Federer Takes the Fall to Seppi in Melbourne, Nadal Progresses Comfortably

Well so much for #18. Guess we will just have to wait some more. Or forever. This could be the end of Federer 5.0 in which case #18 once again becomes highly doubtful. I joined the match somewhere in the second set after Roger lost the first set. He then got broken at 4-4 in the second set after letting a sliced backhand from Seppi go and it dropped in. It was a very poor leave and Seppi would serve for the set. Roger then broke back when he got very lucky with a net cord. I thought Roger 5.0 was still around because that is exactly the kind of thing that he would do. But I was wrong. He lost a 4-1 and 5-3 lead in the tie-break to lose it 5-7. That was very unlike Federer 5.0. He was now two sets to love down and in deep shit. He then started fighting back as you would expect and got the break in the third game. He won the third set 6-4 and there was still hope. It looked like he was playing himself back into form.

But at the start of fourth set his confidence all of a sudden seemed to be lacking again. And the longer the fourth set dragged on the less his chances became of winning. They headed into a tiebreak where Roger got a break at 4-4 with a tremendous backhand pass. He had two serves to square the match, but instead of winning them and forcing a deciding set he lost both serves and the match. Again, very unlike Federer 5.0. It has to be said that passing shot on match point from Seppi was unreal, but Roger should never have been at 5-6 so there are no excuses. Just a very poor match. When I said in my last post I expect Roger to win in straight sets I meant Roger 5.0, not this rubbish version. It was just mentally a very poor performance and reminded me of the 2013 version of Roger. In fact, it was very strange and I have no doubt Nadal’s resurgence against Smyczek messed with his sub -conscious again.

And all of a sudden the ever reliable serve disappears…

People on Facebook don’t believe me, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that this Roger would have been destroyed by Nadal worse than he got destroyed last year if they met in the semis. And I am free to write my opinion anyway. I never required anyone to agree with me. This was just too weird a loss for there not to be something else going on than fatigue. He is 10-0 against Seppi and have only ever lost one set. Now all of a sudden he can hardly win a set. People are also all of a sudden praising Seppi for how well he played, but it does nothing to disprove the fact that he would have won a set at most against Federer 5.0. Your opponent plays as well as you allow him to. End of story. It was a piss poor performance compared to the quality we have gotten used to from Federer 5.0. Some people are saying it was just a bad day at the office. Federer 5.0 never lost due to a ‘bad day the office’. He found a way to get through it.

But whatever helps them to get over the loss. As for me, this may be the end of Federer 5.0 and maybe he wasn’t the mental giant I thought he was after all. The real test was always gonna come when Nadal was back in the picture and he came up way short. Now Nadal has an open road to the final unless something crazy happens. He already destroyed Sela 6-1, 6-0, 7-5 today. Next he faces Anderson who has a big game but is a serial choker. Then it’s Birdshit and don’t even get me started on that clown. Fedfans are now shifting their hope to Murray, who Nadal has beaten seven out of the last eight times they played. Lol. Well, we will see. Tennis is unpredictable like we once again saw today, but I wouldn’t even be surprised if Nadal now wins the title. And if he does that the GOAT debate will be close to over. But at least Djokovic is still around. I was close to giving up on the Australian Open after Roger’s loss today, but that was just the Fedfan in me throwing a hissy fit.

The end of Neonerer

There is still a lot to look forward to in Melbourne. I’m kinda getting tired of this whole player fan thing anyway. I just want to watch tennis without being dependent on the result of a particular player or worrying about silly GOAT debates. There is no such thing as a GOAT anyway and probably never will be. It is a fun idea to play with but should never be taken too seriously. Who knows what is next for Roger. Apparently he is talking about playing Dubai but he can clearly use a break now. I think we will continue to see Nadal rise now in which case Roger may slump again. They alternate like that and unless Roger steps up and faces Nadal down in slams himself Nadal could win two or more slams this year. If Roger doesn’t want Nadal to surpass him then he will have to do the stopping himself. Djokovic has already shown he can’t keep Nadal at bay by himself. There is no hiding.

 

Highlights:

Presser:

Posted in Australian Open, Grand Slams.

98 Comments

  1. Hi Ru-an, so it ends. Quite abruptly and unexpectedly. Agree with you on 2 particular observations. Fed played weird against someone who lost 10 times to him prior. No chance he would have survived Nadull. The 2nd point(I didn’t want to acknowledge this) was that Nadull 5 set escape messed with his subconscious. After so many years of conditioning, it shouldn’t be such a surprise. Fed5.0 was a thrill whole it lasted. It might come back for rest of the year. AO is just the first part of a long season. But no denying Nadull’s Bullshit and mind games working like a charm. Career slam for Nadull? Hell, with this guy…who knows?
    Anyway, Thks for keeping this blog up. It’s a way for “some” fedfans to find solace, bitch, unpack and find closure. Hope you keep it going till fed retires. Cheers!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Ben Chia. I have enjoyed your comments a lot since you showed up here. You fit in well here, and it’s for people like you who I keep this blog going. The problem with Fed 5.0 lasting is that if Nadal is that deeply into his sub-conscious then he will continue to disappear if Nadal continues to rise, which is why I said this may well be the end of Fed 5.0. I was hoping Fed 5.0 is so mentally strong that he is ready to slay the Nadal demon once and for all but I guess that was just a nice dream that will never become a reality.

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  2. Yeah, it sucks. Who knows though? I am not sure Nadal is as invincible as he used to be. People are on to him. I wouldn’t take that match against Sela to mean much. Let’s see how he does against the big boys. And I still can’t see him beating Djokovic here, but who knows.

    I have to say, other posters find something interesting in these younger players, but for me none of them comes close to the sheer aesthetic pleasure of watching Federer. I just tune out. The only thing that kind of brightens my day if Fed is out is if Nadal loses. Not saying that’s “nice” of me, but it’s the truth.

    I think Federer was burnt out, tired. It may be, as you say, Nadal got into his head too, but he had played a ton of tennis up to then. That’s the consequence of sustained winning. Who knows, maybe he was feeling his back too. The Davis Cup thing wasn’t that long ago. I hope he takes a nice long break, skips most of the clay season except the FO and maybe Madrid and then concentrates on Wimbledon.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    The consequence of sustained winning is confidence. It’s losing that causes tiredness and burnout. This loss doesn’t make any sense if you think Nadal had nothing to do with it.

