Federer Surprises Djokovic to Win 7th Cincinnati Title

Congrats to Federer on a much deserved seventh title in Cincinnati yesterday. I can easily say I told you so, that Federer had it coming after losing three big finals to Djokovic, or that it was inevitable with the Cincinnati court speed. I mean let’s face it, Federer keeps winning the matches on faster courts over the best of three sets. But I’d rather focus on the fact that Federer surprised Djokovic in my opinion.

  • Opening Set

Federer tried the surprise tactic of taking the second serve on the rise early on and it was a big flop. It actually had me laughing. Taking the second serve of the likes of Anderson, Lopez, and Murray on the rise is one thing, but not only does Djokovic have a good second serve, he also has great passing shots. So when Federer tried the tactic again and actually won the point, it surprised me.

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It also surprised Djokovic because he missed a straightforward passing shot into the net. Federer was the one applying all the pressure to Djokovic’s serve and had him 15-40 early on but couldn’t convert. He had him at 30-40 in another game as well. As the set progressed Djokovic started holding serve more comfortably and I figured those early missed chances by Federer would come back to haunt him.

But when the set came down to a tie-break Federer had the audacity to take Djokovic’s second serve on the rise again. It paid off again and that seemed to be the straw that broke the camel’s back because Djokovic only managed to win one point in the tie-break. Advantage Federer.

  • Second Set

How would Djokovic respond to these audacious tactics from Federer? Not well. He got broken in his opening service game and quickly found himself 0-3 down. After that he still kind of hung in there but never looked very interested in fighting back. Whether it was just tiredness or the fact that Federer’s tactics took him totally by surprise I’ll leave to you to decide. It was probably a bit of both.

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I think he was caught off guard and then he pretty much decided to throw in the towel. He’d already had four very tough three setters in the last couple of weeks and he probably just figured he will conserve some energy for once. As usual he was very sporting at the handshake, though. No bitterness like we have seen plenty of times from Fedal.

  • Final Thoughts

So it was a well-deserved first Masters title of the year for Federer and he played very well all week. I liked the fact that he tried something new with taking the second serve on the rise. Of course, it didn’t hurt that the surface was fast and it would be very hard to do the same thing at the US Open without getting passed, but it was something fresh and only Federer is talented enough to pull off something crazy like that.

I also think Federer has been playing too well this year not to win something above ATP 500 level. The level he showed at Wimbledon was as good as anything he has ever played. He’s been consistent all year but falling over the final hurdle in the big events, very much like last year. I think if Djokovic defeated him in Cincy it would have really hurt. It would also have been the first time either of them had won four matches in a row in this tremendous rivalry which Federer leads by one again.

It’s really so much better than the overrated Fedal rivalry as well as the Djokoray rivalry because the matchup is perfect. A great server against a great returner. A great offensive player against a great defensive player. With this title, Federer is also back on equal terms with Djokovic in terms of Masters titles with 24. Nadal is still leading with 27 Masters titles, but he will easily be surpassed by Djokovic.

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Djokovic also loses for the fifth time in the Cincy finals and misses out on the career Masters again, but I’m sure he’ll get it eventually. For now this loss may have been a blessing in disguise. Someone told me on Twitter that Djokovic became cocky and expected to win. I actually think that may be true. And you can hardly blame him after the way he won all the important titles against Federer this year.

Nonetheless, losing now and then, even when you are dominating is a good way to stay humble and motivated. I think with the eye on the one that really matters in New York, it may have been better for Djokovic to lose this one than to win it. He will still have many chances to complete the career Masters, but for now winning the US Open is huge. One US Open title is not good enough for a player of his qualities and winning his tenth slam in New York will put him right on track to get into the GOAT debate.

It sure as hell won’t be easy, but I think it is better for his chances to taste defeat now and stay hungry and motivated. Now he has something to prove, as opposed to having won Cincy and everyone just expecting him to collect the US Open trophy. He has been so dominant this year that he is still easily the favorite for the title, but now at least he will feel like he has something to prove again. Two Masters final losses would be a good exchange for another US Open title.

Edit: Federer won the first four matches in the rivalry, but I think you catch my drift.

  • Highlights

The is in your court.

Posted in Cincinatti, Masters 1000.

65 Comments

  1. Nice balanced article. I think like Federer, Ruan is back to his best as well :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Just telling the truth, no?

