Federer Wins 7th Halle Title and 79th Title Overall

Hi folks. Sorry for the lack of posts this week but I’ve simply been too tired and busy at my new job. My job is what pays the bills at this point so it enjoys priority over my blogging. But I felt I had to at least make a post after Roger won Halle today and after getting some rest this weekend. With the 7-6(2), 7-6(3) win over Falla in the final Roger won his 7th Halle title and 79th title overall. Roger have now won 14 grass court titles including his 7 Wimbledon titles and he is pretty much already the grass court GOAT. Sampras won 7 Wimbledon titles but only 3 other grass court titles. And of course Roger won the silver medal at the Olympics on grass too. He also defeated Sampras in their only meeting on grass. I would say Roger is the grass court GOAT but I would still like to see him win that 8th Wimbledon title.

And it might happen this year. After Roger took a break during the clay court season to be present for the birth of his sons his confidence took a bit of a hit, as he lost in the second round of Rome and fourth round of Roland Garros. But after this title I think Roger is now back to where he was before all that. And that is of course very important for his chances at Wimbledon. Roger could have beaten Falla 6-3, 6-4 because he was serving for the first set at 5-3 and broke in the opening game of the second set, but on both occasions he failed to consolidate with some poor play. At 4-3 Roger broke after two unforced errors from Falla, but then dropped serve to 15 when serving for the set. It went down to the tie break which Roger won easily. Then after breaking in the opening game of the second set I thought Roger would consolidate this time, after having one set under his belt.

But he dropped serve to 15 again. Again it went down to the tie break which Roger won quite easily again. My stream was bad so I couldn’t see much, but from the match stats one can see Roger’s serve was good once again. His net play has been good too which will be key at Wimbledon. He looks to be more aggressive and is more persistent in approaching the net. I saw a lot of serve-and-volley in the Nishikori match as well, which was his best match of the tournament. He defeated Nishikori 6-3, 7-6(4) after he lost the last two matches in Madrid and Miami to Nishikori and trailed in the head-to-head. So it was sweet revenge and I was impressed with Roger there. In the quarter finals Roger had a walk over over Lu, while in the first round he had a tester against Sousa which he won 6-7(8), 6-4, 6-2.

Before today

I watched the second half of the first set of that match and Sousa was playing very well. He couldn’t keep that level up however and Roger’s consistency won the day in the end. After getting past that scare things could only get better. The final was not as good as the Nishikori match, maybe because Roger was a bit nervous after having had some problems with Falla in their last two matches and after losing his last two finals. I thought before this match it should be a routine win for Roger, but then I remembered that he had some problems with Falla in the past and that he wasn’t exactly brimming with confidence right now. So the result was pretty much what I expected. Roger won in straight sets but it was close sets. The scoreline is not really that important. The fact that he won the title will boost his confidence.

And this is not like last year when he won Halle and then lost in the second round of Wimbledon. Roger’s overall level has been better this year and he just needed to get back to that level after he took the break for the birth of his kids. Roger’s level has been very good this year but he has just missed out on some big titles. Hopefully this Halle title was just what he needed to win the biggest of them all now. Halle deserves at least 500 status anyway if you look at the players in the draw and the fact that it is the main warm up event for Wimbledon with Queens. It’s a sad state of affairs that there are 3 Masters on clay and none on grass, and of course the only reason why Nadal leads Roger in Masters titles won. Had there been only one Masters on grass and two on clay instead of three Roger would have led that stat too.

Anyway if Roger wins an 8th Wimby this year his GOATness will be undisputed as far as I’m concerned. There are many reasons for that which I don’t have the time to get into right now. The main thing is that Roger won a 7th Halle title and is as ready for Wimbledon as he will ever be. Since I got the prediction for the French Open wrong I’m hesitant to make predictions for Wimbledon, and I have already said that Nadal is the favorite for the title. But since Nadal was destroyed 6-4, 6-1 in his first match in Halle by Brown I have changed my view slightly. I’m starting to lean towards Roger for the title but it is a long way to go and like I said I don’t want to focus much on predictions after what happened at the French. Predictions are stupid anyway because no one knows the future and in tennis anything can happen.

