Darth Fed Uses the Force to Slay Groth for US Open Third Round Berth

First of all it was nice to see the real Darth Fed back with black shoes and black socks. And this time The Force was strong with him as there were no lapses in concentration or third set tie-breaks in a routine 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 victory.  The Michael Jordan ‘exho’ was fun and all but it was time to get down to business and make the night his own again. I got up once more for this one but this time my stream was very poor and I had to leave early. It was only when I caught up with the highlights on Youtube that I could get a feel for what was really going on. And again I found myself delighted and impressed with Darth Fed’s play. He has just looked the part so far and I’m sure the title in Cincy did his confidence wonders. Again his backhand was looking like prime level and there were some more moments of pure genius that could only be done by someone who had mastery over The Force.

I mean Darth Vader himself would have been proud. The return at 5-3 and 0-30 was particularly impressive. It reminded me of the return from Darth Fed off a 140 mph monster from Roddick also at the US Open. But this was better in my opinion. Darth Fed off the stretch on his backhand off a 142 mph bomb from Groth, and then the control to just block it back for a scorching winner was ridiculous. Many people will call it luck, but luck explains little. Roger pulls off impossible shots with regularity and calling it luck makes little sense. Then at 5-4 and 15-0 in the second set comes the point of the match where Darth Fed pulls off another miraculous shot where he lobs Groth for a winner on the stretch. The control is just something to marvel at. Finally at 1-1 in the third set and advantage to Groth Darth Fed pulls off another wonderful lob and follows it into the net to finish with a volley winner.

Those were of course not the only moments of brilliance from the mighty Darth Fed but just some I thought worth mentioning. This was the first time I caught a glimpse of Groth and he does indeed have a very powerful serve. The fact that Darth Fed won in straight sets without the need to enter a tie-break shows once more that he is probably the best returner of big serves in the world. He just has a lightning fast eye and he blocks those returns back with sublime timing and precision. Groth isn’t just a big serve though. The rest of his game is pretty good. In the first set, Darth Fed got the break in the seventh game and at 5-4 he served out the first set to love. Then in the second set Darth Fed had the ideal start as he broke in the opening game, only to get broken right back. As I didn’t watch the match I can’t really comment on how Darth Fed got broken, but I don’t see it as a big deal.

What matters to me is that he broke again which he did in the tenth game this time. Darth Fed is the one that then got broken first in the third set in the sixth game, and this time he was the one that broke straight back. I thought that at least this set could head into a tie-break but at 4-4 and game point against him Darth Fed hit a terrific little backhand angled chip return winner that got him back in the game, and on break point Groth double faulted. Darth Fed then served out the match to 15 with an ace. I realize I didn’t see much of the match, but I still feel there is a certain confidence about Roger’s play that I haven’t seen in a very long time. There just seems to be a certain crispness about his strokes. His still backhand looked fantastic and his forehand looked great too. He hit some terrific inside out winners on that side.

He was back…

The serve was in fine shape as always and the winners almost doubled the unforced errors. And this time the break point conversion rate was good. The returns and volleys were great too. For a second round match, this was just the performance you would have hoped for. Roger got the match done in under two hours and there were no scares of losing a set. So no mental or physical stress and no unnecessary energy expended. Roger will next play Granollers and not Karlovic as many a Fedfan feared, which was why I picked Granollers as a possible opponent for Roger for the third round in my draw post. Granollers did a good job of beating Karlovic in five sets. Granollers and Roger have played twice before, both times in Dubai and both times with Roger getting the routine win.

I don’t expect anything to be different this time around. So once again Roger’s draw has worked out well for him knowing that he won’t be up against the massive serve of Karlovic, but Granollers deserves to be where he is and shouldn’t be underestimated. As for the rest of the draw, Fognini tanked against Mannarino so he is already gone, and Mannarino will play Bautista-Agut to find out who faces the winner of Roger and Granollers. Monfils and Gasquet both had straight set wins too and their meeting in the next round could be interesting. Then Dimitrov and in-form Goffin had easy wins and their meeting could be one of the highlights of round four. My countryman Anderson had a good win over Janowicz too and I am happy for him after what happened in Toronto where he choked big time against Dimitrov.

Entertainerer was back too!

