Federer Routines Raonic in Another Master Class to Make 35th Consecutive Slam QF

Well in the end the score I predicted was only one set off. I predicted Roger would win 7-6(5), 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-2, and he ended up winning 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-2. So I got three sets right and one wrong which was pretty damn good I thought. But like I said score prediction is mostly luck and I will quit doing that while I’m still ahead. Of course it was another brilliant display from Roger yesterday. He has made this so-called brutal draw look like a walk in the park, not dropping a set in the first four rounds. On his way he beat a tricky Frenchman after not playing competitively for a month, a dangerous Davydenko while playing within himself, and the two most promising youngsters in the sport. Yet the toughest is still to come. Raonic only managed to win one game more than Tomic did, which is amazing in itself.

I thought the scoreline against Raonic would be closer simply because of Raonic’s huge serve, yet Roger still managed to break his serve three times and twice in the tie break too. The big difference between the match with Tomic and the match with Raonic was the amount of break point opportunities Roger created, and the percentage he won. Against Tomic Roger won 3/16 break points(19%), while against Raonic he won 3/7(43%). Obviously against Raonic Roger was gonna have to be more clutch on break points if he wanted to avoid dropping a set. Given the size of Raonic’s serve he was also going to create less break points, so it was key that he won a high percentage of them. In that sense I would say Roger played better against Raonic. It was two very different opponents, and how well Roger did to adjust his game accordingly.

Again he made sure he took care of his own service games by serving another high first serve percentage of 64%. He also won an incredible 90% of first serve points and 75% of second serve points, dropping only 12/78 points on serve. Utter dominance on serve. Raonic didn’t see a single break point. I think that was the key in beating a very awkward opponent in straight sets. By comfortably holding his own serve he put the pressure on the Raonic serve, and took his break opportunities when they presented themselves. It was just a very tight performance. Winning this comfortably without dropping sets is more important than you may think. It saves precious energy that he will need later on and it puts the fear into his opponents, knowing that they are coming up against a ruthless Federer.

It’s not an opponent anyone wants to see across the net, including Murray and Djokovic. But let me get back to the match against Raonic quickly. Roger was already pressuring the Raonic serve when he had two break points at 3-2 in the first set, but could not convert. At 5-4 he produced another break point and came up with some very solid backhands in the following rally, finally forcing Raonic into a volley error to take the first set. Roger’s backhand is something I have been very impressed with during these championships. It has just been very solid, and at times even a weapon. In the second set things were always going to be closer and there weren’t any break points that I am aware of. The inevitable tie break followed. It was a very decisive Roger in the tie break. He took care of his own serve and when the break opportunity presented itself at 3-3 he pounced.

He made no mistake with the backhand pass after a short approach from Raonic. It was a beauty. Then at 6-4 after another shortish approach shot from Raonic Roger made another beautiful passing shot, this time on the forehand side. I loved the first pump and ‘Allez!’ that followed. Roger knew he had his young opponent on his knees again. Raonic’s resolve was all but broken. In the third set Roger broke twice more and that was all she wrote. It was an absolute masterclass in how to beat a big server. Roger just tightened things up in all departments. Two more very impressive stats was the winner to unforced error ratio of 34 -12, and the net points won of 14/15. Roger also served 14 aces and made only1 double fault. So statistically Roger could not have played a better match. It was pure peRFection.

Next up for Roger is Tsonga who beat Gasquet in four sets. The head-to-head is 8-3 in Roger’s favor and I can’t see Roger losing the way he has been playing. It has been utter peRFection so far and Tsonga must already be worried. Yes Tsonga is a dangerous player but Roger has been so ruthless that he stands very little chance indeed. The big match of the fourth round was Djokovic against Wawrinka. Stan almost pulled off the win, Djokovic winning 1-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-7(5-7), 12-10. Stan served for the second set and at break point in the 5th set he apparently hit the line and won the point, but the ball was called out by the line judge. Stan asked the umpire Molina about it and he confirmed that it was out. Stan didn’t challenge. Unbelievable. Yes it was a terrible call by Molina but how do you not challenge on a point like that?

I don’t even know what to say. It’s terrible from both Molina and Stan. In the end Djokovic was just the more clutch player. I mean he is exceedingly clutch as we have seen time after time. Now here is the thing. People are already saying Djokovic is beatable because of this match. But if anything this match proves just how difficult he is to beat. It’s not always about winning easily. Look what happened with Roger against Benneteau at Wimbledon. He scraped through and ended up winning his 17th slam. Getting through a match like that can give a player huge confidence. And you better believe that if Roger faces off against Djokovic in the final he will be extremely clutch once more. I’m not saying Roger can’t beat him. No. I’m just saying that the match against Wawrinka shows just how good he is if anything. The match point in that match was unreal as well.

Unreal defense from Djokovic and then coming up with the winning pass. If Roger and Djokovic faces off in the final you better believe it will be something unreal. Both players look unbeatable. So far for Roger it has been peRFection. Nothing less. I see him cruising past Tsonga and maybe dropping a set against Murray on his way to the final. Or who knows, Tsonga could surprise and finally take a set off Roger, while the match with Murray could be a marathon. Either way I think Roger will be in the final. Same with Djokovic. Djokovic will face Ferrer if he beats Berdych tonight, after Ferrer came back after Almagro was serving for the match in the 4th set. Just amazing fight and clutch from Ferrer once more and you gotta feel for Almagro who is now 0-13 in the head-to-head with Ferrer. This was his one big chance to beat Ferrer and to make his first slam semi, but he blew it.

Murray beat Simon as well, in the most disappointing 4th round match. Simon said before the match that he has very little chance of beating Murray and then got schooled 6-3, 6-1, 6-3. Absolutely pathetic attitude from the Frenchman I thought. If that is gonna be his attitude why even bother showing up? I just hate that kind of defeatist attitude. Murray’s cakewalk draw continues when he faces another Frenchman Chardy in the quarters. Too bad for him because having it that easy while Roger has it so tough may well come back to haunt him in the semis. My countryman Anderson lost in straight sets to Berdych which was disappointing from him, especially since the 3rd set tie break went to 15-13. So later tonight the second semi-final spot in the top half of the draw will be decided when Djokovic faces Berdych.

I can’t see Djokovic not winning. So I think it will for sure be a Djokovic/Ferrer semi in the top half, and then a Roger/Murray semi in the bottom half. It has been a very exciting Australian Open so far with some great matches and the best is yet to come. Allez Roggggggggggggggggg!

Highlights: 

Shot of the day:

On-court interview:

Posted in Uncategorized.

47 Comments

  1. It’s an interesting perspective you have on Novak-Stan match. Yes, these types of matches can be a sign of mental readiness & maturity, of having the will to go as far as needed to win. The Federer-Benneteau match is definitely a good example of that. I might also add Federer-Delpo & Federer-Haas matches otw to FO 2009.

    But from another point of view, it can also be seen as a sign of vulnerabilities. For example, if we view that he can be overwhelmed by a determinedly aggressive player having his day. 5-setters against lesser opponents are actually more often than not…of negative bias with respect to the player’s outlook. In Wimbledon 2010 where Roger played a 5-setter with an obscure Colombian and AO 2008 against Tipsarevic, he expired earlier than expected. Those 5-setters Roger went through were arguably less taxing than Djokovic’s win.

    In my opinion, it’s more negative than positive to Djokovic to have that kind of match. Whether he will win against Berdych is another question, of course. Berdych is up against a weakened Djokovic. If Djokovic shows signs of weariness, Berdych may smell blood and go for the kill.

    To normal players, what we expect to happen after that kind of long match is what happened to Gilles Simon (severely weakened), Andy Roddick in early 2000s after winning against el-Aynaoui, and John Isner in Wimbledon a few yrs ago. Examples of abnormal players include Rafa on AO 2009. Djokovic is likely to be abnormal…but how different will he be from Rafa? Interesting to find out…

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    jason Reply:

    Writing at 6-1, 4-6, 5-0 to Djokovic now. I guess Berdych is too mentally wimp, and especially Djokovic is too abnormal. No hope for the Berd.

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  2. awesome post, as always! your perspective on tennis in general and on Roger’s matches is always original and never predictable, thanks!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Hi Annalisa. Long time no see. I appreciate this comment.

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  3. You’ve really been on a roll lately, Ruan, like Roger. Amazing posts, many thanks for it! There is really no better place to follow the tour than via your blog. I love to come here reading your posts and gain some new insights.
    I do agree with your view about Federer’s and Djokovic’s chances to reach the AO final. Roger is playing better and better each match, and is storming through the draw like a knife through butter. He is striking the ball very clean on both wings and is making very few errors. If he continues to play this way, he’ll be in the final.
    Djokovic’s play is a bit more error prone at the moment, especially on his forehand wing, but his defense is unreal. Enough ingredients to make him reach the final as well and remain a slight favorite.
    One more little comment. I was really dismayed by Wawrinka’s awfully hesitant reaction to Molina’s call (influenced by Djokovic’s proceeding). Stan should have challenged that call in my opinion, as it might have changed the outcome of this match.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Wilfried this comment made my day. When Roger raises his game I do the same with my blogging. Not everyone notices that, much less comment on it. Thanks again.

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  4. Hey, Guys! Another great post from Ru-an! Thank you so much!

    I wanted to get excited but I’ll take it step by step! I expect another brilliant match today and if Roger delivers as he has been I’ll believe even more.

    Roger has played like a ruthless clinical killer so far and I really like his chances. But I think the best thing that Roger can do is really to take it step by step.

    I agree that Novak is beatable. I agree that Murray can be stopped. But Roger must be smart and just take it a match at a time and just enjoy himself. I like his attitude. He is not overly excited about being in the quarter-final and I don’t expect him to jump with joy after reaching the semis tonight.

    He knows what’s at stake and he has to continue to take care of business.

    Allez!!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks to you too Vily. You bring a certain life to my blog. Kinda like Veronica. Speaking of her, where is that angel?

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    Chris Reply:

    I miss her too, and Dolores too!

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  5. Yes that was really miserable for Stan. At that stage it was 4-4 and he had only one challenge left so I think that is factored in his decision. He wanted to save it for his net service game.

    Unfortunately he did throw away 2 challenges earlier on in the set. Can’t blame him, the pressure of the moment must be unbearable.

    Time and time again we see how defensive players can outlast aggressive players by the 5th set as their margin of error is much lower. On that match point, if only Stan hadn’t hit a backhand right at Djokovic..oh well.

    Back to Fed, his level so far has been clean as a whistle, like AO 2012. I still think he had the game to beat Nadal there too.So let’s hope for the best vs Tsonga, and obviously Murray will have a joke match.

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  6. Hi Ruan,

    Nice to see you’re back to the regular posts. Hope everything is going ok for you in the states.
    Like you I’ve been very impressed with Roger’s game and especially is serve which is particularly fine-tuned… Now regarding Raonic… I sincerely hate is game as I do with all big servers… is game is nothing but serve, serve, serve… is ground strokes are very poor for a player that is aiming to be a Top 10, is movement sucks big time… I see him being more a Isner kind of player than a del Potro but maybe he’ll suprise me.
    Tsonga won’t be that easy but I believe that Roger will solve the problem in 3 maybe 4 sets if he loses one tie-brake.

    All best,
    Vasco

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  7. Ru-an, I have a serious question to you, as the former professional tennis athlete you are: How big can the difference of fitness be between the world #14, Gilles Simon (former #6), and the world #1, Novak Djokovic? In my non-expert understanding, both of them are professional, world class, top athletes that have been training hard for many years, and under professional guidance, to maximise their potential and make it to the top of the sport. Yet one guy is completely flat after a marathon match, and we accept it as normal that two days later the news report “Andy Murray beat a tired Gilles Simon”, while the other guy miraculously recovers from an even more demanding 5 hour marathon match in which he was visibly exhausted, to come back like a fresh daisy and to be called “Super Novak Djokovic the ironman of Melbourne”, described in terms such as ‘indestructible’ and ‘indefatigable’. Since when is tennis a sport similar to long-distance triathlon? Murray even went that far to complain that the match against the flat Simon was non-competitive, while Djokovic was described playing against Berdych ‘as though this was the first match of the season’. Not long time ago, Novak would withdraw from matches due to blisters, asthma, cramps, heat, you name it. In the article you can find on this link: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/tennis/super-novak-djokovic-the-ironman-of-melbourne/story-fnbe6xeb-1226559630624 it states that Djokovic explains how he recovers so quickly, by sleeping a good nights sleep and taking a few ice baths. How come there is nobody to tell Gilles Simon that this is all it takes to recover 100% and be fit again? My opinion about Nadals’ source of power is known to all regular followers of this blog, but Djokovic does not have the muscles to make me raise my eyebrows. And he tears off his shirt regularly for us to check live on TV how much muscle mass he has accumulated. While on some TV channels they can’t stop dismantling the fake world of the former top athlete Lance Armstrong, the tennis world wants me to believe in the miracles produced by ice baths. What is going on here? I really wonder! So I wanted to hear the opinion of a former professional tennis athlete (and any other commenter on this blog), if such huge differences in fitness are to be considered ‘normal’ between two top 15 players. I find it extremely hard to swallow…

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    Jiten Reply:

    And the clarification from Djoker makes it even more suspicious. Does he really need to say that everything he is doing in order to recover from long matches is LEGAL? It clearly indicates that there may be possibilities of something being illegal, which of course is not followed by him! Seems like an anticipatory bail to me. Following is what he said when asked about his recovery after the match against Wawrinka:

    “The people who don’t know tennis, who have never been in those kinds of situations would not truly understand what the player has to go through, not just when you prepare for a Grand Slam, but also during a Grand Slam,” Djokovic said. “After five hours of match, you need to really put a lot of time into recovery, different kind of recoveries. I understand that many people have many different views and opinions, and I respect that. But I’m doing everything that is legal, that is correct, that is natural that I can, possibly can in my power, and it’s working well.”

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Saying that he does legal things proves nothing Jiten. He may as well be stating a fact.

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    Anonymous Reply:

    Very very valid perspective Chris..We are not talking about a player on a challenger circuit and a world no 1, Its No.14 Vs No.1 as you say…It definitely does make one scratch one’s head and wonder…

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Good comment Chris. Tough to say. I think Djokovic does work very hard at his fitness and tries to do all the right things. The French are more lazy. Simon is a thin guy and he isn’t used to going deep in slams. Djokovic is both physically and mentally much better than Simon. Of course that doesn’t necessarily prove everything, but it plays a role. Like you say, Djokovic doesn’t have the upper body of a doper. Maybe the egg? I’m not as suspicious of of him as I am of Nadal. I find the things I mentioned above easier to believe. And not just because I believe they are true…

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    Chris Reply:

    Thanks for answering, I got your points. Djokovic has obviously worked extremely hard to get where he is, and still he is all smiling and somehow relaxed off court, he does not seem to take things too serious when not competing. I like the guy. Now, after the five setter Federer just won against a not so lazy Frenchman, I just hope that the GOAT is aware of the benefits of taking some ice baths. That he likes to sleep a lot is no secret :-)

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  8. Let’s see what happens when Roger will meet Murray(most likely I guess)! If he can beat him rather conveniently than on his “last leg” then there’s a good chance to beat Djo with good serving, aggressive first strike tennis and good net attacks.

    Regarding the Djo/Wawa match I think it was so STAN, coming close but chocking at all important moments.

    He could have won the second set with better serving and he lost that game for some real unforced errors while not being pressured by Djo’s defence. And the same counted for his squandered possibilities to get that 3 love lead later on.
    He isn’t clutch enough in matches at “high noon” times. His biggest weakness remains his mental instability or let’s say inability of clear thinking.

