Federer Straight Sets Gasquet in Low Quality Match

The tennis was far from pretty, but the 6-4, 6-3 scoreline was. So whichever way you look at this match you’ve got to be satisfied. Watching the match I found myself disgusted with the level of tennis, but if someone gave me this scoreline before the match started I would have taken it without hesitation. Never mind how it came about. Roger needed a win and preferably a straight set one to help him qualify for the semis. The different scenarios for semis qualification in group B you can view here. I’m not gonna get into much detail for this match because it was such low quality that I struggled to stay interested. Roger broke in the 3rd game to take a 2-1 lead. It was disappointing to see Gasquet still standing two meters behind the base line during base line rallies. He is not even a good defender, so it really makes no sense to give the opponent that much time.

Gasquet first announced himself on tour when he beat prime Roger in the semis of Monte Carlo 2005 as a wild card. He then won the 1st set against Nadal in the final before succumbing in 3 sets. I mean this guy could have been a regular slam contender. But unfortunately it doesn’t look like he uses his brain much. At 4-3 Roger had another one of his recently typical mental lapses as he dropped serve with a bunch of unforced errors. Luckily for him Gasquet had no intention of holding serve himself and he got the break right back, then served out the 1st set. The 2nd set was even more atrocious from a Gasquet standpoint. He went ahead and dropped serve at the start of the 2nd set as well. Roger didn’t complain. Holding on to serve this time and not lapsing again proved to be difficult to say the least. But at least he succeeded.

Not bad stats for Roger actually

At 3-2 and 4-3 Roger appeared very fragile on serve again but fortunately Gasquet tried his hardest not to convert several break points. Then at 5-3 Roger actually did well to get the second break and avoid having to serve it out. Sure it took him something like 6 match points and several unforced errors before he got it done, but what matters is that he did so. It wasn’t pretty and even though it’s hard to believe, Roger did play better in the 2nd set than in the 1st. And in the end like I said the scoreline is what matters. Roger won in straight sets and with a double break in the 2nd set. Good enough. Quality wise none of the matches so far has been great. So it is better to look at the scorelines anyway. The quality of the Djokerer match was not great either, but the scoreline was decent too with Roger having won the 2nd set.

I posted the 2nd set tie break of the Djokerer match below so you can see that Roger played a great tie break. So actually so far I’m pretty satisfied with Roger. I like his chances against Del Potro too. Hopefully the match with Djokovic goes to 3 sets tonight which should tire him out even more. Remember I said I want to see Roger qualify for the semis at least in London. Anything less and I won’t have a lot of hope for 2014. He used to be the man to beat indoors. Just a couple of year ago he did the Basel, Paris, and London triple. If he can’t even make the semis in London now it’s gonna be pretty disappointing. But I think he will. His form has been steadily improving since Basel. It wouldn’t even make logical sense if he doesn’t make semis in London. In fact I think he can do better. I think he can at least make the final.

The one yard stare

So I don’t know about you guys but I’m still very optimistic about it all and I am happy about today’s result. Now we will see what happens tonight between Djokovic and Del Potro, after which Roger will play against Del Potro on Saturday. Tomorrow group A gets finalized when Nadal plays Berdych and Stan plays Ferrer. Nadal is expected to beat one of the many players he owns which means if Stan wins he will qualify for the semis, because Berdych routined Ferrer last night. Ferrer would do everything to avoid losing all his group matches but I think Stan can beat him. It would be great if both Roger and Stan can qualify for the semis.

 

Ps. If you look at the highlights below(11:20) you will see Roger shouted and obscenity to someone in the crowd. Not sure what that was about and not sure what to make of it either. Is this the warrior side of him coming out or is he taking it too far? Decide for yourself.

Highlights:

Interview:

Djokerer tie break:

Posted in Uncategorized.

34 Comments

  1. I agree with you,Ruan. It was really boring. I don’t like this warrior side of Roger. I know he is frustrated, but, being a gentleman with class is why I liked him so much from the beginning. I was not wild about the blonde hair stage. I agree with you, also, that it would be good to see Potro and Djoker have a tough match and both are worn out tomorrow and Sat. If Roger and Stan can’t win hopefully Potro can. Hopefully Nadal’s finger will sore after slicing bread.

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  2. I think he was unhappy with some people shouting out before the point was over. Times like that his true competitive nature really reveals itself.

    As for the match, it wasn’t great obviously, but I thought Fed did well in mixing it up. His net play and serve were clicking and Gasquet can do nothing to hurt him.

