The Vast Difference Between Federer and Djokovic: How They Dealt With Nadal Heartbreak

The Vast Difference Between Federer and Djokovic: How They Dealt With Nadal Heartbreak

I feel like I’ve been on a bit of a roll. Tennis has taken a very interesting turn of late and I feel inspired to write an awful lot. There are currently many topics on my mind, but I have settled for this one today because I feel it’s very relevant. I hope you have enjoyed all my posts of late anyway. There are about two more weeks to go before the next relevant tournament starts in Beijing and I’m too excited about tennis to just wait it out. Making posts keeps me, and hopefully you, busy while we are waiting for the next event to start. As usual there are plenty of interesting comments on my blog so thanks for that. It’s always good to have different perspectives and it gives my readers a different perspective too. I think if everything I said was just accepted as truth without anyone ever challenging it that would have been boring for you and I.

  • Federer’s Heartbreak Against Nadal
The first topic I want to get to is Federer’s most damaging loss to Nadal. I think anyone with some tennis knowledge would agree that Federer’s most damaging loss to Nadal was in the 2009 Australian Open final. Most people know the story, but I’ll give a quick recap. Nadal played the marathon semi-final with Verdasco which went to five sets and then he had only one day of rest before the final as he played the second semi-final. Federer, on the other hand, straight-setted Roddick in the first semi-final and had two days of rest. So Nadal went into the final with a distinct physical disadvantage. Nadal desperately needed to make a good start which he did by winning the first set 7-5. Federer hit back and won the second set 6-3. In the third set, Federer had Nadal at 4-4 and 0-40 on his serve. If he takes one of those break points and holds his serve, it is game, set, and match given Nadal’s tiredness. Federer fails to convert however but at 5-5 he is presented with three more break points when he has Nadal at 15-40 as well as an advantage in his favor. Again Federer fails to convert which would have Nadal in ruins and the rest is history. Nadal wins the third set after Federer serves a double fault on set point in the tie-break. Federer fights back to win the fourth set 6-3 but in the fifth where you’d think Nadal is once again for the taking Federer puts up little resistance to lose it 2-6. Federer had failed to put Nadal away when he was a sitting duck and he paid a very steep price. His lack of killer instinct had once and for all been severely laid bare as he broke down in the closing ceremony unable to hold back the tears and disappointment. And frankly, it was embarrassing because it was a sense of entitlement that caused him to break down and take the spotlight off Nadal which he deserved with an extremely gutsy victory. Federer’s mental weakness and sense of entitlement had once and for all been exposed and it wasn’t a pretty sight. Let’s be honest. I’m by no means a Nadal fan, but I felt bad for him that Federer’s breakdown took so much attention away from his victory. It wasn’t his fault that Federer could not put away the sitting duck. He just did the logical thing which was to take advantage of it and given his physical disadvantage he deserved a lot of credit for it. I was a huge fan of Federer’s game for a long time but I never really forgave him for what happened that day. The loss was devastating but the fact that he broke down and cried like a baby was really what bothered me. The choking was embarrassing enough as it is. But then he had to cry and make it about himself afterward as well. It was like a spoiled brat who had his favorite toy taken away from him so he threw a tantrum in front of the whole world.
  • Djokovic’s Heartbreak Against Nadal
Djokovic went through something very similar with Nadal. And again, I think most people would agree that it happened at the 2013 French Open. There he lost to Nadal in the semi-finals after being a break up in the fifth set. He was on the brink of once and for all defeating Nadal at the French Open and completing the career slam because had he won he would have faced Ferrer in the final who was hitting practice for Djokovic. But in a cruel twist of fate the umpire Pascal Maria gave Djokovic a time violation at a crucial point in the fifth set after which Djokovic touched the net and lost a crucial point that he was well in control of. In the fourth set, Djokovic was already on the brink of losing when Nadal broke serve and would serve for the match at 6-5. Djokovic broke back and won the tie break to force a deciding set in which he broke Nadal in the opening game. Then the incident occurred with Djokovic serving at 4-3 in the fifth set. Djokovic was in a state of disbelief after the incident occurred and lost his focus and his serve. The match went deep into a fifth set which Nadal eventually won 9-7. Utter devastation. Djokovic was on the brink of finally slaying the monster in his stronghold after arguably already being denied by a rain break in the final the year before.
  • How They Dealt With It
In the short term, Federer seemed to deal much better with heartbreak at the hands of Nadal than Djokovic did. After his devastating loss to Nadal Federer went on to complete the career slam at the French Open and won the channel slam for the first time when he won Wimbledon(keep in mind Nadal was out of the picture). In the process, he also surpassed Sampras’ slam record of 14 titles. Djokovic, on the other hand, seemed deeply affected by what happened at the French Open. He lost to Murray in the 2013 Wimbledon final and again to Nadal in the US Open final. He even lost in the quarterfinals at his favorite Australian Open the following year. And at the 2014 French Open he also lost to Nadal in the final yet again. Things were getting desperate for Djokovic. It looked as though he would be stuck on 6 slams indefinitely, the same number of slams that his coach Becker had won who is a legend of the sport. So it wasn’t such a bad thing after all. I really thought that may have been the end of Djokovic as far as winning slams went. It had been a great run, but he didn’t seem to have much luck. But here is where the big difference came. Where Federer choked away another final against Del Potro at the US Open in 2009 after being a set and a break up, Djokovic was getting ready to once again stun the tennis world. Rafael+Nadal+Roger+Federer+2012+Australian+VKkMbVtheI0l Where Federer never truly recovered emotionally from that loss in Melbourne to Nadal(the beatings at the hand of Nadal only got worse since then), Djokovic had plotted his revenge and was about to carry it out in no uncertain terms. Appearances can be deceiving. Federer seemed to be over the Australian Open loss in no time, where in truth he was scarred for life from it. He never exorcised those demons because at each consecutive meeting with Nadal in Melbourne the beatings got worse. And the head-to-head with Nadal went from bad to complete ownage. Federer’s main rival utterly owned him which left a gaping hole in his resume. Djokovic, on the other hand, seemed to take his time to get over his heartbreak loss and used it to make him even stronger than he was before. In a stunning display of dominance, he won four of the next six grand slams to increase his slam total from 6 to 10. He has not picked up that elusive French Open title yet, but only a fool would bet against him doing so. This post is not about winning the French Open anyway. It’s about how Djokovic and Federer dealt with Nadal and their respective characters. This goes back to their childhoods too I believe.

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Djokovic had to battle adversity and setbacks from the beginning which prepared him well for the brutal world of professional tennis. Federer’s coach Peter Carter died as well when he was young which was a setback, but I don’t think anyone would deny that these two grew up in vastly different surroundings. The loss to Nadal was not the first big disappointment Djokovic had to fight back from and come back stronger. He came from a war-torn Serbia and economic hardship to defy immense odds and become one of the all-time tennis greats. I have huge respect for that. The US Open final was another example of battling adversity and defying the odds. You can read more about the disgraceful behaviour of Fedfanatics in that final in this post. Fedfanatics are turning out to be quite the embarrassment in their entitled and arrogant attitude as their hero runs out of time to win that elusive #18. I guess they are not very unlike Federer in displaying those characteristics. Like attracts like after all. But I think I will reserve a whole post for dealing with them and their classless ways. And let me just make it clear that there are many decent Fedfans, many of whom comment on my blog and who I admire and respect. What I am referring to here is the extremist kind who needs to be mercilessly dealt with.
  • In Closing
Ok, so I just wanted to end this post on a positive note. I think the way Djokovic dealt with heartbreak at the hands of Nadal as opposed to the way Federer dealt with it bodes very well for his future. Whereas Federer kept running away from Nadal, Djokovic faced him head on and eventually destroyed him in straight sets in his stronghold in Paris. He has also won six of the last seven meetings with Nadal. gettyimages-488135934 He gained the upper hand on Nadal in 2011-12, then lost it in 2013, and now he is well on top again. And this time he will stay on top. I am actually hoping for some sort of comeback from Nadal to see some more Djokodal encounters. I want Djokovic to end with a positive head-to-head with Nadal and give him some more good beatings in slams. That is if Nadal does not run away like he prefers to do, but Djokovic had the last laugh anyway. One thing you have to credit Nadal for is his mental strength and he has given both Federer and Djokovic the toughest losses of their lives, but the responses from the two players were vastly different and that was the point I wanted to make in this post. Djokovic used it to make him stronger while Federer allowed it to make him weaker to the point where Djokovic is now starting to own him too. Opinions? Facts? The is in your court.
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47 Comments

    1. Hi Ruan, Really interesting analysis, please keep it up! I remember after Fed’s loss in AO 2009, the media went all over it about ‘ how Nadal makes Federer cry’. It was devastating to watch for his fans as the change of guard in tennis was pretty prominent. Obviously, the stress of wining that ‘elusive 14 slam to match Sampras was too much for Fed to bear, especially at the hands of an opponent he had no solution to win. Yes, Federer finally win the career slam and break Sampras record. However, any of the GS win thereafter did not involve beating Nadal along the way. His record of 2-9 against Nadal at GS level is a huge hole in his otherwise superb resume. when Fed started to decline afteri AO 10′ before his breakthrough in Wimbledon win in 12’, Djoker was the only player who could challenge Nadal and stopped him from wining slams after slams ( in the process, protected his 17 GS record). It was a huge win for tennis as there is someone out there could finally match the namesis of the GOAT. Fed never acknowledged Djoker because he didn’t have a losing h2h against him. Their matches were usually quite close and few points separate their differences. Against Nadal, you almost sense the moment they come to the court, Fed already lose. However, after 3 consecutive GS final loss to Djoker, I believe fed finally realise his own limitation(even he might not admit it),it’s no longer just the Nadal problem but the Djoker problem as well. He probably might not win another slam as long Djoker is there. It is not helping that he is turning 35 next year as wel. It might be less demanding if he face Djoker in SF as the pressure is less. As I mentioned, Djoker is in a good position to win multiple slams in the next few years with little resistance until another player comes along assuming Nadal might never back to his wining form ever again. He should be in the discussion of GOAT soon even though he might not be as popular as Fed.

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    1. Thanks, IWC and I will! I’m quite enjoying the change in my blogging and in tennis at the top and feel inspired again. For too long it was just Federer Federer Federer. How long can you keep blogging about one guy? Good comment. Federer must now realize his own limitations. I think he’s been in a kind of denial about Nadal but since Djokovic is starting to cash in as well on Federer’s mental flaw even he must start to notice a pattern. But what is he gonna do about it? It’s kind of late in the battle for him to become a mental monster all of a sudden. Is he going to see a psychologist? It’s just hard to see him beating Djokovic unless he doesn’t do something drastic about the mental thing. :-??

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      IWC2015 Reply: Hi Ruan, To be fair to Fed, I think his mental strength has improved the last 2 years under Elberg. He had won a number of tight matches , including saving a few match points against Wawrinka in the ATP world tour last year, USO 14 against Monfis and a few other matches against other players. However, in each of these wins he either fell flat in the next round or got injured. I think at his age its a lot to ask for to win 4-5 sets of tight matches consistently in 2 weeks. His mental + physical strength had to go hand in hand to win a GS. He had an easier time in his earlier career but he was without doubt much stronger physically ; until Nadal came along which caused him all sorts of problems and his mental part was then exposed. Against Djoker I don’t think he has the same mental block vs Nadal as he could still beat him in the best of 3 sets like the Cinninati & Dubai Open. Their h2h records is even now though Djoker would surge ahead from here onwards. Fed has achieved and almost win everything and anything, he might not eventually be the GOAT but he is up there. Mentally, I also think it’s much tougher for him now he has a family ( 2 set of twins!) , something is going to give, perhaps somewhere in his mind he wants to spend more time with his kids but he still need to battle on the court and doing all the PR stuff , he is not a superman! Whereas Djoker is still in his prime and has the mental edge as well.

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      Ru-an Reply: Right, IWC another good comment. Federer does have superb mental strength in some situations. I don’t want to sell him short. It’s just that Stan and Monfils are not mentally up there with Djokodal. Federer has been clutch in many situations to win big events, but it’s a little misleading those wins. As soon as he was really pushed by the likes of Nadal and Djokovic he often came up short. And that even happened against other players. It happens all the time that he has many break points and doesn’t take advantage of enough of them. Sometimes he gets away with it and sometimes he’s not so lucky. Physically he may not be what he used to be but if your opponents all roll over in straight sets before the final and you have a crowd that fanatically supports you I don’t think you have any excuses. And even when he was young he had a poor five set record. Did you know that his five-set record did not get any worse as he aged? It stayed the same. It is still one of the worst five-set records among tennis greats. He just doesn’t fight very well. He has to dominate and be in control. He is not good at handling adversity. So yeah, I don’t think the physical decline argument holds much relevance. Give him his physical peak now and the same thing would happen against Djokodal. His mental strength seemed to improve in 2014 under Edberg but how many slams have they won together? How many slam finals have they lost?

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      IWC2015 Reply: You are right they have not team up to win any slams yet. In fact, each loss got worse, at least Fed managed to stretch the Wimbledon 14′ to 5 sets. Djoker and Becker seem to know how to get into Fed’s head. If Fed didn’t come into the final with a killer mindset , he is unlikely to win against Djoker. And he is running out of time. I mean, how many opportunities does he still have to play in a GS final?

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      Ru-an Reply: Right. I was amazed that he made two slam finals this year. I think that also had to do with Nadal’s slump. Not sure it’s gonna be that easy next year. Nadal will make a comeback at some point.

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      IWC2015 Reply: http://www.sportskeeda.com/tennis/mental-coach-help-roger-federer-evolve-game-further This writer was spot-on. Until Fed work on his mental aspect, he will not win another GS.

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    1. Hi Ruan, can you elaborate on what you mean by this statement? “I guess they are not very unlike Federer in displaying those characteristics.”

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      Ru-an Reply: I said Fedfanatics are arrogant and self-entitled, right? So they are not very unlike Federer in displaying these characteristics. You’re welcome :-)

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      Nakul Reply: So in other words Fed most likely displays the characteristics of arrogance and self-entitlement. I’m still not convinced. I need more explanation before enabling yourself to say “You’re Welcome”. But it’s upto you. If you don’t feel you owe an explanation for this then it’s fine. I’ll just disagree upon it and move on.

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      Ru-an Reply: But what do you want an explanation for? I said Federer displays those characteristics. Never said you have to agree :-)

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      Nakul Reply: I want an explanation regarding Fed’s display of such characteristics, only if you feel like giving one :D

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      Ru-an Reply: I think I have given enough explanation in my posts so let’s leave it at that ;-)

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      Nakul Reply: Right. Time to move on then.

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      Nakul Reply: P.S. I meant moving on from this post of yours, not from your blog /:)

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      Ru-an Reply: You can do that too if you want. No one is held prisoner here :-)

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      Nakul Reply: I’m not the kind of person who quits following someone just coz I don’t agree with few things they write. I’m above all that :-) . Also this place is like my holy grail of tennis knowledge.

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      Ru-an Reply: Good. I’m glad you find my blog insightful.

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    1. It basically boils down to who they are as person. Federer had very easy start of his career. Character is ongoing process. Due to this, Federer was always favorite to win and won almost everything. Even his losses to Rafa were coming in heaps, he was more consistent than Rafa and took many titles to have any problem. Him reaching 14 was always in his mind, after 4 years in which he won 11/16. So, when Rafa took Wimby from him, he was still in denial, bad light and everything. When fact was he just couldn’t break Rafa’s serve in fifth. He always found excuses to lose before that AO final. In grand slam, he has lost 2 matches to Rafa in fifth, won 1 match, lost 1 to Murray and staggering 3 to Novak. It may be because he has not been put to test a lot by his early competitors. Now, Novak had one of the most daunting challenge in his early career. Federer and Rafa are two very different players. When one guy was down, other was still there. He played Federer in USO series 4 times finally winning just to meet Rafa in final. He played Rafa 3 times (QF/SF) in French Open only to lose. So he was very grounded before 2011. Even after he reached his peak, the no.2 player kept changing. He couldn’t just evolve his game only for Rafa because Federer was still in his prime, as seen in Wimby 2012. Two very different styles. He has always faced strong opposition, most times facing big four in slams of any opponent. So, his character is to take loss well. He is not ENTITLED to anything, but has to play best to win. So are most fedfans who feel ENTITLED that their voice be heard because they feel they are fans of “GREATEST PLAYER” in history. This GOAT title feel so arrogant to non fedfans, how can one player be defined GOAT when there is rich, rich history and many variables in tennis evolution. Tennis, many says, evovled fastest with technology among other sports. So, its even difficult to compare Sampras’s generation to Federer’s. Bottom line, due to their early career, Federer is best winner, bad loser and Novak is bad winner, best loser characterwise. I am Nolefam but I admire Rafa a lot lot, because he has been great in all his wins and losses. When he lost 2012 AO final, his first word was “GOOD MORNING EVERYBODY”.

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      Ru-an Reply: Good comment Nachiket and welcome to my blog. You are right. Again, Federer had it easy early on with the weak era until Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray came along. For him, everything was always smooth sailing so when adversity came in the form of Nadal he wasn’t prepared for it and went into denial. Nadal had no right to beat him and he refused to adapt until that attitude badly backfired at the 2009 AO. He never came to terms with that loss and still says he looks forward to playing Nadal when Nadal owns him and beats him like a drum. Djokovic, on the other hand, could never afford to be that cocky and complacent. Like you said he came up having to battle both Federer and Nadal who are vastly different playing styles and were the most dominant champions in history. And in the process he developed a game which combined both of their strengths. And he also developed an unassuming personality. He doesn’t become complacent and arrogant. He keeps improving and evolving. He doesn’t have the arrogance of Federer but also not the fake humility of Nadal. He is the next step in tennis evolution. A kind of Fedal hybrid who could shatter all previous records.

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      nachiket Reply: Nadal has humility. Although he always downplays himself even against all opponents and never answers questions like do you think you are greatest etc. I say, if you can’t say good about something, don’t say anything. He is very shy unlike Federer and Novak. So I won’t call that FAKE humility. He embraced Federer after winning AO2009 and Novak after USO2010 and seem genuinely friendLY with both guys. Not friends but at least friendLY.

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      Ru-an Reply: Right, but he also took some losses to Djokovic not that well. I think he is more humble than Federer, but I also think a lot of it is fake. It’s easy to be friendly and embrace when you are winning.

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      Nakul Reply: Hilarious video Ru-an. The music fits so perfectly lol. :)) Djokerer handshakes are the best though. Refer to your old posts from 2013 where you captioned them as Romeo-Juliet, “I still hate you” , ̶#8220;I know” etc. These days they have improved to an extent where they “have no problems with each other”. Djoker is the only guy who behaves the same way during handshakes regardless of whether he won or lost. No fakeness. Fedal are different in that matter. I find it funny that Fed praises Nadal so much even after all those rough beatings he has taken from him. Either Nadal has mesmerized him completely or the mental block is so strong that he’s scared to even behave the way he wants when he’s around him. @-)

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      Ru-an Reply: Right. Fedal is fake. They are butthurt and classless in defeat. Nothing like classy Djokovic. I think the Fed praise of Nadal is pretty straight-forward. Nadal utterly owns him and Federer has accepted it. And he is starting to do the same with Djokovic. Don’t you think he has become a lot nicer to Djokovic since he started beating him regularly? One of these days he will be praising Djokovic 24/7 too :))

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      Nakul Reply: Lol. I agree about Djoker being classier in defeat than Fedal. But I feel on court, Djoker is one of the few players to use rope-a-dope successfully time and again, don’t you think?. L-) Also Djokerer’s mutual respect has increased over the past 2 years especially. As you said, Fed treats Djoker with a lot of respect and admiration these days now that Djoker has become at least equal to if not better than Fedal in terms of achievements and overall personality. Just read his interviews post Wimbledon and USO finals and you’ll get to know. After Wimby, he said something on the lines of – “Novak is the only guy to whom I’m allowed to lose to, so there’s no shame in losing etc.” He realizes the fact the Djoker is indeed the man now. But credit to him for still continuing to rattling Djoker time to time, albeit just on fast hard courts over best of 3. Djokerer rivalry was highly under-rated and obscured by the over-rated Fedal rivalry all these years. I’m glad that in the past 2 years, this is the one stand-out rivalry(Thanks to dull’s backing out :)) ) and it’s on course to become the best rivalry ever in tennis. At least in terms of quality and variety of tennis, this is undoubtedly the best, but in terms of significance of matches involved, Djokodal might be better for instance, since a majority of their matches were finals at GS/MS1000 level.

