Djokovic’s Match Changing Return: Divine Intervention?

Above you can view that return Djokovic hit when he was match points down against Roger in the US Open semis. Not that you will be able to see much. It is just a blur. It was completely unexpected and against the run of play. The more I think about what happened at the US Open the better I feel about it. Roger’s loss to Djokovic was one of the most painful ones, because he lost for the second consecutive year after being up match points to the same player in the same round. What are the odds of that happening? Everything about this result has the ring of ‘divine’ to it. Not just how it happened, but the consequences as well. We have already established that what happened was like lightning striking twice in the same place. Both the return that came from nowhere and the fact that pretty much exactly the same thing as last year happened is ‘divine’ enough.

Now lets look at the consequences. If Djokovic had not made that return and Roger had won the match, he would of course have faced Nadal in the final. Given the history of the rivalry, Nadal’s form, and the fact that the US Open courts have been slowed down this year, you’d have to say Nadal was 99% sure to have beaten Roger in the final. What would that have meant? It would mean Nadal won his 11th slam, closing in to within five slams of Roger’s record. It would mean Nadal had beaten Roger in every slam final, while Roger only beat him in the final of Wimbledon(’06, and ’07). It would also mean that Nadal was saved from facing his nemesis Djokovic in the final, which means he can beat his old whipping boy and get back the confidence which Djokovic had taken from him in his last five finals.

These are all weighty matters. If Nadal had won the US Open he would have been a renewed player. He would have bagged another hard court slam which his resume desperately needs for balance, and for the first time he would have defended a title off of clay. He would still have been on track to becoming the GOAT, while Roger’s legacy would have been seriously damaged by losing to Nadal in all the slam finals. It now seems highly unlikely that Nadal could become the GOAT, although of course I never count him out. All of these things make me wonder if what happened wasn’t some kind of divine intervention. Roger has always been the fairest of players while Nadal has been known to use gamesmanship. Nadal breaks rules like the time that is allowed between points, and he receives coaching from his uncle on court. He also uses questionable medical time outs which disrupts the rhythm of his opponents.

Then he also uses loud grunting and fist pumping to unnerve his opponents. He also plays a very unattractive and negative game style where he retrieves absolutely everything and hits moonballs, forcing his opponents into error. He just isn’t a pretty sight out there. And then I haven’t even mentioned the doping allegations that are out there. Did the Gods finally have enough of Nadal? If there are Gods then I would imagine they’d favor Roger. He plays fairly and gracefully. He doesn’t do any of the things on court that I mentioned for Nadal. He doesn’t waste time, he doesn’t receive coaching from the side, he hardly ever takes a medical time out, he hardly ever grunts, he doesn’t fist pump viciously, none of these things. He also plays a positive, attractive game which entertains people all over the world.

A divine act doesn’t necessarily imply something that brings great joy at the time. It could be something quite painful. But in hindsight it was always a blessing. I can’t help but feel like that return from Djokovic was a sort of divine intervention. The immediate consequences of it appeared to be disastrous.  But in hindsight I can’t help but feel it was a great blessing. Losing to Nadal in the final would have been a lot more painful to me that the loss to Djokovic. Think about it. It would have been a huge blow to Roger’s GOAT status, having lost to his main rival in all the slam finals. And Nadal would have been in reach of chasing down his slam record. I now feel like this was almost the final nail in the coffin for Nadal’s hopes of becoming the GOAT. You just can’t count the guy out, but from here on it must be very difficult for him to become GOAT.

In life things aren’t always under our control. Roger could have started thinking of having to face his nemesis Nadal in yet another slam final, and the possibility of doing his legacy a lot of damage. But that would have shown a lack of trust in the Gods. Instead he focused on what is front of him and did his best to beat Djokovic. He left the rest up to ‘fate’. There is an important life lesson in this. You can’t always control your fate, but you can deal with the present moment as best you can and trust that all will be well. It is when your mind starts doubting and you start fretting about the future that things go wrong. Roger was a great example of surrender to the moment here and it all worked out well for him in the end. I believe things will all work out in the end for Roger and his fans because of his great attitude.

