Federer Wins 77th Title in Halle to Tie Mcenroe

Allez! Finally we have something to shout about! Roger won his 6th Halle title and 77th title overall to tie John Mcenroe in 3rd for most titles won ever. The two players ahead of them is Connors with 109 titles and Lendl with 94 titles. Catching up with those two will be hard but I’m sure he will pass Mcenroe and be in 3rd place on his own. Nadal is on 57 titles in case you were interested, but of course a huge chunk of those titles came on clay. I feel bad because I never created another match thread in the forum for the final and I missed the match as well, sleeping right through my alarm clock. Oops. I am just glad Roger won the title because it clearly was not easy. The score against Youzhny was 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4, and Roger went to 0-5 for tie breaks in the Halle final. He probably should not have been in a tie break though because he had 3 break points at 40-0 in the opening game on Youzhny’s serve.

He had another break point when he had advantage but could not break. Had he broken he could probably have won this in straight sets. So that’s the first thing to look at. Had he been sharp and confident he would have broken and got the job done in straight sets. But given that he was shooting for his 1st title of the year this is to be expected. What I liked is that there seemed to be an urgency again about Roger. He was going to get the job done no matter what it took. In the tie break Youzhny was serving at 5-3. Roger broke back, held serve, but then got broken again after which Youzhny won the 1st set. As was the case against Haas, Roger would have to come back from a set down. At 4-3 in the 2nd set Roger broke to love after a Youzhny double fault, and then served out the set. At 3-3 and 40-15 in the 3rd set Roger had 2 break points and took the 1st one with a nice backhand pass down the line.

Then at 5-4 Roger held serve to love for his 1st title of the year. This will now take a lot of pressure off Roger and give him the winning feeling back. I think Youzhny played well today. He played well all week. The win over Haas was good too. These matches should give Roger a lot of confidence. It’s been a good week. Looking forward to Wimbledon this will help him a lot too. Can he defend Wimbledon? That’s another story. This run of form from Roger may be a tad late. If he had beaten Haas and Youzhny both in straight sets and looked really sharp it would be easier to believe in his chances. But like I said that was only to expected after a pretty long title drought. The important thing is that he won the title, because it wasn’t easy. I can’t expect more. I am not gonna have huge expectations for Wimbledon.

GOAT!

The first thing to look at will be the draw. Nadal is ranked 5th in the world right now and I’m not sure his results last year will warrant him to be seeded above Ferrer. Obviously none of the top 4 would want to see him in their quarter of the draw but we will see how the 1st week goes. The grass is fast in the 1st week and upsets can happen. Having the type of draw Roger had in Paris would help a lot at Wimbledon, but that won’t happen again. Someone like Tsonga is much more dangerous on grass anyway. You can’t just look at what happened in the last event either. Last year Roger lost in Halle but he won Wimbledon, because he played really well for more than 6 months. If you look at how Roger played over the last 6 months it hasn’t been anything close to last year this time. He was low in confidence struggling for his 1st title of the year.

I think he needs more time to get back to where he was, if that is even possible. I know you all want to hear me say that he will win Wimbledon but I am just being cautious here I suppose. That said, you can’t count him out either. If he comes through the 1st week confidently and his draw works out you never know. At least he now has his first title of the year and that will give him a boost. He must build on that and try to win his matches in the first week of Wimbledon quickly and efficiently. He can’t really afford to show weakness like he did in the 4th round of the French Open. I would love nothing more for Roger to win an 8th Wimbledon and have the record there for himself. I thought having the record at the US Open for himself would be great, but having the record at Wimbledon clearly tops that. If he does that his GOAT status will surely be sealed.

We have been saying his GOAT status is sealed since he won the French Open, but I think if he wins Wimbledon an 8th time that would really be the crowning achievement. He would be the grass GOAT and the hard court GOAT(4 AO’s, 5 USO’s, 6 WTF’s), while Nadal would only be the clay GOAT. No head-to-head or other achievements could change that. 2 > 1. End of story. Time is against Roger though. He needs to win Wimbledon this year or next year. After that it will be virtually impossible. So even though he may not have had the best year so far he must take this confidence from winning Halle and make the most of it. Yes there are big obstacles in his way to defend Wimbledon, but he can’t let that affect him. This could be his last chance. He must stay focused. One match at a time. Hit back with an 8th Wimbledon title after Nadal won an 8th French Open, to settle the GOAT debate once and for all.

Highlights:

Presser: http://www.gerryweber-open.de/gwo_en/Interviews/2013/16.06.2013/Press-Conference-with-Roger-Federer-after-his-win-against-Mikhail-Youzhny

Posted in Uncategorized.

