Federer Eases Past Bautista-Agut into US Open Quarter Finals

Hey, folks. Hope you had some time to enjoy the tennis. Personally I am grateful that I was able to watch the first two sets of Roger’s match, the first time I have spent any significant time watching Roger. And I was happy with what I saw(a cliche by now I know). I say that knowing that Roger is pacing himself, because clearly he was not trying to play his best tennis yet. He was serving for the first set at 5-2 and dropped serve, so the score really should have been 6-2, 6-3, 6-2. The fact that Roger won 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 while playing within himself shows you what a pushing mug this Bautista-Agut is. Just an old school flat hitter with no significant weapons whatsoever to speak of. Don’t get me wrong, Roger was playing well. But in the first set especially I was a little frustrated with the missed break chances and the loss of serve.

In the second set, Roger broke early on and with RBA serving to stay in the set at 3-5 Roger broke again to win the set. This is when I had to go to work, but I was satisfied with what I saw, hoping that Roger would win the final set 6-2. He did just that for a routine win. So Roger broke twice in each set and really should not have dropped serve in the first set, but he has won 17 slams because he knows how to pace himself through a slam. Why would he bring his best game against a nobody like RBA? He just did the necessary. He now plays Monfils for whom he will need to play well so it’s good he didn’t go all out against RBA. Looking at the match stats they were solid again and after the first set I thought the break point conversions were going to be poor, but they ended up being good. Another thing that struck me in the first set was Roger’s net play.

He looked amazing in the forecourt. Edberg-like. The movement and technique were terrific, and there is no doubt Edberg has had an influence there. Great to see. Now on to his quarter-final with Monfils. Monfils beat Dimitrov in straight sets, so first let me say something about that. I know a couple of my readers are big Dimitrov fans, but in my opinion he is not the real deal. Sorry guys, just my opinion. He is trying too hard to be like Roger and he dates Sharapova who I can’t stand. There is just something fake about him. He has a nice game and he will go far, but he is clearly no Roger Federer. No doubt the youngsters have made their move this year. Dimitrov, Kyrgios, Raonic, Nishikori, and Thiem have all scaled new heights. But the one that has impressed me the most is the one I mentioned last.

Dominic Thiem is the real deal folks. He is the one as far as I’m concerned. He is on his first full year on the ATP Tour and he is wasting no time whatsoever to make his move. It took Dimitrov four years to make the second round of the US Open. Thiem made a fourth round in his first go. Thiem is already ranked #45, and will be ranked #36 after the US Open. This guy is a prodigy and will probably be ranked higher by the end of the year. I remember Dimitrov’s rise in the rankings was steady, but it was nowhere near as fast as Thiem’s. Anyway, I think the future of tennis is bright and I am excited about it. The five guys that I mentioned all have great potential and the nice thing is that they all have attacking games. Ok back to Roger. He is playing Monfils who is clearly in impressive form, not having dropped a set so far in the Open.

I hated the white shoes, but Darth Fed will be back…

I have always known Monfils has immense potential, ever since I saw him playing at a Future I took part in in Paris. Tsonga was also there and while I thought Monfils was going far I didn’t think the same of Tsonga, even though Tsonga won the tournament. Anyway the French being the way they are, they are not exactly mental giants. Monfils is capable of the odd great performance which is why he is dangerous, but when he comes up against a really great player like Roger he is usually found wanting. He has beaten Roger twice before and trails the head-to-head 2-7. Neither one of the wins were particularly important though. Once in Paris 2010 and once in Shanghai 2013. Roger was of course injured last year and had a very poor year by his high standards, and the match in Paris went to three tie-breaks.

They have also met three times in slams in Paris, and Roger only dropped one set in those three meetings. I’m not overly concerned about Monfils, even though he has been playing very well I assume. It’s difficult to call a score line for this match. I think it can go anything from three to five sets, but I’m pretty sure Roger will come out the winner in the end. For the sake of saving energy, I’m hoping it will be straight sets or four sets at most. This will be especially important as it has become very likely now that Roger has to beat Berdych in the semis and Djokovic in the final to win the title. So in the end all this hype about Roger’s apparent ‘favorable’ draw is slowly turning out to be a lie. That is why I told you at the start that I don’t take draws very seriously and that taking one match at a time is always the best.

Smootherer

Beating Monfils, Berdych, and Djokovic, who all seem to be peaking, for the title is no doubt a tall order. But it is still one match at a time and it is not a guarantee yet. Roger has to get by Monfils, Berdych past Cilic, and Djokovic past Murray and probably Stan. So for whoever is winning the title it is going to be an uphill battle. I just wanted to demonstrate how little draws mean. As if peak Monfils is not hard enough, Roger can then play Berdych who historically has been a huge headache for him at times, and then Djokovic who is the best player in the world at present. Yet even if he has to beat them all I still believe he is good enough to do it. The main thing is now to focus on Monfils and trying to win in straight sets. Fortunately, Roger has only dropped one set so far and haven’t spent much time on the court.