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    Obviously this depends on the draw but my thoughts on the USO:

    Murray in Fed’s half: Djokovic win over Murray/Federer
    Murray in Djoker’s half: Federer win over Murray/Djokovic

    Obviously you can’t completely count out a random upset or Murray pulling an incredible run beating both Novak and Roger, but I think it is pretty unlikely.

    Yeah and I am glad Ru-an that you are back to talking about and analysing the tennis because although I enjoyed the put-downs of some of the less positive comments on your blog, but it’s like different surfaces: you are probably no.1 in tennis analysis, but you don’t have the week-to-week consistency in your put-downs to be no.1, because it tires you out. :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Haha! We are on the same page. I enjoy some of the put-downs myself, but that’s not what this blog is supposed to be about. It’s supposed to be about intelligent analysis and interesting discussion. It’s a two-way street and if I just put negative or biased comments down all the time it’s too much of a one-way street.

    Interesting that you think Federer would win if Djokoray is in the same half. You think he’s gonna pull it off at 34 after 7 years?

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    The reason I think that is because there is less pressure on him at the USO. Last year he got unlucky (as did everyone else) because of god-mode Monfils, Cilic and Nishikori. Probably unlikely to happen two years in a row. Remember what he was saying before the Wimbledon final ‘I want this one on Sunday’, and I thought that perhaps he was feeling the pressure which is why I wasn’t too optimistic. But he hasn’t really been saying that before the USO this year from what I can remember.

    He seems to do better when no one is considering him as a contender more recently, like RG 2011 when everyone was talking about Djokovic-Nadal, or Wimbledon 2012 when he had that close match against Benneteau and everyone thought he would be too tired/ not good enough to beat Novak and Andy in back-to-back matches. So I’m glad he goes into the USO being underrated. Commentators and bookies can underrate him as much as they like, but there’s a reasonable chance it could come back to haunt them.

    There’s an interesting argument as well about who Djokovic would rather face if it’s a Federer-Murray semifinal, it’s a tough one because Murray can’t attack as well but would be better if it went to five sets, but Djokovic is likely to win eventually, but if he plays Federer there is a chance of a Federer god-mode day where he is just unstoppable, but then if Djokovic were to get it to a 5th set he would likely win. It’s an interesting discussion but until the draw comes out we can only speculate.

    And as for the age thing and the 7 years since he last won, I think that it’s a little different with him because of his game-style. I can’t remember what the article was called, but it talked about the two stages of decline. There is the first part where you can make adjustments to your game and remain at the top of the sport, but the second part is irreversible. Federer managed to turn his stage one decline around in 2013, it remains to be seen if Nadal can do the same. I accept Federer is not the favourite, but I think he has at least a 25% chance (Djokovic 50%, Federer 25%, Murray 20%, The Field 5% IMO).

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well, the odds are against him to win another slam as far as age goes. And he is already in stage three of decline. I think the last two Wimbies were his last best chances and that he wasn’t at all unlucky with the draw last year. Everyone thought he was lucky in fact until Cilic showed up. He should have lost to Monfils probably but fought through and was flat vs Cilic. I think there are many players who can make life difficult for him and get him into a long match. But of course, there is always a chance.

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    Yeah with Federer these days it’s all about getting through the early rounds without tiring too much. If he can get to the semis without having to play any five-setters he has a chance.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Right. Last year he was tired from the Cincy/Montreal double too. This year he could possibly to do that. But he’s got a pretty tough draw.

    [Reply]

  2. Nice post Ru-an. It’s quite telling that Fed can beat Djokovic in a big final at this point in his career, especially when the stakes were so high for Djokovic. Once he wins Cincy, which I’m sure Djoker will eventually do, that’s an unprecedented record in tennis, and it does bode very well for his inclusion in the GOAT debate. Especially so if he wins all 4 GS and all 9 MS, which basically means he’s won all the big events out there. As far as this final was concerned, this is my perspective about it-

    Djoker knew he had a good chance to win, since Fed hadn’t beaten him in a big final since Cincy 2012. In the first set, he looked focused and determined, showing a lot of clutch play to stay ahead in the scoreboard. What he( and many spectators) probably expected was that Fed succumbs to pressure at the end of the set, or maybe in the TB. Djoker knew winning the first set would be very vital for his prospects of winning, since in the last 2 matches on similar surfaces, he failed to win even a set against Fed. Credits to Fed for showing no signs of nerves whatsoever. The TB might be one of the best he has played ever, or atleast against Djoker. The BH return on the rise at 3-1 in the TB was like a final knockout blow for Djoker. His reaction after that point, where he almost smashed his racquet again, proves it. Once the first set was done, he knew he had no chance anymore. If the surface had been slower, it would still be 50-50, since there have been a lot of times when Djoker came back from a set down to beat Fed. It was quite strange actually to see him check out mentally in the 2nd set though. Especially conceding 3 DF in a game to get broken.

