Federer Gets Confidence Boosting Win in Shanghai

Roger came into this match with a 9-0 head-to-head record against Seppi but Seppi is no mug these days, with an ATP ranking of 23. Roger was struggling on his serve from the start having to save several break points, and at 2-2 he got broken after serving two double faults in the game. Having come off that confidence crushing loss to Robredo Roger was still trying to find his rhythm. This is where playing doubles probably came back to help him. Fortunately he broke right back to even things up at 3-3. In his next service game he was struggling again, having to save two more break points. Then at 4-4 he was in trouble again at 0-30. He gathered himself well however and held serve for a 5-4 lead. Roger then took advantage of a double fault from Seppi in the next game at 15-15 to win the 1st set, after a rally which reminded of Roger at his best.

At 1-0 in the 2nd set Roger came up with some more excellent net play and broke for a 2-0 lead. In the next game he came back from 15-30 to consolidate. Finally at 5-3 Roger was down 0-30 on his serve again but came up with a 2nd serve ace and a 1st serve ace to level at 30-30, and then went on to win the match 6-4, 6-3. It was not the first time Roger’s serve bailed him out in the match. In the end it was a very encouraging performance I thought. The serve found the target when it needed to and there was some very nice net play from Roger. It was tough to come back after a confidence sapping loss to Robredo and play a very competent player in Seppi, and I thought Roger did very well. He had to battle with his confidence in the 1st set but once he won it it boosted his confidence and things went a lot more smoothly in the 2nd set.

Roger now plays Monfils who defeated Pospisil 7-5, 7-6(4). The draw has been pretty kind to Roger again since Gasquet lost in the 1st round, and he should have Monfils under control after the straight set win over Seppi. We know Monfils can play though and has that one win over Roger in Bercy. The overall head-to-head stands at 6-1. Djokovic continued to look in blistering form today as he bageled Granollers 6-2, 6-0. Hopefully Roger can make it to the quarters so I can see how he measures up against Djokovic currently. Tomorrow FeZerer will be in action again as well, but Roger is scheduled to play singles first. Well that’s a wrap from me. Until tomorrow!

Highlights: 

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23 Comments

  1. Hey Ru-an, when I first saw Roger’s H2H 9-0 with Seppi I was worried. Afterall his H2H with Robredo was 10-0. But thank God Roger fought and came back.
    He has to play 2 matches a day for 4 days.
    If he makes it to the final on Sunday, I hope he will not be tired.
    This Shanghai tour is very exciting. Afterall Roger and Rafa have never won them right?
    Hope he beats Monfils who is playing very good and is fighting.
    Ps: Where are some of the commentators??

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Roger and Rafa have never won Shanghai, that’s right I think. Roger probably won’t have to play 2 matches a day for 4 days Katyani. FeZerer had a promising start but they will surely lose before the final. Roger will be hard pressed to get past Djokovic as well, even if he plays well. As for the commentators I only know Veronica is on a European trip. The rest I have no idea.

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    Fedfan Reply:

    I think Roger and Rafa get Shanghai counted in their Masters collection though since it used to be indoors in Madrid. Rome and Monte Carlo are the only two Roger is yet to win and probably never will.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Right Fedfan. They both won Madrid. Roger had his chances to win MC and Rome but no prizes for guessing who stood in his way.

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    Katyani Reply:

    Ah no worries Ru-an. Hope he does get far with Zhang. If he does, he would have played 8 matches. The more matches the better. I hope but don’t think he will get passed Novak, but you never know. Atleast he fought Seppi, but it was Seppi. Against Novak his play would not have worked. For me, it is like you say, it is all about confidence. The more matches he wins, the more his confidence (also in taking risks) gets back. If he wins a title in the proces, than wow, but it is now most important for him to get confidence. I did notice that Roger came a lot to the net against Seppi. Maybe to finish the points earlier? Some did work, some did not. And to be honest, I think he was nervous because Rafa was watching…

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  2. Hello Ru-an, greetings to you. Good blog, also previous one. Am a bit more positive on Roger’s chance to move on in both single and doubles matches. I maybe naiv to think so, he has to start sometime to win a match, why not in Shanghai? My only concern would be that he will be tired playing two matches the same day. Well, that’s my only comment, Ru-an, know there will be more qualified ones coming. Never give up hope….
    Kindly,
    Dolores

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    Dolores Reply:

    Oh, no, am very sad and disappointed in seeing the results. What next? Cannot give up on HOPE.
    Sorry, Ru-an, know you are disappointed, too.
    Dolores

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  3. Hi Ru-an,

    I’ve been thinking about something for a while and wanted to get your opinion on it. It seems to me that Roger’s problem is less about his diminished skills or speed but rather more about his failure to recognize and adjust to how the game has progressed. When I watch him play against the top players, his approach shots really illustrate this. He’ll hit two groudies and then force a mediocre cross court slice approach shot. Back in the day, that would have been enough to expect a weak shot that he could put away at net. Now, those shots are laughable. Any of the top guys move in and take it early, crushing a winner, before Roger can even get to net. It seems so obvious when you’re watching on TV that the approach is not even close to sufficient, but it’s not obvious to Roger. He seems surprised when he gets passed. My theory is that he doesn’t watch enough tennis – haha – so he didn’t realize that the top of the game got a lot better in the last year or two. Is that possible, it seems so silly. Also, one nice thing I noticed in the Seppi match is that Roger is trying to hit with a lot more topspin, and clearing the net with a greater margin for error, going for sharper angles. That is really promising to me and should help him cut down on losing so many easy points which he can no longer afford. BTW, I am really enjoying the new blog and hope you are too!!

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  4. I really enjoyed his doubles match. Not so much for his singles though. Only good thing from his match was movement and defense. He was lucky he manage to find his serve at crucial moments. He needs to improve a lot more in next couple of rounds. Allez Rog!

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  5. I really hope Roger gets to face the Serbinator here. Would be the best indicator of what you can expect from him in the remaining tournaments.

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  6. Well, now he has more time for the doubles. I suspect he’ll be taking that wild card in Vienna.

    Monfils played so-so, even caved in the second set but still Federer couldn’t get through it and just made silly mistakes on the key points. Don’t really know what else to say because this is the same thing that has been happening all year now. There is nothing new to add.

    Somehow he has to get more than a few wins in a row. He’s playing indoors for the rest of the year. Hopefully that will allow him to work out some of the kinks in his game.

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  7. I don’t get it. Why hype up something that is just not really there. Roger is close to being done.. I don’t think he is gonna make the Finals after this loss. And for some odd reason I don’t give a damn.

    At least Djokovic and Del Potro are doing well. I knew Roger will mess up again. He needs to really start thinking about retirement…

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  8. Good old Fed tanked the match vs Monfis to avoid a clutch loss to Djokovic.Fed is not done though…haven`t been. It`s just that many Fed fans are still blinded…they always believe age is the problem not his fear to meet Nadal or now even Djokovic.

    Was not that long ago when you saw that he has the game to beat Nadal at Cincinaty out of the blue.He has the game now as well but needs more matches before facing the top2 players. He knew that Haas will not compete further (they have pretty interesting friendship with many close matches/point suspiciously lost from Haas or he has retired at key moments in Fed`s career). Also, Fed will show his real form only when his place is really threaten, otherwise he would not risk facing a top dog. Exception will be his home tournament in Basel. he will rise to the occasion at WTF again but is less likely to keep his concentration sharp in every match till the final.
    he won`t retire soon either. no one leaves 90% income from brand endorsements in the trash can. If he could give up all this cash or donate for charities or live on his own fortune , he has earned by now. i would agree he is here for the love of the game. Too bad most of Fed fans really soak up and take his polished interviews at 100%.He has the skills but his motivation and fighting spirit are gone for now.
    What about Nadal? He totally seems out of juice as usual at this time of the season. He can loose from anyone but most players lose their balls before the match has even started. Shanhai is done deal for Djokovic who seems fresher then ever with or without his gluten-free diet :-)

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  9. hey Ru-an, I watched the final 4 games in Roger’s match with Monfils. naturally, like most of us, I too was dissapointed, however, even for Roger in his 32nd year, it’s never a stroll in the garden to just catch the train of momentum. Especially after the year he’s had so far. While I have no doubt he will come back stronger and more consistent in 2014, the year’s not yet done and he will do well to go on a winning run in Basel and/or Paris. It’s a matter of stringing together a few tough victories. He really is one tough match away from recovering yielded ground.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I hope you are right Grumpy. I’m a bit discouraged at this point.

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    Vily Reply:

    And you should be! Roger has just NOT been the same for a long time now!!! So many terrible losses! So MANY! And nothing seems to work! Work and practice don’t amount to anything anymore with Roger!

    For all I know his lows are become more and more down!

    In 2010 and 2011 it was a DISASTER if Roger lost in the SF of a SLAM! Now we are talking about losing in the 2nd/3rd round of a Masters 1000…

    Roger is in a deep hole and needs to seriously consider retirement! With Murray out of the WTF it would be absolutely embarrassing if Federer doesn’t make it there. With that being said, I don’t care anymore. To me, Toger has lost it ever since Australia! That was his swamy song.

    It’s downhill now! Only he can prove me wrong but I HIGHLY doubt it!! It’s despicable how terrible this year has been! Absolutely horrendous! One measly 250 title! Aye aye! :-( (

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    Dave Reply:

    Why don’t you calm down Vily.Roger is struggling and we should all be supporting him. Be positive and I am sure Federer will find a way. Cheer up guys, things will be fine.

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    Katyani Reply:

    Hi Vily, please don’t mind, but I am sorry, I don’t agree with you and I can’t even believe you are talking like this. I always love your comments. You are always so honest and positive (and deservingly harsh) about Roger. I do understand your frustration, trust me I do. All of us do. But what good does it do to say these things about Roger? Does he not feel bad enough? I did not have the heart to watch most of the highlights, because I cannot see him lose, but my God, he was trying and fighting. Monfils was just a little bit better. Roger did not play bad at all. Just again, those bigger and important points and not converting breakpoints. The third set, it was almost 5-4 again for Roger. He fought, he really did.
    Ferrer, Berdych and Raonic lost yesterday too. Do they even get a mention anywhere? No, it is all about Roger losing. He gave us so many years of pleasure and winning. Now it is our turn the give him the three things he needs the most: 1) Confidence in him, 2) Loyalty towards him and 3) Believe in him.
    Katyani

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    Katyani Reply:

    And Vily, please be glad Roger has a 250-title, Berdych is also top 10 and has not even a single title yet.
    Imagine how it must be for him…
    Atleast Roger’s got one…

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Sorry but I can’t take these overly emotional responses from you seriously anymore Vily. It reminds me too much of a baby throwing its toys out of the pram after not getting what it wants.

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  10. I fail to understand how he can decline so quickly. He was playing really well in the Australian open when he lost a close match to Murray after having won a great match vs Tsonga. He isn’t even half the player he was at the Aussie open earlier this year.

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    rich Reply:

    I don’t have any problems seeing a sportsman of his age lose his game quickly as he passes thirty (32, in Roger’s case.) In the past many top players were well done before that age. What I do find curious is the increasing numbers of players who get better and better as they age.

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