Federer Survives Tough Test from Chardy to Make Paris Third Round

Hi guys. Isn’t it nice to see Roger in action for consecutive weeks? Especially with him playing this well? The 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 6-4 win over Chardy was clearly not a straight forward one, but the people who claim Roger played badly are delusional at best. Chardy was on fire and is a very destructive player when that is the case. He has a huge serve and forehand. How on earth did Roger play badly if he defeated him? It is just astonishing what utter nonsense people can come up with. What do people expect anyway? That Roger should show up at every tournament and peak from beginning to end? That is not how it works. It takes time to adjust to the new conditions and you try to peak later in the event against the best players. Chardy had already played a match while this was Roger’s first. So Chardy had the advantage of being better adjusted. For one thing these courts are slow and the bounce is high.

Very unfortunate that the ATP keeps doing this but it is what it is. Indoor tennis used to be played on carpet, but nowadays they have  surfaces that plays more like indoor clay. Too bad for Nadal he sat Paris out yet again. He probably would have loved this surface. It certainly is not what indoor tennis used to be but that was not gonna stop the GOAT. These days there isn’t much that can stop the GOAT. It seems he has forgotten how to lose and is not only winning all the routine matches but the close ones as well. Since that match with Mayer in Shanghai Roger has been especially impressive in the mental department. He gets through all the close ones even when he is not at his best. It’s like they say: winning is a habit. It’s the opposite situation of what we had last year when losing seemed to be a habit with Roger. It just goes to show the importance of confidence and momentum in tennis.

Pretty decent match stats in the end

Roger came out cold as he got broken in his opening service game and fell behind 0-3. Chardy on the other hand came out hot after his first round win and was smoking that forehand. It really is quite a delicious shot to watch when in full flow. Chardy even had a break point at 4-1 for the insurance break, and if he had won that point the first set would surely have been over. But Roger played a very solid point and then held serve. Then at 5-3 with Chardy serving for the set Roger broke back to 15 after a forehand return winner. As we have seen so regularly from Roger of late he breaks back in the nick of time to steal a set. This has happened at least a couple of times since Shanghai and therefor it has very little to do with luck, and everything to do with confidence and self belief. After Roger broke back he then faced three set points on his own serve. And again that would not have been the first time that happened since Shanghai.

You almost expect him to save those set points now. He is just mentally extremely solid. It has to be said that there was some poor tennis in there as well from Roger, but nothing that cost him too much. It was just mental adjustment after the two day break and coming down from the high of the tournament win in Basel I think. Some sloppy play at times but like I said nothing that cost him much. At 5-5 Roger then broke serve himself, to love, and served for the set at 6-5. Again he played kind of a sloppy game and this time it was Chardy who broke him to force the tie break. It wasn’t the highest of quality tennis in the first set but exciting and enjoyable because it was not predictable. In the tie break Chardy dropped his serve on the opening point and I don’t think he ever recovered from there. Once Roger won the opening set it was difficult to bet against him winning the match, but it certainly wasn’t all straight forward from there.

Yep, it was that kind of day

In the second set it was Roger who set up two match points at 40-15 after some ridiculous defensive play on the Chardy serve. This time it was Chardy who saved the match points though and the second set would be decided by a tie break as well. Roger got the early mini break but Chardy broke back and at 6-5 he blasted a forehand winner to break serve and win the second set. It was all squared but Roger wasted no time in taking control of the match again as he broke in the opening game of the third set. At 3-1 Roger had a chance to get the insurance break, a lot like Chardy did in the first set, but Chardy saved it. Unlike Chardy in the first set though Roger was not gonna let him back in the match and served out the match to love at 5-4. All in all it was a very entertaining match with many twists and turns but with Roger’s mental fortitude winning at the end of the day once more.

Roger will now play local player Pouille who pulled off the upset over the crazy Fognini. I watched some of that match and even though Fognini did his usual clown act by losing the second set from 5-2 up, Pouille did a good job and I like the look of his game. I’m looking forward to his match with Roger today and since he is a relative unknown him and Roger have never played before. Other results of interest yesterday were that Stan won his first match for some time which I’m sure Roger will be relieved about. The only other seed than Fognini who lost was Isner who lost to Monfils who will now play Djokovic. Djokovic looked very solid in his win over Kohlschreiber and despite the fact that he has a much tougher draw than Roger he could win this title. The slowish conditions favors him which is why I kind of hope he loses before the final. Or Roger’s year end #1 hopes could suffer a fatal blow…

Highlights:

Posted in Masters 1000, Paris.

20 Comments

  1. Ru-an,

    Thank you for the wonderful post. This tournament is all it is proving to be. Just look at the draw. There is hardly not any exciting or meaningful match. That is why Roger has to keep going and keep the dream alive.

    The draw is absolutely fascinating. Every match tomorrow should be exciting:

    Djokovic – Monfils: Djokovic should win this but it must at least go to three sets. It’s shocking to me that all the encounters have gone Djokovic’s way but the majority of theme have always gone the distance. The last two encounters are relevant as well as their Paris encounter. Always three sets. Always third set tie-break.

    I suspect that Djokovic will win again – typically but I would love if Monfils causes the upset. It’s the prime time match. The Parisian crowd will be behind Monfils and it might just happen.. :-)

    Dimitrov – Murray: That will be very exciting as well. Murray is playing better and better and has the titles to price it but then again Dimitrov’s level has been getting much better as well except when he faces Roger. This match is 50:50. If Murray wins he qualifies and if Dimitrov wins, his dream stays alive while Murray will still qualify in the end.

    Ferrer – Verdasco: Ferrer will most likely win this one. He’s growing the kitchen sink and I bet that he’ll get through.

    Tsonga – Nishikori: I’ll laugh if Tsonga beats Kei only because of Nishikori’s noobish choices in scheduling. He should player in Valencia and if he loses tomorrow, his London qualification will be in jeopardy.

    Berdych – Lopez: Would love to see Lopez win. I don’t like Berdych and I would prefer it if he doesn’t qualify for London.

    Anderson – Wawrinka: I suppose that Wawrinka will finally find a way to win. Might be wrong though.

    Raonic – Bautista Agut: This is bother interesting encounter. Could go either way. I suspect that Raonic will find a way simply because he wants to keep trying for London

    Pouille – Federer: This should relatively straight-foreword. Pouille has a nice game so I’ll take it as a serious encounter.. ;-)

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  2. Ru-an, your analysis is right on the spot. You and Roger, both are simply on song and seems to be peaking at the same time of late. I completely agree with all you have said: how can one expect Roger to be in JesusFed mode throughout a whole tourney? Even during his heydays, he used to have tough matches. Sometimes we, the fans over-expect and over-react, wanting too much from him every time. Probably God also would not be able to deliver every time he is asked for! :-) Many would be of the opinion that he should have finished the match right in the second set when he had two match points. But they tend to forget that Chardy unleashed four first serves in a row in the 200km/h range after being down 15-40 in that particular game. Roger did as best as he could do. I am very happy that he has been continuously finding a way out from tough situations in the past few months. The US open was just an aberration: Cilic was in such a zone on his own, nobody could have done anything to counter that. On another note, I think the telecast of the Paris masters must be one of the worst ever (this year it looks even more weird, uglier). The positioning of the cameras are absolutely horrendous! The court looks so contracted that some of the shots which would otherwise have been very pleasing to the eyes look like high speed yo yos! And, the players look like two pendulums swinging to and fro across a line. But as long as our hero continues to march forward in the tournament, no complains. COME ON FED!

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    Alex Reply:

    I couldn’t agree more on the televising and the camera positioning. That’s also a reason why it’s tough to know whether or not the court speeds have slowed or not this year. I mean from the angle we are looking at it, it seems that the ball is very bouncy, but it may be just our perception of the bounce. Maybe in actual fact it’s not that bouncy. I mean it seems that when the ball leaves the racket it is slow (which makes no sense) and then when it bounces I see the players scrambling to get into position fast enough to time their shots properly and then having issues with timing, almost like they are a half step slow. Weird

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    Bharata Reply:

    Agree – last year too, Paris looked weirdly slow. Compare to Australia, where the court is known to be ‘slow’ yet the ball seems to move quickly through the air on TV.

    London has the seem feel too in recent years, maybe the camera angle is tilted in some way that it shortens the court and makes the ball look like it moves slower?

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  3. By fatal blow are you saying that if djoko wins Paris it’s no longer possible for roger to end the year as number one? What if djoko wins Paris but roger wins WTF?

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    Ajay Reply:

    He still has a chance Roger needs to win it and Djoker needs to lose before the finals !!

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    Eric Reply:

    Thanks Ajay!

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  4. Greetings Ru-an! Good blog, I needed some explanation and you gave it to me…did miss seeing the 1st set of the Roger/Chardy match, things looked a bit bleak now and then, I was cheering loudly for Roger and he heard me. Don’t you love when Roger has a winning point how very gently he shakes his fist as compared to you know who???? and others?
    Stan lost, am surprised and a bit worried for him.
    Good luck, Roger, on today’s match.
    Kindly,
    Dolores

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Dolores. If your question was whether I prefer Roger’s first pump compared to Nadal’s then the answer is yes. Stan had a good opportunity at 5-4 and 30-0 on his serve in the 3rd set to win and find his confidence but screwed up. I am disappointed in him but at the same time feel sorry for him. He is struggling more than he was before he ever won a slam. It was almost a curse for him to win a slam. He can’t seem to do anything right.

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  5. I am starting to get a bit worried about this tournament.

    On the other side of the draw there are good news:

    Even if Djokovic does manage to beat Monfils tonight, he’ll face Mirray who is in sublime form. Then after that there is Nishikori who is dismantling Tsonga so far. Ferrer is always dangerous as well.

    On our side of the draw Berdych is assured to make Semis and Raonic just beat Bautista Agut so basically Roger will have his hands full:

    Poullie, then Raonic, then Berdych and then Djokovic/ Monfils/ Murray/ Ferrer/ Nishikori.

    At least I am glad that he can only face one of these 5 in the final but I am a bit worried. I hope that Roger will make into the final.

    Allen Roger! :-)

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    Ru-an Reply:

    No need to be worried Vily. Roger has won 5 titles this year. All gravy from here.

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    Ben chia Reply:

    @Ru-an, I may not know all the people who read your wonderful blog, but I’m pretty sure we ALL want more “gravy” from fed, all the way to WTF & DC!

    In addition, its been a fun year for fedfans because of the “icing” on the cake… Nadull & Brenhole getting kicked in the face. So, so swweet.

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  6. Hi folks, another good win for Fed, hope his run continues. Was very surprised at Dimitrov he just wasn’t at the races at all, Murray playing well but Dimitrov dismal performance made him look even better! Mr Dimitrov doesn’t know what he’s done for the British viewing public…Murraymania…or as Marc petchey said yesterday ‘there’s an old Chinese saying better to have a diamond with a flaw than a perfect pebble’. One can only speculate as to which particular flaw that Murray has, but you get the feeling that Petch is a little biased! But where o where has Stan gone, Roger should definitely try for the No 1 spot because you have to wonder about the Davis Cup. So c’mon Roger x

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  7. About Murray-Djokovic match,I am afraid Murray will offer little resistance to Djokovic since for the time being he has accomplished what he wanted to do and that was to get a berth for London. What is more, Djokovic is so hungry to not let go the chance of finishing at number one and Murray with so many matches in the last few weeks may run out of gas in the tussle with Djokovic. On the other side, Raonic is hungry and lost the last few matches against Federer in straight sets and should be planning to get some strategy to give a blow to Federer’s chances of finishing the year at No 1. I am pretty nervous but there is no other way than to wait and hope for the best

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    Vily Reply:

    Yep, this is simply getting reduculous.

    If Novak beats Kohlschreiber, Monfils, Murray, Nishikori/ Ferrer, then damn – he is really in the zone.

    On the other side, Roger will have a hard time against Raonic and Berdych because it’s slow conditions and that helps the big server because it allows them to pop that serve and then go for the 1-2 punch.

    At the same time, the ball is bouncing relatively low and it is still indoors. I want Roger to at least make the finals here. If monster Novak beats everyone then fine.. But then again he might be gassed by the final. I mean come on. The Murray match better go in the three sets and also if he plays against Nishikori.. this is reduculous. A nasty draw and the chipwit is freaking winning.

    Roger has to keep going here. Hopefully the fact that Roger plays before Djokovic will be a factor as well.

    Allez Roger!

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    Ben chia Reply:

    Hi Vily, given the form Murray is in, it should be a 3 setter with Nole. I think its 50-50 and could go either way. Which is good for fed. Our champ should have no problems taking care of matters in his own half by downing Raonic & then Birdy. High expectations from a fed fan but aren’t we all? :-)

    I’m probably in low majority of predicting a Murray-Fed final. Regardless, this year’s title race for #1 has been most exciting by far.

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    Vily Reply:

    Well, technically speaking Roger and Murray are the most in-form players right now but Novak is Novak. If he is taken out by Murray, it will be one tough tough final.. But I doubt it.. Freaking Novak man. Choke a little, please! :-)

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  8. Is this indoors?!! Is it the same surface that Roger won in 2011?! Seriously what’s gonna stop Roger winning Bercy would be the rubbish courts. The other obvious concern is Roger’s played a lot of tennis. It is starting to show. Hope he still has enough to cross the finish line. Anything short of super sharp will not get it done against Birdshit and Djoker, if he and they get there.

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  9. Hey Veronica,

    I realize Roger is pacing himself – but he DOES look a little tired. I hope he has plenty left in reserves, because he’ll definitely need it. Soon! And the courts may not help either …

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