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  3. Nice Ru-an. I appreciate your attitude towards tennis and also Roger in particular. Ofcourse there is also a lot left to look out for in this AO. I somehow feel that it’s Murray’s turn this time around to make the finals and maybe even win it. There were indications during the start of this season that Murray could be a factor at this AO there is no reason to believe otherwise just because nadal seems to be near his devastating form. Murray might not have beaten nadal lately oflate but hes had a few routine wins over nadal at slams, including AO 2010 qf. So it’s not totally out of question.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well yeah I agree with you Nakul it is not out of the question but Murray has a similar record in slams to Nadal although slightly better at 2-7. It depends on Nadal’s form. If he is in full flow by SF time then Murray stands very little chance.

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  4. “Well that escalated quickly”
    Ron Burgundy quotes aside, Ru-an you are absolutely right. It’s always been about Nadal. Even most of the titles and finals he made last year prove your point. Take Dubai, Nadal wasn’t there, Fed plays brilliantly to take the title, right after he takes an arse-kicking in Melbourne. At Wimbledon, Fed takes confidence from Rafa’s poor record on grass and hey hey comes so close to winning! He has an awesome North American hard court season, why? No Nadal. Shanghai, an ill Nadal loses first match, Fed plays awesome tennis to take the title. Basel, practically the same. No Nadal at the O2 either, only a back tweak denies Roger.
    The annoying thing is that there is a solution, only Roger is too stubborn and proud to try it. Hire a sports psychologist. Those guys can work wonders!
    Thanks for keeping this blog going, I read all your posts, you rock.
    Also, I’ve lost track with this whole Roger 3.0 4.0 5.0 thing. Maybe it would be a good idea for a post for morons like me haha.
    Take care

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well you are not a moron if you follow this blog ;-) Roger 1.0 = 2004-2007. Roger 2.0 = 2009- 2010(AO). Roger 3.0 = 2012. Roger 4.0 = 2014. Oops, must have gotten confused somewhere myself! Lol. It is just the different versions of Roger when he rises. Pretty simple and sorry if I confused you. And you are absolutely right about it being all about Nadal’s absence last year. That is a problem for Roger because he shouldn’t be at the mercy of another player if he wants to be known as the GOAT. Thanks for the blog follow.

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    Nakul Reply:

    Ru-an, let me help you out a bit here if you don’t mind. Fed 4.0 – 2014(upto US Open). Fed 5.0 – Shanghai 2014 – present (hopefully still existing). Infact I couldn’t quite figure out when the transformation from 4.0 to 5.0 took place but I’m guessing so.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well you can say that if you want Nakul but I don’t usually make minor distinctions like that. I don’t know how I arrived at 5.0 tbh. Far as I’m concerned there have only been 4 different versions of peak Fed.

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    Jiten Reply:

    No Ru-an no, Fed 5.0 is yet to arrive. The slumping Fed should not have a whole number attached to it, that is why Fed 2013 is 3.5, Fed 2014=4.0, the temporary slump at AO=4.5 and the Fed we all are expecting to show up after the AO heartbreak will be Fed 5.0. :-) I am still optimistic. Whatever I have seen Dull of late, even with all the magic potions, he simply seems to be just holding on to the physicality of the state of the art tennis being played these days. Magic potions can eventually lose their magic, but Fed magic? It is eternal, proof: the behind (between) the legs shot in the last match. The magic of the potions cannot produce an instant reaction like that. Come on Ru-an, cheer up. As you said, ultimately, it is the game of tennis we should cherish, not the particular achievements of an individual. Unless you are living in the poles, a bright morning will always welcome you after a dark night. :-) :-)

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I am cheered up, contrary to many Fedfans who are shattered. A lot to look forward to at the AO like I said :-)

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    Charlie Reply:

    Good post. No reason to be dispirited because of one tournament. Since the French, Roger has only lost pre-QF in two tournaments if I remember rightly: Paris and this tournament. In most of the others he made at least semis and finals in a lot of them. No reason to panic. I have come up with a rule for myself. Three early losses at slams in a row and we have trouble. At 2014 AO I was incredibly nervous because I knew another early exit would be terrible after two in a row.

    Sorry for the long post by the way :-)

    Charlie

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    Charlie Reply:

    Wow, thought my post was long, then scrolled down the page :0

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  5. I am surprised that Roger talked about looking forward to a break while playing the Australian open and particularly before this match. Federer (any version) has never said anything remotely like that. I also didn’t see the fed box get behind him. Something is wrong but i cant nail it. Nadal would have been a factor in the QF and not so early.

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  6. The problem for us, fans is that we obsess too much. It’s certainly true for me. When you get involved in following your favorite player for many years, these losses mean much more.

    I mean this obsession and Quest and BEL18VE for Number 18 is getting to be exhausting, especially, if you take a step back and see what’s actually happening. Roger has now lost prior to the QFs in 4 out of his last 7 Majors. In the other 3 he did well – F and 2 SF.

    But in the end of the day, Roger is getting older and older. There are a ton of players who are hungrier and ready to win.

    I actually disagree with Ru-an about Nadal beating Federer here. The reason is that if somehow Roger mustered the win yesterday, he would have absolutely demolished by Kyrgios. Did you see how he just destroyed the other guy yesterday. I could see him Whoop Roger as well.

    And that’s the SAD truth.

    It used to be that Roger would win Majors at will.

    Then he would reach Finals at will and only lose to Nadal.

    Then he lost to Del Potro. Then to Soderling and Berdych. That stopped his Consecutive SF streak. So no more SF at will.

    Then he lost to Stakhovsky so no more QF streak either.

    Basically now we can’t even “BOOK” him to the QF and SF.

    It’s now either he gets an easy draw like the one in French Open 2013 and U.S. Open 2014 where at least he should make finals and he chokes and doesn’t take advantage.

    Or we get a brutal draw like 2015 Australian Open and he loses in the 3rd round.

    That unpredictability is REDICULOUS. And I am sick and tired of it. I want to basically not Follow Roger unless and until he makes another GS semi at least. Which he’ll probably lose anyway because it will be either Djokovic or Nadal across the next.

    Maybe we should just kill off that stupid dream anyway.

    And if Nadal is to take this AO, then without a doubt, he’ll become the Greatest, having won at least 2 Slams each.

    Just think about it though – Roger has been more consistent. Hardly skips any tournament. Continues to play. Yet, somehow those achievement could be very much ERASED if Nadal who skips half of the year, gets surgery, etc. and then somehow wins the BIG ones.

    Yes, because in tennis, no one cares if you win 5 tournaments. But if you win 1 SLAM, you are better. And that’s the approach that Rafa is using and that’s why so far it’s working for him. He feels fresh now, after yesterday’s win. No surprise after that grueling 4 hour match prior. Smooth sails, anyone?!

    This road is just about to get even worse. We have to suffer through possibly at least 2 Nadal Slams this year and be at the mercy of this “great champion”

    Never in my wildest dreams did I envision this. 2010 seems SUCH a LoooooooooNG time ago – When Roger was sitting on SWEET 16 and Nadal on 6 GS……

    [Reply]

    Florian Reply:

    Roger is declining on a very high level since 2010, but this doesn’t mean that he can’t win a major anymore. If it won’t happen, it’s also fine. For me it is unbelievable that he is still one of the best with 33 even though they did everything to favor the likes of Nadal and Djokovic.
    And no worries, there is no GOAT and even if Nadal surpasses Roger in terms of Grand Slam titles, he will never reach Roger’s status.

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    Joseph R. Reply:

    hi all..

    Great stuff all over the site, from Ruan as usual and all commenters. Thought I’d throw something out that I thought about in the car a moment ago when I was thinking of how disappointing this loss is. Roger really has never had to have much of a ‘mental’ game…he was so dominant for so long that he could simply play without thinking much about it and know he was going to win…and rightfully so. He started to believe the ‘hype’ (though i don’t say it was undeserved – the hype was deserved and backed up) but the problem is that in psychology, a field I know very well, no matter how good one is, it is a very, very dangerous thing to start believing the kind of God statements that are said about yourself. One must always approach each day with a respectful attitude toward one’s skill, because humility is not only important for internal health, it is important in sports, tennis especially, to realize that point-to-point, one can be outplayed by the opponent. After all, these guys are all pros and if there is someone on the opposite side of the court, they do in all fact have a chance of winning, no matter how small that may be – they are, after all, right there and have the only chance in the world at that moment and that chance is not ZERO. And if they couple that actual chance with mental strength to sustain them for a two or three hour match, they can, calculably, win the match. Roger, however, is (by me, too) loved and admired and bowed down to every single day of his life. I think, sadly, it has gone to his head in a way that it has never gone to Nadal’s. I really can’t stand much about Nadal and also think he has cheated with PEDs over the years (repeatedly), but the one thing you can say is that he is a mental GIANT. Remember the 5 match points against Verdasco at AO at the tourney that Fed and all of us cried at when he lost? That tournament was unreal for Nadal, as are so many others in that he will battle like a caged, wounded dog. Perhaps part of the reason that we love Roger so much, is that he does not display those animal tendencies that can be very useful but also so ugly. I think Roger has the grace of royalty, but does not have the fighting heart of a front line soldier, more like the fighting spirit of a genius general, which is good but the generals don’t get bloody on the battlefield.

    And because he doesn’t and largely has not had to do so, we must also realize that Roger reaches a point in a match where he cannot even draw upon the experience of fighting for his life. He just kind of gives up, and it saddens us so much.

    Sadly, I think the world will (unfairly, btw) judge Nadal as the GOAT very soon. Though he doesn’t even have half the records that Fed does, the one thing that could arguably make that GOAT debate legit, is that he might have as many Slams as Rog but done so with so damn many injuries (silent suspensions?) and had he been in those tourneys, maybe he’d be at 20 or 22. I think we all agree that Rog should be at 20 minimum – Del Potro USO, Nadal AO, and the big Wimbledon with Nadal.

    I used to get so upset when Rog lost the matches I thought he shouldn’t (like Seppi) but now I kind of expect him to just fold very very very quickly if he is even mildly being outplayed. Roger is such a natural, beautiful player, that he has never had to learn fighting skills like Nadal or Djoko or even Murray.

    Federer’s blessing AND curse is that he was graced with a natural talent that tennis has never seen and might never see again. But because these are pros, if Fed’s level drops just 1 percent, these guys know how to take advantage of it, even if it is for just one match of their whole lives. Look at Delpo – he will never win another slam for sure and may never even play tennis again, but he took advantage of a man whose level dropped for only a few minutes at the end and who did not know how to fight the alleycat who surprised him on his planned walk on the golden streets to the trophy. I’m sure Seppi was as shocked as all of us at how easily Roger folded at the big points.

    Just thought I’d throw this in for what it’s worth, maybe not much. I was never much of a sports watching fan at all growing up and only came to it when I saw Fed fifteen years ago. I’m back to my non-sports persona again and actually hate so much of what pro sports signifies (primarily money, money, money) and now watch Fed when he’s still in the last rounds of a tourney, not because I am a fair weather fan, but because I think that Roger doesn’t in himself have the same kind of desire to win early in a round that could compensate for feeling a bit under the weather or something – I just know that it is often likely he will just kind of throw in the towel and while I love him so much, I think we as fans deserve more. I know that is asking a lot, but the truth is that seeing a match like Seppi (I broke down and watched it against my gut feelings) it was kind of clear that there is something in Roger that (especially with Nadal in the same tourney) makes him fall apart and I think, frankly, it disrespects us to see him just fold up so quickly. Is that too hard on Rog? If so, I’m sorry, just had to say these words. I don’t hate Rog or wish him poorly, it’s just kind of like supporting a friend for ten years who right at the hard times of her life just gives up and you just have say, “Hey, you’re amazing – please friggin’ believe it, I can’t believe for you anymore alone, you have to do it yourself.”

    Thanks for listening.

    [Reply]

  7. Quite the surprising loss, but what can you do? It’s already in the past, no point in dwelling on it. I’ll be supporting Stan and Nishikori for the title now; they’ve both proven they’re capable of beating Nadal and Djokovic, so I think there’s a chance one of them can do it here. Sometimes I feel like just enjoying tennis to, Ruan. If you put too much stock in one player, even Roger, you’ll end up disappointed more often than not.

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    Vily Reply:

    I agree with you, Chris.

    Apart from Roger, objectively speaking, this Australian Open has been one of the most exciting GS in recent memory. I really enjoy watching this tournament. So many guys coming up. So many names still left in the tournament. So many potential great Round of 16 matchups. Simply amazing. Murray vs Dimitrov/ Seppi vs Kyrgios/ Nadal vs Anderson and Berdych vs Tomic. Simply great to watch. Anderson did well to shut Gasquet yesterday so I am not counting him out either. Obviously to get this far, he’s got game..

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yup gonna be interesting for sure. Tomorrow already pretty much all the matches will be interesting. Will be interesting to see what Kyrgios does against Seppi. Also Nadal/Anderson and Murray/Dimitrov. Least interesting probably Berdych vs Tomic. Would be nice to have Roger vs Kyrgios but lets face it he doesn’t deserve to be there.

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    Yep. He was frankly a shadow of himself this AO… ;-)

    [Reply]

  8. Hey Ru-an, 5 things I want to say to you and to us all:

    1) You wrote a good and honest post. Thank you for that. I liked it a lot. And I agree with the “subsconcience-Rafa-thing”. No denying in that.

    2) Roger fought and fought, mostly against himself I think. He was messy, irratated, all over the place, made a lot of mistakes, was playing passive instead of aggressive, was playing way too safe which he normally doesn’t do, was taking almost no risks which he always takes and his moves were beeing read by Seppi. He has himself to blame for this loss, I agree with that. But Ru-an, what also happened was that it was not his day and not his match. Nothing worked today. He should have overcome that, but he didn’t. It is not an excuse for the loss, but it did play a little part.

    3) But Ru-an, you are also giving Seppi way way too less credit. These guys, who lose like more than 10 times to Roger, they come out and play knowing they will lose, so why not take chances?? Seppi REALLY played the match of his life. Give him atleast that much credit. He deserves it. Roger was all over the place, but Seppi was calm, collective, incredible focused and concentrated (even during the changeovers, like he was in trance). He played aggressive and took risks. Stayed completely concentrated during the entire match. To be honest, he played like Roger. I swear, if Seppi wasn’t playing Roger, I would be rooting for him. I LOVED the way Seppi played. Unfortunately it was against my hero.
    When I came to work, my collegues started to make fun of me. You know how I answered? “I love Roger, he is my hero, but he didn’t play good and Seppi did and deserved to win. Simple as that.”

    4) You write: “but I wouldn’t even be surprised if Nadal now wins the title. And if he does that the GOAT debate will be close to over”.
    Really? That’s it? That’s all it takes to be the Goat? Equal or surpass 17 slams? Then you are the Goat?? What about existing records you have broken? New records you have set and will be almost impossible to equal or surpass? The bar you have raised so other players had to raise their bar and game and level just to compete with you? How about this thing called consistency?? Aks other players (former and present, those who are currently injured and those who had to retire early because of their injury) if they would give their right or left arm just to have Roger’s consistency and injury free career. Do these things mean nothing?? Roger at age 32/33 again raised the bar in 2014 by beeing more aggressive and coming more to the net. Look what is happening? Even the most defensive players, my God, even the servers (servebots) are playing his style. If there is such a thing like the Goat, Rafa can equal or surpass Roger, he will never be the Goat.

    5) And this is to all his haters and fans who AGAIN desert him when he is down and losing… hasn’t 2013 and 2014 learned you guys anything?? Roger is down, but not out. He will be back. 18th slam may come soon or may not, but Roger will be back. And I cannot wait to see some of his fans jump on his bandwagon again :-) After all the tennispleasure Roger gave me…. after all he did for me to make my life better (I won’t go into that), after all he means to me… I can and will get mad and angry at him, but I will never abandon him or leave him just because he is losing a match he should’t have lost. This loss to Seppi doesn’t hurt me, I just feel so so sad for Roger. But I know that he will beat Seppi again. He lost to Robredo and then beat him like 2 or 3 times. Roger gave me the pleasure of his wins, now it is my turn to repay him by standing behind him during his losses. And I will. Because he WILL be back. Maybe not “dominant-Rafa-2013”-back, but he will be back.

    Ps: I think Stan or Nishi will get the job done here.
    And really Ru-an, after the way Roger played, he deserves this kind of a post… just don’t give up on him :-) And please don’t do the same fellow bloggers :-)

    [Reply]

    mridul1 Reply:

    I agree with you Katyani. I would like to add one thing. I am better off with Federer losing to Seppi rather than to Kyrgios or Murray or Nadal, because if fresh, he can always beat Seppi. With Kyrgios, Federer should try not to lose his first encounter. I vividly remember the first two encounters of Federer with Giles Simon, and Federer had hard time beating him in the first encounter in slam and that was Australian Open. It is understandable why Federer does not want to lose to Murray or, all the more, to Nadal

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well you make Roger sound like a loser here unless I misunderstood you Mridul. Clearly he should not be thinking about ‘not losing’. That is not how winners think. They think about winning. I mean I can understand if he doesn’t want to face Nadal if he is playing badly, given all the beatings he took from him. But Kyrgios or Murray? Give me a break. The way he has been playing lately he should not even be scared of playing Nadal. If he can’t beat him now he will never beat him. But I suspect that is a ship that has sailed a long time ago.

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    Mridul1 Reply:

    i am afraid i could not make myself clear. The first thing that methinks is that too much play in the last few months was too much for Federer and so he must have announced in advance that he would take rest after Australian open. Since he may not have enough energy to go all the way he may have subconsciously tanked the match. After all 9 double faults that too at crucial times should mean something.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Terrible loss whichever way you look at it.

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    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Mridul, I agree with you. Better to lose to Seppi. Like Robredo, he will beat him again and more times. To me it would have been worse if he had lost to Kyrgios. A “kid” he even practised with. If Nick beat him, all the young upcoming players would think that Roger is very beatable. Let the “aura” of Roger make them scared for a little while longer :-)

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    Jiten Reply:

    Oh Katyani, so sweet, so much love for our Hero! You deserve a hug from Rog. :-) :-)

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    elizabeth Reply:

    Katyani you have written what many of us are thinking. Roger didn’t play like his usual self, if nothing else tells us that then the double faults do. Having said that Seppi played well and if indeed Roger has to lose I’d much rather he lost to a guy who just gets on with the game and has no other agenda on court. Although I know it’s wrong as a tennis fan I’d rather watch Roger lose than watch Nadal win! Do I think Nadal can play tennis..yes..but to me when all is done and dusted I still think that Federer will be the one remembered for tennis. Much the same as Borg and McEnroe nobody denies McEnroe could play tennis but when you think and hear commentators speak of Borg well that says it all. I hope Roger comes back rested and refreshed and eager to play. As for the AO I just hope anyone but Nadal, and it’s nothing to do with GS numbers it just bugs me that Nadal gets away with so mutch and you have to blame the powers that be, Nadal was called by the Umpire once time what about all the other times in the same game? I read a post that Nadal had asked not to play in the afternoon, Uncle Toni said that he thought he sun was too much for Rafa and that he would be better if he could play at night, everyone but everone plays into Nadal’s hands!

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    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Elizabeth, thanks for your comment. Since Wimby 2012 (Rosol match) all I can think about when I see Rafa and the Great Uncle Toni is: “And the Oscar goes to” :-) :-)

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    Katyani Reply:

    Yes I do bro. I DO deserve a big hug from Roger :-)

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I don’t really know what to say to this post. I think you misunderstood a lot about what I said.