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  3. Ruan,
    I couldn’t agree with you more on the standard of play. As an avid RF fan, I hate to say it but it’s better for him to lose Delporto than to go to the semi & get beaten by Nadal (if his first serve is not working, I worried he will get trash). His fan base will start gloating all over again.
    Novak has said RF movement is slow & that’s why you see so many errors.RF is unable to get to the spot quickly & time his shot properly. In his prime, RF has the quickest first step among all the players I’ve ever seen. I don’t whether the quick first step is ever going to come back.
    Anyway RF has 2 months or so, to elevate his endurance, movement, serving & I hope he change to a bigger racket.
    Also I hope early next year he pass Johnny Mac 77 titles who has been calling Nadal the GOAT. That would make my day.

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    Vily Reply:

    At this point H2H won’t mean much for Roger Federer because he has pretty much decided to continue playing no matter what. He used to have a great H2H with Djokovic and now that’s pretty much gone. But no matter, at this point Roger is staying in order to get further accolades and maybe just win a title or two along the way. Just what these titles might be – big or small – only time will tell.

    As I said – Roger is still capable of brilliance – but with age the one thing that we just will have to accept – is that consistency will never be the same. He may however be able to string together several good performances and that might be enough.

    But the week in/ week out consistency will be gone. I think that Roger has accepted that as well so that’s what we should accept as fans.

    As far as the DelPo match – either way it will be interesting. I am not expecting Roger to win -although it would be great if he does. And everything after that is bonus..

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    Ru-an Reply:

    ‘As an avid RF fan, I hate to say it but it’s better for him to lose Delporto than to go to the semi ‘

    Not sure that’s what an avid RF fan would want for Roger Mike. Running away is not the answer in this situation and I strongly disagree. This is indoor tennis and if he starts running away on his best surface he should definitely retire. He has Del Potro next who will be very tough opposition. If he beats him he has a chance to beat Nadal in the semis. Anyway the least he has to do is make semis. Anything less and it would be very disappointing.

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    Mike Reply:

    Ruan,
    It’s not the issue of running away. In a war if you feel that you’re at a disadvantage it’s better to avoid the battle, go back & regroup &come back to fight another day when things look brighter for you or your opponents is having problems.
    If he ever meet Rafa in the semi, do you really think RF stand a chance based on how RF is playing? The only thing RF have is hope for some divine intervention.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I thought I made myself pretty clear on it. I want Roger to make semis. So what if he loses to Nadal? And yes he can beat him. I made myself clear on that too when I said he can make the final. The way you are going on he should just avoid everyone by retiring.

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  4. Hey Ru-an, I actually liked it when he shouted. First I was surprised, but like I said before, ENOUGH with this “too perfect, too gentleman”-behaviour. We are humans, we get mad, so does he. It does not make him a bad person if he loses it sometimes. Afterall, is it not obvious by now that no matter how many times he loses it, he still will win the Fan Favourite Award??? Like I said in a previous post, he did good for tennis and us and he is a great rolemodel for upcoming players and children. Now it is his final stages of his career, let him think about himself. He has earned atleast that.
    He got a little mad, it does not make him suddenly a bad person. He still is loved.

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    Katyani Reply:

    Actually, I have two more things to say.
    First, Mark Petzchy(?) also made a comment to Roger on court that I like a lot and have said myself: is it not time now to name the Awards after Roger after he won it for the 9th and 11th time: The Roger Federer Fan Favourite Award and the Roger Federer/Stefan Edberg Sportmanship Award??
    Second, you want to know how popular Roger is (even after his outburst)? Yesterday Novak and Delpo were coming out to go to the court. The crowd was silent because they were waiting for them. Then Delpo walked by Roger’s dressingroom with his picture on it and seriously, there was a little roar from the crowd… That is how popular Roger is…

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I tend to agree with you Katyani. It’s not like he is becoming another person all of a sudden. He has been the perfect role model for a long time. Any reasonable person won’t hold it against him if he now thinks of himself and do what must be done to add that missing piece of the puzzle to his greatness. If that’s what he needs to do to stay competitive and fire himself up then so be it.

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  5. Ruan, I had to laugh when you said Gasquet “tried his hardest not to convert any of his break points.” It summed up the nature of the match very well. It was certainly error-strewn by both players. To me, the six match points also summed up where Roger’s game is these days. He was alternately hesitant or loose, but either way unable to raise his game or simply avoid the error. When he had a chance in the point he tried to finish it with an aggressive shot but either hit it out or into the net. In the end it was solved by a Gasquet error. It pretty much confirmed for me that the main problem in Roger’s game is execution; he simply can’t depend on making shots that were once his routine. That must clearly affect his confidence, and even the choices of shot he makes. I don’t see a warrior out there; I see a player under real stress, trying to play the kind of game that was once second nature to him but now only comes to him flickeringly. It has all happened so fast. Of course he can’t accept it. But it does make him mad out there sometimes – as we saw when he turned on the crowd.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Good to see someone appreciating some of my comments Rich. Thanks. I like your comments because they are intelligent even though I don’t always agree. You say it must affect his confidence badly if he can’t execute, but the inverse is true too. He can’t execute because his confidence is low. It goes hand in hand and it has been a vicious cycle. I respect him for hanging in there and trying to turn it all around. I understand what you say about not seeing a warrior out there. Yes he does appear lost out there and that he is doing things that is out of his character. But it’s not necessarily the case. I see someone who is trying hard to find his way after he lost it this year. He is battling hard out there and it’s not easy. I think he has made positive progress in the last 3 weeks as well. The match with Del Potro will tell us a lot but I’d like to believe he can win it. Maybe even make the final. Roger is in unknown territory right now because his confidence has never been so low. So I can forgive him for turning on the crowd or whatever he did. Whatever he needs to do to fight back and find his confidence again. Everyone forgives a winner. If he can find his confidence again like he did in 2012 and start executing again then all will be well. I think there is still game. He just needs to fight through these hard times and find it again.

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  6. H Ru-an,

    I enjoyed this post-match wrap-up; especially your digs at Gasquet. Ha ha. On a different note I was at the 02 last evening watching Del Potro and Djokovitch. Oh dear lord, what a boring match that was. Especially after seeing one of the best tennis mathes ever – Bryan Brothers vs Querieshi/Jean Rogers. Bryans won narrowly but what a thriller! This one had everything in it. Drops, angles, lobs, forehand winners, bh return winners, smashes, counter-smashes, and the volleying was unlike anything I had seen. THen I was brought down to earth by watching two baseline bashing machines play monotonous rallies until one of them broke down and that was what decided who won. Terrible. I yawned at least 3 times during the match. Watching it live at the venue made me realize how much more special Roger’s game is and why fans flock to see him and not so much the others. It seemed that common pattern of play is to get locked in baseline pounding exercise with little or no intention of constucting a point with the idea of approaching the net to finish it off. What I saw was a constant drone of forehands and backhands drilled from left to right by two seemingly indefatigables athletes. No joy, Ru-an. My next match will be the finals on Monday and I shudder to think what a bore that would be, unless Roger makes it.

    Happy to see that his gloves are slowly coming off and if anything, I see signs that he’s geting to the foothold from where he can spring up in the new year.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy the singles Grumpy. Personally I enjoyed the clean ball striking from the base line.

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  7. I was looking at the official website and I saw that the WTF has been a great hunting ground for Roger over the years.

    I mean – 12 straight appearances, 6 Wins, 2 Runner-Ups, 2 SF Finishes and only One RR exit in 2008 – the year with the Mono and the back spasm during the tournament.

    I think he has a decent shot to make semis – if he wins the first set he’ll pull it off. Roger has been very good to put himself in good positions to win or close the set or a match – but he has been struggling MIGHTILY with actually closing it out – or getting it done.

    It shows in many situations – he’ll go up a break and get broken right back – or he’ll be serving for a set and he’ll get broken.

    I guess it’s a combination of things and confidence is a key issue but I think that the more he plays the better he’ll get.

    The thing is that tomorrow can be his last match of the season or a ticket for another match the following day.

    It would be nice if he could prolong his season more because by the looks of it – the race to World Number 3 is WIDE open next year – Ferrer, Murray, DelPo, Berdych and Roger have a real shot at it but Roger needs to add as many points as possible now so that he can attack it early next year, if that is even possible.

    I still think that Del Potro is the favorite based on his overall season alone but Roger can definitely beat him if he shows up to play. I hope that the hunger will be there – plus he’ll get a redemption shot at Nadal too – for all it’s worth supposedly.

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  8. I agree Grumpy. I too get bored with the baseline bashing/smashing, etc. I like the creative type tennis. I like the Sampress and Chang tennis era.

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  9. What do you think Ru-an? Who will win?? I think it will go on to three sets, that is a fact and I hope and prey and think Roger will win…
    I so hope Roger does not underestimate Delpo, he plays always so well here…

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Nothing is a fact. Lets just get that straight once and for all.

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  10. I really cannot understand it:

    one service game RF gives three break points to Delpo and lose …

    the next one RF wins his service game in less than 1 minute…

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  11. Federer won today! A BIG win today! He was up against it but he battled and prevailed even after being break point down in all three sets.

    He is getting better with every match! Hopefully he can peak for Australia! He has a shot against Nadal.

    Actually? Is there any scenario in which Roger can win the group?! What if Djokovic gets straightsetted by Gasquet? Not likely, but what if?

    :-) ) Roger is in the Last Four!

    12 Straight WTF Appearances:

    6 Wins

    2 Runner-Ups

    3 SFs (2013 – May go even further)

    1 RR Exit

    Allez!

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  12. Amazing victory to come from behind against Del Potro, given that he was behind early in every set. Really picked his game up towards the end.

    The court was so slow they looked like they were playing on treacle, it seemed like half an hour would go by without a forehand winner from either side. Del Potro neutralized all of Federer’s best shots with his condor-like wingspan. Federer had to change tactics and not go for winners all the time and play more forcing shots and try to finish at net. His serve got much better towards the end.

    It took a lot of courage and fighting spirit to come through like this when he’s always way behind, especially against Del Potro who always fights so hard and who had become a bit of a problem opponent for Federer indoors. I think the victory last week in Paris gave him just a little bit of extra confidence and that might have been what allowed him to edge past Del Potro in the end.

    Hopefully he can figure out a strategy for tomorrow because it only gets harder. Nadal’s defense will be far tougher to penetrate than Del Potro’s. Can Federer prevail on a court where it’s seemingly impossible to hit clean winners? Allez!

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    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Steve, maybe this is a little bit simple from me, but if Berdych can almost give Rafa a bagel in the second set (with his serve), can you imagine what Roger can do to him?
    Roger knows on clay Rafa is beyond beatable, but this is his territory, not Rafa’s. Even if it is slow.
    I think Novak will beat Gasquet in straights, but the SF and Finals will all be three setters. And don’t count Riger or Stan out. This might even be a Swiss Final…… But, one match at the time. First lets take care of Rafa.

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    rahan Reply:

    What are the odds for a Swiss final :-) ?

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    steve Reply:

    True, Katyani, the fact that it’s indoors means that Federer can still chase the lines a little bit more and pinpoint his serve better. That might give him the needed edge to execute his gameplan.

    If he wins, it will be quite a different kind of match from how they played in 2011, or in 2010. He will have to win without being able to hit winners from the baseline. It was nearly impossible for him to open the court against Del Potro, Nadal’s defense is even more impenetrable.

    Federer’s winners/UE differential for this match was positive, but only just: 39-36.

    I think Federer has a good chance but he’ll have to raise his game from where it was today to come through. I just hope he has enough emotionally and physically to play his best after such a draining win.

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    rahan Reply:

    “I just have to have the right mindset to give it one last go, maybe play with a little less pressure than I have in previous matches with him,” Federer said. “I just feel like I need to look at it more as being an underdog a little bit because of circumstances, because of my year, because of his year. Maybe that free swinging is what I kind of need to do a little bit more tomorrow.” RF

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    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Steve, yes, I totally agree with you. Roger cannot play Rafa the way he played Delpo (getting broke in all the three sets). Rafa will eat him up alive and will not let him into the set. But… lets not forget, Roger ALMOST beat Rafa at Cincy. And today it is not as if Delpo rolled over. He gave Roger a hard time up to the last point.
    He gave Roger hell and still Roger overcame. I honestly believe he will overcome Rafa. It will not be easy or quick, but he will defeat Rafa. Just like you, I hope he will be mentally and physically high on today’s win.

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  13. Can RF recover in 22 hours?

    How can you go to sleep to get some rest after such victory ?

    Allez !!!

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    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Rahan, hope he hangs on to the victory part… Did you see how nervous Mirka and Severin were????

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    rahan Reply:

    I didn’t see ! I cannot understand how Mirka is able to see Roger live .

    I should confess that went out with my kids at 5-3 in the first set. I said to myself: better to miss the live stream and to have a surprise in the end.

    This strategy worked !!! When I returned I saw VILY’s comment and now I will see the replay at 12PM

    Allez ROGER !!!

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    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Rahan, I am also a nervous wreck during Roger’s matches. Even though I am still young, my heart cannot take it !!! Roger is great to his fans, but man, does he love to scare us or give us little heartattacks… Can you imagine going through what Mirka and Severin are going through each match???

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  14. I love your sarcasm, Ru-an, I had a good laugh reading your post. A good day for Swiss tennis today, though I expect a Djokovic-Nadal final. And somehow, I’m more excited for Stan.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Haha thanks Chris and nice to have you back. A couple of good days for Swiss tennis I’d say, although that’s probably what you meant. No, a great couple of days!

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