Roger Federer


Posted in Uncategorized.

44 Comments

  1. I disagree, you are being unfair on Roger, Rafa was not in great form in the finals, yes had Roger been in the final Rafa’s mindset would have been different, but that alone cant give you 99% edge, it would still have been 50-50, and just like Paris first set of any ‘Fedal’ match is crucial and my gut feeling is Fed would have won his 17th

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    flo Reply:

    I’ve been thinking that Nadal ran out of gas at about the 3:30 mark but the tennis they played was more grueling than what Fedal matchups bring. Federer would have needed to get to a fifth set and he’s been pretty bad in the fifth. I’d give the edge to Nadal.

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    Suhas Bharadwaj Reply:

    the match would have been over in 3 but Joker’s troubling back made the match more interesting and it went to 4th, these just goes to show how bad Rafa’s form is at the moment (though I guess Murray would be delighted to be Rafa’s shoes right now :-P ) so that would have given Fed a chance to get the 17th especially when the serve was working so well for him……anyway its all over …no point in speculating hopefully Roger will have a good Davis Cup… but have to say with the rise of Joker and Fed refusing to die easily, men’s tennis is at an interesting stage… privileged to be in this era…

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    Alex Reply:

    Guys would you please wake up. Nadal was playing some of his very best tennis ever. BUT he is obviously not thinking clearly when playing Djoko coz Djoko already has a mental edge over him. But Nadal had miraculously started playing his very best tennis against Roddick. And again…for the last time…Nadal has never had to play tennis as good as he had to produce against Djoko so yeah…HE WAS AT HIS BEST!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yup.

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  2. I don’t guess Roger would have lost that fedal final.. they’ve never met in a us open final and Roger gets the edge coz It’s not clay here even if it’s slow court. but yeah I agree with your conclusion especially that Roger said after the match: “I never played that way. I believe in hard work’s gonna pay off kinda thing. So for me, this is very hard to understand how can you play a shot like that on match point.”

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  3. I have been feeling that the draws might start putting Fedal in the same half because we’re kind of establishing that Djoko/Nadal finals can draw good tv audiences; that at this rate tournaments (the slams) that want Fedal should settle for SF and it’d give them a great match to market and hype on Fridays. Let’s say Fed has three full seasons left how many more Fedal matches can they have if they keep being on opposite sides of the draw? Lucky if we’d get 3-4. But in the same half, it’d likely be 6-7.

    So I’m thinking these random draws will start going this way.

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    TD Reply:

    I hope your right. Only good things will come out of it. Since Federer has the game to play Djokovic, he can proceed with his quest to find a solution for Nadal’s game (it will be easier now that Nadal is not “invincible” anymore). In order for it to happen, he must play him more often out of the slams. And even if he loses at first, it won’t make more damage to the awful H2H anyway. I have a feeling that Djokovic ownage of Nadal will change Fedal matches in the future.

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  4. First, let me point out that the match between Federer and ass-clown was much more interesting and definitely harder for Djokovic to overcome even with that ridiculous return. I don’t aree with Ruan that Nadal would have won against Federer. Let me point out why. One, Nadal’s return of serve was weak and inconsistent. Two, Nadal’s serve was atrocious and easy to read, I believe Federer would have destroyed him just in this area alone. Third, Federer’s backhand is holding up pretty well against the big hitters not to say it wouldn’t break down a little against Nadal’s topspin forehand. Fourth and final, Nadal mentally just isn’t there consistently and I’m sure Federer knows what’s happening to him and how vulnerable he is now possibly using that to Roger’s advantage. As far Djokovic is concerned, I don’t respect him. This is a guy with a bevy of health and mental issues through out the years and all of the sudden he fully cured of all ailments and only retired from one match this year( probably so he be fully ready for the U.S. Open). Djokovic is similar to Nadal for example, grunting, animalistic chest pounding,roaring like a lion,blah,blah,blah. Djokovic is an idiot. Djokovic should have not won the U.S Open. Federer is by far the most skilled,technical and experienced and the fact that he took two sets from Djokovic is enough Nadal barely took one. I can’t wait to see Novak defend all his points and play the Davis Cup next year. Federer has some great opportunities next year and the end of this year to catch up. One thing I worry is that this the first year Federer has gone slamless or won anything for that matter(except for Doha). I hope this motivates him to win some smaller tournaments and the world finals.

