Djokovic and Federer to Face Off in Third Cincinnati Masters Final

Well, it was another dramatic day of tennis in Cincinnati in which Djokovic and Federer prevailed to meet for the 41st time in the head-to-head which is currently tied up at 20-20. It is also the third time they will meet in the Cincy final with Federer having won the first two. Here is how it played out today.

  • Djokovic Makes Another Great Escape

How does he keep doing it? After coming out flat and playing a pretty average first set Djokovic soon found himself down 4-6. He then did the hard work to break at 4-3 and served for the second set at 5-3, but got broken right back. They headed into a tie-break in which Djokovic went a mini-break down right away. He got the mini-break back but at 4-4 he dropped his serve again and now he was in desperate trouble with a rabid Dog serving at 5-4.

But like the saying goes, when the going gets tough the tough gets going. Djokovic got the mini-break right back and at 5-5 a brutal rally ensued which Djokovic finally won after an unforced error from The Dog. Then serving at 6-5 another long rally ensued which Djokovic finally won with a crosscourt forehand winner to clinch the crucial second set. The dude is just incredibly clutch and never surrenders.

CNCVu4bWwAAPF0Q

After Djokovic squared things up it was always likely that he would run away with the third set which he did 6-2. Like I said in my last post The Dog is a talented player who can beat anyone on a given day so it wasn’t all that surprising that he pushed Djokovic to his very limits. But it also has to be said that Djokovic looked sluggish from the start and only did what he needed to get the win.

And it’s not surprising that he looked uninspired coming out of the blocks given all the tennis he played of late and this year. People were already saying after he did the Indian Wells/Miami double that he was burned out, but he just keeps digging deep and finding another gear. It’s inspiring stuff. And unlike Murray he is able to consistently come up with the goods when the going gets tough.

  • Murray Fails Once More Against Federer

Unlike Djokovic, Murray was not able to come up with the goods in the second set tie-break as he lost 6-4, 7-6(6) to Federer. This is now his fifth consecutive loss to Federer and you would have thought after the Wimbledon humiliation that perhaps he would show a bit more urgency. But since the start he was on his own case again, berating himself and scolding his camp. He also wasn’t nearly offensive enough.

Just no belief. Only right at the end in the breaker did he make a couple of fist pumps but by then it was too late. And now you know why Djokovic has won nine slams and Murray two. It’s all in the self-belief and positive body language, which Murray has very little of. He has all the talent in the world but he is just way too negative out there and way too often he resorts to pushing instead of taking the initiative.

CNC0u6bWwAAAyjA

Not to take anything away from Federer, but by now we know exactly what to expect from him in Cincy and so should Murray. Murray was sitting at the changeover after losing the first set telling himself: ‘So FLAT, so FLAT!’ just to make sure his opponent and the rest of the world knows it. How exactly is that going to help him win the match? Well, it didn’t. He lost and he deserved to.

  • Final Preview

Now then. It’s time for Djokerer 41.0 and are we going to see a repeat of what happened at Wimbledon this year from the semis onward? It’s doubtful. I think this will prove to be one too many for the Djoker. He did fantastically well to even make the final but at the cost of another brutal encounter that drained his last little bit of energy. I don’t see how he will have anything left in the tank for the final.

It’s ok. Federer can have this one anyway. He didn’t play Montreal like Djokovic and all his opponents aside from Murray rolled over cheaply in Cincy. Look, even at 34 he will still have plenty left in the tank. And besides, Djokovic won in Indian Wells, Rome, and Wimbledon. It would probably be better for the Djoker to get schooled quickly in straight sets so that he has something left for New York.

CNDIQgqWgAADTCQ

Damn right!