    So long story short, Djoker was hoping to end the losing streak against Fed on fast hard courts, and tried his best in the first set, and once he lost it, he knew he couldn’t win it anymore. On the other hand, Fed was quite smart himself. He said in the interview to SKY sports after his SF win, when asked about the significance of the match for his no. 2 seeding at USO, that the focus should be on Djoker and the career golden slam. He was cautiously optimistic about his chances, while at the same time preferring to stay out of the spotlight.

    P.S. One more thing I realised while watch the Djoker vs Dolgo SF was that Djoker might actually use the rope-a-dope tactic most of the times when he seems injured. I know it’s hard to determine what actually transpires with him, but there is a slight possibility that he was faking injury that day. I’m not being judgmental when I say this, but for a while, this behavior reminded me about dull and his antics. That made me doubt for a while whether I should like Djoker as much as I do now. I’m still ready to give him the benefit of doubt though, and he’s still my second favorite player.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    Haha, just trolling everyone by losing in Montreal and Cincy to sweep the USO without dropping a set or something, right?

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    :))

    [Reply]

    Nakul Reply:

    https://twitter.com/CaroGrgicevic/status/636245588187684864

    Guess who this is

    [Reply]

    Nakul Reply:

    :B

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Come on man this is not a blog for gay dudes. Gross.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Masterly put-down – as usual.

    :-bd

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well, it’s Nadull after all. I can’t think that Fedfans would find that very interesting, especially if the idea arises that he is getting ready to ‘bang’ Federer again.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    eww Ru-an. Sounds like I’m lucky I didn’t read the article!

    And just for the record, I never actually called him KnobDull; I just asked if you would object if I did call him that…

    [Reply]

  3. Good stuff, Ru-an. Great match, from the Fed perspective. I didn’t think it was close. Body language, ball striking, dictating points, the much discussed strategy of Rog. . . it was embarrassing, actually, but in the bigger picture we know this does not mean Novak is doomed lol. Hoisting the goods in NYC will cure all.

    But seriously, Djokovic looked like he was barely alive, a couple of brilliant passes to keep the monster from tearing him to shreds in the first set.

    How about that nod of assurance he gave his box after DF x3 to lose his serve early in the 2nd. Damn. Beatdown.

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    Several players have been interviewed over the years about this (why beating Federer is so hard):

    1. He is one of the greatest frontrunners of all time, meaning if you are having a bad day you can never get settled because he is pressuring you on every point.
    2. He is also one of the best comeback players, so if you are having a good day and get well in front, there is no guarantee you will win easily, Shanghai 2014 and the 2nd set TB in the Wimbledon final are probably the best example.
    3. He is an attacking player, meaning either his pressure makes people go for too much and commit a lot of UE’s, or they start playing too defensively allowing him to move the ball all over the court.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks, Matt. Yeah, who cares about losing in Cincy when you win IW, Rome, and Wimby? I mean if Djoker won Cincy too, the dominance would be almost boring. Federer needs to stay in it to make it a little interesting at least. The Cincy final may have been a beatdown for Djokovic, but the last three years have been a beatdown for Federer.

    [Reply]

    Matt Reply:

    Rog is six years his senior. Either way (and of course the series has been even), Roger’s current form is ridiculous. USO should be interesting. The big three are all in the mix with question marks alongside each one.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes, Federer’s current form is exceptional at his age. It is a surprise that he won Cincy? No.

    [Reply]

    Matt Reply:

    Agree. What would you say is Rog’s weakest surface? Clay? He’s been to 5 FO finals, kinda ran into the clay GOAT. Tough to make any kind of GOAT claims if your weak surface is Cincy/US Open type hc, no?

    I stand by the Djoker potential, but it’s tough to see him struggle like that (and fatigue is not an excuse, of course) on a very legit surface.