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      Ru-an Reply: Federer is one of the few players who use the SABR successfully time and time again, don’t you think? L-)

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      Nakul Reply: Yes?

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    1. Hi Ru-an Novak deserved to win the US Open, if Roger doesn’t make good on the break points he works so hard to get the rest is history. Also I would like to say how disgusted I was with the crowd at the final, I suspect fuelled by a three hour wait in some bar or other! Having said all this I am still an avid Fan of Federer and love still to see him playing. Reading you blog recently it’s as though somehow Federer is demeaning himself by being No 2 , how many players would love to have that No beside their name. When you started ‘the ultimate tennis blog’ I truly looked forward to reading your posts on all the other players that you thought would be in the mix, but apart from a few posts at the beginning you seem to have settled on tearing strips off Federer, now I don’t have a problem with anyone not liking Roger….but you Ru-an tell me are there two of you…didn’t you see all these ‘Federer Faults’ when it was Ruans Federer Blog? I mean how many times have you mentioned the hard time Novak had in Serbia all this happened years ago and thank goodness it is well behind all Serbian players. Djokovic is to be applauded for all that he has done and a lot still to do in tennis, this is his time. I got a laugh at the little video of Djo kicking Fed into touch….although I don’t know if it will help Novak’s popularity haha.

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      Ru-an Reply: Hi, Elizabeth. I don’t think you are being completely accurate with some of your statements. I have said very clearly on several occasions that what Federer is still doing on a tennis court is astounding and inspiring. I personally believe he is playing some of the best tennis of his career, but that doesn’t negate the fact that he is losing like clockwork to Djokovic in slam finals and that he choked again against Djokovic in the USO final. And yes, I pointed these things out when this was still Ruans Federer Blog. I never had the typical fan blog and criticized Federer plenty. So not much has changed really. I just focus on his flaws a bit more now because I got sick of the media and fan hype around Federer and now this rabid pro-Federer crowd made me even more sick of it. I am the anti-establishment/anti-media guy and I am debunking the Federer cult.

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    1. Hi Ru-an, though I am lurking around your blog all along, I have not commented for a while. Excellent analysis on the psyche of Federer and Djoker on the face of the Dull onslaught. No one can beat you on that! The fact of the matter is, if somebody is getting everything comfortably without having to alter his/her normal lifestyle, it can make his/her life hell in the long run when all of a sudden a mountain comes in his/her way. This mountain could present itself in different forms: it could be a mountain of expectations, a mountain of adversities or mountain of having to deal with the inner doubts within oneself and many more. In other words, when all of a sudden, you are out of your comfort zone, you begin to doubt yourself and if you cannot adjust fast, you are doomed. I always keep telling my PhD students that if they want to explore something new, they must come out of their comfort zones. Otherwise they will be stuck with whatever they have achieved till date; there won’t be any enrichment which will lead them to explore new horizons. In most of the times, it takes them a while to gradually adapt to the new challenges. Those who do not get it faster, struggle more in their research. Nothing different here in case of Federer. His stubbornness (and extreme talent) never allowed him to beat the demon of Dull. I can vividly recall you reiterating many a times earlier that in order to win against Dull, the baseline rallies are not going to help much; Fed needs to come forward more. He did that occasionally, but once he started losing a couple of points during matches against Dull, he immediately abandoned that. He continued playing his usual staff. At long last, the realization to re-invent his game has finally arrived. The clear signs of it can be seen in the more aggressive style of play under the tutage of Edberg and the equipment change. Right now what he is doing is no different from what he occasionally experimented against Dull; the only difference is that he is sticking to his aggressive style. But it may be too late! Djoker is fortunate that time is on his side and he was prudent enough to make the adjustments in time. And of course, he possesses a double handed backhand which makes a huge difference. If memory serves me right, Djoker’s Mom was so annoyed with the dominance of Fed and Dull that after the Cincinnati finals in 2009, she commented that probably Novak is born in the wrong era. If he were born in some other era, he would have achieved much more. It is really appreciable that he has adapted nicely to the situation to turn the tide in his favour. It is funny that I am finding a lot of similarities between the state of the art of your blog and some of my research related areas recently. In the field of heat of mass transfer, there are a couple of concepts called “Natural Convection and Forced Convection”. And Ru-an, you seem to be riding under Forced Convection right now. If somebody is observant enough, one can still trace some glimpses of Natural Convection in your blog from time to time. In my opinion, of late, you seem to be belittling Federer’s achievements only to forcibly glorify the achievements of your new love! I am sure if your new love does have it in him, he will surpass Fed. If not, he will not. For that you don’t have to put the hammer :-t on Federer’s head. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not one of those Fed fanatics who will support their hero at any cost and my observation still may be wrong (or partially correct :-) )! The only plausible reason I can think about is that you are consciously doing so just to add salt to the wounds of those Fed fanatics who have insulted you through their obnoxious messages for quite a while. >:)

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      Ru-an Reply: Jiten! Nice to hear from you again. And great comment. Certainly Federer was too stubborn and didn’t want to leave his comfort zone against Nadal. But he also lacked the killer instinct to finish Nadal off when he was there for the taking. This was where Sampras was so great as well. He had a Nadal-like killer instinct. He could sense when a crucial juncture in a match arrived and he would clinically finish off his opponent. This is where Federer has come up short and also not adapting fast enough. About belittling Federer’s achievements and forcibly glorifying Djokovic’s achievements I can see where you are coming from, but I don’t necessarily agree. I am just writing about what I am currently seeing. To me, it is a self-evident fact that Federer comes up short in the big matches and that he chokes. By the same token, it is a self-evident fact to me that Djokovic does just the opposite. He fights a rabid pro-Federer crowd, the SABR, and a poor USO final history and comes out on top. I think that is worthy of a lot of praises, don’t you? And yes, the actions of Fedfanatics at the US Open and on the Internet doesn’t help Federer’s case. I know when I put the hammer on Federer’s head I do the same to them. And while it doesn’t affect Federer much it does affect them. So if anyone is to blame for the things I write that you don’t like it is indeed them. I don’t think what I am saying is inaccurate anyway. I’m not making things up to piss people off. I am just writing the facts as I see it, the way I always have.

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      Jiten Reply: Thanks Ru-an. I cannot agree more on the killer instinct front. Right now, technique and ability wise, there is a very narrow margin amongst the top four. But when it comes to pouncing on your opponent at the precise juncture during a match, there is no one better than Djoker right now. Dull in my opinion was even better during his heydays in this front. In 2013 post Wimbledon, he won most of matches against Djoker by utilising the slightest of the window of opportunities Djoker offered to him. About the belittling part, I won’t make any comment right now. :-) I will simply wait for may be three four years and then see what you come up with in your self assessment report card of the past three four years. 8-> And my bad, it should be Heat and mass transfer, not heat of mass transfer in my previous comment. :-P

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: Yes, Nadal is the best in the mental department. Through sheer force of will, he turned the rivalry with Djokovic around in 2013 and gave him some of his worst beatings. Djokovic is not quite up there with Nadal mentally. He can choke. It’s just that he doesn’t allow his choking to get the better of him like Federer does. Djokovic uses it to make him stronger. The 2013 FO loss was without a doubt a choke, but he recovered and came back stronger. What Djokovic lacks in mental strength as opposed to Nadal he makes up in talent. He is more talented and adaptable than Nadal. He has a better serve, better returns, better bh, better volleys, etc. He is a better offensive player than Nadal as well. That’s what I really like about his game. He is very balanced in terms of skill, physical strength, and mental strength. In all these things, he is somewhere in between Fedal. He doesn’t have the mental flaw of Federer or the skill flaw of Nadal. And he is very good physically as well.

      [Reply]

    1. I am very disappointed in your comments. I will move on. You can’t make me appreciate this blog and the last few. You have a bad attitude. You just follow the winner for the day. Not very loyal are you.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: I’m sorry you feel that way, Pat. I think Fedfans who think they are entitled and shows complete disrespect for Federer’s opponents have a bad attitude. And I think people who follow Federer in the hope that he will win #18 is following the winner of the day. 17 > 10, right? As for loyalty, I didn’t know I was married to Federer. If anyone owes loyalty it is him towards me for supporting and blogging about him for years. Please think with your mind and not with your emotions before you make such sweeping statements again.

      [Reply]

      Charlie Reply: I have to side with Ru-an here. Even as a massive Federer fan myself, I still have to admit that there have been many failures in his mental strength. However I would like to point out one counter argument. Federer has the greatest tiebreak record in history. Someone even went into the details on this, and found that he has a tiebreak specific skill. Obviously a player such as Federer would expect to be more than say 50-50 in tiebreaks because he is better than most players, but even taking this into account he has an additional tiebreak skill, which is only also possessed by Isner. I can’t remember the article name but it was a good piece of analysis. But I also did a previous analysis showing the opposite. I don’t think it is fair to call Federer mentally weak, he is mentally strong, but Djokovic and Nadal are EXTREMELY mentally strong. He just looks mentally weak compared to them. The amount of comebacks Federer has pulled off over the years makes it unfair to say he is mentally weak in absolute terms. But yes I agree with the basic premise of your argument. And unlike Pat I have no plans on leaving this blog regardless of whether you make a few comments here and there that I disagree with. The important thing about the way you operate your blog is that you are willing to change your views. You make your post and then say: ‘what do you think?’ and if someone comes up with a compelling argument you take it into account rather than burying your head in the sand as many people choose to do when confronted with evidence. Overall another good post Ru-an, and I hope that Pat is able to see that there is still a place here for moderate fans of any fanbase. Charlie

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: Thanks, Charlie. I think you are right about Federer’s tie-break record. But let’s not forget that he has one of the best serves in history which is a big thing in tie-breaks. It does point to the fact that he is clutch to some extent, but it’s a bit like the argument from people that Federer plays a high-risk game which means it’s easier for him to choke. That is not true because he has such a good serve and fh that he can serve or hit himself out of many difficult situations where Nadal and Djokovic may not be able to do that. The advantage of a great serve can’t be underestimated. It’s ridiculous how often Federer serves himself out of a tough spot with an ace or unreturned serve. Just one shot and the rally is over without the opponent even having a play on the ball. So yeah I think that does help a lot in tie-breaks as well compared to the guys who have to rally and can make an error on any shot. That takes an awful lot more mental strength. And thanks for coming up for me. I understand if Fedfans leave my blog because they are hardcore Fedfans and don’t like Djokovic or criticism of Federer. I can still accept that. What I can’t accept is people coming here and telling me there is something wrong with me because I don’t write what they want to read anymore. I think that shows a lack of class. Why can some Fedfans just stop commenting, unsubscribe to my blog, or just stop reading it while others have to insult me and become bitter? I don’t owe these people a damn thing. If anything they owe me something for blogging all these years without asking a thing from them in return. I’ve received several comments recently about people telling me they are leaving my blog, that I have a bad attitude, that I’m disloyal blah blah blah. I have news for them. I don’t give a shit! They say they are leaving my blog as if that’s a bad thing for me when it’s the exact opposite. I don’t want biased fanatics here and I am glad when they leave. There is plenty of space for them at PeRFect Tennis Blog where they can join the rest of the rabid Fedtards in their blind Federer worship. ^:)^ #-o :))

      [Reply]

      Charlie Reply: As I say the reason I point out the tiebreak record is that he seems to have a tiebreak skill over and above his big serve and forehand and general good play. As for the mental strength aspect, I would argue both styles require equal mental strength. Obviously to hang in a long rally on an important point takes a lot of mental strength, but so does committing to your best serve on a really important point. Remember the second set TB in the Wimbledon final this year when Federer went for a massive topspin second serve and followed it into the net when Djokovic had set point? But there are many opposing factors as you listed in your article and other comments such as the 5-set record. As for people leaving I completely agree with you getting annoyed at people who openly insult you just because they happen to disagree with you. It’s a continuation of the fanatical sense of entitlement felt by some fans (of all fanbases) that somehow their player is ENTITLED to win, and it transfers to your blog in the form of ‘I am ENTITLED to insult anyone who does not write favourably about my favourite player’. People who politely state their reason for leaving or just leave without saying anything is OK.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: Yes, I get what you are saying, Charlie. I certainly don’t deny the fact that Federer has a superb tie-break record and that he has often been very clutch. It’s just like you say he comes up short against the very best in the mental department. ‘I am ENTITLED to insult anyone who does not write favourably about my favourite player’. This is absolutely the attitude of Fedfans and it’s a terrible one. A disgusting entitlement attitude that is fast revealing them as the worst fanbase in tennis. The USO final was a big embarrassment for them and people took note. I actually started a post to address Federer fanaticism but decided against it for now. I thought I’d written enough about them for the time being and that it was too negative at this point. I’m not sure they deserve a whole post on my blog anymore. It may be better just to ignore them and get on with the job of making interesting and constructive posts.

      [Reply]

      Charlie Reply: Yeah, assholes will be assholes.

      [Reply]

    1. Hey Ru-an, I wanted to share a few thoughts please, even though it may look like I’m playing Devil’s Advocate. First of all, I appreciated your acknowledgment that Roger wasn’t finished by Nadal’s beatdown at AO ’09. I think it was very impressive that he came back after that loss to make it to all four slam finals in 2009, winning two and losing two in five sets. So yes, that was definitely a good short term adjustment. And you’ve gone out of your way many times to point out how well Roger has been playing lately too. And though the claim could be made that Federer kept running away from Nadal after that match, it also seems that he was brave enough to meet him across the net four times just in 2013, just for example, in the midst of his poor results, back problems, and racquet change. Although he lost them all, he didn’t run, and I respect Roger a lot for facing his nemesis when he was down. I’m not sure it would have worked the other way… but I may be getting ahead of myself. ;-) It also seems (and I realize that you know far more than ten times as much as I do about this game, and I definitely want to acknowledge that in this post) that Roger’s mental strength seems to have improved significantly since his early days, which on the one hand also looks like a very positive response to circumstances such as AO ’09 beat-down. So maybe his adjustment in the longer term has been a positive one as well. In fact, I believe that several have made the same observation at this site, both recently and after comeback wins against Monfils and Mayer last year, for example. And it seems that Federer has been ready to play Nadal several times this year, but that Nadal has failed to do his part again. So it seems to me that maybe Roger is not running from Nadal. I even think he might like a chance to play his old rival again with some of his new tools (both mental and physical). Let’s see, I think Roger beat Nadal once in 2010, once in 2011, and once in 2012. And Roger had a chance to face Nadal a second time in 2012 as well, but Nadal withdrew (I could dwell on the ‘W’ word at some length when discussing Nadal) from the US Open that year. Of course they didn’t meet in 2014 or 2015, when Roger’s game has been surging again. And I think that’s too bad, because their matches are very intense most of the time. And Roger might have had a chance to make some positive headway in the Fedal H2H if they had. But after losing four matches to Nadal during (his worst year) 2013, Nadal’s 11-match surplus against Federer on clay – plus the three losses in 2013 (one loss, the one at Rome, was on clay, and I’ve counted that one already in the 11-match clay surplus) adds up to 14 games, which is larger than Nadal’s thirteen game (23-10) margin against Roger. So I know that the ‘ownage stance’ is pretty popular, but as I looked at their history recently, I started to wonder if a case could be made that Nadal may not own Roger – at least not completely – after all. For example, I remember when one visitor to your site said that Nadal was the greatest, simply because he had a higher total winning percentage than Roger, although I think it’s a fact that Nadal plays only when he wants to, and that otherwise his winning percentage would be lower. To me it seems that Roger is not avoiding Nadal, especially in recent years, even when he was struggling with a back injury in 2013. It seems to me that Nadal’s limited availability for matches with Federer may have actually preserved his advantage in the H2H. So I wonder if a case could be made that, just as Djokovic has, Roger has made a positive adjustment to the painful losses he suffered to Nadal, at AO ’09 and elsewhere, both in the near term and in the longer term (new racquet, attacking strategy, tournament successes) as well. I remember hearing sports journalist Chris Fowler predict the end of Roger’s career when Roger broke down at the AO that year, but Roger came roaring back to win the next two majors and make it to the US Open Final as well. He’s had some struggles since then, with age, injury, and a racquet change, but has managed to reinvent himself to play some of the best tennis of his career at age 34. So if I could look at the H2H in two phases, I’d tend to think that especially during Roger’s salad days, while he was dominating three majors and everyone but Nadal on clay, Nadal was mostly absent from the later rounds on non-clay surfaces. On the one hand we have Roger, who consistently played his way into Clay finals to face Nadal; and on the other we have Nadal, who more frequently didn’t make it to the the later rounds on other surfaces to face Roger. I tend to think that could explain his edge on hard courts against Roger as well; i.e. that Nadal played only when he felt he was on top of his game. Later in Roger’s career, when age and back problems presented Roger with some time to change his racquet and some of his tennis strategy, he came back again strongly, and has now made it to three finals and a semi in the last 6 majors. Again, Nadal has been largely absent. Roger’s time is surely short now, but his last two years have shown fans of tennis a lot of brilliance. Djokovic’s light is shining even more brightly than Roger’s now, but as a tennis fan I have deeply appreciated how these two bring out the best in each other. Although I’ve thought that Roger’s mental toughness has come out and grown when it needed to, I respect your knowledge and objectivity a great deal. So if you think that Roger has more or less wilted in the face of Nadal, I’ll definitely reexamine my thinking about that. Best wishes to all, Joe :-)

      [Reply]

      Joe Reply: Sorry I hope you’ll give me a pass on some of the typos in that post. But Nadal did beat Roger at AO ’14 and I meant to include that fact… :\">

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: Hey Joe, I think you underestimate your own tennis knowledge. You may know a lot more than you think. I have myself said the things that you say here about Federer’s improved mental strength and the head-to-head with Nadal. Yes Nadal does have a way of facing Roger when things favour him. And yes I do think Federer’s mental strength in 2014-2015. The only problem with these things are that he still loses to Djokodal when it really matters. He lost that Wimby final to Nadal and all three meetings at the AO. He had to win that AO ’09 meeting. That is the bottom line. He had Nadal on his knees in the third set but couldn’t close the deal. If he did things would have looked drastically different. It could have made all the difference in the h2h but now unfortunately Nadal does own him. It’s admirable that Federer faced Nadal in 2013 but it only made the ownage worse. I hate that Nadal uses clay to dominate his h2hs and I hate that he runs away when things get tough, but you can’t deny the numbers. And the same thing is now happening with Djokovic. When I said Federer runs away I don’t mean consciously. I mean subconsciously because there is a difference between playing against Nadal and exorcising past demons. We have seen tanking subconsciously too before playing Nadal. I think Federer improved mentally but he is still losing to someone with true mental strength in Djokovic, so it’s not enough. Hope that answers your question.