I can already hear some of you saying that I said the same thing before the Wimby final and that I am trying to jinx. But this is clearly a very different situation. Here’s why:

  1. Federer won both their previous meetings in the Cincy final in straight sets, and that includes two bakery products.
  2. It is best of three which isn’t a physical disadvantage for Federer at his age.
  3. On top of that Federer skipped Montreal and is fresh as a daisy while Djokovic has had a brutal two weeks which included four brutal three-set matches.
  4. The surface may be even more favorable to Federer than at Wimbledon. My reasoning behind that being that Djokovic has never won the Cincy title while he’s won three Wimby titles.
  5. Federer won the finals in Shanghai last year and Dubai this year which are similar surfaces to Cincy. Over the best of three on fast surfaces he has had the better of Djokovic.

CNCmMIqUcAATKJF

So close but yet so far…

I think those are more than enough reasons for Federer to be the favorite for the final. Clearly it is a very different situation than Wimby was. Obviously Djokovic badly wants this title to complete the career Masters and do something neither Federer nor Nadal could do, but I think it will prove to be one too many. It’s going to be a tough loss because it will be the third time he loses to Federer in the Cincy final.

But like I said it wouldn’t hurt too much knowing that he won the important matches in Indian Wells, Rome, and especially Wimbledon. You can’t win them all. You just have to accept that everyone has their limits. Federer has played very well this year and the Wimby final loss must have hurt. He probably deserves to win something bigger than an ATP 500. And of course if he does he will be the second seed for the US Open.

Should be another interesting match!

  • Highlights

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zHDAcK3144

The is in your court.

Posted in Cincinatti, Masters 1000.

53 Comments

  1. My friend, in almost every post you declare either a new era or a false dawn. Last time, it was the dawn of the Djokoray era and now that Federer has beaten Murray, he can’t consistently come up with the goods. Why not just enjoy the tennis and leave the declarations and demarcations of eras to the historians and the bandwagon-jumpers (a la McEnroe, Agassi, etc)? Just a suggestion. It IS your blog after all..

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Oh, I’m enjoying the tennis all right. I don’t know what you are talking about.

    [Reply]

  2. I thought we would end up with Djokerer 41.0, no one else has looked capable of stopping them. Djoko wasn’t impressive last night but as you said Ruan, he still got the job done. Federer wasn’t playing as well as he did at Wimbledon either, but he produced the right shots at the right time. Murray cannot read the Federer 2nd serve at all, and has not broken his serve in over a year!
    I expect both to raise their level for the final as although it’s not a Slam, it’s important for both of them for obvious reasons. Novak has the pressure and has played more tennis, but he’ll be fine – he always recovers in time.

    A word on Nadal: could still be wrong, but I think he’s done now. Certainly for this year, at least, literally everyone in the Top 10 and those outside the Top 100 have threatened and/or beaten him – he’s not even injured, he’s just lost his mentality. AO 2014 was a massive turning point for him.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Right, Krish. The AO has been interesting for Fedal. Both of them had kind of traumatic losses there which had a big effect on their futures.

    [Reply]

    Ben Chia Reply:

    Hi Krish,

    At start of the year, many people were predicting the demise of Nadull and all of us brushed aside like mosquitoes. What do you know, this year’s quite the dream season for Nadull, no?

    I mentioned then that his fall from grace will be spectacular. More than midway through the season, #Rafa-zero-zero streak continues to amaze fans, much to my delight. Best part of the deal is… only hard courts left… LOL!

    While Nadull”s still a pretty high ranked player, his current form is nothing short of abysmal by the top 4 standard. Murray, Nole, Fed are all still competing deep into tourneys. Rafa’s an almost forgotten presence. But its becoming so norm, its not as fun anymore. Still, I’m not complaining that Nadull continues to NOT be able to meet an in-form Fed.

    Looking fwd to a big fight later between fed and nole. As you mentioned, this one is Big for both of them. Ah, the anticipation!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes, who would have thought Nadull would have won no Masters event at this point in the season? And there is no way he is winning Shanghai or Paris. And you predicted it!

    [Reply]

    Krish Reply:

    LOL, BC! The moment Nadal meets a top 10 player these days, he gets spanked. 14 losses and counting for the year – the real question is will he play out the rest of the season?

    [Reply]

  3. Heart and Head with fed for his 7th. But gut feel is that Nole will raise his game to get his 9-9 sweep.

    Happy problem though. Both players I like and suppprt. Plus Nadull is nowhere to be seen. Sweet.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Your prediction is going to be right BC. Nadal won’t win anything about ATP 500 this year. Looking forward to him getting roasted at the WTF again. If he makes it that is.

    [Reply]

    Ben Chia Reply:

    Ha.. ha.. @Ru-an, Nice burn on your closing comment. Smooth :-)

    [Reply]

  4. Should be a good match. These two guys seem to bring out the best in each other. The conditions probably favour Roger a little bit, but I have this nagging feeling that Djoker has him completely figured out at this point. All I can ask for is a good match, and may the best man win.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    We will se BE. Maybe you are right.

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    To be honest I still think that the Djokovic-Federer rivalry is a very even match on faster surfaces. I’m not trying to discredit Djokovic but Federer is never at his best on slower courts these days, and on faster surfaces they are 1-1 this year. So particularly given this is best of 3 I am inclined to agree with your prediction.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well, I will say this. If Djokovic wins today he will have won all the big matches this year including the ones on faster courts and Federer would find it difficult to ever beat him again. If he can’t beat Djokovic at Wimby or Cincy, where will he be able to beat him? Djokovic would also pull ahead in the h2h and Federer would most likely end with a negative h2h against his two main rivals.

    [Reply]

    Ben Chia Reply:

    Makes a strong case as usual. But, side issue. At rate Nole is going, he going to insert himself into the GOAT debate. I’m jumping the gun a bit but if he keeps this up another 2 years (pray no injury), he’s gonna be right there. With age catching up fed, it will be a miracle if Fed can keep his h2h against nole at 50%.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    It’s interesting because Djokovic broke his 2011 record of points in the rankings with yesterday’s win, and we have a long way to go. I never bought the fact that he is playing better than he did in 2011, but it is hard to argue with numbers. If he wins the USO then I’d have to admit he is probably having a better season. And that could bode well for his future.

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    Yep I think next year determines which way his career goes. If he goes back to one slam years or doesn’t win a slam next year he will probably end up with a Borg-like career: no disgrace but not really in the GOAT discussion. But another multi-slam year next year would set him up quite nicely for at least a run at Nadal’s 14.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    The big one is the USO this year.

    [Reply]

    Ben Chia Reply:

    Hi Charlie, I think you are in safe territory with Nole at 14. Even with his dominance this year, I was shocked to realized that he surpassed 2011 points! Should he stay healthy and focused, and continue his fantastic run till for another 2 years, he would have put himself firmly in the GOAT debate. I would love for that to happen because it automatically shuts up the people who always use the Nadull H2H record over fed as their ultimate argument. With Nole in the picture, things get a little complicated, no? :-)

    Yo Ru-an, I am enjoying the lively discussion on your blog. I read many other articles while waiting for your latest post. What an ass**** for making us wait so long… (Kidding!). Still your latest post http://bit.ly/1WPW7es was a good read. Not the best I have seen from you, but a good one nonetheless. With whole world glossing over fed’s audacious net rushing play, trust that only you would post “fed surprised nole…”. Don’t be surprised to receive hate mail from fed fans, not that you will be affected anyway.

    My fav play of whole tournament was during fed’s game against murray. The one where score was tied 6-6 in second set and fed “toyed” with Andy to win the point and ended with a murray racket smash. So calm vs so frustrated. Priceless.

    Lastly, Nole showed class in defeat. So unlike another player who-shall-not-be-named. Ya, it was a satisfying 7th title for Fed. I don’t care the court conditions or other players injury, a win is a win. Vamos, Federer!

