Basel F: JesusFed Destroys Nishikori 6-1, 6-3 to win 5th Basel Title!!!

This post would have been done earlier was it not for the fact that my internet got cut off. I am very happy that Roger won his fifth title in Basel today, as I’m sure you are. His second title of the year has been a long time coming, and it is always nice to get a fifth title of any tournament. It’s just a nice round number, and shows how dominant Roger has been at his home event. It is also an ATP 500 event which is a step up from the ATP 250 that is Doha. Ideally I want to see him win Paris and London now, which is two more steps up. That would give him another good year, even though he failed to win a slam. Looking at the match itself there isn’t too much to analyze. Roger was obviously feeling the ball well and really gave Nishikori no chance. Roger started off like he meant business as he broke Nishikori in the opening game of the match.

He then broke again at 3-1 and at 5-1 when Nishikori was serving to stay in the set. It looked like JesusFed was in the house, but I had to see if he could stay consistent in the second set. That turned out to be the case as he broke at 3-2, which was enough to get the job done. There was some really nice shots from Roger, including the lob winner he hit to break Nishikori in the second set. So I think it was fair to say that this was JesusFed, even though Roger was only 4/13 on break points converted. If you look at the scoreline then break point conversions really don’t matter all that much. I mean this is the guy that bageled Djokovic just a day ago. I think this clearly shows that Roger is currently the man to beat, and not Djokovic. Once again it comes down to a more forgiving game style and scheduling wisely.

If Roger went to the east he may not have been in the form he is currently. He is now more rested and can give everything in Paris and London. The Paris draw is out and you can view it here. I like Roger’s draw. His opening round should be pretty easy and then he could have Gasquet or Muller/Anderson. In the quarters it looks like Fish or Simon. I don’t see Roger having too many problems making semis then, although it is early to say. Then we could have an interesting semi with him against Murray. I heard rumors that Murray may not play Paris due to his recent bed injury, in which case Roger’s path will be even easier. Berdych is also in that section of the draw. Speaking of Berdych, the ATP recently made a mistake by announcing that he has already qualified for the Masters Cup, when in fact he hasn’t.

At the moment the last three spots are still up for grabs. I honestly can’t remember a thing Berdych has achieved this year, accept perhaps when he beat Roger in Cincy when Roger was playing shocking tennis. I mean how is this guy in the top ten? I think Berdych is a terribly inconsistent player and the sooner he is out of the top ten the better. I just can’t stand the guy either. Getting back to Paris, this will be a very good chance for Roger to pick up his third title of the year. With the rest of the top four all looking doubtful, Roger really has to make the best of his chances here. For some reason Roger has never quite featured at this event. Last year when he made semis it was his best result yet. To some extent it has been because Paris was near the end of the year and he did not play the event between 2004-2006.

Surely if he played during those years he would have picked up at the very least one title. But I think this year he really has to go for it. It is one of the few fast courts left which is very much in his favor and he is also rested. He doesn’t need to hold back so he can be ready for the Masters Cup. He had a lot of time to rest before Basel, and he should use that fact against the rest of the top four who hasn’t had the same amount of rest. I forgot to add that Roger has overtaken Murray in the rankings again. That would have happened regardless of whether he won or lost today, and it is nice that he could take back the ranking so soon after he lost it. I hope he can still end the year at number three. But now I want to say a few words about today’s closing ceremony in Basel. Roger actually started crying again during his speech.

It was a touching moment and one of the reasons we love him so much. The bitter haters(mostly Nadal fans) always points out the fact that Roger started crying during the Australian Open ceremony against Nadal as a way to ‘get at’ Fedfans. But what they don’t realize is that it is one of the reasons we love him. It shows us how much he cares about the game and it shows that he is human, despite his apparent peRFection. If Roger was just an emotionless machine like Nadal we wouldn’t love him nearly as much. Roger loves and respects the game an awful lot and his tears today bore testimony to that fact again. Clearly Nadal doesn’t care about the game nearly as much when he cheats and uses gamesmanship to get ahead. Nadal has to sink to these levels because he simply isn’t as talented as Roger and he has an obsession with surpassing Roger’s achievements.