    Many greats have excelled on that surface.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Nah I don’t agree. Djokovic is probably better on the USO-type surface than Federer is on clay. Already one USO title and three finals. If he wins it this year there would be no question. He’s still got time to win more titles and make more finals after this year too.

    [Reply]

    Matt Reply:

    Well, nothing definitive there (Rog has a title and four finals at FO, again with the most prolific winner ever in the field). Perhaps we can agree on this: Djoker needs this USO to keep his conversation going.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes, we can agree on that. But like I just corrected myself, it’s 4 finals, not 3. They are equal in the numbers now. Just a question of time before Djokovic passes him.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Actually four finals so he is already equal with Federer. Anyway, he is long overdue a USO title. I didn’t watch the final with Murray but I heard the wind didn’t help him, and in 2013 he came off that FO loss to Nadal. That doesn’t mean he will win the USO this year, but it seems overdue.

    [Reply]

    Matt Reply:

    I think any reasonable tennis fan could appreciate Djokovic certifying his ATP dominance with a 2015 USO title. Hopefully Murrederer can make him earn it in dramatic fashion. :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Fedfanatics are not reasonable tennis fans so they won’t appreciate it. That’s one of the reasons I hope it happens. But mostly just because I am a reasonable tennis fan. It would clearly make the GOAT debate and tennis, in general, more interesting. I think he deserves another USO title, but like we saw at the FO deserve has nothing to do with it.

    [Reply]

    Matt Reply:

    Right you are. Are you continuing the prediction contest for the USO?

    Speaking of predictions, who are real contenders in NYC? Something tells me Stan, if healthy of course, could make a run. Seems to still be quite a gap between the contenders and pretenders. The more I think about 2014 USO, the more nauseous I become. Pour me whatever Cilic was drinking then. Unreal.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I don’t know we will see. I have less time for these things now. The USO seems quite open at this point. Djokovic has not been himself in Montreal and Cincy. Federer can be a real contender, but the problem for him is his stamina over five sets. He hasn’t made a HC slam final in almost 6 years.

    [Reply]

    Hari Reply:

    If by chance Federer makes the final, he wont be the favourite unless the opponent is not Djokovic. Firstly he cant have his own way there as the court is slower than Cincinatti for sure.
    Secondly, his body doesn’t seem to recover the wear and tear of a 5 setter these days. He can play 4 sets for sure but if he is stretched to a 5th set, he is bound to lose the next round even if he closes out the 5th set that particular match.
    Thirdly and basically, I have not seen a totally in-prime player losing to a 34 year old legendary champion. You may say he is ranked no.2 and all but I just can’t see Djokovic losing to Federer unless the courts are fast and Federer is serving like he did against Murray in Wimbledon which in my opinion is just a 5% probability.
    On the whole, Federer is surely playing really well and clearly still has it in him but to expect a Grand Slam from him I believe is too much.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Good, balanced comment Hari. It is difficult to see Federer win seven BO5 set matches. At Wimby, he comes close because the surface suits him better and he can win basically everything in straight sets. The USO is a different story. Many players can draw the match out against him. His stamina is very poor. One five-set match and he is pretty much finished.

    [Reply]

  4. The second serve attack is one he can use more on the quicker courts like Shanghai, Paris and Cincy. I don’t think Federer will use this tactic at the US Open unless he’s some way ahead in the scoreline – most likely in the first 2 rounds when he’s already 2 sets up or something like that.
    I have to say, it’s worked well over the past week – the matches he played against Anderson and Djokovic were particularly good to watch.
    Novak will look to win the US Open to cap off another great season, but I could see Murray really pushing for this one. Best scenario for Murray is to draw Federer in his half, hope he (Fed) crashes out before the semis and have a lot left in the tank for a potential final against Djokovic.

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    I disagree Krish, the best time to use it is on break point.

    [Reply]

    Krish Reply:

    I agree with that Charlie, I said I don’t believe that he will actually use it on those kinds of points.

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    I don’t understand why he wouldn’t use it at the USO on key points, the surface is slower but it’s still a good surprise to catch someone out, particularly if it is 15-40 or 0-40 and you still have another chance to break if it fails. If you mean that it’s confidence based, he had the confidence to use it against Djokovic and Murray so I think he should be fine. Perhaps you are right though, given his record on the biggest stages recently he may not have the confidence to do it in say the US Open final, but I hope he does. At the very least it gives the opponent something else to think about.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Right, Charlie. He could use it at the USO. But I don’t think Djokovic would be surprised next time. He will be mentally prepared for it and pass Federer. The downside of having used it to win Cincy is that Djokovic now knows about his secret weapon. It won’t be a surprise anymore. And it will be less effective on slower courts.

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    Even though if it fails, it’s still something for Djokovic to have to think about (‘what if he takes my second serve on the rise and rushes the net?’) so he may overhit and give away a double fault. Anything Federer can get Djokovic to think about on the crucial points in a match is a useful advantage. As I said particularly if you have two or three consecutive break points, it makes sense to try it on at least one of those perhaps.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Right, it could theoretically work. I just think Djokovic has a good record vs Federer in NY in recent times and that over BO5 Federer would have to pull that play off several times which is difficult. In Cincy Federer can kind of rush Djokovic and bully him, but with the slightly slower courts in NY it is that much more difficult. Djokovic’s consistency and depth from the baseline are very difficult for Federer to overcome unless the courts are super fast. His returns are more effective too.

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    I think the key with Djokovic is that you have to really smash him off the court. Most of his losses this year have been in straight sets IIRC, where the opponent has just been having a very good day, aiming for the lines and everything is going in. That would be Federer’s best play against Djokovic. Just go all out for the straight set or four set win, because Novak will likely win in 5 otherwise.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    It’s hard to see that happen. Fed smashing Djo off the court in straights? Ain’t happening. More likely to be the other way around.

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    Yes it is unlikely, but at the moment it is one of the few ways it is possible to beat Djokovic. He is the best baseline player at the moment by some distance, and possibly one of the greatest baseliners in history up there with people like Lendl, Connors and Agassi so I think relentless attacking would be the way to go.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    He is probably a better baseliner than those guys. All out attack would be the way to go but Djokovic’s returns and defense makes that a risky tactic.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Yes Krish, but who cares about the best-case scenario for Murray?

    ;-)

    [Reply]

  5. “I could have done some things better, but I lost to a better player, no question about it. I have to deal with it.”

    http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/news/cincinnati-2015-sunday-djokovic-reaction

    Always gracious in defeat.

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    Yeah you really have to give the Djoker credit for that, when he loses there is no crap injury excuses. He may occasionally pull out some objectionable stuff during matches (like so-called ‘strategic’ MTOs), but after the match he never tries to take credit away from the other player. Obviously as the last player out of the Big Three to arrive on the scene he had to deal with a lot of tough losses before he became world no.1, but he never gave up or sounded bitter about it.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah, I suppose that is the good side of being a late bloomer and having had to deal with the Fedal era. He took many tough losses and didn’t have it all his own way. That made him more humble and more hungry while Fedal had it all their own way. Federer especially became arrogant and complacent, and he paid the price in the form of Nadal who made a big dent in his GOAT claim.

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    Yeah that is the only thing I can see (personality-wise), why someone wouldn’t particularly like Federer. I sort of say well he’s won enough so he’s allowed to brag a bit, because he is fairly upfront about it. The thing I don’t like is Nadal’s fake humbleness. But I can see how some people would be OK with Nadal’s fake humbleness and dislike Federer’s ‘air of superiority’, or dislike both. Fair point Ru-an.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Since I’ve become less biased I have also noticed Federer’s arrogance and Nadal’s humbleness more. I think they are equally guilty. I prefer Djokovic now because he is very gracious in defeat, but he doesn’t mind celebrating and getting in the face of someone like Nadal which you have to do to beat him. He is not fake arrogant like Federer who crumbles under Nadal’s onslaught. He is truly arrogant and isn’t scared of anyone. It’s a good balance.

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    I agree, thanks Ru-an for making good well-thought out points as usual. Definitely beats reading Talk Tennis, one of the first threads I saw was one suggesting that Federer rushing towards the service line on a second serve is cheating/unsportsmanlike. WTF? You also hear bitter fans from all sides complaining about ‘rigged draws’, ‘unfair scheduling’ etc. I was just thinking to myself whilst reading it, IT HAPPENS TO EVERYONE, GET OVER IT. You don’t hear reasonable fans bitching about this kind of crap every time their player loses. Sometimes the other player is just better, like Djokovic at Wimbledon and Federer in Cincy. Nothing to complain about, the other player was better, period.