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    Now Federer has won in Cincy and Murray in Toronto the US Open is shaping up quite nicely, can Djokovic take home the big one as he has done all year (except FO) despite sometimes appearing shaky in smaller events or will Fed/Murray play spoiler? Or perhaps a surprise winner like Cilic last year? Looking forward to it.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Should be interesting Charlie. Federer looks good as he always does after Cincy. It’s hard to believe he will win the USO for the first time since 2008, but stranger things have happened. Murray is in with a shot. Djokovic still probably the favorite but he’s gonna have to raise his game from Montreal and Cincy.

    I actually think this loss was not that bad because I believe it will motivate him as opposed to having won it and having his way again. Federer taught him a lesson and that could just be the little extra motivation he needed to win that second USO title. He needs it badly for his resume and the GOAT debate anyway. It would still be a tremendous year if he doesn’t win it, but it would make things less interesting for the GOAT debate and tennis going forward.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    On the flip side of that you could say that another final loss means Djokovic’s level is just not what is has been like you are sort of suggesting. I definitely don’t think it is, but it would be better to lose Montreal and Cincy and win the USO as opposed to the other way around. It’s all about the big one and if Djokovic needed to play below his best until now to play his best in NY then I am all for it.

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    Perhaps I am being a little harsh on Novak, perhaps my expectations are a bit high, but to not win a Masters event in the run-up to the US Open and lose to both your main rivals in finals (giving them confidence that they can beat you in the USO), is a bit troubling for Novak. Obviously it depends how the USO turns out. If Novak wins it will be like Nadal’s 2014 RG, no one remembers that he was terrible on clay (by his standards) in the run-up. But if Novak loses then perhaps these two tournaments were the warning signs.

    But these US Open odds make no sense, here are the top 6:

    Djokovic: 5/4
    Murray : 7/2
    Federer: 5/1
    Wawrinka: 15/1
    Nishikori: 18/1
    Nadal: 20/1

    Djokovic is about right IMO but why the hell is Murray above Federer and Djokovic? Federer has a much better chance of beating Murray than Murray beating him, and they are about equal in terms of chances to win against Djokovic. I would swap Murray and Federer’s odds. Wawrinka and Nishikori should be reduced a bit to 12/1 and 15/1 respectively IMO. As for Nadal, they should put him to about 30/1 and that’s perhaps being generous. Interested to see what everyone else thinks about this.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well, we will just have to wait and see. And I wouldn’t call making two Masters finals being terrible on hard.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Of course, that doesn’t mean he will. Someone else can easily win the title. Even Federer. We will soon find out.

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    I think where Murray falls in the draw is important. While I don’t think either Roger or Novak will lose to him, he could take either to four or five sets, leading them tired for a potential Federer-Djokovic final. I definitely think Federer is the second favourite rather than Murray, given Murray’s recent history with Federer and Djokovic.

    [Reply]

  5. Good post, Ru-an.

    Your prediction for the score was very close to the actual result, but I didn’t see that Murray was tired. He ran like a rabbit, neutralized Federer well from the baseline, and served brilliantly (upping his percentage in the second set). Federer won because he was moving great and his footwork was flawless, allowing him to stay on the front foot, step into the court early in rallies, and go for his shots.

    The Dog had his chances, but like Gulbis, failed to take them and paid the price. Only a player capable of consistently producing attacking play at the key moments of the match can beat Djokovic. Just trying to hit winners all the time isn’t going to get the job done.

    Once things were level, the edge came off of Dolgopolov’s shots, and Djokovic was able to easily contain him with defense, resulting in Dolgopolov’s total collapse as he went for riskier and riskier shots, causing the UEs to pile up.

    There’s no real suspense in such a match since it’s inevitable that such a player, hitting with wild abandon, is going to run out of gas, at which point he won’t be able to hit through Djokovic’s brick-wall defense, and then he’ll fall apart.

