Djokovic Wins 4th Australian Open Title to Equal Federer and Agassi

Before I get to the final I just want to clear something up about my last post. After watching the highlights of that match, I knew something was off about the 4th set. The highlights never showed that Roger was broken at 5-5 and that Murray was serving for the match! Pretty pathetic highlight package. After being reminded of what happened by a reader, I remembered seeing Roger broken at 5-5. At this point, my eyelids were so heavy that I gave up. I went to sleep. I guess I figured that it was the end and I wasn’t very interested in seeing it. I then woke up again in the 5th set to find that Roger broke back at 5-6, and then won the tie-break. Amazing! Unfortunately, he had nothing left in the 5th and I watched as Murray broke for a second time at 5-2 to win the match. I wish I could see the part where Roger broke back in the 4th set, as well as the tie break.

That was a pretty heroic effort from Roger to win the 4th set, even though he lost the match. It emphasizes the difference between Roger 2.0 and Roger 3.0: Passion. Roger 3.0 goes all out. He leaves it all out there on the court. There are no regrets at the end of the day because he gave it his all. At 5-6 and Murray serving, he may as well have thrown in the towel and checked out. But that is just not how Roger 3.0 operates. He sets a great example in the sense that he goes all out and leave no room for regrets. If only we can live our lives that way we would never have any regrets. I came back to this because I left it out in my last post and it was a very important point in the match. I don’t like to miss things in my posts because this is Ruans Federer Blog 2.0 and I like to go all out too. With that out of the way let me get to the men’s final.

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Bravo Mr. Djokovic, bravo

It seems a lot of people were disappointed with the final. From what I saw on the highlights it didn’t look bad. But highlights don’t tell the full story of course. It is, after all, the best parts of the match. Djokovic and Murray have very similar styles, and that never makes for the best match ups. It doesn’t mean it’s not interesting. As a true tennis fan, I still appreciate their matches. But it’s not like Federer/Djokovic or Sampras/Agassi. Their styles don’t compliment each other because it is the same. Murray won the first set in a tie-break and that must have had people on the edge of their seats. The semi-final last year between Djokovic and Murray was a classic after all. But when Djokovic won the second set in another tie-break, Murray was all but a beaten man. Djokovic ran through the next two sets and won 6-7(2), 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-2.

The match against Roger simply had to have an effect on Murray. You don’t beat Roger when he is playing that well and not come out of the battle without pains and bruises. So yes, I think Roger did Djokovic  favor. And of course Djokovic was fresh as a daisy after destroying Ferrer in his semi. If it was Nadal there it would have been another story. But I’m not complaining. Roger seems to be in a better state of mind when Nadal is not around, and I don’t mind Djokovic winning another Australian Open. It would have been nice if Roger won a record 5th title in Melbourne and Djokovic was still stuck on 3, but it wasn’t to be. Djokovic is just the king of plexicushion. If it was still the green surface Roger might have won this year, not to mention other years as well. He would have for sure have won at least 1 or 2 more.

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Pinkerer will be missed

But times change and things have slowed down. It is just how it goes. A few years back the likes of Sampras and Ivanisevic were contesting Wimbledon finals, with the average rally probably being between 2-3 shots long. Now it is the age of the baseline grinders and long baseline rallies are the order of the day. It doesn’t exactly favor Roger, but he is so adaptable that he is still at the every top of the game. Well, that’s a wrap from me. Despite the final not exactly being a classic, I still felt this was a very exciting slam. From my perspective anyway. Roger played very well and all his matches were entertaining. There was the Djokovic/Wawrinka match and the Roger/Murray match, as well as several other five setters. As far as my blog goes I have made a good comeback. My blog stats and comments is back to where it was before I came to the US.

And that just after covering two weeks of tennis as Ruans Federer Blog 2.0. From here on I plan on making it bigger and better than it ever was. I didn’t call it Ruans Federer Blog 2.0 for nothing. Roger 3.0 is taking it to a new level and my blogging will follow suit. I am very excited for 2013 and I think it will be another great year for Roger and my blog. Let’s take this blog and our support of Roger to a new level!

Highlights:

Posted in Uncategorized.

36 Comments

  1. what strikes me about these two is what little creativity they have. They always seem to do the most obvious thing, or usually anyway. I can’t seem to get excited about tennis without Fed. There’s something about his style that’s just electrifying, win or lose. These Djoko-Murray matches are pretty much snoozefests.

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    Manu Reply:

    I agree. I usually only follow tennis if it’s got Fed/Wawa in it, or if it is between some unseeded players.

    As for the final, I tried pretty hard to watch it, but those grunts pretty much turned me off.

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  2. Hey Ru-an.Great wrap up and yes all of of us are having a sense of satisfaction with the way Roger played in this tournament.Obviously disappointed that he lost in the semis but that is just how things go and we can take heart from the fact that even though murray is a transformed player now,roger still took him to 5 sets despite not being at his absolute best.Novak is no doubt the king of Plexicushion and he truly deserves the record of winning 3 consecutive AO, so congrats to him.He is the only player who can even dream of getting close to Rogers consecutive slam Qfs and Slam SFs and Finals record.But for him to get to where Fed is now,he needs atleast another 3 years of consecutive dominance which i dont see happening anyways.but its just amazing that from roger-nadal,this guy has suddenly popped up in the last 3 years or so and its great because these are the challenges that Drive Roger to keep playing because he relishes the challenges of beating the best and likes to keep reaching more and set new goals for himself rather than paying heed to the so called critics who write his obituary every time he loses.this is what is called true champions spirit.even though he may be 31,his passion has not reduced one bit and he always treats us with his magical play and lets hope that he continues to mesmerize us with his genius.Hoping for a good year ahead for roger and this blog and its commentators.
    V

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  3. Good post Ruan. I disagree with you saying that Roger was playing very well. His serve in the last two matches was different, in the sense that he didn’t hit many serves down the T and went for the wide one. Especially during the semi, it was very predictable. But there was fire in his eyes at the end of the 4th set. That backhand down the line was as good as any shot he had played. Hopes he makes minor adjustments during the break and returns to top form. Hoping for a great year for Roger!!!

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  4. Hey, Ru-an!

    Thank you for emphasizing the point about Roger’s comeback in the 4th set against Murray. It was worthy of remembrance. :-)

    Djokovic is part of history now and he deserves what he gets.

    By the way, we have to watch out for him and Roger’s records. He had 4 AOs, has already 11 consecutive SF and counting, has reached all 9 Masters 1000 finals like Roger and has won 7/9 like him also.

    I could easily see him win one if these Masters that Roger didn’t win. I doubt that he’ll break the 23 straight SF but only time will tell.

    Plus, you are right about “The King if Plexicushion” and he might even win a 5th AO next year.

    So he is definitely a part if history now. Oh, and how about him winning the Frencg this year? Very doable also!

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  5. Murray definitely had everything taken out of him in that semi against Roger – he had nothing left after the second set tiebreaker. Just goes to show how tough it is physically and mentally to beat Roger, even when he’s not playing his best. We have seen so many times now guys beat Roger and then lose the next round because they expended all their energy on taking him out.

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  6. Where are Veronica and Dolores??? This blog needs the female voices of angels, if not the 2.0 blog gets too technical :-(

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I was wondering the same thing Chris. Those two are dearly missed when absent.

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  7. Hey, Ru-an!

    They have finally posted those highlights of the 4th set between Roger and Murray! Enjoy!

    Check out this video on YouTube:

    http://youtu.be/mvCJuSeMlo4

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Awesome Vily. Thanks for that. But where was the incident?

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    Vily Reply:

    It occurred at 6:5 after Murray won the first point for 15:0. Even though Murray denies it, I believe that what Roger said to him rattled Murray and that allowed Roger to win that game. That, and also Rogers’ sublime concentration and focus.

    I remember that last year against Nadal it was also 6:5 with Nadal serving in the 4th set and Roger produced couple if break points there. The difference was that Nadal closed the deal in the 4th set while Murray could not! Just imagine if Roger did make it to the 4th set tiebreak last year. You never know what could have happened! :-) )

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  8. Especially those returns at 30-15 and at 30-40 were insane. But the one at 30-15 which barely went over the net was redicilous. They reminded me if Wimbledon 2008 where in the 4th set tiebreak against Nadal Roger made couple REDICULOUS backhand return winners.

    Anyway! I’m excited about Roger’s prospects now. You guys should check out the Tennis Connected podcast where they discuss the AO 2013 and they talk about how impressed they were with Roger’s performance as well. He won a lot of fans with his Gritty performance. :-)

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  9. Thought I would never say this but the AO final made me wish for Nadal. These two guys don’t produce too exciting tennis. I truly like the Djoker (Murray, not so much) but their tennis is not much to watch (at least most of the time).
    Many hype Murray but he had one tough match (that against Roger) and by set 5, he was done with. Roger had a tough match against Tsonga and seemed to be gone by fifth against Murray. Yet, most dismiss him for him being 31 and praise Murray for hanging in there. In this context, Novak showed an impressive fitness beating Ferrer after the Wawrinka showdown. Kudos to him.

    I really hope for one thing this year and that is for Roger to win RG against Rafa.

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    feddybear Reply:

    + 1 for the last line.
    that would be a defining victory. keeping fingers crossed.

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    jason Reply:

    That last line is impossible unless one or more of these things happen:
    a) Rafa the rabbit loses his fast legs
    b) Rafa the lefty becomes a righty
    c) Rafa’s strokes lost the ridiculous topspin

    If at his best he couldn’t beat Rafa, then for him to beat Rafa at this stage needs a great miracle of confluences.

    The only hope for a great victory at RG is if Nole defeats Rafa & Roger repeats the 2011 feat. The latter is much less impossible than beating a healthy Rafa.

    Roger’s best shot is at Wimbledon. But if Rafa is around and healthy, it may become a tough ask as well.

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    Chris Reply:

    Do you think Nadal will come back and play 100% so fast again? I feel he might need a few tournaments to be able to compete at top level again

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    Vasco Reply:

    Chaught this on a spanish newspaper a few moments ago (http://www.marca.com/2013/01/29/tenis/1359471106.html)… He gave a an interview to a Spanish network saying he still has pain in the knees; however he is eager to play in Chile where he’ll also be playing doubles with Juan Monaco… I just don’t get this guy: pain in the knees, out of competition for 7 months and he starts his comeback by playing both the singles and doubles competition… gotta love his coherency, but I guess he is desperatly trying to be ready for Roland Garros

    Best,
    Vasco

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    jason Reply:

    Who knows if Rafa can play at 100% again. For all I know, if someone who was often physically strained, lost matches with retirements, and seemed weak could suddenly become a superman…never looking tired after grueling 5-set match with gluten-free diet, then absolutely anything can happen.
    He might even be able to play at 120%.

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    Wilfried Reply:

    The Djkoker is learning from Federer in many ways…but Roger is still better on clay than Novak to me, and Roger shouldn’t be counted out for the title at Roland Garros, although many seem to consider it as a long shot. The Federer-Nadal match two years ago at Roland Garros however was closer than the Nadal-Djokovic match last year.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes Wilfried Roger should not be counted out for RG. It depends on the draw and what Nadal does of course. If Nadal is on the other side of the draw or loses early I like Roger’s chances!

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    Wilfried Reply:

    Hi Ruan. I agree with you.
    In fact it is desirable that both Djokovic and Nadal will be in the other half of the draw of Roland Garros than the half in which Roger is drawn.
    To make this hypothetical scenario somehow possible, Murray and Nadal should first of all overtake respectively Federer and Ferrer in the ATP-rankings before the RG-draw is determined/fixed. Because in that case Roger and Rafael logically would be ranked 3d and 4th in the ATP-rankings, and land in opposite sides of the draw.
    If – on top of all this – Federer also would be drawn in Murray’s half of the draw, we would have a draw in which Roger potentially might reach the Roland Garros-final.
    These are a lot of if’s of course, but not an impossible scenario in my opinion.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Very interesting comment Wilfried. I’d love to see that scenario happen. If Nadal beats Djokovic I don’t see much of a chance for Roger. So Djokovic has to win and Murray will be a tough opponent the way he has been playing. Even if Djokovic wins he will still be very tough to beat in the final. But Roger has beaten him at RG before and he would have a chance. Even if Roger makes the final that would be great. But yeah it’s all about the draw. If Roger gets Djokovic or Nadal in his half it will be tough.

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    jason Reply:

    Actually, it’s enough if Rafa overtakes Ferrer in the rankings, right? That will make 1. Djoko, 2. Fed, 3. Mur, 4. Nadal. 1 & 2 are always on the opposite half, 3 & 4 can be in either half.
    When that happens, we just have to wish on the stars that 1 is drawn to 4, and 2 is drawn to 3. That’s it, right? No need for Murray to overtake Roger.

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    Wilfried Reply:

    Agree with you, Jason. Very clever comment by the way, thanks for it.

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  10. To me it seems Federer is just putting on a good show for the last 3 calender years. !! :-) ? Remember US10 semifinal with Djoker.?
    In that match too he won 2 sets in tie-breaks before eventualy losing the MATCH :-( With Nadal out of picture, its going to be Djokovic-Murray RIVALRY from now ;-) Another thing striking was that Wawrinka taking Djoker on a tough 5 SETTER!! This looked exactly like the Isner-Nadal match(longer than FINAL) of FO-10. ;-) Pity that players like Wawrinka & Almagro fail at the FINISH LINE as if they aren’t ment to CROSS it.? :-(

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  11. thanks for the post, Ruan.
    IMHO the final sucked. it was just a notch better than their final at the USO, which is not alot. they have such a boring match up, makes me miss Nadal. in all the matches they played only one was a real classic – Shanghai final last oct, the rest are forgetable to say the least.
    i agree with you that Fed had a great championship and did the best he could. i hope it will be a good season for him – i think aot will depend on his level of motivation.

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  12. Well, but I was a bit surprised by his flat play during the 5th set. To me he didn’t look that exhausted and was riding high on self-efficacy and he gained a clear psychological advantage after denying Murray his victory at the climax of the 4th. In my opinion throughout the entire match he didn’t really served that well, sometimes I thought perhaps his back was bothering him slightly. Consequently he’d far too many seconds serves (often not good enough either) in the 5th and his unforced errors numbers were mounting up. I tend to think that his under par serving cost him the match for whatever reason may behind that – physical or mental fatigue – hard to tell, but why ever he lost his focus and missing his first serves rather constantly cost him the ability to approach aggressively his tennis to cut down Murray’s defensive skills. The flip-side showed that I’ve hardly seen Murray ever better serving at a high percentage, great accuracy & power, which gifted him a lot of free points. And you could see it did bolster Murray’s confidence.

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  13. Hi Ru-an! Greetings to you, Chris and all that come to your much admired blog, home for all Roger fans.
    Have not missed any of your previous blogs, Ru-an, they are always a treat for me plus all the comments. You know, I am missing Veronica, too, am sure she will appear with her enthusiasm as always.
    Have watched the AO as much as I could, mostly tried to see Roger play. My attitude is “one match at a time”, one of these times it will lead to victory for him. It will be a complete “Roger Federer Day”. You are so right, Djoko/Murray’s tennis is rather boring. I only watched the two TB in the Final, Did think Murray at times was playing better than Djoko, I think Steve thought the same way in your previous blog, Ru-an.
    There was a lot of good tennis to watch….now onto Rotterdam. Good luck, Roger!
    Okay, Veronica, you are missed, we hope we will hear from you soon.
    Hope all is going well for you in your new home, Ru-an, you have my best wishes.
    Til’ next time,
    Kindly,
    Dolores

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well looks who’s back! Nice to hear from you Dolores. I think Murray could have won the title did Roger not tire him out. Can toy imagine what would have happened if Murray was in Djokovic’s half of the draw? But like you say, Roger just needs to keep playing the way he is playing and one of these days everything will fall into place again! Missing Veronica too. Haven’t heard from her in a while. You two are really important to my blog!

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  14. So glad to see you back on the blog, I started to get really worried!!! You are, after all, one of the most important members of this family

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    Dolores Kuhlman Reply:

    Oh, Chris, how nice of you to welcome me back to Ru-an’s Federer Fan Family blog. Well, the compliment I take graciously, but I think the better description would be the “eldest” member of the family.
    Anyway, I never really left the blog guess I get a bit lazy now and then. I do enjoy reading your comments plus all others, the enthusiasm expressed for Roger and his tennis is a joy to read.
    Thank you for your kindness, Chris.
    Kindly,
    Dolores

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  15. Ru-an, thought you would like to read this quotation from Jason Gay (WSJ 1-28-13). This is in response to the whispers that Federer’s Slam days are behind him.

    “But I am going stick to my iron-tight policy on this prediction: Roger Federer will stop winning Grand Slams when Roger Federer stops playing Grand Slams. Any other guess feels premature.”

    Kindly,
    Dolores

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Fair enough comment by Gay Dolores. It’s getting tougher for him but I have a lot of belief in Roger 3.0. He can even win several more slams.

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  16. I thought the final was boring and I think Federer should have been in the final but he was handed the toughest draw and probably expended the most amount of energy and HEART! I congratulate Roger for the effort he put forth and all the amazing shots he executed throughout this slam. Looking forward to the rest of the year and remaining positive.

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  17. So now you know why Nadal started winning tournaments and Grand Slams right away, after the long absence for 7 months. It has nothing to do with D…G. He is just a good boy who listened to his Uncle and bought a bigger racket, and voila, the results were there.

    http://www.iol.co.za/sport/tennis/new-racket-bigger-business-for-nadal-1.1461213#.UQoQWx0p90o

    I expect similar news bits in the days to come, on the changes that Nadal has “adapted” to, which is the reason why he was playing, as if he never went away. Such good PR !!!…Just my tuppence worth.

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