Doha SF: Federer fed Tsonga 6-3, 7-6(2), Nadal Falls to his Nemesis

Well what an interesting day’s tennis that was! First Roger got through to his 6th final in 9 events, and then Davydenko made Nadal his hard court pigeon with a 6th consecutive victory over him on the surface. Davydenko now leads Nadal 6-1 on hard court and 6-4 overall in the h2h. Davydenko, like Del Potro, has shown just how to dismiss Nadal on a hard court. It simply takes fearless and relentless ball striking from the back of the court to keep Nadal under constant pressure. There is no room for timidity that is for sure. But of course the double fisted backhand is a must against Nadal. This is where Roger is at a disadvantage against Nadal. That is why I feel Roger should come to the net more and not allow Nadal to expose his one-handed backhand. And he seems he is doing that more of late.

At the Master Cup his backhand was good enough form the back of the court, but the bounce of the ball favored him. I stand corrected on this but I think the commentators said there is something like a 50cm difference in bounce height between the Oz Open and the MC. Even if it’s less than that it still makes a huge difference. The higher it gets up the more difficult Roger will find it to control. Davydenko doesn’t have a problem with it because he takes the ball so early and can control the ball better with two hands on the racquet. To me it is great news that Davydenko is now back to his best. Nadal has had it too easy last year with the absence of two of his toughest opponents. Del Potro will still take some time to get back but at least Davydenko is now there. It just shows that Nadal is vulnerable on hard court to someone who is willing to take the ball early and use the angles.

I don’t care how much spin he puts on his forehand, he still takes a long swing and the ball still sits up on hard court asking to be spanked. It takes a longer time to travel through the air because he hits it high over the net, and therefor if someone like Davydenko takes it early it takes time away from Nadal. The cross court forehand angle to Nadal’s backhand is also very effective as Nadal hardly has a slice to speak of. Nadal seemed to be struggling with the after effects of fever again today but he was never winning this match anyway. At one point he was behind 6-3 and 5-0 and in danger of being bagelled. He then fought back to 5-2 and afterwards played doubles as well, so I doubt he could have been all that sick. Davydenko just owns Nadal on hard court. Simple as that. Del Potro has also beaten Nadal in their last three hard court meetings.

Source

No doubt Nadal is not GOAT material on hard. It’s a bit of a shame to me that Nadal didn’t win, and he once again fails to make a hard court final against an in form GOAT, and Roger would probably have improved the h2h again. But that is ok. No one with any sense takes the h2h with Nadal seriously anymore anyway. There were just too many meetings on Nadal’s favorite surface and too few on Roger’s favorite surface. Looking at Roger’s match against Tsonga, he did what he needed to do. There was one break in the first set and in the second things were a bit more tight as Tsonga stepped up his game. In the tie break Roger was just too solid however as he ran away with it 7-2. This time Roger only managed to produce 3 break points and c0nverted on one. I guess you could say that it’s better then yesterday although percentage wise there isn’t much of a difference.

The main thing is that Roger was very solid on serve, winning several love games on it. That basically put the pressure on Tsonga going into the tie break where Roger proved to be too good. Roger takes a 14-2 h2h into tomorrow’s final against Davydenko which is proper ownage. I won’t read too much into that though as Davydenko is playing at a similar level when he beat Roger at the MC of 2009 and Doha of 2010. Having said that, Roger is at a different level from back then too and I expect him to get the job done without too many issues. There is a possibility of three sets here but I still expect Roger to take care of business. He has just been in such fantastic form of late that I don’t really see how he is losing here. Since Wimbledon Roger has now made 7 finals and 2 semi-finals, winning 4 of those finals.

Tomorrow he will have the chance of winning a 4th title in 6 appearances. I mean this is getting close to Jesusfed mode. Winning in Doha will also be a boost going into the Oz Open. Roger will be hard to stop in Oz given his form of late, Nadal or no Nadal. Back in 2009 when he lost to Nadal in the final he wasn’t coming off the same sort of year in 2008 that he had in 2010. He is just more ready this time. He simply has to stop Nadal from winning a the Nadal slam, or maybe someone like Davydenko or Murray will stop him. We will just have to wait and see. For now I’m looking forward to tomorrow and another possible title for Roger to get the year off to the best possible start. Good luck GOAT!

