In this situation, I usually like to congratulate the winner regardless of who it was but after the unsavory incident that occurred yesterday in the semis between Federer and Kyrgios I find that hard to do.
Yes, Federer is playing very well right now but that is nothing new. He’s been playing very well since 2015. The only difference is the slump of Djokovic. But it is hard to give credit when you feel like Federer should not have been in the final, to begin with.
In my last post, I said I wanted Federer to win the title but after I saw that incident at 5-4 in the final set tiebreak again I had a change of mind. After my blog went online again yesterday I had a lot of catching up to do and it was late.
I didn’t have time to digest everything that happened. But that incident in the third set tiebreak, the crowd’s behavior in general, and Mirka’s behavior on top of that left a bad taste in my mouth. After Kyrgios lost the first set in a heartbreaking fashion he did incredibly well to win the second set on a tiebreak and get into the position to close the door on Federer at 5-4 in the final set tiebreak.
We can’t say with 100% certainty that Kyrgios would have won the match but that is beside the point anyway. Even though I believe the momentum had changed and Kyrgios would have won the match, it was criminal for the crowd to get involved there.
Some people are saying it’s Kyrgios’ own fault and that he wasn’t mentally strong enough. How can they possibly say that when Kyrgios had recovered from that first set tiebreak all the way to getting into a winning position?
That took incredible mental strength. He was incredibly clutch in the second set tiebreak. He had changed the momentum, all be it in a subtle way that some may not have picked up, and was up breaks twice in the final set tiebreak.
There was a subtle but definite momentum shift. But then someone called out when Kyrgios hit a ball close to the baseline which would distract anyone. Kyrgios completely mishit the next shot and instantly turned around to confront the spectator who made the ludicrous call.
I’m sorry but that is unacceptable and disgraceful behavior that Kyrgios didn’t deserve after how well he fought in the match. People who read my blog know I’m not the biggest Kyrgios fan but to say he deserved it because of who he is is absurd.
Even if one doesn’t like someone one has to respect the mental strength and fight Kyrgios showed against a rampant crowd and at least have the courtesy not to shout out a line call at the most crucial point in the match. Simply unacceptable. End of story.
- The Federer Cult Went Too Far This Time
I want to give credit where it’s due but I can’t turn a blind eye to an obvious injustice and to ongoing hooligan behavior from the Federer cult. It started getting ridiculous in the US Open final last year and now it continued in Miami.
It’s becoming absurd now to the point that it is affecting the outcome of matches. It is going too far. It went too far in the US Open final last year already but like I said before Djokovic was so good that he didn’t allow it to get close enough for the crowd to affect the outcome of the match.
That doesn’t mean that it was OK and it is certainly not OK now. Then there was the despicable behavior from Mirka as well who whistled at Kyrgios simply because he was changing his racquet, something players do all the time.
The incident in London where she got involved against Stan was even worse. It has gotten ugly and the Federer cult is out of control. I used to be a Federer fan myself and this used to be a Federer blog.
— TennisPilot (@TennisPilot) April 1, 2017
But I couldn’t associate with what had become an out-of-control cult anymore. That is not what a tennis fan is about to me. One can have favorites but one must still respect other players and not act like your player is entitled to winning everything in sight.
Someone like Kyrgios has behaved poorly in the past but he is 21 years old and an unbelievably gifted player who is is also very sensitive. The treatment he received against Federer is neither good for him nor for the future of tennis.
It’s OK to be tough on him when he acts like an obnoxious brat but when he has been consistent as he has been lately and made an effort to get his act together he deserves a chance I think. He is a fragile but rare talent that needs to be nurtured for the health of the future of tennis.
Treating him with disrespect and disdain will only make him more rebellious and careless.
- About the Final and the Fedal Rivalry
I fell asleep after the first set of this one-sided final and woke up to see Federer had won 6-3, 6-4. I saw that Nadal was still a shadow of his former self, hitting short, and lacking confidence in general.
Even during his Australian Open run where he had good wins over Zverev, Raonic, and Dimitrov, I felt like there was still a certain vulnerability about Nadal. It also became clear in the final where he was a break up in the fifth set against a player who he owned for all intents and purposes, only to lose the match.
Since when does Nadal lose from that situation? I’m pretty sure it has never happened. Since then he lost to Querrey in the Acapulco final, didn’t beat anyone particularly noteworthy in Indian Wells and Miami, and suffered two more heavy losses against someone he previously owned.
I don’t even know why people said he was back. The Australian Open run was good but he still lost in the final and one good run doesn’t mean you are back. It takes a little more than that. I don’t think there is any doubt that Nadal has declined a lot.
His results since 2014 clearly indicate it. He still won the French Open in 2014 and Madrid, but in 2015 his best result was an ATP 500 title and in 2016 he won only two titles including one Masters in Monte Carlo. That is the fewest titles he won in a season since 2004.
— danielle (@dm_mauron) April 2, 2017
Nadal has lost a step and his strokes lack sting, while Federer is arguably a better player than ever. Not to take anything away from Federer. It is not his fault Nadal played the most taxing game style in the history of tennis.
It was bound to catch up with Nadal, while Federer has always had an economic game style and managed his schedule well. But I guess it is still surprising that Federer at 35 has outlasted Nadal at 30 because that is exactly what happened.
With perhaps a slight adjustment to his backhand(which had already been much-improved since he started playing with a bigger head size), Federer has now defeated a Nadal four consecutive times where he previously had no answers.
It seems the rivalry has now gone to the other extreme. Nadal doesn’t have any answers. Federer just picks off his impotent groundstrokes and declined movement at will. Nadal had no say in the last two meetings.
- Djokovic Makes Strange Decision to Play Davis Cup
I was puzzled to hear that Djokovic would play Davis Cup this coming weekend for Serbia on hard court just a week before Monte Carlo. How often has he struggled with the elbow injury after winning the personal slam?
Had he taken six months off after Wimbledon like Federer he’d probably the one dominating now. I’m still OK with that part, though. What bothers me is that he doesn’t seem to learn from his mistakes.
He should not have come back in Acapulco but was over anxious to play and as a result, he missed one of his best events in Miami and allowed Federer to continue his dominance. Now he seems to be making the same mistake.
I wasn’t even sure if he should play Monte Carlo. Isn’t his body telling him something? And to make matters worse the Davis Cup will be on hard court. Shouldn’t he be playing on clay before Monte Carlo?
April 1st and my 1st training on clay… Going strong 💪. Belgrade here I come 👏👍 pic.twitter.com/pBsM8fJZFN
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) April 1, 2017
But what do I know? I’m not him or his doctor. I just know he can’t afford another single slip up if he wants to stop Federer from dominating the entire season. I am pretty sure Nadal or Murray is not gonna stop Federer.
Does Djokovic want Federer to win the calendar slam? Nadal has declined so much I’m not even sure he can beat Federer on clay anymore. The way things are going Federer will be a serious contender for the French Open.
And that is where Djokovic needs to make a stand while he still can. If he waits until the grass court season he won’t be confident enough to stop Federer from winning Wimbledon…