    The other thing is he has a really powerful & great kick serve and for my taste he sticks way too much to the baseline. He’d several chances to take Djo’s rather weak return(after serving big or kick serves) drive-volley-like net close and execute the point quickly but instead he went for rallies which put him in difficulties to close out those points.

    And by the way he’s a professional who played one of his most important matches against the No1 – means not to challenge such a call is just ‘insane’! So Wawa, ha!

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    jason Reply:

    I think of Murray & Djokovic’s games as being very similar: unreal defenses, solid groundstrokes but none have a real killer shot ala Roger’s FH, & strong serves. Djokovic has a slight edge on attacking initiatives & taking the ball early, while Murray has an edge of very slightly better BH and maybe serve. But largely they’re very similar.

    Roger’s results in Wimbledon last year against both are also similar: 4-set wins against both.

    So Roger’s tweaking for the practice will be very little different if he goes against Murray & Djokovic consecutively. Curious the order is just reversed to Wimbledon last year, isn’t it?

    Oh wait, he has to pass Tsonga first…and Djoko needs to get past Ferrer.

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  9. Hello!

    I can see the your frustration and how questionable Djokovic’s fitness may seem. Unfortunately, it is what it is.

    I think that if Roger is to get to that final against the Djoker, he just needs to execute and execute time and time again. It will be a close match but knowing what is at stake: Roger going for 5th Australian Open and leaving the Djoker in the dust vs. letting him equal his number of AO titles, I think we all know what will happen. The key would be to hold serve consistently and the return games will take care of themselves. As we have seen this tournament, both Murray and Djokovic are extremely breakable so all Roger must do is really focus on his own serve.

    But first things first. Tsonga – I expect an interesting match but in the end Roger will prevail.

    Allez!

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    Chris Reply:

    Hi Vily! I’m not frustrated, just puzzled. I totally like Djokovic, his imitations of colleagues, his great skills, his applauding the opponents’ great shots, his smiles, what he means for the Serbs, etc. And if he really used something illegal, I would still like him even for that, because it would mean that some guy came and beat Nadal on an eye to eye level. Of course, for the glory hunter in me, it does not matter, Roger has to compete and win no matter if against humans or machines. We all want to rejoice with a #18 title and a #1 ranking. I accepted that the challenges for RF might not all be fair. But the tennis fan in me, who is also interested in the sport in general and is happy to see efforts of Stan, successes of Ferrer etc., is wondering what is happening behind the scenes of the sport. And I’m happy to believe in ice baths, will have to try it myself some day, just wondered if these things are still in the range of normal natural abilities of top athletes. The ‘freak of nature’ story I don’t believe…

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    Vily Reply:

    Hey Chris,

    Regarding Djokovic’s “recovery formula” I was thinking that he might be using like a machine to breathe 100% oxygen or something like that to reoxygenate his body and freshen up that way. I am not quite sure about the legality of it but that might be one way to recover his lungs and tissues.

    In any case, Roger should not concern himself with those things and just take care if business. If we are lucky to witness a final between the two, I am sure that it will be very special.

    It will most likely go the distance but as long as Roger is up to the task, I am sure we’ll celebrate.

    But as I said – there is Tsonga, and then Murray to take care of. I don’t want to jump in joy as I did last year prior to the Nadal match.

    Fedex is playing great but there is still some work to do.

    Allez Roger!!!

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    Wilfried Reply:

    Vily, you say Roger should just take care of business.
    I’m sorry but that is putting things a bit too simple. Roger can’t play one long rally after the other like Djokovic is able to without starting to make errors, especially if the match goes the distance. It’s physically too demanding for Roger. In such a scenario Roger will definitely loose from Djokovic, if you like it or not. The match may not go the distance in my opinion if you want him to win it.