Winning never gets old

Speaking of anything can happen, I just saw Dimitrov won the title in Queens after coming back from a championship point down in the second set and 2-4 in the third set. That’s huge heart from him and it is great to see he is coming of age. He could certainly do some damage at Wimbledon as well, but hopefully it won’t be a change of the guard situation like we had in 2001 when Roger defeated Sampras. I wish I could write more but I have to get in bed for work tomorrow.

Congrats champ!

Highlights:

Posted in ATP 500, Halle.

73 Comments

  1. Thanks Ru an…
    after 2011 basel, Finally federer defended the title…
    he is still little bit shaky, but m still very optimistic about his chance at wimbeldon…
    and for me… The term GOAT is coined for only one man….
    No one can take it away from Roger…

    [Reply]

  2. Congrats to Roger and Dimitrov!!!
    What a coincidence! Roger and Dimitrov won ATP 500 title same week this year in Dubai and Acapulco respectively. And now they repeated the same at Halle and Queens.

    Good luck to Roger for Wimbledon and to Dimitrov too.

    [Reply]

  3. Do you think that Federer should bulk up? He has very thin arms, and I wonder what his career would have been like if he had more strength. He already has the best technique in the world, but there are many other players who hit harder than he does.

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    He tried bulking up last year, around May. Did not work out very well for him. Instead, now, he uses the larger racquet for more power.

    [Reply]

    MM Reply:

    Can you elaborate on that? Maybe he should have started bulking up around age 19-20 – perhaps then he would have won his first Grand Slam sooner than 2003.

    The racquet thing also baffles me. He played with a 90 racket for a very long time despite the smaller sweet spot. Has he ever explained his reasoning for that? It seems to be an obvious disadvantage.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    My take on the racquet is simply that it takes a significant amount of time to get used to one, especially when one is a precision player like Roger and needs to paint the lines precisely.

    As long as he was winning, he simply didn’t have time to make the change. I could be wrong but I don’t see much more than that to it.

    Best,
    Joe

    [Reply]

    eric Reply:

    Sadly I think he was afraid of change. Or looking like he needed change. It does take time, you’re right, but can you imagine how much it might have helped him if he bit the bullet and made the change 3 years ago?

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Yes he is very stubborn and resistant to change in some ways, and I suppose we all fear change too, to some extent. I would have said ‘he used to be stubborn,’ etc. except for the way he lost to Gulbis. So I think he still has a stubborn streak in him. In some ways it may be good, but then there are those other ways…

    And I do wonder about how many majors he would have won with a better racquet! Sometimes I think about a few close ones I think he should have won, even more than three years ago.

    But what he’s been able to accomplish in today’s game, with yesterday’s racquet, is simply amazing.

    I just hope Roger will amaze us one more time this summer!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes Roger is stubborn and resistant to change in some ways Joe, but I think he just wants to make sure he makes the right decision. Sampras for instance never changed his racquet and later admitted he should have experimented more. You don’t want to change something that works. The old racquet clearly worked for Roger and even won his a slam at age 30. He would only change if the old racquet was not working for him anymore, and that happened in 2013. So I think the timing was right.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Good point Ruan, and I have to agree about the timing for his racquet. And I really do think his stubbornness is good in some ways. He was getting plenty of wins with the old racquet which I heard one announcer describe as a toothpick by today’s standards. That includes winning Wimbledon 2012 by beating Djokovic and Murray in successive rounds, which some didn’t think he’d have the stamina to do at that age. In my opinion, that was an outstanding performance.

    But you said something a while back about how Nadal would try different tactics during a match if things weren’t working for him, whereas Roger seems a little slower to do that.

    That’s what I was trying to speak to anyway, and I know it’s only a layman’s opinion. But I also think Roger may have waited too long before working with a dedicated coach, and probably cost himself a couple of slam wins that way too.