He is in the position he wants to be in for what could be a very demanding second week. He is also feeling very confident. Personally I am certainly not worried about semis or final already. Monfils will be difficult enough to deal with and we don’t know who Roger will face in the semis and final, if indeed he makes it that far. He could end up facing Cilic and Stan for all we know, or Cilic and Murray. Even Nishikori can still make the final although after his five-set marathon with Raonic it is highly unlikely. How about Berdych though? The guy comes from nowhere after having one of his worst seasons in ages to destroy his fourth round opponent at the US Open, and he now looks like the favorite to make the semis. Obviously the match against Klizan was key for him to find his confidence again.

The many faces of Roger Federer during a press conference 

But seriously, does he start playing better when he sees Roger in his half of the draw? You just know if they meet in the semis he is gonna do whatever he can to be a thorn in Roger’s side again. What I’d like to see happen though is that Roger beats Monfils in straights, Berdych in four, and Djokovic in five for the title. I think Roger will up his level with every round from here on anyway. I definitely expect him to be sharper than he was against RBA for his quarter final match, and I expect him to pick it up a notch for every following round. There isn’t much room for error. If he has one bad match it can and will probably prove to be fatal. Not only may it cost him the match, but if he expends too much energy it can cost him in the next round. Now let me look at the top half in a little more detail.

Djokovic straight setted Kohlschreiber and looks to be wasting no time in heading for his fifth consecutive US Open final. He has looked utterly invincible so far, but now the real competition starts. Murray ended up straight setting Tsonga which was a surprise to more than just me. Stan also looks to be making a very strong run here after defeating Robredo in four sets. The top half is playing today and even though Murray must have played well against Tsonga, Djokovic must be the favorite against him. I also like Stan’s chances. When he plays well like he has been he is very hard to stop, and Nishikori could be tired as I mentioned. Stan is also the one guy that can potentially trouble Djokovic, just like Berdych can potentially trouble Roger. It is looking more and more like another Djokerer final, isn’t it…?

 Ps. Check out my Facebook page for updates and live chat. Please like, comment, and share. Cheers!

 

Highlights:

Point of the match:

Terrific net play:

Lethal forehand:

Presser: http://www.usopen.org/en_US/news/interviews/2014-09-02/201409031409761994573.html

Posted in Grand Slams, US Open.

104 Comments

  1. Ru-an,

    You are giving Djokovic WAY too much respect. Yes, he won Wimbledon barely but so far he hasn’t done nothing. If he beats Murray then I’ll see. A lot of experts are predicting tonight’s match going to 5..

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  2. I hope it’s a five-setter! And I really like the expression on Roger’s face at the top of the page.

    Have either of you guys heard whether there’s any truth to the rumor that Roger is planning to launch a large-scale catering service when he retires?

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    Ru-an Reply:

    No I haven’t Joe.

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  3. Stan is coming back strong in the third set!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well he lost the third set and the match. I guess that third set turned out to be pretty key. Another terrific win for Kei but now he will surely be tired and Djokovic’s road to the final just got considerably easier if he beats Murray.

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    veronica Reply:

    Ugh! Djoker’s path just got easier. But Kei has 2 days’ rest. Hope that can amount to one more inspiring match against Djoker. If Murray gets beat easy, then Djoker definitely has the easier draw. Just proves again that initial draws are just half of the story. Love the head pic of Roger, also the one previously, Ru-an! And how’s the Cat situation?! Never thought I would say this but C’mon Andyyy!!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Ah! Forgot about the two days rest! The extra day of rest can surely help Kei. The cat situation is better thanks Ronster. There is a room I don’t use that I put the cat in so that it doesn’t come in the house. This way it still has a place to stay and my health doesn’t suffer :-)

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    Alex Reply:

    Good to hear about the cat situation

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  4. I agree with Ruan’s wariness of Djokovic. He’s been playing incredibly well. His form during the U.S. Open Series meant nothing. He’ll beat Murray in 4 tonight, and it won’t even be a nail biter or anything. I’ll have to go to sleep before the match ends so I hope I’m eating my words tomorrow morning.

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    veronica Reply:

    Well, Chris, looks like you won’t be having words for breakfast this morning! (don’t have to eat your words) Hey! you are good in the prediction game, Chris! Care to predict the Monfils match?!

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    Chris Reply:

    Thanks! I’ve been thinking Roger in 4, but hopefully I’m not jinxing him! Monfils is not to be taken lightly.

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  5. After 2 hours , 2 sets (almost) and 8 (eight !!!) break points won.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah looks like this one is going to be a marathon now which would be great for Roger, whoever turns out to be the winner.

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  6. 1 Set All!!! Game On!!! Told you that Novak will break down mentally! Go Murray and finish this Chokovich!!! There is a seed of doubt planted into Djokovic’s mind out. He’ll lose… :-)

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  7. Well done Andy!! Did Andy just got a new forehand?!! Wow!! Good news is Andy is mentally so in this match while Djoker looks like checking out. But never underestimate Djoker…just when you think he is out, he’s back. Murray’s gotta keep up the pressure and has to take the 3rd set, I feel. Otherwise could get tricky……But hope it goes to 5 either way; perfect! C’mon Andyyy!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah doesn’t really matter to me who wins this set Veronica, or the match for that matter. I think there is a good chance of it going to 5 sets either way, which like you say would be peRFect :-) They have already been playing for 2.5 hours and they only just started the 3rd set!

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  8. Andy is just so funny…berating himself at the changeover….quite entertaining and weirdly endearing (because he is so open and real)haha!

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  9. You not working Ru-an?! NO!! Djoker’s got the 3rd. Can’t see him losing it now. Just hope Andy collects himself together for the 4th and bring it to a 5th.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah Murray needs to find a second wind here and push it to 5 sets. Then I’ll be happy.

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  10. Andy’s back is acting up..not walking normally. Pity…he was playing so well; looks like the back has done him in his career. About a year now and still not completely recovered….oh well hope Kei is up for Djoker. Would just be too easy if Djoker beats a back hampered Murray and an exhausted Kei to get to final. Andy should call an mto…..

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    Ru-an Reply:

    It’s his back huh? Thought he was tired and couldn’t understand cause he beat Tsonga in straights.

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    veronica Reply:

    It’s his back. He is stiff and serve speed is not there…You think Djoker played well, Ru-an? I think he is just consistent, served pretty well but not in unbeatable form. If Roger serves well and not make too many ufe, I think he can beat this Djoker; except Djoker just has this unbeatable spirit in him where he just stays with you and can just raise his game when needed. The crowd was against him in Arthur Ashe; didn’t really bother him although he didn’t like it; just solid as a rock. It would take more than marriage and kids to unsettle this rock. Hope Roger doesn’t get rattled himself while trying to shake this rock should they meet!!

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    elizabeth Reply:

    Yes I don’t think Murray is totally fit. He hasn’t looked comfortable in any of his matches, commentators on sky always say he’s the fittest player but to me I wonder if he trains too hard! I don’t know if it’s my imagination but I think Stan looks bulkier. I was surprised at Novak he definately looked shakey at times, usually he is so consistent almost robotic. Hope Fed has a good match tonight and wins in three!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I think Djoker won, which is all that matters. There is a reason he has won 7 slams and he beat Fed in the Wimby final: he is a damn good player. That said, of course I’m gonna back Fed in the final IF him and Djokovic reaches it.

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    veronica Reply:

    Yes, Elizabeth, I do think so too. He puts a lot of efforts into his fitness. Everytime he loses, he always says he needs to work harder, train harder. There is such a thing as over training. You wonder with all their money and influence, these sports stars surely have access to the best doctors/physios/trainers to advise and guide them. But you’d be surprised. Even Roger said he was training wrongly and after changing his training and doing a lot of core exercises now, his back is stronger. And all this time he didn’t think about core exercises when he’d always had a weak back??!! As for Djoker, yes, he looked shaky at times but I wasn’t “deceived” for a moment. He is one player you can depend upon to always find a way to win when he is seemingly down. Eventhough Murray was crushing the ball and seem the better player at first, I wasn’t confident he would win the match. Djoker just has that extra something; a damn good player as Ru-an says. He can just raise his level at will, finds his first serve at crucial times, so good at recognising the important moments and playing them so well. But I thought Djoker was quite passive. If he stays passive, Roger’s got a good chance of beating him if they meet. And I’m also thinking if Kei recovers sufficiently, he can give Djoker some nightmares. They’ve split their two meetings.

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    veronica Reply:

    I take that back about Kei. Djoker’s fitness is on another level. He would run Kei ragged and put one more ball back. But I hope I am wrong and Kei surprises everyone with one more inspirational performance.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    The extra day of recovery like you said will help Veronica. At this stage every extra hour of rest can potentially be the difference between winning and losing so 24 hours extra can make a big difference. The problem is Djokovic is an absolute rock and even though Kei can push him, if it goes to five sets the previous two five setters may just catch up with Kei. You feel like the odds are a bit against him. I’m not quite sure he has the fire power anyway. Roger may be the only guy left who has the fire power and variety to beat Djokovic.

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    elizabeth Reply:

    Yes Ru-an and Veronica I totally agree that Novak is a great player, when I said shakey I meant that I am not used to him missing as many shots as he did, he is usually so locked in. I also meant to say you have to applaud Kei, what an effort.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well it’s only QF Elizabeth. Roger is not the only one trying to pace himself. And beating Murray in 4 sets after Murray destroyed Tsonga in straights is not a bad result, wouldn’t you say? I watched the 2nd set and even though Djokovic lost it he was still playing well. Murray was crushing fh’s and deserved to win that set. I feel like people are underestimating Djokovic. He has proved enough what a great player he is.

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    veronica Reply:

    Yes, Elizabeth, Kei deserves all the applaud. What a performance; back to back and just coming back from an injury, too! I love how humble and calm he is and that backhand!! Chang has done so well making him a bigger and more aggressive player. I am just as excited for Kei’s match as I am for Roger’s!! But I agree with Ru-an, he might not have the firepower to trouble Djoker and the stamina for another best of 5. But I pray, as the whole(!) of Japan would too, for one more glorious performance from Kei. Ikou Kei!!!

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    steve Reply:

    It was a remarkable performance, he used his movement and fitness to neutralize the powerful serve of Raonic and the powerful groundstrokes of Wawrinka. An effort worthy of his coach, Michael Chang, who famously did the same to win Roland Garros a quarter century ago.

    But his draw contained mostly power players whose mobility is limited; he hasn’t encountered any defensive monsters like Djokovic.

    Djokovic can outwait him, and what’s more, he can outhit him. Nishikori’s got a good serve and a solid net game (it’s part of how he held on in that fifth set against Wawrinka), but Djokovic is one of the game’s best returners and his passing shots are lethal. Even Federer has trouble getting the ball past him on serve and coming to net against him. Nishikori is going to have a lot more problems.

    Nishikori did beat Djokovic last time they played, but the world #1 was burnt out from his spectacular year in 2011, so you can’t put a lot into that match. If anyone’s going to burned out in this one, it’ll be Nishikori.

    No, I think Djokovic is quite happy not to play Wawrinka again, given how close their last three meetings in Grand Slams were, and was probably rooting for exactly the outcome he got: a Nishikori victory in five grueling sets.

    As great as Nishikori’s played, I don’t think he can do much against the Djokovic juggernaut, although I’m sure he will give his very best.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Right Steve. I can’t see Kei winning either. Just hoping he can put in another heroic performance and push Djokovic to 5 and make him look vulnerable.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Join us tomorrow for live chat on my FB page Fed vs Monfils https://www.facebook.com/TheGOATblog

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  11. Well, that was sad, wasn’t it?! But no matter! I guess we are gonna have to do this the hard way. What pisses me off with this Novak guy is how he’s able to just brush off his pathetic performances on the hard courts and just turn it on for the US Open. But that’s OK. I actually still think that Roger can take him in the Final.

    Here are couple of scenarios. This could be like 2011 when after and inspirational performance at the French Open (albeit losing in the Final), Roger lost in the QFs at Wimbledon, even though we all assumed that he can go all the way.

    Or this could be like the Australian Open 2010 when Roger won it after losing the US Open Final in 2009.

    I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that as Alexander the Great once said: “Conquer Your Fear and You will Conquer Death!” However, I realized that I personally hadn’t conquer my fear of Roger losing to Novak.

    Obviously, it looks like Novak is going to the final. It’s a forgone conclusion. But we (I) shouldn’t fear. Roger shouldn’t either. He’s playing fearless tennis and according to Ru-an, he’s pacing himself and that’s awesome.

    Obviously the draw was BS and all of a sudden Novak has the cakewalk draw and Roger has the tough one. Beating Monfils, then Berdych and Djokovic looks like the road to the title.

    But I think that if Roger manages to get to the Final I think that he’ll go all the way. But it all depends on whether he makes it to the final. Monfils can be beaten in 3 or 4 sets. When Roger plays focused, he’ll handle him. It will be exciting but I think that Roger will take care of him. Berdych will be tough even though he might lose to Cilic but again, Roger will smell blood if he makes it to the semis and he’ll get the job done there.

    And for the final, I want a continuous barrage of first serves, volleys, backhand down the line passing shots, drop shots, inside out forehands. Basically the whole repertoire. I want Roger to punish Novak. Not just beat him – but punish him.

    I really am angry at Novak for the way he just disrespected his fans and tennis by basically sleeping in Toronto and Cincy and now all of a sudden “peaking” at the US Open. He needs to lose and he needs to lose BADLy to realize that HARD work should be rewarded and slacking off on the ATP should not.

    I want to see a performance from Roger where his determination and focus are so large that Novak will succumb and unravel and just go away.

    Another stat that makes me believe that it is possible is the following:

    There is a reason why Novak has never whom Cincinnati in 4 tries – he’s not good enough on that surface.

    The same could arguably be said about the US Open. Yes, he’s made 5 finals and that could be his 6th. But only 1 trophy in 5 (6) tries is simply not good enough.

    Excuse me if I appear a bit angry but it’s because enough is enough. NOVAK was created for one reason. One simple reason – to finally beat Nadal at the French. Chokovic has failed in that regard mightily and not ky that but he’s hogging titles away from Roger. That needs to stop. If Roger loses prior to the finals, then fine. Enjoy your title Nole (you son of a gun).

    But if Roger makes, ENOUGH is ENOUGH! I want him to suffer at the hands of the Mighty Fed. No mercy!!!