37 Comments

  1. thanks for the post, Ruan.
    i am happy Fed had to fight for this title. this is the way to past a tough patch – to fight your way into form. Fed needed these couple of victories where he comes back from 1 set down.
    I don’t think he will win Wimby but I feel better about his chances now.
    BTW concerning Nadal –
    1. Nadal can surpass Fed but it would not matter to those of us who follow Fed for years and are inspired by his game. will you love Fed any less if he wouldn’t be THE GOAT?
    2. we should be grateful that RN is winning GS coz I am sure it motivates Fed to keep on playing at the highest level and try to get as many GS as he can to secure what you call his legacy.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Good points feddybear. I have already said that Roger is the GOAT for me, just because he has a much more balanced resume and playing style. Nadal relies too much on one surface for him achievements, and he is a one-dimensional player. That said, I do respect his achievements.

    [Reply]

  2. Hey Ruan,

    It’s been a long time since I last posted here. I am happy to see that your posts are coming in thick and fast.

    While reading your posts I tend to agree with most of what you;re saying except today I have to add something and this may well upset some readers.

    It’s clear that Roger still is motivated to play and obviously he loves the game. However, lately I don’t know what it is with fed but watching him yesterday and today as well as throughout all of 2013 he seems to be lacking a bit of urgency. If a player has enough quality and a bit more urgency, like tsonga then that seems to be enough to trouble fed and maybe even to beat him. To me he seems tired like he has been playing for years (which he has). I am not saying that it is the age issue because it’s not. I’m talking more about a mileage issue. For example, Tommy Haas who is 35 came back running around like a teenager last year and surprised everyone including fed. I believe it’s because he is a lot more ‘fresh’ after being out for so long – Same thing Nadal has done btw. Maybe fed is just lacking confidence. maybe he is not enjoying his tennis right now. The last time I saw him really enjoying his tennis was at French Open 2011 (at wimbledon 2012 he wasn’t enjoying his tennis that much, even though he played great – I felt he was more on a mission there) Also he’s not as aggressive as he used to be (very slight change but his serve and sometimes forehand is lacking a little).

    The other thing I’d like to talk about is the ‘federer in decline’ thingy. You’ve written about it several times. Watching that video of him which you posted the other day US open against Hewitt, the most noticeable thing about that was the quickness and preparation for each shot. All that has gone now. Strangely I feel even his anticipation is not the same as it was (which should be the opposite taking into account experience).

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hi Alex. You are right. I think last year took a lot out of him. Returning to #1 and winning Wimbledon took a big push. Almost like his last big push. It’s like you say, the years has taken a lot out of him. No injuries to take him out of the game for long periods. And despite his masterful scheduling, he must run out of steam at some point. This is why I think this is kind of a transitional year. That is what he said too. 2012 took a lot out of him and it may take some time to really get his hunger and motivation back again. The last 6 months or so has not been great and maybe winning Halle will help him get back his hunger and motivation. There was more urgency from Roger in Halle. I definitely think we will see a more competitive and motivated Roger during the second half of this year. He has to pace his runs now. It’s not like 2004 where he can try to win everything in sight anymore. It takes a lot more out of him because of age and mileage. I think we just need to be patient and understanding.

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    That’s very well said, Ru-an! I agree! :-) I sure hope that Roger will be more eager and hungrier in the second half of the year. I hope he does well in Wimbledon. The first week as well as the draw will be key for him.

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    Hi Alex, Ru-an and Vily,
    Fortunately Roger won a title after 10 months. But to be honest I think he did very well in these 10 months since August last year. Everything he has entered, he has made finals, SF or QF. Which is pretty good !!! He did not lose before that (I think).
    Seriously, his age, all that competition, all that mileage, it is pretty impressive !!! Yes, it would have been better if he made more finals or won those, but lets see the other three do this well at Roger’s age.

    I was so glad he got really tested by Youzhny (even more than with Haas). Seems like everyone is watching Rafa matches to beat Roger !!!
    But this was good. If he won in straights or easy, he would not have known how ready he was for Wimby.
    Now that he really had to work for his victory, I think we will see a whole different Roger at Wimby. I am not saying he will win Wimby, but he has a chance now he knows he can and wants to fight for it and that he is still hungry to win.

    And I think Rafa did him a HUGE favour by winning his 12th GS. That is according to me the extra motivation Roger needs to continue.
    Have you seen the stats of the final? First % serve, etc so high. All those aces, making a lot of ue’s, but then cutting them down. Roger is on the right track. But….. one match at the time.

