Federer Adds Hamburg to His Summer Schedule

I am happy to let you know that I will also be playing #Hamburg this summer, where I have many fond memories.

https://twitter.com/rogerfederer

All of a sudden playing Gstaad makes a little more sense, doesn’t it? After Roger added the 250 clay event in Gstaad to his summer schedule he has now added the 500 clay event in Hamburg as well. Ranking wise that makes more sense than playing Gstaad and not playing Washington. Roger lost a lot of points at Wimbledon and the Olympics points will drop off soon too. By adding Hamburg to his schedule you can now ask whether he should rather have played in Atlanta and Washington, instead of Gstaad and Hamburg. In the end I think it’s about spending more time close to home for Roger, which is why he opted for the latter. He is doing a lot of switching back and forth on surfaces that way, but I don’t think it will be too much of an issue. Most tournaments are played on hard court and Roger won’t need much time to adjust to it.

The most important thing I think is for Roger to get matches and build confidence, as well as ranking points. The surface doesn’t really matter. The field in Gstaad is Tipsarevic, Stan, Monaco, and Youzhny. These guys are all very beatable for Roger. Stan may be the hardest to beat given his recent clay court form. The Hamburg 500 field is of course tougher and includes Almagro, Haas, Monaco, Simon, Seppi, Janowicz, Dolgopolov, and Paire. This is the first event Roger will play and it won’t be easy to win. But he has a great record in Hamburg and should be the favorite against all these guys. Hopefully he can win both Hamburg and Gstaad and gain 2 more titles for the year in the process. Winning a title always gives confidence, no matter what the strength of the event. If Roger loses in these events it won’t give him much confidence, but at least he will be getting more matches.

The nice thing is that he will be playing 3 events now where he has no points to defend, and then at Cincinnati he has to defend another title. But despite that I don’t think he can return to the top 4 before the US Open. Roger had such a good year in 2012 that it is making it  hard for him to maintain his ranking. Also Ferrer has been super consistent. As for dropping to #6 in the rankings after Wimbledon, at least that won’t happen as Djokovic defeated Berdych in straight sets in the quarter finals of Wimbledon. Del Potro also defeated Ferrer in straight sets which was good to see. Del Potro’s run has probably been the highlight of one of the most boring Wimbledons in recent times for me. He now plays Djokovic who has looked awfully good and Djokovic is probably the favorite, even though Del Potro beat him at the Olympics at Wimbledon last year.

Roger won Hamburg 4 times when it was still a MS event(’02, ’04, ’05, ’07) (’13?)

In the bottom half there was yet another straight set win for Janowicz over Kubot. Who would have imagined that quarterfinal meeting when the draw came out? This Wimbledon was a big setback for Fedal that’s for sure. Janowicz in the semis of Wimbledon? Are you kidding me? But kudos to him for seeing his opportunity and taking it with both hands. The game can sure do with some young talent coming through. The only match that provided any real drama was the one between Murray and Verdasco. And it was big drama. Murray somehow managed to lose the first 2 sets and I could hardly believe my eyes. At least he came back to win the match 7-5 in the 5th. I was at work so I couldn’t watch, but apparently Murray was way too passive in the first 2 sets. I think he was feeling the pressure. The important thing however is that he won.

The trademark of Murray 2.0 has been that he wins the matches where he choked in the past. He comes close to losing but in the end he comes through, which is all that matters. Many people now think that Djokovic is the favorite after Murray was pushed to 5 sets by Verdasco, but I will stick with the one I favored for the title since the start. Djokovic is looking very good and I will definitely not be surprised if he wins the title, but I can’t change my mind now. Djokovic first have to overcome Del Potro anyway, who is not an easy opponent. Murray has Janowicz who I think he will deal with easier. Janowicz has a big serve which is a good match up for Murray because he has good returns. Janowicz did beat Murray in Bercy last year after Murray was a set and a break up, but I think the moment will probably be too big for Janowicz here.

The British crowd will also be firmly behind Murray, and apparently they were very biased in Murray’s last match. Janowicz in the Wimbledon final just doesn’t seem quite right. I’d love for Del Potro to win the whole thing. How cool would it be if we get a Del Potray final? You have two guys who have both won one slam at the US Open and wants to cement themselves as not just a one-slam wonder. These two have been compared for a long time and while Murray has had much more success outside of the one slam that they both won, if Del Potro should beat Murray in the Wimbledon final he still has to be viewed as the more successful player. I’d love for that final to happen actually and Del Potro to win it. We are far from that though and Djokovic has to be the favorite to make the final at this point.

