Federer and Nadal Make Confident Starts in Rome

Today the rest of the big four played their opening matches in Rome and all of them had confident starts. The same can’t be said for all the seeds though, as half of the seeds that played today lost. The ones that won’t take any further part in the singles are Simon, Lopez, Dimitrov, Tsonga, and Bautista Agut, while Roger, Nadal, Murray, Nishikori, and Isner are the seeds who won.

  • Federer vs Cuevas

So this was the rematch of the Istanbul final and it was a very similar match with Roger winning a competitive match 7-6(3), 6-4. Both players played well I thought but Roger has that something extra. He is more aggressive and takes the initiative which gives him the edge. But, of course, he also has bigger weapons than Cuevas and more variation. A feature of this match was Roger’s backhand and he hit more backhand winners than forehand winners(9-7), something I can’t even remember him doing before.

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He hit some spectacular shots as well. The two I can remember off the top of my head is the defensive play to win the first set and a backhand half-volley passing shot which was unheard of. Hopefully, I can find it on Youtube and post it below. He hit some great drop shots too, but so did Cuevas. There was one drop shot from Cuevas which was particularly impressive. All in all, it was another high-quality clay court match and it’s good to see Roger is picking up where he left off in Madrid.

He now plays Anderson who has not exactly impressed of late so you gotta like his chances.

  • Nadal Destroys Ilhan

Nadal made short work of Ilhan after he faced a break point early on, winning 6-2, 6-0. As I expected he is looking good, but his next match against Isner should be a better indication of his form. For now though it doesn’t look like the Madrid loss to Murray had any negative effect on him. I still think there is a good chance that he will go deep here and make the final, but it’s definitely not certain. He still has some tough competition ahead. Isner is always an awkward customer with his huge serve.

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  • Elsewhere in the Draw

If Nadal beats Isner he will play the winner of Stan and Thiem, who I was delighted to see win today. Simon withdrew at 0-2 in the second set, but I watched the first set and Thiem did well to win the tie-break 7-5 and he was probably the favorite after that anyway. His match with Stan tomorrow is probably the one I look most forward to. Thiem is kind of the baby version of Stan with his impressive one-handed backhand, powerful strokes, and good all-court game. I think he will be better mentally though and more consistent than Stan.

But that is pure speculation. No one knows what Thiem will achieve in the game and Stan already won a slam. Thiem doesn’t have much to lose here though and he will go for broke I’m sure. On the one hand, I want Stan to win because I think he will be tougher opposition for Nadal but I wouldn’t mind if Thiem wins either. Another Masters quarter-final would be a great result for him. Like I said Murray had a solid 6-4, 6-3 win over Chardy too and now plays Goffin who saved one of three match points against Tsonga with a lucky net cord.

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Thiem’s Tough Times

Other good news is that Dimitrov got bageled by Fognini in the third set who will now play Berdych for a place in the quarterfinals against the winner of Roger and Anderson. In the top half, Nishikori also won and will now play Troicki, while Djokovic will play against Bellucci. There is no shortage of matches to look forward to tomorrow. My picks are Stan vs Thiem, Roger vs Anderson and Nadal vs Isner. It will also be interesting to see if the Djoker is back to his best again against Bellucci.

  • Highlights

  • Hot shots

  • Match Stats

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The is in your court.

Posted in Masters 1000, Rome.

66 Comments

  1. After seeing this match I am pretty sure Federer is making the semis. He wants it and the real question for me now is will he try everything possible to beat Nadal.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Commenting before I’ve even sent out my newsletter! Glad you are so confident about Roger’s chances. Berdych would be tricky but who knows he could lose to Fognini :->

    [Reply]

    Ajay Reply:

    Haha like I told you before your site has been bookmarked for years now and so I check it pretty regularly after matches.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    :-bd

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Ru-an you are so good with this!! Love it! Love the bow that you did earlier too. How do you do it?!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Alex did the bow not me. There is nothing to it. Just click on the Yahoo emoticon below the comment form.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Ajay, are you a full time commentator or what??! You get paid for commenting?!! :-) You are often the first commentator, the fastest commentator, the most regular commentator and the most comments commentator!

    [Reply]

    Ajay Reply:

    Haha thanks for the praise Veronica. Couldn’t be more flattered !!

    [Reply]

  2. I’ve been away for a few days, but I’ve been able to follow the scores from Madrid and now Rome – really happy to be back at home and able to watch some more tennis now! :-)
    I was really happy for Murray, he was definitely the best player in Madrid and he’s now riding a wave of confidence on clay as well. Definitely a contender at RG if he keeps this up, and potentially a huge threat at Wimbledon.
    Looking forward to seeing Novak and Roger in action tomorrow. If Djoko wins Rome, he’d have won every big event he’s entered since losing to Fed in Shanghai last year. Fed himself played well today – with the right intensity/focus he could make the semis, perhaps even the final.
    Nadal played decently today, still not amazing by his high standards – you never can tell with him anyway, you’re better off trying to predict lottery numbers rather than predicting his season.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hey Krish, nice to see you back. You are spot on Nadal is very unpredictable and we have to remember he could lose before the semis in Rome as well which would give Roger a chance to make the final. But of course first Anderson and Berdych would be very difficult in his current form.

    [Reply]

  3. Great blog, Ru-an, highlighting today’s matches of various players. I finally had a chance to see Roger play and was delighted with his performance as you also pointed out. Thought he was very energetic, running at a good speed being that he is not a youngster anymore. Quietly hoping he can make it to the Final, do I dare say “win it”? All things are possible….am realistic, it is one match at a time.
    ‘Til next time, Ru-an,
    Kindly,
    Dolores

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thank you, Dolores! Yes Roger is still playing very well for his age and his decline is much exaggerated. I think his chances are great of making semis here. Then it would depend on whether he meets Nadal there and in what form Nadal is. But yeah always one match at a time.

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    Dear Dolores,

    I second your dare say “win it”.

    Kind regards.

    Jiten

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Bro, love your shank comment from last post! Love yours and Dolores optimism. Wish I could share your optimism but let’s see how he copes with that red hot piece of Shit first! Haha! If the Shit gets there of course!

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    Yes, Sis, this piece of shit is really playing well these days. Nice to see that you are not afraid of Katyani :-) . Under the tutage of Andy’s former coach (or should it be co-coach?), he seem to be doing pretty well, particularly in the mental department. But had the surrealist looking Fognini stayed steady, this shit should have been packing his bags for Prague. And what happened to our hero? I was wondering: is it really going to be 6-3, 6-2? Come on, the way our hero has been playing of late, it cannot be that easy! My intuition turned out to be correct. But still I expected him to close the second set 6-4. Luckily Anderchoke really lived up to his name in the penultimate game enabling our hero to close it out eventually. And I will still go with gracious Dolores’ dare say “WIN IT”.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Bro, ” nice to see you are not afraid of Katyani” thanks for reminding me! Oh dear, I gotta get ready for her fury! She loves her Bird……oops! I mean Berdych! Have to watch my language! :-) Kat, you not mad, are you?!! Yeah, that Vallverdu guy has really turned Berdych around. Nervous for Roger tonight! Thank god for Anderchoke, bro! I was like you too. Too good to be true. And true enough Roger obliged all our intuitions! But no room for mistake tonight. I think he will step it up. But I won’t say DARE to win it yet! C’mon Roger!!

    [Reply]

    FeDaL Reply:

    What a truly despicable comment, but I guess Ru-an standards are just low enough not to police the comment section for content he agrees with deep inside. This is still a fanboi blog by heart no doubt about it, calling other players red hot pieces of shit and not getting a warning or temporary ban is merely proof of that.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I don’t see where anyone used the term ‘red hot pieces of shit’ so feel welcome to point it out to me. But you shouldn’t be lecturing anyone on standards if you are a Fedal fan. You don’t become a fan of both Federer and Nadal without lowering your standards. At least Nadal fans stick to one player, whereas Fedal fans are loyal to neither. To me, that is very low standards and you should be grateful I allow you to comment here.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Hey Fedal! My apologies if this offends you. And I take full responsibility. Leave Ru-an alone. Chill. Can you not see the lighter side of things and the creative originality rather than a “despicable” comment? Berdych’s nicknames are Shit and Poo. At the moment, he is a red hot player. Put all the words together and voila! you get “red hot piece of shit”. There are so many of these less than complimentary nicknames of all the players. So all these nicknames must be out of bounds to make a blog presentable?! Well, that makes me an offensive despicable commentator :-) Btw, is Federina, Dopal, Fang, Lady forehand, Toothface, etc, acceptable?……just checkin’… :-) Peace!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    You didn’t say anything wrong, Veronica. I think Fedal was referring to Jiten’s comment, which was a bit out of order to call Berdych a piece of shit. In the past, I would even have enjoyed that comment but Berdych is a more respectable player these days. That said, I still enjoy calling him Scat. I find it sounds better than Shit or Poo anyway.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Hey! Ru-an! I mentioned it. Not Jiten. I call Berdych shit, one of his many nicknames I saw over the net. I think it sort of rhymes with Berdych. I think it must have been invented by a Fedfan coz Berdych has Roger’s number for a bit so many Fedfans are wary of Berdych and dislike him a lot. The nickname has nothing do with him being a bad player as in the case of Anderchoke which directly says what a choker Anderson is. But a shit player is definitely NOT what Berdych is. He is a damn good player. Really red hot now.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Haha! Ru-an, Scat, shit, poo, whatever! Tennis players have some of the best nicknames in sport. Some are just spot on and so original and often carry some truth behind them; whether they sound complimentary or not. For me, shit for Berdych is flattering coz he is capable of shitting on (beating) any player! He has the power! Ha!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Did you figure out where the emoticons are btw? Very easy to find.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Yup sir! Thanks! ^#(^

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    OMG! I didn’t mean to create so much controversy! I was just pure fun. If one looks carefully, my comment was more in appreciation of Bird”…”‘s :-) current level of tennis. Probably that infuriated Fedal more as (s)he must have felt like “How dare somebody call this wonderful player a “….” :-) while he is playing so well”. Surely my intention was not this:
    https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRRzgg4bes95GVxo7EKjs0GL0bccIig97Ag9xmlH-QGz-RCWqdXIQ

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Good one bro! NOT your fault! Sunshine is taking full responsibility! She is big enough girl! You continue to be your cool self, bro! Chillax

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    After the masterful performance of our hero against Mr. Berdych ( I swear, I will never call him “….”; Katyani, are you listening? :-) ) we can all chillax! Wow, do I daresay, the best performance of 2015. Those break points saved while serving for the first set, particularly the third one, what courage? Bravo Roger.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    ^:)^ =D> :-bd

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    :D \\m/ o:-)

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Wahahahaha, Ru-an. LOVE your emojicon!!!

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Doesn’t it remind you of FO 2011?! Even his demeanor?!! Suddenly he is looking so comfortable on Roman clay! Maybe not having won this before gives him extra motivation. I said I thought he would step it up. And he did!! Thanks for listening, Roger!! If he plays like this AND he is not mentally freaked out by The Bull, I like his chances – provided The Bull can beat The Man! Roger’s serve again was imperious, the bh, wow! the fh also firing and the VARIETY!! Bird@&:; was almost clueless!

    [Reply]

  4. Hey Ru-an, amazing blog,is this a new blog?nice to be here again , loving Roger as always.Go Roger!!!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hello, Mia. It is sort of new because I changed the url but all my old posts are still in the archives. Nice to hear from you :-)

    [Reply]

  5. Oh my God Ru-an loving your blog,what a surprise! after so long nice to remember old times!
    loving and supporting Roger as always.Hey everybody!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hey, Ines! Thank you :-) Hope you are well and nice to see you back :-)

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Ines!! Welcome back!! Where have you been!!! So you have forgiven Ru-an for criticising the love of your life?! :-) I hope you will stay. Let’s all together enjoy Roger in the last stage of his career. Every moment is precious. Let’s not waste any moment. I’ve missed your unique Spanish flavoured passionate comments!

    [Reply]

    ines Reply:

    Thanks Veronica we were a great family here hope we enjoy Roger alltogether again!
    Yes I´m a passionate fan as always!

    [Reply]

  6. Great match and wonderful to watch. Cuevas was matching Roger with his net skills and drop shots!! Impressive. Really good clay counter. Liked his demeanor too. So relieved to see Roger back to where he left off in Istanbul. His serve was imperious. There were some sweet drop shots and a few wow shots, can’t remember, I think in second set after 2 all and the fh squash shot save at match point in tie breaker. His bh has become so much stronger with the new racket but the trade off is a less reliable and less lethal fh which “used” to be his biggest weapon. Don’t know if this is good or bad in the long run. But most encouraging was he looked more engaged and determined to turn his fortunes around. But I wouldn’t say he’s ready to win this. There is still the inconsistency. One great shot is often followed by a terrible error. Won’t be able to get away with it with better players. If he can make semis, he would have exceeded my expectations. And I’m not sure that he can beat Nadal should they meet. But the positive is that there was no let down after Madrid loss, he played well, looks determined, and the court does seem a tad faster from what I can remember from last year (?) But one match at a time! C’mon Roger!!

    [Reply]

    Dolores Reply:

    Good comment, Veronica, like what you say about Roger’s tennis playing Cuevas….you know, I cannot participate in the technical discussion of tennis but know the basics which I have learned a lot from reading Ru-an’s blog. My optimistic comment in Roger possibly “win it”, in which Jiten has so kindly replied to join me in this thought. I may let “wishfull” thinking take over….Roger has never won this title…there is always a “first time”!
    Meeting Nadal will be a big task I realize, especially since Nadal has beaten Isner convincingly. Should Roger meet Nadal and defeat him, it would be a trophy for Roger already! Yes, C’mon Roger!
    Kindly,
    Dolores

    [Reply]

    Dolores Reply:

    Veronica, just barely sent my optimistic view about Roger “maybe” winning the Roma Title….oooops, he got me nervous watching the end Roger/Anderson match. Let me tell you, Roger got a darn good scolding from me after he could not finish out the match at 6:3, 6:3,…luckily he finished it in his favor. Anxious to read Ru-an’s blog on this match. Next up….Birdpoo!
    Cheers,
    Dolores

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Good comment Veronica. There was inconsistency today against Anderson too after he lead 5-2 and served with two match points. The collapse from there was poor. Berdych also had a good win over Fognini today so he Roger will have a tough match tomorrow that’s for sure.

    [Reply]

  7. I have been unable to follow things for the last 10 days or so but am getting up dates here, thank you Ru-an and the commentators.

    I read that today Federer had a double break lead in the 2nd set and then lost focus , gave up the lead, and then woke up at the end to win. Did anyone see it? Did Anderson start playing very well, or was it more Fed’s fault?

    Berdych should be a tough ask for tomorrow…he will be hungry for revenge after the beatdown at Indian Wells…

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I only watched the first set Bharata but from what I hear Roger collapsed and then at 5-5 Anderson did his characteristic choking just as he was getting back into the match and dropped serve. Not surprised at all by that. Lucky for Roger. He will have to play much better vs Berdych who was mentally very solid today against Fognini.

    [Reply]

    Bharata Reply:

    Hey thanks for that. To use your words, it was an ‘Anderchoke’ moment (!) I read some comments on the ATP page that he actually had match points at 5-2 and threw them away, then double faulted on another break point. Very strange. I guess he relaxed too much and assumed Anderson would just give up.

    Well probably will highlights avaialble soon. From what I saw of the highlights of the Cuevas match here, Fed’s backhand was on fire and hopefully we can keep that up for the next few days. But 3 matches in 3 days to win it sounds like too much.

    I wonder, would losing to Nadal in the semis destroy his confidence?

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes he had two MPs when serving at 5-2. He seems to struggle with staying focused these days. Who knows what a loss to Nadal would do, but he will lose to Berdych if he can’t stay focused.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Yes, Bharata, Ru-an, he lost focus. Seem to happen often when he feels he can handle the opponent easily or when he is under pressure. But Kevin was a bit more aggressive and going for his shots when he broke Roger. But still, Roger could easily have wrapped it up 6/2. I wasn’t worried because Kevin is such a poor mover, Roger can beat him with his eyes closed. It’s just a bit frustrating to watch because you know he can’t afford that against better players.

    [Reply]

  8. Hey Ru-an, hey all, what’s up?? First of all Ru-an, I like the new look of the blog. First few days when I came here I had to get used to it, but…. I like it. I really do. Especially the short summaries you have of the matches. Keep it up Ru-an. Just one question, where can you see your latest post the first? Because at the top (top posts & pages), you cannot see which one is the newest. Is there another way to know that??

    What about Roger huh? He keeps cutting his curls (stop that Roger) and he keeps getting thinner. Or is that just me noticing that?? His match against Kyrgios was great, unfortunately he ended up losing that one. But his match against Cuevas was WOW. Some nice great points, also today against Anderson.
    About Cuevas… I really like him. He is a good player, plays fast, makes nice points and is very normal. If it wasn’t against Roger, I would be rooting for him. By the way, did you guys notice that Cuevas plays…. a bit like Roger?? Somehow he reminded me of Roger !!! And what about today’s match against Anderson?? I swear, the older Roger gets, the more excitement he wants. Easy win?? No !!! Why should he?? Why make it easy on him and his fans?? No, the dude has to make it difficult for himself. Like the commie said, Roger played flawless, until…..
    If it was another player than Anderson, he would have made Roger pay for it. When Roger got broken the second time, I was telling him very politely: “oke, this is your own fault, you made this mess, now FIX it” :-) Getting broken is…. oke…. not that bad, can happen to the best…..but you have to FIX it. And thank God he did.

    Now next is against my Berdy. Commie said very truely “Berdych against Italy” and “Davis Cup match”. Which it really was. If anyone saw The Fog play against Rafa or yesterday against Dimitrov, then you can only say that THIS Fognini is capable of winning more than one slam. Seriously, if he took his career more serious, he would be a really threat. You cannot know which Fognini you play against. The almost a genius or the crazy lazy clown. (Just like Monfils actually).
    I was so proud of Berdych when he beat Fognini and this hostile crowd. There were LITERALLY two, just two of his fans !!! And the way I noticed that was because they made a very tiny banner with “Come on Tomas” :-)
    But you listen to me Tommy B…… as much as I love you….. there is a line you cannot cross…. and that line is the Goat. Beating Roger is a big no no and a bridge too far. It has to stop here with your win on the Fog. Be happy with that. Don’t ask or want more :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thank you, Katyani. To see the latest posts just go to the homepage or click on the link below each post to see the previous post or go to the archives. I will think about it maybe I will put a latest posts widget in the sidebar. If you have any more complaints or suggestions please go to the feedback tab on the menu bar.

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    Your welcome Ru-an. Change is always good, it just takes a bit time to get used to it. And the new blog looks better. I couldn’t see what the latest post was, but now I can. No other suggestions and definitely no complaints.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes it looks much better, and it was the right time to change. I may still add a widget that shows the latest posts. That would be easier for people to see it.

    [Reply]

  9. Ru-an, did I see the score correctly? Roger defeated Berdych 6:3 6:3? Am soooo happy….am dancing with the stars in heaven! One match at a time, so it is.
    Looking for your analysis of the match.
    Kindly,
    Dolores

    [Reply]

    steve Reply:

    Dolores, you ain’t dreaming, ’cause I saw the same score! Hoping for the Glücksstern to shine on Federer this weekend!

    [Reply]

    Dolores Reply:

    Right on, Steve, may der Glueckstern shine on Roger! Will keep this thought in mind…..
    Best,
    Dolores

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Yes, Dolores, you ain’t dreaming. It was a glorious match! Can I dance with you?!!

    [Reply]

    Dolores Reply:

    Hi Veronica, Did not see the Roger/Tomas match, I hope to catch it on a replay….maybe we can see Roger in the Final, a win would give us a darn good reason for dancing. Jiten joins me in a dare “WIN” it, maybe along with many others. Realize, obstacles are still ahead…
    Cheers,
    Dolores

    [Reply]

  10. Roger’s seen himself easily through his QF in the end, so that’s good. Ferrer beat Goffin in 2 sets earlier in the day. So Ferrer meets the winner of Djokovic-Nishikori, while Federer awaits the winner of Nadal-Wawrinka, who won’t be playing for at least another 5.5 hours.

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    Correction. Ferrer defeated Goffin in three sets, not two.

    [Reply]

    Krish Reply:

    Ah right, sorry about that typo – it was a good battle actually

    [Reply]

  11. Hi all, I’ve been too busy to follow tennis recently and won’t be able to watch the Federer/Nadal encounter should it happen. But great win today, very clinical in difficult, windy conditions. Seemed to have fixed his issues on the return game, he broke Berdych four times today, I think, which is fantastic. He served well, moved well, came to net with confidence, and struck the ball very cleanly. Berdych was forced to overhit and try to finish points at net which didn’t work out too well for him. I knew Federer had more great clay-court tennis in him despite his early loss in Madrid, and wanted to stamp his authority on this clay season, and he’s doing pretty well in that effort now.

    Berdych has been very consistent this year, he’s made at least the semis of 7 of the 9 tournaments he’s played this year. The only two times he failed to do so were in IW and Rome, and both times Federer stopped him in the quarters. A 6-3, 6-3 win is fantastic–given the titanic tussle he gave Djokovic in MC, it could have been a lot tougher for Federer, and he might even have lost.

    Hopefully he can keep this form up for tomorrow, and even improve a bit. He has the tennis to beat Nadal, now it’s time for him to produce it. C’mon Roger!

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Aww…what a pity, Steve! Fedal matches (assuming Nadal makes it) are so rare these days!! Roger is looking like he can make a match of it with Nadal. However we got to remember Berdych’s shots are flatter and doesn’t go high to Roger’s shoulders. Nadal’s is completely different…..Since the new racket, I don’t think they’ve played on clay; maybe Fedal hasn’t even played any matches since the new racket? it will be very interesting how his bh will hold up against Nadal’s relentless topspin.

    [Reply]

  12. Hey guys, not a pretty sight, but I do hope Rafa comes through. A Roger/Rafa-match is long overdue and if it doesn’t happen here, you KNOW it will happen at RG. Rafa’s turf and also 5 setters. No thank you….. let them meet at Rome first. Roger is now stronger and more confident and now Rafa is not a 100%. Situation reversed like in 2013. Now it is Roger’s time to make it happen and beat Rafa .

    And how long can they keep up avoiding each other?? Let them play on clay so Roger will also know how he stands. If Rafa beats Roger, then he will be confident like before. But if Roger wins, he will use that confident to beat Novak in the final here and Novak/Rafa at RG.

    Rafa succesfully avoided a “strong and confident Roger” all 2014 through, lets see what happens here….

    Stan the Man…. if you can’t beat the Bull… atleast tire him out :-)

    [Reply]

  13. Haha Jiten Bro and Veronica Sis… if I would get a Euro for all the times I had to and will have to defend Berdych…. I did not have to work anymore haha :-)

    I don’t mind all the nicknames for him or even the bad ones (lets face it, each player has them), but… lets just not forget that if it wasn’t for Tommy B… Rafa might have won AO 2015… making him the first one to win all slams atleast twice. A title that ONLY Roger deserves imho…..

    But now, Roger is into the SF, so he will have to deal with Dull. Or… Stan the Man. And lets NOT FORGET…. that is also not a walk in the park :-)

    [Reply]

  14. Well done Stan the Man! If THIS Stan shows up tomorrow as well then Fed’s in big trouble. I don’t think he’ll be able to cope with Stan’s big hitting. WOW

    [Reply]

  15. Wawrinka only really showed up when he was 2-6 down in the first set tie-break. Then he strings together a series of outrageous points to take the set, then bullies Nadal for the rest of the match. His 2nd best match of the year without a doubt – right behind the match against Nishikori at the AO.
    Federer-Wawrinka could be a cracker tomorrow if this version of Stan turns up. Roger’s slowly starting to crank it up as well, and he won’t be defensive like Nadal was today.

    [Reply]

  16. Stan is indeed the man! Crazy aggression to win the tiebreak from 2-6 down, he just pummeled the crap out of the ball and blew Nadal away. Once the tiebreak was in his pocket, he turned it up a notch and accelerated out of sight.

    For the first time ever, Nadal will go into Paris without having won a single title during the European clay-court season. That makes it all the more important, then, for Federer to consolidate his form by winning this title in order to go into RG with confidence in his game.

    Federer will have his hands full against Wawrinka, can’t win by brute force, has to serve and return intelligently and use all his variety to blunt that ferocious baseline power and take advantage of Wawrinka’s comparative lack of movement and finesse…it’s going to be a fun match.

    [Reply]

  17. Take a bow Stan the Man. Take a bow and please explain to me…. why o why…. do you only have 1 GS when you can play like THIS?? The TB I thought was gone, but once Rafa had those 4 SP… man o man… where did THAT playstyle come from?? From not winning back to back matches since R’dam… now you play like this?? Take a bow Stan…. seriously…. great match.
    And…. yes…. this has to be said too…. great play Rafa. Wow… what a player has to do JUST to win one match against you !!! Man, you just tired me out by watching, cannot imagine what Stan must have gone through and his team.

    Now Stan showed that winning AO was not a fluke and that there WAS a reason why he beat Roger at the MC final. Stan…dude…. you really are good on clay :-)

    But sorry Stan… I am a RF fan. Tomorrow I will be rooting for Roger. If Roger was not there, you would soooo deserve the victory.

    And loving the message “See you tomorrow RF”. Watch it Roger, Stan has plans…. :-)

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