He plays Cilic now though which won’t be easy. Then Thiem took out his friend Gulbis in five sets and will play Lopez for a place in the last sixteen. Finally in the bottom half Berdych is still alive, all be it only just after a five set escape against Klizan. Berdych should have gained confidence from that win and now faces Gabashvili. So you would expect him to make the fourth round at least, but then he could face Lopez who he has a 4-6 head-to-head record against. Ferrer is probably still the favorite to come through in that quarter of the draw, but it is pretty open. It could be any of Berdych, Lopez, Cilic, or Ferrer. Or maybe even a surprise semi-finalist. Then in the top half Djokovic is still at his lethal best as he first swept aside Mathieu 6-1, 6-3, 6-0, and then Querrey 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. Also Kohlschreiber removed a danger for Djokovic in Isner, so things are all of a sudden looking much better for Djokovic.

He is now the biggest threat to Roger winning #18 in New York for me again, although I guess Tsonga or Murray have their own plans. Murray has not looked particularly impressive so far though and he could lose to Tsonga, even though he possesses a 9-2 head-to-head lead over Tsonga. Tsonga won his last two matches in straights after dropping a set to Monaco in the first round, while Murray has dropped two sets against lesser known players. So I am slightly favoring Tsonga in what should be a fourth round highlight no doubt. Other than that Stan had a walk over over Kavcic and will now play the seasoned veteran Robredo who keeps impressing after defeating very promising youngster Kyrgios in four sets after dropping the first set. I watched a big chunk of this match and after being very impressed with Kyrgios early on he faded away in the end.

Darth Fed’s defensive lobbing was a feature of his play

I missed the point but according to Jiten Kyrgios missed an easy overhead at 4-3 and break point in the third set, so it seems his inexperience cost him the match there. No doubt he is a huge prospect for the future though. He has a terrific serve and all court game and he looks very confident and clutch too. He just needs to mature a bit still from the looks of things. So Robredo now faces Stan which should be another very interesting fourth round encounter. Finally Raonic vs Nishikori is another fourth round match to look forward to. The top half have shaped up nicely but Djokovic does look like the favorite to come through it at this point. It looks like Roger will have to do it the hard way if he is going to win #18 here. But Djokovic still has tough matches ahead in the next few round so who knows.

 

Highlights: The return is at 1:47, the point of the match at 4:03, and another great defensive lob at 5:04.

Yet another amazing lob: 

Presser: 

http://www.usopen.org/en_US/news/interviews/2014-08-29/201408291409369382967.html

Schedule:

http://www.usopen.org/en_US/scores/schedule/index.html?promo=topnav

Posted in Grand Slams, US Open.

68 Comments

  1. Ru-an,

    Hi! I haves weird feeling that Tsonga is going to take out Murray and beat Djokovic here… He pushed Novak at Wimbledon but was unlucky there and absolutely destroyed him 6:2 6:2 in Toronto…

    Will see! But I see a 5 set epic there in the quarters.. That is of course, if Tsonga doesn’t get burned out by Murray which could also be the case.,,

    I am just following Roger and don’t care much about the other side of the draw – there can be only 1 out of all these “characters” that can meet him in the final. I just hope that Roger won’t have to face Monfils or Berdych – please someone take those guys out already..

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Nice to see you commenting first again Vily. Not sure why you are so worried about Monfils and Berdych. You act like Roger have never beaten these guys and that he is playing poorly. I’m not worried about Monfils, and should Berdych make semis(which is doubtful) then I have full faith that Roger would beat him. You act like Roger should be handed the trophy without having to play any matches. His draw has been friendly enough. If he is going to win #18 then at least he’s gotta do some work himself. If he faces Djokovic in the final(which is highly likely now in my opinion) then he had to be able to beat guys like Monfils and Berdych anyway. No fear.