      [Reply]

    1. Good stuff Ru-an, I have to say, though, that I’m not sure all the mental strength in the world would make Roger as strong as Djokovic is now. For Roger to get any more wins against Djokovic at this point, I think he’ll need to catch Djoker when he’s having an off day, on a fast court. i.e. ‘get lucky.’ And he’ll still need to bring all his mental strength to the match. I’m just sayin’ …

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: I’m looking forward to their future meetings. Let’s just put it that way.

      [Reply]

      Joe Reply: LOL !!! :-)

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: o:-)
 

Thiem Loses to Murray, Djokovic Still in the Hunt for Third Indian Wells/Miami Double

Thiem Loses to Murray, Djokovic Still in the Hunt for Third Indian Wells/Miami Double

So Thiem lost 6-3, 4-6, 1-6 to Murray but like I said I am very excited about this player and he achieved what he wanted to in Miami. He was the better player in the first set but Murray raised his game in the second set and went a break up. Thiem broke back and leveled at 4-4 after trailing 4-1 but then he seemed to run out of gas because Murray won eight of the last nine games. Thiem is not used to winning this many matches and I think he could have easily won this if he was more match fit. But the run in Miami will give him a huge boost for the clay court season and I think he is now back to the form he was in towards the end of last year when he rose to #36 in the rankings. Or close to it anyway.

Yesterday was the turn of the top half and Isner was back to his best after a long dry spell, defeating Nishikori 6-4, 6-3. That is a tremendous win but personally I don’t care much for Isner. His game with his big serve is a total bore to me and so is his personality. I also don’t like the fact that all his best results basically come in his own country. That shows me he isn’t really an international man which you need to be to be a great tennis player. Finally Djokovic had another tough match against Ferrer but he remains unmoved in his quest for a third Indian Wells/Miami double and a fifth Miami title. Ferrer took an early lead of 4-1 but Djokovic refused to let him get away and took the first set 7-5. In the second set Ferrer showed great fight to break back at 4-5 and Djokovic serving for the match.

But again Djokovic was too strong as he wrapped up the next two games to win 7-5, 7-5. He wasn’t at his best but the great player that he is he still found a way to get it done in straight sets against an incredibly tenacious player. Now he probably faces his biggest challenge yet though. Dolgopolov was a massive challenge but Isner has always been an awkward opponent for Djokovic. Even though Djokovic leads the head-to-head 6-2 they have always had tough matches and Isner has beaten Djokovic twice in the US, once in Indian Wells in 2012 and once in Cincy in 2013. So he certainly has the potential to upset Djokovic. On the other hand Djokovic does have great returns so you would think if anyone can neutralize Isner’s huge serve it would be Djokovic.

I personally think Isner’s serve may be the biggest weapon in tennis. Not only is his first serve massive but he gets massive amounts of kick on his second serve which is especially effective in the ad court to the right hander’s backhand. Djokovic has one of the best two-handed backhands of all time but even for him Isner’s serve is awkward to deal with. And he isn’t given much rhythm from the base line. Knowing Djokovic though he will probably find a way and win Miami. I personally think it would be cool if he wins Miami because I like to see players break records. And it would do Djokovic’s confidence good for the clay court season where he needs to finally slay the monster at Roland Garros!

 

Highlights:

Posted in Masters 1000, Miami.

19 Comments

    1. This Djokovic domination is getting boring. Seems like nobody except Federer even has the balls to challenge him. What are Nishikori, Raonic and Dimitrov doing. All of them were in Djokovic’s half would you believe it and Isner cleaned them !!

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Thanks for letting me know you are a Fedfan. That’s all you did here.

      [Reply]

    1. As for Djokovic himself deserving it, I just literally hate the way tennis is nowadays where a guy like Djokovic can stay in rallies with Inser by just getting the racquet on the ball and letting Isner miss his next shot. I know the scorelines looks flattering to Djokovic but one just has to watch his matches to realize the kind of pain he puts his body through to get it done. I mean he is literally breaking his body to get the balls back. Even more insane defense than Nadal if you ask me. That’s why I definitely feel something needs to be done about the court speeds. Someone like Djokovic might criple himself for life by the way he pushes his body. If the courts were faster like Dubai, then we might actually see what Djokovic is capable of. And actually he is easily the second best fast court player behind only Roger. Not many people realise this but with the racquet technology and the crazily good movement guys like Djokovic are showing the courts should actually keep becoming faster instead of slower. I am seeing some of Djokovic’s shots and he is just keeping his racquet where the ball is going nothing else, no techinque nothing. The point is the racquets are so good its almost impossible to mishit anything. If we can increase the speed then actually we will see what tennis is all about. I am not saying Dubai speed everywhere but people actually need to see what is happening to tennis overall. How do you actually decide who is the best tennis player. That should depend on how a guy can defend, how he can serve, how he can return, how he can be offensive and how he can come to the net. Right now its 80% of the first one and 20% of the rest in almost every single tournie. That’s not only not fair its plain wrong. It gives someone like Djokovic such a huge advantage. Roger during the 2004-2007 period kept varying his game all the time. People who say he is a fast track bully are plain stupid. One just has to watch his matches in Monte Carlo and then in Australia to know that he was baring Nadal easily the best slow court player ( ever ??). Djokovic of today is nowhere near that level.

      Sorry about the rant but I feel much better now :-)

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Well you are free to rant and I’m glad you feel better but I don’t agree with everything you said. And you are clearly unable to appreciate the immense skill and athleticism Djokovic possesses. But that seems to be the case with most Fedfans who only think Roger has skill and athleticism. That is one of the reasons I changed my blog. To be honest rants like these now belong on Jonathan’s blog. I’m sure he appreciates them. You make it sound like what Djokovis is doing is easy. It’s not. It’s incredibly difficult and gifted. Both his technique and athleticism is unreal. We had a Fedfan called Candice here commenting recently who can appreciate other players. She was at IW and saw Djokovic play several times and saw how incredibly fast and gifted the guy is. And no he is not killing his body. He is extremely flexible through stretching for hours every day and almost never gets injured. It’s called hard work and dedication. To say he is just keeping his racquet there, no technique nothing else shows more ignorance about how difficult it is what these guy do, and more so in the case of Djokovic. If it was that easy why did all the other guys not beat Isner? Why did Djokovic get it done 7-6, 6-2? It’s because no one else in the world can do what he does. That’s why. You want to see tennis like back in the 90’s when boring serve bots like Isner were dominating the game? It’s a good thing you are not in charge! People want to see long rallies from the base line. Not 3-shot rallies that include a big serve and a volley winner. Compared to that shit today’s game is way more interesting. To say that Djokovic is nowhere near Roger’s level on a slow hard court is wrong too. Djokovic is already a better slow hc player. The numbers don’t lie. So:
      1) This is not the place for Fedfans to whine when Roger is not playing at the moment anymore, especially when what they are saying is wrong.
      2) Tennis is not just about Federer and he is not the only one who can play tennis.
      3) If you still don’t get the message there is always Jonathan’s blog which I am sure welcomes this kind of comment, and I’m sure he can use the traffic :-)

      [Reply]

      Ajay Reply:

      Hmm. I guess I should leave out me not liking Djokovic’s game part from now on. First no way I am not a

      tennis fan. Do you know how much tennis I watch even when I have got loads of work to do ? Secondly I

      will be frank here I like Djokovic when he is aggressive but wih my mentality I can’t swallow the

      moonballing crap. Thirdly in your haste of calling me a blind Fed fan you did ignore some very valid

      points I made. I am Math and Computer Science guy so I am gonna make logical points from now on so that

      you can clearly agree or disagree.

      1) Racquet technology is improving at a crazy rate. So are people’s ways of protecting their body and

      improving their speed and power. SO right now if we have faster courts, longer rallies are still gonna

      be there compared to the 90’s. Just that it won’t go on and on forever like it is now.

      2) I can send you links of Federer of how he used to play in tournaments like Monte arlo and Rome but I

      am sure you have seen it already. What most people don’t agree or want to accept is this. Federer’s

      forehand has faded a lot along with his movement. In tennis these days you want to have a huge shot

      (Nadal’s forehand, Djokovic’s backhand) and movement. Right now Federer is much worse than he was in

      2005-2007. But his net game has improved tremendously and so as his serve and backhand. But like I said

      these don’t compensate enough. That’s why I stand by what I said. Put 2006 Fed vs 2015 Djokovic in any

      court and 2006 Fed wins more than 50% of the time (around 65% is my guess).

      3) You have no right to call me a guy who whines. I am never the kind of guy who gets upsets with Roger

      when he loses nor the kind who parties till the morning when he wins. I am happy for him when he wins

      and maybe a little sad when he loses and thats it.

      4) Sure right now everything looks rosy for tennis with the big 4 still alive and kicking. But once

      they are gone who is gonna take tennis forward ? This is where I see court speed playing the biggest

      role. Lets say we have a guy who can play defensive in clay, highly offensive in fast courts, a net

      game in grass and a transition game in slow hard courts. Do you think anybody like this is ever gonna

      be there after this era. I doubt it. With the racquet technology, already everybody is comfortable

      standing way back and waiting for the opponent to miss. And this is not gonna keep the viewers hooked.

      Now let me give my view on Djokovic. Here is where it gets interesting. Do you actually know how many

      Djokovic and Nadal matches I have watched for the years. Hundreds. Let me first give you my take on

      Djokovic’s game.

      1) 2007-2008 Djokovic is my personal favorite. He is the young guy who is not afraid of everyone and

      more importantly is super aggresive on court. He is the guy who beat Federer in a third set tiebreak in

      Toronto and in straight sets in Australian Open ending his final streak. This is a guy who weirdly

      smiles even after he loses when he shakes his opponents hands. This is a guy who Federer knows is sure

      shot future world number 1.

      2) 2009-2010 DJokovic is a really weird guy. His serve has gone to crap. He keeps retiring when the

      going gets tough. He hasn’t won a grand slam nor has he done anything else of note except to maintain

      his number 3 ranking.

      3) 2011 Djokovic – This guy probably needs a whole post of his own. But let me keep it short. He was

      plain scary. Federer fans and Nadal fans all dreaded him. But you know what Federer defeated him in the

      French Open semi final and that ended all doubt to me forever about who the greatest is. But still when

      I watched that match I realised how crazily good Djokovic is. And that was when I realised in my mind

      that Djokovic is actually better than Nadal.

      4) 2012-2015 Djokovic – This is probably the Djokovic that I least like. The guy has become ultra

      defensive and plays risky shots only when he is leading. When he is behind he plays the safest shot

      possible. But still mentally he is a beast. I remember seeing the 2013 French Semis vs Nadal and

      thinking my god Djokovic is not human. And Wimbledon Finals last year was one more example where he was

      actually hitting a lot of winners like you are supposed to on a grass court and he totally deserved

      that Slam. Fast forward a bit to Indian Wells finals 2015 he is back to his old ways, keeping one more ball in play and making Federer play an extra ball. Shit, he is at it again.

      Look this is what I am going to say. Djokovic is great. He is a phenom. Agreed. But he does not compare to Federer in my book. Just see my Google+ page to see how many youtube tennis videos I have watched. There is literally no video out there which I haven’t commented in. So even if you disaagree which are most welcome to, I am sure I know what I am talking about. If all of the Big-4 were at their best I would go with Federer > Djokovic > Nadal > Murray. Sure I am a Fed fan but where credit is due I never deny it.

      Let me also quickly answer one or two things you told in your reply. No way Djokovic’s technique can be compared to Federer. You just need to see his matches and you will know the amount of work the racquet does for him. For example just see how much he struggles against slices and even at the net. Once again I am comapring him with Federer not someone else. Compared to everyone sure he is much better. Once again I guess you really don’t like me very much. But I still like your blog and your posts. So if you want me to I won’t post anymore. But please don’t insult me. I think this comment is surely a more rational one. Since you did reply with a lengthy post yourself I hope you don’t mind and I really hope you read all of it. :-)

      [Reply]

      Ajay Reply:

      Since we are still on the subject of Djokovic I should tell you I have watched 5 matches of Miami this year – 3 of Djokovic’s and 2 of Nadal’s. Now why would I bother doing that unless I actually find their matches interesting :/

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      So why complain? It just makes you sound like a boring Fedfan.

      [Reply]

      Ajay Reply:

      Ah the shortest possible reply to the longest most heartfelt comment I have ever written. No worries I can never win over you I guess. No problem :-)

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      That was a reply to your short comment since you didn’t notice. I didn’t have time to read your long comment yet…

      [Reply]

      Ajay Reply:

      Then I humbly wait for your reply :-)

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      I don’t have the time to read it all. If you want me to then sum it up in five lines. I don’t get paid for blogging and it takes a lot of time. Never mind reading long comments.

      [Reply]

    1. I would like to add that the courts in Miami are ridiculously slow. Almost nobody can hit a clear winner. Sure Djokovic and Murray are great defenders but these slow courts also support their percentage tennis. I don’t want to see 3-stroke rallies for sure but I also don’t want to see 33 stroke rallies where there is no attacking tennis. To end my comment if all hard courts were as slow as in Miami, Roger would not be playing anymore.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Well Miami is one of the slowest courts which I don’t personally care for myself. And still I was able to enjoy Miami just fine. Just because Roger was not playing doesn’t mean there wasn’t great tennis being played. Maybe if Fedfans are so bored about the tennis that they have to come whine under an enthusiastic post of mine rather than saying something interesting then they need to expand their horizons somewhat? Roger won’t be around forever. What are they gonna do when he retires? Watch football? If you think Miami is boring then try watching that garbage.

      [Reply]

    1. Hi Ruan, sorry I haven’t posted much in the last couple of weeks – I’ve been away at a conference in Dubai.
      Miami has been very decent actually, I always enjoy watching Djokovic play and was probably as happy as you were when he dispatched Isner last night. I do think he’ll win the tournament as he has won his last 6 matches against Murray.
      As for the slow courts, we do need some slow hard courts around and Miami has historically been reasonably slow.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Hi Krish, nice to hear from you. I’m glad you are enjoying Miami and taking part in the discussion in a constructive way. You are the first. I like Djokovic’s chances too but we can’t forget that Murray has beaten Djokovic in two slam finals. It should be a relatively interesting final anyway. For sure I will watch. And yes we need all kinds of court surfaces. I used to hate Miami but that was when I was a brainwashed Fedfan.

      [Reply]

      Krish Reply:

      Thanks Ruan
      I hope Murray gets back to that level that saw him win Wimbledon in particular, he’s so much more exciting when he’s aggressive (which doesn’t happen very often now). He was in good form against Berdych in the semis and has now leveled their H2H at 6-6.

      Of course Federer is my favourite, but I never understood the hate for Miami. It isn’t my favourite venue, but there have been some nice matches played there – Djokovic vs Nadal (2011) and Murray vs Ferrer (2013) spring to mind. Not to mention Federer coming back from 2 sets down against Nadal lol. Fed’s won it twice, so the real diehards should be content with that IMO.

      [Reply]

    1. Nice to see your blog active even when Roger is not playing, Ru-an. Fedfans can hate Miami how much ever they want. But the fact that Roger won his first title here in 2005 by beating Nadal in the final, after being 4 points away from defeat is often ignored. It also means that Roger is also one of the reasons Nadal hasn’t won the golden masters. It was also his first win over Nadal and to do it that fashion is quite significant. I’m not sure whether the court speeds were same back then as they are now though. Anyway what I’m trying to say is most Fedfans start showing disinterest/hate towards a tournament just because he doesn’t play it all the time or he has not so good record there.
      As far as the finals is concerned it’s the Djokurray match-up again which I feel is the worst rivalry among the big 4. I guess when you have 2 players with almost same playing styles it’s inevitable. Also Djokovic is on a 7-match winning streak against Murray. He had also managed this streak against Nadal before losing to him again. I feel it’s about time Murray ends his losing streak against Djokovic, and given that Miami has been one of his most succesful MS events and also his second-home kinda thing, all signs are pointing towards that. Personally I also want him to win this time.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Yeah Nakul that is just a symptom of fanaticism. No worries they will realize there is more to Roger in tennis eventually. Or leave the sport completely.
      For sure Murray can win but I think Djokovic will, simply because the third IW/Miami double would be big and he wants it.

      [Reply]

      Nakul Reply:

      I made a typo there. Djokovic is on a 6 match winning streak, not 7 against Murray. I guess that means he’ll win this one as you say :-)

 

Thiem Wins Buenos Aires After Defeating Nadal in the Semis

Thiem Wins Buenos Aires After Defeating Nadal in the Semis

Just a quick recap from me about what happened this week in tennis. The only big four member in action this week was Nadal who was back on South-American clay after his first round exit in Melbourne.

And it doesn’t look like that loss did his confidence much good. He made it to the semi-finals but then ran into Thiem who I have been hyping up a fair amount since around the beginning of last year.

Thiem had one of the best wins of his career when he defeated Nadal 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(4) even though Nadal only looked like a shadow of the player he was. Just loads of uncharacteristic unforced errors and lacking his usual clutch tennis.

It looked like Nadal was on his way back during the fall last year but the loss against Verdasco set him back again. You could say he was unlucky with the draw to run into a red hot Verdasco who can beat anyone on a given day, but that’s just the brutal reality of men’s tennis.

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And let’s not act like Nadal’s decline was not a long time coming either. As an early bloomer(he won his first French Open only days after his 19th birthday) with the most brutal game style in the history of tennis, it is astonishing that he lasted as long as he did.

The clay court season is still ahead where Nadal will do everything in his power to regain confidence but he is not beating Djokovic at the French again. He really looks done winning slams, which is great after all the GOAT hype.

He is the clay GOAT. No more, no less. No player who was as reliant on clay as Nadal was can ever be the overall GOAT. And that’s the end of that.

To get back to Thiem, it was still a big win for him over Nadal and the important thing is that he went on to win the title today against Almagro, 7-6(2), 3-6, 7-6(4). Almagro is not known for his mental strength, but winning two consecutive matches in third set breakers shows good mental fortitude from Thiem nonetheless.

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I’ve asked question about his mental fortitude but he is still young and as long as he keeps improving in that area it is fine. This was his fourth title after winning three titles in a breakthrough year in 2015.

All four titles have come on clay and they are all ATP 250 level. I can see him being a future Thomas Muster who happened to be from the same country as him and dominated on clay. He is a solid bet for a future French Open champion.

Hopefully, he can do more than dominate clay, though, because I think he has the game to do so and he is great to watch with that classic one-handed backhand. He is also pretty complete with a big forehand, big serve, good movement, and net skills.

His biggest drawback is his big swings off the ground and perhaps his return game. But with some hard work I’m sure he can stand closer to the baseline and take the ball on the rise on faster surfaces.

  • Fritz Shows Promise in Memphis

Hard as it may be to believe, it seems the US finally has a male tennis player to genuinely get excited about again. The last time that happened was back in the early 2000’s with the rise of Roddick, and yet Roddick never came close to scaling the heights of his predecessors Sampras, Agassi, and Courier.

It has been a long, dry spell for American tennis but they may finally have a big champion on the horizon again. 18-year old Taylor Fritz just lost 6-4, 6-4 in the final of Memphis to Nishikori but he showed plenty of promise in making the final.

He’s got a big serve, he looks very solid off the ground, and mentally he looks stable too. As we know tennis has become a baseline game and having a solid two-handed backhand is a big asset. And Fritz does have that.

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It’s early days but he looks like an exciting player and I am looking forward to seeing what the future holds for him. And congrats to Nishikori for winning a fourth consecutive Memphis title. Of current players I think only the big three has been able to do that.

  • Federer – Halle, Wimbledon, US Open
  • Nadal – Monte Carlo, Barcelona, French Open
  • Djokovic – Beijing, World Tour Finals

Finally, in Rotterdam this week where Federer withdrew due to knee surgery, the top seed Gasquet withdrew as well before a golden opportunity to win his frist ATP 500 event. The player who took advantage was Martin Klizan who defeated Monfils 6-7(1), 6-3, 6-1 in the final.

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Monfils also had his first opportunity to win his first title above ATP 250 level but these French players just don’t have much mental fortitude. I always thought Klizan has a pretty nice lefty game. He was really blasting that forehand for winners this week.

He seems a little unstable mentally but still a great week for him and his first ATP 500 title after having won three ATP 250 events.

This coming week is the events in Rio de Janeiro, Delray Beach, and Marseille. Nadal will be in Rio again while Stan will be back in Marseille. So as always plenty going on on the ATP Tour and I will keep you up to date as usual.

See you later!

The is in your court.

Posted in Uncategorized.

2 Comments

    1. Wow, hadn’t really been keeping up for a couple of weeks, amazing what can happen in that time. Nadal has had two bad losses on clay and Thiem has been playing great. I managed to see Cuevas’ victory over Nadal in Rio, Nadal really hashed that one up even when Cuevas was choking hard in the second set. As for Djokovic, I heard today that he is suffering from an eye infection which was the cause of his retirement against Lopez, it clearly affected his game by all accounts. I wish him a full and speedy recovery.

      [Reply]

 

Thiem Wins First ATP 500 Title in Acapulco

Thiem Wins First ATP 500 Title in Acapulco

Hi, folks. It’s been a while since my last post because I’ve been preoccupied with the US presidential race of late, and the last couple of weeks have been a bit disappointing as far as the big four goes.

But as usual, there is always something interesting going on on the ATP Tour. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you may remember I made a post called The Future of Tennis Has Arrived: Dominic Thiem at the beginning of last year.

Since then he won three titles on clay last year, Buenos Aires on clay two weeks ago, and now he made another big breakthrough this week by winning his first ATP 500 title in Acapulco, and on hard court at that.

I would have been satisfied if his first ATP 500 came on clay but this is great because it means he will be a force to be reckoned with on all surfaces, not just clay. I said before he had the variation to be good on all surfaces but he still needed to prove it.

His 6-2, 6-2 destruction of Querrey in the semis was especially impressive, although I couldn’t watch that. I did, however, tune in for the final early this morning to watch him defeat Tomic 7-6(6), 4-6, 6-3.

Tomic is another relative youngster who has been improving a lot of late so that was another big win for Thiem. I’m really excited about this player. He is almost for sure a future French Open champion but I’d like to see him do well on all surfaces.

And judging from this week that will be the case. His backhand is a gift from God and his ground game is big, but he has great skills at the net and touch as well. His serve and movement are good too.

It is unlikely that he is a future Wimbledon champ and he will probably struggle indoors but it doesn’t matter. He is still exciting and good to watch. And he looks like a good kid who is mentally strong.

  • Dubai Disappoints

I guess Dubai was cursed this year because not only did Federer withdraw but Djokovic retired in his quarterfinal match with Lopez with an eye infection after losing the first set 3-6.

It’s a shame because he had a chance to tie Lendl for most consecutive finals at 18 but shit happens. And maybe it’s bad karma for the Dubai crowd because they booed Djokovic off the court.

Since 2011 and especially since 2015 Djokovic has been the epitome of professionalism and I don’t think there is any need for that kind of behavior from the crowd.

Especially since Djokovic is already underappreciated by the tennis establishment in general. Too many people have been brainwashed into believing that Federer and Nadal are the only players who deserve appreciation but they will wake up once Djokovic surpasses both of them.

It’s a shame that this had to happen to Djokovic who had been struggling with the eye infection since he got to Dubai. He did look awfully good in his first two matches however which he both won 6-1, 6-2.

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With the amount of winning Djokovic had been doing something like this is inevitably going to happen at some point I guess. But it could have happened at a much worse time for him. It was still only an ATP 500 event.

In the end, Stan was the one who took advantage of the Djoker’s absence as he defeated Baghdatis 6-4, 7-6(13) in the final. I watched the tiebreak and it was pretty low-quality tennis.

Kyrgios also retired in the semis against Stan after trailing 4-6, 0-3 and got booed off the court as well. I was expecting much from that match because Kyrgios had beaten Berdych for a second consecutive week in the quarters.

So yeah, Dubai was pretty much a flop this year. But maybe not the worst thing for the fans who are tired of Djokovic winning every tournament he enters.

  • Federer Withdraws from Indian Wells

Federer ended up withdrawing from Indian Wells as well as he is still in rehabilitation for his knee which I thought was the sensible thing to do. It will be much better to return on clay courts which will be more forgiving on his knees.

There is no need to rush. He will still have the entire clay court season and the grass court season to get ready for Wimbledon which his season is pretty much built around.

I’m sure Djokovic is looking forward to get back to winning titles in Indian Wells too and if he does win the title he will have the record there with five titles. He is currently tied with Federer at four.

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Looks like Federer has been enjoying himself 😍 Mirka 😆

Djokovic will also have a shot a tying Agassi for the most titles in Miami at six and he is the only guy so far to do three Indian Wells/Miami doubles. It would be surprising if he doesn’t do it again.

Whatever happens, that’s always a fun stretch in the calendar but this coming weekend it is first Davis Cup where I hear Djokovic will be taking part.

My next post will probably be after the Indian Wells draw comes out so don’t expect much.

The is in your court.

 

Thiem Wins Maiden ATP World Tour Title in Nice, Reaches Career-High Ranking

Thiem Wins Maiden ATP World Tour Title in Nice, Reaches Career-High Ranking

Hi, folks. As you know I’ve been interested in this player Dominic Thiem for some time now and I was delighted to see him win his first ATP title today, defeating Mayer 6-7(8), 7-5, 7-6(2) in the final. I watched the match and although I got frustrated with some of the breakpoints Thiem missed, I can’t fault him in any way for his performance this week. Today the first set was the only set he dropped all week, and the straight set win over Isner yesterday was impressive.

  • The Match
In the opening set he had Mayer on 0-40 on his serve and two or more breakpoints in the same game, but failed to break. In the tie-break, he hit a blistering backhand return winner on set point with Mayer serving at 6-5, but Mayer came up with a blistering backhand winner himself to win the first set. That was disappointing and I thought Mayer would probably win because Thiem wasn’t taking his chances. But Thiem hung tough in the second set until the pressure of serving second got to Mayer and Thiem broke in the twelfth game to win the set.

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In the deciding set, Thiem wasted more break point opportunities when he had Mayer at 15-40 on his serve and failed to capitalize. It would come down to another tie-break to decide the winner of this close encounter. I wasn’t sure that Thiem was clutch enough to take it, but he proved me totally wrong by playing a terrific breaker which he won 7-2, leaving Mayer with no chance. The point that set up match point for Thiem was pretty special and after he won match point he fell on his back and raised his arms skyward.
  • Some Observations
The win against Isner was good, but Mayer can be a very tricky opponent himself, as Roger himself found out last year in Shanghai when he had to save match points against him. He hits with a lot of pace on his groundstrokes and his serve is big too. What I liked about this match was Thiem’s mental fortitude. He showed good fight to hang in there after losing the first set and then when it mattered most he came up with the goods. It was only his second final, but I’m glad he took the next step by winning it. There were several times where I felt he missed poor shots at important times, but then he came up with great shots at important times too. To improve I’d like him to become more consistent but I couldn’t have asked for more today. He is still young and he will become more consistent with time. Mayer is a tough customer because you can’t hit him off the court. You kind of have to weather the storm which is exactly what Thiem did, and I thought that showed good maturity already. This title will do Thiem’s confidence the world of good and he rises to a career high ranking of 31. After the slump at the start of the year and the slow start to the clay court season, he has done very well. He only has a second round to defend at the French Open as well. I hope he can make the third round at least and he has a tough draw. I think he can win his first round, but then he plays Cuevas. I hope he can win that too in which case he would probably play Monfils.

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Ugliest trophy ever but it’s the title that matters

And the winner of that is likely to play Roger. I don’t really care if Thiem loses to Monfils. I just want him to improve on last year and climb into the top 30 possibly. It’s about steady progress and that is what the kid is doing. He is young and it doesn’t really matter how long it takes, as long as the progress is steady. With this title, he is also the first of the promising new youngsters to win a title. Coric for one got routined 6-4, 6-3 by Mayer, so for now Thiem is ahead. I think this kid has potential. He still stands far back on the return of serve and plays from pretty far behind he base line, but he makes up for that to some extent with power. I think he can tighten things up mentally too, but I think he is heading in the right direction. He has all the shots anyway. I am quite impressed with his volleys for a guy who seems like a baseline player with his big swings. He has a very decent serve too. I can’t find any serious flaws anyway. He has power and he has touch. And I think he is mentally solid which is always the most important. So I can see him go far but it is quite early days too and it’s hard to say yet just how good he can be. But either way I find his game exciting, especially that backhand, and he looks like a nice kid too.
  • Federer to Play Tomorrow
As you know by now probably Roger will be in action tomorrow second match on Chatrier against qualifier Falla. Roger has never lost to Fella in seven meetings, but their last three meetings have all been close, the most memorable one of which was that first round at Wimbledon in 2010 where I think Roger saved match points. Hopefully, they don’t have a similar match tomorrow because that would hardly help Roger’s chances to make the final.

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To go deep here, it’s of utmost importance that Roger doesn’t play a bunch of five setters early on. Even if he plays Monfils and it becomes a marathon like at the US Open last year it could really cost him against the likes of Stan, Berdych, or Nishikori. Despite a very forgiving draw, making the final is going to be tough going. I said he should make the final with this draw but having thought about it I’d settle for semi-finals. That would already be a big improvement from the last two years!
  • Highlights
The is in your court.
Posted in ATP 250, French Open, Grand Slams, Nice.

2 Comments

    1. Gosh, you are like a runaway train these days, Ru-an! I was about to comment on last post and you already got out your latest! But I ain’t complainin’! Roger playing now, a set and a break up, great start but I just wanna say congrats to your fav new star, Thiem. He seems such a nice and humble guy, great maturity and demeanor on court. Hopefully he continues to improve. His power is just crazy. When I’m watching him, I just feel he is so much about power that I’m wondering if he has the stamina over 5 sets to hit like that and standing so far behind baseline too! Wouldn’t he at some stage have to think about playing closer to the baseline?

      [Reply]

    1. Yeah, I think he has enough stamina Veronica, but it wouldn’t hurt to stand closer to the baseline. But not on clay where the bounce is inconsistent.
 

Thiem Wins Second ATP Title in Umag

Thiem Wins Second ATP Title in Umag

Hello, folks. First of all a very happy 90th birthday to a long time reader of mine Dolores! You are setting the bar high for the rest of us! Congrats! And another congrats is in order for Thiem who won his second career ATP title today in Umag when he defeated Sousa 6-4, 6-1 in a very confident performance. This comes after his first ATP title in Nice just before the French Open. It is also his second ATP Tour 250 level title and second title on clay. He didn’t have a great grass court season, winning only two matches in four tournaments, but he seems to be heading back up in the rankings now that he is back on his beloved clay. With this title, he climbs to #24 in the rankings and #22 in the race. Not bad at all for a 21-year old these days. I think this title is huge for him, especially with how easily he won the final. In the final of Nice, he went to a tie-break in the decider, although granted Mayer is better than Sousa.

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Who does this hairstyle remind you of as a youngster?

I didn’t watch the match, but from what I read it sounded like Thiem was a lot more confident and decisive, especially in the second set. His lack of decisiveness was something that bothered me about his game, but it looks like he is maturing and gaining in confidence. That is great to see. He also breadsticked Monfils in the decider in the semis. With this title it appears he has now mastered the ATP 250 level. At least on clay. The next step would be to win a hard court title or an ATP 500 on clay. But it is great to see him backing up his first title so quickly with a second one and after a slow start to the year he is making quick progress again. I don’t think it’s a big deal that he is getting his best results on one surface either. He has already had great results on hard court too and will develop as a player on other surfaces than clay as he matures. I don’t even think he is a bad grass court player. He just needs more tennis on it.

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The legend graced Umag with his presence

In the long run, he will probably be more like Stan though as far as favoring slower surfaces go. He has a very similar game to Stan with a great one-handed backhand, heavy groundstrokes, a big serve, and very competent volleys. As far as slams go he will favor Melbourne and Paris like Stan as well. He needs time to set up those big groundstrokes like Stan. He will be devastating off the ground when he ages some more and gets even stronger. He already hits it with a ton of power off the ground. But what I love about his game is that he also has the variation and touch. It’s hard to say at this point just how far he can go in the game, but I think he has loads of potential and I will keep following his progress eagerly. His progress has been fast and steady, bar a few hiccups and I will also be keeping a close eye on him during the hard court season. He already made the fourth round of the US Open last year.
  • Elsewhere this Week
There were, of course, two other events being played this week in Bogota and Bastad. Bastad was on clay as well and there Paire won his first title. Another talented French player but mentally fragile as the French are. Then in Bogota which was a hard court event another youngster Tomic(22) won his third ATP title 10 days after being arrested for partying too loudly in Miami. And you can add Tomic to the list of talented but mentally fragile.

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Third ATP title for Tomic!

Alexander Zverev(18) made the semis in Bastad as well so it’s been another good week for the youngsters.
  • Dimitrov Turns Over New Page
Now to someone who is a bit older but still relatively young at age 24. Dimitrov has already been top 10 but his results have been poor of late and he hasn’t lived up to the big hype surrounding him. As far as I was concerned he needed to ditch both his coach Rasheed and his girlfriend Sharapova, which is exactly what he did. Coincidence? I don’t think so. He has also been seen training with Lendl which can only be a good thing. If he does get Lendl on board that would be huge for him and exactly what he needs at this stage of his career. He needs someone strict to kick his ass into gear and teach him a winning mentality. For all his talent, he is mentally lazy and weak. His mind is not in the game, but it may be now after deciding to get rid of Sharapova and training with Lendl. I’m not saying he is the one who left Sharapova but I think it is likely and it is a good thing either way.

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It’s over

Here is what he said:
“Now I’m concentrated entirely on the game and I’m sure the results will soon be seen… This is the summer of the new beginning for me.” http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/07/24/tennis-sharapova-dimitrov-idUKL3N1043UB20150724
It is yet to be seen if Dimitrov will live by these words and changes his attitude to tennis but if he does then he could be a threat to anyone probably. Maybe he lacks a really big shot but his serve and forehand are pretty big and he is talented. I’m sure with a coach like Lendl he can possibly contend for slams. With Stan, Federer, Murray, Nadal, Nishikori, Raonic, Dimitrov, and the new group of youngsters coming up there are many good players, but the Djoker remains in a league of his own. The is in your court.
Posted in ATP 250, Bastad, Bogota, Umag.

76 Comments

    1. First of all, a grand happy birthday to Grandma Dolores. Ru-an, though I have not been commenting of late to your last few posts, be assured that I have been following them. I didn’t comment because, I feel, it will be more pragmatic for me to bite my own time to come to a conclusion than to comment on something which is yet to come. In my opinion (again, it is just my opinion), quite a few of the observations made by the contributors here are a tad immature and (should I say) a bit disrespectful also. There is always a fanatic inside a fan or a membrane of fanaticism wrapped over every fan. Depending upon what amount is showing up in a particular situation, somebody may label a person as a fanatic or a fan which again depends upon the perspective of the person labeling the others as a fan/fanatic. We have seen almost the whole Federer saga while for others we cannot say whether it is still a long way to go or going to come to an abrupt end! Tennis, for that matter every sports is a funny game. As somebody has pointed out, arguably the GOAT himself has only 2 grandslams to show up against his name after turning 28, and except for Cilic (and Del Potro who is off the road), all current grand slam holders are 28+. And we are still extrapolating the numbers!

      [Reply]

      Dolores Reply: HI Jiten, Thank You for your Happy Birthday good wishes to my 90th year which Ru-an has so kindly honored in his blog. Much appreciated by your tennis fan Grandma Dolores.

      [Reply]

    1. I think Thiem is at the pefect age. He can take his time to mature but in 5 years time he will be 27 bang in his prime and there will be no Federer, Nadal, Djokovic or Murray not to mention all the other guys who are second fiddle to them right now like Stan, Berdych and Tsonga. But he will still contend with the Cilic/Nishikori/Dimitrob/Raonic/Del Potro generation of players and its going to be really interesting to see whether that generation ever does anything or the Coric/Zverev/Thiem/Krygios/Kokkinakis/Tomic just takes over immediately after the present generation finishes its domination. I would also like Ruan to keep Djokovic’s age in mind. Federer, Nadal and Sampras won a grand total of 4 grand slams after turning 28 (not counting the French Open Nadal won last year immediately after turning 28). Come to think about it, I don’t think Djokovic will do much after 2016. So for the next year and a half even though he will be expected to win everything, there will be a lot of pressure seeing what the guys before him have done. I know you will say he stretches well but that will only take him so far. Federer not only declined physically after turning 28 but also mentally he didn’t have that confidence anymore. In his first 11 slam finals, Federer was 10-1 and in the next 15 he was 7-8. Djokovic already is not the most confident guy in a final and as he ages I only expect that to get worse. So although your statement that he is in a class of his own right now is true, I am gonna enjoy seeing how long it lasts. Because I know he badly wants to eclipse at Nadal in the slam count and Nadal himself will badly want to add next year’s French so I think 2016 could actually the culmination of the big 4 era and it will be a huge year with the Olympics as well !!

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: ‘I know you will say he stretches well but that will only take him so far’. Didn’t know you were a mind reader now Ajay. I was actually not gonna say that. I haven’t made any predictions about Djokovic’s slam winning potential. In fact, I said it’s better to stay in the moment and enjoy what is happening. It seems you are way more concerned about the number of slams Djokovic can win than I am.

      [Reply]

      Ajay Reply: Well yes I am. No doubt about it. I am very curious to see if he can succeed where all three of Sampras, Nadal and Federer have failed. I know how good Djokovic is and I will always be a big fan of the pre 2012 Djokovic. When most of you always thought of him as the third guy for me he was always the second guy. The guy who I really wanted to win outside of Federer. But he is not that attacking, fearless guy anymore and so I am not a fan. But still curious to see what happens.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: Yes, Federer, Nadal, and Sampras are the three biggest failures in tennis history. I’m sure surpassing them will be no problem at all. And yes the pre-2012 Djoker was much better than the current Djoker, especially pre 2011. He is now way more defensive with his weakened serve, volleys, and groundstrokes and he is now mentally weak, winning 0 of his last 4 slam finals. I hate this Djoker. Not a fan at all. Wish he would go back to the pre-2011 version.

      [Reply]

      Ajay Reply: I never told they were the three biggest failures. But I am still gonna be curious because while I know he can do it, I also know how incredibly difficult it is. And no I am pretty sure you didn’t follow Djokovic well enough to know him. Just look at this video to know how aggressive he once was. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yu5AU1er_Do And you can be a fan of whoever of who you wish and I will be a fan of who I wish its a free world isn’t it ? :-) PS: If you think you followed Djokovic very well before you need to look at your own almost hateful remarks about him in your old posts. You had absolutely blasted him before. I am not saying this to hurt but to let you know that you may know the new Djokovic very well but I know the old one and if you think the new one is more aggressive well….. Both you and me know what being aggressive really means and lets now try to say this Djokovic having better volleys means he is more aggressive. And btw it is not pre 2011 it is pre 2012. The 2011 Djokovic was so aggressive and yet so quick with his feat, he was crazy and that why he was unbeatable

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      Ru-an Reply: The old Djokovic was rubbish just like the one in that video and I was justified in criticizing him, although you are probably exaggerating about that. He is definitely more offensive now and an altogether different and better player. Anyone who says otherwise is a moron.

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      Ajay Reply: Of course now you just went ahead and called me a moron. Good for you.

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      Ru-an Reply: If you don’t think he is a better player now than pre-2011 then yes I’m afraid you are a moron. If you don’t think that his serve, volleys, and fh has improved recently I have to question your intelligence as well.

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      Jiten Reply: That’s some straight talking. Loving it. :-P

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      Ru-an Reply: He has a way of drawing it out of me :-??

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      Ajay Reply: Well glad you guys can have a laugh at my intelligence. Sadly you guys don’t know what intelligence is and so I think I can laugh at you as well.

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      Ajay Reply: Just to make sure you guys know what I meant exactly I told Djokovic was a more aggressive player than he is now. Not ‘better”. I would say he is around 1.5 times as good as the old Djokovic on an average, His volleys and serve as improved amazingly but his aggressiveness from the ground has decreased. You just need to see US Open matches in the past 3 years to know what I mean. And see the Toronto match link (see sets 2 and 3 not 1) to see how aggressive he was before. Jiten can love whatever he wants to but since I never meant “Djokovic pre-2011 is better than the present Djokovic” I think both of you got it wrong here.

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      Eric Reply: Haha :-) And HAPPY BDAY DELORES!!!!

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      Ru-an Reply: ;-)

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      Dolores Reply: THANK YOU, Eric! Kindly, Dolroes

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      Matt Reply: Ajay, I addressed that flawed age analysis on my blog a week or so ago. That’s not reading the game very well, imho. Djokovic at 28 quite different from Nadal at 28, or Roger. Roger woke-up at 28 and saw two other greats he had to deal with. Nadal is “old.” You say Djokovic won’t do much after 2016. This is entirely possible, but this will most likely have to be of his own doing. Who will challenge Djokovic in the next 6-7 slams? Certainly there are guys like Stan, Cilic (have you seen him lately; tell him I said Hi), Nishikori, Tsonga, Raonic. . ., but the time is very ripe for the Serb. He could continue to stumble in finals, so we’ll have to wait and see.

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      Ru-an Reply: I’m glad you addressed that Matt. I don’t have the time to deal with everything I don’t agree with from every comment. IMO it’s silly to say Djokovic won’t do much after 2016, just as it was silly to say he will win the calendar slam this year. It’s better just to live in the moment and enjoy it. But I do agree with you that Djokovic can win slams past 2016 and that every player is different. Maybe Djokovic is only now hitting his peak after that 2011 blitz and then lapse? It is entirely possible and he could dominate tennis for the next 5 years. Or he could be done winning slams. Saying he can’t do much past 2016 is just silly. No one knows that, so it just sounds like bias.

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      Ajay Reply: I think we are all going to be seeing who is silly in the next 2 years right. Don’t worry I am still gonna read your blog but no more commenting from me (I am sure you are happy). You questioned my intelligence which is something you just don’t do. Completely abandoning the fact that I am going to sound cokcy/arrogant I want you to know I am not only intelligent, I am in fact one of the most intelligent guys in my country. Yeah that’s right among a billion damn people. I have represented India in both the Olympics of Maths and Computer Science and have numerous other laurels that will prove it, if you really care about how intelligent I really am. I don’t talk shit unless its logical. That’s something I was born with. And like I said it is adios from me as far as commenting is concerned. I have always admired Ruan both as a person and as a writer and thankfully since I am not going to make him angry again he can go back to being the good old Ruan.

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      Ru-an Reply: The problem is you get emotional and defensive very quickly. Take for instance this statement: ‘I think we are all going to be seeing who is silly in the next 2 years right.’ I never said you were going to look silly because you will be wrong. Whether you are going to be right or wrong has nothing to do with it. My point was whatever you predict is silly, whether it is that Djokovic will win nothing or everything because we just don’t know. Understand now? Your statement suggests that I will look silly but how can I when I didn’t predict anything? If you are as intelligent as you say you are you should easily be able to understand that.

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      Ajay Reply: Look let us part on good terms. Like I said I have always considered you to be a good guy and a good writer. I know what you think of me, but as a man of principle myself I have read what you (and Jiten, I have no idea why he needed to get into it) told and I have also seen your replies to me in previous posts. I don’t think you consider losing me as a commenter to be a big deal and I know I can still read what you and the others think without actually commenting. So all in all I wish you the best and hopefully this blog stays strong over the coming months and years :-)

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      Ru-an Reply: Ok, first of all, I never actually called you a moron. Go read what I said again and you will realize it. Maybe you misunderstood. Whatever the case may be I think you are a good commenter and know a fair amount about tennis, but you are too sensitive. If I don’t agree with you I will say it straight up. There have often been heated debates on my blog and that’s just part of the appeal of it. Some people don’t like it and stop commenting or reading my blog. But I don’t want to be a bad guy or bully people either. If that’s what you experienced then I’m sorry. I certainly don’t think you are a bad guy. I just think you are over sensitive and that if you can’t deal with a heated debate it may be better if you don’t comment. Matt also disagreed with you so I am certainly not the only one. As for Jiten, I can’t answer for him. But I don’t have a personal vendetta against you and neither does Matt. We are just disagreeing with you. That is all. And we will continue to disagree with you if we think it’s necessary. So it’s really up to you if you want to continue commentating or not. I like getting comments, but I don’t always want to have a conflict with people either which seems to be the case with you and me. I appreciate the blog support anyway and saying that I am a good guy and good writer.

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      Ajay Reply: Thanks for your kind words. As you said things have been getting too heated lately between us. So lets just let it cool off. I will still maybe commentate on and off for now. Like you say I am sensitive and its tough for me to have a tough skin in general. Maybe I will grow one in the future but for now with so much stuff going on in my life I think it is better if I don’t to worry about things like growing a tough skin and getting into heated debates. I am an honest guy but I only make remarks that I have analysed deeply. When things are going Federer’s way or things seem to be going against him like now, I still am the same person and I still hope for the best for him while at the same time anyone who defeats him fair and square I congratulate them. But one thing I would say is just like you want me to not take things seriously I would suggest you actually check if Djokovic is more aggressive now. All I am asking is to take maybe 1 hr of your time whenever you are free and actually see the old Djokovic. I would be the first person to say that the old Djokovic, overall, is nothing compared to the new one. But just try to see how aggressive he was from the ground before. Of course if you feel I am surely wrong I can’t do much to convince you. About the other things, I have already told numerous times that winning 9 grand slam is an awful lot. I already consider him to have a better body of work than Nadal. I also don’t think he dopes or does other shady things like him. Overall he is right up there in the GOAT conversation. I only told I am curious to see if he can do something which Federer failed badly to do which is to win many slam after turning 28. I know what Matt told but I don’t think you get what I am saying. I am not saying Federer didn’t have his reasons for not winning. I also agree that Djokovic doesn’t face the same competition Federer faced. All I am saying is it will still be nice to see what Djokovic does from now, because just like how Federer winning a slam now at 34 will be remarkable whether the field is very strong or not, it will be pretty remarkable if Djokovic does win 5-6 grand slams from now. The remarkable nature of the achievement would not be one where he fights the odds of beating tough players, but rather one of fighting history and showing us that things Federer couldn’t do (even though there were good reasons he couldn’t) he can.

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      Ajay Reply: And yes I did take the moron comment pretty badly but I think I have my reasons for doing so. First of all I am an almost ancient visitor to this blog. I remember reading this blog during 2010 and 2011 and you know very well that I don’t randomly say stuff. Also I have myself gone and scolded guys who put crap in this blog and for you to question whether I am even intelligent, don’t you think if you were in my place you would have taken it badly ?

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      Ru-an Reply: I didn’t have time to read your other comment yet, but thanks for the blog loyalty and I appreciate the fact that you are a long time blog follower. I actually don’t like to lose blog followers although that will happen if you speak your mind and don’t really care what people think about it. For the record, I don’t think you are unintelligent. My points were that Djo is now better than pre-2011 and his serve, net game, and fh(which are all attacking shots) has improved, and I am not willing to negotiate those points. I think you just misunderstood what I meant. Anyway yeah, maybe it’s better if you just comment less for a while. I wouldn’t want you to just stop commenting altogether. You still bring good insights. Just comment less as long as you feel things get too heated for you.

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      Jiten Reply: All right, Since my name has been broached up, let me clarify my stand. As Ru-an has pointed out, there has been several heated debate in this blog over the years and it is obviously one of the reasons that readers are drawn into it (of course, apart from Ru-an’s excellent analysis). I actually enjoyed this particular exchange between Ajay and Ru-an a lot. IMHO, I found some of the comments by Ajay very amateurish and immature, because it came from person who claim himself to be a sincere student of the history of tennis and in the past, he has written quite a few thoughtful comments which I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated. One does not need to claim oneself to be intelligent, it will show up itself by one’s own acts. And Ajay, you really become sentimental sometimes unnecessarily. Hopefully after five or six years, if you go through your comments again, you will laugh at yourself. And please, don’t take anything personally. You are intelligent, but sometimes your comments written at the heat of the moment, make people to think otherwise.

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      Ru-an Reply: Good comment Jiten. Being a longtime follower of my blog you have a good idea of what goes on here! I agree with everything you said.

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      Jiten Reply: Thanks Ru-an. I really appreciate your stand. By the way, are you going to cover the Hamburg tournament? Yesterday I was keenly watching the match between Robredo and the new kid in the block Zverev. It was really interesting see experience winning over brute force. No doubt this kid has some talent; but he still needs a lot of polishing of his game. I also watched the match between mental midget Verdasco and our very own Dull :)) :)) (we love following him, don’t we, to watch him decline?), where the former meekly surrendered by playing some horrible tennis in the second and third set. In my opinion, if Dull is to make some sort of revival, his survival in this tournament till the end is crucial. If this is to happen, do you think that the confidence gained on his favorite surface would be enough to propel him through the long hard court season ahead?

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      Ru-an Reply: I appreciate your stand and the stand of many of my readers too Jiten. I am in a race against time this week because I have to hand in 6 assignments by the end of the week so I don’t have much time for blogging. But I will see what I can do. At least I will make a post when the week is over. I agree that Hamburg is important for Nadull. At least he beat Verdasco for a change =)) He is doing what Roger did in 2013 by playing Hamburg. I’m sure if he wins it will boost his confidence, but that is easier said than done. He’s confidence is still low. And even if he wins it that doesn’t mean he will win anything significant in the HC season. There will still be plenty of players who can beat him on hard :-bd

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      Jiten Reply: Just curious, what are the courses you are taking this semester? Any Math course? I could have helped! :-P

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      Ru-an Reply: Haha no. I’m taking Information Systems, Visual Programming, and Sustainability and Greed. Wish I had some help with Visual Programming tbh, especially since four assignments was due already by the end of registration. But that’s South Africa for you. Doesn’t make much sense.

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      Jiten Reply: Sustainability and Greed. Quite an interesting subject. If I were your course instructor, I would have given you an assignment of writing an essay on “Sustainability of Federer blend of tennis in the face of onslaught by greedy Fedfans for the elusive 18th.” 8-> :-)

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      Ru-an Reply: Haha yes, that could have been an interesting topic. The greed of Fedfans is not sustainable that’s for sure :))

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    1. Happy birthday Dolores, I always enjoy reading your comments. The way you talk reminds my of my own grandmother who is always so sweet to me :-)

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      Dolores Reply: Hi Ajay, Am ever so delighted to read your Happy Birthday wishes to my 90th….very much appreciate being reminded of your grandmother who is always so sweet to you. That is what grandmas are for, give love to our grandchildren. Thank You, Ajay, Kindly, Dolores

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      Ajay Reply: It is lovely to hear that you delighted. Sadly I am not going to be commenting here anymore. But I really hope you take care of your health and hopefully we can have another conversation when you turn 100 :-) PS: Hopefully Roger is still playing as well !!

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      Dolores Reply: I shall miss you, Ajay…..know we both will be supporting and cheering on our favorite tennis player, Roger! Blessing to you, Ajay. Kindly, Dolores

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    1. Hi Ru-an, Greetings to you! First of all, many thanks for remembering my 90th birthday, honoring it on your blog. Thank You for both. Yes, to answer your question and Katyani’s in your previous post, my ID is legit…..you just have to believe me…ha-ha-ha. Katyani, I will reply to you on your comment on previous blog Had a beautiful day celebrating with family and friends. Before I go on, do want to answer your question you had, Ru-an, on the photo of the young tennis player on your blog…is it by any chance Roger in his younger days? I have refrained from commenting on your previous blog as I did not care to get involved in your Fedfanatic subject. I consider myself a loyal, solid Fedfan, period, it does not mean that I do not like other tennis players, Djoko, included recognizing his fame, being #1 in the world, etc. I have and will be coming to your blog as I have for many years. Again, my appreciation with many thanks for your kindness. Btw., was delighted that Thiem has won a title, am looking forward for younger tennis players to make a place in future in tennis. Thiem, being Austrian, reminded me of Thomas Muster, the popular clay tennis player in years past. Kindly, Dolores

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      Ru-an Reply: Hello, Dolores. You are welcome. Turning 90 is a big deal so of course I would mention it here. You are right about the photo. It is Roger I was referring to. You are the only won who mentioned it and you are right. Here it is That’s great that you can appreciate other players and will continue to follow my blog. I believe that you are a loyal, solid Fedfan too. Yes, Thiem have the similarities with Muster that he is Austrian and a good clay courter. I was a big Muster fan.

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    1. Just wondering when you guys think Djokovic will start his decline? Personally I think he will start to drop off a little next year (he will be turning 29 in May) and that will allow either Murray or Federer a chance at no.1 mid-way through the year (probably after Wimbledon) then I think Novak will take it back for another 6 months to a year (into early-mid 2017), and that will be his last time at no.1 before the young guys take it. That’s just my guess based on his current level of play and assuming a career arc similar to that of Federer, i.e. stay at no.1 most of the time up to about age 28-29, then lose it before briefly regaining it (as Federer did from mid-2009 to mid-2010), then the real decline starts. That brings me to another stupid thing you read on forums from Fedfans, the idea that Federer’s peak was 2004-2007 and his prime was 2003-2009, and effectively discrediting everyone’s wins before and after his peak/prime. I would argue for a peak of 2003-2009 and a prime of 2003-2012 at the very least. It’s absolutely ridiculous to say that it only counts during those four years. And then those same Federer fans start insulting Nadal and his fans over his recent losses, calling for his retirement, when he is obviously no longer at his peak. Really hypocritical, and the same is true of the extreme fans of other fan bases, not just tennis but in all areas. One rule for your favourite team/player/celebrity, one rule for everyone else’s. ~x(

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      Ru-an Reply: Neither Federer nor Murray will see the #1 ranking again(not that Murray ever has). Djokovic should keep it for the next three years probably. Who else will get it? Djokovic is currently having his second best year on tour and it may soon become his best year, so I don’t see why he would decline anytime soon. As for Federer’s losses past peak/prime they all count. He is 3-8 vs Djokodal in slam finals and 14-1 vs the rest. That tells a story of its own. Of course dull got 5 of his wins on clay but he has also beaten Federer in the Wimby and AO final and beaten him two other times at the AO. Then Djokovic defeated him in two Wimby finals where he played well and it’s his best surface. That’s because Djokodal are better competitors than him and doesn’t fear him like the rest.

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      Charlie Reply: I agree with everything you said apart from the first paragraph. The analogy I am using here is Federer’s 2009-2010 where by 2010 AO he had won 3 of the last 5 slams and lost in the finals of the other two in close matches. Then he doesn’t win another major until 2012 WB. You are right though that Djokovic does not look like declining at the moment, but I think that three years is a huge stretch of time to not get injured at all. And even if he doesn’t, he might start to get upset more often by younger players like Dimitrov, Kyrgios and Thiem which might prove enough to knock him off the no.1 ranking briefly. After the big four, I think the next no.1 will probably be one of those three, but more likely Thiem or Kyrgios. My main reason for this would be this article: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/happy-birthday-nadal-youre-probably-too-old-to-pass-federer/ Which details open era championships by player age. I can adapt the maths from there for Djokovic: According to the article the average champion wins 0.65 slams after age 28, and up to and including age 28 Djokovic has 10 GS (assuming he wins 1 more before next May, which seems likely). The average champion that age had won 2.43, so 10/2.43 = gives 4.12 as his ratio compared to the average. 0.65 * 4.12 gives 2.68, which is the number of GS Djokovic would be expected to win. Obviously since you can’t win fractional slams the most likely outcome is either 2 or 3 slams (in addition to the 10th slam I assumed he would win). Even if we assume Novak defies the odds a little (due to having no obvious successor at this point in time), given those numbers I would be reluctant to give him more than another 3-4 slams after that 10th slam I assumed he would win, so I predict that Novak will finish on 13-14 slams.

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      Ru-an Reply: Yeah, predictions don’t matter much. Djo could win no more slams or double his slam count. No one knows. I don’t think your stats mean much either. The age of peak tennis has gone up a lot in the last few years and Djokovic never gets injured. There is also no one in sight right now who can succeed him as the #1. His attacking game has improved which will serve him well as he ages as well. He is constantly improving himself and raising the bar. That is a recipe for longevity at the top. No one knows.

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      Ru-an Reply: Another thing that is worth adding here is that I’m not even sure Djokovic has peaked yet. He had that 2011 season and then dropped off. Now he is having a similar season as 2011? Maybe he has learned some important lessons and this time he will not drop off as much again? Maybe his real dominance still lies ahead. Remember he is a late bloomer with a prime that started in 2011. That’s why I say he could probably do this for three more years.

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      Charlie Reply: Yes there is always a chance he could defy the odds like (in order in the open era): Rosewall, Connors, Agassi or Federer, but they are just four out of over 50 open era champions to have been very successful late in their career. If I missed any significant ones I apologise, but you get the point. So I could well be wrong, but the odds say I am likely to be right. Perhaps your unique tennis insights will once again triumph over statistics though, as they have many times before, so given it is you we are talking about I would not be surprised if I turned out to be wrong. :-)

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      Ru-an Reply: You are right. According to your stats, he should win 2-3 slams more after he turns 29. But he could win the USO, AO, and FO additionally by the time he turns 29. Or not. Or he could enter his peak now after starting his prime in 2011. The age for prime in tennis has gone up lately and there is no one on the horizon to really challenge Djo at this point. Unless Stan starts his own peak now. The stats are important, but they are not everything. There are others factors at play. What I would like to see now is for Djokovic to keep his current level up for the next three years and break all the records, including Federer’s slam record. That is unlikely, but I want to see him do something inspirational. Those slam losses to Murray and Nadal from 2012-2013 hurt, but it could be that it made him stronger and better. I mean it is probably wishful thinking but look how he came back from those losses to dominate 2015. His game and his mind have improved. Maybe he needed those setbacks to become what he is now and maybe he can keep this up now. It’s going to be exciting to find out anyway.

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      Charlie Reply: I think next year will determine which way it will go. If he can win 2 or more slams next year he has a chance of becoming a potential GOAT candidate by the end of his career. But with every passing year it gets harder so two or three slams next year is almost a must to even have a chance, even if we assume he wins the USO this year. He would then probably need another two or three in 2017 followed by 2-3 slams once he is past 30. He has a mountain to climb, but as you say unless someone steps up to stop him he may just do it. The key thing is how well he deals with being hunted over the next few years. I remember reading an autobiography (think it was Pete’s) and he talked about the pressure of having that target on your back for years on end. You have no one to try and surpass in the rankings as you are already no.1, and everyone else is motivated to knock you off that spot. That’s why the YE no.1 records and consecutive weeks records of Sampras and Federer respectively are so impressive. To be honest as much as I like Djokovic, I do think that him holding ALL the major records would not be good for the game though, just as if Federer had been unimpeded by Nadal and could have won multiple CYGS and 25+ slams. The issue with that is it renders all discussion worthless as there is no way you can make an argument for anyone else to be GOAT. So therefore I hope Djokovic develops a rivalry with someone at least 2-3 years younger who he can have some epic matches with at the slams over the next few years. But yeah the young generation is non-existent at the moment, if you think about where the Big Four were at their age. Both Federer, Nadal and Djokovic were slam champions and Murray was a finalist at the same age or only a year or two older than Kyrgios. I just hope we see some new names on the tour soon, it’s ridiculous to still be talking about the same rivalries between the Big Four (or Big Three as it is right now, sans Nadal), 12 years after Federer won his first slam and 10 years after Nadal’s first.

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      Ru-an Reply: It’s not like Djokovic will win 25+ slams is it? It will be a big enough miracle if he somehow wins the most slams. Why would you be worried about that?

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      Charlie Reply: “What I would like to see now is for Djokovic to keep his current level up for the next three years and break all the records” That’s what you said in your comment above, and that’s what I would be bothered about. If he breaks some of the major records and becomes a legitimate GOAT contender or even a clear GOAT I honestly wouldn’t be bothered, it’s just that if he holds EVERY major record there is no room for discussion, he would be unquestionably the GOAT without any chance for debate. It’s not even a personal thing about not wanting Novak to be GOAT, it’s just not wanting anyone to be GOAT by a huge margin.

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      Ru-an Reply: Yeah as in every record he needs to break to be GOAT. By that, I didn’t mean he must break so many that no one will be able to ever catch up with him! 25 slams is ridiculous. There is no way he reaches that anyway.

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      Matt Reply: The premise of that article is ridiculous. The statistical argument here doesn’t pass simple tennis intelligence. Rafa has a ~16% chance of finishing with 17 . . . LOL. Has the mathematician ever watched a tennis match? Nadal has ~10 more years of his major window? LOL. Nadal at 28 and Djokovic at 28 is apple and oranges. The Spaniard is done. You heard it here first.

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      Ru-an Reply: I didn’t bother to read the article, so again thanks for dealing with that Matt. I didn’t have time and just took Charlie’s word for it. If it said Nadal has 10 more years of his major window then it’s garbage. Hilarious statement.

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      Matt Reply: “During the Open era, winners have ranged from age 17 to 37. Hence, based on the age curve, Nadal has 10 years left at championship contention level. With four tourneys per year, he’s got 40 remaining opportunities to win.” Sounds about right. Ha!

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      Ru-an Reply: Lol. I guess if he dopes hard it’s not impossible, but that statement brings the whole article into doubt. There are surely stats for this kind of thing but after what you said I don’t know if it’s trustworthy. Maybe I will read it myself later. What is your view anyway?

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      matt Reply: My view of Nadal? I think we’ve touched on that. We agree. The eye-test we all have access to says he’s finito. I suspect his body is fighting back quite a bit ala the well-known description of Agassi in his autobiography. We’ll all need to discuss Nadal more as 2016 begins and he casts his eyes toward that 10th RG trophy. I suspect that is his swan song. Of course, this should not happen under normal circumstances (he’s breaking down before our eyes). I thought he was done in 2012 or so, but he came back with a vengeance in 2013. That was a huge run or high, whatever he was on. But he looks awful, really. That article, btw, was written in spring of ’14, so again, way off the mark.

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      Bjorn Eirik Reply: Well, he just won in Hamburg, so maybe he’s finding some form again. I actually hope so, because I want to see a more competetive field. I’ll regret saying that if he gets another slam :(( , but that seems very unlikely now. He’s probably done as a top dog. Will be interesting to see how he performs in the hard court season soon. Just watched some of the highlights of the Hamburg final and he didn’t look very convincing despite winning. But a title is still a title. Also noticed that Nadal and Fognini had quiet a hefty verbal exchange during a changeover. Fognini was pissed off about something, not sure what it was about.

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      Ru-an Reply: I actually agree that Nadal winning Hamburg isn’t bad. It makes things more interesting for sure, but I still think it’s unlikely he will win anything in North-America. I just hope he runs into the anti-Nadull again.

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      Ru-an Reply: No, I meant Djokovic!

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      Matt Reply: You know my view on the Djoker! We focus on HC/USO and then re-group. 😎

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      Ru-an Reply: I meant in terms of the stats as far as past results go, when applied to Djokovic.

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      Matt Reply: I responded to that other article that made the same argument: 28 is too late to win many more majors. Agree 28 isn’t “young” but each player is a different case. Rafa, roger and Novak are all very different, especially at 28. My god. So different. To accommodate both views, I would just say that he has 2 really a solid years ahead – that’s 9 majors including ’15 USO. I like his chances to win 4-5. I think he’s a bit of an outlier if you look at the context of his rise to #1.

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      Ru-an Reply: Yeah Djoker’s peak started only about 4 years ago so surely he has some gas left in the tank. Fedal’s peaks started back in 2003/4.

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      Charlie Reply: I think the premise of the article there was purely theoretical, obviously Nadal is not a main contender at 37, but going on past evidence it is theoretically possible. There is no way I believe it, and the guy who wrote the article was just quoting stats as to the oldest GS winner in the open era, Rosewall. Oh and the 16% chance of Nadal surpassing Federer was based on his results around the time of the 2014 FO. Obviously he had won 2 slams in the last 2 years at that point so the figures quoted in the article make sense. However now it does sound ridiculous.

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      Jiten Reply: Is Duckworth-Lewis coming to tennis as well? You know how South Africa was robbed off a finalist spot in 1992 Cricket World Cup because of this stupid rule. Sometimes Mathematicians-Statisticians could be the most impractical persons in the world! ~x(

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      Ru-an Reply: Yeah SA has had some bad luck in WCs but they are chokers too. D-L is a joke.

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    1. Am delighted to receive your honoring my 90th birthday with your good wishes, Steve. Thank You so much. Am looking forward to see Roger in action this upcoming month of August. Know you and I along with many of our Fedfans will be anxious, too. Always enjoy your comments you make on Ru-an’s blog, Steve. Kindly, Dolores

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    1. Ru-an, am excited to see Thiem in the Gstaad’s Final tomorrow, bet you are, too. Will he be able to defeat Goffin and win his 3rd title? We shall find out tomorrow. I will say, Good Luck, Dominic! Best, Dolores

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: Me too Dolores! I think he has a good shot given his recent run of form. It would be very special if he can win a third title in such a short span of time. And next week he is back home in Austria also on clay. I can see him being top 20 by the end of that which would be superb :-)

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      Dolores Reply: Double good luck for Dominic, Ru-an. Appreciate your analysis, let’s keep fingers crossed.

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      Dolores Reply: Ru-an, he did it, Thiem won! Congratulations to the young man from Austria. Am very pleased….did you see the match? Hope I can watch it on replay. Looking forward to your analysis, Ru-an. Best, Dolores

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      Ru-an Reply: Yes, he did! Very promising sign and now Kitzbuhel. Can he win his home tourney as well or will he be tired?
 

Trouble in Women’s Tennis(Guest Post)

Trouble in Women’s Tennis(Guest Post)

 

Hello, folks. One of my newest readers, Matt, contacted me about an article which I thought was a great read. So I offered him to use it as a guest post on my blog. I wasn’t planning on a post today and wanted us to keep discussing the upcoming Wimbledon men’s semi-finals, but I thought the timing and relevance of this article was such that I could post it here now. And besides we can still discuss the men’s semis on my last post. This article is about something that bothers me too, and Matt is a much better writer than me =D> Let us know what you think!

I enjoy watching tennis; my mom and grandfather brought me up in the game. I have enjoyed playing the sport and really enjoy watching the best in the game perform. The sport, especially singles, pits athletes mano-a-mano where specific skills are needed to overcome an opponent. We see great feats of power and finesse, supreme strategy and jaw-dropping otherworldly championship clutch. The game has an inherent complexity at the highest level of performance and history often elevates a tournament’s and match’s drama and meaning. I would argue to really enjoy the game (like almost anything else in life), one needs context. To understand the present, one needs to know about the past. This context (awareness) also enables one to predict the future. Somewhat.

Obviously, Wimbledon is underway, nearing its dramatic conclusions. The women’s semi-finals are going on now. In one semi-final is a match-up between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. These two are pretty much the best in the women’s game today and Serena owns this non-rivalry. Serena owns everyone right now. In fact, she is up a set and up a break in the second set (as I write this). If she wins this championship, she will have completed her second “Serena slam” (in possession of all four majors) and if she also wins the U.S. Open in September, she will have completed the calendar Grand Slam, where a player wins all four majors in the same calendar year (Serena did not win all four majors last year but she did win the U.S. Open; a win here at Wimbledon this week will mean she is in possession of the 2014 Open and the other three consecutive majors of 2015). Either way, she’s on top of the game right now.

Part of the enjoyment of watching tennis is listening to the commentators (other than the buffoon Chris Fowler of ESPN – he’s their big college football honk, but as the behemoth network gobbles-up more sporting events, naturally they put their staff to work on these events even if they’re clueless about the game. Fowler is clueless. I mean, CLUELESS. But I digress). Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, is waxing on Serena’s historical tennis greatness. She is being called the greatest women’s player of all time by a lot of these talking heads. Completing a calendar Grand Slam is very difficult. Obviously. Only three women have ever completed a Grand Slam: American Maureen Connolly (1953), Australian Margaret Court (1970), and the German Steffi Graf (1988). That’s pretty elite company. Most of us tennis fans today are, of course, more familiar with Graf’s accomplishments. She went on to win 22 majors and has been considered by most, probably, GOAT. A pretty telling stat of her claim at GOAT, aside from her work in the majors: she was world #1 for a record 186 consecutive weeks, and a record total 377 weeks overall. That, my friends, is consistent dominance.

As I said, the tennis world is drooling all over Serena, who, by the way, is no where near the class act that is her sister Venus. Frankly, Serena is a jerk. Her temper and lack of class precedes her. She has humiliated (racially) line judges, boycotted tournaments over petty matters. In other words, we have a kind of Barry Bonds of women’s tennis here.

Well, I’m going to make another suggestion that echoes the life and times of Barry Bonds. What REALLY bugs me is that no one is asking a very sensible question. How is Serena Williams on the verge of winning a Grand Slam at the age of 34? Is the WTA field that shitty? Is she playing in a very down market right now, an historical low-point of women’s tennis? Because at 34, this kind of dominance does not generally work. Graf won her Grand Slam at the age of. . . wait for it. . . 19. Connolly was about the same age, and Court was in her twenties. But Graf is probably a better comparison. Winning all four majors is a huge athletic achievement. If you look at the career arc of other tennis greats (just to keep things close to home here, but you could look at the natural athletic life-span of most athletes in most sports), the “greatness” of this kind (dominating every tournament, the majors, etc.) wanes as one reaches her 30s. Even Martina Navratilova, whom some accuse of taking PED, won her final major at the age of 31. Just go look at the life-span of these athletes. It’s not very difficult to see that Serena Williams is a massive outlier. She’s playing this kind of tennis at the age of 34. 34! And she’s untouchable.

If you had a graph (damn, that would be illustrative) to compare these players’ career arcs, you would see a problem with Serena Williams. We all sat around watching Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and then Barry Bonds do things with the home run in baseball that defied common sense, logic and history. That’s because those guys were juiced out of their minds on PED. One’s athletic career doesn’t work that way; the body starts to concede to time and all of the hard work one has already put-in through out his or her career.

At 34, Serena Williams should not be playing this kind of tennis. At least ask the questions, you idiots! The headline, as I write this line, on the obnoxious ESPN website reads “Serena Crushes Maria to Reach Wimbledon Final.” Really? The public made the same naive play on other drugged-up athletes in the moment, only afterwards feeling somehow shocked at the truth.

There are other factors that contribute to this argument that Serena Williams is not clean. Her inability to stay at the top of the game (world #1) consistently throughout her career speaks to this skepticism. She has battled injury often (like a Nadal), dominating at times and disappearing for stretches. The true greats (Roger and Steffi) maintain a consistent dominance, defend titles, create strangleholds on their respective fields IN THEIR PRIMES. Roger is 33. And sure enough he is struggling to win majors at this point. Why? Because winning five set wars with other (younger) great athletes is very difficult. Again, not to be too controversial here, but when you age, you begin to fade. Roger is fading. All athletes fade in their 30s. Except certain kinds.

Lastly, even Serena’s style gives me pause. She sits at the baseline and literally HAMMERS her opponents with ground strokes that transcend the women’s game. I watched her play Azarenka, a big hitter. Serena toyed with her. Sure she lost the first set, but the match was never in doubt. And watching her sit there and out hit another opponent was head scratching and uninspiring. It’s all power. The tennis is not beautiful. I can hear people say Yeah, but she’s had more three set battles in this run than easy, dominating wins. How many times has she come back after losing the first set? Watch the matches. It’s never in doubt. I haven’t even brought-up her odd-ball antics on the court that paint her as weird drama queen. Read between the lines, people. At least ask the questions. 34 years-old. In a global sports culture riddled and jeopardized by the preponderance of PED use and abuse. Is she simply the great outlier of women’s tennis, of all time? Explain to me how she is so dominate right now and even more, why no one is asking these questions.

https://mcshowblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/09/trouble-in-womens-tennis/

Ps. Don’t forget to predict for the upcoming semis. It’s you last chance for double points and to make a big move in the rankings!

The is in your court.

Posted in Guest Posts.

42 Comments

    1. You know, I take real offense to this post. To accuse Serena of using PED’s just because of her unexplainable physical dominance is discriminatory and sexist, based on nothing but conjecture and hate. I challenge the writer to dig deeper and consider the true reason for Serena’s prowess, a reason which I have stated on this blog several times over the past years. Here it is again. Serena is A MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Forget PED testing, just pull down her pants and behold. Bwahahahahahahahaha.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: Lol? I don’t think she is a man Eric. Not sure if you were joking or what but I think that is taking it a bit far. That would explain a lot but I don’t think it’s true.

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      Eric Reply: Haha, of course I’m joking!!! But that would explain a lot!!!

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      Ru-an Reply: =))

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      Ajay Reply: I think Ruan should get in here. You told me before and I think I now agree that the reason Monfils is so physical is because of his genetic make up. Don’t you think the same argument works for Serena ? I really hope she is not doping because this kind of dominance is literally shattering the careers of all women around her. Its really sad to watch a beautiful player like Azarenka have literally no answers to the pace and power of William’s shots.

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      Ru-an Reply: Good question Ajay. Yes, I do think her race genetics gives her an advantage. She is way stronger than any of the other girls out there. I’m not accusing her of doping by allowing this post. But as a person I dislike her and don’t trust her. She doesn’t strike me as a moral woman. She behaves extremely poorly on the court when things don’t go her way. She has a kind of entitlement attitude which is flat out embarrassing. I have similar feeling toward Nadal, but I still have way more respect for him. He doesn’t do the disgraceful outburst Williams did at the USO for instance where she was racist, violent, and out of control. That kind of behaviour makes me think she would have no problem at all to cheat and dope. But the main thing I want people to admit is that either there is something very suspect going on here or that the WTA is a massive joke. No other possibility exists anyway.

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      Rogiee Reply: Hi Ruan Congrats on the new blog! You are right— it is either of the two. I don’t like the way Serena conducts herself on and off the court as well. At the moment I’m leaning towards WTA being a massive joke because even in Serena’s younger years, no one has seriously threatened her game. She has been consistently winning when it matters.

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      Ru-an Reply: Thank you Rogiee!

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      Veronica Reply: :)) Ru-an, I can’t decide whether your enquiring after Eric whether he is serious or not is more funny than Eric’s actual kidding!!! :))

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      Ru-an Reply: =))

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      Joe Reply: =))

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      jason Reply: Do you remember she once wanted to join the ATP early in her career? She should have been allowed with the caveat of it being a one way trip. I want to see challenger level players demolish her completely. Women’s tennis is so screwed, I just change my TV channel everytime there is a slam final with her in it. It’s too ugly a sight to have the beautiful trophies in the embrace of a terrible person.

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      Ru-an Reply: An ex-challenger level player Karsten Braasch did demolish her, but he wasn’t playing seriously. He smoke and drank before the set and then donated 2 games because he felt too bad to give her a bakery product. Look it up.

      [Reply]

    1. Very good article. I fully agree, her behavior on the court is brutal, swearing after each and every point during French open final after she lost few games was just cherry on the top. There is always big drama when she is losing and I don’t give a… how many grandslams she can win,she will never be in the same league as Steffi Graff for her behavior, like Nadal never would be in the same category as Roger even if he overtakes him (which I doubt will ever happen.) Long time ago it was kind of agreed here that we won’t accuse anyone of doping if no prove(which we will never have) but I agree with the writer. 34 and untouchable? Roger is tennis genius and can’t dominate tennis anymore (I know men’s tennis is bit different but still) and she is destroying everyone.? Also Armstrong was this perfect role model sportsman and look where he ended up now – biggest cheater in sport of all time. I never trusted him after so many scandals in cyclist world. If he could do it, anyone with big bank account can. I never trusted Serena nor Nadal,one day it may prevail, might not, but people will have and have their opinions.

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      Ru-an Reply: Federer is a genius and he hasn’t won a slam in 3 years at 34. Williams is the furthest thing imaginable from a genius and at 34 is about to do the Serena slam =)) So there are two explanations. Williams is doping or the WTA is the biggest joke of all time. Either one is fine with me :-)

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      Eric Reply: three possible explanations… LOL

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      Ru-an Reply: =))

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      Peter Reply: Even 4

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    1. It’s important that we dare to talk about the big fat elephant prancing around on the centre court. (No, by elephant I’m not referring specifically to Serena, I’m talking about the metaphorical elephant. Lol) This issue has been on my mind for some time, and there several players on my radar. However, I don’t want to be the guy to throw out accusations against specific individuals without anything solid to back it up with. That can really hurt the reputation of a player, and it would really be a pity if an innocent player is subjected to suspicion. People also tend to direct their suspicion at the players with bulging muscles, while those who look less muscular but have endless energy reserves go under the radar. If the anti-doping work had been taken seriously then maybe this wouldn’t be much of an issue, but money talks and that’s the way of the world. I don’t remember exactly, but I think Federer said at some point that the anti-doping procedures are pretty much a joke. There was also the incident when Dr. Fuentes was in possession of incriminating blood samples which were ordered destroyed. How are we supposed to take it seriously after something like that? It really is a joke. I notice that some players are more outspoken and critical than others. That’s really all we have to go on. We are left reading between the lines and draw our conclusions from that.

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      Ru-an Reply: ‘It’s important that we dare to talk about the big fat elephant prancing around on the centre court.’ =))

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    1. Thanks, Ru-an for giving this some space and thanks everyone for reading and commenting. I think there’s a lot to be bothered by with Serena if you’re a real tennis fan. But I just glanced at the numbers (age, consistency, etc.) and this became at least something we should talk about. And the fact that no one in the media seems to care. WTF. As someone said, others’ careers and legacies are hurt/mangled if she’s doping and smashing records and opponents. I have heard people say specifically (and I agree) that they notice when she in effect tanks a game or two (or a set). When she’s aiming to win, she is obliterating the match. It’s embarrassing for the game, imho. Thanks again.

      [Reply]

    1. I disagree that there is no “proof”. The panic room story was beyond bizarre…and only much later was it reported that Serena stayed in this panic room for several hours, never submitted to a drug test at all that day, and the media gave her a total pass on it. The few bloggers or posters who dared to suggest something was amiss were destroyed, even worse than those who have dared to suggest that Nadal and his stamina, mysterious injuries, always changing physique, long absences from the game, etc, might be due to some form of PED’s…known or unknown at this time. People’s livelihoods, and even their LIVES, have been threatened over attempts to dig into or expose this issue…and you may be laughing, but it’s true. http://thebiglead.com/2011/11/02/serena-williams-hid-in-her-panic-room-when-a-drug-tester-showed-up-at-her-home/ Sadly, in today’s culture, fraudulent or even criminal behavior done by athletes is forgotten by the time the next news cycle hits. Baseball just calls those “good old days” the steroid era, yet players are still suspended all the time. Tennis has absolutely exploded globally in the past 15 years, and the money at stake is staggering. FIFA is a total fiasco of greed and corruption. Just as sad, fans of just about every sport have helped elevate athletes into God-like status, and even the most objective person is thrashed and belittled if they even dare suggest something unethical might be happening with player/sport xyz. Where there is smoke, there is often fire. I have to agree with the author of the article: at least ASK the question. And anyone who points to the WTA or ATP drug testing policy…please. The officials throughout that sport, on a local, national, and even global level, have also profited greatly as the sport of tennis enjoys huge television contracts, record attendance at tournaments, ET AL, which is due in part to the planet’s fascination with all things Roger Federer. Anyone within the “tennis community” would feel a ton of pressure, if they even dared to ponder exposing flaws in the system or outright cover ups, from peers, superiors, and even players/entourages. I suspect that one day, someone with personal knowledge of what has gone on with respect to PED’s and steroids during this “golden era” of tennis, will write a tell all book, but it will be well after the suspects have retired, and they’ll deny, deflect, attack…same thing they do now. So as someone already stated, people will believe what they want to believe. Very sad that real investigative journalism is dead, and moral relativism has taken over most every culture…especially in the world of sports.

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      Ru-an Reply: Where does it say that Williams did not submit a urine sample?

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    1. This has turned out to be a fascinating conversation. I agree w Matt that it seems like she can turn it on pretty much anytime she wants to and demolish any opponent. WTF? I joke about her because a really can’t stand her. Her brutish arrogance, cursing, petulance all drive me crazy. Watching the WTA for me is like a nightmare of the men’s game in which Nadal wins every tournament without any competition. And I am with Ru-an completely in that I have a ton more respect for Rafa than I do for Serena.

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      Ru-an Reply: Glad you enjoy the post, Eric. I can see I did the right thing by posting it. Watching the WTA is like undergoing surgery without anesthesia. Painful enough to make you pass out. That’s why I NEVER watch it. I would be traumatized for life if I did :-P

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      Veronica Reply: “Surgery without anaesthetic….painful enough to pass you out…traumatised for life”. I didn’t wanna get into this thing coz I’m a …… woman :-) And I kinda wanna let you boys have your fun but those words of yours, Ru-an, =))

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    1. I’ve watched her live many, many times. She is a character with flaws no doubt but the animosity is uncalled for. I find the article offensive. The reason she can turn it on and off is because she is exceptionally gifted and determined. Matt, why not listen to the BBC sports commentators – sue barker, Tracy Austin and Lindsey davenport Break down the winning elements logically inst ad of ascribing to drugs. Roger is my idol which is why I signed up for Ruan’s blog at the start. Now I watch him for sheer joy and applaud the other players. The depth in the me ‘s game is far deeper and they have to play 5 sets vs 3 for women. Sharapova has a good game but far from great. When at that level you double fault consistently, have poor lateral movement, how can you expect to win? Muguruza will give Serena a good fight if first time jitters don’t affect her. Azarenka was excellent. Unlike Matt (and I was watching .wi by live too), I thought that Serena was in serious trouble until mid-way of the 2nd set. What caused the change in balance? No good first serves by Azarenka.

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      Matt Reply: Rose, I appreciate the feedback. Other than my comment about her sometimes lack of civility, my article is urging people to look at the facts, the numbers, her age alongside the dominance. That’s not animosity. She is undefeated in 2015. People can say she looks vulnerable, dropping sets, struggling etc., but that kind of micro analysis gets trumped by the macro analysis of her overall dominance at the age of 34. I watched the quarter final with Azarenka. I didn’t see the “serious trouble.” Tracy and Lindsey (like Johnny Mac and the rest of them) are praising Serena, breaking down the game, so it all sounds great. But at least acknowledge that this is pretty wild coming from someone who is 8-10 years older than her competition. She’s winning a GS at 34. You don’t think that’s quite remarkable?

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    1. I don’t enjoy watching Serena play that much. Like you said, it’s just all power. No variety and beauty. Her serve is her best and most elegant shot, but it’s only shot I like. Backhand is the most ugly looking stroke I’ve ever seen (sorry if I offending anyone, but it’s just horrific). Radwanksa is never boring, the variety in her game makes her one of the only bearable WTA players. Li Na also, her game is based on the baseline, but its a much nicer and elegant game than Serena and Ivanovic’s winding beautiful forehand is the best in the women’s game, especially during her glory days.

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      Ru-an Reply: Not a fan of Serena’s game either Conal. Her groundstrokes look mechanical and untalented. She is definitely no genius on the tennis court. She is like Nadal in the sense that she wins due to a physical advantage. Nadal is obviously 10 times stronger physically and mentally and 10 times more talented than Serena but there is a similarity if we look at it in context of the two vastly different sports that is men’s tennis and women’s tennis.

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      Emy Reply: Serena and Roger are born in the same year. It’s ok for Roger to be in the final but it’s not ok for Serena to win. How ironic? You seem to foget the mileage that Roger had clocked in compared to Serena. It’s only natural that Roger will be more worn out. And yes, some black women do look like Serena. Put in the training and you would expect nothing less than her body. I’m a black African woman, never been to gym, trust me I will knock most while people down with a mere clap. So yeah, do not be so shocked at her physical stature. For today’s match, I’m predicting (read hoping) Djoker in 4. 75 64 36 74

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      Ru-an Reply: So you agree that women’s tennis is the biggest joke of all time. Good then. If you want to be considered for the prediction game please leave your prediction on the prediction page.

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    1. If u play from the baseline with Serena you are bound to lose. If you have a all court game like Justin Henin or Martina Hingis then you make her play. They both had good record against her. Wta is full of untalented baseline bashes the last few years. Painful to watch.

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    1. I have watched Serena play a million times..everytime she is about to lose, she fights n somehow wins it. This is really unbelievable..I completely agree with Ruan that she is not a genius..but she is really strong mentally n physically. She believes she is d best and can beat anyone in any day..but believing n doing is different.Venus her sister have d similar mentality but due to age she is finding it difficult to complete. and here is Serena all set to complete second Serena slam n one short of calender slam that too at d age of 34. She uses her serve which is now termed as d best and her power to dominate others n come out of tricky situations. And I also agree the WTA is a joke..from d current lot, I always thought only 2 players azarenka n kvitova have d game to defeat her but they too are really inconsistent and come short everytime..There is no depth in women’s tennis..there r no great shotmakers or good players like d past..but I still don’t think anyone from d past be it Steffi or Navratilova could beat the beast Serena..I always thought what it is..May b its PEDs , but she is unbeatable when is playing her best

      [Reply]

    1. Nice write-up. The US commentators in particular drool over her but sometimes it sounds a bit forced; as if they have to be that way! I’ve heard that outside of the English-speaking world tennis observers are more questioning of her but I don’t know that for sure. Speaking of genetics (Ruan mentioned them above) I wonder if they can explain the incredible number of “Yugoslav” players. Even many of the best players from other countries such as Canada and Australia are of south Slavic background (Andrea Petkovic of Germany too on the women’s side) despite being fairly small minorities in those countries. People of Czech and Slovak background have also featured prominently in the sport’s history despite small population base.

      [Reply]

    1. Hey is anyone watching this display form Federer? He squandered 5 set points but put it past him to capture the 2nd set. Really high quality tennis from both.

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      Eric Reply: Lovin it!!!!!!

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    1. If you take the racist lenses off your eyes and do a little research you will find out that some of us are born with superior genes. That’s why we can’t all be Einstein’s or Shakespears. I would venture to say that in addition to Serena Williams, Roger Federer has also been gifted with superior sporting genes. They are not alone in sports. You have had folks like George Foreman and Larry Holmes in Boxing, Tim Duncan and Andre Miller in basketball, go to baseball, soccer etc you will find a number of players performing at the highest level right into their forties.The trouble with your article is the very poor research you have done on the history if the Williams Sisters in the sport and the great transparency with which they have conducted themselves. Serena has been criticized for not trying to be politically correct when she quite correctly used to assert from early days that when on her game no one could beat her. She very clearly knew the talent and mental and inner strength she possesed, obviously better than anyone else. If the sisters had top flight coaches from day one heaven alone knows how many grand slams they would have one. We’re it not for some blatant bad calls against her as with Capriati at the U.S. Open and Henin in Paris she likely would have chalked up more slam victories. In fact the terrible calls she suffered at the U.S Open played a big role in ushering Hawk-eye into the game. Serena Williams will go down in history as one of the world’s greatest athletes ever. Sadly you sounded like some medieval ignoramus subscribing superstitious belief to what he could not understand.

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      Emy Reply: At least someone making sense around here! Sad what folks here are saying about Serena. Comforted by the fact that this is all just talk and they cant take anything from her trophy cabinet. Just wondering if all this has anything to do with the color of her skin.

      [Reply]

    1. Pingback: Wimbledon Men’s Final and Serena Follow-up | Matt's Blog
    1. Serena actually won her first Grand Slam singles in 1999 when she was 18/19 too like Graf. And she very well may be an outlier, compared to Venus ranking at 23

      [Reply]

 

Two Handed Backhand(Guest Post)

Two Handed Backhand(Guest Post)

It’s Ryan here…

How awesome was that French Open men’s final? Both players played exceptional tennis and it was an amazing accomplishment for Stan Wawrinka to win. There were so many takeaways from the match, but one theme stood out the most….

Wondering what it was for me?

It was how physical the modern game is and how they use their bodies to generate enormous power.

Novak’s backhand is incredible and without a strong body, excellent timing, and great footwork he would have a hard time hitting the lines and doing the splits on many of his backhands.

For many recreational players they only use their arms to generate power on their backhands instead of using their entire bodies. These players are sabotaging power, spin and depth on their groundstrokes.

Wondering how to generate more power on your two handed backhand? If so then you are in luck as I have a special video in store for you!

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Hit Your Two Handed Backhand like Novak – Click Here!

This video has helped a lot of my clients hit with more power, spin and depth on their two handed backhands and I am confident it will help you too.

It’s your time to take your two handed backhand to the next level and I am confident I can help…

Go and watch the video now!

Posted in Guest Posts.

5 Comments

    1. Not sure where to post this so I am doing it here. Nadal just won Stuttgart and he is now playing Queens. He will still be the 10th or 11th seed no matter what so one of Federer, Djokovic, Murray or Stan will play him in the quarters. I am hoping if Nadal is in Federer’s quarter then Murray is in Djokovic’s half. I think Federer can handle Nadal if they meet in the quarters. If he has to play Murray straight after that I don’t think Federer has a lot of chance. Also the Halle draw is a good one for Federer in the sense if he wins it we can be sure he is in good form. I think Murray and Federer will win next week. So 3 of the big 4 will come into Wimby with titles will be the first time. This year Federer doesn’t seem to be playing doubles so going into Wimbledon there will be no question of fatigue at any point of time whatsoever. Djokovic is not playing any warm up tournie so if he gets a Krygios early on he could lose. Looks like the most open Wimbledon ever because literally Djokovic, Federer, Murray, Nadal, Wawrinka, and even others like Berdych and Nishikori and Tsonga will have a chance to win it !!

      [Reply]

    1. http://theultimatetennisblog.com/rome-final-djokovic-loses-to-nadal-falls-to-nr-4-in-the-rankings/

      Whoa even I didn’t know Ruan hated Djokovic once so much. I am not sure if it is right to post this, but I think it is important for everyone to know that Djokovic was not the gold standard for humility like he seems to be now.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Yeah, he used to be quite annoying with his celebrations. That was back when I was a biased Fedfan though, and Djokovic changed a lot since 2011. He became much more professional on and off the court. Back then he was kind of wasting his potential so I didn’t care much for him. Good find anyway. I’m sure some of my Fedfan readers will find that interesting :))

      [Reply]

      Ajay Reply:

      Everyone will find it interesting since the truth is Djokovic was once not likable as he is now. I think even you would have found it hard to like that guy even as a unbiased tennis fan.

 

Update: Federer’s Timeless Records

Update: Federer’s Timeless Records

http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/DEUCE-Tennis/DEUCE-Australian-Open-2010/Roger-Federer.aspx

Now that Roger has won yet another grand slam title, I thought it might a good idea to look at some of the records that Roger has set up in his career so far. This is of course and ongoing thing, because Roger’s career is far from over as he proved by winning the Australian Open, dropping only two sets in the process. I don’t know about you, but it has taken a day or two for me to sunk it what Roger has once again done in Australia last week. What a privilege to be a Fedfanatic! I always found it hard to understand why you would want to be anything other than a Fedfanatic if you are a tennis fan. Not only does Roger almost always win, but he is a great guy! I know for sure I would not want to be a Nadal fan. Why support someone that was always destined to burn out due to his taxing game style?

That’s just setting yourself up for disappointment. Well, I guess to each their own right? ;-) OK lets get back to the records then. The number one on the ATP list is the record of winning 5 majors in a row at 2 different majors. I think it’s hard to say exactly what Roger’s best record is, but this one is certainly worthy of being number one. To do something that no one in the whole history of tennis has done is truly and exceptional feat. Back in the days of Bill Tilden the top seed only played one round in the majors as they were already in the final, so I don’t rate his records very highly. Roy Emerson won 5 consecutive majors, but they were at the Australian Open, which wasn’t always the most coveted major. for me Borg comes the closest to this record of Roger, as he won five consecutive Wimbledon crowns himself, and four consecutive French Open titles, which is probably the most demanding slam to win.

Next comes the major title record which Roger has now improved to 16, two clear of Pete Sampras. Sampras himself could only manage half the amount of Oz Open titles that Roger could, and no French Open titles. The only major where Sampras is still ahead of Roger is Wimbledon with 7 titles, but you would expect that Roger will equal that record this year as well, and finally improve on it. I think eventually Roger will smash every record that Sampras has set. It doesn’t look like anyone will stop him from passing Sampras’ record of 286 total weeks at the top of the ATP rankings. He is currently on 268 total weeks in the nr. 1 spot, and it doesn’t look like anyone will catch him in time. Rafa had a chance, but after the Oz Open he has dropped to nr. 4 in the rankings, and he has a huge amount of points to defend until the French Open.

Also it looks like Roger will be year end number one again, which means that he would have equalled Sampras’ record of 6 years ending nr. 1 in the rankings. The next year Roger will have a very good chance to break this record of Sampras as well. This could be the hardest record to break, but you would never bet against Roger to do that. Another record of Sampras that Roger will soon break, is his singles titles of 64. Roger is currently on 62 titles, and unless something unforeseen happens, Roger will break that record this season as well. Roger has already surpassed Sampras in career earnings to become the all time leader in career earnings. As far as the US Open goes, I expect Roger to win at least one more US Open title to pass Sampras and Conners in the most US Open titles in the open era.

But already he has done something they haven’t done which is to win 5 consecutive US Open titles. One other record that Sampras holds with Lendl, is the 5 Masters Cup titles. Roger is currently on 4, and again you won’t put it beyond him to break or at least equal that record. One of the most astonishing things about Roger’s records is that it is still ongoing. Only the day when he finally retires will we really be able to tell how good he was. I laugh at people who want to already begin the GOAT debate, as if Roger’s career is already over. It’s far from over, you can take my word for that. Roger has now proven that parenthood hasn’t made any difference to his tennis, so expect him to keep going like this for many years to come. The next record on the ATP list is the 18 of the last 19 grand slam finals that Roger has reached, which is pretty sick in itself.

He won the title 12 out of the 18 times he made the final, losing only to his nemesis Rafa. Of those losses 4 was on clay, which is understandable, while the ones at Wimbledon and the Oz Open was during a time that Roger was at a low point in his career. Rafa is the ultimate opportunist, picking up slam titles on Roger’s worst surface and when he was at a low in his career. At nr. 4 is the record consecutive grand slam semi-finals which Roger has now extended to 23, which together with the previous record, is testament to Roger’s ridiculous consistency in the majors. Personally I thought there was a very good chance this record would come to an end when Roger played against Davydenko in the quarter finals of the Oz Open. But again Roger would show why he is the king of grand slams.

You wonder who would be the one that would finally break this streak. The interesting thing is that there is a possibility that Roger and Rafa could meet in the quarter finals of the French Open this year. With Rafa having so many points to defend until the French Open, he could well fall to nr. 5 in the rankings, which would mean there is a little less than 25% chance that they could meet in the quarter finals. You almost feel like it would take something like this for Roger to lose before the semi-finals of a slam, or else it may never happen. The next record is the 24 consecutive finals that Roger won, which is one I often overlook. In finals you play against the other best player of the tournament who is also full of confidence, and to beat that player 24 consecutive times shows what a dominant mental force Roger was.

Then at nr. 6 is the appearance in all 4 grand slam finals 3 times in his career. Rod Laver managed that feat 2 times in his career, but that was only on two surfaces, clay and grass. Another staggering record that is not on this list which is similar to this record, is that Roger won 3 majors in a year 3 times, in 2004, 2006 and 2007. The next record is the most dominant period in tennis from 2004-2006, when Roger was just untouchable. I fondly remember those days when, if Roger lost against anyone, it was a huge upset. I mean he just didn’t lose much at all. Its very doubtful that Roger would ever be that dominant again, because even though his level may not have dropped a whole lot from then, it’s hard to stay ahead of the competition forever. I think Roger can still be that dominant in the slams, but it will be hard to be that utterly dominant again. The next record is pretty amazing as well, where Roger has held the nr. 1 ranking for the most consecutive weeks, eclipsing the previous record of 160 weeks by Jimmy Connors. Again it just shows that Roger dominated the sport unlike any other before him. Nr. 9 on the list is Roger’s 65 consecutive wins on grass courts. I never knew that Roger has 4 match points against him against Olivier in Halle in 2006. It’s as if Roger was destined to set up this record. Finally, at nr. 10 is the record of winning at least one grand slam a year for 8 consecutive years. There is no telling how much further Roger can push this record, which he currently shares with Sampras and Borg. He is almost guaranteed to break it, and i can see him winning slams for at least 2 more years after 2010. Well that’s the whole list then. Just one thing more I’d like to say about the list, and that is that you can’t quantify the probability of the records being broken. To me that’s totally pointless. There is a good possibility that not one of these records will ever be broken. What Roger has done in tennis is almost divine, and it’s very hard to imagine another player like him coming around, nevermind better. And the most impressive thing is that his career is not over. He has just won another grand slam in dominant fashion, which would suggest that he is far from done. There is one thing which I would really like Roger to achieve, and that is to win the grand slam itself. I made a post about this earlier this year, saying that this year could be Roger’s best chance yet of doing so. Roger is a more mature and experienced player these days, and the fact that Rafa is struggling doesn’t hurt his chances either…
Posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , .

6 Comments

    1. This is a wee bit too early, what are Nadal’s chances to recover from his injury. Now that he is ranked 4th, he will fall into Roger’s half at RG, yikes :-(

      [Reply]

    1. I wonder how Jimmy Connors racked up a record 109 titles while he wasn’t even close as dominant as Roger, not even Sampras. But I dare to bet this record is not to be passed by any male player. But how did he achieve this? Jimbo is definitely not the GOAT, he wasn’t as dominant either (in his era Borg & McEnroe were arguably more dominant). Were the tournaments back then only consist of 3 matches?

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: Yeah ive wondered about that too. I know for sure he wasnt as dominant as Roger. I think its just cos he had such a long career. He played till he was like 37 or something, and he played a lot.

      [Reply]

    1. Nice looking back on all those records, and some of them have the mention ‘still counting’ so it’s great! A few remarks though : 1) “Why support someone that was always destined to burn out due to his taxing game style? That’s just setting yourself up for disappointment.” I reckon/hope you’re half-joking since people usually do not chose rationally what player they love and support, but anyway a very nice piece from C Note on that subject, it reminded me of living through 2008 as a Fedfan… http://cowbell.typepad.com/forty_deuce/2010/01/the-highest-of-highs-the-lowest-of-lows.html 2) “I think eventually Roger will smash every record that Sampras has set.” Unfortunately he won’t break (and that’s clearly 100% sure) the 6 consecutive years a the year-end number one player in the world… Shame that he couldn’t hold onto the ranking in 2008 but that’s the way it is. 3) “He won the title 12 out of the 18 times he made the final, losing only to his nemesis Rafa. Of those losses 4 was on clay, which is understandable, while the ones at Wimbledon and the Oz Open” Rafa did beat Roger 4 times at RG, but the 1st one in 2005 was in the semis. I’m surprised that as a Delpo fan you forgot that he’s actually beaten Roger, the 1st player to beat him in a major final other than Rafa :-P And about the calendar Slam… I have absolutely no expectations at all. Even though it may change if he defends his title at RG! *fingers crossed* I need to find tix for the final btw!

      [Reply]

    1. Fed is having a career no other male player dared dream. The impressive record of 23th GS SF.is unreal. He missed the GS. last year by a few games… We have no reason to believe he won´t stay healthy long enough to achieve more records. What else can we say about Roger? After two weeks of electrifying tennis I´m still high from Roger´s win.Still enjoying it.
 

US Open 2009 Final: Del Potro def Federer 3-6, 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-2 in Epic Match

US Open 2009 Final: Del Potro def Federer 3-6, 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-2 in Epic Match

I know there is many disappointed Fedfans out there tonight, but you will soon feel better. I promise ;-) When Roger lost today I was disappointed of course, but then I realized what a fantastic year it has been for Roger and I actually started feeling really good about it. Also the fact that he lost to someone that I like made a big difference. If Roger had lost to Rafa tonight it would have been a very different story, so thank God that didn’t happen. Come to think of it this match had quite a few similarities to the final in Australia when Roger also lost 6-2 in the final set. But after winning his first French Open and reclaiming his Wimbledon crown, coupled with the fact that it was Del Potro he lost to, I have to say this loss has an altogether different feel about it.

When Roger lost to Rafa in Australia earlier this year I was literally crushed. This time I almost feel the opposite. I’m happy that this has been an awesome year for Roger and I am happy for Del Potro getting a deserved win. Today Roger lost to the better player. He definitely didn’t lose the match, Delpo won it. The only thing that I regret a little is that Roger did not make Delpo serve for the match, especially after he saved two match points in that final game. If R0ger somehow pulled that game out of the bag, I think Delpo might well have choked when serving for the match. I console myself by telling myself that the only way Delpo could have won this match, was by breaking in the final game of the match. I think if things got close in that final set, it would really have been a tall order for Delpo.

But he did what he had to do which was to break Roger for a second time, so that he didn’t have to serve for the match under immense pressure. So all credit to him. At the beginning of this year, if you told me that Roger would have won only one grand slam, but that it would have been the French Open, I would have been satisfied. Before this year it wasn’t clear if Roger would ever win the French Open, and if he did not it would have left a hole in his legacy. So for him to have won that title already made this a successful year in my mind. The fact that he went on to regain his Wimbledon crown, and pass Sampras’ grand slam record this year already, made it an amazing year. But not only that, he took back his number one ranking.

That was like the icing on the cake. Lets not get greedy people. We tend to get spoiled as Fedfans. I have no doubt Roger will end the year ranked number one now, and keep gaining on Sampras’ record amount of weeks at number one. This was a monumental year for Roger already, no matter which way you look at it. After losing in Australia, things were looking pretty bleak if I may remind you. Rafa was a lock for the French Open and most people thought he would win Wimbledon too. So this season has been a huge turn around for Roger really, and it sets him up well for the future. Losing to Delpo in the US Open final is a minor. You can’t win every single match. Roger had the most amazing run at the US Open in open era history, which will probably never be surpassed.

I still want him to win the most US Open titles in the open era and I am positive he will do so. I’m also positive he will pass Sampras’ 7 Wimbledon titles. Who can really stop him there? Ok let me look more closely at the match then. A lot of people will say that Roger didn’t play well today, but that is only a half truth. Roger played as well as he was allowed to play. So you might as well say he played really well, because he played the best he could play under the circumstances. His first serve was only at 50% which is low, but I think that has a lot to do with pressure. Of late I have noticed that Roger starts his matches with a low first serve percentage anyway, and then it gets batter as the match go on. But because Delpo won the second set and put pressure on Roger, he couldn’t really up his first serve percentage.

I mean the same exact thing happened in the Australian Open final. In Australia his first serve percentage was 52% against Rafa. This is a match up issue I feel. Look at the match stats in Australia:

http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/stats/day19/1701ms.html

Now look at the match stats from today:

http://www.usopen.org/en_US/scores/stats/day21/1701ms.html

Quite similar isn’t it? The point is that Delpo and Rafa both put pressure on Roger’s first serve because he knew if it isn’t good, he would get into an extended rally with them in which case he could well lose the point. Especially towards the end you could just feel how much Roger needed to get a free point from a first serve, and the more he needed it the more he started missing it. That is what pressure does. The first set was vintage Roger I thought, as he broke in the second game with a stunning cross court passing shot on the run, after an excellent rally. At this point it looked like Roger was bringing his A+ game, as he won the first set and went up a break in the second set as well. Then at 5-4 and Roger serving to go up two sets to love, there came a huge turning point which set the trend for the match.

If Roger had held serve there the match would have been over 99% certain. Even though I didn’t realize it at the time, that was a huge turning point. It gave Delpo the chance to win the second set and even things up, instead of being two sets to love down and pretty much out of it. Delpo only needed one break at 3-3 in the tie break which would be enough to take the tie break 7-5. At 3-3 in the second set Roger lost serve again as it looked like Delpo was gaining in confidence. He would break up right away to even the score at 4-4 though. Then with Delpo serving at 4-5, he pretty much choked away the third set with two consecutive double faults. At this points the odds was stacked pretty heavily against Delpo to win the match, but I wasn’t counting him out quite yet.

Delpo went on to break serve at 2-2 in the fourth set, but at 3-4 Roger broke back. From here on Delpo started holding serve more comfortably than Roger until the tie break. This continued into the tie break as Roger served a double fault the first point of the tie break, and you could start to sense that the pressure was increasing on Roger. That double fault would prove to be crucial as it was all Delpo need to take the breaker 7-4. I said in my analysis of the Soderling match that it’s extremely hard to win two tie breakers against Roger in a grand slam match, and when Delpo managed to do it the danger signs were showing. Then in the final set Delpo served first which was another important swing, and Roger lost serve at 0-1. At 2-5 Roger went down 15-40 on his serve, but he managed to save those two match points.

I was really praying at this point that he would at least hold serve to force Delpo to serve for the match, but it wasn’t to be. Roger did his best to fight off a third match point, but eventually floated a backhand long after another penetrating forehand from Delpo. It was a sad sight, but the run had to end some time. A sixth straight US Open was always going to be a stretch. It has never been done in any grand slam in the open era. Roger lost to a worthy opponent today who played an incredible match. Even though the stats doesn’t reflect it, this was a very high quality match with some amazing rallies. A match like this is about taking your opportunities because there is no second chances. If Roger held serve at 5-4 in the second set, I believe the match was over. But he did not.

Also if he did not serve a double on the first point of the first set tie break, things could have been different. And the if he held serve in the final game of the match, things could have been different as well. But the point is Delpo played really well and on the day he was the one who took his chances. On another day things can be very different. In a match like this the margins are small, and like I said it is about who can grab a hold of their chances. By no means does this match mean that he now has a problem with Delpo or whatever. Next time he just has to make sure he makes better use of his chances. Simple as that. I hope my readers will not lose any heart because of this loss, because this really means nothing.

Roger’s level is not down by any means. In fact I am amazed by the fact that his level has hardly dropped at all since his prime, and I think he will still be around for a long time winning slams. This is a minor set back and like I said it had to happen at some point. Here is to an awesome year for Roger which is not over yet!

Presser: http://www.usopen.org/en_US/news/interviews/2009-09-14/200909131252827286093.html

Posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , .

14 Comments

    1. You kept your promised, this is indeed a good post. Console my heavy heart though I think am the greediest of all his fans. Yes I like Roger to win every tournament he enters. Roger failed to win 6 in row at Wimbledon therefore I sort of expected the same result at USO. I am in this major denial mode here. Delpo deserves this win. Roger played better than he did at AO but his serve deserted him at crucial moments and also Delpo stepping up at every opportunity. Except for RG, Roger is a tough opponent at GS Final, those who beat him actually had to go through 5 sets to finish him off. This should us how talented he is, good for us fan bad for his critics. I can’t believe I am saying this but losing will do Roger more good, he will learn more from his loss. OK, I will now go drown myself watching Roger’s old matches. Adios Amigoes :-)

      [Reply]

    1. Thanks Ru-an for your “comfort” post! I have been waiting and waiting and switching my computer on every 10 mins to check your blog! What would I do without your blog?! I felt so deflated and depressed for a while and just don’t feel like doing anything (although I admit the feeling wasn’t as bad as when Roger lost the AO in Jan this year – I was in mourning and avoided watching tennis for a while). You are right. You are more objective and level-headed than all of us crazy and greedy fans. It has been a great year for Roger. Let’s not take that away from Roger. How he must be feeling now and with babies at home again! It is just that when Roger makes it again and again, he spoils us and makes us want more and more. I knew it would be impossible to pull off a 6th but I was just dreaming if it was at all possible, it would be just unbelievable and shut up the critics forever on Roger being the GOAT. But not to worry, there will come a time when they will acknowledge Roger because only in the future would they realise that nobody would be able to maintain his level of play and consistency. I do think however Roger lost the match because he lost his first service. All other ways, he played well. Even in past matches when he is under tremendous pressure, he still can serve well. Somehow his first serve deserted him today. I have noticed in matches (especially with tougher opponents) when his first serve deserts him, he usually loses. But despite his losing his first serve today, he still could put up such a close fight with Delpo. Imagine if he is on song with his first serve, Delpo is NO MATCH for him. Congrats to Delpo, and like you, I prefer him ANYTIME to big-mouth Murray or sicko Nadal. The big mouth in Scotland must be seething and full of jealousy!!! If Roger retires, I am all for Delpo. Did you see his interview where he says he always look at Roger, how Roger behaves and he tries to follow Roger, as a player and as a gentleman?! Delpo is a real warm extremely nice guy, humble, unassuming and so lovable. Three cheers to him, gentle giant! and like Dippy, I’m gonna be in denial mode awhile and go watch some old matches of Roger’s! Just so addicted to him and can’t get enough of him!! Lol!

      [Reply]

    1. Well done to Del Potro, he deserved it and I’m very very happy for him. Sad for Roger obviously but he has had the year that completes his legacy and this loss doesn’t make a huge difference to him. 2 big differences from Oz are he had the career GS now and the GS record, and of course he lost to a player I like (that forehand is…..wow). I wouldn’t be feeling so happy if it had been Nadal or Murray for sure. Well done DelP and to many more slams for yourself and Roger in the future.

      [Reply]

    1. I know you’re a hardcore Federer fan, so it’s fantastic to read such a beautiful post after the final. I completely agree with you and it’s so nice to see something that counteracts the Federer fans who are expressing anger on their blogs.

      [Reply]

    1. After a restless sleep and calming down with your soothinhg post, I can see that Juan Martin Del Potro was great in the match and Roger still had chances to win. Those break points that he was not able to capitalize on was crucial and his first serve let him down (hope the back is ok) It did seem to mirror the Australian Open where Roger faded in the end. Playing a tough match against Nole didn’t help. He may have been exhausted. Thanks Ru-an for soothing my nerves.

      [Reply]

    1. Thanks Ru-an for a great comforting post. I guess us fans were more greedy and needy than Roger himself :-) . he was so calm afterwards, i almost thought he was gonna make a joke that he wasn’t gonna cry this time or something… I do believe Del Potro didn’t allow him to play his best game, so good on him. The only thing Roger can blame himself for is that 9th game in the 2nd set. He completely lost his cool over Hawk-Eye, lost the game and got so frustrated later on about Hawk-Eye again, that he did a mini-Serena ;-) , saying ‘I don’t give a shit’ and ‘I don’t fucking care’ to the umpire. I was thinking that time about your really great post on his loss in Miami when he smashed his racket – maybe he got it out of his system again. But not this time unfortunately. So – we’re all shocked, rog is human :)) Anyway, time to look ahead! His 2400 points lead on Nadal is almost sure to be enough to be no 1 the end of the year. Even if Nadal would win both Masters and the Finals (which he won’t!), Roger would need only a couple of quarterfinals to stay ahead. Then it’s on to the Record of most weeks on number 1: when he’s still first after the Australian he will surpass Jimmy Connors (who’s on 268), and 2 weeks later he’ll surpass Ivan Lendl (on 270). So that seems highly likely. To pass the last one, Sampras on 286, he will have to be number one the week AFTER Roland Garros. I think this will mean he’ll have to at least win either the Australian or RG again, which is both very possible. Then of course there’s the record for most Master titles. He’ll have a LOT of chances for reaching 17 here in coming months/year. SO – looking forward to more great moments with Roger, and with your blog Ru-an! Now what the hell am i gonna do with my time these coming weeks haha… Tristan

      [Reply]

    1. Ru-an, you are soothing comfort to us after reading your analysis. Yes, it is difficult to see our champ lose, however, am as pleased as you and others that he lost to a humble guy who played great tennis. To not repeat what has been said in previous comments as I agree with much of it. Thank you for reminding us what a great year Roger has had and for your devout loyalty and belief of more to come. Bravo Roger and all Roger Fans.

      [Reply]

    1. Juan Martin DEL POTO finally delivers Argentina another Grand Slam glory. It was a thriller game in my opinion one that will go down as one of the best in Grand Slam history. Roger FEDERER who was forced to play a fifth set in a US Open final also deserve my respect for putting up another amazing performance. Juan Martín DEL POTRO has always said his favourite tournament was the US Open and tonight he made the miracle happen against the toughest possible rival who, as expected, didn’t make his life easy. The Argentine took the last two sets and won his first Grand Slam title to make the whole country celebrate. We salute the brilliant Juan Martín DEL POTRO on the biggest day of his professional career (and probably his whole life). The big question remains will Delpo continue this fine form that has taken him this far? Only time will tell. In the meantime, appreciate your thoughts about him and the final overall.

      [Reply]

    1. Ruan, I love your posts, they are brilliant and very true to form. I always go to your blog with regard to Roger as your analysis is always accurate. I have been reading your blog for quite a long time and find a lot a comfort especially when Roger has losses. As one of your former bloggers said she was going to your blog every ten minutes (as was I) after this U.S. Open loss and I loved your very apt comments. I feel his game didn’t quite have the fire as did his brilliant performance with the Djokovic match, which was superb and a thing of beauty to behold. Thanks again for your wonderful post.

      [Reply]

    1. Thanks Ru-an for your comforting post ,as you have said I really feel better after reading such a supporting post.As you Roger looks so relax, he said”you can´t have them all and i can´t always play my best.Life goes on. No problem”.Just a lesson. IT´S O.K. this year has been amazing for him.No one can win all the time. He will have many more years producing fabolous performance.He continued to play awesome since Madrid.What´s more we can expect of him? I know but for a fanatic fan it´s sad…People here in Argentina think this mean a great deal “A new star”,”Delpo dethroned”…”Not Nadal but”…all the stupid press…is not easy for me, nobody is like him… However yor post helped me…Thanks Ru-an.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: I know Ines me and you are fanatical fans that’s for sure and I know it’s not easy. That is why I’m so glad to have all your comments and yours in particular ;-) I felt bad today when i woke up but after making another post i already feel better again. At least we have each other…

      [Reply]

    1. Roger is still currently the best player & no. 1. However, it is very likely that those total domination years are past us. Ruling the tennis world like Sampras did (1 GS/year, 2 at the most) is still very possible. Yes, I wished for more domination but I guess it’s unrealistic now. Having mentioned that, I also expect that Nadal’s total clay domination to end… if not already ended. There are lots of younger opponents w/ great games emerging, JMDP is one of the primes. These youngsters have years to improve, while the present generation (Fed, Nadal) are very likely to decline, hopefully only very slightly. Djoker can improve, perhaps also Murray, JMDP definitely. JMDP looks like the enhanced version of Safin without the mental problems. Hopefully JMDP can build on this, and not follow Safin’s path. US Open win over Sampras just apparently ruined his career path. JMDP… so far he’s got excellent mental attitude. He is a humble, innocent, gentle giant. Keep it up, improve it, and learn more English! Language is very important to get more love from the fans. I regard Nadal as in Roger’s generation because of his physically punishing game. It is very unlikely that at 27-28 (Roger’s age now), Rafa will still be at the top of his game. Just look at his numerous injury maladies. It happens every single year since 2005 and every year it’s getting worse.

      [Reply]

    1. Hey Ruan, I have to say I appreciated your call on the US Final, much more so than Bodo’s, which seemed to suggest a changing of the guards from Federer to Del Potro. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Delpo fan and even believed he would win, but I was there at the match and it never felt like a blow out. It was really tight all the way to the 5th set. It was an emotional roller coaster ride and Delpo won, I believe, because he maintained his composure and hit those key shots in the 4th. BTW, the Open aired great championship moments throughout the match on the changeovers and some time in the 2nd set, they aired Guillermo Villas’s win. I thought at the time, “if this doesn’t give Delpo a wallop of confidence and hope, I don’t what will!” Then he won that 2nd set, kinda spooky! Anyway, I love your analyses. Best, Trish

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply: Hi Trish. I didnt expect anything less from Bodo and co. Changing of the guard LMAO! Roger lost the match cos he got careless at 5-4 and 30-0 in the second set. For that reason and that reason alone. Bodo doesnt know tennis from his arse. Thanks for the comment :D