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    Katyani Reply:

    Like you, I am just giving my opinion on the matter and the way I see it…

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Again you misunderstood me. But that’s ok.

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  9. Thanks for the great article Ruan.
    So sad that Fed lost to Seppi. I still can’t believed the Nadal resurgence affected his play in this match, it just seems to early in the tournament; unlike previous subconscious tanks various US Open semi finals and to Robredo US Open 2013.
    I have the fantasy that Federer would finally overcome his demons and kick Nadal’s ass in a GS post 2009.
    This is petty of me but I do hope someone else stops the Spaniard from lifting the crown. Hopefully Kyrgios makes it to Semis to face him and hoping that Djokovic is in the final if not.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    You’re welcome. Well the more he gets beaten up by Nadal the more Nadal affects him. Last year was the worst beating yet so I think it can affect him.

    [Reply]

  10. Ruan,

    1) Nadal never wins when he wears pink. I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t go past round 4.

    2) He’s on a comeback trail. His *best* possible performance here could be getting to the semi-final. There, I would expect Murray to give him an AO 2010 style drubbing.

    3) Even if he gets to the AO final, Nole in an AO final is unbeatable. Nadal was in very good shape in AO 2012, and yet he lost. So, Nadal winning is essentially close to an impossibility. The stars have to align for him to win which means Murray losing before semis, Nole losing before the final, and nobody else being in Stan Wawrinkaish form like last year. Ain’t gonna happen.

    So cheer up buddy. No need to get downcast ! Fed’s #17 slam record is well-protected.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Not downcast. Just tired of the whole player fan thing like I said. My enjoyment of a tourney is not dependent on how Roger performs anymore.

    [Reply]

    eric Reply:

    Good for you, Ru-an. That’s the healthy and true tennis fan way to be. I don’t get destroyed by RF losses the way some here do and still tremendously enjoy the GS tennis BUT… once Roger is out I am not compelled to stay up watching all night, that’s for sure. Only Roger can get me to screw up a week of sleep. As for the rest of the discussion… For me it is undeniable that Rafa has an emotional impact on Roger. First RF said he was taking a break after the tournament, then the imaginary bee sting, then the bad feeling that Seppi match would be complicated. This is Roger’s subconscious instincts telling him that there was danger coming and he needed to flee instead of fight. Sad but true as I truly believe that if 5.0 showed up, Roger could have taken Rafa in this event. Will be much harder to do so in the coming weeks and months now that Rafa is gaining confidence and winning matches. Oh well, what can you do. We are blessed to still watch RF play and there is always Wimbledon. :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    What a great observation about the things that happened which was Roger’s sub-conscious. I didn’t think of this but now that you mention I realize it is so true. The feeling that the Seppi match would be complicated is the dead giveaway. It is scary how deeply rooted Nadal is in his sub-conscious and it is sad, because even the new mentally strong Fed is scared to death of him. It’s really sad to see. And of course Nadal takes notice of all of this and sees it as a free ticket to GOAThood.

    [Reply]

  11. I’be been thinking and simply I am trying to figure out what Roger needs to do in order to be successful in Slams. Last year he played a ton of matches and it benefitted him in most of the Slams. However, it is hard to figure out what is the best strategy going forward.

    Last year he played a ton of finals and was very consistent. Unfortunately, Roger knows that his body won’t allow him to keep doing this. So, I realky don’t know.

    If he skips too many, his ranking will drop and he may even drop in form. However, playing too much gets him exhausted and he appears fatigued in the Slams.

    It’s particularly true in couple of occasions:

    2012 Australian Open – Roger was fresh – just ran into Nadal

    2012 Frencch – Roger played a lot of matches leading into it – by the Semi, he ran out of gas

    2012 Wimbledon – Honestly, I think that he was slightly exhausted there but for some reason, he was able to win that (Very interesting) He was 30 at the time though.

    2012 US Open – Clearly tired and the fact the he just played Cincy (even though he won) – it costed him. He was fatigued.

    2013 Australian Open – Maybe some fatigue from the Brazil trip – but he was already starting his decline from the 2012 form..

    2013 French – No clue what happened there. I believe that he wasn’t fatigue per se but his confidence was down.

    2013 Wimbledon – Simply terrible and inexplicable loss – but the time for the new racquet had come

    2013 US Open – Not necessarily tired but his confidence and way of playing was way off.

    2014 Australian Open – A brilliant tournament which I was very happy with apart from the loss to Nadal. Roger was cruising through the early rounds as he Should and it was beautiful to see.

    2014 French – I think that Roger came in ok – not too fatigued but ran into a resurgent player. Should not have lost.

    2014 Wimbledon – played the week prior so he was in form. Also had a favorable draw and www close to winning.

    2014 US Open – this is the tournament that could have been. Roger obviously came in hot but I believe that if he had won Rogers Cup, he would have SKIPPED Cincy and then he would have been fresher. But because he lost and chose to play Cincy, even though he won he came in the US Open and even though he made semis which was great he was burned out.

    2015 Australian Open – Clearly fatigued. If he had won Brisbane last year, he would have not played it this year. But because he didn’t, he chose to play it this year and that tired him even more (even though he won it)

    So based on all of this info, I think that the lesson to be learned is that in order to improve your chances at the Slams (especially at the age Roger is in) the priority should be to be fresh and well rested. Confidence is also important but one can do that in practice.

    I almost feel that if Roger is well rested and prepped, he could go into a Slam even without a ton of confidence, but be able to GET confidence from winning his early matches and advancing in the draw. That is much better than winning a lead up event which supposedly gives you confidence but burns you out so that even if you are confident, you are too tired to execute in the Slam.

    When you are 26, your body can take the abuse of playing all the tournaments. Last year Roger played that way even though he was 32 but it’s clearly costing him here. But I think that if he plays less and just pick his spots at the Slams, he’ll be able to sooner or later get to another Slam SF (he’s made a Slam SF every year since 2003 for sure) and maybe push for a final. These events only show up 4 times a year. And there are a ton of points to be gained if one does well.

    It’s about being smart and listenint to your body. Sometimes the right decision is to skip a tournament rather than playing in it. We’ll see.

    Roger’s scheduling for the next couple of years will determine what his priorities are and what he can achieve. I know deep down that Roger’s game at his best is STILL good enough to win a Slam.

    But right now it’s about being fresh, rested, prepared and ready. At the same time the draws will also play a key role. And also, what happens to Nadal and everyone else. Can they get knocked out (like when Murray won Wimbledon when Roger and Rafa got ousted) and can Roger take advantage?! If he is SMART and looks at the BIG picture, he’ll have a chance. But if he keeps spinning and playing a ton of matches, then it will not happen.

    I’d rather see him play like 10 tournaments a year but go all out and be fresh then play in 18 and half-ass it most of the time. Last year was the exception. This year will set the final chapter of Roger’s career…

    [Reply]

    eric Reply:

    Confidence is huge for Roger, it’s the difference between him being great and being the greatest.

    [Reply]

  12. I watched the entire match. In Seppi’s first game Fedeer had a break pint but threw it away. his forehand was terribly off, I thin he must have made 40 forehand errors or something.

    Yet looking at the stats above, he actually won more points than Seppi (?!) but served a terrible 9 double faults and had a 59% first serve…this form a guy who typically is in 65-72% range.

    This really is due to fatigue, and probably more mental than physical. It’s hard to be expected to win all the time and I think it got to him. Physically, he was slower to balls and that probably led to all the forehand errors.

    Yet he was up 5-3 in the 1st tiebreaker and up again 5-4 in the 4th set tiebreaker with 2 serves to come. He proceeded to lose the next 3 points. He allowed Sepi to be the agressor; and on the final point Fed returned well and hit a good forehand, but Seppi came up with a very lucky pass.

    Compare to the guy in Brisbane, who after his 1st match, was unplayable for most of the rest until the middle of theRaonic match. THAT Roger would have destroyed thsi Seppi off the court.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah you summed it up. His fh was woeful with shanks all over the place, he served 9 DFs out of nowhere and his first serve % dropped from recent heights, and very bad choking in the breakers where he have been so clutch of late. And like I said never mind the amazing pass from Seppi. He gave Seppi the confidence to hit that shot by losing both his serves. This was the old mentally weak Fed. I wonder why!

    [Reply]

    Bharata Reply:

    Yes we can’t make excuses for him, it was poor play and it was like 2013, he wasn’t really enjoying himself out there, like he knew from the beginning it would be a ‘bad day’ (I read somewhere that he actually said that afterwards).

    There is a certain calmness and nonchalance that he has when he’s in the zone and that was missing throughout.

    Still lhe could easily have come back; this is the guy who came back versus Haas in 2009 and Monfils just a few months ago, Benneteau in 2012.

    It’s funny though, I suspect if Federer had broke in the first game and won the 1st set, he woudl have won in 3 or 4, just from teh confidence and being a great front runner.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    It’s just getting worse with the Nadal situation as time goes by. It used to be a problem if he met him in the next round. Now Nadal just has to be in his half of the draw and all that calmness that Fed 4.0 showed after he hired Edberg is right out the window. Next thing we know Nadal only has to play the same tournament then he falls apart. And after that Nadal only has to be in the same solar system etc.

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    Yeah soon even if Nadal is injured Roger will still worry about him, and after that even if he is dead lol.

    [Reply]

  13. Ruan, I actually think the recent close calls he had against Monfils, Mayer and Millman help to put this loss into perspective, I mean he almost lost to a guy ranked outside the top 100 lol. When you see Roger pull off this kind of escape, it kind of warns you he might not be so lucky the next time he has an off day, so you can`t always take it for granted that he will be able to turn matches around even when he is struggling. As these matches come down to a few points, there is a very thin margin and sometimes he ends up on the wrong side like in this match. Hope this loss doesn`t affect him too much and that he will come back strong…

    [Reply]

  14. What a tournament. Muller, who is pretty much a challenger events guy with a good serve, ends up beating Isner… Ru-an and others are right; with Fed out maybe we should just enjoy some relatively stress free tennis.

    Tough draw for Fed, but you see the other contenders are cruising through to the 2nd week without dropping sets (apart from Nadal, but of course he’s on crutches). A semi final between Wawrinka and Djokovic would be epic if the real Stan shows up…

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah there is a lot of interesting stuff going on now. First I’d love to see what Nadal does in the next two rounds. Also Murray vs Dimitrov and how far Kyrgios goes. In the top half I dunno if Stan will get past Kei. Probably the top dogs now are Djoker, Kei, Nadoll, and Murray.

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    I simply want Djoker in the final as I strongly believe he is the only one who could stop Dull. Playing beautiful and aggressive tennis cannot win matches on these slow AO courts as evidenced by the Dimitrov loss against Murray.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah now Stan just have to do dull a favor by beating Djoker and Nadal has that second career slam in the bag.

    [Reply]

  15. Well a great post Ruan. I just think that this was the weirdest match i have ever saw of Rog. He wasent distort as he is after loosing. I mean it was like he was glad it was ever if u go by his expressions at the net. I just think he was a bit tired and he just knew he had very little chance give his draw. In the larger scheme of things though this loss is nothing i guess cause we r so spoilt with these big 3 we expect them to make a slam semi every time. Given his draw and age this wasent a big surprise and lets look forward to a great Wimby.

    [Reply]

  16. Ru-an, this was probably your most bitter Blog entry ever, but I agree with every single syllable that you wrote. Fed fans have to face facts: he is mentally destroyed once Nadal comes back into the picture. It makes Roger’s losses at W. and the USO in ’14 a bitter pill to swallow, since Rafa wasn’t a factor in either tournament. I totally believe that had Nadal lost in the second round here at the AO, Roger would have dusted off Seppi comfortably. The moment Fed lost the first set to Seppi, I openly thought “OMG, he’s going to lose this match because he’s afraid to face Nadal.”

    I will always believe he lost those two USO semi’s to Djoker (with 2 MP’s in successive years) because he was terrified to be destroyed by Rafa in a final.

    However, I don’t believe Nadal is going to win this tournament. He is still match rusty and not nearly as match fit as he has been in the past. Current Djoker would beat him easily, probably in straight sets. I even think Muzz has a chance against him in the QF’s. Djoker is playing scary good right now and is rock solid. His fitness is without question superior to Nadal right now.

    But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. If Stanimal shows up in the form he was last year, he could beat Nole. All I know is that if Nadal bags #15 here, it would not only shock the hell out of most people, but that will almost guarantee he will eclipse Roger’s 17 slam count.

    How depressing. And I blame a lot of this on Fed running around crazy in November and December, playing that worthless exo in India for money (as if he needs any more), and various other crap events for Moet champagne. Massive mistake. At 33, he should have wrapped up the DC, gone to Dubai and just chilled until Brisbane.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Great post Candace. Agree with everything you said. And I totally agree that had Nadal lose to Smyczek Roger would have dusted off Seppi in no time. Sad but true. Also the exhos was another retarded move. He could have played the one with Stan at home but that’s it. But that wouldn’t have made any difference to the fact that Nadal’s presence immobilizes him. And finally I also think Nadal is not ready to win this event. But maybe if Stan takes out Djokovic he will give him a chance.

    [Reply]

  17. http://www.wsj.com/articles/federers-reserves-run-out-in-melbourne-1422025236

    ….

    “When he was playing at his peak, he made it look extremely easy, but it’s not,” Murray said. “It’s not an easy thing to do.”

    At 33 years old, Roger Federer is unpredictable. He can be sublime. He can throw in a clunker. He can win a Grand Slam title. He can lose in the third round. It’s strange, even unsettling. But it’s normal. It’s the present. It’s OK. If he can get used to it, the rest of us can too.

    [Reply]

    Eric Reply:

    Ttue that!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I don’t agree with this. I don’t think Roger is unpredictable. I think he has been very consistent of late and won even when the chips were down. But as soon as Nadal is back in the picture he collapses. The above writer clearly does not understand the Fedal dynamic.

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    If that is true, we might as well call it quits. How come when Nadal was struggling with appendicitis, Roger didn’t care and schooled everyone in Basel.

    Nadal was struggling against Smyczek. If anything, it should have pushed Roger to do better.

    To me, the only reasonable explanation is fatigue. What pisses me off, is that Roger has been fatigued before but usually in lesser events, or at worst if he gets tired it’s usually by the time he reaches the quarters and semis.

    If you own someone 10:0 no matter the surface the only explanation as to why you might lose is either an injury or fatigue. That’s it. Nothing to do with confidence. If you are sky high on confidence but your body is not properly rested, you’ll always end up losing. Case in point:

    After Roger won Indian Wells 2012 after beating Nadal he was sky high on confidence. Yet, he lost to Roddick in Miami – after having like a 21:2 record or something. Explanation – Fatigue.

    Therefore, Roger should learn from this and never again do what he did last year:

    BTW – Anderson – Jeez. 3 break points to get the first set and choked. Nadal is goi g to at least the semis and it’s up to Murray (or actually Lyrgios to take him out. Kyrgios might be tired though. Will see. And Murray is mentally weak – although j cuss beaten him before here and did recently beat him in Abu Dhabi. But who knows. Nadal should have been out and now is cruising.

    Jesus. He was about to throw up and now looks consistently dangerous… Shit…

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Whatever helps you cope Vily. I didn’t make this post to make people feel bad after all.

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    Yep. This is not necessity easy for us Fedfans. In the end of the day though, either 1 of 3 things will happen:

    1. Nadal will win the whole thing – the worst possible result and just shocking considering his illnesses, excuses, magic potions, preparations, etc. etc. It will just be one of those ANTI-Climactic finishes that just should NOT happen.

    2. Djokovic will win – it’s the lesser evil. If it’s between him and Nadal. I’ll take him but I’d rather not see him win because his confidence will skyrocket, thus making him impossible to be even by Roger. Also, he’ll have 5 AOs – one more than Roger – something I am not particularly thrilled about.

    3. Anyone to win – Kei, Murray – anyone but Novak and Rafa – and I’ll take it. It will the best possible outcome – Nadal will be crushed and Djokovic also – simply the best – thus making Roger’s early exit a thing of the past.

    Please, let Scenario 3 happen. It will be awesome if it does. By the way, what if Grigor beats Murray today. Highly doubt but you never know. If he does, I think that his confidence will rise and we all remember how close he was to taking a 2:1 set lead against Nadal last year. You just never know.. Let’s hope for the best.

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Vily and Ru-an, you know what it is… you are actually BOTH RIGHT. Ru-an, there is no denying the mental-Rafa-thing. Period. And Vily, you are also absolutely right about the fatique-thing. Roger played a lot. And I mean a lot. And if he was 19 or 25, that would have been different. Last night, after I commented here, I was thinking about something Ru-an said or someone else: “If Smyczek had beaten Rafa, no way Roger would have lost to Seppi”. But…. is that NOWADAYS true?? I mean, at Wimby 2013 Rafa lost to Darcis in the 1st round. If this “thing” was true, then Roger should have beaten Stakhovsky in the 2nd round no matter what. But… he didn’t. Because no matter how much his confidence went up when Rafa was out, sometimes you just run into a player playing the match of his life or you are fatiqued or both.
    I stayed up to watch the Rafa-Anderson match. The “Roger who beat Bolelli” would NOT have beaten this Rafa, because of tiredness and because of Rafa’s lack of tiredness. But the “Roger who beat all and Raonic at Brisbane” would not only have beaten Rafa, but Andy as well.
    Rafa was NOT impressive against Anderson in the 1st set. Anderson could have and should have won the 1st set. Andy had so much trouble against Dimi, Roger would have beaten Andy in 3 tight sets or 4.
    So you are both right in my opinion: the mental-Rafa-thing and fatique. And ofcourse Seppi playing great.

    [Reply]

  18. I have a theory… Roger only lost because you are a no show Ronnie aka our secret millionaire :-)
    #missingyoualot :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah strange absence from her. Usually she at least comes around for the AO. Hope she’s ok.

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    Trust me Ru-an, she is spending all the millions she has :-) Really Veronica, I only have 25 vacation days, how can you take so long vacations?? Please lets talk about all your money :-)

    [Reply]

  19. Infuriating stuff from Anderson. I should have known that’s how it would be though.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Lol. I predicted on twitter this will be an easy win for Nadal at the beginning, knowing what a choker Anderson is. Incredible choking from him already.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    The choking just getting worse lol. Serves a DF to get broken for a second time and trail 0-4.

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    I can’t believe he managed a game in the second. Who would be more likely to beat Nadal, Berdych or Tomic? Berdych is probably a little more reliable but Tomic could have the better opportunity depending on how well he’s playing. Not that it matters too much; Berdych will surely win and proceed to lose to Nadal anyway.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah it doesn’t matter Birdshit won easily and will do whatever is in his power to get destroyed by his hero.

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    That’s what Nadal does to you UNLESS you take the few opportunities that he gives. And he ALWAYS will give you opportunities. But it’s up to you to take them.

    Choke at your peril and you’ll be punished. Roger has had a ton of opportunities too in their matches but he almost never ends up taking them. And you have to take them if you are to beat Nadal. On to the semis.

    The question is who has a better chance of winning against him – Murray or Kyrgios. I really hope that Murray steps up.

    Berdych maybe??? Don’t know. Nadal cannot win this slam. Especially after being on the ropes. And after the “no favorite BS comments”

    [Reply]

    Nakul Reply:

    Nadal just said that he needs to play his best tennis to beat Tomas. LOL!!
    Seriously??

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well he says that before every match. All I know is that he was well below his best vs Anderchoke. If he plays that badly vs Birdshit then Birdshit may even win a set. But I think he will play better.

    [Reply]

    Nakul Reply:

    Well Berdych is also going to rewrite history now. He’s about to become the first player to lose 18 consecutive matches to another player.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Good. I couldn’t think of a more deserving player.

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    Yeah I can’t stand Berdych either, I don’t like him as a player nor do I like his attitude.

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    Anderson played so well in the 1st set, after that…. he faded. What irratated me the most was that Uncle Toni was sitting the whole match very relaxed in his chair, with his legs high up, with sunglasses and chewing gum. He literally didn’t have to be worried and wasn’t. He knew Rafa was going to win.

    If ever, then this is the best chance Berdych has to beat Rafa. At AO. Can you imagine this: Rafa will have an easy match winning in 3, while Andy and Kyrgios fight it out in 4 or 5 sets. Meaning who ever wins will be too tired in the SF against a rested Rafa…. Sometimes “Destiny” has a strange sense of humor :-)

    [Reply]

  20. Kyrgios was able to do what Roger couldn’t do the other day – win the 4th set tiebreak with some clutch play.. Big time player. I want him to get to the semis now… Grigor gave back the break. Who knows who is best equipped to take out Nadal:

    Berdych, Murray, Dimitrov or Kyrgios?!!!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Lol @ even suggesting Birdshit. The answer is Murray. Courts too slow for Kyrgios.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Good observation about what Kyrgios did compared to Roger btw. Roger choking almost as bad as Anderson in the 4th set breaker.

    [Reply]

  21. To me, the one guy and the rising star is Kyrgios. This guy HAS the Clutch gene. He’s that good. I am really impressed with him. He may not be as talented as other players but he has the clutch gene. It will be interesting to see between him and potentially Murray – who would prevail? And Griogir screwed up so he’s obviously not ready. He needs to change his coach also.

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    He’s done it. Nadal’s draw just got tougher.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I don’t think Kyrgios can do it. Still very young. At least Dimitrov has been in a slam semi.

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    Actually strike my previous comment. Nadal’s draw just got easier. If Kyrgios faces murray then it could be another 5 setter. The winner may be very tired. Dimitrov cannot beat Nadal at this moment I believe.

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    Murray is currently choking as well, a set up, serving for the second set and lost it to go to a tiebreak, got the early minibreak and is now 4-2 down in the breaker after throwing it away. Sounds exactly like what Roger did…

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Dimitrov was choking too. Nice match now at a set all.

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    I don’t know, Ru-an. Kyrgios has the FEARLESS factor in him. When the chips are down, he doesn’t blink and goes all in. That being sad, it will be very difficult for him to beat Murray. Unless Dimitrov snatches this set, of course…

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    Dimi takes the tiebreak 7-5! 1 set all.

    [Reply]

  22. Good boy, Dimi! I guess you have a little bit of a clutch gene also. Hey! I’d take Grigor or Kyrgios to take Nadal right now over Murray. He’s just not a clutch player. And you need to be clutch in order to take him out. Talent has nothing to do with. Either you got it or you don’t. Remember about Grigor last year!

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    I think the match we will all look back to if Nadal ends up being considered as GOAT over Roger, is that Rome 2006 final. The problem was, every year after that, Rafa and Roger would play the FO final, and Rafa would gain confidence by winning fairly easily every year, to make an assault on Wimbledon. If Roger had won that match, it would probably have been the other way around, with Roger constantly trying to beat Rafa at the FO rather than having to play two difficult finals at Wimbledon. Once Nadal took him to five in 2007 it was pretty much inevitable that Nadal would get the Wimbledont title within a year or two. No surprises there.

    [Reply]

  23. I’d only take Kyrgios because right now Nadal is cruising. If he plays Dimitrov then I am 100% convinced that Nadal will win. Why? because dimi has a one handed backhand and Nadal eats them for breakfast (at least most of the time). If it’s murray then he will probably choke. Not to mention, murray’s game will help get Nadal into a good rhythm. So for me it has to be Kyrgios because Nadal will be slightly more nervous playing him after what happened at wimby. Kyrgios has big game, which Nadal does not like (think soderling, wawrinka 2014, del potro), Kyrgios is fearless right now coz of his age and as Vily said, is clutch. He will have the crowd with him also.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah Kyrgios maybe best chance with the Australian crowd, but you know how Nadal is with revenge. He never loses to the same guy twice.

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    Unless he’s Djokovic!

    [Reply]

  24. I hope Nishi wins the title, because he is a nice and humble guy and I really like his game. It would also be nice if Stan would win it, so he can finally shut all the Rafa fans up, who keep saying that he only won against an injured Rafa and he would never have won against a healthy Rafa. Because as we all know, you cannot beat a healthy Rafa, only an injured Rafa. For personal reasons I don’t want Novak to win it. Rafa winning is like losing faith in tennis and justice. I don’t want Andy to win it too, because he will only need RG then to have a Golden Slam. Something he doesn’t deserve by just winning every slam once.
    But personally…. I would sooooo love it if Ferrer wins AO. He is (after Roger ofcourse) the only player who deserves to win atleast one slam. He is a fighter, never gives up, is so nice, is actually really humble, is real, and I love his English. It is just as bad as mine :-) I know after the match with Simon, he will have almost no energy left for Nishi, but he deserves to win a slam so much….

    [Reply]

  25. What’s the matter with some people on this blog. Federer didn’t lose because Nadal was looming in the later rounds but because Seppi played well and Roger didn’t on the crucial points. We have to come to terms that Roger will lose like this more often than not because his age and that he has a lot more on his plate than most athletes have. Rafa is not married nor does he have the added responsibility of children so it’s a lot easier for him to stay focused. If anyone says that doesn’t affect him it does. I’m sure Nadal will always be a thorn in Roger’s side but I think a lot other factors come into play when it comes to Roger losing. Sure we can speculate and draw the worst possible conclussions but I prefer to think about how lucky we are that he is still playing at the level that he is and is number two in the world and just won Brisbane plus winning over 1000 matches. I believe that if Roger would have won against Seppi he would have fought Nadal tooth and nail, win or lose.

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    I agree with you. Like I said before, the only plausible explanation for Roger’s loss was fatigue and tiredness. He’s to blame for that due to himself making his already shot off season even shorter. But he put himself in that situation because after Nadal pulled out of the IPTL, Roger immediately accepted his place and started tweeting about it. He should have just not even bother with that and just concentrate on the R & R…

    [Reply]

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