It reminds me of Mozart and Salieri, where Mozart was the one with all the God given talent and Salieri the insanely jealous one. What Nadal fans do not get is that we simply do not care for Nadal. It does not matter if he surpasses Roger in slam count really. Tennis is not just about winning for us. We are human beings after all, not machines. We want to be able to identify with the player we follow and not just follow him as long as he is winning. That is a gutless, heartless way of being a fan and unfortunately there are many of them around. If winning is all you care about then you are not a fan. We have a name for that. It’s called a glory hunter. Of course winning is nice and there isn’t anything wrong with it. But that shouldn’t be the main consideration when you are a fan. It is more important to be human than to win.

Winning is just a bonus. Sharing our humanity and love is much more important. This is essentially what being a Fedfan is about for me. We really are privileged to be a fan of someone who is not only the best there ever was, but is also human like all of us.

Highlights:

Roger Federer


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25 Comments

  1. I never stopped believing,,,,as you know. He’s got some years left in him, and this adds to the confidence. HE CAN WIN MORE MAJORS!!!! Great at the end of his speech. Just love it. Djoker looks done for the year, and hats off, he did great, but one man remains consistent, year after year, and that would be the mighty FED.

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  2. So great to watch all the effortless shot making today. What a treat, never get tired of it. The Swiss fans are so polite and well dressed.
    Nishikori seems like a very nice, humble guy. There seems to be many young up and comers with the same demeanor. (A few exceptions though).
    Looking forward to Paris, could be Rogers best chance for the title.

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  3. Loving your post Ru-an,exactly what I think as a Fedfan. I´m so happy for Roger and I really think he´s going to have an excellent end to the year. I see=70 on the horizon. I love the tears, they show just how much this means to him.This win is priceless. Back on his place.Congratulations dear Roger! On to Paris now.

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  4. Nice write-up, Ruan. And congratulations to Roger! Hopefully this will be the start of something really good…. I completely agree with your take on Roger’s tendency to cry at emotional moments. It makes him more human, and shows us how much he cares about the game. The Fed haters always ridicule him for this, saying it is not a manly thing to do, or accusing him of trying to draw attention away from the victor. Both charges are absurd. When a man cries publicly, it shows that he is strong and centered, and not afraid of being labeled a sissy. And when Roger cries after losing, he is revealing his profound emotional disappointment at not attaining the high standards he sets for himself. I have a feeling we’ll see many more tears flowing over the next few years as his illustrious career draws to a close. These will be triggered both in victory and defeat, set off by his poignant realization that the Gods are gradually tugging him off the great stage, that every moment is so precious now, and must be fully savored, fully revered….

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  5. Wonderful post, Ru-an.

    I was touched to see how much winning his home tournament meant to him. Even after so much success, he loves the sport just as passionately as when he was a rookie. He remains youthful and gentle in spirit.

    He always treats the ball kids at Basel to pizza after the tournament, which is a very kind thing to do. I’m sure the kids are absolutely thrilled to have a chance to hang out with Roger Federer (especially since it’s free pizza!)

    Tenniswise, he was in God-mode, especially in that first set. Nishikori had made his way past many elite baseliners, including the world #1, but he wasn’t prepared for an opponent who can end rallies in four or five shots. Federer used all his tools to construct the points and keep Nishikori completely off balance.

    Just when it seemed like Nishikori might be getting some rhythm, Federer came up with that drop shot-lob combo to break in the second set. After that there was no way he was going to let it slip through his fingers.

    Speaking of rookies, Nishikori is clearly a young player on the rise and it’ll be interesting to see how he improves next year.

    On to Paris! Hopefully Roger can do well there.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Steve.

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  6. Thouroughly enjoyed your post ru-an! great piece indeed.
    Classy blend of immaculate tennis and emotional speech by roger…proud to be a fedfan!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Muhammad. Thanks everyone.

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  7. He reminded me of the Federer of old and I remembered why I love his game; no one plays like him when he is hitting the ball like that. Certainly, I would have been happier to have seen him take his break points earlier in the second set: he had them on Nishikori’s first service game but didn’t convert and he had love-40 at 3-2 and somehow the Japanese player got back to advantage – at that stage I thought Roger risked letting his opponent back into the match (as Djokovic had done earlier) through Nishikori’s sheer determination not to capitulate. He is a gritty little player. But then Roger regained the momentum and the break point and pulled that extraordinary topspin lob out of the hat. But, overall, what a pleasure to see tennis that wasn’t the usual interminable baseline grind: in his exquisite variety Roger is becoming a manual of tennis strokes that have all but disappeared on the tour. In form, he is beautiful to watch. Let’s see more of it.

