where Roger also won the first set breaker 7-4 and then put on a master class in the second set to bagel Benneteau. I missed the second set but from the highlights I could tell it was very high quality stuff. And as expected Roger tightened up his break point conversion rate. So like I said Roger now plays Karlovic while the other semi is between Coric and Goffin, who upset Raonic. I watched some of that match and Goffin is now on a 15-match winning streak after titles in Metz and the Mons Challenger.

He is surprisingly small but he has a pleasing game. Much more pleasing than the one-dimensional Raonic anyway. So it was nice to see him win. It should be an interesting encounter between him and Coric too. Both are high on confidence now for different reasons, and I’m sure the possibility of facing the GOAT in an ATP 500 final will be all the motivation they need to give it absolutely everything they’ve got. They will be on first followed by the GOAT vs Karlovic. And I am pleased to see they will be playing earlier today as it was already 3 am this morning for me when Fedtrov finished the first set. The Paris draw is also out and it looks good for Roger. The only guy that really poses a threat before the final is Berdych but I doubt that with the form Roger is in. Anyway it’s now all about today. Looking forward!

Edit: I screwed up with the stats regarding how many matches Roger played this year compared to last year(like I usually do), but it comes to the same. Roger played 22 more matches leading up to Basel this year as opposed to last year. It is fixed now and yes, you are allowed to correct me.

Highlights:

Posted in ATP 500, Basel.

28 Comments

    1. Ru-an, I waiting for you to unload on basel. And you deliver a great piece as usual. Another fun read about the joys of being a Fed fan and enjoying the Denise of Nadull. I really enjoy watching Dull getting spanked by lesser known names. For all the underhand tactics, Karma’s a bitch, no? Vamos, Er… no, Adios Nadal!

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Haha you are welcome Ben Chia. It’s a pleasure.

      [Reply]

    1. We have a saying, “To kill a cow and rear a donkey”. It is in the context of Hindu belief that cow is holy. Brennwald ignored the cow that is a Swiss Superstar and welcomed the donkey that is a Spanish bull and gave a red carpet welcome. More annoying was the schedule difference for the cow and donkey in the above context. It was so unfair. The judgment is given and the donkey is destroyed. Whether Federer wins or not the Basel title I am more than satisfied with the exit of Nadal.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Well I am both happy and sad about Nadal’s exit mridul. It’s always good to see him lose and especially at Basel vs a 17-year old. But it also means he once again escapes Roger on a surface that favors him. Roger could have beaten Nadal more than once in the indoor season. But who cares is just one less player for Roger to worry about.

      [Reply]

    1. “Nadal was very seldom good enough to face Roger on surfaces that favor him, especially in Roger’s prime.”

      How about when a 17-year old Nadal destroyed Roger in Miami 2004? Or when he beat PrimeRoger in Dubai 2006? He was still only 19 years by that time.

      I think you are pathetic for writing all these things about Nadal. Roger was, is, and always will be Rafa’s bitch

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      How about Roger bageling Nadal on all surfaces, including his beloved clay in the Hamburg final? How about Roger routining Nadal in his own back yard on his beloved clay in Madrid? He was past his peak that time. How about Roger leading the h2h 4-1 indoors, only losing last year at the WTF because he was at an all time low? How about Roger leading Nadal 2-1 at Wimbledon? How about 15 of their 33 meetings being on clay? So much for being ‘Rafa’s’ bitch.

      [Reply]

      Dave Reply:

      Yeahhh, that’s the spirit, another Nadull bitch fan crying. LOSER!

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Lol.

      [Reply]

      veronica Reply:

      Ru-an, lol lol lol!!! That was the BEST pic, I can’t wipe the smile off my face!! And I seriously think your above comment in reply to Benny is excellent and should be printed in every article that uses Nadal’s positive H2H against Roger!!! So true!! Way to go, Ru-an! You said before something like you are sorta connected to Roger and when he does well, you do well too. So I guess you must be doing mighty well right now!! And how did you come up with “Brenndull” – just brilliant!

      [Reply]

      Katyani Reply:

      Hey Benny, hope you get to read this, because I want to react too. This year, and you know it is TRUE…. Roger COULD and WOULD have beaten Rafa at Halle, Wimby, Cincy, USO, Toronto, Shanghai and Basel. He could and would have beaten Rafa even at IW 2014 and at the upcoming Paris and WTF. Did you count??? THIS Roger would have BEATEN THIS Rafa THIS YEAR ALONE at 10 !!! tours !!! How would that H2H be then?? 20-23 !!! But…. like I say, story of Roger’s life and because of someone’s and his uncle’s coward behaviour, Rafa was injured or had already lost before he could meet THIS UNBEATABLE Roger.
      How is that fair and HOW ON EARTH does this make Rafa better??
      Roger lost 4 times to Rafa last year when he had backpain, but he was THERE !!!

      [Reply]

    1. Nice article Ru-an. Nadal’s situation was kind of a win-win. Now that he lost there is a new young talent out there who has a breakthrough. In case he had made the final, Roger would definitely have won against him. Anyway I watched Nadal’s match and was really happy that he lost. Roger even said in an interview later that it was the worst he had ever seen Nadal play. Lol

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Haha Fed said that? I said that too!

      [Reply]

      Nakul Reply:

      Yes. Here’s the source where I got it from.
      https://m.ak.fbcdn.net/sphotos-a.ak/hphotos-ak-xap1/v/t1.0-9/1904020_638500249601974_3590177956327173749_n.jpg?oh=375e14fe951baa8d30f51add772c0b7b&oe=54E3106E&__gda__=1421209639_48be95d8f50501199f436ee77e6063d4

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Did he really say that or did Troll Tennis make it up?

      [Reply]

      Nakul Reply:

      Can’t say for sure. But as far as I know, their posts are generally authentic.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Yeah he said something like that http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/10/federer-nadals-loss-was-not-rafa-we-know/53137/#.VEzbpssaySN

      [Reply]

    1. Roger will play in the finals once again in Basel. I also noticed that his parents were watching him from the stands. I think they have been very classy even though Nadal, who certainly hasn’t delivered the kind of tennis that Roger has at this event, was given the star treatment by Brenwald. Nadal, to his credit, made his best effort to live up to expectations after receiving his appearance fee. But really, I would hope that Brenwald now regrets his decision. Maybe next year Roger and Stan should get appearance fees instead. Roger is actually on a roll now…11 match wins in a row, counting Davis Cup. Let’s hope he grabs the title tomorrow to boost his confidence even more.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Yeah gotta like his chances in the final Albert.

      [Reply]

      eric Reply:

      That is an awesome photo, you are so damn funny Ru-an – hahahahahaha!!

      [Reply]

      rahan Reply:

      Very Nice, Ru-an !

      And from the personal statement of David Goffin at ATP:

      “…Roger Federer was his idol growing up – “When I was young I had a lot of pictures in my bedroom of him”…

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Yes you get the feeling he will just be happy to be on the same court as Roger Rahan. It’s just difficult to see him winning this.

      [Reply]

      eric Reply:

      And he’s very tired as well. He’s played a ton of tennis and had a hard time keeping his concentration during the semis, making lots of Unforced errors. That said, Fed did say a lot of nice things about him in an interview I read. He said he’s lightening fast, has a great serve, solid strokes on both sides, and may have forgotten how to lose after winning so many matches recently. Fed said that kind of streak and confidence cannot be taken for granted. He also mentioned he was a really nice guy off the court and they have done some hitting practice and hanging out together. I’ll be up at 6:30 am to watch for sure.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Yeah but Goffin lacks a weapon. He’s just too small. Everything is solid but to have a chance against GOAT you need at least one big weapon. That said, stranger things have happened.

      [Reply]

      eric Reply:

      Oh, for sure. Goffin is not even Ferrer and we know that H2H story. But he’s apparently won more matches than Djokovic has this year so Fed isn’t taking him lightly.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Lol thanks Eric.

      [Reply]

    1. So happy for Roger making an 11th Swiss Indoors Basel Final with his 9th in a row. That’s amazing! Hopefully he’ll claim his 6th Title tomorrow! Everything is going great so far! :-) ))

      [Reply]

 

Federer Destroys Coric to Make 9th Dubai Final

Federer Destroys Coric to Make 9th Dubai Final

I didn’t make a post about Roger’s quarter final match against Gasquet because there was nothing to post about. He won the first set 6-1 and then Gasquet withdrew. There was some other big news however which was that 18-year old Borna Coric had another big four win when he destroyed Murray 6-1, 6-3. The other big four win was over Nadal last year in Basel of course. This young player is the real deal and a future #1 as far as my opinion goes. He got into the main draw as a lucky loser after losing in the final qualifying round to world #315 Martin and made full use of his luck by going all the way to the semis. He got man handled 6-2, 6-1 by Roger but he had done his job. He would have been tired after five matches and losing to Roger is no shame.

Along with Kyrgios and Thiem Coric is the future of tennis. The Dimitrov, Raonic, and Nishikori generation has been a bit of a disappointment but the next generation seems very promising. It actually looked like Coric could pose a real threat to Roger but he wasn’t ready yet. Roger did enough not to let Coric into the match, but only just. At times he looked uncomfortable against the youngster. He also made more unforced errors than he hit winners. The main thing that I was impressed with about Coric in Dubai was his physical and mental maturity. He plays a bit like Djokovic with solid ground strokes and good movement, but he probably needs to work on making his serve and forehand bigger weapons.

Old enough to be Coric’s dad? Lol.

Roger will play Djokovic in the final which is the final we have all been hoping for. It is a classic rivalry which have produced many classic matches. Djokovic had a tough test from Birdshit in the semis though which he survived 6-0, 5-7, 6-4. Birdshit played as well as he could but of course he lacks the X factor which you need to win the big matches and titles. But I don’t want to take anything away from Djokovic who showed once again why he is easily the best player in the world right now and why he will win many more slams. That said, you wouldn’t count Roger out to upset him in the final. He already showed he can do it in Shanghai and these courts are at least as fast as Shanghai, if not faster.

Roger also defeated Djokovic last year in Dubai, so he may even be the favorite. The only problem for him is that he hasn’t been tested at all this week, while Djokovic came through a very tough test against Birdshit yesterday. This will also be Roger’s ninth final in Dubai and if he wins it it will be his seventh title. But even if he loses the good news is that Roger 4.0 have stuck around this week, although the true test will be when he faces adversity again. Then we will see if he still has the clutch factor. As for Nadal he defeated Delbonis 6-1, 6-1 in Buenos Aires which will give him a lot of confidence. Nadal is still an uncertainty at this point and playing in another tournament so there is no need for Roger to worry about him.

But I’d still like to see a Fedal meeting in the near future which we have been waiting for for a long time now. I also want to find out if Roger 4.0 sticks around if Nadal rises again, because Nadal seems to be in Roger’s head and when he is dominating Roger usually slumps. I still can’t be 100% sure about what happened in Melbourne and I wana see if Fed 4.0 is mentally strong enough to withstand Nadal. But if Nadal fails to win the French this year we may never find out. Clearly I believe Nadal is in Roger’s head and I’d like Roger to exorcise that demon before it is all said and done, but he may never get the chance. But don’t expect Nadal to go down without a fight. Can’t wait for tonight’s final!

 

Highlights:

Posted in ATP 500, Dubai, Uncategorized.

47 Comments

    1. Hey Ru-an, I understand when say you’re not quite sure what happened in Melbourne and that is because it was many factors which contributed to the loss to Seppi. We can make excuses all we want but I know that your blog is no place for excuses. Either way I hate excuses as well. But we are digging for the truth afterall. So, firstly Seppi played great. Truly. Secondly, there was that shadow from the sunlight forming in the final set which can be very distracting I must say. Yes, someone might say but both players had to deal with the conditions. Well yes that’s true except this can make mistakes happen in that it effects your accuracy and mental state coz you kind of don’t want to aim for the shadow and I felt as if Roger’s game was a bit restrained during the final set. In tennis ideally you need consistent lighting throughout the court. Thirdly, he may have been a little bit more tired than he let on. Finally and most importantly, the Nadal factor. Roger 4.0 is not over nadal yet and maybe it’s for the best that they didn’t meet in Australia since it holds the worst memories for fed. He will need to beat nadal first somewhere else but he must start from somewhere and like you I am not sure he ever will again. He does need to see a psychologist. To beat Nadal we must see fed 5.0, one that is playing free of the past history between the two. He’s been scarred too much from nadal and I understand why. There comes a stage however where you have to fight back with no fear.
      A friend of mine was leading the rivalry between us 11 – 0 but it didn’t last forever. I had to do something mental however to turn it around in that I didn’t tolerate the fact that he was full of excuses even when he won. I had to get into his head somehow which I did successfully. Then there was a turning point. I had beaten him a couple of times and then the third time he was up by 5 – 1 in the set. I fought back, took it to a tie break which I won 7 – 0. That is what in the end turned the rivalry around. I think we’re now 12 – 6 and catching up.

      [Reply]

      Alex Reply:

      Oh yeah I forgot to mention. Now my riend is the one who is struggling in the mental department. He barely can get a first serve in whereas before that was the thing that kept giving me problems. It’s like you say Ru-an, tennis is in huge part a mental game as well as physical.

      [Reply]

      Katyani Reply:

      Hey Alex, great comment. For me, the loss at AO is very simple:
      1) Roger didn’t have his day. But that was his problem.
      2) Roger was mentally and physically very tired.
      3) Seppi played focused and concentrated and in the zone and the match of his life.
      4) A bit of the Nadal factor.

      I have never played tennis before, you have, so you know wayyyy more than I know about it, but hope you don’t mind, the shadow thing does sound like an ecxuse to me.
      For me, it is very simple, if both have to endure something, then it cannot be an excuse why only one loses the match. Windy out there?? Well, then it is windy for both of them. Sun in the eyes or a shadow?? Then it is for the both of them. One side of the court is better for serving or something?? Then it is the same for both.
      Roger lost AO, Seppi deserved his win, but the shadow thing?? Nah…

      [Reply]

      Alex Reply:

      Thank you and you’re right by the way, it does sound like an excuse. And yes both players have to endure it. The only reason I said it is because I think distractions are in a league of their own when it comes to the game and life in general. I’ll give an example. Where I work, there may be lots of talk in the background, even shouting. For some, this is a big distraction. For me it isn’t and I have no problem concentrating on my own work. It’s all about how each individual can deal with the distractions. I can deal with noise distractions (for the most part) but not visual ones. Maybe I’m wrong and federer didn’t get distracted. But I felt distracted just watching it.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Well at least Katyani was right about the shadow thing. It is the same for both players and using that as an excuse is clutching at straws. You don’t lose a match because there was a shadow on the court for both guys, especially for a seasoned veteran like Roger it is absurd to even suggest that. He was 10-0 against the guy ffs.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Well at least you admitted that I know way more about tennis than you do, because saying that Roger was mentally and physically very tired is absolute nonsense. If you played tennis like I did you would know that you are never tired physically or mentally when you are confident and winning, no matter how much you have played. The only point you made I agree with his #4, but people who don’t know anything about tennis won’t get it no matter how many times you say it.