On court interview:

Highlights:

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35 Comments

  1. Nadal played doubles after his singles match, wow – either downright silly or … Glad to see Federer through to the final. After watching back 2nd set, Federer was serving his 1 min special most of the time while Tsonga was playing for his life during his serve. I stand corrected about momentum going with Tsonga, it just seems like he has to play a lot of great shots just to hold serve. Federer only step it up during TB but BP conversion is still low but W is W.

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  2. Its gonna be interesting tonight.Well Ruan i just cant digest this “davydenko dismisses ailing nadal” statement…The guy just got over his ailment and clinched doubles title soon after the defeat…ain’t that hilarious…davydenko simply outclasses him last night…
    Rooting strongly for roger tonight…this win is gonna be important for him before Oz…

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  3. Pingback: Tweets that mention Doha SF: Federer fed Tsonga 6-3, 7-6(2), Nadal Falls to his Nemesis | Ruans Federer Blog -- Topsy.com

  4. Hi Ru-an
    Thank you for ur nice comment on my post the other day

    So…. Another final for Roger! I feel like I’ve been spoilt recently! Getting to watch so much of Roger in finals over my weekends is a great joy. It makes me think what it was like 4 or 5 years ago when Roger was winning everything! As I’ve said before I only became a Fed fan after the Wimbledon defeat in 2008.
    Roger’s current level of consistency is amazing. His stats since his loss to Berdych have been great- I also think back to what you said when he managed to squeeze thru that match in Toronto against Berdych. You said that it was a turning point for Roger and it seems to have been for sure!!
    The only matches he’s lost since have been ones he shud have won really after having match points. Roger couldn’t do a lot against DJ at the US Open as he literally closed his eyes and 3 miraculas forehands. He shud have beaten Monfils but he played a great 1st match point and again Monfils did so well to hang in the points.
    So basically he’s been the dominant player on tour for 6 months! Nadal may have added another slam (his draw at US Open opened up so luckily for him!) But Roger has been great.
    I again think back to his loss to Berdych last year after Wimbledon and Roger was asked rather flippantly whether he could dominate again on tour. He answered yes and lots of people thought he was deluded!! Well who’s laughing now??
    Anyways- onwards to the title hopefully. It should be a great match with lots of interesting rallies. Come on Roger!

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  5. Also I was thinking. As Davydenko now has a better head to head record against Nadal and he’s beaten him the last 4 times they’ve played does that make him a contender for being the GOAT? ;-)
    Technically he could still win 16 slams and as Nadal fans always shout about the H2H with Roger how can Nadal be the best player ever if Davydenko has beaten him 6 times on hard courts!?
    Oh yes of course I remember now. Hard courts are Davy’s best surface and Nadal’s worst- Nadal has a poor head to head against him because Davy doesn’t get very far into tournaments on the clay.
    I think I’ve made my point about the stupidity of obsessing about a H2H record

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    marron Reply:

    One could think that you’re lumping ALL Nadal fans together and that ALL of them shout about the H2H. I hope not, Andrew.

    Do you think clay is Roger’s *worst* surface, Andrew? Or does he even have a ‘worst’ surface? He would be a multiple calendar slam winner, if only for that one guy, no?

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  6. Very good Ru-an. Your reply actually made me LOL, no?
    Roger is one of the greatest players ever to play on clay. He’s in the top 10 best ever for sure. He’s just battled 12 times against the greatest ever clay courter. Rafa is almost unbeatable on the surface!
    Anyways- I agree that Roger doesn’t have a worst surface but I think he’s agreed that it took him a while to enjoy playing on clay.
    Great win today for Roger. I’m so pleased- he was peRFect, no? ;-)

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    marron Reply:

    I didn’t get to see the match, but from all reports, yes, he must have been peRFect.

    BTW, I’m not Ru-an. Sorry. :-)

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  7. Hey, Ru-an! NO comments on the peRFect match won by the peRFect man????!!!!!!! Waiting, waiting…..

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I was beaten into the hospital on saturday night. I cant see properly yet.

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    muhammad Reply:

    hey what happened???are you alright?

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I was attacked next to the road. Still trying to recover.

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  8. Am horrified to hear what has happened to you Ru-an!! :-(
    I doubt I can do anything to help but my thoughts are with u. Get well soon.
    Andrew

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Andrew.

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  9. Oh, that’s terrible. Am sorry to hear this. Hope you get well soon, so that we can resume our ‘discussions’.
    :-)
    Sincerely, get well, Ru-an.

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  10. I am totally shocked after hearing that you was attacked. I wish you a speedy recovery. I love reading your posts. I am just waiting for your post on Roger’s Qatar victory for the past two days. Usually i wont read the comments given for the posts. But Today only i read your comment that you was attacked. Once again i wish you for a speedy recovery.

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  11. Ru-an, am so sorry about what happened to you. How awful. Do wish you “Get Well, soon”. You are missed!
    Kind regards,
    Dolores

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Dolores.

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  12. Ru-an! I’m so upset and sorry to hear about your beating. Usually you would be very excited to post any Roger victory but you didn’t and I was starting to wonder why. Now I understand. What kind of beast would do that to you??!! Maybe a Rafa fanatic?!! Sorry, Rafa fans, just joking. I’m praying for you. That you will recover 100% and you will see 100%. Be strong, we are all with you in spirit. Love and kisses and every get well wish from all of us!!

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    marron Reply:

    Ouch. I’ve heard better jokes, veronica.

    (let it go, marron…. :))

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  13. Ruan, I will join with those here who have expressed their complete dismay and concern at what has happened to you. I hope for a full and speedy recovery for you, and that you are able to soon regain the ability to once again engage in your passion, that you so generously share with us. All the best.

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  14. Ru-an,

    Sorry to hear about the horrifying incident. Wish you a very quick recovery. Fed-fan community is missing you a lot, particularly after the recent triumph of Fed. Just like Fed has come out winner after all the setbacks in 2010, I am sure you will come out soon from hospital with even more vigor in your write-ups.

    All our best wishes are with you.

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  15. Wow, just checking in Ruan. So sorry to hear about this. I’m sure you have plenty to deal with and I’m sure a bunch of us are praying for a speedy recovery. Best to you, and best of luck. Gary

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  16. Hi Ruan!
    Sorry to hear about the mishap. My best wishes for your speedy recovery.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Sorry guys my left eye is still swollen shut. But rest assured im very happy about Rogers performance in Doha and excited for the rest of the year. Jesusfed is back.

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  17. Prediction for Jan 2011 – 1)The left eye would be fully opened soon. 2)Roger is back and Ru-an would be back too!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Veronica :-) I cant hear though my one ear either but dont need it to write :-)

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  18. Hi Ruans, good to hear that you are getting better. I’m really sorry to hear what had happened to you. A long time fan of your site, hope to have you back soon. All the very best to your full recovery! Cheers.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks onefly, ill survive and continue my blog.

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  19. Hi Ru-an
    Just checking in to see how ur feeling? I’ve followed ur blog so religiously for a long time now and I still feel very sad about what’s happened to you. I wish you a speedy recovery
    Andrew

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Hi Andrew. Not so well but i hope to make a full recovery. I am sad that i couldnt make a post about Rogers win in Doha yet. So far this year things are looking good for Roger. Its been the best possible start. The exho was after all meaningless. Nadal on the other hand has had a less than ideal start. But he has a week off to rest and prepare for Oz. The main thing now will be the draw. There are a lot of dangerous floaters. Davydenko and Murray is both out of the top 4 and could be dangerous to Nadal if they end up in his quarter. I think Roger will glide through safely to the final.

    He is simply in Jesusfed mode since end last year. The only question is whether he will face Nadal in the final or not. If he does then Nadal could prove to be a big obstacle once more. But not an immovable obstacle. Roger was not in Jesusfed mode in 2009 and could possible remove Nadal this time around. Im just happy to see Roger carry his form over from last year and will take things match for match at the AO. There is one thing that cannot be allowed, and that is for Nadal to make history by winning the AO. But like i said its a long way to go and many things can happen. If it comes down to it Roger must stop Nadal himself. And he can.

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