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  2. Just have to drop in here and say what a marvellous post, Ru-an! Love the title!!! Also, the caption in your last post, “Never turn your back on a Roger tweener”!! “Darth Fed” is littering every one of your sentences, Ru-an! Love it, love it, love it!!! Don’t you think Roger is bringing back the lob big time, Ru-an?! Have always loved the lob and it’s such an effective weapon; don’t know why players don’t use it as often. Yes, the return of that massive 142 serve from Groth was sick! His BH control is just unbelievable. Sometimes it looks so fragile and like he is not really trying at all and boom! there goes a winner! No tb’s! Just incredible! We couldn’t ask for a better score. Roger is the GOAT for slaying serve monsters! There’s still little lapses of concentration tbh and actually the Groth match score could have been even more impressive if those lapses hadn’t occured. But Groth’s no push over and has game; so nothing too serious to worry about except that Roger can’t afford those when he gets to second week. Some very exciting matches to look forward to as you mention, Ru-an. Can’t wait. And Vily, I am so with you! Monfils, Berdych, even Djoker, someone take those guys out already….Hahaha! Stan can be really dangerous too…..ok, Gotta get back to work. Can’t afford all these distractions or my project will never finish!! Enjoy guys and may 18 happen!!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Ronster! I enjoyed making it! I am going to assume Roger will have to beat Monfils, Dimitrov, Berdych, and Djokovic consecutively to win #18, since he may have to do that. I’d prefer he earns #18 anyway instead of having it easy, especially since Nadal is absent. It would be sweeter that way. Good luck with your project!! I hope it doesn’t get too much in the way of you enjoying the USO either. We miss you here.

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    Veronica Reply:

    Thanks Ru-an! Now you are distracting me again! Haha! Just gotta respond this one time…..totally agree with you that victory would be much sweeter if he fought the hard way especially Nadal being out and also to stop the pundits asterisking this victory if Roger wins. But I am past heroics already. I am practical. No matter how well Roger plays and he is totally capable of a second or even a third wind, there is always a vulnerability about it all at this stage of his career. As long as he gets another slam or so, I don’t really care if he gets it through easier players. I would prefer he win a slam going through a lesser player rather than losing a slam going through a tough player. The chances of winning against lesser players are higher than against tougher players. I think he would be very happy as long as he wins; he doesn’t care that he has to beat so and so. At the end of the day, it’s the total slams that count; not who he beat. Allez!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well since you put it that way I have to totally agree with you. A slam is a slam and it doesn’t really matter how he wins #18 since he is coming towards the end of his career anyway. No one really expected last year that he could still win a slam, so he would be proving people wrong no either way. It looks like you got what I was getting at anyway. I guess I just wana see the old Fed back where he was unstoppable. He was almost like that at Wimby and Toronto and Cincy would have given his added confidence. I know he is older and more prone to lapses. I also like that you are practical. But I am not counting out that he could have a Sampras-like US Open run where he is his old unstoppable self and beats whoever is in the way. That would no doubt be the sweetest, and I am not discounting the possibility from what I’ve seen so far. We will just have to wait and see.

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    Veronica Reply:

    Yes, Ru-an, we are on the same page. I’m with you, I’m not discounting that he can do it no matter who he has to go through. I too have a good feeling about this USO. And like you, I long to see the old Fed back. It would be oh so sweet if he beats Djoker after what happened at Wimby. But I’m desperate for that 18. And if his path becomes even easier, all the better! Ha! He just missed it at Wimby. I hope and think he won’t miss it this time. Thanks Ru-an for responding. I know you can’t do it all the time but I like it a lot when you respond to our comments!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well I think whether we like it or not Djokovic is now the most likely to make the final again. And I for one won’t complain because there will be no asterisk if he beats Djokovic in the final, and aside from that he gets his revenge for Wimby. And yet another reason is the brutal losses he suffered to Djokovic in 2010 and 2011 in NY. There definitely seems to be not only unfinished business for Roger in NY but against Djokovic too. It seems meant to be, but who knows what could still happen.
    As for responding to comments I will always try to reply to you first of all but I am gonna try to reply more often from now on. And it’s great to have you back commenting too!

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    Joe Reply:

    Something that is remarkable to me from the highlights above is how close to the baseline Roger stands when returning Groth’s serves. Sometimes he’s right behind the baseline and steps in front of the baseline to return while Groth is still serving (!).

    His game looks just about perfect to me, although I still think he’s pacing himself to some extent, so I’m not too worried about the occasional brief ‘lapse.’

    I think Roger has become a scientist at pacing himself, and a scientist with respect to a lot of other aspects of his game too.

    It surely would be wonderful to see Roger win an epic match in the finals here – but a win is still definitely a win..

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Great comment Joe. Amazing how early he takes the ball on the return and he is definitely pacing himself. Seems to me people are expecting perfection from him off the bat, which is just not how he or anyone else goes about winning slams. I understand they are worried about lapses these days but they gotta believe a bit too. Roger sure is a master at pacing himself.

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    Joe Reply:

    Thanks Ruan!