      [Reply]

      Katyani Reply:

      Ouch Ru-an. Wow, I didn’t deserve that to be honest…. I have NEVER EVER made a secret about the fact that I know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING AT ALL about tennis and that I have never played it in my life for even a second….
      EVERY SINGLE PERSON here knows more about tennis than I do. Till today I cannot see the difference between a backhand and a forehand, but I still can have some opinion right, even if it is stupid??

      “If you played tennis like I did you would know that you are never tired physically or mentally when you are confident and winning, no matter how much you have played.”
      If that is the case… then why has Rafa not won more slams right after FO?? Then why did Roger not win USO after he won Wimby 2012?? Then why has Novak never won FO after winning AO all the time?? Then why did Novak not win USO after winning Wimby 2014??
      If you are never tired physically or mentally when you are confident and winning… then why do players lose matches after having won??

      Ouch Ru-an. You are very honest and I have always admired and respected that, but you don’t have to be rude. I am trying.
      And please Ru-an, Rafa is in Roger’s head, but please don’t use that as an excuse for everything.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Deserve what exactly? I only repeated what you said yourself? As for the points you make that just proves what we said again.

      [Reply]

      Ajay Reply:

      Yeah I totally agree with Katyani that Ruan has been targeting you for sometime now and unlike Jonathan who is humble and accepts everyone’s opinions Ruan thinks he knows everything. Well Ruan let me tell you something I must have read almost all of your posts for the last five years and you have got almost 50% percent of your predictions wrong. And Katyani if you are offended by him like I was quite a few times in the past just read his article without commenting on it.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      I don’t agree with anything you just said(aside from the fact that Katyani should not comment if my replies bother her) and yet I am going to allow your comment and not take offense, thereby proving you wrong.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      One more thing. I remember Katyani making too long comments on Jonathan’s blog for his liking after which he deleted it, so she ran over here and I never deleted any comments from her. Please check your facts and stop being such a hypocrite before you comment here again.

      [Reply]

      Katyani Reply:

      Hey Ru-an, where is this (sudden) dislike for me or hatred for me coming from?? It is me, Katyani. I don’t understand it. Yes, it is true that the two of us sometimes disagree about Roger (or other players), but isn’t that part of a blog?? That you can give your opinion if you agree or disagree?? I don’t know what I have done wrong. Like I said many times before, for me you are a writer who comes very close to HOW I SEE Roger. I like you (me being a Dutchie and you understanding some Dutch words !!!) and I love this blog and the commentators. There have been 2 posts of you that have made me (literally) cry and there have also been some posts where I don’t agree with somethings you write.

      After having read your comment to me again, I can understand that all you wanted to say to me was that you know more about tennis than I do (which is obviously true), but honestly Ru-an… the way you wrote it was like you were insulting me. And…. I reacted to that. Maybe not in a nice way myself, but I really felt insulted. And when 2 other sweet commentators kind of stood up for me, you react with “so she ran over here”??? Seriously Ru-an, where did THAT come from?? It is like you wanted to insult me some more. I bought a laptop in november 2012 and a month later I was looking for sites on Roger. On 17 december 2012 I found your site and Jonathan’s and the same day I made a comment on BOTH of your blogs. You can look it up in Jonathan’s and yours
      archives: “Roger Federer-Madness 2012” on Jonathan’s site and “Federer’s Epic 2012 Season In Review” on your site. From that day I have been reading and commenting on both your sites. To be honest, because both your sites are a bit similar, I most of the times post the same comment on both your sites. You both have a blog on Roger and see most of the things the same way. So again….”so she ran over here”??? That is so insulting. For me, I wouldn’t be watching tennis if it wasn’t for Roger, he got me hooked on tennis and I love to talk about him and his tennis. I also comment on his own site and other sites as well (like Bleacher Report, ATP site, Eurosport UK).

      What I am trying to say is…Ru-an, you deserve all admiration and respect for your blog. It is your time, your hard work and your knowledge. Your sweat and tears as they say. But respect is a two way street. Maybe you didn’t mean it that way, but I was insulted. Just wanted to explain this to you… and I am also hoping this won’t be a long comment :-)

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Don’t let Ajay’s comment influence you so much Katyani. He is just trying to start trouble. I have no vendetta against you, or I would not have allowed your comments to begin with after Jonathan deleted your comment(s). I am just responding in my usual blunt way to you, just like I respond to everyone else. Sometimes your comments don’t make a whole lot of sense, and I will tell it to you straight. That is just how I roll. I treat everyone the same. If I see anyone making a comment that is stupid in my opinion I tell them. It is not that I am being arrogant. I am just a no nonsense kind of person and yes sometimes maybe I am too straight forward. But here I will tell it to you straight if I think you are talking nonsense. That much you can be sure of. So it is up to you whether you want to comment or not. Personally I don’t mind at all if you comment.

      Ok I just read the part about Jonathan’s blog. All I remember is you making a comment of 2000 words on his site or something and him telling me he deleted it. Far as I remember I never deleted any of your comments and have always been welcoming to you. But like I said if I don’t agree with what you say I will tell it to you straights. Sometimes you do make some far fetched comments. And since you are so adamant about the fact that you don’t know anything about tennis then why do you make such long comments? If my replies bother you comment less or shorter.

      [Reply]

      Zikov Reply:

      Don`t worry Katyani, you don`t have to agree with everything the host says. It doesn`t matter if you have never played tennis, any objective person with common sense is free to challenge his point of view and provide a good debate. In fact, I agree with you and think all your other points are more likely than the Nadal factor, but of course that is just my opinion…

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      That’s right. No one has to agree with anything I say. I encourage people to differ from me because it is more fun and interesting that way.

      [Reply]

      Katyani Reply:

      Hey Ajay and Zikov, thanks for your comments. I really appreciated that.

      Ajay, I understand what you are saying. To be honest, I will have less time to comment anyway. Next week I am starting a difficult course at work and in the last week of April I will have my exam.
      I Just hope I can watch as many matches of Roger in the meantime (timedifference with America is also not working out !!!).

      And Zikov, I totally agree with you. Rafa is in Roger’s head and unfortunately won’t go away (yet). But I refuse to believe that ALL of Roger’s actions have got something to do with Rafa. I totally refuse to believe that. To me it feels like I am disrespecting Roger big time for everything he has worked for and has accomplished by saying: “oh well, you only won because Rafa wasn’t there”. To me, that is unfair to Roger. And he gave me way too much for me to be unfair to him. Rafa is and will always be one of the greatest of all times, but players don’t just win because Rafa lost or because Rafa was not there. If Roger is not bigger than tennis and neither is Rafa. And for me, sometimes you just have to be honest and give credit where credit is due. Seppi played great, Roger didn’t. Just like in Dubai,
      Novak played amazingly great, Roger just played even greater. IW is coming and lets see what happens there. Roger doesn’t enter a tour just to play…. he enters to win it…. so I am also going for that. Last year he made the final… this year he will win it :-) I will always believe Roger can win and will win the tour he enters :-)

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Ha well done with turning the rivalry around Alex. Yeah you have to fight back and get into the other guy’s mind. Surely it can’t be that hard, as you proved. You have nothing to lose after all. You are expected to lose so you can throw caution into the wind and experiment as you like. But it seems Roger is so scarred by Nadal that he finds even that hard to do. I have said many times in the past that he should do something to get into Nadal’s head, like to the same thing to Nadal that Nadal does to him. For instance taking a bathroom break when Nadal is about to serve for the match, or serving under arm when NAdal stands so far back on the return. But I guess Roger is too ‘polished’ to do such things and that it is below him. Well then he must accept that beating Nadal is above him.

      [Reply]

      Alex Reply:

      DO you think it would have any effect if he said something publicly about nadal in that for him it is only about winning rather than enjoying the game. if he stops winning he becomes a cry baby basically.

      [Reply]

    1. The Coric match was not routine at all. Apart from the error-strewn game when he dropped serve, Federer played masterful tennis. I felt Coric was playing well throughout and would have made it closer had Federer not been so focused. In Coric’s own words:

      I was feeling so rushed, you know. I didn’t have any time to play my game plan. You know, I was just trying to hold in the rally as long as I can, and it was basically only thing what I could do.

      Federer played very aggressively and took Coric’s time away, he stayed close to the baseline and mixed up his shots to keep Coric off-guard and sought to come forward whenever he could. Judging from that performance, he’s playing great.

      Djokovic, of course, is in another league compared to the opposition Federer dispatched to get to the final. He’s reestablished himself as the dominant hard-court player in the world–having won Beijing, Paris, the WTF, and AO in the last few months–and it’s going to take a masterclass from Federer to stop him. He’s been tested, and Federer has not. Plus he’s out for revenge, hoping to reverse last year’s result and capture a fifth title which would put him one away from Federer’s historical tally.

      Hopefully Federer has enough to top Djokovic. He’ll certainly be well-rested, but the question is whether he has carried over his good form of last fall after such a long break from the tour. He’ll have to exploit the speed of the surface to its fullest extent, and nothing less than his A+ game will suffice to win the trophy. So c’mon Roger!

      [Reply]

    1. Well, I have to admit there are some disappointing matches which make you shake your head. But then you see a tremendous performance like that – down 0-40 at at 5-5 in the 2nd set, then suddenly breaks Djokovic (helped by one double fault but the rest was FEderer’s great play off the return), then comes back to hold after being down 0-30. And he came back from 15-40 3 times times…Djokoivc 0-7 on break points in the match. If that is not clutch then I don’t know what is…

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      I can’t get excited about these titles anymore. It’s nice I guess but hardly adds to his legacy. From MS upward I get excited, and beating Nadal.

      [Reply]

      Alex Reply:

      Well at least he’s beating Djokovic.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Yeah that was nice. When they play on fast courts the match is always on his racquet. Just shut the door with big serving.

      [Reply]

      Bharata Reply:

      Yes just a 500 tournament bu tit adds to total titles won (84) and the HtoH with Djokovic is 20-17. Of course it’s a fast court. But I see it as a big positive from the confidence point of view, it makes Melbourne more of a one-off, hopefully and puts some spring in his step. He did seem weirdly resigned about the Austrlian Open from the beginning, some of that caused by burnout. Onwards to Indian Wells I guess…

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      If he seemed resigned about the AO I guess exhibitions are more important to him then.

      [Reply]

      Bharata Reply:

      I don’t blame you for saying that…it can’t only be the Nadal factor but that does play a part. But in that case he might as well give up now; Nadal is going to be around in most of the tounaments, starting with Indian Wells…

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Well that would be a shame if he gives up. I don’t think any of us wants to see that. He should tough it out and if Nadal comes up in the draw face him down.

      [Reply]

      Alex Reply:

      I’m actually hoping that they do meet in Indian Wells. I get the feeling that he has a good chance of beating Nadal there.

      [Reply]

      steve Reply:

      I agree that there’s a great chance of his meeting Nadal at IW. Nadal will be super-confident after he wins Buenos Aires (he’s cleaning up against Berlocq as I write this, and I hardly think Monaco will give him much more trouble). He also has a great record at IW: 8 straight semifinals and 3 titles in 4 finals. It’s by far and away his best HC event. In 2013 it was his launching pad for the great season he had. He will be wanting to win it again this year and make a big leap in the rankings.

      Conversely, in 2012, when Federer beat Nadal there and went on to win the title, it was a key step in regaining the #1 ranking after Wimbledon. And it was encouraging that he was able to win it after six years where he had failed to make the final. It’s a very important tournament to gauge his level. He’s played some of his best tennis there–witness the final in ’06, when he came back from a double break down in the first set to steamroller Blake in straight sets. Every year he’s won it, he’s won a Grand Slam as well.

      Federer’s got a long break coming after IW, so he can really focus on it without having to worry about pacing himself for the rest of the season. He’s in great form and is very confident now. He’ll surely be aiming to do well at IW.

      Today’s final went a long way towards settling who’s the king of Dubai between him and Djokovic. Had Djokovic won, he would have been in a position to eclipse Federer’s record in Dubai over the next few years. Now it looks much harder–winning four more Dubai titles won’t be easy even for Djokovic.

      In three weeks, Federer may be in a position to decide who is the king of Indian Wells between him and Nadal. If it’s the final, so much the better. To get to #1, he has to be able to beat all the top players in big finals, including Nadal, and there’s no point in hoping he avoids Nadal forever. Of the two occasions where he’s beaten Nadal on outdoor HC, one of them was at IW so it’s a good venue to meet Nadal.

      Hope he’s able to play a great tournament in the California desert!

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Well I would hope so given how well he’s been playing and how poorly Nadal has been playing.

      [Reply]

      Nakul Reply:

      Clearly Fed 4.0 has gone nowhere. That’s one thing nobody can have a second thought about.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Yeah he’s gone nowhere since Nadal is out of the picture that’s for sure.

      [Reply]

      Charlie Reply:

      Perfect attitude Ru-an, yes this is a good win but I’m not getting ahead of myself and calling Roger favourite to win the bigger titles (M1000 and up) based on one tournament. If he wins IW or one of the clay masters, then we can talk.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      I feel like this is conquered ground. Nothing new here, except maybe for the fans who joined the bandwagon in the last few years. He won Dubai last year too but failed to win IW or a slam. So hopefully he can improve in that this year.

      [Reply]

      Bharata Reply:

      Ha Ru-an you make a tough tennis coach ! But that is the kind of attitude you need to be the best, never being satisfied. He came within a tiebreak of Indian Wells last year, but Nadal conveniently was taken out by Dolgopolov I believe so Federer had an easier SF than he should have.

      In any case he beat the No.1 in the world today and there were beautiful down the line backhands on display and some clutch serving. Naturally Nadal doensst’ play Dubai so we’ll never see how they would fare on this court with newer aggressive game. He did actually Federer here the only time they played, I think (2006 or 2007?)

      [Reply]

      elizabeth Reply:

      Congratulations Federer glad that today was your day. I’m sure had he lost to Djokovic then lots of people would be saying he’s just not good enough anymore! When Fed lost to Seppi you would have thought he had lost to Nadal. We know that Nadal is a bad match-up for Roger but if Nadal is truly in His head then Fed should have retired years ago…if he had just think of all the great matches we would have missed! x

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Yes but who cares about those people. They are not real fans. The problem is Fed didn’t lose to Nadal in the SF, he lost to Seppi in the third round who he owns 10-0. And why do you think Fed should have retired years ago? It would be unbecoming of a great champion like him to run away because someone is in his head!

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Right Nadal beat him in the 2006 Dubai final when Roger was having his best year. You are right beating the world #1 is special and he hit some very sweet bh’s. It looks promising but we will see what the deal is once Nadal is back in the picture.

      [Reply]

    1. Nice win for Roger today, 6-3, 7-5, saved all 7 break points he faced and was ultra-aggressive. The unfortunate part is that none of the Slams play as fast as Dubai does, so he’s going to have to keep playing as well as he did today to score big victories like this in best of 5 set matches.

      I really want to see him play Nadal now, and I hope he really wants another crack at him too. Dull in poor form, losing to pigeons – surely he can stomach a loss to another one of his “pigeons” lol. The BH is of course the key – it’s actually hurt everyone else on the tour, so if he can just pretend that Nadal is someone else for a couple of hours on court, he can definitely do it.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Yeah I’ve been wanting him to play Nadal for ages now with his new found net game and mental strength. I have said before that is the combination he needs to beat Nadal but who knows what went on at the AO. IW is not a slam or anything so that provides a chance for him to get a win over Nadal and then have some more confidence when they meet again in a slam.

      [Reply]

    1. My thoughts:
      1. Federer further improved his head-to-head vs. Djokovic today. That probably means more to him than anything else.

      2. I somehow suspect “best-of-five-sets” is in Federer’s head more than anything else. That would make sense given that he’s won 7 tournaments since the start of last year, none of them grand slams. Also getting older is a disadvantage for best of five.

      3. Federer’s enthusiasm for tournaments like Dubai is really an inspiration to me. I know some people will say that it’s not a slam so it doesn’t mean much, but I admire Federer’s attitude. It’s a big part of why I’m a fan. Just my opinion.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      I don’ think five sets is in his head. He has won the most titles of tournaments played over five sets in history after all. And I think the getting older business is overrated as far as excuses for winning slams go. He still looks very fit to me. Yes Fed’s enthusiasm is an inspiration. No doubt about it. Just my opinion.

      [Reply]

 

Federer Defeats Nadal Again at Long Last in Basel

Federer Defeats Nadal Again at Long Last in Basel

As I expected it turned out to be a close match but, of course, I gave Nadal the edge and Federer ended up winning 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 in what was a good contest. So all credit to Federer for proving me wrong and getting another win over Nadal at long last and in doing so winning his seventh Basel title and sixth title of the year. It hasn’t at all been a bad year for him. He just came up short again when it mattered most. With this confidence boosting victory, he will also be a big factor in the remainder of the indoor season in Paris and London. His draw is Paris is good so he should try to make the final there at least. As far as the match goes the opening three games made you think that we will see the usual result from a Fedal encounter because Federer went to deuce on his serve while Nadal held serve easily. But Federer soon hit his stride and played some very nice tennis. CSwFLlFUsAEZWUc As you would expect, he was the one who looked comfortable on the fast indoor courts while Nadal was on the defense most of the time. Federer broke serve in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead and he broke Nadal again in the ninth game to win the opening set 6-3. In the second set, he looked in control the whole time while Nadal was the one under pressure on serve. So it was against the run of play when Nadal broke serve in the eleventh game to take a 6-5 lead. He proceeded to hold serve and all of a sudden Fedfans were fearing the worst again. At least Federer was serving first in the deciding set which was a slight advantage. He broke Nadal in the eighth game after a loose game from Nadal where he made two uncharacteristic unforced errors late in the game to take a 5-3 lead.

CSwFL4tUYAA1QyB

Federer still had to hold serve to clinch the victory which was never going to be easy given he was up against his nemesis. On one match point, he served an ace which got called out but Layani overruled it to add some more to the drama. Then on the next point Nadal had a very good look at a passing shot but Federer guessed the correct side which was huge. On the second match point, Nadal sent a return long to the great relief of Federer and his fans.
  • What Does It Mean?
Not much, really. It basically means that Nadal does not utterly own Federer which would have been the case if he defeated him in Basel as well. Federer has over the years gotten some key wins over Nadal so although I thought Nadal would win today, I shouldn’t be all that surprised. A sixth consecutive loss to Nadal in his own country after having his best year since 2012 with the way Nadal has been playing this year would have meant the rivalry was truly dead and buried. Now at least the rivalry is on life support, as opposed to flatlining. There never was much for Federer to gain in this match as far as the rivalry goes. It was in Basel on a court that suits his game to the T so if there is one match where he is still the favorite to beat Nadal it was there. The only thing Federer had to gain from this match was to prove that the ownage is not complete. I’m kind of happy about it because that would have pretty much ended all Federer’s hopes of being the GOAT. Nadal would have owned him so utterly that no unbiased person would have called him the GOAT. At least now he is still in the conversation, but of course if Djokovic catches up with him he will be surpassed due to his head-to-head with Nadal. CSwFMEAVAAAa4xC I am also glad about this result because it makes tennis more interesting. If Nadal won the rivalry would have been well and truly dead. Now at least there would still be a reason to watch any future meetings. For Federer to make any kind of serious statement in the rivalry he would need to win a slam meeting. But even then the slam head-to-head would still be 9-3 in Nadal’s favor. I don’t see it happening anyway if he can hardly beat Nadal in Basel. It will now also be very interesting to see what happens if they meet in London. It’s highly unlikely that they will meet in Paris as they are in opposing halves. In London, the courts are much slower than in Basel so probably Nadal becomes the favorite again there, but then again I said the same thing about Basel which is why it will be interesting. In the end I am happy for Federer because seriously, losing even in Basel to Nadal? That would have been a bit rough for a player with his record. It would have been another terrible stain on his legacy after all the losses he already suffered to Nadal. It’s good to see him regain some pride at least if nothing else.
  • What Is Left of the Tennis Season
So we are into the final stretch of the tennis season with only Paris and the grand finale left in London(Davis Cup too but I couldn’t care less about it). The eight players who will be present in London have also been decided with Ferrer and Nishikori taking the remaining spots. In the end, Nadal qualifies in the fifth spot which is almost surprising after the year he had. And he isn’t done. He could still be a factor in Paris and London. The Basel final loss was another very good result for him, especially after coming back in the second set and making it a very close match. Let’s get real. He has never passed the quarterfinals in Basel and he came very close to winning it on the worst possible surface for his game. Even at his very best it is doubtful whether he could have done that so he is right there with his game. Finally, Djokovic will be back this week and so will Murray. Djokovic will be fresh again after his exploits in Asia and history is now beckoning. It should be a very interesting last couple of tournaments. Djokovic has the opportunity to become the first man to win six Masters titles in a calendar year.

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Given the court speed, you wouldn’t bet against him doing it. The court speed does not particularly favor Federer and the run in Basel will likely take a physical toll on him. Three out of his five matches went the distance and the final could have been particularly taxing. Even if Federer doesn’t win another title this year this title and the fact that he defeated his nemesis is a good end for him. Of course, losing early in Paris or suffering more losses to Djokovic and Nadal in London is not going to help his cause but if I was him or his fans I’d already be happy with his year. Sure he lost the two big ones but he is 34 after all. The limelight now belongs to Djokovic and if he wins Paris and London he will clock the best tennis season in history. The rest of the big four will do their best to stop him which will make the next three weeks a fun time in tennis.
  • Highlights
The is in your court.
Posted in ATP 500, Basel.

30 Comments

    1. Agree with your assessment. For me, this match showed that Federer is psychologically fine to take on Nadal, just his problem in this match up is his backhand. Nadal strategy was to pound the backhand with top spin, which did not work as intended for 2 reasons: 1) Low bouncing surface, 2) Federer’s much improved backhand that can hurt you (he looked from backhand side more like Wawrinka). Federer also served very well and was mentally strong. Overall, this is great news for tennis as nothing remains static and players continue pushing each other. Federer will be encouraged to continue playing and I look forward seeing more encounters between Federer, Nadal and Djokovic. It is great fun.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: Hey, George, I’m sorry you lost money on this match again. I certainly think there is an argument for Federer not being psychologically strong enough to take on Nadal. The match-up does not help, but he has definitely flat out choked many times against Nadal. The match-up can’t always be used as an excuse. Federer has been more prone to choke against other players as well like Djokovic for instance. So yeah, I don’t think he is mentally up there with Djokodal which is why Nadal owns him and why Djokovic is starting to do the same.

      [Reply]

      George Reply: I like to put some money to have more fun when I watch the game. I thought that Federer was mentally just fine yesterday. Regarding “choking” against Djokovic/Nadal, I think that it is more about strategy of these two to pound Federer’s backhand in crunch times. I think that Fed’s backhand is his biggest problem when he play Nadal and Djokovic. This probably affects his confidence as he is aware of his Achilles heel.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: Call it what you like. Mental or technical weakness. It comes to the same. It’s a weakness. It’s not like Nadal doesn’t have weaknesses in his game. Why didn’t Federer expose them? Nadal owns him and that it is all there is to it.

      [Reply]

      George Reply: It is a relative weakness; weakness for that level. I think that the only player without a weakness that can be exploited at the highest level is Djokovic. Even with Nadal, you know that he can’t do the same thing on backhand and forehand (while Djokovic can). Nevertheless, I was impressed by both players yesterday. By Federer for trying to beat Nadal and by Nadal for playing under conditions unfavourable for his game and still hoping to win.

      [Reply]

    1. Let’s not kid ourselves. There is not a big four in tennis anymore. There is a big one. Then three others. Then the rest of the pack.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: Well said, Eric. Fedal is still playing at a high level, but Djokovic is now simply better. Murray was never quite there with the big three. Djokovic winning the USO was the big one. There is no stopping him now.

      [Reply]

      Ben Chia Reply: Nice short write up Ru-an. Fed really needed this one. Psychologically, Fed still had a mountain to over come despite all the new changes, adaptations to his game. The h2h don’t lie, Nadull is in his head all the time. So to pull this off was big. I’m still very much a fed fan but even for me, I thought Nadull had him by the balls after winning the second set. The GOAT debate would certainly have been over. Kudos to our champ for fighting through. You know I respect Nole’s game a lot, but I wanna see “old” fed lift WTF one more time while he still can. Paris should be Nole’s given how much is on the line. Nadull just need to lose 1 more match to complete #Rafa-Zero-Zero prediction for the year. Hope it comes quickly. No, I don’t like to see Nadull play better and stronger. Let him lose in first round for all I care :-) @Eric, yeah man. Its speaks volumes that Nole is so far ahead of the pack. The GOAT debate can be revisited if he brings over 70% of his 2015 form to next year. God forbid, if he actually wins Paris and WTF. HIs confidence will sky rocket and his nemesis (honestly only 3) will feel the pressure. His bid for GOAT will be super legit. After a season like 2015, what’s left to prove? Calendar slam anyone? Cheers! Great Tournament coverage ru-an. Thanks!

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: You’re welcome BC. Glad you enjoyed it. It was fun. Far as Paris goes there is more on the line for Djokovic in London. He already has won more Masters this year than Federer did in 2006. If he wins the WTF that would probably give him the best tennis season in history. So I think that is where he will bring his best game. His draw in Paris looks pretty good too though with tired Federer in the other half. Maybe Stan can trouble him if he gets by Nadal. Otherwise, it’s hard to see him being stopped.

      [Reply]

      Eric Reply: Ben Chia, I am amazed that Fed is still playing at this level at 34. That, to me is part of the ultimate GOAT debate as well. And this debate should not happen until all of these guys retire. I finally got to watch the match this morning and thought that both guys played high quality tennis and both guys suffered from nerves at crunch time. At 4-3 in the 3rd if felt like neither of them could avoid the panicked errors. And that is the biggest difference between where they are and where Djoko is. I mean, Roger is number 2 in the world and has a pretty easy time beating just about everyone on the planet. At 34 that’s insane. But in the biggest moments of the biggest matches, his confidence falters while Novak digs in and raises his level even higher. I think George mentioned above that he’s still a Fed Fad and so am I. I read somewhere that he was set on his schedule for 2016 and thinking about 2017 which makes me very happy.

      [Reply]

      George Reply: Federer is not my favourite player due to some issues unrelated to his tennis skills. However, from a pure tennis prospective, I believe that Federer has massively improved (backhand and net anticipation) and plays better than ever. This is not so surprising (see also Karlovic, Lopez, Wawrinka) and we will watch more battles involving him, Nadal and Djokovic.

      [Reply]

    1. Haha Fed Fan not Fed Fad…. classic typo.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: =)) Brilliant!

      [Reply]

      Eric Reply: Knew you would love that one – haha. Freudian typo – hahahaha

      [Reply]

      Jiten Reply: What about Fed Fade for all the nay sayers who desperately wants him to FADE? ~x( Again, great analysis Ru-an. You still have a soft corner for your old love, don’t you? :-S ( I hope that corner does not harden much :-P ) There were some brilliant shot-making in the final and the net play by Fed was exemplary, particularly in those clutch situations. This really proves that he should have never abandoned that strategy in his earlier encounters against Dull where he would apply it in experimental basis and then, once Dull starts passing him, completely jettison it. Even in this match, on couple of occasions, he was hesitating and did not come to the net at the opportune time and paid the price for the delay. Wow, tennis is getting more interesting with the old man still very much in the pack. :-bd

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: Thanks, Jiten. I enjoyed the way Roger played. But these are fast indoor courts so I don’t know if the volleying would have worked so well on other surfaces.

      [Reply]

      Jiten Reply: I completely agree that the net approach may not work on other surfaces. But tactically, this match was much different from the past matches between them. In an analysis (which in my opinion is much better than Craig O’Shannessy’s brain game in the ATP site) at another blog, I found a very interesting piece of information (observation). Out of 61 backhand returns on Dull’s serve, Fed used the slice return only twice. If one goes by the patterns of their previous matches, Dull should have been expecting a lot of sliced returns falling pretty short on the other side of the net which he could pounce on very easily. As such, his was a real surprise for him, which shows that for this particular match, Fed and Co. definitely had a game plan . Hopefully his team can work out some strategy for the slower surfaces as well. As someone has pointed out here, Fed’s problem against Dull is not necessarily mental, it is more tactical in nature.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: I beg to differ. I think the fact that he let Nadal off the hook in the past by choking is what complicated the rivalry for him. You can have the best tactics in the world but if you are not clutch enough when it matters they won’t do you much good. It’s too late to be worrying about tactics now. He blew it too many times in the past. Nadal owns him. About the comment thing, I don’t know what to tell you. There is a box in my comment settings where I can put someone’s details if I want someone’s comment to be held for moderation and your details are NOT there. So I have no idea why your comment is held in moderation. The only thing I can suggest is trying to use a different email or IP address.

      [Reply]

      Jiten Reply: It may be so because I use different IPs as I use all the three different devices at my disposal to make comments at different times.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: Yes, I guess that is the reason. You may want to try using one email with one IP address.

      [Reply]

      Jiten Reply: I use the same email for all three IPs. Do you suggest I use different email ids for different IPs?

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: Definitely.

      [Reply]

    1. I’m very happy about this victory, and it was about time too after an eternity since he last beat Nadal. Though we (Fed Fads :)) ) shouldn’t get too carried away. It’s just one match, and in these conditions he has always been able to beat Nadal. It changes nothing as far as the rivalry and lopsided H2H stats are concerned. Ru-an is absolutely right, Nadal still owns him. It would take a few slam victories (preferably outside Wimbledon) against Nadal to really change anything as far as their rivalry is concerned from a historical perspective, and I think that train has sailed. But not to be a downer. A win over his dominator is always good for confidence. Might give him that extra belief he needs if they were to meet in Melbourne in a couple of months. I’m certainly a lot more optimistic ahead of that possibility now than I was a few days ago. I’ll be following Paris and WTF with great interest. All the discussion over the years, about how much Nadal’s ownership of Federer affects his GOAT status may soon become irrelevant if Djokovic cleans up all the big events and continues to dominate next year in the same way.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: Hi BE. Yes, this win for Federer does make things more interesting for Paris and the WTF. It’s more interesting for me too when Fedfans are involved and believes in their player. In that sense, this was an important victory for Federer. This will help him believe that he is still good enough to win big titles and to keep going. I want to see many more meetings between him, Djokovic, and Nadal.