    Loved the fact that he said in winners speech that everybody thought he did not play well in those 10 months, he thought he did, but the others were just better.

    There is also an interview with him (Bild?) in which he says he is not thinking about retiring !!! Good news for us !!!

    [Reply]

  3. Hi guys I have something to say. Don’t hold me to much on this, because a) I am not completely sure, b) it happened so fast, c) I have to look at it one more time when it is uploaded on Youtube.
    So again, don’t hold me to this:

    Today Andy won the Aegon Tour. Good for him, just like Roger he had to work for it.
    After the match there was an exhibition match between Andy, Tim Henman, Berdych, Lendl and other celebreties. It was for a good cause, for Andy’s best friend who unfortunately was diagonosed with cancer, which he is fortunately overcoming. Andy was really amazing for organising this. He also donated today’s final winnings to the cause. I was so proud of him, even applauded for him from my couch.
    The exho was really funny, especially Lendl. Never knew he was that funny, really a comedian. I was so impressed with him.

    Anyway, first set was Henman and Andy vs Berdych and Lendl. Andy and Henman won.
    Second set was rotating between the celebreties and this happened. Again not sure if it happened or if it is true, but I was watching and listening, so this is what I heard and saw:
    Second set, 2-2. Henman and Andy were miked up. Andy was playing with Jimmy Carr (?) a comedian, who was wearing a Roger shirt from Wimby. His name was not on it, but even I could see it was something Roger wears at Wimby.
    So get this: Andy looks at Jimmy and says: why are you wearing a Federer shirt? Jimmy says: because Federer is an excellent player. Andy looks at him, knowing or forgetting that he was miked up and says to him: no he is not, not anymore !!!

    I thought that was such a cheap shot. Lost completely respect for him right there. He just won his third tour of the year, why involve Roger in it?
    Even if it is true or he believes that, why the hell say it on national tv? Doesn’t he know that it will come out and Roger and everyone else will know it too?
    Roger is not perfect and he may talk about other players as well (in private), but why say it out loud? Doesn’t he know we live in a social media time and world?

    Maybe a long story to say something so short, but I wanted you guys to know how it went.
    And it is not like he said something totally wrong or unbelievable (it is right), but why say it in such a manner??
    I will find it on Youtube if it is there and let you know how it really happened.

    This is how they talk about Roger…. the greatest of all time….the one which made them play better because they all wanted to beat him…. the one Andy (in my opinion) “owes” a tini tiny bit to, because if Roger was not tired, he WOULD have won Olympic Gold.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I hope you are right about Murray saying this. Something like that could inspire Roger. But I doubt he said it.

    [Reply]

    racquet Reply:

    “because Federer is an excellent player”

    This is false. He said “because Federer is No. 1” to which Andy replied “not anymore he isn’t”. Watched the same match. It was jokey banter, nothing else.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Ok I head that somewhere else too. No big deal then.

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    Racquet, did not come across as a joke.
    But like I already said, it is not as if Andy was wrong or said something unbelievable, I just don’t think it is smart or nice for that matter to say it on national tv.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well according to a tennis forum Murray did say something like you are talking about Katyani. Not really a smart thing to say. Just gives Roger extra motivation the next time he plays Murray.

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    Hope so !!! Hope he beats Andy and Rafa (for the Great Uncle Toni’s sake) and puts them in their place.

    And why did Andy have the nerve to say that? He beat Cicic like more than 7 or 8 times and in the final he was heaving trouble with him (was even up 4-1 and let Cilic come back and win the first set). Second set he was lucky that he got the break.

    So he should look in the mirror before he makes such a statement or atleast should check to see if he is wearing a mike.

    [Reply]

    Wilfried Reply:

    I’m not pleased with Andy’s comment but not particularly happy with Roger’s current level either. Taking off slowly and having to come back from behind each time – like Roger did against Haas and Youzhny – won’t do it against the tireless grinders (Nadal, Djokovic, Murray) nor against the power players (Del Potro, Tsonga, Berdych)at WImbleodn. I hope Roger will get his game together soon and regains the enthusiasm needed to go deep in a slam. Nadal better not be in his quarter of the Wimbledon draw…

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    Wilfried, I totally agree.

    [Reply]

  4. Finally a W, long time coming. Just in time too and a sigh of relief from all FedFans out there. Let’s hope he gets a decent draw again at SW19.