    I’ve always thought Roger had a great return and didn’t get a lot of credit for it. That’s mostly (I think) because he didn’t try to hit too many winners in his early days; he’d just return the ball deep and say “now we’re even.” Kind of like some chess players who try to equalize with the black pieces before trying to cause too much trouble…

    But things have changed in recent years; I see him taking advantage of the opponent’s second serves a lot more frequently. And standing at the baseline is a great way to get some velocity on the ball and take time from the opponent, on first serve or second.

    But it works only if you have super-human reflexes. Or the Force!

    Of course, there’s no reason our champ can’t have plenty of both!

    Take care, feel better soon.
    Joe

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  3. Correct me Ru-an if I am. “Third round birth” or “Third round berth”? I am yet to read the whole post!

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    Jiten Reply:

    OK. I think, I have got it. The birth of the Darth Fed in the third round. :-) :-)

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Lol nah. Just poor English from my part.

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    Jiten Reply:

    No Ru-an. That is just a typo. Your English is way far better than many English natives. It simply flows spontaneously through your pen (or should I say, your fingers in the keypad :-) :-) ).

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Hahaha. I appreciate it Jiten but my English certainly isn’t better than many of the English natives on this site. I have said before that I rate my English as decent but nothing special. It’s good enough for blogging anyway. I am able to express myself the way I want to express myself aside from the odd mistake like this one and sometimes I have to think for a while before I find the right words to express myself, and even then it could probably have been said better. I’m just happy to be able to attract really good English speaking people here. That means my English can’t be all bad!

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    steve Reply:

    Ru-an, your English is fine. The important thing is A) you have something to say and B) you can make yourself understood. That’s more than a lot of people can manage.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Exactly Steve and thanks. Coming from you that means a lot. It’s obvious that I am not a native when I make mistakes like ‘third round birth’ instead of ‘third round berth’ but like you say it’s not like people don’t know what I mean.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    You are right. It should be third round berth. Damn English as a second language lol. Thanks!

    [Reply]

  4. Great post Ru-an! Thank you for all the great details and energy, especially since you didn’t see it all and not feeling well. Just went from beautiful Shaxi and Dali to nasty xi’an, pollution is brutal and am feeling really bad myself. Throat, lungs, eyes, etc. Have to wear mask, filter black after each day. Am occasionally checking email and living this through your eyes only. So Much appreciated!! Back in Shanghai in a few days so maybe even catch a match. Anyone know when Darth plays next? Sorry I have nothing to contribute these days.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    The pollution sounds crazy Eric. You are very welcome for the posts and don’t worry about contributing. We totally understand you are chasing your own slam. I am myself struggling to keep up with the matches given the time difference and my health as you can see. I’d love to watch some of Roger’s match today for instance but my health must come first. I don’t know when Darth Fed plays next. We will find out when the schedule is released.

    [Reply]

    Eric Reply:

    It’s horrible. You can’t see more than 50 yards. Can’t see the tops of buildings. You can taste it. It’s almost midnight here and can’t fall asleep cause I feel like barfing. If you get a chance though check out Shaxi and Dali. VERY special places on this planet. Can’t complain, blessed to be on this ride. Take care of yourself buddy. Gonna try to sleep.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Same here I’m off to bed. Yeah that sounds crazy. Good luck man. It’s all part of the great big adventure!

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    Vily Reply:

    I assume that Darth Fed will play again on Thursday and I’ll be there! ;-) Sorry, I had to brag once again.

    But I think it’s because he played two night sessions so they’ll put him to play 2 days sessions now and then a night session for the QFs..

    [Reply]

    veronica Reply:

    I don’t mind this kind of bragging at all, Vily! Keep us posted, won’t you?!

    [Reply]

    Eric Reply:

    Right on, Vily!!! Have a blast!

    [Reply]

  5. Hey Vily,

    It’s ok to brag – but we certainly hadn’t forgotten about your visit to the venue for the QF match! :-)

    Here’s hoping you see some ‘vintage Darth’ !! But day or night, it won’t matter this time around: “The force is strong with this one.”

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  6. Isn’t it great to see Federer just having fun out there? Last year he was always worried about his fitness, he couldn’t relax and enjoy himself, even routine matches were a huge struggle. Now he’s physically much better, and the new racket gives him a bit of extra margin on all his shots so he doesn’t have to think about “Can I get this ball into play? Or will my back give out?” all the time.

    He really relished the challenge of Groth, he’s kind of like a Becker type who uses his power and size to smother the net. And Federer put on quite a show, using his own S&V and returning really intelligently, and coming up with some great lobs and passing shots. He was able to read Groth’s serves very well, as these big servers have power but usually their disguise and placement aren’t at that high a level. And he’s got incredible reflexes and great hands so he can do something with the return.

    When Groth broke in the third set, I was initially resigned to a fourth set, but then I reminded myself of how Federer fought and fought at Wimbledon and also in Cincinnati. And indeed, he stayed calm and dug in, kept putting in those tricky returns that gave Groth no rhythm, and won four games in a row for a perfectly symmetric scoreline.

    Ru-an is right, Federer is happy and confident, and that’s when he plays his best tennis. If he goes down a break, it’s no big deal. He just keeps working away, sure that he can make something happen. And as happened against Murray in Cincinnati, and here against Groth, he turned it around completely.

    If he keeps playing this way, I like his chances against anyone.

    And Eric, best of luck in China!

    [Reply]

  7. Are players allowed to speak with their coaches during these delays?

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Sorry I missed your comment Joe. This morning I was trying to watch and having so many problems with my stream that I couldn’t really follow comments. Yes the players are allowed to speak to their coaches during rain delays.

    [Reply]

  8. Is Roger having a problem with adjusting from night sessions to day sessions? Just a thought of mine.
    Hope someone will be able to answer your question, Joe.
    Best,
    Dolores

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    Yes, daytime conditions look much faster than night time conditions.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I don’t know because first of all I didn’t watch the match, but I would imagine so Dolores.

    [Reply]

  9. Never mind. Damn.

    [Reply]

    steve Reply:

    Sigh. Well, looks like he’ll have to do this the hard way. Seems like he still has no rhythm. And Granollers is playing well.

    [Reply]

  10. Well, after saving break points at 0-1 in the second, he won 9 games in a row to take it 6-1 and go 3-0 in the third! He’s really upped his game.

    Granollers doesn’t have a powerful serve, Federer is returning very aggressively and that’s allowing him to come in a lot. The conditions have changed, it’s not as windy and that may be helping him.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Interesting scoreline. I just caught a little in the end. I guess they started playing in the day and Fed didn’t adjust so well. Anyway the triple bread stick is nice.

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    Jiten Reply:

    In his interview he said that before the rain delay, the condition was very windy and he had difficulty adjusting to it. Wow! 57 winners and only 27 UF errors, quite impressive. He really wanted to dominate after the loss of the first set and he indeed did dominate! Last three sets were attacking tennis at its best. Goderer!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Amazing. Just utter dominance in the last three sets.

    [Reply]

  11. In a way, I like what happened today. Yes, Toger came out lazy and sloppy as if he just woke up. Yes, after the rain delay, he came back and broke back and technically could have closed in straight sets. But no matter! I actually like what I saw. In fact, I like that Roger lost the first set so that I could see what his response would be. A triple breadstick – that’s a great response..

    Now, we could already start to make comparisons to his standard of play at Wimbledon but I think that he’s playing slightly different. Slightly more “unhinged” at the US Open. He’s attacking on pretty much everything. Down 0:40 he goes for the Serve and Volley. Sometimes, it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

    Yes, maybe his serving was slightly more consistent at Wimbledon since he rarely ever got broken but here, when he needs to, he serves well. He is able to break opponents with much ease in comparison to Wimbledon. His return game is slightly better than at Wimbledon. And he’s able to close matches now – especially when serving for sets or matches, there is no struggle.. I like it.

    I think that even when he gets broken, he doesn’t panic and goes for it on the return and more often than not he is able to succeed.

    In terms of the conditions, yes, maybe it technically became an evening match again so that might have helped Roger. Therefore, I want to see how he’ll do in the 4th round, since he’ll play another day session again there.

    Now, it seems that this side of the draw, although it looked easy on paper, is completely the opposite and vice versa, thus far. Roger will most likely play Monfils and Berdych prior to the Final but that’s ok. His way of unhinged striking at will (almost like ping-pong) is very risky, and almost crazy at times – but I think that it is the only to beat those guys. That’s what they do to him and he’ll need to trust his game and play all out in order to beat them. In other words, he’ll play very high risk tennis. But in like that when he was forced to bring his A game after losing the first set, Roger came out with the bazooka. So, in a way, I like that new Roger so far is this tournament. Obviously there is a fine line but I think when Roger plays with freedom, with “letting go”, he can beat anyone. Obviously the key will be to sustain it and to harness this positive energy as the tournament moves forward… Hopefully, it will work our well for him. But I’d rather enjoy each match and not assume too much because so far matches that were supposed to be easy were harder and vice versa.

    Onwards and upwards!

    [Reply]

  12. Great comment Vily! Gosh, for a moment I had a Robredo flashback! Ha! But I totally agree with you, Vily. Good that Roger is tested. Again as how things have panned out, nothing is certain in tennis, and it is not always about having a hard or easy draw. Most prob slow start was the difficulty adjusting to day session. It was windy too I heard. Bit of a surprise as I think Roger is the best wind player. Thank god he has another chance to play in the day. Hope weather holds though so he can play a proper full day match. Goffin and Thiem playing outstanding tennis! Hope Thiem can push Berdych at least if not beat him. Allez!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well it proves that your practicality was the right approach Veronica, at least to a certain extent. It’s like you say in tennis nothing is ever certain and no draw is easy. That said, I am happy how things turned out with the triple bread stick. I think also it was the adjustment to the day session, and at least that is behind him now and he knows what it feels like even though there was a rain delay and he didn’t play the full match in the day. If he has only one match left in the day then it won’t be much on an adjustment anyway. He either wins or not.

    [Reply]

    veronica Reply:

    I watched the replay as I recorded it. Actually, I worried for nothing when I watched a bit of the first set live. Roger was just a little distracted with the weather. Granollers was playing well but he has no weapons. It is still a straight forward win for Roger despite dropping the first set; no drama. And it’s good he has some rhythm going after playing Granollers. What you think of Agut? Quite a bit of talk/hype about him.

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    Hi Sunshine :-) :-) , have you realized despite the match going to four sets, it still took less than two hours? First strike tennis at its best! About Agut, he is not like the other Spanish players (in some way, Granollers also falls in that category) who would go for heavy topspin most of the times, instead, he goes for flat shots with occasional slices. He pushed Dull to three sets in Barcelona this year and has won two tournaments this year on grass and clay (the commentators said 3 in 3 different surfaces, I don’t remember the third). I don’t think he has any big weapon which will bother Fed, that too in his current form. Just a decent player who is hitting good form this year.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Right Jiten. He simply has no big weapons. Therefor I cannot possibly see how he can win a set off Roger, unless Roger really sucks. And I find that hard to believe after what he did to Granollers in the last three sets.

    [Reply]

    veronica Reply:

    Yeah,Ru-an, that’s what I think too about RBA, don’t understand all the hype. Let’s hope Roger starts sharper and gets it done in straights; enough of all these pesky Spaniards already! Ha!

    [Reply]

    veronica Reply:

    Hey bro! That was exactly what I was surprised with and so thankful for. 4 sets and it took less than 2 hours! First strike tennis at its beastly best: strike! strike! strike! Gosh, the poor ball has no time to breathe! Ha! The weather just bothered Roger a bit; nothing to worry about. As for RBA, you summed it perfectly, Jiten,”just a decent player who is hitting good form this year!” May the first strike tennis continues in chapter 4! Allez!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    People are making a big deal of RBA winning two titles this year, but who did he beat to win those Mickey Mouse events? The highest ranked player he beat was Fognini at #15, and we all know how crazy Fognini is. The second highest ranked player he beat was #32 Garcia-Lopez and 7-6 in the 3rd. The 3rd highest ranked player he beat was Mahut at #41. I mean seriously if any Fedfan is worried about this guy then they have no faith in their player.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah losing the first set means nothing to me Veronica. I don’t understand the hype around RBA. To me he is a small time pusher as far as pro tennis go. But just as I say something like that he will probably go and make Roger’s life impossible, so I won’t say much more. I will just say that he could be in for a short night.

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  13. I am still of the firm belief that when Roger plays his absolute best (not just well, but his absolute best tennis), no one can stop him. Not Rafa, Novak, Andy or any other big hitting player. Roddick once famously said after a Wimbledon final between him and Roger: “I threw the kitchen sink at him, but he went and got his tub.” Look at what he did to Rafa at WTF 2011, or Del Potro at AO 2009, or Djokovic at Cincy 2012. When he is on, he is unstoppable. He just has this extra gear that I’m not sure any player in the history of the game could match. As Roger would say: “When I play well, I almost always feel like the match is on my racquet.” Let’s hope he can produce 4 more vintage Fed classics to seal his place as undisputed GOAT. No one would think that Rafa is greater if Roger has 4 more slams and won one of them at 33! (nobody with at least one brain cell that is, which obviously excludes John McEnroe).

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well there are many people who lack many brain cells Charlie. But I agree that winning this title would make him just about impossible to surpass. It would put the writing on the wall as they say.

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  14. And Grigor made it to the 4th round… He’s 0:4 against Monfils but you never know. I may get my money’s worth on Thursday after all..

    At this point I am not sure what will happen. Like I said prior. I am more nervous about Roger actually making the finals than him actually winning it if he gets there… I guess having tricky opponents will push him (and us as fans) but then it will all be worth it in the final. At Wimbledon, it was almost TOO easy the way he made it to the finals and that’s why he ultimately lost. Here, on paper the road seemed even easier but in reality it is not.. It’s difficult as each match has shown so far. Everyone wants a piece of Roger and it is up to him to put everyone down and claim this title.. I still think he can but it won’t be just Djokovic that stands in his way. There are 4 people standing in the way..

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    veronica Reply:

    Maybe you are right, Vily. Wimby was too easy getting to final. This USO doesn’t look like so. It’s gonna be tricky from now on. One match at a time. Beli8ve. Btw, love his day attire/shoes too!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Ok lets look at this from an optimistic viewpoint for a second. Not saying it is the right way or anything but just for the sake of it. I would say given how Fed has played it is quite possible that he destroys RBA. Dropping the first set to Granollers is not an issue in my book. I watched the highlights and Granollers looked like he was teeing off on everything in the first set and making it. But as soon as he went off the boil Fed took control and destroyed him. I think he should be able to negotiate RBA in straight sets. RBA can’t tee off even if he tried. He is a pusher. Then Monfils and Dimitrov will probably have a long match and be tired. Fed the way he has been playing should no way lose to either of them anyway. If he plays Berdych in the semis it could be tricky but still I would favor him. Berdych could lose to Thiem or Cilic though. And in the final if he gets that far the only guy I could see stopping Fed is Djokovic. But who cares really? Not much point looking further ahead in the draw than the next round!

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    veronica Reply:

    Great perspective as always, Ru-an! OK, One.round.at.a.time!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Btw I may just have made a breakthrough concerning my health. I’ve had a cat living with me lately and I’m 99.99 % sure my ‘cold’ has been caused by it. I am allergic to cats but I have lived with a cat before and didn’t have symptoms this bad. The only thing I can do now is to get rid of it or I will stay sick indefinitely. I just couldn’t understand why I didn’t get better! Just thought I’d let you guys know anyway. Hopefully now I can watch some more tennis once I put the cat outside of the house, although its hair is probably still everywhere.

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    elizabeth Reply:

    Hi Ru-an goodnews for you, not so sure about the cat! I felt that Roger looked unsettled from the get go, he kept looking up at the sky and once he got the first set out of the way well it was just a different match. The other player definately deserved the first set. There are quite a few good names on this ‘easy’ part of the draw, I think Cilic is still there but Fed is playing so well so C’mon Roger.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    What do you mean ‘not so sure about the cat’ Elizabeth? You don’t think it is the cat? Because by now I know it is the cat. I never get sick and if I feel something coming I sleep it right off. I don’t stay sick for days never mind weeks.

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    elizabeth Reply:

    Ru-an was just wondering if the cat was in good health after you realised it was the problem haha x

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    veronica Reply:

    Yeah, Elizabeth, the fact that he kept looking up at the sky explained his first set loss. He was a bit bothered about the weather. And yeah, he is playing so well. Really like his new aggressive style; pushing on and not being discouraged and the confidence too. Btw, have you noticed he is finger wagging a lot??!!! And is it me or is his hair thinning a bit at the front?!! Please say no, Elizabeth!!!! I can’t bear it if it is!! I so love his hair!!! Hahaha!!

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    veronica Reply:

    Miao!!….haha! You just might be right. I’m not allergic to cats too but last year I went to some singing lessons and the teacher had this cat sitting at the piano starring at me. Don’t know if it is the hair or the stare but I got all funny in my throat and eyes. I politely told her to remove the cat and like magic, my throat and eyes cleared!

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    Alex Reply:

    Please make sure you find a good home for the cat. If you were in my part of the world I could have helped with the re-homing process but we’re too far away. Have you thought what you will do with it?

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