    Then of course there were the tears. You might say, and with affection, that Roger is in touch with his feminine side. Not a great chest-pumper is he?

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    Jiten Reply:

    I cannot agree more Neil and thanks once again Ru-an for a wonderful post. This tournament was really a breath of fresh air for me after witnessing all the slug fests in the Asian swing. Roger was back in his “poetry in motion” mode. What impressed me most was his footwork. Whenever the replay of a point was shown, I just couldn’t take my eyes off his feet, in the process completely ignoring the actual shot being! It was simply pure ballet. It was worth waiting almost a year for this to happen and this win is enough to shed of the disappointment of all the near losses. Fed is the living proof that “form is temporary, class is permanent”. Hopefully he will repeat his class in Paris and London as well.

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    Jiten Reply:

    Oops! it completely escaped my attention that I didn’t complete the sentence. It should have read: “in the process completely ignoring the actual shot being made”. My apology.

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  8. thanks for the post Ruan.

    i am not sure how much we can make out of this victory of Fed’s, but for sure it can boost his confidance. i would still like to see him back in contention on the big events during the main season.

    about Nadal – i hate his tennis but i think Fed can definietly learn from his mental toughness.

    hope Fed will take Paris and gain some momentum for 2012.

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  9. Ruan, are you sure Roger has overtaken Murray in the rankings again ? I believe this is not yet the case, but becomes very plausible in Paris. However, in case Murray is indeed playing Paris and reaches the Paris SF’s, it seems to me that Roger will have to win the tournament to overtake Murray’s spot in the ATP-singles rankings.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Hmm I could be wrong. I just saw people tweeting it on twitter.

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    FeddyBear Reply:

    about the rankings: this is the situation with the ranking point, as far as i can gather from the ATP website:

    the points from last year’s Basel/Valencia, Bercy and WTF have already been taken from the players. so as a matter a fact nobody is defending anything right now and everyone has everything to gain.
    this is at least what i could understand from the ATP official website, Bercy and WTF are not shown on the tally.

    http://www.atpworldtour.com/Tennis/Players/Top-Players/Andy-Murray.aspx?t=rb&ytd=y

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    Azy Reply:

    Nope, Murray is a comfortable number 3 in the world atm he has a good lead over Fed atm:

    http://www.atpworldtour.com/Rankings/YTD-Singles.aspx

    With Fed defending points from Paris semi last year and winning WTF, I am not sure he will overtake Murray this year.

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    Duarte Reply:

    He is not a comfortable #3. He is only 250 points ahead of Federer.

    But since Federer has the Paris semis and the WTF title to defend it is plausible that murray will end the year as #3.

    P.S.: If Roger wins Paris and murray loses early he could be back to #3.

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  10. I just got back from heaven!!! The shots, the variety, the movement …. just exquisite, magnifique! And the confidence, the desire, the focus, the presence of mind, the joy, all these very important elements that had often been missing in Roger, we see them all today in the final. Oh! how I wish it was Djoker’s ass on the other side. Roger in this mood would have knocked out all of Murray’s teeth and sent Djoker permanently into his life (egg) supporting machine! This, I truly believe is the boost that he needed and will propel him to take Paris and the WTF and go into AO full of confidence next year. He badly needed this win to make up for a lack lustre year and what better place to get it than in his own back yard. The tearing at the end of his speech is so classic Federer. After so many wins, you would have thought it is routine, maybe even boring for the man. But no, every win means more to Roger Federer than it does to any other player. There will be more tears as his career draws to a close, as every moment is savoured and revered as Balthazar so aptly described it. His tearing shows how much he loves the game and how grateful he is to have come so far remembering how it all started for him in Basel. It is a very hard hearted person who is not moved/touched by Federer’s tears. His is a pure and gentle spirit. And yeah, Neil, he is no chest-pumper, he is a REAL gentleman in the true sense of the word. I cannot agree more with Balthazar that when a man cries publicly, he is centred and strong and very secure within himself. How many times has he been criticized for crying but Federer has never been embarrassed or offended or become overly defensive with these criticisms because he is a real man. And real man do cry. How many men would fight back the tears just to PROVE that they are man enough. Roger doesn’t need to prove he is man enough as he is more secure in his identity than most other men! He is just natural and genuine. He is what he is. It is such a privilege and joy to be his fan; a down to earth very normal human being whom one can identify with and yet, at the same time, possessing a seeming perfection (and so says Ru-an too) And doesn’t he look so young, fresh, handsome and adorable??!! Sorry, if I am gushing but that’s what Roger does to us, females. Sorry, if he doesn’t do it for you, guys! In that sense, you guys miss out coz it is even more fun to be a female fan of Roger Federer!! I like Nishikori’s demeanor. Barring injuries (he seems to be prone to them), I think he can go far as he’s got such pleasant and excellent mental attitudes. I like how he never gives up and that he was not afraid to try different things when he was outplayed. Very gutsy. Actually, more than anything, more than even the win, I am actually very happy for Federer; just to see his joy and how much the win means to him make me so happy for him. He deserves the happiness. I truly wish him all the best in his life. Wonderful post, Ru-an, and, just as Federer never gets tired of appreciating every tennis moment, I will never get tired of appreciating you and this blog. Btw, you said Federer is back to no. 3. How come? I thought he just defended his points and didn’t gain any as he is defending champion? Anyway, cyber drinks (cheers!) to everyone on this blog and let’s look forward to getting a little less sober come Paris and then completely drunk (with happiness)after Roger kisses the WTF trophy!

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  11. Great write-up Ruan. I thought Roger played pretty well this week and I’m proud that he won this tournament again. I liked Nishikori’s speech and it’s obvious that he has tremendous respect for Federer and seems that he is a nice guy too. When Federer got choked up I felt good for him, he has been put to the test all year. Beating Djokovic, only to lose to Nadal at the French. Losing to Djokovic at the U.S. Open and Australian Open and Wimbledon was ,I think, his worst loss of the year. I think those tears were of frustration mixed in with the reassurance that he can still win. Federer can win Paris and the World Finals again with no doubt. I would happy if Federer wins Paris since he has never won it. You were right about Nadal not being more human, he doesn’t display his emotions like Federer and I question his passion for the game. When someone cries or displays any emotion, it means that they care and they are also kind. Kindness should never be misconstrued as weakness but as a true display of strength. Roger will always be a champion to me.,I wish him the best of luck and I’m looking foward for some more great tennis from JesusFed.

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  12. So happy that Roger wins at his home tournament and ended his 10 month long title drought. One thing stood out, he was almost in tears during the presentation ceremony. This touched my heart and reminded me again why I am his fan. I hope he carries this confidence to Paris and WTF.

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  13. I am so happy to not just see Roger won the tournament, but won it in such beautiful and graceful fashion! I only get to watch the match yesterday over youtube, and you are right that it is almost Jesusfed like. Ru-an, and all the other comments above, have said everything there is to say about the match. I just want to add that when Roger plays like that, to me, it is like looking at a Monet, a Picasso; listening to a Mozart, a Beethoven; it’s pure Art, pure Art in tennis like we have never seen before.
    Cheers to Roger, Ru-an and every fedfans here. Let’s look forward to Paris and the WTF.

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  14. Congrats to Roger and I’m sure the Fedfans are celebrating his fifth title in Basel!

    Just looking at some of the pix from Basel, I heard a rumor that Fed is looking very smooth-skinned and unlined, been reading ‘Botox’ here and there on the net – is this a joke?

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  15. Thanks, Ruan, for adding some videos in your post which allowed me to get some idea of how the final and the ceremony was like. Unfortunately couldn’t watch it myself in live broadcast. I enjoy reading all the posts here expressing all kind of emotions in response to Roger’s Basel performance, most of them on the bright side of the spectrum of course, some even ecstatic. Roger himself was apparently very emotional in Basel. I think it had not only to do with Basel itself, with the people cheering for him and the honors and emotive moments, but also with some hard mental times he went through this year, not to speak about pain. Certain types of music or events can move us to tears one day but won’t on another day because we feel inside not the same, which reflects to me that our tears are more the external expression of your inner state than of a response to the external events of the moment. I have a feeling Roger had his part of suffering this year, that the ceaseless criticizing of media and forums, even of fans, has got to him a bit, even if he doesn’t show or never talks about this kind of thing. I hope he’ll be able to answer the criticizers on the tenniscourt by winning either Paris or London.

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