    There are three real ways Djokovic can be beaten. One, a big server like Isner serves godlike and denies Djokovic any baseline rhythm. Two, a slugger like Del Potro blows Djokovic off the court with consistent heavy hitting. Three, Federer plays a perfect match and pierces Djokovic’s defense with pinpoint timing and all-court tennis. But a random opponent playing the match of his life isn’t going to do anything.

    The “tiredness” is irrelevant, in my view. Djokovic struggled during Wimbledon last year, playing a tough five-setter and then a tough four-setter on his way to the final, and ended up winning the title. So the fact that he’s played a scratchy tournament indicates absolutely nothing, as does the “stomach injury” business.

    And this year he reached the finals of all four spring HC tournaments starting with AO, winning three of them, including the IW/Miami double which takes place over two consecutive weeks. No signs of tiredness then. But now, after playing just one measly HC tournament after a month-long post-Wimbledon break, we’re supposed to believe he’s tired? I don’t buy it.

    To compare the Federer/Murray semis here and at Wimbledon: at Wimbledon, Federer’s first serve percentage was an astronomical 76%–a statistical anomaly, as Roddick pointed out, that he was unable to repeat in the final. Federer peaked in the semis and it cost him in the title match.

    This time, Federer played well enough to win, but not godlike. His first serve percentage was good but not amazing; the difference was that he backed his second serve very well. Murray was unable to get any looks even when Federer missed his first delivery; he didn’t even manage a break point. Importantly for Federer, he managed to get an early break with some aggressive play before Murray could get settled; this allowed him to put scoreboard pressure on Murray and relieved him of that same pressure. (This was not the case in Wimbledon, where he only managed to break Murray at the end of each set).

    So hopefully Federer has enough to peak in the final and get this title. The key for Federer will be the serve. When he beat Djokovic in Dubai, he was serving amazingly. If his first serve is on, Djokovic won’t have any chances to get into long rallies and Federer will be able to attack Djokovic more easily, since he’s moving so well.

    C’mon Roger!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Acting like neither Murray nor Djokovic is tired after two brutal weeks shows your extreme bias, Steve. Murray came off two brutal three setters and a brutal campaign in Montreal, while Djokovic came off a brutal SF with the Dog with no day of rest as opposed to a straight setter vs Gasquet at Wimby and a day of rest. As opposed to that Federer had three quick straight set wins and skipped Montreal. Both Murray and Djokovic looked utterly exhausted and Federer picked up the pieces. Let’s see if he can repeat this over best of five in NY when Djokovic and Murray had a week to recover. If he does I’d be more than willing to admit that he still has what it takes.

    [Reply]

    steve Reply:

    Ru-an, my favorite player just won a seventh title at this Masters tournament at the age of 34, without dropping a set or being broken (this is the second time he’s done so). I’m enjoying that accomplishment too much to think about the US Open, which might as well be a century from now.

    Federer worked very hard and played great to earn this title, and if his opponents were tired, that’s their problem, not his. He can only take care of things on his end, and he did.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    ‘and if his opponents were tired, that’s their problem, not his.’

    No one said otherwise. If objectivity bothers you this is not the blog for you.

    [Reply]

  6. Yesss! Seventh heaven in Cincinnati!

    [Reply]

    rahan Reply:

    What a day: in the afternoon Bolt and in the evening Roger !!!

    I think that he still has what it takes. And actually the tennis is more interesting now, when you don’t know if your favorite player will win everything.

    [Reply]

    steve Reply:

    Indeed, it’s more interesting now since Federer’s been pushed to dig deep and try new things that he wouldn’t have tried in his best days. That half-volley service return didn’t always work, but it paid off in the tiebreak on a crucial point.

    It would be boring if he could still win playing the same game he dominated with in 2004-07. Now we get to see him experiment more (after all, he has to, otherwise the top players will beat him).

    [Reply]

    Bharata Reply:

    Yes, a good win. Have to like the new strategy of attacking returns – why not, he will lose a 20-shot BH to BH rally anyway. It really comes down to court speed though, in New York Djokovic would be able to get to more balls and that would be the difference (as in Indian Wells the last 2 years).

    Of course though Federer benefited from Djokoivc being a bit tired out. But that might say more about Djokovic’s form if he was stretched so much vs Goffin and Dolgopolov. Murray also should have lost to Dimitrov earlier, I saw that match and Dimitrov should have closed out the 3rd but played a WTA-like service game when serving for the match at 5-3.

    Altogether a strong showing for Federer not to be broken once and avoid Djokovic in NYC. I don’t think this will affect Murray and Djokovic too much either, so everything is as it was after WImbledon.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Great balanced comment Bharata. I wish everyone could be this normal. Then I wouldn’t have to look like an asshole all the time.

    [Reply]

    Bharata Reply:

    Ha ha thanks, I just read your reply and had to laugh out loud.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Lol. I’m serious, though. It’s exhausting having to be the asshole all the time. It makes me want to post less.

    [Reply]

  7. Shall we pray for the same draw (QF: Nadal, SF: Murray, F: Djokovic) for the next US open ?

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I wouldn’t if I wanted Fed to win the title. But last year he didn’t and he didn’t win the title, so who knows.

    [Reply]

  8. Congratulation to all Fedfans and commisserations to all Djokofans! I do not buy the idea that Djokovic lost because he was tired. He lost because Federer was better on the day. And it is only fantastic that a 34 year old guy won with an invincible player 5 years his junior. Djokovic tried everything to win but fotunately failed. Frankly I am too little concerned about New York for now.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Djokovic didn’t lose because he was tired. He lost because Federer was better on the day. Don’t be so defensive it makes Federer’s win look less impressive.

    [Reply]

  9. Ruan, I wish I could give you a thumbs up on your a hole comment, even though you’re not. Now, on to the Open,,,and,,,,GO FEDERER!!!!! I’ll never give up on the GOAT. G

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks, Gary but I don’t know which comment you are talking about!

    [Reply]

    Gary Reply:

    “Great balanced comment Bharata. I wish everyone could be this normal. Then I wouldn’t have to look like an asshole all the time.” BTW, Have you gotten any grief from anyone since you dumped the Fed? Besides me of course. LOL

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    No grief from you, Gary. But from many others, yes. I do have fun with it, though. Not gonna lie.

    [Reply]

  10. Hi Ru-an, what do you think of this review on Federer’s game? It should be an interesting discussion:
    http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/news/cincinnati-2015-final-federer-brain-game

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I’m sure it’s an interesting read, Jason. I prefer to do my own analysis before I look at other analysis, though.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Hey Jason,

    First of all, props to Roger for another great win, and also for reviving the half-volley return. I love the way he and Djokovic, my two favorite players, keep adjusting their games.

    Roger received a lot of well-deserved (IMHO) praise for his creative strategy, for approaching Djokovic’s second serve this way. “I thought, maybe this is the time to do it,” Roger said about the tactic after the match.

    It was a beautiful plan, and well executed by Roger, without a doubt. But my concern is that maybe he should have waited until USO to roll it out. Now Djokovic has some time to prepare for it. And Roger had also better be ready for others to try that tactic on him!

    [Reply]

    Bharata Reply:

    That was a nice article, putting some numbers to what was clear when watching the match.

    One thing for sure is that Federer was affected by how well Djokovic returned in the Wimbledon finals. Federer was hitting 1st serves and the return was landing on his shoelaces. SO I don’t think he was just ‘trying it out for fun in practice’. He just got sick of not being able to break Djokovic. It’s crazy but if the first shot of the rally is to his backhand, then probably he will lose the point (or have to hit a ridiculous down the line backhand to win).

    Clearly, Federer in his prime could beat anyone from the back of the court. As time went on (say 2008-2011) Nadal surpassed him from the baseline (at least on clay, and grass was a toss up in 2008), and Djokovic was even or better than him on hard courts, as witnessed by those razor tight 4 semi finals at the US Open. Murray could also deal with him from the back courts, but not in most Slam matches apart from AO 2014.

    And now honestly Djokovic can outlast him from the back court on every surface, even the fastest ones. Dubai 2014/15, Shanghai, and now yesterday’s match, Fed had to evolve. Djokovic has improved in every respect. It’s inspirational that Federer adapted at age 34 after having surely his last chance at glory taken from him.

    I am sure Djokovic will win Cincinnati if not 2016, then 2017, hopefully ‘after Federer retires’ like he joked after the match. Once in a while Djokovic annoys me with the anger he shows on court, but he is really classy in defeat.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Hey Bharata,

    I’ve enjoyed all the comments from you that I’ve seen on Ru-an’s site.

    And I especially enjoyed your calling out Roger for his cute remark about just playing with the new return in practice. That was excellent! :-)

    However, the only thing I’ve read by you that I’ve ever questioned is in this post. So I’d like to ask, respectfully, how sure you are that Roger’s last chance at glory has been taken from him. Do you think he has any chance at USO this year, for example?

    And most definitely – kudos to Djokovic for his consistently graciousness behavior in defeat. I’d say he has learned what Proximo told Maximus in the movie Gladiator, i.e. “Win the crowd.” It’s not quite as important in tennis, obviously, especially for someone who can dominate like Djokovic can… :-)

    [Reply]

    Bharata Reply:

    Hi Joe, thanks. You always have good comments here and a positive attitude whatever happens.

    Yes I really do think that was Federer’s last chance, that’s why I was pretty down afterwards. It’s incredible he even made the finals at this age and I am always waiting for his back to go out, like the WTF last year.

    Hard courts are the most ‘equal’ surface I think because everyone has experience there. The rallies tend to be more gruelling and the US Open is slower now (see highglihts from 2006-7, the ball is flying). So competenet guys like Robredo or rabbits like Monfils can grind you out and the ball bounces high. So I think Federer will run out of gas by the semis if he makes it that fafr and has to play a Wawrinka or Murray . Or get blown out by a guy like Cilic who gets red-hot.

    The Australian Open and French are out, too slow. Even in 2012 and 2011 Federer could not make it. I think Murray is due a victory there soon. And then Wimbledon 2016, well he’d be nearly 35 then.

    And I bet right now that Nadal will be in Federer’s half. The US Open is designed for TV ratings.

    Ha actually that guarantees Nadal will lose earlier on, as he cannot play an in-form Federer :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Good comment again, Bharata. It’s easy to get carried away when Federer wins a tournament he wins every year, but realistically the ship has now sailed. Wimby was his last best shot. The USO courts are now too slow and there are too many guys who can draw the match out against Federer, even if they can’t win it. There is a reason he hasn’t won the title in 7 years.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    I didn’t get to watch the Wimbledon final this year because I had to work. I might have been down afterwards too, if I had been able to see. I did find some positive factors in the loss, but of course in absentia. So I won’t go into all those here..

    But everything you said is true and I hope I don’t sound like I’m disagreeing. In fact, I’m in complete agreement.

    But I do think more upsets occur at the US Open than at other majors, mostly because the best players have been playing 5, 6, or 7 matches per tournament all season long, whereas players in the next tier might have been playing 2, 3, or 4. So the cumulative effect of those hours on court seems to catch up to them at year-end. Maybe even especially someone like Djokovic, who’s been dominating all year long, and making special use of his extreme fitness to win.

    Last year’s win by Cilic was an example, I think, of how the draw can open up at USO. I am hopeful that the stars can align there, maybe a little shot of glueckstern, but I’m surely not expecting it. But I don’t think Roger, this year, is as long a shot to win as Cilic was last year (of course Cilic’s serve is a huge factor).

    Wishing the best for Roger, and thinking that his performance at this stage of his career, especially against someone who may be second best of all time, is possibly even more impressive than his earlier ‘easy’ victories.

    It’s not always about the trophy, is it?
    ;-)

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *