Cincinnati Rd 3: Federer def Tomic 6-2, 6-4 to Reach Quarter Finals

Hi guys, just a quick post to let you know I’m still around. I currently can’t access the Internet much because of work, living in a small town, and not having received my paycheck yet. But I will soon get Internet at home which should be in time for the US Open. It’s good to see Roger starting off in Cincinnati as I expected and hoped for. His first match was a routine win over Bogomolov and now he did the same against Tomic. I caught some points on Youtube and Roger looked to be playing pretty offensive tennis on the fast courts.

The surface in Cincy suits his game well and his record there proves it. His net play was pretty impressive with 11/12 points won at the net and he won 3/6 break points. He also hit 27 winners compared to Tomic’s 12. The big news of the day was that Murray lost 6-4, 6-4 to Chardy. I said in my last post that Murray is already cracking under the expectations after winning the Olympics and this is further proof of it. I don’t have him as a favorite for the US Open. It will be between Roger and Djokovic who wins it, and possibly Del Potro.

Del Potro had a three set win over Troicki today after dropping the first set. He really should make the semis to face Djokovic. Roger now plays Fish and then he might play Raonic or Berdych. Raonic is currently a set up against Berdych so I think it might be him. So his draw is not the easiest as I first thought. Both Fish,Berdych, and Raonic can test Roger. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing after he missed out on Toronto. If he gets through them all he will be in good shape for the US Open.

Well I probably won’t be able to make another post this week as I work every day until next Wednesday and don’t have much Internet access. But I will for sure make one next Wednesday to sum up Cincy and then by the time the US Open starts, I should have Internet at home and maybe even TV so I can watch a bit. As I said to a reader, I will eventually make up for all the missed posts. It’s just been a crazy couple of months having to adapt to two new jobs and a new country.

I believe Roger will win his fifth Cincy title here and become the outright favorite for a sixth US Open title.

Ps: I forgot to mention Nadal’s withdrawal from the US Open. Pretty crazy how this seems to be the exact same situation as when he lost to Soderling at the French Open. After that loss he missed Wimbledon and then struggled big time for a while. Rosol is a similar player to Soderling and Nadal seems to be heading down the same path now. He is missing the whole North American hard court season which can’t be good for his confidence. This is as much a mental injury as it is a physical injury.

That loss to Rosol really hurt his pride, just like the one to Soderling did. It will be interesting to see how he recovers from this second big setback now. In 2010 he won three slams but I seriously doubt the same thing is happening in 2013. The physical and mental toll that his game takes may really be starting to tell this time. It’s never wise to write Nadal off but we all know there has to come a point where his physical and mental game took it’s toll. This might be it.

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33 Comments

  1. Hi, Ru-an

    Thinkking about it all, it just proves that Roger is the Greatest of them all – and not just by the obvious – Most weeks at Number 1, 17 Grand Slams, Most GS Finals, 23 straight SF, 33 straight QF.

    He is the only man not to miss a GS event since 2002 or 2003 if I am not mistaken. It’s insane.

    We already discussed how Roger is the master of scheduling and how he is the BEST of shaking losses off quickly. I mean Roger has been through so many tough losses in his life, but somehow he always finds a way to bounce back in a HUGE way.

    That, unfortunately, will NEVER happen with someone like Nadal. What a joker?! He looses to Soderling, and he can’t swallow his pride and just go out there and compete in Wimbledon?! Now again – loses to Rosol and skips US Open.

    He just knows that he’ll be thrashed by Roger should they meet and he’ll keep avoiding him until he feels confident again. And that is why the head to head with Roger is non-sense. How many finals has Roger reached and Nadal always seems to quit and avoid the beatdown? The head to head would have been much more even.

    But it doesn’t matter – it’s all about Roger and Novak now in my personal opinion. Murray lost again and funnily even with Nadal pulling out of the US Open, Murray will still be ranked number 4 in the world unless he reaches the US Open final – something that will not happen. I saw how he lost today – pretty much without the crowd behind him he just can’t do it.

    I’m excited about Roger and Novak though – I feel if Roger beats Novak in the Cincy Final – it will send a message to him that he is still the MASTER!

    Plus, the US-Open will pretty much be a Novak – Roger Final in my book. It will be a sweet rematch and a great way for Roger to avenge the two losses he suffered to Djokovic in 2010 and 2011.

    Roger looked great today and yesterday which shows that the loss to Murray is a thing of the past. He is looking confident and the ball striking is very clean – which is awesome!

    GO RogeR! 5th Cincy Title on the way!!!

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  2. A pleasant surprise seeing Federer playing at such a high level. I wondered after the Wimbledon/Olympics how can he stay motivated, what will make him fight through the first few rounds in Cincy/USO. Well, I guess I shouldn’t have worried, it seems he knows exactly what to do.

    Raonic looks very good, it’ll be a difficult semi.

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  3. Hey Ruan! I’m glad that you’re finally getting yourself settled here in the US

    I think it’s good that Fed will face Fish and then Raonic. It will prepare him for what’s to come in NY. And even though these players will be tests for Roger, definitely not much to worry about, just because of their current states. Fish is just now coming back from the heart scares he had earlier this season, and Raonic hasn’t been able to keep his focus, I think. I always feel like he gets really close, and then he isn’t able to close it out. It’s happened in all of his matches with Fed, and he wasn’t able to upset Tsonga at the Olympics.

    Other than his possible opponents there, I knew that Murray would burn out very soon after the Olympics. No surprise there. For sure, the favorites will surely be Fed vs. Djokovic at the US Open. I really think that it should be Fed and Djokovic in the final this year – it’ll really give Roger a chance at redemption for two US Open finals he’s missed due to Djokovic. That’s the most exciting final I can imagine, especially with Nadal out of the picture.
    And I really have to wonder about what’s happening to Nadal, by the way. I wrote in my last blog that he might not amount to anything more than the King of Clay. I really feel like Nadal is running out of time to make anything more of a name for himself.

    Buuut, I really think Fed has a great chance at making another record by winning a 5th Cincy title, which will give him major confidence for the US Open. Can’t wait to see that match ups for that one!

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  4. So Roger got through Fish today with some vintage attacking tennis. Next up Stan who haven’t won a set since 2009 MC. I expect Roger to win the semi easily and face Djokovic in the final which should be good tennis. Very excited about that match up.

    Ruan, thanks for the post and take it easy! :-)

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  5. We have not seen a Federer/Djokovic Grand Slam final in five years–the last and so far the only one was at USO. The time seems ripe for another.

    Nadal simply doesn’t have the guts to pick himself up and deal with tough losses. Unlike Federer, he just can’t handle risk and uncertainty. Everything has to be made safe and familiar, and the outcome rendered completely certain by pumping up his physical attributes until he can destroy his opponents with brute power; only then will he come out of his den where he has been hiding timidly, and strut and snarl and pose and fistpump right in his opponents’ faces to show us all what a big, strong man he is.

    If he doesn’t believe he can win, he’ll avoid his opponents until he feels he can win again. In reality, he is the furthest thing from brave or courageous; he is a bully, plain and simple–at heart a coward who runs away from confrontation unless he clearly has the upper hand, in which case he takes pleasure in beating up on his weaker victim in order to prove his worth to himself and validate his fragile ego.

    However, once his medical team is done tinkering with his regimen we’re going to see even more ridiculous physical prowess from Nadal come clay season, maybe even AO. If Super-Duper Nadal can’t dominate the tour, then it’s time for Super-Duper-Duper Nadal, and it will be a horrifying sight: more mindless beast than man.

    Anyhow, once Federer really gets going on these fast courts, he can strike with surgical precision and use a lot of classical attacking tennis like serve-and-volley and chip-and-charge. It is just beautiful to see him time the ball so perfectly. Even when he volleys he goes after the ball and attacks it early to take time away from his opponent instead of just waiting for it to float to him, and his timing and technique are absolutely flawless as he gently guides the ball to exactly the right spot.

    He’s played some of his best hard-court tennis here and now that he’s in the semis, he has a great shot at the title. Hopefully he can continue sharpening his weapons for USO and hoist the title there, too. He is hungry for another title after the tough losses of ’10 and ’11 and if he keeps up this kind of attacking tennis it will stand him in good stead for Flushing Meadows.

    Fish was playing as well as I’ve ever seen him play, especially in that second set. He’s got a wonderful all-court game and does very well on the Cincinnati courts, but Federer is Federer. It came down to which man was willing to attack more vigorously and take more risks, and Federer kept up a constant barrage of aggression. Fish held up really well, except for a few mistakes in the tiebreak that came from having to sustain such a high level of play.

    Del Potro might be able to win this semi–the ball flies high and quick and if his serve is on, he may not allow Djokovic a lot of chances on the return. The tempo of play resembles that of Dubai and the Olympics–short points, hard to control the ball properly. Conversely, with his reach Del Potro will be able to return a few more of Djokovic’s serves if the ball bounces high.

    Given how well Djokovic did in Toronto, he’ll be very tough to beat indeed. Still, I feel this court doesn’t play to his strengths: footspeed, endurance, long rallies. To really do well on these courts requires impeccable timing and precision shotmaking, neither of which is his forte. (No points for guessing whose forte those things are, of course).

    C’mon Roger!

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  6. Congratulation Roger!
    So you have done it. Bravo!21th Master’s title tying with Nadal and a difference of over 800 ATP point with Djokovic.Best wishes for the US open!

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  7. Roger did it again. I believe this is some of the greatest tennis I have seen from Roger all year. This season is beginning to feel even more special than in 2009. Simply amazing. 6 titles and counting. 9 titles since last year US Open.

    Absolute Masterclass. And again 21 Masters 1000 titles – tied with Nadal. Can’t get any better than that! :-)

    Allez Roger!

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  8. What a great day for Federer and all fedfans. I didn’t know Novak could eat bagels being on a gluten-free diet. Great display from RF. Congrats!

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    Vily Reply:

    I was gonna say: “You want some cream cheese with that, Novak! LOL

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  9. Damn, missed the match, as it wasn’t shown locally! Disgraceful!

    The first set at 6-0 sounds stupendous. Amazing play. And then to hold on like he did in the second, to stop Djokovic coming back at him. Tieing Nadal (who?) for the most Masters titles. You gotta back him as favorite for the USO next month.

    I was a little worried for Roger after the Olympics. But he is back on track. As for Murray (who played out of his skin in London), where is he now?

    Form is temporary – class is timeless.

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  10. Stop it Roger! Do you HAVE to win again?! I can’t take it anymore! (collapses in agonizing ecstasy). Ruan, Fed family, is this sweet or not?! Fried egg with bagel – yummy! Have you ever seen a more comfortably aggressive Roger? Have we ever seen such beautiful deft touch amazing volleys? And am I the only one seeing a Nadal like forehand from Roger and the forehand down the line is lethal and never seen him hit it as often or as well before?! Damn, he just might win USO! NOOO!!! I’m gonna DIE of ecstasy if he does!!

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    amine Reply:

    I can see the nadal forehand too. its amazing

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    rich Reply:

    What Nadal forehand? I saw only a Roger forehand – the best in the history of the game.

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    amine Reply:

    I have seen him using the lasso nadal like forehand 4 or 5 times per match in last 4 tournaments. Federer strenght is also the fact that he is inspired by other player’s (past and current) game. There is no bout that his forehand is the best in the history of sport but what is amazing is that he is still improving.

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    veronica Reply:

    Lol Rich! How can Fed’s forehand not be the best in the game?! Blasphemous to say otherwise!!! I meant what Amine has replied. Fed played some lasso like Nadal forehand in recent tournaments that I don’t think I’d seen before – another tool in his already overflowing tool box! It was such a beautiful and pleasant surprise. Tennis as how it should be played is back; at least temporarily. Remember we were lamenting not too long ago the loss of classic tennis and some of us were vowing to stop watching the mindless machine-like robotic bashing? The tennis Gods seem to have heard our “prayer” and at least for a time now, we are watching some of the most beautiful tennis being played this year. I hope for tennis’ sake that it could go on a bit longer. What I found different about Fed this year is that he seems to have really gotten over his stubbornnes and willing to try everything and improve whatever he could. Not that he didn’t improve or that his game didn’t evolve. But there was a period (2009-2011) where he was so stubborn, he thought he could still beat the top guys with his “same old game” where I felt he had got a bit “stagnant”. Yes, even 2009 where he had a glorious year, I felt it was a little bit of a lucky year, Nadal being out of Wimby and Roddick being his turkey (although Fed was very clutch in Wimby 2009). Then 2010, eventhough he won A02010 emphatically, I felt he was getting too proud when he beat Murray and Tsonga soundly. I felt he would not be able to win anymore if he was not gonna look deeper into himself. But today, all that seems to be behind him. Even if he plays well and win a tournament nowadays, he is very aware that it is never easy and he never takes anyone for granted nowadays. Hence he is so much more focused in every match. Also he seems to be getting back to the old Fed : figuring out players as he goes along. I think he might have figured out Djoko (athough Djoko didn’t play his best in Wimby and Cincy) Fed is the master of figuring out people’s game and dissecting them. What you all think? I’m also very confident that if Nadal had showed up this year, Fed would have beaten him in all tournament except FO. Meanwhile I’m savouring every moment of every match this year. It had been so long coming and Fed is even more beautiful now in his mature age. His interviews and comments are so honest, inspiring, thought-provoking and insightful. And he is definitely more gracious in losing. With how he is playing now and managing his schedule, dare I hope/dream of a Calendar Slam next year?!! It just MIGHT be possible, folks, if he can maintain this level (especially if Djoko stays a notch lower) I don’t demand anymore from Fed, he has given so much but if he could achieve the Calendar Slam, Oh My Gosh, I’m just gonna keep my mouth shut and not say a word in reverence and awe to the great Roger Federer!

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    amine Reply:

    I have been claiming for a long time now that Federer’s ultimate goal is to acheive the grand slam (calendar or non calendar). I have the feeling that the time is now for various reasons :
    1/ He is playing better than ever especially on the tactical side of his game where you can cleary see that he is adjusting his strategy to the different opponents and surfaces whereas in the past he was more often than not trying to beat opponents in their own game. I think that annacone and painfull losses are the main reason for that change.
    2/ Nadal has consumed his body so the French open is no longer a forteress
    3/ He is psychologically ready because he has nothing to prove. He has won everything already and you can see how relax he is.
    4/ He wants the twins to witness something special and whats more special than the grand slam.
    5/ He looks very sharp and is not suffering from injuries.
    6/ He deserves it more than anybody else since Rod Laver because of his unique versatile game that enables him to win in all surfaces (5 OA finals, 5 RG finals, 8 wimbeldon finals and 6 usopen finals) and thats what a grand slam is all about

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    veronica Reply:

    AMEN Amine! You captured it all in just a few short sentences. I said “dream on” to you when you commented about Fed’s ultimate goal in the past. But now, I cannot help but think it is a VERY real possibility. He has outlasted Nadal, survived Djoko 2.0, achieved everything he has achieved, and he’s (at last!!) not trying to beat opponents’ at their own game. Everything is clicking in his offensive game. Mentally he’s clicking as well. His backhand has become a weapon and is much stronger. He has added to his “liquid whip” forehand (lightning fast, incredible angles and lasso Nadal forehand), his volleys are out of this world. His serve keeps improving, etc etc. If his body holds up, there’s no end to what he can achieve…. “there is no finish line”. If I were the opposition, I would be scared, very scared!!! The resurgence of an “aging” Fed this year is fascinating and just as incredible as his 2004-2007 dominant years. Also, it seems like every match Fed wins from now on is breaking a record! We are indeed spoilt rotten and so privileged to witness this golden era of tennis.

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    Kyle Reply:

    Amine, Veronica, you have addressed everything perfectly. This Federer of 2012 is different than in the previous years. He is thinking so much more clearly out on court and has boosted his mental confidence so much now that he can come up with the clutch play when he needs it, over and over and over. His backhand, defense, serve, and net game have all improved dramatically this year as compared to a few years’ past (2009-2011). For me, the most amazing thing is the shape Fed is in, which has been and always will be underrated. Think of it, this is his 10th year of being at the top of the game (2003-present), and yet he still moves like he’s 24, and now at 31 he has more wins than anyone on tour this year and has played more tennis than anyone else as well. And when Rafa is out with injuries, Fed is racking up the wins and distancing himself from his biggest rival with each and every win, and if he wins the USO, there is absolutely no way Rafa can catch him(not that I think he can even if Fed remains at 17)
    The main thing I think about Fed’s game that is a factor to his success is his movement. I think from 09 to 11, he wasn’t completely healthy throughout – back injuries, illnesses, etc…. now he seems much more fit on a consistent basis and that allows him to play his best tennis week in and week out. Roger’s game is predicated on movement, but of a different kind than Rafa or Novak’s games. Roger must be able to move quick because he takes the ball so early and is always looking to attack. The feet must be light, and the timing must be exquisite. Of course, defense is very important for Fed and he has been able to track down so many more balls than he has in the years prior, which has enabled him to win more points and gain confidence in his ability to play well in the important moments. Something tells me that since the USO last year, he has trained more than he has in the previous few years. You could understand why he wouldn’t in those years because his life literally changed with his twins. Now, it seems he has found the perfect balance between work and family, and I guess now that they are getting older they can start to understand why their daddy is such a star!
    This time is so special and I really don’t want it to end. 12 months ago, saying Fed would reach 20 Slams seemed preposterous, but now it really doesn’t. He wins the USO, that’s 18. Maybe he wins the AO, or takes Wimby and the USO next year. Age isn’t really a factor in my opinion because he’s the youngest 31 year-old I have ever seen, and that’s saying something because he has played more matches than anyone since 2003.

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    veronica Reply:

    Sob! This Sunshine just got rained over! Just found out someone deliberately deleted my precious finger wag FO2011 and WTF bull-flavoured bagel! It’s dark right now – No More Sunshine for the next few days, Jiten! I’ll wait for the clouds to clear, then I’m gonna crack down on all these anti-Fed spies hiding in every corner of my living room pretending to be my loving brother, sister, cousin, friend! But thanks, you make the dark cloud smile, Jiten!

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    Jiten Reply:

    Clouds will clear SUNSHINE! It is just a matter of time. Is it just the pictures or the recording of the entire matches? There used to be couple of websites from which you could freely download all Fed matches in HD DVD quality.

    Talking about the dark clouds, I really want them to hover over the sky of Newyork on the 8th of September and pour down so that in case Fed reaches US open final, he has enough rest from his semi-final match.

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    Veronica Reply:

    Gee! Thanks lots, Jiten! Now, YOU are my sunshine! I didn’t know there are websites like that!! I’ll check it out!!

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    amine Reply:

    Thanks Veronica did you know thay in Arabic amine means Amen?

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    Veronica Reply:

    Okay, amine,that is REALLY cool! Amen, Amen, then! Haha!

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  11. Great analysis of Fed forehand from the ad-court in the Cincinnati final

    http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2012/08/Features/Brain-Game-Federer-Fires-Up-Forehand.aspx

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    veronica Reply:

    Thanks Jiten! Very interesting and informative. You never fail to do your part, Jiten: linking great Fed articles for your family here!

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    Jiten Reply:

    Thanks SUNSHINE. And sun is shining real great on Fed zone these days. Let us savor it as long as it lasts. I am so overwhelmed by the Fed resurgence that I have almost nothing to offer from my side to talk on his game nowadays. But of course, I am sneaking into your comments all the time.

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  12. Ru-an, you are missed! The GOAT experience is incomplete without reading the GOAT blogger. I hope you get settled well and you manage with all the challenges this change to the US has brought to your life. Enjoy this great country, don’t work too hard on your two jobs, stay healthy, and keep in touch with your international family online

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  13. Yes! Common Ru-an! Where are you?!!! We are all hanging here in INCOMPLETENESS until you wrap up! Your boss better pay you fast (so you can get internet) or we gonna point a racket to his head!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Lol Veronica I told you you will have your post by Wednesday, which I’m about to start on.

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  14. Here’s a question for all fed fans. Do you think Federer should try to reverse the head to head against Nadal and make that his primary goal? I think he should also make it a goal to defeat Nadal at the French Open. If any thing I would like to see Federer even up the head to head. The only reason I bring this up is that Roger is playing great right now and seems to be improving on top of that. Plus, Nadal has not been consistent outside of the clay swing which should work in Federer’s favor. Any thoughts?

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    amine Reply:

    The h2h is only meaningfull in 2 cases :
    1/ If you want to compare 2 players that are tight in their acheivments in which case h2h can separate them like goal difference in football when 2 teams have the same number of points at the end of any given championship. This is not relevant in the Federer/Nadal comparaison since Federer is way ahead.
    2/ To analyse, when 2 players are playing each other, the respective changes of winning that particular game. In order to do so you need to analyse in deepth the h2h information by spliting the results by surface and time. If you do this kind of analysis in this case, the obvious conclusion is that Nadal has the edge on clay, Federer has the edge on fast courts and they are quit similare in all other surfaces. The other information that you can take is that Federer is a much more versatile player since he made much more clay court semi-finals and finals than Nadal’s fast court results.
    Personnaly speaking I have no problem with this h2h because, in my mind, its shows only 3 facts : Nadal is the clay court king, Federer is the fast court king, Federer is the versatile king.
    The problem for Nadal fans is that it is their only argument when comparing Nadal to Federer thats why they are bringing it over and over again but we should not fall into their trap and take it as it really is : A clear sign of Federer’s greatness and I clear sign of Nadal’s clay court capabilities and overall fighting spirit.

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