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  10. I think Murray having an easy draw will hurt him against Roger. Going from Berankis, Simon, and Chardy, to Roger is a HUGE leap up. Going from Tomic, Raonic, and Tsonga, to Murray isn’t as big a leap as Roger’s been tested by Tomic, Raonic, and he likely will be too by Tsonga (at least one very tight set). If Roger plays his best Tsonga and Murray don’t stand a chance, because when Fed is rolling like this he holds so effortlessly and that really puts pressure on his opponent. And Murray has a weak second serve that Roger can attack very well.

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    jason Reply:

    It’s indeed ridiculous to see how much of a cakewalk Murray’s draw is. Luck plays a part here. Delpo lost while he would’ve been potentially a very tough opponent. But largely, it’s because of the draw in the first place. Perhaps the organizers are desperate of trying a Brit getting to win AO (too conspirative, I know).

    It can be an advantage too, actually. With his physical side being at prime condition as he was hardly tested in 1st 5 matches, he can expend a great amount of energy in the last 2 matches.

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    Kyle Reply:

    He’ll need to use all the energy he has if he wants to beat Fed. Anyway, can’t wait for the match in less than an hour!

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  11. the courts play or seem a bit faster. The squash shot Roger employed will be effective to neutralize as Djokovic hurt Roger with the angle of his fh crosscourt or bh up the line in WTF. Especially, when Roger is not so fast enough to make running fh winners all the time. Oh, how much we miss them !!! Ok, let’s not get too far ahead, face Tsonga, Murray first.

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  12. As expected, Tsonga is up-and-down. Unfortunately, so is Federer. Baseline timing comes and goes. Luckily he was able to get that first set.

    He’ll have to grind this one out in order to win.

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  13. Woohoo! Federer through to the semis in five sets!

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    Chris Reply:

    Very nice win of Roger Federer 3.0! I am optimistic against Murray, because Federer has had an ideal preparation for the SF, with all the difficult opponents sharpening different aspects of his game, and now the confidence he gains from winning against a strong Tsonga on a day when he is not at his best. On the other side, I guess that Murray has no idea where he stands, he basically had no test so far. Could cost him a few points or games in the first two sets. So Federer should get on a front run…

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    Vily Reply:

    I hope you are right, Steve. I really didn’t expect such a close match today…

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  14. Whew! Roger is SO LUCKY today. He could have lost and he just made the semis. He served below par and it showed. Plus, he really made me very nervous with the 4 match points missed on Tsonga’s serve.

    Plus, he only had 6 aces in a total of 5 matches. He really played below par tonight but at the end of the day he scraped through and that’s what matters.

    The next match can go either way. He may lose in straights against Murray just like he lost to Djokovic at Roland Garros after his 5th set match against Delpo.

    Or he might roll just like he did at Wimbledon after the 5 set scare against Bennetau.

    All bets are off.

    As Roger said, the key is going to be recovery time.

    I like how clutch he was in the tie breaks. But the serve must improve to the the level prior to the quarters.

    He is going to get a mental boost after today but he really got me nervous. I am not so confident about him winning the title now.

    But that might be blessing in disguise. I actually expect Murray to win the semi so that might actually take the weight of the shoulders of Roger.

    We will see. Right now I have mixed feelings and am really worried now. I hope he proves me wrong on Thursday / Friday!

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    Jiten Reply:

    In my opinion, Roger played a very decent match. He could play as much as his supreme opponent allowed him to play. It was the level of play by Tsonga that forced Fed to miss/shank/mishit some of his shots. Even according to Tsonga, he himself was playing better than his Wimbledon 2011 quarterfinals and Fed was even better. In the post match interview, he further said that Fed is much fitter physically than what he was in 2011. In the clutch moments, Fed really played great and his backhand didn’t desert him. I strongly believe this stern test will keep him in good stead against Murray who certainly lacks tough match practice.

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    Vily Reply:

    Now that I had several hours to process this match (and some sleep :-) I realized that Roger did in fact played a good match. At the end of the day each opponent is different and Roger made it so we should be happy.

    He’s got his work cut out for him though. It will be very tough but definitely not impossible to beat Murray and then Djokovic.

    Onwards and Upwards!

    Allez!

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  15. Murray is a much different match-up for Fed so I wouldn’t take anything Roger did against Jo and use it to say he’ll struggle against Murray. Jo was extremely confident and was all-out attacking for the entire match. Murray will be counter-punching and he doesn’t have the firepower Jo does, so chances are he’ll be able to be more aggressive off the ground.

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    Vily Reply:

    I agree with you, Kyle. All I am saying us that if I was cautious to predict that Roger would beat Murray, now I am even more cautious.

    Maybe I bought into all that “unbroken streak” hype and now that he got broken 5 times makes me really nervous. Plus, the 4/18 break point conversion, only 6 aces for the entire 5 set match and the 61% first serve makes worried.

    I just hope that it’s a one off game and that the Roger that we love comes back just in time for the big matches ahead.

    Let’s hope for the best! Allez Roger!

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    jason Reply:

    Agree with you here, Kyle. Tsonga has lots of firepower. When he’s at his best (as he was today), he can beat practically anyone (incl. Super Djokovic and Murray 2.0) except JesusFed/Goderer. Just look at how he schooled Nadal in 2008. Had he been a little better in decision-making and perhaps a little more luck, we could’ve seen Roger getting out of the tournament. I have serious doubts Djokovic or Murray can handle an on-fire Tsonga like today. Djokovic had a very serious trouble against an on-fire Wawrinka…and Tsonga has more firepower and groundstroke consistency compared to Wawrinka. I believe he’s one of the most naturally gifted players. Pity it’s not accompanied by consistent mental strength (strong n very clutch at times like today & completely lapse in others)

    Roger’s success today against a strong Tsonga is down to 2 things: luck & clutchiness in tiebreaks.

    Roger’s dip in form from the last 4 matches is actually needed. During a GS, he needs to have at least 1 match where he’s not playing well.

    Hopefully Roger can lift his form again for the next match. If he can, there’s no reason he can’t advance. Chardy was largely erroneous, but at the instances he wasn’t, Murray was seemingly overwhelmed by Chardy’s firepower. Too passive, but he can afford that against an error-prone opponent.

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  16. Ru-an,

    You quoted Gilles Simon as saying he “has very little chance of beating Murray.” Is this the interview you are referring to?

    Gilles Simon: With Andy, I don’t have to explain to you how strong he is. Of course it will be really, really difficult, but at the moment I just happy that I won the last one, and I will just try to go and take my chance even if I don’t have a lot of chance to win this one, but this is my job to go on the court and to do the maximum to bother him and to give him a hard time.

    http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/news/interviews/2013-01-20/201301201358658079583.html

    I feel like you’ve taken his words out of context. You’ve often applauded Fed for being brutally honest, as Simon is being here. Even excluding the Monfils match it’s a tough ask for someone outside the top ten (or top four for that matter) to beat Murray.

    The other point I want to make is that the entire tenor of the interview suggested that he was going to go out there and give his best and try to bother Murray as best he could, which you’ve entirely ignored.

    If this is not the quote you are referring to, please post the source.

    Also, I object to your comment, “The French are more lazy.” Where does this even come from? Or did you mean the French are more lazy than Djokovic? Because, I’m pretty sure that just about everyone is. Or did you mean that the French are more lazy than Serbs. Again, that’s pretty weird because Tipsarevic withdrew mid-match from this tournament, while Simon at least had the decency to finish.

    Get a life.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I was going to seriously answer your comment until I saw your last sentence, after which I lost interest.

    [Reply]

  17. against tsonga, 3rd set proved to be the difference where tsonga was marginally better player but still lost. roger’s fh wasn’t firing but his sole bh came to his rescue, some amazing and clutch bh up/down the line while trailing 0-30,5-5 on his on serve, and again when serving for the match in the final set. just proves how many weapons are there in his arsenal :-)

    [Reply]

    MJ-Ruban Reply:

    also roger somehow managed to scrape through at last, he should have finished the match on tsonga’s serve, he would surely gonna pay for that fh volley miss if the opponent was djoko/murray

    [Reply]

  18. Hmm it seems like your website ate my first comment (it was
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