Federer Reaches Indian Wells 4th Round with Clinical Wins Over Istomin, Dodig

Hi guys sorry I missed a post for the Istomin match but I have been able to watch Roger’s matches, which give me less time to blog. I have tomorrow off though so that gives me some time to catch up. It has been nice to see Roger play for a change. I thought he played really well against Istomin who he beat 6-2, 6-3. His forehand looked especially lethal as he ripped countless winners from that side. He had an amazing serving day as well, with a 72% first serve percentage, winning 25/26 first serve points, and only dropping a total of 4 points on his serve. JesusFed stuff. He also played some really sweet drop shots and no doubt he has one of the best drop shots in the history of the sport. I didn’t like the new attire much at first, but it is starting to grow on me a bit more. Roger was drawn to play Benneteau next but the the revenge match was spoiled by Dodig who routined Benneteau 6-4, 6-2.

So Roger was going to face Dodig who he never played before. Dodig was no slouch though as he had already beaten Nadal on hard court. But against Roger he did look like a slouch, serving double faults on 3 break points, including match point. Just terrible for a pro player. The first double fault came at 4-3 to hand Roger the break and give him the opportunity to serve for the set. Roger didn’t ask for second helpings as he claimed the first set. In the second set Roger upped his game and broke in the first game. Then at 2-0 Dodig again conceded the break with a double fault. With Roger serving at 4-1 there was some concern because he was clearly holding back on his serve, and he started teeing off on ground strokes too. It was obviously some back problem again and after the match he said he felt a tweak, but that he had it before and that he doesn’t expect it to be a big deal.

The attire I was referring to

I hope it’s not, because he has been looking good and I’d really like to see him make a deep run here. It is his last event before his two month break and after the last two events I really wana see him going to his break on a high. Anyway Dodig didn’t exactly make it hard for Roger to get off the court fast and get his back treated, because he served another double fault in the next game to gift Roger the match. It definitely was not as clinical a performance as the one against Istomin and the scoreline doesn’t tell the full story, mainly because Dodig served 3 double faults when facing break points. Poor stuff. Roger won’t mind however after he tweaked his back and hopefully it will be just fine for his next match against Wawrinka. It will be their 14th meeting and Roger currently leads the head-to-head 12-1.

So of course I expect Roger to win this. And if he does so he will play the winner of Nadal and Gulbis. I’m delighted that Gulbis made it to the 4th round and I am sure Nadal will have his hands full. The only problem for Gulbis could be tiredness after winning his last tournament and having to go through qualifying here. But no doubt he can beat Nadal given his new found form. He has the heavy artillery to do so. So I will be looking forward to watching that match as well on my off day tomorrow. Elsewhere in the draw my countryman Kevin Anderson had a great win over Ferrer in the first round and followed it up by destroying Niememin. He now plays Simon and hopefully can keep progressing. Berdych against Gasquet should be another interesting encounter with Gasquet being in fine form of late.

The orange is not my favorite either but not bad at all

Today Tommy Haas had another impressive win over Almagro after saving match points and I have really enjoyed seeing his revival at this late stage of his career. He plays Del Potro next and another upset is definitely not impossible there given Del Potro’s ability to lose matches he should win. Murray had a bad start to Indian Wells for a third year running as he dropped the first set against Donskoy, but as I expected got his act together and won his next round in routine fashion as well. Murray is no doubt one of the favorites for this event and a Djokoray semi if almost a certainty. It is nice for Roger that he doesn’t have to meet either of those two before the final and he has to take advantage of that fact, or he will soon drop down to #3 and have to meet either of those two before big finals. It won’t be easy though as he has to deal with two potential bogeymen before the final.

Then again both Nadal and Berdych could lose before meeting Roger, and Roger is not assured of a place in the next round either. I just think Roger likes this event and he now has a great chance to make up for his last two events. It kind of reminds me of that indoor stretch last year where he got better with every tournament and ended up with a loss to Djokovic in the Masters Cup final. If that happens again this week then I’d be fine with the Rotterdam/Dubai/Indian Wells stretch. He played better in Dubai than in Rotterdam and he was looking really sharp in his first match against Istomin here. I think he can go all the way!

Highlights:

Pressers: 

http://www.bnpparibasopen.com/News/Tennis/2013/Interview-Transcripts/Roger-Federer-Second-Round.aspx

http://www.bnpparibasopen.com/News/Tennis/2013/Interview-Transcripts/Roger-Federer-Third-Round.aspx

 

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29 Comments

  1. Ru-an, how can you say that orange is not your favourite colour??? Roger looks damn gorgeous and handsome in the main colour of my country Holland.
    It is refreshing. Almost everybody is wearing green and he is looking dashing as always in orange.
    Katyani

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Haha I like orange.

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    Jiten Reply:

    Ru-an,

    I was 100% sure Katyani will be after you once your comment on orange is out. Haha, I like orange too (Katyani, are you listening?). If Roger can win Indian wells wearing orange in the final, I will be in seventh heaven!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Haha I should think longer before I make comments huh? ;-)

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    Katyani Reply:

    About orange…….. yep !!!

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    Katyani Reply:

    Yes, I am listening. When he wins the final in orange, you will see the power of the national colour of my country !!!

    Jiten, if you also had said that you did not like orange…… hm,what would I have done to you…..

    Katyani

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    veronica Reply:

    OK Katyani, the orange is growing on me. I think he looks dashing! I’m sure you are very happy!! But I think Roger should wear the blue for the match against Nadal. Since he adorned the orange, he didn’t play as well as the first match against Istomin in blue!! You watching Fedal?!!

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  2. Ru-an, you’ve got a “boss” on your blog now! Don’t you dare say anything against Roger or against Holland when the boss is around!! You are the GOAT blogger here, Ru-an; and Katyani is the….. Mirka!! Haha! Btw, I kinda agree with you, Ru-an; while I loved the combination of blue and orange, I found myself “shielding” my eyes when Roger walked out all orangey for the Dodig match! – too glary and too strong for my taste. Sorry, Katyani! Orange is a beautiful colour but it’s quite a “difficult” colour and has to be thoughtfully used – as how it is used in Roger’s blue and orange combo. But then I thoroughly agree with Katyani, that Roger, more than any other player in history, past and present, can carry any colour, any clothing – I’m just holding him to the highest standard. Great write-up as usual, Ru-an! Never fail. “Against Roger, he looked like a slouch…….. Just terrible for a pro player! Lol! Like!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Ha she is not the Mirka here Veronica if it is anyone then it is you! Agree about orange but like I said I like it.

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    Veronica Reply:

    Ru-an, go to work and stop being cheeky!

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    Veronica Reply:

    And that’s an order from Mirka!

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  3. I loved the orange on Federer! He can where any color. I was getting tired of the navy blue with a das of color. I am not a fan of the zipper. I think the bright colors are good for him. Now the black tux is fabulouse. I would like to see him in the white and gold again. Too bad Murray and Djoker do not try to get help with their attire. I was shopping Sat and a young boy was with his mother and he had on the purple hat which I have. I think I embarrassed him when I told him I was a Roger fan and had that same hat. Good to see guys wearing purple. As long as Roger wins I am really not too concerned with the colors because the design is always tasteful.

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  4. Federer is broken to love while serving for the match, double-faults to hand the second-set tiebreak over to Wawrinka, then blows five break points in the third set and promptly dumps serve to love again after arguing with the umpire. Just one of those days.

    If he makes it past this, he’ll have been tested and he’ll have that day off before the QFs to recover, so it won’t be too bad. But first he has to win!

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    steve Reply:

    Phew! Finally he’s through, in the most tortuous and grueling fashion possible. In the end it was sheer bloody-mindedness got him the win.

    But he lives to fight another day and very importantly he gets a day off before taking on Nadal, most likely (let’s face it, on this slow, high-bouncing court, Gulbis will choke on Nadal’s monotonous diet of heavy spin). Fingers crossed that God-mode Federer can be coaxed into making an appearance!

    A side note: it was nice to see Mardy Fish playing again, he did really well after so much time off. It’s always a pleasure to watch him and I wish him good luck in his comeback.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Wasn’t impressed Steve. He better get his passion to win back fast if he is playing Nadal, or he will get schooled.

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    steve Reply:

    Ru-an, would you rather he had lost? Imagine the hue and cry we would have heard from Federer fans and critics alike if Wawrinka had beaten him.

    Another nail in the coffin, he’ll never win another major, he’ll tumble out of the top 10 soon, it’s only a matter of time before Nadal or Djokovic break all his records, he’s a burned-out old man, he should retire, “Fed is dead,” blah blah blah. So much negativity.

    Now we’re spared all that, at least for another day or so. Next time he loses the whole thing will start up all over again so I am enjoying this small respite.

    Everyone wakes up on the wrong side of the bed some days. Even Roger Federer.

    I was a little worried when he started arguing with the ump and then dropped serve, but he got himself together and eked it out.

    If he’d decided to start his vacation early, I don’t think he’d be in the QFs. He was fighting himself all the way, but he got over the hump.

    Maybe he can come up with some good stuff tonight. Maybe not. But at least he gave himself that chance to prove himself. So I have to give him a chance, too.

    The only way Federer could ever truly lose is if he started believing what others say about his limitations and took it to heart. He’s more than what the media and the haters make him out to be.

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  5. Federer pulled it out. But as said above, this was a worrisome performance (but maybe it’s good to get it out of the way?). What was strange was that especially by the end of the 2nd, Federer was playing completely passively – I’ve never really seen him play like that, even against the big hitters. I mean he was hitting some big looping topspin shots and it seemed like he was hoping Wawrinka would miss. In the tiebreaker, Wawrinka didn’t. Other times he was content to hit backhands right down the middle without any imagination. Luckily, by the middle of the 3rd it seemed he made his mind up to have more variation, bringing Wawrinka in, coming to net behind a few serves, etc.

    One good sign was that each time Fed was broken, he was broken to love, so it sounds like he wasn’t really mentally there for those service games anyway.

    He argued with the referee, but to be fair his serve was OUT (bad call) but he hit his 2nd shot into the net and he was not allowed to challange.

    He wasted a lot of energy in this match, it should have ended quickly 6-3, 6-4. I hope he’s got Thursday off now, and then Friday likely Nadal…

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  6. What a torture! Did you guys sit through that?! I’m sorry, I just couldn’t. I chickened out at 5-6 in the second set. However, I’m not mad with Roger because clearly his back is bothering him. He is not playing freely; he’s cranky and frustrated. I’m just so heartbroken that this had to happen now because I can see Roger beating Nadal if he is healthy; plus what a great opportunity to better the H2H. No luck seems to be happening so far for Roger in 2013. And he’s playing Nadal on Thursday night!!! No rest!! If his back miraculously holds up really well, he WILL beat Nadal. IF. I’m praying for a Wimby 2012 miracle.

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  7. Roger 3.0 never appeared against the more accomplished opponents after Cincinnati final. In this stretch, he has lost twice against delpotro, berdych, struggled against tsonga, and quite obviously djokovic and murray got the upper-hand. Only exception is the match against murray at WTF. Roger’s current form will not make it any easier at Indian Wells either when the back is bothering him again. The pessimism which circulates around Roger at this point is not always bad as it means we do care.
    But hope to see a revamped Roger after the break, on a different surface, to prove that he would also care about the game, the fans like us. He may consider playing Monte-Carlo if he loses #2 ranking. Because a good clay run is important for him to increase the chances of an unprecedented 8th Wimbledon crown. Roger should make semis, finals consistently on clay to meet the likes of djokovic, nadal. He may suffer one or two defeats but third time the outcome will be different. And talking about djokovic, if he happens to complete the career slam at Paris, then we have to believe we’re truly living in a djokovic era.

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  8. I feel so bad for Roger. He is obviously in pain and I don’t know where the fire to win has gone. He does not seem to have that like last year. Is something happening? Personally? Even Mirka (the real one) is not as excited as always, she just seems to be there because she has to.

    It will be a tough match. Roger with his backpain against Rafa with his kneepain.
    But Roger will get through. It will take three sets.

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  9. Hey! sis! I think Roger is in serious pain; hence he is unable to summon passion/fire. I know he always plays through pain throughout his career but clearly pain affects him more nowadays coz the competition has caught up and if he can’t give his 100%, he knows he can’t beat them; hence the intense frustration. Plus he knows he is older, it will take longer to heal so he also has to manage his own fear of not aggravating it more. It is hard for Roger. I am more disappointed with Roger’s play at Rotterdam and Dubai. Now in IW, he was nicely hitting Roger 3.0 form when he tweaked his back – just rotten luck. I don’t think anything’s happening at the homefront. Mirka did look concerned in this match but that’s only natural coz she knows her man is hurting and….. losing. It’s just rotten timing the pain has flared up again in the midst of this last tournamanent before he takes his long break. If I were Roger, I would break my back to win against Rafa, yes, I would! Then I would withdraw against Berdych coz my back already broken! That’s a win-win situation because I would have improved my H2H with Rafa and I would have protected my positive H2H with Berdshit. I wouldn’t be afraid of a broken back because I would have 2 months to recover and most importantly, 2 months to relish my win over Rafa! I’m serious, guys! Sometimes some wise and strategic action is in order, don’t you think?! Meanwhile, I’m sure you guys are all very brave and positive : I can imagine Captain Kyle in front carrying the banner; with Generals Ru-an, Steve,V,Jiten,Dave, etc in the front line, etc,etc, and then there’s me at the very back, the reserved unit; to be called on only as a last resort! Hahaha! I’m not ready for a Fedal battle tomorrow night. I’ll just find out the results after the match and then I’ll either cry myself to sleep (over poor Roger’s back that’s been bashed by Nadal) or I’ll buy you all cyber drinks.

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    Hi Mirka of Ru-an’s blog,

    I am sure Fed will brave all his way against Rafa. He is not going to give it up that easily. It is natural that with so much pain, his movement will be restricted in certain shots and as such he cannot throttle all the cylinders the way he would have loved to, but, with little bit of extra concentration, he can still pull it off! At crucial junctures (like while serving for the match or when he has match point), he must urge himself for that extra little concentration. We we can hope and pray for is that Roger’s healthy back is back soon. Let us see who has the last lough: Roger’s back or Rafa’s knee!

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    V Reply:

    I think it will be a different challenge for both roger and rafa,playing against a not so 100% opponent on the other side of the net.So it will be interesting to see how the first couple of games pan.Roger on one hand will be looking to get back back wins over rafa after a long time and will be wary of not aggravating his back, while nadal on the other side will face his 1st real test and will be looking forward to facing roger again after 12 months and at the same time will be looking to protect his knees without affecting his game plan.I think we are being too harsh on roger especially this match.Sure he was broken when serving for the match but when the same stan did that to djokovic at the AO earlier this year,we were praising him that he is a better player etc etc.It just takes four bad points to lose a game and unfortunately for roger,he got his act back together and ultimately did what was required-WIN.One thing though was that he either dominated his serve or got broken without winning a point.so it seems that those game he really wasn’t in it and may be just lost concentration.anyways we wont know what really happened.the main thing is he is still in the tournament and lives to fight another day.And he really has to be greared up for a fight with rafa and we are all behind roger and hope that he battles both his back and nadal and gets through to the semis.

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    Yes, Roger is still in the tournament and hopefully he will live another three more days for a shot at the title. In my opinion, despite his best efforts to concentrate hard, the physical pain pinches him at the wrong moment to add more salt to the already existing pressure situation and in the process, he loses his way. And the gentleman Roger is, he is never going to project his back pain as an excuse for his poor play though it was quite obvious to the all those watching the match (except probably the Fed haters) that there was definitely something wrong with him physically. One positive thing about this match is that this is probably the first time in many recent matches where Fed has won it after having some heated exchange with the umpire. GO FED GO!

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    veronica Reply:

    Exactly, G-10! Not that I don’t believe Roger can do it. As I said before, if not for his chronic back, I am very confident Roger can win this match. But as it is, no way can restricted movement win against a rabbit. But, as General Steve mentioned above, Roger’s champion heart shone through as he never says die and just gutted it out against Wawrinka. But Nadal is a different story. And knowing Nadal, he would exploit Roger’s physical limitations full time. But who knows, the back may hold up really well for this match and Roger spanks him!! V, agree, the first few games would set the tone. They will both be feeling each other, and each other’s injuries! I fully agree we cannot critique Roger so harshly in IW. Remember the first match against Istomin?! He was in 3.0 mode all right! Dodig was a little bit less so but still very impressive until he tweaked his back. After that, it was struggle all the way. So, really, how can we say Roger did not have passion, no fight, was passive? Roger is extremely careful about injuries. He does not push/punish his body to the limits like how the other top players do; yet he doesn’t make excuses for them and will still limp out and play against a top form player because he is a real professional, a real gentleman. So even if he loses and I will be suffering watching Nadal pound his BH,(ie, IF I’m watching! Haha!), I will cheer for this beloved and extraordinary champion and tell him, (though my tears!)”Well done!”

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  10. Did not watch this match but from the sound of it Roger should have won in straight set but his way in the 2nd set. I am not sure if this attributed to his back issue or being over-confident or just thinking ahead of his match against Nadal. I hope he recovers in time for his night match.

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  11. Apparently Nadal said after his win:

    ‘Nadal ended Gulbis’s 13-match winning streak but said afterwards that his troublesome knee was only “so-so”, and played down his chances against Federer.
    “Tomorrow will be a nice match,” said the Spaniard. “Always to play against Roger is a pleasure. This match arrives early for me, too early to go to the match with the feeling that I can play equal conditions than him.” ‘

    Federer meanwhile is clearly hurting and says little about it. He barely had any emotions in the match and looked very frustrated as mentioned above. He was just rolling his groundstrokes in for most of the match to be honest.

    The above demonstrates exactly why Federer is such a great athlete…he almost never, ever downplays himself or deflects pressure in the way Nadal does. I don’t know why it annoys me, but I just can’t stand it when he says things like that…otherwise I have nothing against Nadal, he’s an effective player, great fighter, etc…

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  12. I can’t see Fed winning over Nadal this time, not with the performance that we saw against Wawrinka. Not to take anything away from Wawrinka (he has raised his game a lot) but it’s like there is another soul in Feds body (which btw looks as fit as ever). Maybe his back is hurting him or something else. I think he was almost lucky to win or maybe Wawrinkas nerves got the better of him in the end.
    It’s a lot more pleasing watching Dimitrov these days. His nerves really messed his game up against Djoker but if he sorts that out then he will definitely crash the fort of the top four.
    It is surprising to see Fed so passive. Maybe I’m not seeing what he is doing but there is so much more intensity in the veterans, Haas and Hewitt so I find it hard to believe that age is a factor.
    Waiting to see the Nadal bout, but I really don’t harbour any hope. Maybe there will be a few beautiful shots to watch.

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