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    V Reply:

    Thats quite a bit of emotion there.
    But One thing-what makes you think that djokovic disrespected his fans and tennis by not doing well in the american hard court swing?There is nothing wrong in him doing what he did and there is nothing unethical or disrespectful either.we dunno why he did what he did-that is why he is playing so well here while just a few weeks ago he was in poor form,but I simply don’t think that he was disrespecting anyone.Calm down and think about the situation rationally without your emotion clouding your judgement.
    If he wins USO, he won it by playing good tennis,end of story. Calling djokovic chokovic might get a few chuckles but it is like telling that roger is the clay goat( no disrespect to anyone) but you got to give credit where it is due.Nadal played better so he won,simple.Yes the matches could have gone either way but that is just the way sports is.Djokkovic saved two match points for 2 years against roger and won,do you call that roger choking or djokoivc playing very clutch??ther are two sides to the same coin.sometimes even the great slip up but to go accuse someone of hogging away titles is just emotion speaking and not your usual self.and lol created for a reason??lol

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Affirmative V. I didn’t like Vily’s comment either but I let it go. If anything was disrespectful it was Vily’s comment. Vily, please step in line. I don’t want to start handing out short term bans or anything. This blog is for classy and respectful Fedfans. You should know by now I have a low tolerance for immaturity and stupidity.

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  12. This summed up my inner feelings nicely. Novak just doesn’t deserve it as much as Roger, which is saying something considering Roger has already won 17 of these tournaments. But you’re right. As much as Novak enrages us Roger fans, if we can let go of that fear, there can be no disappointing outcome. Roger will have satisfied us no matter what.

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  13. I hope it all plays out as you say, Vily; all the reasons Roger should be the more deserving winner. Roger wouldn’t fear Novak but he would be wary of him. Roger fears only two players; Nadal; and to a lesser extent; don’t laugh… Berdych. Roger tightens up and is uncomfortable when he plays Berdych (try and notice his eyes when he plays him). Maybe Berdych just annoys the hell out of him, I don’t know but definitely there is something there when he faces Berdych. Doesn’t help also that Berdych has a 2/0 record against him in recent slams. Djoker’s 4 USO losses were explainable; to a peak Roger, peak Nadal twice and to Murray. Maybe only the Murray one got away from him, I’m not sure as I don’t remember that match much. But those finals only accentuate that he would be the favourite to win USO. I read somewhere that he equals Roger now in USO matches won. The other thing is it’s like it solely depends on Roger. He has to play at a high level, he has to serve well, he cannot afford to lose focus, he has to attack. If he slips in any of those things, Djoker would be all over him. Whereas for Djoker, he doesn’t need to have all those things working for him all at once to beat Roger. He can be in and out of the match and still win it in the end; especially in a best of 5. It is tough in that sense and seems so unfair. Anyway, it’s great we are having all these discussions; am loving it! First things first though. Let’s hope Roger doesn’t respect Monfils too much and ignore all his theatrics! Allez!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah I was just going to say lets not focus so much on a Djokerer final. It may not happen after all. You can’t underestimate Monfils, Cilic, Berdych, or Nishikori. They deserve enough respect to at least not be counted out before the matches have been played. Loving the discussions too and so glad you can join us!

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    Joe Reply:

    I hope Roger puts the pedal all the way down against Monfils. At this point in the tournament, the time for pacing oneself is past; it’s really time to go for it.

    I know Roger can beat Monfils in straights and I hope Vily will get to see him do that tonight! Three quick sets would obviously be a blessing.

    As far as Berdych is concerned – well, we’ve had that discussion a number of times, and you definitely make a fair point about him!

    But if I were being optimistic, I’d want to offer you all a suggestion – which is that Roger may have ‘figured out’ Berdych by now, and figured out himself with reference to Berdych.

    If that’s the case, he’ll win – although it could still be a difficult match.

    The mountain is looming in front of Roger now, and I’m not hoping that he has to avoid this player or that one, just that he has the stamina and fortitude to climb the mountain very aggressively. I like what Vily has said about ‘Roger unhinged’ and I hope it makes a positive difference from now until Sunday!

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    steve Reply:

    Enjoy the show, Vily! Hope the Maestro produces a masterclass just for you!

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  14. Crazy epic between Nishikori and Wawrinka, with the former prevailing–just. Wawrinka didn’t take his chances in the third-set tiebreak and he ended up on the losing end.

    Didn’t see the promised Djokovic-Murray epic, because one can only watch so much tennis, but I saw a few highlights. It was the usual from them, a lot of heavy hitting from way back and running. Murray doesn’t seem to have the full confidence in his body that he used to. I’m guessing he won’t be back to top form until the middle of next year, but he does seem to be on the way back up.

    Now only a tired Nishikori stands between Djokovic and a fifth consecutive US Open final. Only Murray has managed to take a set from Djokovic during this tournament.

    As for Federer, it’s another night match. This’ll be tricky since the semis and final will surely be played during the day.

    At this point of the tournament, he’ll have to raise his level with each successive match and then peak in the final if he’s to win. I expect him to be sharper against Monfils than he was in the early rounds.

    Djokovic’s tiredness, or lack thereof, doesn’t seem to make a big difference in the result. Djokovic lost only one set on his way to the USO ’12 final and he ended up losing to Murray. When he won in ’11, he had played a five-setter against Troicki and then a tough five-setter against Federer in the semis but pulverized Nadal in the final. Since he went “gluten-free” in 2011, it’s been more mental than anything.

    I think Federer’s game has come together just in time, thanks to his victory in Cincinnati, and he’s ready for the business end of this, the final Grand Slam of the year. Losing in such a close fashion in Wimbledon will only inspire him to do better.

    One thing, his returns have gotten more aggressive. He mentioned after Wimbledon that he felt he wasn’t able to return Djokovic’s serve as well as usual, and that was why he lost. Clearly he’s worked on his return game, and it helped him destroy Granollers. He’ll need to return well against all his opponents from now on, especially if he ends up playing Berdych and/or Djokovic.

    But first, Le Monf! C’mon Roger!

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  15. Hi Ru-an, a busy blog you have going on, which btw., is another great one to read and for me, to learn.
    With all this technical tennis discussion going on, my biggest fear is Birdpoo (sorry, Berdych), should Roger have to face him. Praying it will not come to this, should it, pray Roger will have a dynamic performance with a win. It’s one match at a time!
    May the “Glueckstern” shine on Roger!
    Kindly,
    Dolores

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Hey Dolores,

    That was great!! I hope you have a few more prayers saved up for the rest of the week!!

    [Reply]

  16. Well, well, well! Cilic makes his second major semifinal with a straight-sets victory. He played better in the tricky conditions and outfoxed the more linear Berdych from the baseline. He’ll be tough to beat should Federer come through against Monfils. He’s serving much better and he’s playing smarter tennis than ever before. I remember they had a close battle at this same tournament in 2011, and Cilic wasn’t playing nearly this well.

    Ru-an, you were right, nothing can be taken for granted. It’s all tough matches from here on out: difficult opponents, changing conditions, scheduling screwups.

    C’mon Roger!

    [Reply]

    Dolores Reply:

    Well, I am smiling with this news, Birdpoo is through. He is one of the few tennis players I do not like. His arrogance is more than I can take.
    Yes, tough matches are ahead for Roger, join you, Steve, C’mon Roger!
    Dolores

    [Reply]

  17. Yay, Hot Cilic Pepper has indeed smoked Birdpoo!! ( thanks Dolores! haha!)It does look like the past champs make great coaches; Lendl, Becker, Edberg, Chang, Ivanesevic! I like Cilic and it’s so nice to see him fulfilling some of the potential he always had. Roger plays Cilic well but recent matches have been closer. One of Cilic’s weakness that Roger was able to exploit was his movement and of course his fragile mentality. Not anymore coz the big man moves much better now, has an improved and more consistent serve and returns well. But I’d take Cilic over Birdpoo anytime!! I hope I won’t regret it! All bets are off now. Anyone of these remaining players can win the tournament. No one is to be taken for granted. Ok Roger/Monfils, here we go!! C’mon Roger!!!

    [Reply]

    Dolores Reply:

    Oh, am worried, Veronica, Monfils has won first set…please, Roger, come back.
    Yes, C’mon, Roger!!!

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    I’m soooooo scared Dolores, I can’t watch this.

    [Reply]

  18. Roger never wins when he’s not calm. It might be over already.

    [Reply]

    steve Reply:

    Not over till the last ball is struck. But now he’s two sets down. And he still hasn’t broken Monfils.

    [Reply]

    Dolores Reply:

    Oh, Chris, I am almost in tears, what is happening with Roger? I wonder if Ru-an is watching this?

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I’m trying to watch between work Dolores, but Roger doesn’t seem to care much. Least he broke at the start of the 3rd, but he has dug himself a hole now.

    [Reply]

    Dolores Reply:

    Yes, he has an up-hill battle now…have noticed, too, that Roger is not the same Roger we have seen in the previous matches. Keeping fingers crossed, Ru-an.

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    So am I to be honest. And I’m a guy. Guys ain’t supposed to cry. To add insult to injury here, all the close calls are going Monfils’s way. If that weren’t the case, maybe Roger would at least have a set or something.

    [Reply]

    steve Reply:

    At least now he’s broken Monfils. Hopefully he can hold.

    [Reply]

  19. I’m a relative newcomer here (though I’ve read Ryan’s posts for years, I’ve only lately started commenting) and I always am a pessimist, but I’m calling it here. Roger will not win, and this loss will seal the deal that Roger won’t win another slam. He said himself once that 2014 was his last realistic chance to win a major, and he’s this close to letting that chance slip away. Maybe I’m wrong, but it almost makes me feel better to just say it.

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    Ruan’s is what I meant.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Poor comment I feel. You owe it at least to Fed to support him until he lost, instead of writing him off before the match is over.

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    I’m not writing him off really, I just try to convince myself that he’ll lose. I’m sure you don’t agree that I should do that, but too many times have I stuck out hope until the very end, only to be disappointed anyway. And it makes the loss hurt that much more. I just try to brace myself for it.

    [Reply]

    Dolores Reply:

    Ru-an, I remember when Roger played Haas, he was 2 sets down, came back to win the match. Praying that he can do it again.

    [Reply]

    steve Reply:

    Dolores, he’s in the fifth set and 4-1 up! Hope you’re still watching!

    [Reply]

    Dolores Reply:

    Yes, I am, Steve, and he did it! Almost shed tears for joy….he won a trophy tonight as far as I am concerned. Ru-an, you must be happy, too.
    Onto the semi-final, get a good rest, Roger.
    Kindly,
    Dolores

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Maybe you are. But I hope it almost made you feel better.

    [Reply]

  20. Yes yes yes!,! I don’t know how you guys could still make comments. I was crying!!! Oh Roger so so so happy!!,I. I don’t wanna think about next match just wanna savour. Tbh I was afraid of this. Many of you predicted straights or 4. I knew in my heart it would be a 4 or 5. So not so surprised but very very anxious. Anyway congrats fed fans. Poor Vily, he must have been wetting on his seat!, hahahahaha!,

    [Reply]

    steve Reply:

    Well, Veronica, Vily certainly got his money’s worth, LOLs! Five crazy sets instead of three or four, and all the entertainment value of coming back from 2 sets to none down and saving match points to boot!

    I cried a bit too, but only after he won. Way too tense to cry during the match.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    That was so honest and sweet of you to admit that, Steve! But Roger is truly worth every tear and heartache!!

    [Reply]

    Dolores Reply:

    Veronica, am sooooo happy, too, that Roger came back from two sets down to win the match. He’s done it before and he did it, again. As I mentioned to Steve, he won a trophy tonight….anxious for Ru-an’s blog.
    Good night, Veronica and all Fedfans.
    Dolores

    [Reply]

  21. I nearly died ten or twenty times over during that match but somehow I’m still alive…and so is Roger Federer and the dream of a 6th US Open title! When it comes to Roger Federer, superlatives failed a long time ago, so…great match! Hope you’re all as pumped as I am, guys!

    [Reply]

  22. He won somehow. It’s amazing. He grinder it out though. Until the 5th set when he finally got to relax and Monfils was mentally destroyed. That was pure clutch on those 2 match points, especially the forehand down the line on the 2nd one, he didn’t give it a lot of margin…

    anyway that is a lesson not to think ahead of the match at hand. Cilic will be well rested and is serving like a monster. But Federer will be on a high after his 9th epic comeback. Reminds me a bit of French Open 2009 when he somehow came back vs Haas. Which could mean another 5 setter against a big hitter…

    [Reply]

  23. C’mon guys… fed saved 2 match points… 2 match points… and then won the 5th convincingly…

    he usually has a bad match per tournament… maybe this is it !!!

    Allez !!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Right Mihir, just gotta hope that was his bad match because he’s now winning it playing like that.

    [Reply]

  24. Monfis is surely a force to be reckoned with, but what a carry on . So
    glad that Roger won and playing better in the fifth set! so I guess it is onwards and I hope upwards so Common Roger x

    [Reply]

  25. Monfils, after one of the best major tournaments of his career, is given a chastening reminder of the difference between the very good and the great.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    *LIKE*

    [Reply]

  26. Vily, Are you still there? You must be a brave man to survive the fourth set. How did you survive that? Were you watching or closing your eyes praying? Being a doctor yourself did you take some pressure tablets when Fed was serving 4-5, 15-40 in the fourth set :-) :-) ? Anyway, congratulations! Whatever you call it,the Darth Fed or 007 Fed in dark suit? Always finding a way out. :-) :-)

    [Reply]

  27. Hi, guys!

    That was one of the most torturous and GLORIOUS experiences that I have ever been a part of. What a match?! What a comeback?! What a scary, scary situation.

    I don’t even know where to begin. I was there with my wife for both the day and night sessions. The day session was cool and I was rooting for Cilic and was happy that he won. We enjoyed ourselves, took pictures, dined, winded and waited with excitement the schooling lesson that Roger was gonna give to Monfils… Yeah, right!

    I’ve been TELLING you that this Monfils is a NASTY TRICKY player but no one wanted to listen. I knew the danger but even in my wildest dreams I didn’t expect to be a part of such an epic.

    What is it with my poor luck, huh?! I can’t seem to enjoy an easy victory for Roger Ever LIVE I guess.

    I am now even with 1 win and 1 loss All-Time.

    I saw live Roger at the US Open Final in 2009 where he lost in 5 to Del Potro

    And now I saw Roger at the US Open Quarter-Final in 2014 where he won in 5 against Monfils.

    My heart rate is still in the 100s. I mean. I really didn’t need this, OK! LOL!

    Jeez. What drama and what an amazing experience. I’ll never forget it. at least finally I was part of 5-setter that Roger actually won. I agree with Dolores. They should give RFED a trophy just for tonight’s victory. It’s enough for me, trust me. :-) ! I am not so sure I wanna go to the final now (if he makes it – since I am not assuming anything anymore)

    Now, the scariest moment of the match was obviously 15:40 4th set at 5:4 – Match points down. I was like, that’s it! The dream is over! #18 bye bye! Go home! I closed my eyes on the first one and he saved it. I continued to keep my eyes CLOSED shut!!! There was no way that Roger would survive two consecutive match points. No way! But God saved him! It was a miracle! I don’t care what you guys think. To me it was pure miracle and an act of God that saved him!

    From then on I obviously kept my eyes closed until he got to 5:5. Only then, did I have a sigh of relief. Thank God that Roger broke right after and serve out the set 7:5.

    Obviously the 5th set was a joy to watch – finally and well deserved after the near heart attack half an hour earlier.. My wife kept trying to calm me down throughout and she kept rooting for Roger even though she is a Nadal fan. How sweet, right?!

    Anyway, these are just snippets from my experience. I have pictures as well.

    Actually, if you guys believe in karma, this is it! Roger lost to Djokovic 2 years in a row after having match points.

    This year, he saved a couple.. And he is into the semis – favored against Cilic. We saw how Cilic responded after winning a 5-setter in the previous round and he beat Berdych pretty comfortably. I sincerely hope for a similar result on Saturday with Roger coming on top.

    However, Roger’s got to pick up on his serve. It was shaky and was nervy and he got extremely lucky today. But he’s got to serve better if he’s gonna have a chance. He’s into the semis and that is huge. He’ll probably make the final as well. But only one step at a time. Mr. ICEMAN Roger “Houdini” Federer escaped death yet again today. Let’s not push our luck again, shall we?!

    P.S: Expect pictures tomorrow!

    BEL18VE

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    yeS. yES. YES! I am sure, although it was sheer torture for most of the first four sets, at the end it was pure bliss with the W against his name. You are damn lucky Maan! So Vily, the Federer dream is on. Dream on Fedfans and BEL18VE!

    [Reply]

    rahan Reply:

    Vily, I don’t envy you ! To be there after seeing live the final of 2009. WOW !

    I think that I was lucky: I could not wake up and when I turned on the TV at 6 in the morning I saw 2-2 and I enkoyed only the dessert.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Nice to hear from you Vily.

    ‘I’ve been TELLING you that this Monfils is a NASTY TRICKY player but no one wanted to listen. I knew the danger but even in my wildest dreams I didn’t expect to be a part of such an epic.’

    Everyone knew the danger of Monfils but no one expected Roger to tank the first two sets and in doing so make things incredibly difficult for himself and his fans. But a win is a win. Hopefully he will pick up his game or he is not winning this title.

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    If the match with Cilic also goes to five sets then Roger is bound to run out of energy for the final should he get there. Cilic is undoubtedly playing his very best tennis and even though historically Cilic has never beaten Fed, we all know that this is gonna be a hell of a tough match. Maybe tougher than Monfils. Suddenly things aren’t looking so great. However sometimes you have tournaments where a player gets that one important win which then propels them into unstoppability. That could very well be the case with Roger beating Monfils. That probably gave him a lot of confidence coming back like that.

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    Interesting Stat:

    The last time that Roger came back from 0:2 down was against Benneteau at Wimbledon, 2012. He went on to lift the trophy and got #17…

    Just saying…

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah this could mean something or it could mean nothing. Just cause it happened in the past don’t mean it will happen again.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    I know there are valid concerns about endurance, but I think this match may have been the best thing that could have happened for Roger (and possibly Vily as well) as far as USO ’14 is concerned.

    Coming out maybe a little flat against Monfils, and with his precision negated by strong winds, he nevertheless came through.

    He’s been pacing himself, as we’ve all seen, so he had enough energy to win.

    And there’s no better way to recharge than by draining the batteries (as long as you don’t do it too often!), so if he gets some rest, he’ll come through the QFs by being battle-tested, battle-hardened, and with a new life.

    And maybe a fresh portion of Glueckstern, whatever that is, that Dolores prayed down on him. What do I need to do to get some of that, Dolores? And what is that cool stuff anyway?
    :-)

    [Reply]

    Dolores Reply:

    Hi Joe! Appreciate your mention of the “Glueckstern” shining on Roger for success. You know, am billingual (English/German), so pick up some phrases that come to mind. Roger would understand me. Glueckstern is a lucky star, am reading my horoscope almost daily. Roger is a Leo, (so am I), he often is mentioned as being “ein Glueckstern”. Thanks for your interest, Joe, hope Roger will have the Glueckstern following him on his next match. It is one match at a time.
    Looking forward to Ru-an’s next blog, take your time, Ru-an!
    Best,
    Dolores

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah well said Alex. Agree.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Did you say you’re going to the finals if Roger is playing, Vily?

    [Reply]

  28. A great article, worthy of the match:

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Vily, please respect my blog enough not to post articles about a match I haven’t had the chance to post about yet. I shall not have to ask again.

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    I apologize Ru-an. My bad! :-)

    [Reply]

  29. Great article Vily!

    “Then he suddenly start to mix everything” – I think this is the best part!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Don’t know if I’ll be able to make a post tonight folks. Still waiting for my laptop to pick up up my wifi network.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Np Ruan, hope you are starting to feel well again!

    No rush either, there’s a lot to cover in matches like these!
    :-)

    [Reply]

  30. ‘Fighterer’ and he needed it !!! Djokovic still might be the favorite, Cilic may proved to be too hot, but there will be this unwavering belief.

    [Reply]

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