    [Reply]

  5. Ru-an, you’ve produced a flurry of quality posts lately. I’m glad you’ve been able to have some more time to write.

    It’s a great sign that Federer came back from a set down in both the semis and the final. He’s one of the best front-runners in tennis so he rarely has to come from behind. But this time he showed he was really hungry for this title by twice recovering from the loss of the first set. Since he’s short on matches, playing a couple of extra sets probably didn’t hurt, either, especially on grass where points are quick and you can get so many more cheap points with the serve, there’s no danger of fatigue or burnout.

    Youzhny certainly didn’t hand the match over to Federer, he battled hard throughout and was very aggressive. But Federer just had a touch more variety and his serve was more impenetrable especially in the last set and a half.

    Getting back to winning ways is important; it’s been 10 months since his last title (an eternity by his standards) and he needs the momentum that can only come through winning tournaments. In those moments when he needs to make the right decision at the crucial juncture of the match, that added confidence from winning tournaments might make the difference, especially on grass where the outcome is decided on just one or two key points and the balance is so delicate.

    So I feel he should have a good chance at Wimbledon. Hopefully he will be able to negotiate the first week and then he can worry about the business end of the tournament.

    Once he wins a tournament he often goes on a long winning streak and I hope that holds true this summer and fall. Since he’s not played that many matches so far, he’s got plenty left in the tank physically, and the rest of the season will take place on faster courts where he can play first-strike tennis and shorten the points to reduce the strain on his body.

    Here’s to a great second half of the season! Go Roger!

    [Reply]

  6. As far as I am concerned there is no GOAT debate at all! Federer is the GOAT, his accomplishments on all surfaces and his dominance in the sport is unrivaled as far as I am concerned. Nadal is the clay GOAT, and one of the best tennis players of all time, no doubt about that. I have nothing but respect for the two, and I hope they fair well in Wimbledon.

    [Reply]

  7. Both in the final and against Haas, Federer started off very slowly.. I don’t know if others noticed, but in both matches, Federer started off serving well below his usual speed. He was not hitting more than 180kph. When he starts serving like that he is very vulnerable, especially on grass. You see him scrambling a lot more and I have no faith in him winning a point when he is on the defensive(even accounting for the fact that it is difficult to defend on grass). I was happy to see that the serves picked up in the second set in both matches and towards the end of the matches he was serving big(200kph +) and holding easily. A lot of Federer’s struggles recently start from his serving. He needs to serve well to have a chance. Automatically the rest of his game seems to tidy up when he is serving well!

    Federer has definitely declined. He seems to be lacking that explosive footwork and ability to hit winners from anywhere. Nowadays he is more likely to go down in his own errors.

    To win Wimbledon, Federer has to avoid three people in the draw, Nadal, Berdych and Tsonga, in that order. He needs to draw Del Potro or Ferrer in the quarters and avoid dangerous floaters(like Gulbis, Janowicz) early.

    To me, Andy looks good to Win wimbledon, especially if he avoids Nadal. Djokovic can win if he avoids Andy/Federer. Federer, if he avoids Nadal.. So a lot will depend on the draw I guess!

    [Reply]

  8. Hi guys, on one hand I hear that he will do exho’s end of this year, but on the other hand nothing is confirmed. Honestly, as much as I want him to do it, I think he should not do exho’s this year. He needs to rest or practise for next year.
    And to be honest, last year they wanted to see him also because he won so much, this year it is different. So I am kind of hoping he does not do the exho and takes plenty of rest and practises on crucial things in his game….

    [Reply]

  9. Tennis Channel is rebroadcasting the 2012 Wimbledon Finals (Federer-Murray) again tonight, Wednesday June 19, 11:00 pm – 3:30 am EST for anyone who might want to record it…

    [Reply]

  10. till now the best 1st round:Hewitt vs Wawrinka.
    And most important,Nadal,Murray,Tsonga,Federer all in bottom half.So I think it will be tsonga-fed,murray-nadal in QF.wow wouldnt that be some match.

    [Reply]

    V Reply:

    No I think it will be fed vs nadal.just clarify guys.

    [Reply]

  11. And that’s it.Serena Williams has just picked up one of the most dramatic draws in recent years and we have a terrific unexpected draw.
    ND vs TB,
    DF vs JDP,
    RN vs RF,
    JT vs AM
    And that is the QF line up prediction
    Wooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhooooooooooooooooooooo
    FED VS RAFA in QF well that’s a blockbuster

    ALL THE BEST ROGER.

    [Reply]

  12. Definitely not liking this draw…Federer might have to go through Nadal, Murray, and Djokovic to win the title this year!