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    Manu Reply:

    Exactly. I just don’t like rooting for Djokovic just for the sake of Roger’s records. It’s not true fan following. To me, Djoko strikes as extremely cocky, and his gorilla act after winning against Federer was infuriting. And he grunts and much as Nadal and does use gamesmanship too. He doesn’t act like a winner of 4 Grand Slams. Still plays for the crowd and acts as if he is a new born infant (though i never heard of infants who grunt :-) ). For me, rooting for Djoko just for Roger’s records is akward. I mean, Roger himself is the greatest champion, and I’m pretty sure that he will extend his records. No need to join the Djokovic bandwagon. To be happy when Djoko beats Nadal is one thing, but to label his win over Federer(that winner was ridiculous) and to say that Federer gave way to “divine intervention” is over the top and just a plain insult to Federer and those who want to see a Fedal final.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Ah, you again. You like to draw me into arguments don’t you? Gave way to divine intervention? Read what I said again. I never said he gave way to anything. I said he did what he could to win the match but failed. Learn to read and not just interpret the way it suits you. And I hope you’re not insinuating I’m joining the Djokovic bandwagon. That would be an insult to me since I don’t even particularly like the guy. You need to start appreciating a bit what Djokovic is doing for Roger and stop the blind hate.

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    Manu Reply:

    Maybe I read in too much into what you said (I do that sometimes, the loss is still affecting me). But I never accused you, or anyone particular in mind. What I meant was that most of us (maybe you too) agree that Djokovic is arrogant and cocky, and most of us despise that. But what I find puzzling is that we stick to Djokovic for the sake of the survival of Roger’s records. Also, I don’t think that Nadal would have definitely won hands down. Whenever you play Roger Federer, you never will have more than 60% chance to win the match, just because he’s Roger Federer. Whether Nadal wins is another thing, and we’ll never know what would have happened, because what’s happened has happened and the most we can do now is spit out an expletive and moan that Federer lost. (Another quality in me-i tend to get philosophical. Your blog is quite diverse, Ru-an  ).
    But enough said. I’ll just stop by asking you one thing. Suppose (again i say, suppose) Djokovic, wins more grand slams and threatens Roger’s slam record, are you going to turn against him and wish for someone else to beat him? That’s all I want to know.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    The question is meaningless so I won’t answer. I don’t think Djokovic will ever threaten his record. Why entertain hypothetical ideas?

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    Manu Reply:

    Fine. I just wanted to know, that’s all. Sorry,mate.

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    Alex Reply:

    Djoko may threaten Roger’s records and I would like someone to stop him too. Someone probably will too. And another thing, when Roger does retire eventually, some people may even stop watching tennis altogether. But for those who will keep watching, who better to support than ANYONE who can beat Nadal. I cant imagine myself in 25 years time at 52 watching tennis and still supporting federer even though he will have retired about 20 years before. Although for me Roger is the GOAT and probably always will be. Nadal is too one dimensional to be the GOAT.

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    booya719 Reply:

    Good comments Dave and Manu. I admire people who are vocal and use direct words. I respect your opinions of Djokovic.

    Call it whatever you want; divine intervention, bad luck, a disaster, a blessing in disguise – Federer lost. No true fan of Federer will ever be happy or glad that he lost no matter how it turns out for take sake of “saving his legacy.” If Federer’s legacy is in such danger that he needs God’s help to lose matches for the sake of avoiding Nadal then he may as well retire.

    Federer winning is what matters. Seeing Djokovic come out on top of these boorish grindfest finals with Nadal is not a pleasure of tennis for me. Nadal lost – great – but at the end of the day Federer was not in the final and it sucks. It’s not sour grapes either – we all congratulate Djokovic on his tremendous success.

    I’m also not going to be happy that Federer avoided Nadal – I wanted Federer to face Nadal. I believe had Federer won the semi he could have won the final over Nadal. I don’t feel it was a 99% chance Federer would lose. This wasn’t wet clay they were going to meet on. Federer had an excellent chance to win. He would have hit a lot more winners and would have won a lot more free points of the serve than he won in the French Open.

    It’s over now and putting any spin of words on it won’t change the reality. Djokovic won the damn thing. Congrats to him. It’s been his year and he was 2 tiebreaks away from a calendar slam and was also 1 hold of serve away from losing it at the US Open even if he had won the French Open. There is a fine line between greatness and disaster in tennis.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    You said it – there is a fine line between greatness and disaster in tennis. Call it divine intervention, bad luck, a disaster, a blessing in disguise. If Roger beat Djokovic and lost to Nadal it would have been a disaster for him. Losing to his main rival in all 4 slam finals is not GOAT worthy. And Nadal would have probably surpassed him in slams anyway. But you obviously did not understand my article. No one denies that the loss to Djokovic was painful. If I wanted Djokovic to win then it wouldn’t have been painful for me, now would it? But when something doesn’t go your way you have to look at the positives in the situation. I don’t like to dwell in negativity. If you like to keep regretting that Roger lost after being up 2 match points for the second year in a row then be my guest. But I for one prefer him losing to Djokovic than losing the career slam to Nadal. Now THAT would have been painful. Ten times more painful than losing to Djokovic believe me. No true Fedfan wants to see Roger lose to Nadal in all the slam finals and be ok with Nadal catching him in slam titles. And no rational Fedfan still believes Roger can beat Nadal when it truly matters. It’s a nice dream, but simply not realistic.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well that is your opinion but Nadal destroyed Roddick and a Murray who was one of the favorites. In the final he was actually playing extremely well. His retrieving skills was out of this world and we know what that would have done to Roger. And of course the courts have been slowed down, and he would have pounded Roger’s backhand into submission again. How many times do you have to see it before you believe it??? When are Fedfans like you gonna wake up to the fact that Nadal simply owns Roger? I know the truth can be hard to face but it could save you from disaster in the future.

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    dave Reply:

    @Ruan, Given how Roger handled Tsonga, Monaco and how he was only player to take two sets off Djokovic and defeated him earlier this year and how poorly Nadal played against Djokovic that Roger would of had a fighting chance. As far as Murray is concerned he played to Nadal’s game trying to out-grind him and lost. Roddick was injured playing Nadal, he wasn’t chasing easy retrievals down. Andy doesn’t have the footwork or the forehand to back up his huge serve anymore. Andy’s game has become very predictable too ,backhand slicing all the time, no depth to his shots and no real game plan against his opponents. I respect your opinion and given Roger’s age and inconsistencies in his level of play you are probably right about Nadal winning but given that this is Roger Federer and how well he played up to the semis I favored Roger.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I don’t think Nadal played poor at all against Djokovic. I think he was as sharp as ever on defense and he was a mental and physical beast. It may just seem that he wasn’t playing well because Djokovic is a bad match up for Nadal. You better believe if he played Roger you would have said he was playing extremely well. Sorry to say it but your comment sounds like wishful thinking to me.

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  5. The results of Federer-Nadal encounters have little to do with the surface and everything to do with Federer’s mentality. They could meet on the fastest hard courts in the world and Federer would still lose if he weren’t mentally prepared.

    Nadal’s form or lack thereof is not and has never been the decisive factor in their battles. Nadal looked very ragged for large parts of their AO final but Federer failed to put him away when he had the chance, and eventually he collapsed mentally in the fifth set. Towards the end, Nadal basically only had to keep the ball in play.

    Even if Nadal appears to be ailing (and appearances are deceptive when it comes to the Majorcan), Federer will somehow find a way to blow his chances, unless he’s supremely confident in his tennis.

    It’s a mental issue; Nadal’s machinelike relentlessness unsettles Federer and causes his shots to go awry. Only when Federer is fully in the moment, when all his concentration is in creating perfect tennis, when he is not thinking but responding naturally and intuitively to the situation, can he defeat Nadal. And I don’t think that was the case this year at USO. His game was not ready.

    As booya719 says, it’s not really satisfying to see Djokovic beat Nadal. It confirms the one-dimensionality of Nadal’s game: once someone came along who could match him physically and had superior tennis skills, he had no answers. But we already knew all that, and though there may be some minor pleasure in seeing it demonstrated in such brutal fashion, that pleasure is fleeting.

    Djokovic is giving Federer a respite from Nadal’s dominance and buying time for Federer to regroup and raise his game. Perhaps it allows Federer to concentrate solely on his tennis rather than worrying about preserving his Slam record, but that’s all. It only serves to defer the day of reckoning, it can’t avoid that day altogether.

    Federer has unfinished business with Nadal. We all know it and are waiting for him to finish it. Ultimately what we really want is to see Federer beat Nadal by using his talent and superlative arsenal of shots to overcome Nadal’s physical advantages. And we want it to happen in the final of Roland Garros. Beating the greatest clay-court player of the era (perhaps the greatest clay-court player ever) in the final of the clay Grand Slam is a challenge that any great champion would aspire to, and Federer is surely no different in that regard.

    This is the Year of Djokovic, to be sure. But next year may be different. Hopefully it will be another fantastic chapter in the Roger Federer story.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Steve I dont see how Roger can finish his business with Nadal. Its a nice thought but that’s about all it comes down to for me. The only bright side is that Djokovic beat Roger and that Nadal did not have the opportunity to beat Roger in the only slam final he hasn’t beaten him in. The only time I see Roger beating Nadal is indoors really. Other than that Nadal is always the favorite. Nadal is just so deep in his head that I can’t see him overcoming that. I have accepted that and therefor appreciates the fact that Djokovic is beating on Nadal a lot. It makes tennis interesting for me. Roger can still possibly beat Djokovic but he needs to either be in Nadal’s side of the draw(which isn’t happening anyway with the fixed draws), or he needs to get back to number 2 to be able to face Djokovic in the final. The best hope is that Nadal’s losses to Djokovic will make him lose confidence, in which case Roger can possibly beat him or make finals without having to face Nadal there. But I don’t really see that happening. Nadal is relentless. He will keep believing he can beat Djokovic and keep making finals. It will be interesting to see what happens now because Nadal is already 0-6 to Djokovic. What if it becomes 10-0? Surely Nadal will get tired of losing, or he must somehow find a solution. Anyway I’m at peace with what Roger have achieved. I don’t expect him to go beat Nadal in the RG final or something. From here on I will just enjoy watching Djokovic keep being a thorn in the side of Nadal, and any big thing that Roger achieves from here on will just be a nice bonus(whether that be beating Nadal or Djokovic, winning a slam, winning the MC, or winning a MS event).

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    Manu Reply:

    “It only serves to defer the day of reckoning, it can’t avoid that day altogether.”

    I fully agree Steve. I’ll not lie, like many other I loved seeing Nadal lose. But there is something very hollow in this victory. There is not sweetness, no joy, no emotion except for the fact that Nadal lost to Djokovic. Its just because I always root for Roger and for him only. Mind you, this is from my point of view and I’m not forcing anyone to agree with me.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I guess I’m different from many of you in this. Seeing Nadal owned is about on par with seeing Roger owning someone else. I find it intensely satisfying.

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    Ken Reply:

    Good post Steve.

    Federer definitely has unfinished business with this beast Nadal who has given him so much agony & anguish. Nothing will give more me pleasure than Federer slaying this animal in his den in a French Open final. If I were Federer, that would be my life’s goal & I would focus all my efforts to make this happen.

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  6. I fully agree with Ruan and in that sense with Steve that Federer is owned by Nadal badly and that even if Nadal plyed poorly with Federer in say hypothetical USO 2011 final Federer would find a way of losing to Nadal or in other words Nadal would find a way of bullying Federer into submission. That is why I have been stressing time and again that Federer losing to Djokovic in semi is not all that bad all the more now that we know Djokovic thrashed Nadal in the 6th final in a row. I also concur with the idea that Federer may stage a great fight against Nadal at Roland Garros rather than at other slams since he will have no fear of losing there knowing that losing to Nadal at RG is not as detrimental as losing at other slams particularly at USO.Hence so he may play his best game against Nadal at RG

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Good to see there is a Fedfan with sense mridul. You also bring up a good point about the FO final. It is true that Roger has the least pressure against Nadal there since he is expected to lose by everyone. But at the same time he has lost to Nadal 5 times there, which must be demoralizing. So I don’t think he really believes he can beat Nadal there more than the other slams. I think Wimbledon is probably his best chance cos it’s the fastest surface left and he has beaten Nadal twice there. But it remains a hopeless case.

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  7. Ruan,
    In Jewish and Christian belief, God’s interventions deal basically with helping /saving people and individuals that trust him (that’s why there is this notion of “salvation history”). However God’s interventions don’t serve a worldly goal, but a spiritual one. Therefore I don’t think that the sudden change at the end of the Federer-Djokovic semifinal fit’s into this notion.
    It was not Federer who needed desperately help anyway, but Novak Djokovic, who, facing two matchpoints and 5-3 behind in the 5th set, was in a very tricky position and was growing desperate, but was on the contrary faking the opposite. I believe Novak’s return on Roger’s first serve was as well a desperate act, a gambling act, as a deliberate and conscious choice at that specific moment.
    And to me it was not even this shot in itself that destabilized Roger, but Djokovic’s demeanor and the reaction of the crowd on it. Roger seemed shocked by this whole surrounding situation and this kinda attitude, and lost his focus because of it. And,as Steve mentioned in his comments on this blog somewhere, when Roger’s mind and spirit aren’t totally clear and focused, this disharmony manifests itself immediately in his tennis, in the level of his game. This time however, being in the fifth set at such a crucial moment, Roger didn’t get the time anymore to bounce back, with the outcome we all know…
    But it is not because Roger lost a battle or a match, that he lost the war. Roger is and remains a real warrior and will bounce back one way or the other. He will learn from what happened and will be better prepared, the next time they’ll face each other. He doesn’t need any kind of intervention. He will keep working and perfecting his skills and natural talents, and improve in the mental department as well. His advancing age is of course a negative factor, but not a decisive one that will prevent him from winning more major titles.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I wasn’t 100% serious about the divine intervention. It was just and idea what I wanted to put out there that I thought sounded nice. But you say it’s an idea that people are saved because they trust in God. Well the point I was trying to make was that Roger did seem to trust God. If he did not trust God then he may have worried that Nadal could ruin his legacy and he may not have given his all against Djokovic. But that is not what a champion does and it would have showed a lack of trust in God. But because he did his best to win and believed that God would take care of the rest he was saved in the end. And again it is just an idea I’m putting out there. A way of seeing things. I don’t mean to imply that it is fact.

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  8. You know, even roger roars or says “come on” between points. I’m growing tired of you saying things that are pretty much saying that you respect Nadal, but then you turn around next sentence and liken him to an ape that grunts and uses medical timeouts to his advantage and so on and so on. It’s called “gamesmanship” and it’s a part of every sport. Perhaps if Federer wants to win another grandslam, he should let out a few more grunts, mess with the tempo of the points more, and show some damn emotion out there. I get it, he’s an introvert, but him being bereft of much emotion on the court doesn’t make Nadal or Djokovic emotional jerks out there. BTW getting returns back and “moonballing” is called “defense”. It’s not ugly, it’s beautiful and if it wasn’t meant to be part of the game, they would play the game with a roof over the court with a limited height ceiling to eliminate that part of the game. Learn to appreciate a good lob, Ruan!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    LOL. Entertaining comment :-)

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    DV Reply:

    Djokovic IS a jerk.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes, I would have to agree.

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    V.Adhithya Reply:

    Nadal does moonballing almost for all his shots except when he is going for winners .he just moonballs and keeps the ball in play even when he is in a very good position to keep the ball in play and return it .This is not called defence.This is called ugly brand of tennis.Defence is when you are made to run around and almost everybody lobs wto get out of it(including Roger).But Nadal does that too often and thats why is tennis is ugly to watch and not called DEFENCE.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah it’s ugly stuff. Always pushing it back to stay in the rally and wait for errors. I don’t know how anyone can enjoy that shit.

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  9. Hi Ruan.
    I read your your posts all the time. I know you are a real FedFan. I am too. I just got used to see Roger winning all the time that when he started losing I got very upset. But I am afraid that lately, so many losts, I may get used to see him losing. And it is painful. Because he is so talented and in this world talent should be awarded. I dislike the fact that anti-tennis, the one produced by Nadal has giving him 10 GS, and well, as you say, Djoko around is helping Fed legacy to still on top. I wish Roger beat Nadal in a consistent manner, but his mental approach is no the best. I really hope Fed saves the year in London and beats Djoko and Nadal playing nice tennis as only he can do it.

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  10. I would like to post an apology to V.Adhithya. Sorry, I did not read your post carefully. That was harsh of me. Again, very sorry. I tried removing my post but I don’t know how. Help, Ruan???

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Removed it for you.

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    Alex Reply:

    Thank you

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  11. I tend to agree with Steve that the surface isn’t the final and decisive factor in the outcome of the battles between Roger and Rafael. Rafa’s form and confidence however seems to play an important role.

    The surface isn’t that much a decisive factor, because only clay is the only remaining surface on which Roger couldn’t yet beat Rafael Nadal in a slam. But beating Nadal on a clay surface in Roland Garros is not a “mission impossible” in my opinion.

    Last time they did meet each other at Roland Garros, the contest between them was pretty close, and if Roger’s shot choice would have been more adequate at some key moments, the outcome of the match could have been different that day.

    Consider for instance Roger shot choice on set point in the first set of the Roland Garros final. Roger and Rafael Nadal are involved in a long rally, exchanging shots. And on a certain moment in this long exchange, Rafael returns Roger’s shot not far and good enough. The ball lands somewhere near the service line on Rogers backhandside of the court. Roger decides then to play a BH-dropshot, which landed centimeters beside the line, out of the court. To me it was a very unfortunate choice at that crucial moment. He shouldn’t have played a dropshot, but should have gone for a backhand winner along the line. When your in a winning position, having a break point on the serve of your adversary, and the ball drops in the middle of the court, you may not hesitate and have to go for a winner. This is what Rafa and Novak are doing when the occasion presents itself. Roger shouldn’t hesitate on his backhand side, and go for winners.

    There is another factor that did influenced the outcome of that match, and that’s the absence of modern technology at Roland Garros, to judge certain delicate points. They don’t have nor use hawk-eye at Roland Garros. Being 5-3 ahead in the first set and Rafa having a breakpoint on Roger’s serve, Roger serves a unreturnable serve on the T-line, which Rafa couldn’t reach at. Instead of being considered as an ace, they give on the contrary the point to Rafael, and therefore the break. Roger’s level dropped because of this incident. When he feels treated unfair, his level drops. I know he don’t like hawk-eye that much, but it would have guaranteed justice in that particular moment, where he didn’t get it because of the absence of hawk-eye.

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  12. Small correction om my previous post. At 5-3 in the first set, Roger was himself responsable for Rafa’s break, as he netted a feasible volley when Rafa tries to pass him on the FH-side of the net. At 5-5 however, on breakpoint, the umpire took a disputabale decision on his first serve. Roger didn’t agree with the decision and started to argue a little bit, but couldn’t support his point of view with evidence by lack of hawk-eye images. He was clearly frustrated about it, and as a consequence, made a stupid error on the return of his second serve.

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  13. I feel very sad and stunned that Roger cannot finish up so many match balls. It looks like he doesn’t realize how crucial this point is while preparing his serve. How to explain a possible lack of concentration while most players finish up a match by an ace? RF 2011 makes me very anxious that we could witness his showdown in 2012. Then tennis game without him would no longer be an art.

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