      [Reply]

    1. WTF round robins don’t count towards H2H numbers do they?

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: Sure they do.

      [Reply]

      Eric Reply: Wow, I guess it does. I’m surprised that hasn’t helped Roger with the H2H count over the years but I guess they are never in the same group. Could be different this year and possibly give Roger a couple more wins. Interesting.

      [Reply]

      Eric Reply: So. A couple hard court wins would put Roger on top in the Fedal non clay H2H. Djoko should easily be past 14 GS’s by 2017. Rafa likely stays at 14. Combine that and Rafa goes from GOAT contender to clay court specialist rarely mentioned except at FO time. Very nice thought indeed.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: They have played many times at the WTF. Five times I think with Federer leading 4-1.

      [Reply]

 

Federer Confirms He Will Play Shanghai

Federer Confirms He Will Play Shanghai

Hey folks. First of all I apologize for my blog being offline earlier today. I got some emails from people who were concerned. If it ever happens again don’t panic. If I decide to quit blogging I’ll let you know beforehand. Now on to the latest Federer news:

Officially, I’ve decided that I will make the trip next week to Shanghai. I can’t wait to see all my fans and I hope I can win the Shanghai Rolex Masters for the first time!

https://www.facebook.com/Federer

OK so it’s confirmed. Roger will play Shanghai. Thoughts? As is the case with the India situation I’m not quite sure what Roger’s thinking process is going to Shanghai. Don’t get me wrong. I am happy for the Chinese fans and tournament. Not having Roger there would have been a big loss. But Roger have played a lot of late for his age. It was already a bit of a surprise that he played in Toronto where he made the final. Then another final at Cincinnati, semis at the US Open, and Davis Cup after that. I would have thought a longer break would have been better and then playing Basel, Paris, the Masters Cup, and Davis Cup. But it looks like Roger will skip Paris now instead and make the long trip to China. Surely he won’t play Paris now as well. That would be begging for burn out. After Shanghai he will have a week before Basel begins. After Basel there is no break before Paris.

And then there is a week break again between Paris and London. And of course the weekend after London is the Davis Cup final. I don’t think Roger is gunning for year end #1. I think he is trying to become #2 so he can have a top 2 seeding in Melbourne. I think that should be the plan anyway. If he wants to try and end the year #1 then he will need to play Paris, and then he is seriously jeopardizing his chances in Melbourne. Winning a slam at this point should enjoy priority over ending the year ranked #1. Sure it would be nice to tie Sampras’ record of six year end number ones, but Roger is not threatened by Sampras. He is threatened by Nadal and therefor #18 is of primary importance right now. The fact that he added the IPTL to his schedule in December on top of the charity match with Stan means he definitely should not play Paris if he does not want to risk burn out.

Not to mention that he has already confirmed that he will be back in Brisbane next year. I just think Roger had a great comeback season after 2013 and I don’t want him to overplay now and suffer the consequences in 2015. I think Nadal will rise again in 2015 which means Roger will probably have a down season again, given how they keep alternating. But at least I want to see Roger get the #2 ranking and give himself the best possible chance to win the Australian Open where he has been very consistent over the years. Roger schedules well and he will know best what is best for him. I just hope he doesn’t overdo it like he did in 2007 and 2012. And just to make it clear, the fact that he lost third round in Shanghai last year doesn’t mean there are points up for grabs. If he plays Shanghai and skips Paris, like he should if he had any sense, then he will lose 360 points for the semi last year in Paris.

The ball is in your court.

Was playing in Shanghai the correct decision?

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Posted in Masters 1000, Shanghai.

38 Comments

    1. Ru-an! I think that Roger made the right decision here. The moment that the French chose Indoor Clay, it made it clear that Roger doesn’t have to play Bercy.

      Plus, between Bercy and Shanghai, I’d rather have him play Shanghai. He has won Paris but he hasn’t won in Shanghai so it would be good for him to play.

      If he does well, then he’ll have a week off, then play Basel and then have 2 weeks off if he so chooses before London and Davis Cup. The break will be a bit more spread out this way and he won’t burn out by the time Davis Cup comes around! :-)

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Yeah the two week break before the WTF and DC would be good and make sense in terms of Roger saying that it is the two most important things to him now. The year end #1 and therefor playing Paris shouldn’t matter at all. If he can win the WTF, DC, and end the year ranked #2 that would be peRFect.

      [Reply]

    1. Roger is the best in terms of managing his schedule and keeping himself healthy. In my humble opinion he should have skipped Toronto or Cincinnati and it is lots of matches before going to the Open. It appeared to me he was a bit flat against Cilic, and let’s not forget he steps up his game against big servers very well. I think the focus should be on grand slams. He has had a tremendous season and the focus should be on Davis Cup and next year Australia. Federer has won WTC 6 times and I don’t think he needs it anymore.

      [Reply]

      elizabeth Reply:

      I may be wrong but I think if Roger had gone any further at the US then his Davis Cup matches would have been in doubt.

      [Reply]

    1. Was surprised to hear of Roger’s decision to play in Shanghai, Ru-an. Think that his decision might also be
      part of being a bit obligated to please his sponsor, Rolex, etc?? All we can do, wish him good health and good luck. Good blog, Ru-an, keep it coming!
      Kindly,
      Dolores

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      That could be part of the reason Dolores. We will never know. I think it has more to do with him wanting a two week break before the WTF and DC.

      [Reply]

    1. The only reason I can think of why Fed is playing Shanghai is because he wants to skip Bercy since Basel-Bercy-WTF-DC will be too much. He doesn’t want to skip Basel for sentimental reasons(though I’ve always felt he should’ve sacrificed Basel for Bercy more than the other way around) and wants to play WTF and DC. So this is a big gamble that could be a masterstroke if he goes deep in Shanghai or a disaster.

      The trip to India might be a vacation since he’s said that he’s wanted to see India. I think the tennis could just be some casual fun.

      [Reply]

    1. I actually feel like Federer wasn’t quite as sharp at the U.S. open as people were saying he was, considering that he dropped the first set against Granollers and the first two sets against Monfils. But I think that he seems to play better overall when he plays enough tournaments to be “match-tough” and to have confidence for the crucial points. I’m guessing he’s going to pull out of Paris-Bercy and that it makes sense to play in China (Shanghai) and India (IPTL exhibition) because those are growing markets where he hasn’t won or played as much.

      [Reply]

    1. ruan–i think the key here is these are 3 set matches. fed in his later years –seems to be doing better with the 3 set format, even if matches are less spaced out. and he seems to get pumped up by all the support he’s receiving and the chinese will certainly deliver. i have to say as an indian, i am super excited for fed’s visit to india. i don’t think it will be taxing. it’s an 8 hour flight to delhi, and he’s playing matches that are more exo than anything else. the 5 setter against monfils killed him!

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Yeah I think the India thing is more for holiday than anything else Sakhi. I am now OK with it. And yes that 5-setter vs Monfils did kill him. I’m starting to think playing Toronto was a mistake, because Roger did not have a great USO if we think about it. Against Monfils he came out not looking determined enough, and it ended up killing him.

      [Reply]

    1. Hi all! It’s a tricky balance between getting enough matches and playing too few. With the new racket, he plays shorter points and stays closer to the baseline, so it doesn’t sap as much energy. He may feel that he’s in good enough shape to play a long stretch of hard court tournaments.

      Also, he’s no longer ATP Player Council president which has lightened his commitments considerably. He probably has more energy now that he’s no longer responsible for representing the interests of all the players on the tour.

      I agree with Vily that Shanghai is more important at this point than Paris, since he’s won Paris but not Shanghai. It would be good to break new ground this year and win a tournament he hasn’t won before, just to get that confidence for next year.

      To expand on Albert’s comment, both China and India each have over a billion people and there’s a growing middle class there that can afford to spend money on tennis and consumer goods related to tennis (shirts, hats, shoes etc.) It’s a smart move to build a fan base there. Europe already has a well-established tennis tradition, he already has an enormous fan base there, it’s not a growing market the way Asia is.

      It’s better for Federer, and tennis in general, if he invests more effort in raising interest in tennis in Asia. If tennis is to continue to grow, they need to reach a new audience and generate fresh interest. Two billion people is a huge pool of untapped talent and many of the great players of the future are likely to hail from Asia as more and more people there take up tennis. Nishikori made history by becoming the first Asian man to make a Grand Slam final and it’s only a matter of time before an Asian man makes the breakthrough and wins a major title.

      As usual, Federer is making his moves with an eye on the future.

      Exhos aren’t terribly strenuous, it’s just a hit and giggle. The India exho will be more tiring, but even so it’s just a couple of matches. The one with Wawrinka is for charity, the goal will be to hit trick shots that make the audience ooh and aah, not to make it super-competitive. Plus it’s in Zurich, he won’t have to travel very far since I’m sure he’ll be relaxing in Switzerland for the Christmas holidays. He’s played a lot this year and he’s in good shape so he may not have to put in a lengthy training block in Dubai as he did last year.

      I think that so far he’s made good decisions. He knows his body and he won’t try to play through injury. So things are looking good for a strong finish to the year and a good 2015. As I said, I don’t think he’s peaked yet with the new racket so I think he can improve still.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Good comment as usual Steve. Totally agree that Asia is the future as far as many things go and that India and China are becoming economic powerhouses. That fact that Roger is playing so much doesn’t really surprise me either given how little he played in 2013. This is something people forget. He is making up for lost time. He is also still getting used to the new racquet like you said and I think he wants to play a lot so he can be ready for the AO next year.

      [Reply]

    1. Off topic here. Nadal tearing through draw…again…6-4, 6-0 folks! Anyone surprised?!! Injured or just d—– and training??! Never has there been a player who doesn’t need any break in time after long injury timeout….just look at poor Murray, struggling for a year and only just lucked out a measely 250! Maybe Roger should do a Nadal; just sayin’. Baby Fed is now 23 years old, shares the same Manager as Papa Fed, uses his papa’s ex-physio, sponsored by Papa Fed’s sponsors, Nike, Wilson, Mercedez, Rolex. The Roger Federer Clones are a’comin’, folks!!

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Right Veronica. Lets get ready for another 3 slam year from Nadal next year where he equals Roger’s record. And yeah I wish Dimitrov would get his own identity. Maybe then we can finally have a youngster who beats Nadal on a regular basis.

      [Reply]

      veronica Reply:

      Lol Ru-an! I’m BRACING myself for your Nadal prophesy to be fulfilled!! lol!

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Well lets face it he’s either gonna equal Fed or surpass him so he will win a minimum of two slams next year.

      [Reply]

      Veronica Reply:

      Yeah, Ru-an, that’s why I’m bracing myself! I don’t doubt your prophecy at all; much as I hope it will not happen! If the normal cycle is continuing next year, it would be Roger down, Nadal up. But I really hope for a break to the cycle and miraculously Roger maintains upward trend. With playing so much, a positive can also happen where he plays himself into form and the fh finally peaks, do you think so, Ru-an?!! I’m just dreading the imminent Nadal rampage. I should be used to it by now but I’m not! It’s amazing how he can grind opponents into mental and physical midgets and they turn into pulp losing all belief and give up!

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Well that’s because he is mentally incredibly strong Veronica. Anyway I think Roger can have a good AO next year. After that we may see him dip and Nadal rise again.

      [Reply]

    1. Btw agree Shanghai is good if his target is WTF and DC. The rest periods are more spaced out. It does look like he should be skipping Bercy; although I would like him to skip Basel instead (but I think he won’t). The India thing I have come to terms with already. The future is Asia and Roger has always been a visionary, long-sighted kinda person. But like Ru-an and a few others, I don’t like it that he is replacing Nadal. Why does he always cleans up after Nadal?!! Ugh! Why can’t the Spaniard clean up his own shit?! Haha! It just annoys the hell out of me as I imagine Roger putting in so much effort (yes, 2 sets only but never underestimate the toil of travel, media, hysterical fans (Jiten should be among them, haha!), whether his family will be with him or not, difficult humid climate, food, (8 out of 10 friends who been to India experienced food poisoning; maybe spiciness, maybe hygiene, don’t know, etc etc, not as simple and straightforward as “just 2 sets”)and Nadal is happily training away, super ready for AO2015!!! I’m letting this one go but IF Roger should show signs of fatigue in AO, then it would be hard not to point fingers. I really can’t see how well he would be able to prepare for AO with so much on his plate. Anyway, hope for the best and can’t wait to see him in action next week!

      [Reply]

      Jiten Reply:

      I would have Sis, had it been some real tennis. I myself is not very happy that instead of resting himself, he is coming over to my country, that too as a replacement. Come on Roger, do you really need this? I am enjoying the by-product though! The Indian fans photo-shopping Fed and coming up with some unthinkable ideas.

      [Reply]

      veronica Reply:

      Yes, Bro, the best thing that got out of this trip are the photoshops. They were so hilarious and I enjoyed them so much!! I suspect Roger’s fan base in India is HUGE. It seems that every Indian (and Chinese)I know loves Roger!!

      [Reply]

    1. Mentally strong….sure, he is that. But there’s a reason for it. Lance Armstrong was also “mentally strong.” Knowing you have an advantage over your competitors does give you faith. He knows he’ll outlast them, that’s why he hangs in there even down two sets. The one place where none of that seems to matter anymore is Wimbledon. At least the first week. Nowhere is his weakness as a player more revealed than there, at least since 2011.

      Uncle Toni is very shrewd. Just have him play half a season and extend his career that way, cycle up for the AO, clay season and use that momentum and aura of invincibility to roll on into the USO.

      Still he won one match match. Let’s not jump to conclusions. Dopers age too. Plus Cilic and a lot of others are taking the same medicine. We shall see. A lot can happen, I am not certain he will reach 17.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Well yeah dope could do that for you Jim. I don’t trust him and that’s why I don’t care if he equals or breaks Roger’s slam record.

      [Reply]

    1. Want to add more in the list of complaints? Firstly, it was the knee, then the schedule followed by less number of tournaments played on clay, why not two year ranking system, wrist is OK but not 100% and now the Tennis Balls used for the China open. Man, it simply sucks! I am sure it is not improbable, one day, the drama queens (yes I am including Aunt Toni as well) will demand “why not make doping legitimate?”

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Already responded to you on FB Jiten but I’m sure they would be in favor of legal doping. The Spanish are masters at it after all. And of course you forgot to add that Nadal whined about the WTF not being played on clay.

      [Reply]

    1. So Klizan showed the doors to Nadal. The balls were bouncing weird. No! Next time it will be the net. And then….

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      If Roger does better than Nadal in Shanghai he will be #2!

      [Reply]

      rahan Reply:

      Klizan’s win over Nadal is the Spaniard’s first loss to a qualifier in 10 years.

      [Reply]

      rahan Reply:

      … and he also lost 16 of the last 18 points in a deciding set…

      [Reply]

    1. But I hope that we will not see a repeat of 2013 Rafa’s comeback (if I remember well, he also lost to a
      lefty journeyman in his first tournament back)

      [Reply]

    1. It seems that Novak is in great form: a bagel in the first set of the final vs. Berych.

      [Reply]

      rahan Reply:

      …and the final score: 6-0,6-2 (57 points vs 30 points)

      I think that Bredych tries to win only against Roger.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      It was a shame about the missed chance for a double bagel Rahan. Djokovic either choked badly at 5-0 serving for the match or felt sorry for Berdych. Personally I don’t buy he felt sorry for Berdych. These pros don’t know the meaning of the word mercy. Unless they are French of course.

      [Reply]

      rahan Reply:

      You are right: I also hoped for a double bagel, but I jinxed it :-(

      Nevertheless, Berdych missed a golden opportunity for becoming the first to lose 6-0 6-0 in an ATP men final

      P.S.
      I didn’t understand your last remark :
      ..Unless they are French of course…

      Am I missing something ?

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      The French don’t have killer instinct. With the exception of Tsonga maybe.

      [Reply]

 

Federer Clinches Davis Cup Tie for Switzerland in Deciding Rubber Against Kazakhstan

Federer Clinches Davis Cup Tie for Switzerland in Deciding Rubber Against Kazakhstan

Hi folks. If you read my comments you would know by now that I’ve been teaching English at a summer camp in Thailand for the last week. It’s been extremely hectic so I had no time for posting. I did try to follow some of the Davis Cup this weekend, even though my connection was way too weak to watch a proper stream. The Swiss were playing at home in Geneva and Stan was first up on Sunday as the Swiss number one against Kukushkin in the reverse singles. I guess it was not all that much of a surprise when Stan lost to Golubev in four sets given his recent form. This put the Swiss under pressure from the start. It was up to Roger to tie things up against the Kazakhstan number one Kukushkin, and he did just that by routining Kukushkin in straight sets.

Saturday’s doubles was therefor going to be an important match. Fedrinka was up against Golubev and Nedovyesov. I watched some of this match as my stream was half watchable, and I wasn’t exactly impressed with what I saw. Stan was struggling again and Stan and Roger seemed to be out of sync. Something didn’t feel right. I could not see much however so I’m gonna rely on you to correct me and fill in the blanks. I do know that at one set all Roger and Stan was serving for the third set at 5-3 and 30-0. Or so I heard anyway. If that is true then it was basically unacceptable to lose this match. But they did so in 4 sets. It was a real disappointing performance from the former Olympic gold medalists.

Swiss GOAT digging out the win for his country

But like I said something felt off to me and maybe the fact that Stan was the number one player instead of Roger had an effect. From Roger’s comments I always conclude that him and Stan are very good friends, but then I sometimes hear something different from Stan. In tennis there are no real friends anyway because you compete against each other. A lot of these so-called friendships are just appearances. That is why I don’t rate Davis Cup very highly. It is a team sport whereas tennis is an individual sport. You depend on others and you are not in complete control. I’m not saying that is necessarily a bad thing, but it is not how it works in tennis. So Stan and Roger ended up losing the match in 4 sets.

Once again the Swiss were under pressure and it was finally time for Stan to step up. To his credit he did just that, even though he dropped the first set. He then recovered to win the match in 4 sets. It was up to Roger again to set things right and he made it look easy with a straight set win over Golubev to clinch the win for Switzerland. He was never in trouble. He broke in the first set and got broken back only to win the first set in a tie break, and from there on it was smooth sailing. Once again Roger showed his class and I think it is fair to say that he is the real Swiss number one going by current form. His form is still very encouraging while Stan has been a disappointment since he won the Australian Open.

Allez Swiss!

Highlights:

Posted in Uncategorized.

26 Comments

    1. “It was up to Roger again to set things right and he made it look easy with a straight set”.
      First of all, it is ALWAYS up to Roger :-)

      Second of all, sometimes even I forget exactly HOW GOOD Roger is :-)

      Third of all, yes, Stan and Roger are friends. But I do believe with all my heart that Roger is really happy for Stan that he won AO 2014, but that Roger is not “that happy” that he is Swiss number two.
      Roger is in some ways a bit arrogant, which I just LOVE about him. And I really think that he wishes more GS for Stan, but that he somehow cannot “get used” to this Swiss number two behind his name.
      No matter how his rankings were going (up and down), but he was always Swiss number one.
      Which he proved yesterday. I had really fun seeing Stan and Roger play, but MY GOD, since my short period of time beeing able to watch matches through streams…. yesterday was the WORST Stream day (from hell) !!! My stream went away, literally EVERY 15 seconds and I had to refresh literally every 15 seconds to watch things. Because of that, I missed Roger’s second set setpoint and almost matchpoint !!!

      Ps: Ru-an, hope your teaching class goes well. Just remember, busy times for you, but you are doing a good thing that will help the people there :-)

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Thanks Katyani I appreciate the comment. I hope everything is well with you.

      [Reply]

    1. I actually think you’re on to something with the Swiss number one status making things weird. But i think it’s from Stan’s side. He seems to idolize Roger and be uncomfortable when asked constantly about being Swiss number one. Especially uncomfortable in Indian Wells on the doubles court interview I noticed. I was surprised to hear you say that you heard other than friendship from Stan to Roger, I have always heard nothing from Stan but respect and appreciation, except a few nudges to try to get Roger to play Davis Cup. I hope you’re getting to enjoy Thailand and not just having to work all the time. All the best.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Hi Eric. Stan has made some strange comments about Roger before regarding DC. I was almost shocked. So yeah there has been some jealousy or something from his side.

      [Reply]

    1. Hey Ru-an, just a little correction now that I read your post the second time:
      They lost the second set at 5-3 30-0. Stan was serving for the second set and they got broken back and Kaz won that set, making it 2 sets up.
      But to be fair… it was Roger who lost the first game in the first set. So they both were equally responsible for losing the first 2 sets.
      Then they took a bathroom break where I think Roger either gave Stan some hope saying that they can turn it around or Roger told Stan that he was not going to lose this because of Stan. Whatever happened it worked. I personally believe that Roger gave Stan some tough tough love.
      And it worked, because they won the third set and almost the fourth set. Which was too bad because in the fourth set Stan was really trying and believing.
      Fistpumping Roger more and talking more to him. Roger and Stan played that fourth set SO SO great. They REALLY wanted to win. But the Kaz double team were playing the match of their life.
      Anyway, all is well and like Ronnie says, “Bromance is still on” :-)

      [Reply]

    1. Friends of this magnificent blog. Roger will play in Monte Carlo.
      Roger has accepted a wild card invitation to play in the Monte Carlo Masters after skipping the tournament for the past two years.

      [Reply]

      Veronica Reply:

      What is this?! Roger wanting to continue his fine form? Roger not wanting to take too long a break? Roger trying to break into SLOW clay? Roger trying to out sprint Nadal to be the first to win all Masters 1000? Roger planning to squeeze in as many tourneys as possible in anticipation of the paternity leave he would be taking soon? Good news! At least we won’t have a Rogerless month now, eh, Katyani?! Thanks Bartholomew for the info. I’m excited. Maybe this time Monte Carlo will be kinder to Roger and he won’t get slaughtered. Allez!

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      I seriously doubt he’ll get slaughtered Veronica. Even by Nadal. I’m really happy about this move or else his clay court season is too short. More rankings points up for grabs now too.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Great news Bartholomew. Thanks.

      [Reply]

    1. Really appreciate you putting up a post although you couldn’t watch a decent match on your stream, Ru-an! Thanks! It was a big let down when Stan couldn’t serve out the 3rd set but Roger is not blameless too as Katyani pointed out when he was broken in the first game of 1st set. But overall Stan was just terrible and I heard the Kazakhs were just targetting Stan in the doubles. Roger has really matured as we spoke about in your earlier posts. His demeanor on court and during the interviews for DC were beyond calm – not the denial or defiant kind of calm that characterised some of his past interviews after a tough loss; but this was pure serenity and such attractive quiet confidence. If you haven’t already watched Roger and Stan interview after they lost the doubles, you must. You wouldn’t think they were in big trouble from the interview. Roger has such a sensible head above those extrememly capable shoulders – shouldering a young family and the burden of expectations everyday. I was a bit lagging in things but after watching that interview, I was so inspired, I kicked into 5th gear! It’s never too late and there is always a silver lining no matter how dark the clouds. Roger has a unique ability to find and to see this silver lining that so many ordinary people like you and I just can’t seem to find sometimes. I think he would make a great coach (although he already stated coaching doesn’t interest him) I agree with Eric. Stan has nothing but respect, admiration and awe for Roger although deep inside him, I’m sure he does have some resentments/jealousy. Who wouldn’t when all of Switzerland only talks about Roger and even in interviews, poor Stan have to answer questions about Roger when it is Stan’s interview and not Roger’s! But Stan doesn’t talk bad about Roger and after he won AO, he couldn’t stop praising Roger – that Roger always wants the best for him, was the first one to congratulate him, always help him, that although he is now Swiss no. 1, Roger will always be Stan’s no. 1, etc. Stan has only spoken negatively once or twice about Roger’s lack of support for DC. Roger on the other hand, actually blamed Stan for their poor results in a DC tie played last year, I think, I don’t remember which country. But this DC against Kazahks, I see Roger cutting Stan some slack (although as Katyani said, I’m sure he gave Stan some tough love)and he never spoke a word about Stan letting the team down. In fact he thanked Stan for giving him a chance to play the 5th rubber and he was all positive about Stan playing better in the 4th rubber. I think Stan has passed the tough test of getting into Roger’s good books by winning a slam. It’s not easy to impress Roger Federer!! Ha! Roger lost to Nadal 3x in Monte Carlo but that was in his prime. Last couple of years he lost to Stan and Melzer. And with the turtle speed clay court, I’m not too confident Roger wouldn’t be slaughtered, Ru-an! Ha! But I wait to be surprised as how he surprised me in the “clay” courts of Miami! I think Mirka is due Madrid/Rome/FO stretch; that’s why he is playing Monte Carlo; get some free points, get his rank up and I suspect, he may even be sniffing at no. 1, you never know with Roger nowadays! One thing you can count on Roger doing these days is he surprises! Sometimes in the most unsuspecting times and in a most unconventional manner. Btw,don’t you think Golubev is such a good player and that he should be ranked higher?! So fearless, confident and holding his own, playing an away tie. I am very impressed. Mirka looks huge!! Is she popping anytime soon? And does the hugeness mean a pair of Baby Feds?!! Sorry, Ru-an, another “essay” for you!! But there are so many things to share!!! Maybe you should create another folder called, “Essay-type comments” and put all my comments there!! Then your readers who like short can fast track!! Hahaha!!!

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Good comment Ronnie.

      [Reply]

      Katyani Reply:

      Hey sweet sweet girl, your comment + + 1 :-) So true about Golubev. I mean come on, even our Goat was impressed by him. And that says a lot right??? By the way, maybe it is only me, but I love two opponents who play with a single backhand (like Roger vs Golubev, or matches between Roger, Stan, Tommy Haas, Gasquet, etc). It makes the match even, you know what I mean. More fair. Two guys playing the same type of tennis and it is not boring at all. I loved that Golubev and Roger play with one hand. They kind of played exactly the same. If Golubev was playing anyone else than Suisse, I would actually root for him :-) He seems like a nice guy (really different from the Kaz coach, one strict dude).
      Oh and the other guy who really impressed me was Fognini :-) I am really his fan. He is so so so weird, but oh my God, he played soooo amazing. Andy played really great, but he had almost no answers to Fognini. I cannot believe I underestimated him…

      Thank God Roger is playing MC, a Rogerless months is not cool, not cool at all :-)

      [Reply]

      veronica Reply:

      Thanks Katyani! Since you followed DC every match, you think Roger looks a tad tired? Older? Thinner? Must be taxing at home with the twins and Mirka heavily pregnant! Why Roger went and cut his hair again just when the curls were starting to show?! Afterall short hair didn’t bring him any luck last year! I think he looks so much better with his curls falling over, don’t you think so, Katyani?! And Fognini. Yeah, the lazy and nonchalant way he plays is unique and oddly attractive. He’s a great player and could have been more successful but…. the head. The head maybe not screwed on properly. Maybe it’s an Italian thing. After visiting Italy, I completely understand how Fognini functions in his head, haha!! I find him fun to watch but, no, not my favourite. And I agree with you; Golubev does play like Roger!

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      And it’s nice to see you appreciating the post. It’s been a difficult time so making a post was quite challenging. This is why you are my favorite!!

      [Reply]

      veronica Reply:

      I know, Ru-an! If I were you, I wouldn’t bother posting when I’ve got so many things on my plate! You did well and you know we all appreciate it and as Joe put it so well, “pulling for you”! I think it’s good too that we kinda remind you of our presence and your “responsibility” towards us!! Haha! That way you are kept on your toes and you would have no time to feel negative, right?! Hahaha! Just kidding! I hope things are more settled now and you are on your way to getting a job. Over here unemployment is at an all time high; although casual/blue collar jobs can always be found. A lot of industries are closing down especially car industry. Looks like Australia is going back to the farms! haha!

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Thanks Veronica I am currently working at the summer camp which is great experience which I can also put on my resume, so finding a job should be a breeze. There is a high demand for English teachers here so if you are motivated and enthusiastic it is quite easy to find a job!

      [Reply]

      veronica Reply:

      So happy for you, Ru-an! You teaching children or adults? Which do you prefer? I prefer adults. I used to teach part time to a group of adults who were all older than me! Scary! Haha!

      [Reply]

      Joe Reply:

      It’s an old American expression that sounded better at the time than another old American expression, “rooting for you.”

      ;-)

      [Reply]

    1. As I mentioned once before, my wife is Swiss and I spend a lot of time there. One thing I hear often from Swiss people ( who adore Roger) is a bit of disappointment that he hasn’t played more DC for Switzerland. Stan has really carried the flag for them so I’m not surprised nor bothered that Stan has really tried to push Roger to do something he deems very important. On so many occasions recently I have heard Stan say that it’s silly to talk of him as Swiss number one when Roger is the best ever to play the game. Tons of respect. He just wants his big brother to help him bring home the prize for Switzerland. And now w the AO win, he has helped to inspire Roger, and thus got him to join in the DC. PeRFect!!

      [Reply]

      Veronica Reply:

      Agree, Eric. Stan has been a great younger brother for Swiss tennis. It must not have been easy to perpetually live under Roger’s shadow; but Stan has done admirably well. Roger’s position with DC is unique compared to other slam winners as Switzerland doesn’t have luxury of a proper team. And as Roger often goes deep in tournaments, he can’t also play DC as well. Stan’s DC results are not exactly great and Roger often have to carry the burden alone when he plays DC. But without a doubt, Stan’s commitment to DC and his respect for Roger is faultless and his nudges at Roger regarding DC is understandable.

      [Reply]

    1. As a tennis fan after seeing Roger play D.C, in Australia the week after his defeat at U.S open, I
      would never question his decision to play or not. Stan is now realizing that having won a major you now have to contend with all the hype and all the media attention that goes with winning, and even more hype if you lose! It’s crazy to expect players
      of any calibre to play D.C. the week after a major and maybe have to fly half way round the world to do it. What if by chance Roger wins the U.S open and
      I think D.C. semis are the following week so as I have said before the Davis Cup for me is crazy. Much as I liked to watch the matches I really think
      it’s too much pressure for the players! Hi Ru-an be well.

      [Reply]

    1. Yeah, Elizabeth, DC dates and format don’t work although it’s great to watch. The tennis calendar is just too jam packed and no one wants to budge. I wonder whose brainchild it is, what their rationale was and if they can see whether it is still appropriate today with such gruelling professional schedules. Nobody seems to want to do away with it (or at least modify it to make it more manageable, eg best of 3 sets, etc) Nobody seems to want to play it. If tennis players themselves as much as say a word against it, they are immediately judged as selfish, unpatriotic. But I’m sure that in the life of a professional tennis player, DC will always be a burden for them; no matter how much they may try to say the right thing and declare it a pleasure to represent their country.

      [Reply]

    1. I would also add one other odd thing in Stan’s defense. The Swiss have a peculiar direct way of saying things that can be easily misinterpreted, as judgmental, or insulting even. I have seen it a million times. For example I could see someone saying to someone else at a dinner, maybe you should only have one piece of bread, you’re looking a little doughy. The don’t realize they’re being insulting, just stating a fact. Roger even does it from time to time. I remember a reporter asking him how he managed to win a match even though he wasn’t playing very well. And he said something like, well I’m a much superior athlete so I didn’t have to play well to will. Everyone thought it was so arrogant, but it was just him saying what’s so in a peculiar Swiss indelicate way. Maybe this was there in the comments you heard Stan make, Ru-an.

      [Reply]

    1. Hey guys, looking forward to Monte Carlo. Roger has a great chance to reach atleast the SF. After that… well… Novak…. playing in his backyard with his whole team present…. difficult… but doable. If somehow, he does beat Novak… well, guess who will be there in the final waiting for him???

      But, I have great hope that Roger will get far and why not even win it??? Sounds unrealistic, but Roger does enter tours to win, not to just get far in them.
      So…. having good hopes :-)
      Atleast we will not have to wait till the beginning of May to see him play…

      [Reply]

 

Federer Celebrates Birthday with Win Over Ferrer

Federer Celebrates Birthday with Win Over Ferrer

Hey, guys. Thank you for all the get well wishes. Yesterday Roger played the last match of the day again against Ferrer who he had a 14-0 head-to-head record against going into the match. The match up was clearly favoring him, but when the head-to-head is that favorable in the favor of Roger I am always a little edgy that the next match will be the one the other player finally gets a win. We saw it with Roddick for instance where Roger lead the head-to-head 21-2 before their last meeting in Miami and was about to become the first person to lead a head-to-head by 20 victories. Roddick played a great match and defeated Roger. Well looks like I’m getting sick again. Gonna have to cut it short once more. I tried. I’ll allow you to fill in the rest.

Happy birthday again Roger!

Highlights: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x23486x_roger-federer-vs-david-ferrer-2-1-quarter-finals-rogers-cup-2014_sport

Cincy draw: http://www.atpworldtour.com/share/event-draws.aspx?year=2014&eventid=422&draw=ms

Posted in Canada, Masters 1000.

 

Federer Bagels Benneteau to Set Up Djokerer 36.0

Federer Bagels Benneteau to Set Up Djokerer 36.0

Well what a special performance that was from the Maestro to dismantle a potentially very dangerous opponent. Benneteau had already beaten Roger twice out of seven matches before this match and came very close to beating Roger at Wimbledon in 2012. And Benneteau came out pretty much in the zone against Roger in the first set on this occasion. He hit some amazing shots including one Federeresque slice/drop shot winner with loads of side spin. He put a lot of pressure on Roger and it looked like this could be another long and difficult night for the GOAT. But there was a key point with Roger serving at 4-4 and 15-30. Benneteau had him in desperate trouble out wide. Roger could only just make the return and Benneteau could basically go where he wanted. He went back to Rogers forehand and Roger pulled off a brilliant passing shot down the line.

Benneteau was well in control of that point and had he won it it would have been two break points and he could well have won the opening set, making this an entirely different ball game. But Roger made a big save and the first set would be decided by a tie break. The first seven points of the tie break went against serve if I remember correctly. Roger was the first one to hold serve at 4-3 with an unreturnable serve and at 6-4 he took the initiative with a backhand cross court winner to win the all important first set. Roger hit some amazing backhands throughout the match and no doubt that is a shot that has improved. After Roger won that first set the resolve of Benneteau was broken and Roger went on to bagel him in the second set. Although Roger played some amazing tennis in that second set it was once again his mental fortitude in the first set that impressed me the most.

peRFect

First the way he hustled at 4-4 and 15-30 to avoid getting broken and then seizing the opportunity at 6-4 in the tie break with an attacking backhand to finish the deal. That is what set up the easy second set because by then Benneteau was a spent force. Roger may not have won a slam this year but he may have done something equally impressive which is to prove the critics wrong who says he lacks in the mental department. And that includes me. Roger really proved to me this year that he is mentally extremely good and that there is a reason that he won 17 slams. But I also think he has improved mentally with age because he had to compensate somehow for not having the same untouchable aura he had in his prime. Roger will now face Djokovic for the 36th time in the most exciting rivalry in tennis today. This after Djokovic was back to his best by routining Ferrer 6-4, 6-2.

So actually Roger and Djokovic lost an equal amount of games and are both playing their best. This will no doubt be the real final because the other semi-final will be contested between Simon and Lopez. Simon upset Berdych who he now has 6-3 head-to-head against. And what is more he fed Berdych another delicious bagel. Delicious for me anyway as I can’t stand the guy. As for Lopez and Simon the head-to-head favors Lopez 2-1 and I hope he wins since he has a much more attacking and exciting game than Simon. To get back to Djokerer it’s a tough one to call. I think Djokovic is probably the slight favorite but I wouldn’t be surprised if Roger pulled off the win. One thing that I couldn’t help noticing yesterday against Ferrer is Djokovic’s overhead. It really is exceptionally bad for anyone in the top 100, not to mention for the world #1.

Against Ferrer he had break point at 3-1 for the double break but he missed another sitter of a smash. So really the score should have been 6-2, 6-2 but instead of it at 5-4 Djokovic barely held on to win the first set and was lucky that it did not go to 5-5. It also struck me that Djokovic’s overhead cost him the 2013 French Open title when he ran into the net after an overhead, and consequently the US Open that same year because he was shattered mentally after that loss to Nadal. And yesterday I found out it cost him the Olympic gold against Nadal in 2008 too. So his overhead cost him two slams at least, the Olympic gold, and the golden career slam. And who benefited? You guessed it. It just bothers be that a great player and a world #1 can have such a poor overhead which is one of the easier shots in tennis. He would have been in the GOAT debate by now could he hit a proper overhead, and who knows where Nadal would have been.

Not on 14 slams that’s for sure. I don’t know if Djokovic’s overhead will play any part in his match against Roger but I do know that Roger will be at his very best against Djokovic, and even that may not be good enough to win. At least he was the last player to beat Djokovic in Shanghai in 2010. I remember that quite well but that was still Djokovic 1.0. I think the kind of mistake Djokovic made against Ferrer with the overhead is the type of mistake Roger can and should take advantage of if he wants to win. Other than that he will just have to play almost perfect attacking tennis while mixing up the pace of his shots with slices to stop Djokovic from getting rhythm. Whatever happens I am just glad Roger comes away with his 360 points and made semis so that he can skip Paris if that is what he feels his body needs. This match is a freebie the way I see it but of course a win would be epic!

Hightights:

Posted in Masters 1000, Shanghai.

20 Comments

    1. Ru-an,

      My prediction is that Roger will win in 3 tight sets! ;-) Roger is quite hungry and he has made a ton of finals this years and I expect that to continue. I am actually worried about Simon more. Will see! ;-)

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      But Simon is not in the final yet?

      [Reply]

    1. OMG, the backhand, the movement!!! Isn’t Benneteau supposed to be one of Roger’s boogey men?! It is so nice to see Roger playing himself into form as the tournament progresses; which was what he always did in his prime. We are seeing it now in Shanghai. I’m still pinching myself is it happening that he is progressively getting better in every match! Often a let down or bad matches get in the way but so far his level has been on a steady uninterrupted upward trend!! The way he played last night was like he owned the court. He could do anything he wanted. So confident, so free and so deadly! So many fantastic shots; I thought the backhand was especially impressive and lethal!! Ru-an, fantastic wrap up/write up on Shanghai! Pics are again first class! So happy for you that Shanghai is played in your time zone (mine as well!) plus the bonus of the school hols now! Must have been quite a while since you had such luxury! I hope Roger wins tonight (if 70% first serve and backhand esp dtl working well) but I think Djoker’s got it.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Hi Veronica. Nice to hear from you. Yeah I like what I am seeing from Roger too. It could be that he is still improving after the low of 2013 and I am looking forward to the rest of 2014 and the beginning of 2015 at the AO! Looks like Roger will be 2nd seed and could avoid Nadal in the semis for a change. Are you going again?
      If you say Djoker has got it then it must be true. You have been good with predictions of late.

      [Reply]

      Dolores Reply:

      Veronica, you must be wearing a big Fedfan smile even though you thought Djoker has it….Beautiful, Roger, Bravo you are in the Final.
      Ru-an, great blog as usual, you, along with Fedfans around the Globe are smiling.
      Best,
      Dolores

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Thanks Dolores.

      [Reply]

      steve Reply:

      Dolores, the Glückstern must have been shining on him against Mayer. Five match points saved in his first match and now he’s in the final! Hopefully he can come out and top himself against Simon!

      [Reply]

      Dolores Reply:

      Steve, thanks for reminding me about the Glueckstern….may it follow him in tomorrow’s match against Simon to win the title.
      As you say, C’mon, Roger!
      Best,
      Dolores

      [Reply]

    1. Ruan you are 100% right here. Mental strength – I have doubted it and I thought he just relied on his supreme talent to get him through.

      Yet today’s amazing victory really showed this strength. Down 15-30 serving for the match; nails down an ace and then some very difficult volleys to nail it.

      On top of this Federerr’s previous service game he failed to convert 7 game points, some of them on very lucky shots by Djokovic. Ddin’t phase him.

      He had 2 (or 3?) break point chances to go up the double break in the 2nd set. Followed that up with a good hold though with clutch play.

      Tremendous match, Djokvoic was playing very well but Federer’s attacking game won the day. 62% 2nd service points won by Federer against the best returner in the world. And he even hit fewer UEs than the human backboard.

      [Reply]

      Bharata Reply:

      I didn’t even mention above that he missed two match points before serving for the match (!)

      [Reply]

    1. Now am I good or am I good? I told you that Roger is gonna win. And did he win or what? That was beautiful! And it came at a very important moment too! Roger was 18-17 against Djokovic and he didn’t want to become 18-18. Now he is 19-17.

      Arguably, Roger is the best player on the planet right now. He barely lost Wimbledon! He has the most match wins of the year and most top 10 wins in the year. He’s been in 9 finals this year which is mind boggling. I hope that he wins Shanghai and his 4th title of the year. He has been in 4 Masters 1000 finals this year alone. I truly hope that he’ll win Shanghai for the first time – to check off another BOX in his illustrious resume!

      He was in a similar situation in Monte Carlo and he’s got a NASTY opponent in Simon who has beaten him here at this venue in 2008.

      So I predict a tough tough match tomorrow but I hope that Roger will keep his focus and lift this trophy for the first time.

      He got denied in Rome in 2013. He got denied in Monte Carlo in 2014. He cannot be denied tomorrow here! Playing Shanghai would be the most brilliant scheduling decision this year!!! But he has to go out there and win it. It will be very tight and Roger has to be ready!!!!

      Go win it, Roger!!! Allen!

      [Reply]

    1. Hi Vily!

      Chapeau for daring to predict RF victory.

      But please remember your’s first comment ! We should celebrate tomorrow evening.

      Allez Roger !!!

      [Reply]

    1. IF Roger will win tomorrow, then only 90 points will separate no 1 and no 2 in the LIVE ATP race (Djokovich 9010 and Roger 8020).

      Allez Roger !!!

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      I’m sure you meant 990 Rahan. If Roger wins tomorrow it becomes doable if he play Paris. He said he felt fresh after his break so maybe he plans on playing it. But he also said he is not thinking about that now which is of course the right approach. He should be thinking about the final tomorrow.

      [Reply]

      rahan Reply:

      Of course ! Sorry for the mistake :-(

      [Reply]

    1. And a tweet from Greg Sharko:

      Roger wins 60th match of year 11th time in 12 years (60+ wins in a season, excepting of course 2013).

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Also he can top his 2012 season with match wins where he won 71 matches.

      [Reply]

      rahan Reply:

      I hope so ! It will be fantastic !

      [Reply]

    1. Vily, props for your predictions!

      Missed a couple bits of the match here and there, but from what I saw he didn’t have any letdowns. Like Bharata said, he was always focused and fighting even when he missed game points, break points, and match points.

      Djokovic played some of his best tennis, didn’t hand Federer much, served well, hit the ball well, and made his usual miracle retrieving, but he couldn’t keep up with Federer’s attacking, first-strike game.

      Federer served great (the service game where he aced Djokovic four times in a row particularly stands out). His net game was fantastic: he approached on very intelligent shots, hit brilliant volleys and volley combos, and as the match wore on he got better and better at anticipating and covering Djokovic’s tough passing shots.

      He timed and struck the ball very well and was able to stay close to the baseline the whole time. I noticed particularly that he was able to change the direction of the ball mid-rally to wrongfoot Djokovic on key points–a combination of the new racket and perfect footwork. Djokovic got flustered since he couldn’t just leave a neutral rally ball, he had to hit aggressive shots every time, otherwise Federer would put it away for a winner or strike a deep approach ball and come in; it was just too much for him.

      Simon is playing great tennis and Federer has had trouble with him in the past–albeit when he was struggling. We’ve had more than our share of near-misses in Masters finals this year. Here’s hoping he can put this one to bed and notch a 23rd Masters title and his first in Shanghai.

      One thing, Simon is a counterpuncher rather than a first-strike player and will give Federer a lot more time to work the ball. It’s not so much about who can beat the other guy to the punch as it is about tactical execution and mixing it up. The match will be much more on Federer’s racket, the only way he loses is if he beats himself.

      As long as he serves well, doesn’t get sucked into those lengthy, endless rallies, and breaks up Simon’s rhythm with his variety, he’ll come through. C’mon Roger, 加油!

      [Reply]

      Vily Reply:

      Simon is very good at passing shots so Roger HAS to be careful. Playing from the backcourt might serve him well. I don’t want to keep coming and putting pressure on his service games. Simon is one of the few guys that neutralize Roger’s ultra aggressive style. Roger should be smart and take his chances but not be overly confident because it might be trouble. Simon is one nasty cookie. We shoudn’t forget that he pushed Cilic to 5 at the U.S. Open. He knows how to play… Smart tennis tomorrow. No stupid heroics and crazy attacks!

      [Reply]

 

Federer and Nishikori Score Straight Set Wins on French Open Day 4

Federer and Nishikori Score Straight Set Wins on French Open Day 4

  • Federer vs Granollers
Today Roger was back against Granollers and it proved to be another successful outing as he won 6-2, 7-6(1), 6-3. It wasn’t all smooth sailing, but I’m sure he will be just fine with the outcome. The first set was routine with two service breaks but in the second set Roger got broken in the sixth game to trail 2-4. He didn’t allow Granollers to consolidate however as he broke right back after a long game. The set would be decided by a tie-break where Roger breadsticked the grunter. Roger then got broken in the opening game of the third set and fell behind 0-2, but quickly got his act together as he reeled off five games to take a 5-2 lead. Granollers made Roger serve it out at 5-3 and he did so as Granollers netted a backhand return. It was a decent match with some interesting rallies, which included a double-handed backhand lob from Roger, followed by a one-handed backhand winner. There were loads of drop shots as well of which Granollers probably hit the best one.

CGCqYn-WAAASR0L

So in the end another good straight set win for Roger as expected, but I’m sure Fedfans can find something to worry about. As I expected the breakpoint ratio also improved and now there is nothing left to find wrong with the match stats. I guess if Fedfans want to worry they can worry about the fact that Roger got broken twice despite a good serving performance, but he broke back on both occasions and in the tie-break he also schooled Granollers. But perhaps there is on more thing Fedfans can worry about.
  • Mcenroe Makes Telling Statement
And that is what John Mcenroe said while commenting during the match for Eurosport. He said: ‘The older you get the more you can’t figure out why you don’t feel quite right on the court some days’(don’t remember the exact words but that was the gist of it). I found this to be a telling statement because I always said that the game is still there for Roger, but that I couldn’t quite figure out why he is not always into it mentally. So this is the answer for me. Roger is still doing extraordinarily well in the sport at his age. I don’t think about that there can be much doubt. He is number two in the world and still very consistent. But there are days when he doesn’t seem to be there mentally like against Seppi in Melbourne and Monfils in Monte Carlo. It’s nothing new at all. It has happened since 2008 probably. In tennis, you decline physically as well as mentally, and some days Roger is just not there mentally. So this is currently probably the biggest problem for Roger, more so than his physical decline I would say.

proxy (2)

I say that because physically you at least know where you are, but the mental part is unpredictable like Mcenroe says. You just don’t feel the same out there on any given day and there is nothing you can do about it. This is why it is difficult for Roger at slams especially to string enough wins together for another title. His draw at the French Open is very friendly, but there is no telling when he can have another lapse and lose to anyone basically. But it doesn’t help to worry about what could happen.
  • Federer’s draw
Roger’s draw has been very friendly so far in Paris. He will face Dzumhur in the third round of a slam who I’m not even sure I’ve ever heard of. Apparently he made the third round in Melbourne too. Monfils also won in five sets today after a four setter in the first round which means he is already tiring out before a possible fourth round meeting with Roger. He is playing Cuevas now too who will be a difficult opponent. So things are panning out nicely for Roger and in his current form he is in the position to take advantage of it.
  • Elsewhere in the Draw
As far as upsets go there were four more today and that was Fognini, Gulbis, Bautista-Agut, and Verdasco. Gulbis lost to Mahut and falls 57 places in the rankings to number 86 as a result after making semi-finals last year. What a drop! Nishikori and Berdych are still on a collision course as Nishikori had a good straight set win against Bellucci while Berdych dropped a set against his compatriot Stepanek. Stan also had a four-set win against Lajovic and now plays Johnson who you’d expect him to beat.

CGArtosWAAErfby

Finally, I was disappointed today to see Thiem losing 7-6(7), 7-5, 6-7(5), 7-5 to Cuevas after he served a double fault at 6-5 in the first set tie-break, and that is the third time that has happened in his last four matches. Had he won the first set he could well have won the match, but I will give him a break after winning Nice. At least he defended his French Open points and is now in the top 30 for the first time. I would have taken that at the beginning of the clay court season for sure.
  • Tomorrow’s Matches
Tomorrow the rest of the big four is back and like Roger today, the Djoker will play on Lenglen while Nadal and Murray get Chatrier. The Djoker plays Muller which I expect to be routine. Murray plays Sousa who is a dirt baller, but that will probably be routine for Murray too. The most interesting of the three will be Nadal against Almagro although like I already said I give Almagro almost no chance. I am just interested to see if there are any more signs of vulnerability from Nadal. At least Almagro has beaten Nadal on clay before and he is not the worst player on clay. The biggest problem is his mental weakness and choking abilities. The other matches which I will personally be keeping an eye on are the two matches that involve youngsters which are Coric against Robredo and Sock against Carreno-Busta.
  • Highlights
  • Match Stats

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Two-handed backhand lob and winner Temper tantrum The is in your court.
Posted in French Open, Grand Slams.

10 Comments

    1. Ru-an, I’ve been thinking about this and you hit the nail on the head. Mr. McEnroe is right about this. It explains why Roger wins some matches that ought to be difficult and loses some matches that ought to be easy. I’ve learned that anytime I try to predict or even wish for a certain opponent it always happens that I should be careful what I wish for. It has happened on many occasions. Most recently, last year at the U.S. Open 2014, I was watching the live match between Cilic and Berdych and I remember vividly rooting for Cilic. I was thinking – hey Roger has had difficulty against Berdych and he just recently beat Cilic – so I figured that if Cilic won that Roger would have the much easier SF. And we all know how THAT turned out. Same here. We wish and assume that Roger will have an easier time against Cuevas than against Monfils but you just never know. Also, I thought – thank God that Baghdatis lost but you just never know. I assume that Roger will win his third round easily but nowadays you just never know when that bad day will come. It could come later, it could never come or come the next match or the one after. Basically, it reiterates my point that Roger should be in the Final – on paper. But that was the same during the U.S. Open and in Australia. That is by far one of the easiest draws in a while for Roger, even if it is oh his “worst” surface. But we’ll see. In the end, even making the final will mean little unless he wins. Obviously it would still be a great feat but I just don’t see him winning the darn thing. At least not yet…
      veronica Reply: It’s actually nothing new what McEnroe said. Others have said it. Maybe worded differently but essentially mean the same. Fans know it. McEnroe just refreshed and reminded us. It’s actually a lot to expect Roger to win a slam these days, tbh. The mentality required for such a feat, especially in this, the golden era of tennis, is not favourable for an older player, even if he is Roger Federer. But more so, I feel, is because Roger is an Artist. Artists feel it more. If It is their day, they are geniuses. If it is not their day, they are pedestrian. This may explain some of his bizarre wins/losses, as Vily mentioned, win when supposed to lose; and lose when supposed to win. Other players like Djokodal, when they don’t feel good, they find the discipline to rise above it. Not saying Roger can’t find it too but artists can’t always find it when they need it most to rise above their feelings/instincts. Roger plays well when he is instinctive; just another testament of how much he functions more like an artist than a disciplined tennis player. He has learnt to balance and cope with his artistic tendencies through the years; his huge trophy cabinet is testament to this. But as he gets older, it gets harder to deal with the artist within. Fans’ hope for no. 18 maybe based more on Roger being able to string together 7 “feel good” matches; rather than that he can/should beat who and who. His talent, fitness and new ultra aggressive game all need the “it” factor to bring him to the finishing line – as McEnroe said, when you don’t feel quite right, as you get older, and especially if you are an artist like Roger. But Roger could benefit from “outside” mental helps like sports psychologist, meditation, etc, instead of figuring things out all by himself. These helps can strengthen and stabilise some of the inconsistent mental tendencies that Roger would get more as he gets older. But I can’t see Roger doing that :-( so I will continue to hope for that 7 “feel good” matches to happen!
      Ru-an Reply: Yes, fans know it Veronica but they use the physical decline excuse more often. And that is wrong in my opinion. Roger is actually still in good shape. I don’t think it’s a physical problem as much as it is a mental problem. He can still get through long matches. The problem is getting mentally tired and not feeling normal on any given day. It basically just happens randomly, like at the AO or MC. There was nothing to suggest he would play poorly in those matches and it was certainly not physical tiredness.
      balthazar Reply: The mind and the body are ultimately one, Ru-an. Physical fatigue can cause mental fatigue; mental fatigue can cause physical fatigue. Each aspect flows into the other, like an endless loop, so it’s almost pointless to try to figure out which comes first, especially with regards to the aging process. All one can really say with certainty is that growing old causes a general and gradual decline in both athletic and mental prowess.
      Ru-an Reply: Fair enough Balthazar. But the mind is stronger than the body. You can still overcome physical tiredness with your mind for instance, but your body doesn’t have that kind of power over your mind. If your mind is not in it there is no hope. I hear people talking about Roger’s physical decline all the time, but not nearly as much about his mental decline. Moreover, the mind determines something like 80%(or more) of your success in tennis. Just ask Connors. It is absolutely crucial to your success, and with time there have been more and more days where Roger just inexplicably collapses. That is not due to physical decline.
      Vily Reply: “Still, Federer knows the curtain is falling fast on his illustrious career. As his opportunities dwindle, his impatience grows. “Get it together,” he seems to be saying. Time is running out. Off days are luxuries he can no longer afford.” I thought that was very telling. B-) http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2477709-roger-federer-playing-with-sense-of-urgency-with-french-open-draw-in-his-favor
      Ru-an Reply: ‘Before the draw, few expected Federer to reach the final. Now he’s considered a lock.’ Maybe he is a lock for the final but you wouldn’t guess it by the behavior of his fans. X_X [-O< :-SS
    1. Looks like an encouraging start, two pretty solid matches for Federer. He seemed to be moving really well, which is absolutely crucial to his success on clay. If anything, it’s maybe the serve that’s a bit lacking in consistency at key moments, but it’s early days yet. Can’t win the title in the early rounds, but you can lose, the important thing is to move on to the next round without too much energy expended. I’m sure he’s motivated to do well in this tournament, given his poor results here last year and this year at AO. The trick is always to peak during the majors. Recently he’s been peaking during the runup to the Grand Slams only to suffer a dip in form during the Slam itself–Wimbledon last year (won Halle), USO last year (won Cincinnati), AO this year (won Brisbane). Hopefully, this time he can peak during Paris since he didn’t win Rome. So far he’s done OK with a title and final in the clay season but I think he can kick it up a notch. Chances are high that Murray will, for the umpteenth time, disappoint after raising his fans’ expectations, and lose early in the tournament; Nadal always gets lucky and this time, despite the “nightmare draw”, he’ll probably only have to face one of Djokovic and Murray. If he does meet Murray in the semis, the Scot will be straight-setted just like last year. I agree with Federer that the man who has won 9 years out of the last 10 is the favorite here. Nadal will almost surely make the final. He’s always back to his best by the time he reaches the quarters of a Grand Slam (AO excepted) so it doesn’t matter that Djokovic is playing him “earlier” in the tournament. And then Djokovic may have a bit of difficulty motivating himself in their encounter, since it’s only the quarters–even if he wins, he still has to play two more guys for the trophy so mentally he will have to hold back a bit against Nadal to conserve energy, otherwise he’ll have nothing left for the semis and final. Nadal, of course, never has any such concern.
      Gargantouas Reply: Good points as always Steve. I only disagree on Djokodal. If Nadal doesnt lose this year, he will never do. At least it’s likely compared to other years when it was unthinkable. If Nole prevails, I’m sure he will have more in the tank to go all the way, he deserves to win it and hopefully we get an epic match like 2011 semifinal!
    1. “Im sure Fedfans can find something to worry about….” ;-) Well, I have to disappoint you, Ru-an! I couldn’t find anything to worry about! :-) It was a perfect second round. Didn’t know the Grunter is such an all rounder. His drop shots are among the best, certainly better than Roger’s! Roger got a good workout; enough to give him some rhythm but didn’t expend too much energy. I love pissed off Fed. He should let it out more instead of keeping it all inside. I think it actually frees him to play better. First round he looked stressed. Last night he looked pissed. It does look like he is serious and wants this!! But one match at a time… …And about Thiem, what a disappointment for you, Ru-an, but I think it’s too close after he just won his first title. But I do think he needs a few years yet before he can seriously contend at slam level. His rise, if he does rise, would be more gradual than Kyrgios. Players like Kyrgios are rare but I’m worried for that guy; too highly strung; needs to get the right people to guide him.
 

Federer and Nadal Both Make Strong Starts to the Clay Court Season in Monte Carlo

Federer and Nadal Both Make Strong Starts to the Clay Court Season in Monte Carlo

  • Federer vs Chardy

So the action is under way and yesterday Chardy set up a fourth meeting with Roger after defeating Schwartzman. Roger did get revenge for his Rome loss to Chardy last year in Paris which was a close affair. Today however Roger got proper revenge as he disposed of Chardy by the same scoreline Nadal disposed of his first opponent Pouille, 6-2, 6-1. I thought it was a highly encouraging performance at the beginning of the clay court season for the second best clay courter in the world in recent years.

It was basically JesusFed, who was also present in Indian Wells. The match stats are just about peRFect and there was no rust whatsoever after the three week break. I guess Roger really benefited from his training camp with Thiem while Thiem got the opposite out of it, because he lost 6-4, 6-4 to the guy Nadal destroyed today. I knew Pouille would be a difficult opponent but that is still a disappointing performance from Thiem. But I still think Thiem gained valuable experience that will serve him well in the long run.

How about dat first serve percentage?

Anyway to get back to Roger he couldn’t have asked for a better start to the clay court season. Sure Chardy didn’t look great out there by making double faults and unforced errors, but he is still a dangerous opponent and for Roger to routine him that easily is pretty special. It makes me excited and gives me hope that Roger can do some serious damage on the dirt. So even though Thiem made a poor showing I think we need to at least thank him for being good preparation for Roger for the clay season.

I liked the look of Roger’s new outfit but I liked his tennis even more. From the start he was looking to approach the net and to be aggressive on the return. I think that will be key this clay court season for him. Even though clay is a slow surface he still needs to try and dominate proceedings and not allow the base line grinders to draw him into too many extended rallies. It is not easy to do because he has to be very precise, knowing when to full out attack and when to wait for the right moment.

Any thoughts on the outfit?

But given how he played today he seems to be very much in the flow of things still. Roger’s draw doesn’t get any easier because next he plays Monfils who defeated the Dog in two tie breaks in an impressive display. It was surprisingly clutch from Monfils and you would have expected the Dog to win at least one of the breakers. But the French have always been different players when they played close to home, and I am expecting a tough match for Roger.

Roger leads the head-to-head 8-3 and I am sure he is primed for revenge after losing to Monfils in the Davis Cup final last year. On that occasion Roger could not prepare for the match due to a shoulder injury, but this time there will be no such luck for Monfils and I hope to see a good old beat down. But like I said Monfils is a talented and dangerous player who plays well close to home. Personally I am just excited to see Roger play so well so soon as if he is just carrying on where he left off in Indian Wells.

This means we can be in for a few more JesusFed performances this week but lets just take things as they come. Roger’s draw is no joke because both Stan and Dimitrov is through to the third round which means Roger will have another tough match if he beats Monfils.

  • Nadal vs Pouille

I watched the beginning of this match until 3-2 in the first set with no service breaks. I thought Pouille was playing well but that Nadal would win, so I left to go meditate. I didn’t want to meditate too long because of course Roger’s match was after, so I decided on 45 minutes. When I came back Nadal had already won 6-2, 6-1, with Pouille managing only one more game since I left. So I was just in time for Roger’s match. I was disappointed with Pouille but also realized Nadal must have played well.

Nadal was sporting a new paint job

So it looks like Nadal is very happy to be back on his favorite dirt which is an ominous sign. But don’t say I didn’t warn you. Who knows how far he will go in Monte Carlo but I won’t be surprised if he wins it. He is the underdog at the moment which suits him just fine. He doesn’t even have to lie when he says he is not the favorite anymore! He likes being the underdog and it will make him relaxed and confident. He now plays Isner who had that revival in Miami and who has looked good so far in Monte Carlo too.

That will be another test and will tell us more about his form. Like Roger he has a tricky draw which will be a true test of whether he is confident again.

  • Elsewhere in the draw

Today all the seeds won, with only one of them(Bautista Agut) needing three sets to get the job done. The only casualty in the seeds so far has been Gulbis who got obliterated 6-1, 6-0 by Haider-Maurer. The world #17 is having a shocker of a season thus far and is 1-8 for the year. And the main problem with his game as far as I’m concerned is that monstrosity of a forehand he currently has. He actually used to have a decent looking forehand which was a decent shot, but then he change it to his current bizarre forehand.

It really looks ridiculous, like he is trying to take flight or surf. But that is Gulbis for you I guess. Talented but crazy. At least he has a personality which is desperately lacking on tour these days. Elsewhere Cilic had his first win since coming back from injury by defeating Mayer in three sets. Another player who had injury woes of late is Tsonga and he has also looked good so far. He will now play Cilic for a place in the quarter finals to face Djokovic probably. Djokovic is still the man to beat and should Nadal make semis Djokovic will take some stopping.

The Djoker won a second of these today. Congrats!

But we will see how things pan out. For now I am just delighted with Roger’s form. I’ve been delighted with it since Indian Wells but it is good to see him bringing that form to Europe. How cool is it to see him play that well at age 33? As usual we are being spoiled as Fedfans. Tomorrow center court will be stacked with blockbuster matches as the big three and Stan will all be in action. Stan and Dimitrov will start proceedings after which Roger will hit the court. Nadal will follow and Djokovic vs Haider-Maurer will conclude proceedings.

A lot of tennis watching to be done tomorrow!

Highlights:

The is in your court.

Posted in Masters 1000, Monte Carlo.

41 Comments

    1. Great to see the whole pack in competing in the same tournament again (without early, unexpected exist I hope).

      Rafa started a bit slow but then as the match progressed was able to make some great shots and you could see the confidence building right in front of your eyes – and the big smile while signing the camera lens, priceless.

      Great matches tomorrow, looking forward to it

      Ru-an Reply:

      Thanks for the update about Nadal’s form Neondreams.

    1. not being patriotic but I hope Isner takes out Nadal tomorrow. With the big serve anything is possible.

      Ru-an Reply:

      Lets not forget that FO where Isner took Nadal to five sets. He also has a win over Roger on clay in DC. Like you say, when that serve is on anything is possible on any surface.

    1. Sorry Ru-an but I’m going to have to disagree with you on Gulbis. Personally I think he’s a complete brat, went to jail in Sweden for a night, gambled away his French Open winnings last year (or was it the year before?). More in line with what I think of as good personalities are Monfils and Fognini, as they seem to come across better. Just my opinion of course.

      I managed to watch some highlights of Roger and Rafa though and they were both playing well. I also managed to catch some highlights of Stan, he looked very impressive vs Fognini.

      Anyway I’m gonna try my hand at some predictions for the rest of the tournament, in order of most to least likely:

      Monfils to beat Dimitrov

      Roger to reach final

      Rafa to lose before semis

      Last one is mostly wishful thinking though :-)

      Ru-an Reply:

      Interesting. Stan played Monaco and how can Roger reach the final if he plays Monfils next and for Monfils to beat Dimitrov he has to beat Roger? Not to mention that Dimitrov would have to beat Stan first.

      Veronica Reply:

      Ru-an, I thought I was the only one sleeping! haha!

      Charlie Reply:

      Lol, it was about 1:00 my time when I posted that, so not surprised it doesn’t make any sense. Stan did beat Dimitrov though, and Monfils leads Roger by a set. For some reason I thought Dimitrov would play Monfils and then the winner would play Roger.

    1. Thank You for the good analysis of today’s tennis, Ru-an. Greetings to you!
      Did not see any tennis today, busy with other projects, so your report was great. As far as Nadal goes, you bet he likes being the underdog, blah, blah, blah….did read that he is using a new racquet have you read that, too? Truly would love to see Roger defeat Nadal should they meet, it would be like a “trophy” for Roger! Guess, one match at a time.
      Cheers to all!
      Kindly,
      Dolores

      Ru-an Reply:

      Hello Dolores. You are welcome. It is unlikely that Nadal is using a new racquet Dolores. Usually they are just paint jobs. I know now when your birthday is. Don’t think you will escape!

      Veronica Reply:

      Hi Dolores, just wanna respond to your comment in last post where you said you are a Leo, same like Roger and you went “Grrr in a gentle way”. This is what makes you so loveable. Always kind, always gentle, won’t even hurt a fly. Reminds me so much of my own mum who is in heaven…. But alas! I’m not like you or my mum. When I Grrr… I GRRRR….!!!! Haha!

    1. Hi Ru-an, according to this article, Nadal really did change his racquet:

      http://ftw.usatoday.com/2015/04/rafael-nadal-new-racket-racquet-monte-carlo-babolat-spin-control-power

      One of the things that Roger did when he was low on confidence was try out new racquets, and now Nadal is doing the same. That would suggest that Nadal is really sensing something is wrong with his game and trying to adapt.

      Ajay Reply:

      Nadal has changed racquets far more often than Roger has

    1. What a wonderful job you are doing with your blog now, Ru-an! You pay attention to every aspect, every detail. It’s so attractive, appealing, colourful, interesting, creative; and the posts are always thoughtful and well written. Was thrilled to watch Roger last night. I really like that he is using bhdtl more confidently and regularly now. I just love the offensive mindedness, rushing the net and aggressively returning from the word go. Don’t you think Roger has the best overhead smash?!! Yeah, no rust at all, I was pleasantly surprised! Except maybe the beginning games of 2nd set, I think, where he kept hitting his balls out. But I do think Chardy didn’t play well at all and that helped Roger look good. The Monfils match should give us a more accurate gauge of Roger’s level. And oh yes! The outfit is outstanding!! One of the best! Love the colour. He looked so elegant and immaculate! Did you see Nadal’s and Stan’s outfits??!!! Omg, I wouldn’t be seen dead in them!! Stan’s shorts!! What was he thinking??!!! And you wouldn’t think that Nadal and Roger have the same sponsors. Whereas Roger’s was so beautifully coloured and sophisticated, Nadal’s looked mismatched and cheap!! Do they have favourites at Nike?!! And Katyani, Birdshit’s shirt is horrific!! Haha!

      Jiten Reply:

      Hi Sis, what about Monfils’ outfit? He may win a few cheap points in his match against Roger by sheer distraction it creates! And Stan just wants to break the jinx of losing early in a tournament by wearing as horrible shorts as possible. Looks like mini blanket galore! Hopefully Stan vs Dimi goes to a third set as I need to teach at 12:00 pm Monte Carlo time here in India. :-)

      elizabeth Reply:

      About Monfis Marc Petchey said he looked like s stipey cucumber! My first thoughts were that he looked like a big long caterpillar. Fed looked good and determined so C’mon Roger.x

      Dolores Reply:

      Agree, Elizabeth….Monfils looks like a caterpillar, a long one, indeed.

      Veronica Reply:

      haha bro! What a lame effort from Stan…with a wrapped blanket round his waist and sleep walking on court….

      Dolores Reply:

      Love your sense of humor, Veronica…Stan the Man wrapped in blanket round his waist and sleep walking….good one, Ha-ha-ha.

      Ru-an Reply:

      I don’t know about that. I still have under 200 fb likes. I have a fair amount of traffic but almost no one likes my page on fb. It’s quite strange. If you look at Jonathan’s blog who has 50 k fb likes compared to my 200 it’s a joke. I never cared much about fb until recently but still. I guess his blog is soooooo much better than mine LAWL. I guess my blog has to be pure garbage that after more than 6 years I still only have 174 fb likes and 125 subscribers or something. But yeah what does it matter? What does anything matter? Hahaha!

    1. Oh man, and Monfils actually takes him out. He had absolutely no drop in level at all throughout the two sets!

      Ru-an Reply:

      Yes good match from Monfils as expected, but Fed let himself down.

    1. Oh, NO, Ru-an, what happened????? Monfils 6:4, 7:6, am very sad.
      Dolores

      Veronica Reply:

      Aww Dolores! I understand how you feel, especially as you missed the first match which he won and played some beautiful tennis….never mind, he can only get better in the next tourney! Onwards!

      Dolores Reply:

      Yes, Veronica, I was a bit in shock when I flipped the switch to watch Fed/Monfils and to my horror saw the score. Just saw the very end of the tiebreak. You’re right, Veronica, onward to the next tournament in Instanbul with confidence in place, where Roger can only get better.
      Best,
      Dolores

      Dolores Reply:

      ….oops, typing error…Istanbul, of course.

    1. Argh, 5-3 up in the tiebreaker, I thought he could take it to 3. Then played some loose points. He really didn’t have a single easy service game, Monfils gives him a hard time, he’s just very defensive, but then quite unpredictable and can mix up aggression in his play. It’s a disappointment for FEderer as he had high hopes and was feeling confident. I hope this does not derail the next few months…

    1. Just as I commented earlier. Chardy’s match wasn’t a good indicator where Roger is at coz Chardy played terribly. Clownfils is damn good when he shows up, isn’t he?! He’s slowly morphing into a bogeyman for Roger, Ugh! Luckily I had low expectations but I feel disappointed for Roger. He was so pumped. I hope this doesn’t set him back… His packed clay season now makes more sense. He can play them all now!!

      Ru-an Reply:

      Clownfils is good but this was not Fed 4.0. It was the AO Fed. Anyway the tournament isn’t over. One player lost that’s all.

      Veronica Reply:

      Yeah, I wasn’t convinced when he played Chardy although I was happy he showed no rust. Its deceiving when Roger plays well against a lesser player. I said he could be upset by any one of of the 3 opening players; my intuition was right. Both Roger/Stan (finalists) are out….what a different scenario from last year. So frustrating Isner lost TB to the monster. But I think I want Nadal to make it so he can meet Djoker….

      Jiten Reply:

      Isner won the second set though against a tide of break points against him. He needs to take the third at least to a tie-break!

      Ru-an Reply:

      Gonna get broken here.

      Ru-an Reply:

      Yep. Should be over now.

      Ru-an Reply:

      Good call. I knew the he had a tough draw but after the Chardy match, in which he did play very well, I thought he would pull through. But then he let himself down mentally again.

      steve Reply:

      Veronica, I think part of it is simply rust and issues with switching surfaces. He had a long break, it takes time to get back into gear. Last year he played Miami and went to the quarters, that kept him in tournament shape. Also, I don’t think he faced top players until the QFs in MC.

      Monfils was opportunistic this time, as he was in Davis Cup, and took advantage of a rusty Federer to get the win. Like you said, Chardy was in pretty woeful form so he didn’t provide a real test for Federer.

      Unlike last year, he’ll play Madrid, and it will be important for him to go deep in the tournament to at least get some matches. His decision to play an extra clay tournament looks prescient in light of this result.

      As long as he peaks for Paris, I don’t care if he loses in the first clay Masters of the season. He’s not going to win every match on clay in his old age.

      elizabeth Reply:

      Sorry that Roger lost but he never seemed as though he was enjoying his tennis (unlike IW), maybe the DC defeat to Monfis was more telling than we thought. Although he lost I’m sure he’ll bounce back. We just all expect so much…we’ve been spoiled!

    1. Disappointing result, but not totally unexpected. The last win Federer had over Monfils, Monfils was a point away from victory. Since then they’ve played twice on clay and Federer hasn’t won a set. Both times, Monfils caught Federer when he was underdone and didn’t have a lot of match play. But he’s becoming a bit of a problem opponent for Federer and I hope our man can sort it out going forward.

      All I can say is it’s a good thing Federer decided to play in Istanbul, he’ll get more time on the red dirt ahead of Paris.

      Nadal is probably winning the whole thing; I think Djokovic reeks of burnout. Since Doha he’s made the final of every single tournament he’s entered, the last time he played so much tennis during the spring HC season was in 2011 and he’s older now.

      Ru-an Reply:

      ‘I think Djokovic reeks of burnout’.
      That’s a very interesting way of phrasing it. You make it sound like he can barely win a match when he just won the very difficult IW/Miami double and hardly lost a match all year. Moreover, winning doesn’t burn you out. In 2011 Djokovic lost his first match at the FO, and he already lost two this year. He might be slightly tired physically but mentally he will be fresh as a daisy. He could lose in MC to anyone, but I wouldn’t put any money on it if I were you.

    1. I agree with Ruan; not sure Djokovic is burnt out at all. He knows this is his best chance to win the FO and beating Nadal here will go far to insure Nadal’s confidence issues remain. It seems whenever Nadal win a decent match now everyone thinks all of a sudden it means he’s going to win the whole thing now. He still hasn’t beaten a top 10 player since last year’s FO.

      Beating Isner on clay in 3 sets is not a sign of impenetrable strength. He may be gaining a bit of confidence, but not that much. I still don’t think he’s back to form and not sure he will get back to form this time around. His game was too reliant on relentless retrieving. You simply can’t do that forever, PEDs or no.

      Ru-an Reply:

      Right Jim. He is far from back. He won two matches on clay and all of a sudden the FO is in the bag. Obviously he can win it, but there is a long way to go and I would say it’s more like 50/50 this year. When your confidence was as low as his it doesn’t just snap back into place. As for Djokovic yes he would want to hold Nadal off in Monte Carlo. Then he can take a break and come back fresh for Madrid and Rome, and hopefully stop Nadal from winning neither of those too.