    Again thanks for making this blog what it is, you have somehow managed to set aside any personal biases and to come up with objective posts time and time again. I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to deal with some of the ridiculous comments you occasionally get, and well done on being able to accept criticism as well, as on many sites if you speak out against a particular player you are just insulted, rather than someone giving an intelligent response. I hope this blog can continue to be a place for all reasonable tennis fans to debate and discuss tennis, without having to deal with extreme and unreasonable viewpoints.

    Charlie

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thank you very much for your comment, Charlie. As a relatively unbiased(I admit to a certain amount of bias because I do have favorites) analyst of the game, I don’t get that much praise. People like to compliment you when you praise the player you like, but that is empty praise. What you just gave me is true praise which is something that I really appreciate. I do have to deal with bias and annoying people so it always helps when someone like you comes along and shows true appreciation because you are a true tennis fan yourself.

    The average tennis fan is a pretty ignorant, annoying, and selfish. They just want the player they are a fan of to do well and when they don’t they come up will all kinds of dumb and ridiculous excuses. I know there are only a few of us, so it’s always nice when someone like you who knows and appreciates the game comments here.

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    With people like that the issue is they are closed minded. People choose to discard facts and well researched evidence in favour of their own, usually flawed analysis of a situation to decide their opinion. A common example is people who praise a tennis commentator if they say something complimentary about their favourite player, e.g. Federer fans when JMac initially said Federer was GOAT. Then when he changed to say Nadal he is ‘biased’ and ‘doesn’t understand tennis’ and when he reversed his decision again this Wimbledon he is back in the good books of the average Federer fan. Of course no one can claim to be perfectly unbiased as you quite rightly said in your previous comment, but the types of bias seen on most forums is pretty ridiculous towards one player or another. There are certain people who are biased but open-minded, and it is worth debating with them. But some people are so completely closed-minded that you may as well not even bother. The best thing to say to these people as you have been doing recently is to tell them to take their extreme views, closed-mindedness and bias elsewhere. There’s no shortage of fan blogs where you can praise your favourite player as much as you want with no fear of being challenged, and if people choose to live their lives without facing people with different viewpoints that is their decision. And as for the last bit of your comment about excuses, the thing you notice about tennis players and fans is that the better they get the less excuses they make. Less biased fans understand that losing is a part of being a fan, just as a good player understands it. Do you ever hear Federer or Djokovic or Nadal openly say (for example): “I played badly and lost but I was tired/injured)? That is what biased fans are like. Just takes all credit away from the other player, his team and his fans for supporting him. Very bad sportsmanship, so it is good that your blog does not allow it.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well said.

    [Reply]

  6. Nadal and Djoker in the same quarter; Nadal to play Coric first round. It should be interesting!

    [Reply]

    Bharata Reply:

    Yes, I was wrong because I earlier predicted the draws are ‘partially’ rigged to ensure a dramatic Federer-Nadal quarter to get the US viewer interested.

    Actually Djokovic has a simpler half I think, he avoided Murray and Wawrinka. His biggest seed is Nishikori who probably will twist his ankle or something before the tournament starts :-) Also he avoided Berdych, who is in Fed’s quarter. We all remember 2012.

    Interestingly Murray has Kygrios in his opener. That should be a lesson in manners..

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    I would have lost money betting as you said, that Roger and Nadal would be in the same quarter…

    [Reply]

    Krish Reply:

    Wow, Nadal might even lose 1st Round if he’s not careful. The insurance will certainly be a spanking in the Quarterfinals.

    I’m not overly excited by Murray’s section – aside from Kyrgios, he may have to go through Wawrinka/Federer/Djokovic to win the thing, but I really doubt all the seedings will hold.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Good point Krish, it’s hard not to see the draw opening up.

    [Reply]

  7. Hi Ruan, well obviously I want My boy Roger to win like I always do, but I’m interested and a lot of other things too, Djokovic having a chance to pull closer to evening his head to head with Nadal, hoping Donald Young does well. (He grew up in my city and was a big influence for us and I hate seeing him under perform), and this is kind of the last stand for the year for the less talked about top players (Gasquet, Dimitrov, Thiem, Kyrigos). But anyway, I’m curious, who would you say is Djokovics biggest rival. I thought about that today watching Pre US Open tennis highlights on YouTube

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    Darrell Robbins Reply:

    And I mean right now and over the big picture of his entire career

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Right now probably Stan, Murray, and Fed. Over his career Fedal.

    [Reply]

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