    [Reply]

  13. It was coming when Roger was unable to take advantage of the French Open draw and move up to no 2 ranking. But the good thing is that the destiny is in Roger’s hand. I couldn’t like the idea that Djokovic becoming protector of Roger’s records. If Roger can’t defend his title he will most probably slip to no. 5 and could be in a downward spiral, it’ll be extremely difficult to win the 18th Grand Slam title.
    So I’d like to keep all those matters like slowing conditions, lefty advantage, external assistance aside. I’d just want Roger to break all his limbs, spur all his emotions to get just another win over Nadal in a GS stage. I am not expecting anymore.
    And if Nadal manages to defeat Roger, Murray, Djokovic to win this championship, well, perhaps we are actually in a state of denial. Perhaps Nadal is the GOAT just as the media thinks, who knows !!!

    [Reply]

  14. To win his 18th GS (that no one will be able to pass in many many many years to come), Roger will have to go through first Rafa, than Andy and if he is not halftired against Novak !!!

    Two things:
    First if Roger does pull this off, the Goat debate is off limits and will never be questioned again.
    Because then ROGER = 1000 % = GOAT !!!
    Trust me, if you can pull that off at age 31, in kind of a decline, beating three who are 5 and 6 years younger, you ARE the GOAT.

    Second if Roger cannot pull this off, neither can Rafa. Rafa can take Roger, but he cannot take Andy and Novak both !!!

    [Reply]

    Pryzm Reply:

    First of all, what a completely terrible draw this is. Djokovic’s team is probably planning their victory celebration already!

    I know Roger is not as tough as he was a few years ago, but I don’t think he’s declining as fast as some here seem to think. I really think he threw the match against Tsonga at FO 2013, for example, after trying sincerely to win the first set. I think he’s been 1) bulking up a little and 2) pacing himself for this tournament. He’s put a lot of eggs in this Wimbledon basket, and this draw is completely unfair – not just to Roger, but to Murray and Nadal as well.

    But Wimbledon is a place where many upsets can happen, so he may not need to beat all three ‘bigs’ to win it. It’s not possible for me to expect very much at this point, but I do believe Roger’s QF streak will continue.

    I know he can beat Nadal in the QF, and I hope he will do that (unless, of course, Nadal doesn’t make it that far).

    And finally, did I mention what a completely terrible draw this is ??

    Praying for a lot of rain,
    Pryzm

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    First, hope some player will do to Novak what Stan the Man did to him at AO (making sure he knew with an easy draw, he TOO had to work for it).

    Second, who says Rafa will not tank any matches. He knows he can beat Roger, but Andy AND novak too??

    Hate so say it, but this draw is tough for Roger AND Rafa only, not the rest.
    Not Andy, not Novak.

    Rafa and Novak have had the time after RG to practise for Wimby, while Roger and Andy played their way through a tour to win and be ready for Wimby.
    Which one is better? Practising or winning before Wimby?

    [Reply]

    Pryzm Reply:

    Winning!

    [Reply]

  15. Tough draw for Federer but, let’s face it, he must have seen this coming since he didn’t take advantage of his cakewalk draw in Paris (Tsonga on clay, who was straight-setted by Ferrer, who was straight setted by Nadal!) to reach the final and enter Wimby as #2.
    On the bright side of this, who are we kiddin’, we always knew that if Fed had to face Nadal in Wimbledon, his chances would be better in a potential QF meeting than in a SF or even worse, in the deciding match for the title.
    First of all, the grass should be still fresh (and fast) but that’s not the main reason I like his chances better in quarters; we’ve all noticed how difficult it is for Roger to bring his ‘A’ game on court for five matches in a row, let alone six or seven. He seems to me that his tank isn’t what it used to be anymore, therefore whenever he reaches a SF/F in a slam nowadays, he looks drained, physically and emotionally. We watch him play ugly, uninspired tennis more often than not, whereas if we go back two or three matches we notice some unreal shots , almost flawless tennis. I’m not saying this is always the case but whenever this happens I’m always thinking what if he had faced his nemesis in 4R/QF ? Nadal would still be the favorite to me, but with a fresher Roger on the other side of the net who knows. There would be less pressure on Federer, that is for sure. Not to mention the fact that Nadal’s pattern, on the contrary, is the exact opposite; he seems to be more fragile and beatable in the first week (maybe till the quarters sometimes) of every slam, especially Wimby, but should he reach the semis, he’s a different animal.
    Anyway, I think it’s interesting that they will probably face each other sooner than the semis. Who knows, maybe Federer uses his weapons against the Spaniard EFFECTIVELY, for a change.

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *