Federer Clinches 6th Basel Title and Closes in on Year End Number One

Hey folks. I had an emergency at work today and couldn’t really enjoy this title from Roger but maybe I can do that now by making a post. The final was a mismatch as I suspected it could be, but I didn’t want to sound too self-assured in my preview post. Due to the situation I was in I couldn’t really enjoy the match but like I said it was a bit of a mismatch anyway as Roger blew Goffin off the court in only 51 minutes. Goffin has a pretty nice game but as I said in my last post he just doesn’t have the weapons to hurt Roger. I don’t see him ever being a top 10 player either. Maybe he can hang around in the top 30 somewhere, although there are more and more young talent coming through. Roger’s most impressive matches in this tournament were against Dimitrov and Karlovic. He also had to work very hard against Istomin, and he no doubt deserved this title.

All in all I thought it was a very impressive tourney from Roger especially from a mental standpoint. And then of course he played some beautiful attacking tennis as well. I see the final more as a reward for the hard work he put in during the week. And it comes at an opportune time because it helps Roger to stay fresh and ready for Paris this week. So in the end things have worked out really well and Roger is now 6-5 in Basel finals. It was also nice that Nadal got humiliated by a 17-year old and that Brennwald’s big investment in him failed. This is also Roger’s 82nd title as he keeps closing in on 100 titles and he also achieved his goal of 5 titles for this year. So aside from not winning a slam it has already been a successful year. Lets face it, the slams are the most important thing.

Enjoy Brennmug! #karmaisabitch

But it is not the only thing and Roger still has chances at slams if he keeps his current form up. The most important thing is the present moment. If Roger can win the Masters Cup and end the year as number one it will go a long way towards helping him win a slam next year. Remember in 2011 when Roger won the triple in Basel, Paris, and London and then he went on to win a slam in 2012? And given how close Roger was to winning a slam this year it is even more important that he ends the year well and set himself up well for 2015. It is hard to predict how things will play out because Nadal will probably come back from his injury next year and play like superman out of nowhere again, and the normal pattern is that Roger slumps when Nadal rises and vice versa.

Roger is having a superb 2014 by his current standards and that makes you think that he can slump again in 2015. But there are things that make you think he can keep his current form up too, like the fact that he seems to have solved his back problem, found the ideal coach, changed his racquet and playing style, etc. Nadal is now on 14 slams and I think this is where this whole GOAT debate gets very interesting. Nadal is now within striking distance of Roger’s record and Roger knows that. I think the rivalry is heating up more than ever. Nadal for instance made a dig at Roger when he said the Davis Cup this year is weak and Roger hit right back after Nadal’s upset in Basel, saying that Nadal should not be losing to someone he has never seen play himself and that he doesn’t understand Nadal’s choices.

Champions don’t whine. They win.

If you ever thought these two guys were friends think again. In fact Nadal recently confirmed that they aren’t friends. Roger already predicted a long time ago at the Hit for Haiti in Indian Wells with Nadal, Sampras, and Agassi that things will heat up between him and Nadal towards the end. Well I believe we have now reached that point and things are already heating up. Nadal may be in charge of the head-to-head but Roger is in charge of the slam titles and he is not gonna just sit back and watch Nadal catch him. He wants to win at least one more slam himself and do whatever it takes to stop Nadal from catching him. I think next year at the Australian Open Roger will already have a great chance of winning another slam because he will have a top two ranking and Nadal may not yet be up to speed after his disastrous indoor season.

But like I said the present moment is the most important and now all the attention goes to Paris where Roger has a good draw. His potential opponents are Chardy, Karlovic/Fognini, Raonic/Agut, Berdych, Djokovic/Murray/Nishikori. Roger will only play on Wednesday and by then he should be fresh and ready to go. If recent form is anything to go by Roger will win this tournament especially if Djokovic doesn’t make the final. I put Nishikori and Murray as possible opponents for Roger if he makes the final because it’s hard to predict what kind of form Djokovic will be in after the birth of his baby. We know Nishikori beat Djokovic at the US Open and Murray just won his third title in five events after beating Robredo in the Valencia final. He is up to 5th in the race and it is nice to see that he will surely now qualify for London with his late run.

Pizza party time!

He is too good a player not to be there. I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes a deep run in Paris either. With four spots still available in London this should be an interesting event and of course for Roger it is important to do better than Djokovic to keep his year end #1 hopes alive. As far as the draw and the current form of him and Djokovic goes the odds certainly seem to be in favor of him doing so. Ideally I want to see Roger win Paris and London and end the year #1. As far as Davis Cup goes that would be more like a nice bonus if he can get it. Getting the year end #1 would be a terrific reward after missing out by such a small margin on the Wimbledon title this year. That would come right after a slam title for me and ahead of the Masters Cup. But a lot of pressure is now released with Roger winning Basel and reaching his goal of five titles for 2014.

It sets us up for a very enjoyable and interesting rest of the season!

 Highlights:

Stats:

Posted in ATP 500, Basel.

58 Comments

  1. Great write-up Ruan. I think we are all lucky as fans that Roger is playing well and is winning. Can’t wait until Weds. for him to play. I watched Thiem this morning and he has a lot of talent. Seems like Paris is playing slow, the surface speed. I could be wrong. Let me know your opinion.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Dave. I watched Thiem too and another good win for my favorite young player. He now plays Stan! That will be very interesting, and not just because they both have epic one-handed bhs. I won’t be surprised if Stan loses again. As for the surface I think you are spot on because it looked slow and I read a thread at MTF about it and everyone said how slow it is. That’s a shame but we know Roger can adapt to everything and with the form he is in he will still be very tough to beat.

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    Vily Reply:

    On the opposite, I heard the the court speed plays very fast in Paris this year. :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    NID.

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  2. Ru-an,

    This is another brilliant and comprehensive write-up so thank you for that!

    I suppose that you are right when you say that Grand Slams are most important followed by the Year-End Number 1 Trophy followed by the Master Cup and then followed by the Masters 1000 titles.

    The beautiful thing is that for Roger to win the Year-End Number 1 he’ll most likely have to win another Masters 1000 and the WTFs… So this will simply be epic. In a way even more epic than in 2012.

    Roger was pretty much gassed after the U.S. Open in 2012 and I was surprised that he even made the Final of he WTFs. By that time, he had relinquished the Number 1 ranking and even if he won the Masters Cup, he would have still finished at Number 2.

    This year is much more consistent because he’s had a great year over all with 5 titles and 10 finals. Yes, Winning Wimbledon would have been amazing but he was very close so we can forgive him.

    I just love that Roger is just augmenting his resume, cleaning up every little hole in his resume and basically solidifying his position as the GOAT.

    If he gets the Year-End Number 1 and wins the Davis Cup (and also wins Bercy and London) basically next year he can do only the following:

    Try to win 1 Grand Slam – in Australia or at Wimbledon

    Win Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters
    Win the Roma Masters and get the Golden Masters 1000

    And basically chill. He will Brisbane definitely and that’s it.

    His resume will be complete.

    And in 2016 he could try for the Olimpic Gold if he wants it and then he can call it a career!

    I mean that’s how amazing Roger is! ;-)

    Let’s see how it goes but first things first – BNP Paribas Masters in Paris!

    Allez, Roger!!! :-) ))

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Good post Vily but there is always more to achieve and it’s not only about records for Roger. He plays for the love of tennis. If he wins Paris and London from here that would give him 7 titles(WTF, 3 MS, 2 500’s, and a 250) which would be epic and deserving of #1. It is not all about the slams after all. And then there is still DC as well.
    Like you say Roger has been very consistent this year and compared to 2012 he is building himself up for steadily towards year end. He is playing better and better which is why I think he can win the AO. He is only starting to peak now after all the changes he made and of course the second set of twins were born during the clay season which also affected his results at Rome and the FO and possibly cost him the Wimby title. I definitely think he is playing better now.

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    Vily Reply:

    I think that next year will be very interesting. If Roger wins Australia it would be the absolute best because it would take so much of the pressure off of him. I assume that he’ll be less interested in the lesser events except of course for the Monte-Carlo and Rome which I think he should definitely try to win.

    He should altogether skip Miami and concentrate on Monte-Carlo instead. There is no Davis Cup either but we’ll see. Roger should win it this in order to not want to play it next year. A lot is on the line for this year and next year but that is how I like it.

    If Roger maintains his ranking – top 1/ top 2 he’ll be getting favorable draws in the Slams and hopefully he’ll capitalize. I recall that even in 2011 after his amazing indoors sweep he still only managed to finish at Number 3. It almost feels like this year was the build up year – the titles, the assent to Number 2 and Number 1 if he makes it and next year should be solely about the Slams and about those tournamrnts that he wants to win.

    Confidence will be key because he’ll need to keep his level up but what makes me confident is the fact that he’s has a full season without any health problems which must be in part due to the new racket which gives a lot of easy power without forcing Roger to overpower his body. Also the new “top secret” revised fitness regime for which Roger only briefly mentioned at the US Open makes me believe that he can keep doing this for another 2-3 years if he’s smart.

    Obviously if gets the number 1 ranking this year, he won’t ever have to push for it again which would mean that he can skip tournaments that now he’s entered it precisely because of the chase.

    I also realize that if Roger manages to win a Slam, then he can on a tournament or too since the Grand Slam points will be more than enough to keep in the top 4, which is where he wants to stay.

    But next year will be great in that regard. I actually like it because even if Roger does manage to win all his matches and get the Paris/ London/ Davis Cup/ Year-End Number 1 monster, I would still not expect him to win Australia. I used to be super confident after 2011 and Roger played a great AO 2012 until he ran into Nadal and it all ended.

    So Australia will be interesting but I’m not gonna put all my chips on there even though it would make most sense.

    But in any case. There is still a lot to plat for this year and let’s try to enjoy every minute of it! :-)

    Allez Roger!

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    Joe Reply:

    Hey Vily,

    I think winning AO would not only be spectacular, historic, and otherwise very cool, but also extremely possible as well, the way Roger is playing.

    I don’t know if he will win it of course, in part because Djokovic is a monster on those slower courts, which obviously take away some of Roger’s attacking possibilities.

    But – I have to say it again – beating Nadal at AO ’15 would be – almost! – better than a slam win there. AO is the place of Roger’s most painful defeat, of course, and I think he’s been ready to take on Nadal for most of this year (not counting AO ’14 of course, when he was still getting the feel of new racquet, still improving core strength etc.) but Nadal hasn’t been around much. I think he had a great match against him in ’13 when his back was bad, when he switched back to his old racquet just b/c he wasn’t ready with the new one, but I can’t remember the tournament (Nadal won that match on an unchallenged ball that was out, if that helps anyone remember – I’m probably the only one who can’t remember anyway!).

    I also think Roger has never stopped thinking about Nadal, about how to play against him, etc. Great competitor that he is, I’ll bet Roger is processing that kind of thought constantly when he watches Nadal play, when he reads summaries of his matches, etc. And I hope he’s received some good thoughts from some great players and analysts in the past year or two as well.

    I hope they meet at AO, and I hope Roger tears into him the way he did with Djokovic at Shanghai. He came from behind to beat Djokovic (never had done that before) and Berdych this year. And I think it’s Nadal’s turn now.

    Of course there’s no reason (easy for me, who will never be a world-class athlete, to say, since no freaky athletes are going to be trying to beat me every day) that he can’t beat Nadal AND win the title.

    :-)

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    Alex Reply:

    It was Cincinatti masters 2013

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    Joe Reply:

    Thanks Alex – you didn’t have to look it up did you?
    :-)

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    Alex Reply:

    It’s ok Joe. No it’s fairly recent in my mind. Plus I have a good memory :-)

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    Vily Reply:

    Guys, I am not as obsessed as you are about Roger beating Nadal. That shipped has sailed. Yes, it would be nice but to me Much more impressive it would be if Roger wins Paris, London and the Davis Cup and get the Year-End Number 1.

    Australia will be cool also but I’ll set my expectations low there in order to reap the benefits if it happens. But right now I am really excited about this week. Chardy might be a bit tricky and there is some unfinished business there.

    Roger won their encounter in Brisbane after winning the first set but losing the second.

    Then in Rome he also won the first set 6:1 but Los in the third set tie-break. It was understandable because his twin sons were just born.

    But Roger should be mindful of Chardy – that’s all. If and when he gets through, I think that that guy Pouille might be interesting – he just beat Karlovic and I suspect that he’ll take out Fognini as well. In any case, I think that Roger should make it to the final with relative ease and then Masters 1000 24 will be there for the taking. Curious to see Djokovuc tonight against Kohlschreiber – I think that he can take a set of Novakfir sure. Then Novak should play Isner/ Monfils which is pretty tough. So maybe Novak can be beat early here! :-) )))

    Let’s go!!! I’m starting to like Bercy – slow courts and all/ no matter. The ball is still bouncing low and that’s what matters to Roger – and the fact that it’s indoor. :-) )

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  3. Enjoy Brennmug! #karmaisabitch !!!!????!!!!

    That is truly hilarious Ru-an! And quotable of course! I laughed so hard I had to step away from my work desk, people were starting to wonder what was wrong with me! :-)

    I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed watching the expression on Brennwald’s face after Roger won the tournament! I even thought he was muttering to himself at one point during the ceremony. And I’m sure a lot of us who come to your blog enjoyed it as much as I did!

    Thank you one for a great wrap-up post for Basel, and one of the funniest quotables ever!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Haha Joe I am glad you enjoyed it. He just can’t hide the envy and disgust with Roger winning the title. It is written all over his face. How pathetic and embarrassing!

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    Joe Reply:

    I wish Roger would issue a coffee cup to commemorate this tournament (a mug, we say where I live in USA… probably stole that from the English) and put this picture on it!

    Maybe with something printed on it like “Thanks to RB for a great tournament!” or something along those lines.

    Of course he’d have to call it the Brennmug!
    :-)

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    ben chia Reply:

    @Joe, yeah that hash tag is perfect for the idiot brennwald. Now that everything backfired for brennmug, it feels even sweeter. Honestly, Nadull’s draw was a joke and he still got humiliated by a 17 yr old. Ah… sweet justice!
    @ru-an, I wasn’t surprised that Nadull made those comments about Davis cup being weak. He said in interview “what good players are still playing Davis cup these days?” What a classless asshole. Just because he hates losing and the fact that Fed is catching up, he undermines the Davis cup that probably helped propeller him to greater heights. *sigh* I’ll never be a Dull fan for sure. Btw, your pre game preview is spot on again. Really,it’s almost crazy how well u predicted it. If someone were to scan through all your posts and pre game predictions and place a $ bet, he’ll be a rich man!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    You guys are too kind. I have thought about betting and I could probably make some cash but it’s not my thing. Basel did work out very nicely didn’t it? After two final losses Roger recaptures the title and sends Brennwald into ruins, while Nadal gets humiliated by a 17-year old. Justice prevailed indeed. Nadal is for sure a classless asshole but Roger got him good with what he said about Nadal’s loss and choices. It was delicious!
    Anyway you’ve been another great addition to this blog Ben Chia. I enjoy your comments!

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    veronica Reply:

    Wise choice Ru-an! NEVER bet. That being said, can we have a friendly bet on the rest of the tourneys just for fun?!!! I’m putting my money (imaginary of course) on Paris and WTF wins and loss on DC. What say you, Ru-an and others??!!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I will put some imaginary money on him not winning any of the remaining tourneys. That way I can only win ;-) What about year end #1 though? I bet he gets that!

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  4. Lol! From Brenndull (which I already thought was brilliant) to Brennmug!! What’s next I wonder? Brennhole?!! Lol! Thorough and wonderful write up, Ru-an! If Roger doesn’t win in the next few tourneys, as long as he plays close, he is already set up nicely for 2015 and have exceeded his own expectations. But getting the WTF would be a fitting end especially if he clinches the year end no. 1. I agree with you about the slams. Ultimately it is about them. That’s why I think it is important he does well in AO, even win it, which, looking at him now looks totally possible (esp there is rumour about speeding up the courts and Nadal may not be 100 percent yet) in fact he should go all out to capture AO before the rest of the players heat up! Strike while the iron is hot!! Besides, like Vily, I also hope he gives priority to MC and Rome, two very winnable Masters, and concentrate on slams next year. I would like him to totally forget about Miami which has never been a good tourney for him and Toronto. You mentioned previously that Toronto may have messed up USO which I totally agree. And Like you, I also think that the birth of his sons interrupted his progress and affected his clay and Wimby preparations. Just for arguments’ sake, if Toronto and the birth didn’t happen, Roger might have won Wimby and/or USO, you think?! Especially as he may have been able to peak earlier instead of post USO. Hard to say. Anyway, things are panning out really well and we fans are so spoilt. Following Roger is like reading the greatest novel ever written. The ups, the downs, the suspense, the cliff hangers and ultimately, the triumphs! I’m loving this novel! Bring on the next chapter!!!

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    I couldn’t agree more. Miami and Rogers Cup can totally be skipped, unless of course if Rogers loses earlier in IW.

    But no matter! If Roger wins all his remaining matches, he can totally relax after the AO next year at least until April. :-)

    Anyway! Did you guys see Roger’s Instagram photos? He’s already in Paris and enjoying the gorgeous sunset! So excited about Bercy now – why not win that one also? Might as well! ;-)

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah I saw Vily. Here is for the ones who did not :

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    Katyani Reply:

    Damn Ru-an….. Roger looks sooooooooooo good :-) Does he know how handsome he is?? After he r…… he should really try for James Bond. He would get the part too :-)

    BY the way love the pic of Rafa with “injured”. To be honest… he looks like a model and if he wanted to, he could become more of tennis’s face than Roger. But… all he cares about is winning. I bet if he would have taken more care about his body, his face and especially his hair, he would have outnumbered Roger in indorsements. Not if the indorsement would be of “class” but if it would be of “looks”.

    Still, who would have thought that THE GUY in the Wimby Final of 2003 (with a ponytail, unshaved, too big clothes, with acne and totally looking if he just came out of bed)… would become one of the most beautiful people in the world :-)
    Love you so much dude. Damn Roger is goodlooking :-)

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Cheers Veronica. It’s irrelevant whether Roger could have won Wimby or the USO Ronster. He didn’t and that is all matters. But I agree he has a good chance at the AO.

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  5. Nice post as usual Ru-an, I particularly liked the Nadal’s stuff you mentioned. I already sense that Roger doesn’t respect Nadal that much nowadays, and he’s started to say nice things about Djokovic. I remember reading one of your posts from last year in which you said that Roger should stop respecting Nadal so much and become friends with Djokovic instead. I feel that’s starting to happen now :D

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    Vily Reply:

    Yep, Nadal is really really stupid. Here’s why!

    If Nadal was smart, he could have gotten the operations two weeks ago while in Shanghai. Then he could have used the nearly month off rest to recuperate and to prepare for the O2 where he could have competed.

    Now he misses that opportunity and his season is over and he’s basically done. What a waste?!

    I’ll be shocked if he even wins a Major next year. Australia will be difficult because he won’t have any momentum to build off of. And on clay apart from the French, he’s totally beatable now.. And someone will beat him at the French too. 2015 will be a low year for Nadal. He’s just on a downward spiral..

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    ben chia Reply:

    @vily, Nadal “stupidly” teamed up with Brennmug to try a “I got appendicitis and still beat you at yr home”. It back fired marvelously :-) Nadull knew that he had no chance of catching nole, but had a chance to extend h2h with Fed. So he went with this “stupid” strategy of playing through serious injury. in fact, any sane professional athlete would have done what u mentioned, surgery and fix the appendicitis first. If recover, maybe try WTF. You don’t risk a career ending health issue to play a 500 tourney. Add that to him skipping a GS for a wrist injury and it gets even more absurd. I think ru-an may have gotten it right that Nadull never had appendicitis to begin with. Just some new bullshit that guys who beat him at this stage got “lucky” bec they playing an injured dull again. It’s gotten so often that it’s no longer even funny. Assuming if all those injures are fake, then dull’s not stupid after all. Next up, the press readying their templates accolades for a super human recovery from Nadull winning 90% of his matches when he comes back. Something that defies modern health sciences. Watch out for it… it’s gonna happen. Although I’ll actually be hoping that dull continues to be whipped by 17yr olds and players ranked 100+. Vamos!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I didn’t say Nadal didn’t have appendicitis to begin with Ben but with him it’s hard to know. But like you say he is not stupid at all. He knows how to play the under dog and take pressure off himself by always acting like his injured. It also helps him keep his invincible aura. All mind games. And yeah I wouldn’t be surprised if he comes back and wins 90 % of his matches either.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I don’t think Nadal is as stupid as you think Vily. The indoor season is his least favorite part of the season and he knows he is just gonna spoil his head-to-heads and confidence to play there with the form he is in. He wanted to be in Basel because he has a contract with Brennwald and he has already missed it the last two years I think.
    And I won’t be so sure he is on a downward spiral. He may not be back to his best at the AO yet next year, but with him you never know. He could just come out like he did after his break in 2012 and dominate again. Nothing would surprise me. He will surely try to make another strong run at Roger’s slam record. Be prepared…

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    Jiten Reply:

    More than stupidity, it is simply his fear of losing! As I have said earlier in Ru-an’s facebook page, Dull is very much afraid of being spanked thrice in the same tournament. That why this O2phobia. The way he has been performing since Wimbledon, I strongly believe he was heading for a 2009 repeat at the O2 this year. But why do we even care? Let us just enjoy the current success of our Hero.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well yeah that is what I have been saying too Jiten. Dull is chicken shit about playing at the WTF because he no doubt would have been spanked 2009-style. He really is quite a coward for someone who is portrayed by his fans as a ‘Spartan Warrior’. He has a deep fear of losing and will always find an excuse when the surface or situation does not favor him. And then his fans make such a big deal about the h2h vs Fed, yet every time there is a situation where Fed could spank him he runs away like a scared little girl. Yet last year when Fed was at the lowest point ever dull had no problem playing the WTF and going as deep as he could. Fortunately he got spanked in the final by Djokovic and still stands on 0 WTF titles. Very poor for someone who is supposed to be in the GOAT debate.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Another thing: If you think Nadal is in a downward spiral he has you right where he wants you. He thrives under those conditions. He wants to be written off and made the underdog. That is when he is at his most lethal.

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    Vily Reply:

    That may still be true. Only time will tell!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well it is a fact that he has you where he wants you. Whether he can take advantage of that fact yet again only time will tell.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah that is the way to go and good observation Nakul. Maybe he just needed some more time to warm up to Djokovic and he realizes now that him and Djokovic must work as a team to keep the obsessive moonballer from catching him and making a farce of tennis. But he may have done that to a great extent already…

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  6. About the Roger/Rafa little tiff, maybe you guys are reading it a little differently? My take is Nadal was taking a total dig at Roger when he said none of the big guys are playing DC this year. But Roger was NOT taking a dig at Nadal when he said Nadal shouldn’t be losing to someone he had never seen before, and that he had never seen Nadal play that badly before, and that he didn’t understand his choice. Roger was giving a lot of respect to Nadal, believing Nadal is not feeling well; thus the poor play, the loss and the poor choice. If he had questioned Nadal’s sincerity (is he really sick or not)or been more sarcastic or dismissive about Nadal’s loss, that would have been more like a dig. As it is, Roger is still too nice, too respectful towards Nadal. And I think he sincerely likes and respects Nadal a lot and sort of have a brotherly protective instinct towards the Spaniard. Whenever someone goes against Nadal, you will often find Roger backing Nadal up. Nadal is perfectly right to say they are not friends. It is unrealistic to be friends as professional tennis players. But Fedal is already considered a very good relationship on tour. Much as we would like to think that the relationship is souring, I don’t think so. Fedal has survived many ups and downs. It’s maybe cooler now but it will never sour just as Djokerer would never take off and reach Fedal level. That’s my observations. Just my two cents.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah looks like you are right Veronica. What a shame. I really thought Roger was getting over his misguided respect for the Spaniard. But maybe it is something for Fedfans to learn from?

    http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/10/federer-nadals-loss-was-not-rafa-we-know/53137/#.VE9QIfmUeSq

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    I think Roger is a gentleman who is very tired of Nadal! But still and always a gentleman. I think he shows respect as a matter of principle. But I also think he’s going to take it to Nadal like we’ve never seen the next time they play!
    :-)

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    Ru-an Reply:

    He has taken many digs at players throughout his career Joe. There is no reasons he can’t take digs at Nadal too. Isn’t it time he changed his game plan vs Nadal?

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    Joe Reply:

    Hey Ru-an,

    Yes you’re right and that’s a good point. Maybe Roger regrets some of those digs?

    I try to be a gentleman too, but I’ve said a lot of things I regret over the years, things that even I could see completely lacked class. Unfortunately, I haven’t completely put that behavior behind me yet either! :-)

    I’m nowhere near Roger in terms of being a gentleman and I don’t want to sound like I am. I can’t imagine the constant assault he lives under from journalists and tennis fans. I think I’d become a recluse, but Roger is always there with class and elegance, making other people feel comfortable being around him, even when I’m sure he’s not always comfortable himself.

    One example that occurs to me is that Roger and Djokovic seem to have a fair amount of respect for each other these days, after Roger questioned Djoker’s heart in the early days (not to mention Djokovic’s father). They’ve played some titanic and historic matches I’m sure they’ll both look back on fondly in their later years.

    And I think Roger has taken a dig or two at Nadal as well! Something about playing a long match without Nadal ever getting a time violation is one remark I remember vaguely.

    And I do think it’s time for a change in Roger’s game plan; I agree with you completely about that. I hope we’ll see it the next time the two are on the court together! Maybe holding his tongue is actually allowing Roger’s frustration with Nadal and his gamesmanship to build to the point where he’ll want to win even more the next time they play.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well it is sport not a popularity contest Joe. I mean I understand that one should have class and be a gentleman but Roger knows all too well himself that professional sport is a dog eat dog world and he is no angel himself. Personally I keep sport/competition and morality/spirituality separate. I don’t pretend that they are the same thing. That’s why Roger is not my idol or anything like that. I like the values he stands for and his personality traits and identify with them, but as a spiritual being I know personality/ego is an illusion.
    My point is pro tennis is competitive and brutal and there is no way around it. Him and Nadal are not friends and he may as well take digs at him. And what is wrong with taking digs at players if it can give you an advantage? Pro tennis is definitely not morality/spirituality. The players may be respectful to each other on the surface but they know the name of the game is kill or be killed. It is just a modern form of warfare. So the way I see it he may as well take a few more digs at Nadal since he has done it anyway in the past like you said. If he wants to turn this thing against Nadal around and protect his slam count he has to make it personal. There is no getting around it. If he doesn’t care about Nadal chasing him down then he can join the church and pray of Nadal’s soul.

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    Vily Reply:

    I agree with you Ru-an to certain extent but to me the GOAT debate is heavily in Roger’s favor.

    I mean if it was just about the GS count, maybe I would agree with you but it’s so much more than that.

    Roger has won so many Fan’s favorite awards and Sportsmanship Awards from the ATP precisely because he is a sportsman and NOT a gamesman.

    He knows how to lose with grave and knows how to winery grace. Yes, there have been some instances of frustration like at the U.S. Open semi against Djokovic in 2011 in the post Match press-conference but those instances are rare. Or like him breaking the racket in Miami 2009.

    It’s ok! We are all human but part of Roger’s greatness is his class on and off the court. Let the others throw digs at him. Like You eloquently put in your post: Champions don’t whine – they Win!!!

    So let’s just keep it at that. In my book there are so many records, titles, awards, etc… – that to me Nadal is not even close to Roger.

    And unless he wins at least two Slsms next year, he’s done,

    I’ll actually make a prediction that he won’t win even one next year – not even 1!!!

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    Joe Reply:

    I’ll second that prediction!

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    Joe Reply:

    He DOES have to make it personal.

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    Joe Reply:

    Tennis, the sport where love means nothing…

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well I wouldn’t be that fatalistic Joe. There is love for tennis, love for competition, but as as far as love for your opponent goes you gotta set that aside while you are on the court or you won’t be able to ‘kill’ when the moment calls for it. I am not in favor of competition but it is a part of sport.

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    Joe Reply:

    Hey Ru-an!

    Sorry, that was just a poor joke. You know, when they say 40-Love it means one of the players has nothing… and tennis is the only sport I know about where that can be said.

    I didn’t mean to seem all philosophical (!), just agreeing with a lot you said. And I didn’t mean to suggest that Roger loves Nadal or anything! :-)

    I do realize (academically I mean; of course I’ve not been there, and I’m not on the way there now!) that the level of competition at the top of the sport of tennis is almost lethal. We’ve had discussions in the past about how tennis is harder than any other sport in some respects and no need to rehash all that now. In fact I’m sure it’s the pressure alone that keeps a lot of players from the top echelon.

    Best,
    Joe

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  7. Hi Ru-an loved some of the priceless comments from you and may I add all the other posts! Have just seen a post where Brennwald says that ‘there is only one player who could have beaten Karlovic and that player is FEDERER……sick bag anyone???? Looks like Roger will have his hands full tomorrow with Chardy, but Fed looks so good and so full of confidence, just fantastic x

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    Charlie Reply:

    Do you have the link to that post Elizabeth? I would love to see more tears and insincere crap from the Brennturd.

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  8. It did look like Brennwald was chewing on some sour grapes during the trophy presentation… he threw everything and everyone he could at Roger.

    Karma can truly be a bitch!
    :-)

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  9. Wow! That was one tough MF match.. We’re lucky that Roger won it at all. He had match points in the 2nd set but overall I am happy that he won it after all.. Really lucky today kind of like against Mayer in Shanghai.

    Hopefully his next match will be slightly easier.. :-)

    Whew!!!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I don’t think luck played much of a role here Vily. Roger won the first set, had match points in the second, and won the third by a break. He was never in any danger of losing the match.

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    Vily Reply:

    To be fair, Roger was VERY lucky to get out of the first set. He was down 5:2, then turned it around to 6:5 and got broken while serving for the set. He played a good tie-break.

    Then in the second set he had match points at 5:4 which was great but missed on both. Then in the tie-break he had a 3:1 lead and squandered it and the set.

    Then in the beginning of the 3rd he had 3 break points (0:40) and missed them all only to create another one and finally seize control.

    It wasn’t an easy match – that’s for sure and it could have ended ugly. That’s why I feel that Roger was a bit lucky. That’s all! He held his nerves though which was impressive despite all the misses.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    So you are saying he should have won the first set more comfortably and not have lost the second set? Lol.

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    Vily Reply:

    No, I felt that Roger basically stole the first set. Then he had an opportunity to close it in straights. When it got away from him, I felt that it could become one of those matches that will simply slip away. Call it luck or skill or a combination of both, but I am glad that it’s over either way. I am happy that after all Roger was able to finish the match with no additional drama.

    Tomorrow should be RELATIVELY straight-forward but Poullie did take out Karlovic and Fognini and it will be interesting. I do expect a 6:3 6:4 type of scoreline though..

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well I would agree that the first set was important and given that Roger was behind 3-5 he was in a tough situation, but I still wouldn’t go as far as calling him lucky. Winning is a habit for him right now. It has everything to do with confidence and momentum and very little with luck.

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  10. I had to leave with Chardy serving for set 1 at 5-3 and came back during the end of the 2nd. It seems Federer actually ended up serving for the 1st set at 6-5 before being broken again…very strange.

    It seems the courts are extremely slow. This must help the big swingers like Guilbis and Chardy who have big wind ups. It seemed Chardy was running around the forehand all the time and going inside-in with it. In that case you have to hit cross court and make him run to forehand side.

    The other guy who has a similar style is Berdych, so I think Fed could be in tough against him if he makes it that far.

    Just worried that a lot of energy was wasted in the 1st match.

    Interestingly on the interview I watched post match, Federer said getting to no.1 meant more to him than even a Slam. Amazing, given that this actually puts MORE pressure on him because he still could get to no.1 (compare to certain other people who always try to take pressure off themselves).

    [Reply]

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