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15 Comments

  1. It’s gonna me exciting semis so I’d love to watch them.

    As far as Roger I’m glad that he has added both events. I think that he should definitely win both and he shouldn’t have problems with each. I still think that had he not choked on that match point and had he won that 4th set tiebreak, he would be in the semis right now at Wimbledon but it is what it is.

    Roger is right to move forward and try to add to add some much neded ranking points. Hopefully he’ll have a run like he had in 2010 although who knows.

    As far as the US Open – it’s a long time off and we have to see what will happen between now and then. It certainly fills very awkward to have Roger not in the semis considering his draw but life goes on. Most likely he would have probably lost against Murray but who knows.

    Oh, well, tomorrow will be exciting though.

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  2. Hi Ru-an! Thanks for keeping the blogs coming! I couldn’t find time to commen. So this will be a long comment as it covers last few posts! First off, just love the header of handsome Roger and his girls; looking at the pic is like a soothing balm after such a tough loss! Wimby, like Katyani commented, doesn’t mean much without Fedal. It’s the slam that encompasses history and tradition more than any other slam. And Fedal is history/tradition personified; without them, Wimby loses some of its appeal. Like you, I had Murray as favourite but now I’m not too sure. Djoko seems to have improved a lot the last time I saw him play on grass; but the most impressive thing about Djoko is that he is such a mental giant. He plays the important points so well (in fact he goes up a gear when he is under pressure) I don’t think Murray can match him in that dept. Murray was passive against Verdasco in the first two sets (he tends to be passive if his opponent is aggressive) He won’t have an easy time with JJ for sure. If JJ stretches him to 5 sets, he may not have enough gas for Djoko in the final. If Murray can’t win it this year, I really feel for him because it was like the parting of the red sea for him when Fedal were knocked out. Just plain bad luck to have a temporarily resurgent Verdasco pushing him and an extremely ravenous Pole standing in his way before he can even get a smell of the Serbinator! Delpo was outstanding in his quarter final and I would have given him a great chance to cause the upset with Djoko BUT for his injured knee. My reaction when Roger said he would play Gstaad, “That’s it, the man has lost it, gone mad…” haha! But after thinking about it, like most of you, I do think he wants to gain points, he wants to play somewhere where he is comfortable and have good memories to rebuild the confidence, to be closer to home (maybe for twins’ birthday as Dolores said) and not spend too much time away from home, Gstaad and Hamburg are not typical clay and at the same time kinder to the body which makes sense if he wants longevity. Those have got to be the reasons, right?! Otherwise, it would be pure madness and irrationality to the extreme! I’m not too confident he would win either/both; but if he wins, it would surely help his confidence; but most important is to get the matches in. I really hope this will work out well – back to back matches and then another back to back in HC! Yeah, in my dreams, Ru-an, you are Roger’s personal motivator and advisor, just coaxing Roger to do this and that….haha! but in real life, these things never happen; do they?! Celebrities and stars are so removed from the “real” world, it can sometimes work against them because maybe sometimes what they need is simply basic hard honest truths/advice that only regular human beings can give them and not the so- called high calibre coaches or mentors. Anyway, like someone said in an earlier post, it’s like Roger created the defensive monsters. He was so good that it drove others to go for extreme measures to match up to him. And since then, tennis has become counterproductive. Depending on how you look at it, we can say Roger brought tennis to a level never imagined before or we can “blame” him for the death of real tennis! Ha! I don’t know about racket changes and its implications but all I know is he needs to have more power. If a new racket does it, no matter how long it would get him to adjust to it; he should consider it. Better late than never. If he doesn’t change now, it will really be too late. Steve mentioned other factors which are not so straight forward as simply changing rackets. Whatever it is, Roger and team have to find the answers, the game is moving on. But above racket changes, above getting fitter/stronger,etc,etc, is, Roger’s gotta deal with his mental side. Let’s look at Djoko. He was so frail before. Look at him now! Unrecognisable. How did he turn around? If someone had predicted before 2011 that Djoko would become the mental giant that he is today, I would have bet a million dollars against it. Djoko knew he had the game, but he was not getting to the next level, he recognised he had to do something about this block. He sought mental help. Now, Roger is mentally much tougher than Djoko 1.0; so if Djoko can do such a huge turnabout, can you imagine what Roger could achieve if he would just take some concrete steps to deal with it?! About the match with Stakhovsky, many of you mentioned that Roger played really well and it was just the important points that made him lose the match. I agree. But isn’t this exactly the problem?! Very often, it’s the important points that win or lose a match. Roger doesn’t seem to play the important points well so if he loses because of the important points, it doesn’t mean he could have won it! As long as he doesn’t improve on this part of his game, he would not win close matches no matter how well he plays. With not much separating the top players plus many journeymen gaining confidence playing hot against the top players, it is almost all about winning the important points nowadays. If Roger doesn’t do this well, it will not win him matches. And playing the important points well is mainly mental; and it is what separates the top players from the rest, I believe. Of course we can’t isolate and blame one aspect of his game without looking at the other aspects. Everything has to work together; maybe he couldn’t play under pressure because he hasn’t enough confidence and maybe the lack of confidence is due to lack of matches, his back has to heal well, etc, etc, because every aspect affect the other and everything has to work together. But there is really no harm and everything to gain if Roger seeks some mental conditioning in addition to physical conditioning and technical changes. I hope Roger reinvents himself. He is not done. He is not old. And like Katyani, I take Roger seriously when he says he wants to get back to no. 1 next year. All the more reason then for reinvention. Common, Roger, ONWARDS and UPWARDS!!!!

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    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Veronica, +1 for your comment !!!
    Every word is to true. You really write like a writer !!! I don’t think you answered my question earlier on another post about if you are a writer !!! You write so different from other commentators. You write like Ru-an, beautiful.

    I am glad he is adding two more tours. Shows me he does want to do something about is and act proactive. And just like you I think these two tours will not automatically mean he will win.
    I mean, look all the players who are also playing in those two tours. They are actually all very good and all capable of beating Roger. So, I hope he makes it atleast to the SF or final. Winning would be incredible. If he would win those two tours he would definitely gain more confidence for the tours starting in August and USO.

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    Veronica Reply:

    Hi Katyani! Just saw your comment. I’m not very consistent in my commentary as I’m free lancing and not consistent with my time. When I am free, I would be like commenting 10x in one post! Haha! Other times, I do not comment at all (although I would be like dying to do so!) but just can’t squeeze in the time. Regarding your question, no, I’m not a writer but I’d always loved writing, have written informally and am working on something which I hope I could finish in a year or more! But one thing I can tell you. Writing is certainly therapeutic but it can be so emotionally draining!! So sometimes, I hold myself back from writing too much; otherwise I get so carried away and distracted, I can’t carry out my normal routine and responsibilities! And especially I want time to enjoy Roger, to read Ru-an’s blog and just browse about tennis!! Keep your posts coming. I just love your open enthusiasm!!

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  3. Hey! Ru-an! Must mention this. Brilliant! for the photos you selected in your post, “Should Roger reinvent himself”! Wiping sweat from my brows, I thought I was reading some “strictly for males” magazine!! Hehehe! WOW! Murray’s ripped body! He does look really handsome in that photo!! And hairy Roger?!! I’m not saying anything…..or I surely would be censored!! Hahahaha!!! Well done Ru-an!! KEEP it up and keep us begging for more!! hahaha!!

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  4. Some good – if unusual – scheduling by Roger. Meanwhile, the wimbledon women’s final is on tomorrow and a lot of us are excited at the fresh jumpstart to women’s tennis that had been hijacked by the constant ear-splitting bullying by Serena Williams and Sharapova.

    Djokovic is indeed looking very strong and I can see him having an edge over Del Potro with a suspect knee.

    As a resident of Scotland, I am happy for Andy Murray and all the crowd support he can get. That said, he was lucky to get away with a win over an opponent who just wasn’t inclined to come to the net to back up a huge forehand and a lot of points were thus gifted because of a failure to implement that tactic. Murray played the way he feels comfortable with: baselining till the other guy drops. This lost him the first two sets and his calm. He recovered in time and hopefully learnt a valuable lesson about being aggressive when it matters.

    Ru-an, I wish you and your readers a memorable weekend’s tennis and look forward to a renewed Federer charge.

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  5. I thoroughly enjoyed the match between Del Potro and Djokovic! Two great guys, I admit that I admire and like both of them very much. Djokovic is a class act in the way he reacts to great shots from his opponent, and smiles in funny situations. “I’m just privileged to be a winner of such a match”, gotta love him for that. And how great must this gluten-free diet be, I think I will try it as well! You could see how Del Potro gradually tired out, while Novak just showed very little signs of physical exhaustion. That is a major change in comparison to a few years ago. Remarkable.

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    V Reply:

    Yeah both of them are class acts and great sportsman with high spirits.They respect the game and yeah Djokovic is looking stronger on grass than may be even last year and he has improved a lot(ie if there is anything at all for him to improve upon).he applauds his opponents when they outplay him in a point and hit a very good shot and thats a very good gesture which even roger could learn from.He has become a lot stronger physically with increased stamina and mentally with a steel like mentality and is probably the fastest tennis player on tour(may be ever with the way he just covers the ground, its just more natural and better than what nadal does).His slide is obviously the best around and its just remarkable how he recovers from a slide to run from side to side or front and back.He has a tall lean physique which is perfect for any sport and his flexibilty allows him to reach impossible balls and recover fast.SO he is at the top of his game and janowicz or murray have to play at their absolute best for them to win the final

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  6. I am hoping for a Nole victory on Sunday –just can’t stand that whinger Murray winning. He’s too much of a passive player and I liked that Nole was willing to come to the net today.

    Interesting piece on Fox Tennis about how Murray/Djokovic rivalry is never going to be a classic because their games are too alike.

    Quick question–does anyone on this blog know if Tennis Channel will be broadcasting the Hamburg tournament in the US?

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    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Sakhi, I don’t know about Tennis Channel, but you can also follow it on your laptop via Streamhunter.

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  7. What a fantastic match from Djoko and Delpo. The way those two maintained their high ridiculous level was incredible. Total respect to Delpo who played his heart out despite the hurt ankle. I’m so very happy to see him returning closer to his USO2009 level. If he had been 100% fit, he could have got a chance against Djoko. But Djoko is just too good; all that bullying from Delpo corner to corner pushing Djoko like 2 meters behind the baseline and what does Djoko do?! He gets up like a rubber ball and smiles and continues to play!! What an indomitable spirit! He is so fast and light as he is so lean; yet he packs in so powerful a punch from both wings. The most complete and consistent player by far. He has grown into such a class act (far cry from his cocky younger self) and carries the mantel of no. 1 really well. The final should be a nail biter. I didn’t watch Murray/JJ but from what I saw from Djoko last night, he has passed the litmus test in grass. Murray would have his hands full. But I hope Murray rises to the occasion. The guy had suffered enough Wimby heartache and is due.

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    Marcus Reply:

    “What a fantastic match from Djoko and Delpo. The way those two maintained their high ridiculous level was incredible”

    ……….The scripted official version was summed up best by Mcenroe describing the doctor with Del Potro supplying magic pills…? But Mcenroe won’t go down the rabbit hole any other way than accidentaly, neither will Henman and both these two father’s were lawyers.
    Becker is more of the same, 100% scripted

    Djokovic didn’t even look out of breadth any time, hardest serve was in the FIFTH set

    I’m not saying I know what’s down the rabbit hole; I’m just saying no-one is going down it to find out

    How are these guys doing this…?
    Are the ethers lighter than 30 years ago, can you sustain from hidden sources easier now…?
    Does the rabbit hole exist for a reason…?

    These guys are hitting harder than previous generations but it doesn’t seem to equate with greater loss of energy through greater exertion of effort

    The match lengths are entering world records these days yet 30 years ago they took almost 10 seconds longer between points;
    but no-one is hitting the wall out there
    these days. They did 30 years ago

    No-one ever seems dehydrated out there these days

    Prize money for winner this year is £1, 600, 000
    In 1983 it was £66, 600 for the winner

    Bigger money makes the rabbit hole get bigger

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    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Veronica, again nice comment. I always agree with you no matter what, because you write the truth.
    This time however I do not agree on one point. I hope Novak wins and not Andy. Andy does not deserve to win Wimby (because he suffered Wimby heartache and is due). Lets be honest, if he did not had the crowd support he would have lost to Verdasco or Jerzy.
    He does not like the crowd but at Wimby he uses the crowd for his benefit and the crowd lets it happen.
    Novak defeated Delpo while the whole crowd was for Delpo. Roger defeated Andy while the whole crowd was for Andy.
    No, you have to earn it and in my opinion he has not earned it.

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