    I’m just sayin’….

    [Reply]

  4. Yes I am very happy for both of these guys. The truth is that dinitrovs match was the better one. I agree that Rogers overall play is at a nice level and that his serve is rocking and that it’s great that he’s getting himself up to the net so much but… I still worry about how shaky he can get on big points and how he takes these mental vacations like he did at 5-3 in the first. Had be done that against one of the big guys he might have ended up losing in straights instead of winning. But winning breeds winning so I’m very glad he played as well as he did and got it done. I do not think the early edit means anything about Nadal. He probably didn’t even want to pay at all but received an appearance fee of a million bucks for just showing up to the first match. He is absolutely determined to win Wimbledon and I think he will show up strong. Roger is perfectly primed having played lots of grass tennis without tiring himself out. Does anyone know how he did in the doubles final today????

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Right Eric winning breeds winning and Nadal is still the clear favorite for the title.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Why do you say Nadal is the clear favourite when he was booted out early the last couple years? Plus he hasn’t been that impressive this year. Got outhit and injured at AO, only won one clay title, not looking beastly at FO and just got dusted at Halle. Also, does he have enough grass matches coming into Wimby? Clear favourite? FO, yes, but Wimby? I wouldn’t be too sure.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    You are both right Veronica. Sometimes I don’t know what to tell you guys. You are taking the optimistic viewpoint(which I prefer myself), while Eric is taking the pessimistic outlook. The fact that Nadal lost early at Wimby the last couple of years means he will be more desperate than ever to do better, and once he starts getting to the latter rounds he becomes basically unstoppable. He will also be desperate for another Wimby title to help his GOAT claim which is currently not worth much since his resume is so unbalanced. That said, it has clearly become more difficult for Nadal to win Wimbledon over the last few years and in previous years the Halle first round wouldn’t have meant anything. But since he has struggled the last few years on grass I think it does matter. Also like you say he has had a poor year so far by his usual standards, and I therefor agree with you and see him suffering another early round loss.

    [Reply]

    Eric Reply:

    I actually do not think Nadal is the “clear favorite” to win Wimby and never said that, but I certainly think he is amongst the favorites and that his performance at Halle means little. I think Roger will be highly motivated and is at last entering a slam at a level he can raise during the slam to championship level, on his favorite surface and court. I think Djokovic will be healthy and super freaking inspired, especially psychologically by the love he was given by the French open crowd. This is what truly motivates him. And I think there are now several very dangerous players climbing in the top 15 or so that could go surprisingly deep. It’s exciting to me because it’s more open than usual. The regulars are all in contention but all have to be very careful making their way through an increasingly talented and hungry draw.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Sorry Eric I didn’t mean to put worth in your mouth. I was basically just repeating what I have said myself before. So I do agree with you to a large extent but somehow I don’t think Nadal will do very well. I think he is currently in a slump despite winning the FO(he wins that every year) and I don’t think he will feature much at Wimby. That said, I was wrong about the FO so I may be wrong again.

    [Reply]

    Eric Reply:

    I would rather believe you and see him get crushed in the opening round or two. That would make me very happy. :-)

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    It’s important that nadal loses in the early rounds because by the second week through to the final stages the court is not really grass anymore. It’s actually not too disimilar to clay by then which suits him a bit better.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Completely agree, Alex. If he is not knocked out early, then he may just win on the “clay” Wimby! Ha!

    [Reply]

    steve Reply:

    I wouldn’t read anything into Nadal’s loss, either. As we all know, he magically becomes stronger and faster in the tournaments he wants to win and has never given a crap about the smaller grass tournaments (except in ’08 when he won Queens). He’ll be a totally different player come Wimbledon.

    Two early losses is more than enough for his ego—Rosol seemed like a genuine shock, as he dropped out of tennis for seven months to lick his wounds; last year he just tanked after having to play so much during the clay season. This year, he’s aiming to win Wimbledon so he won’t have to play so much on HC in order to stay at #1. It would be very strenuous for him to try to defend Toronto and Cincinnati in addition to USO. Plus he wants to move ahead of Sampras in the GS count as fast as he can, prove “he’s not just a clay-courter,” etc.

    Like Eric said, the only reason he showed up at Halle at all was to collect his appearance fee. This was the last year of a three year contract and I doubt the tournament will be eager to offer him such a favorable contract again, no matter how much Uncle Toni tries to browbeat them into doing so.

    He only left Queens Club for Halle because he felt UK taxes on his winnings were too high. He’s added very little value to Halle for the ridiculous sums of money they’ve surely paid him—unlike Federer, without whom Halle would probably still be a small tournament, on par with s’Hertogenbosch or Eastbourne, instead of growing to rival Queens Club and moving on to a 500-level event next year. I have no idea what they’ll do when he retires—this holds true, of course, for tennis in general.

    Returning to the Beast, I feel it won’t be quite as easy for him to win Wimbledon this year. If he’s in the final he would be very tough to stop, I feel only Federer could do it and then only if he plays better than he did in 2012. The question is if Nadal gets there. He has lost a bit of his aura on grass; power players can hit through him more easily there than on clay and they won’t necessarily choke it away the way they did in 2010. In the first week, serve-and-volley and other fast-court tactics will work much better. If they close the roof on him, a big-serving, big-hitting opponent will have the edge–this is surely what did him in against Rosol.

    [Reply]

    Eric Reply:

    Nice insights Steve especially the 3 year deal and UK taxes, didn’t know that.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Great comments, Ru-an, Steve, Eric. That is what I was getting into. Wimby is a more open slam this year and in fact the most open slam of the 4 slams this year. Can’t say Roger is fav, he’s yet to get into form; can’t say Nadal, vulnerable on grass, hasn’t been beastly enough; Murray is still question mark but he loves grass and usually plays well there; Djoker not the best on grass but he’s got Becker and would be looking to change his finals misfortunes. I would even say there are no favourites at all and all 4 of them have equal chances to win it. There is really very little to choose between them at this point in time. But the rest of the top players and the up comers will have a lot to say about that too although they may not be ready to win it yet.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Right Veronica. It is very open. That could even give a guy like Dimitrov a chance to make a deep run. But you would expect the big four to be the title contenders again.

    [Reply]

    Eric Reply:

    That would be great. It’s a joy watching Dimitrov play. I’m very encouraged and want him to do well, but I want Roger to win one more Wimby!!!

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Yeah Steve, read about Nadal not wanting to pay tax at Queens. Understandable given the whinger he is, doesn’t want to waste his money; certainly not on taxes, ha! But it just makes me admire and respect Roger all the more; no whining, get on with life, staying grounded and just loving his tennis, his family and ……… Paying his taxes!!! Ha!

    [Reply]

    elizabeth Reply:

    Yes Veronica Nadal wasn’t happy about the British Tax situation, according to the ‘press’ he mentioned that it was rediculous to be taxed on all the watches he sells! So I guess there must be a lot of people buying half million pound/Euros watches eh? About
    Wimbledon although we don’t have the Roger of a few years ago it’s hard not to have him in the conversation when it comes to this tournament. It’s like the tennis commentators and I may add Andy Murray and his Mother saying that
    Roger won his last Wimbledon because they closed the roof, and of course Roger is a better indoor player than Murray….all this sounds good the only problem I have with that is if this is so how on earth did he manage to win the previous six!

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Yes, Elizabeth, Roger will always be in the conversation as far as Wimbledon is concerned and even more so this year because of the struggles of the other 3. I cringe every time they mention that closed roof; as if Murray would have won it if it had stayed opened. It’s true Roger plays best indoors and his play did pick up after the roof closed. But he was already playing well, he was always on top of Murray after the first set, he won it fair and square. He was the better player and there was nothing Murray could have done about it. I would make more of a case of an exhausted Roger losing to Murray in the Olympics. Now THAT outcome is more likely to have been different if Roger was fresher, don’t you think, Elizabeth?! However, having said all that…………………….May the heavens POUR at Wimby this year!! Hahaha!

    [Reply]

    elizabeth Reply:

    Haha Del Potro has a lot to answer for,
    first he and Roger play a long 3 setter at the Olympics and then if I’m not mistaken Del Potro Played Novak in the Semi final last year so I hope Murray sent the champagne to Delpo!!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    True Elizabeth, Del Potro has done Murray a lot of favors. The Olympics semi and Wimby semi last year was also two of the best matches you will ever see in their respective formats. I didn’t see the Olympics semi but that Wimby semi last year was unbelievable tennis. Together with the FO semi last year that was the best matches of 2013 for me, and then of course the between Stan and Djoker at the AO and USO were pretty special as well.

    [Reply]

    eric Reply:

    I’m sorry, but what a dick. The guy made like 60 million dollars last year. Shouldn’t he just play where he wants to play rather than messing around with who has better taxes on a tiny portion of his earnings?. You would NEVER EVER hear something like this from Roger.

    [Reply]

  5. Thank you so much for the post Ru-an. Don’t know how you do it, always so well written; but this reader sure appreciate your diligent efforts! Both grass tourneys were tightly contested as all were won in tiebreaks! Could have gone either way for both. Roger still has a way to go before he is ready to win Wimby but the most encouraging thing now is that his serve is on song, he has overturned his tb woes, he’s getting to the net more and getting a lot of success out of it and he has regained some confidence. Certainly a good platform for the rest of his game to pick up, and hopefully in time for Wimby. I hope he plays with greater sense of urgency in all his slam attempts from now on. Time is not on his side. The most worrisome I feel is actually not the top guys but the rest of the top 10 and the up comers who, generally, are playing really well and coming into their own. These are totally capable of taking out any of the top 4 so Roger’s got to watch his butt really well right through the quarters. Once the top players reach semi, they usually raise their game and play their best. So if Roger makes it to semis, I’m not too worried. I don’t wanna see the likes of Dimitrov, Raonic, Berdych, etc, in Roger’s half. These, at their worst, can tire Roger out. Like FO, this Wimby will be another open slam but with no particular favourite. The field is very deep. The top 4 are not in top form. Predictions will not mean much. It’s really a wait and see game. But I hope Roger recognises the opportunity and rises above the rest of the top 4, watches his backside in the early rounds and then he just might lift his 18th. MM commented above that Roger lacks power. While it is hard to regain speed and consistency which are lost through age, power is still possible and attainable. Since bulking up didn’t help, I hope the new racket can yield Even more power as he continues to play with it. Maybe change a bit of technique to yield more power? Stay well Ru-an!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Veronica and well said.

    [Reply]

  6. Nice post Ru-an, I think as well as all the nice things to say about Roger winning, it seems to me that although at times for instance when out of nowhere he drops his serve he still managed to pull out the win, so for me I think this is only a good thing. Tennis Guru that I am! But if he had managed to do the same at Indian Wells or against Stan then we would not be doubting him. So maybe the new Roger will just think a win is a win doesn’t have to be beautiful if he wins the beauty will come.
    Also I think talking about Roger bulking up, seems unrealistic at his age. And if perchance anyone has any influence on Roger tell him not to get his hair cut!!!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Totally right Elizabeth! It’s about winning and winning breeds confidence. So whichever way he gets it done doesn’t matter. And going into the tie breaks with Falla was not a bad thing as he won both and proved something in the process.

    [Reply]

  7. Thank you again Ru-an for managing to post so frequently. We know it’s hard to find the time and we appreciate it. Veronica, I know you all are not big fans of Sharapova, but I bet her professionalism and fighting spirit are a huge contributor to Grigors development. I am telling you this guy is very very special and seems like a very sweet person as well. He has been my favorite up and comer for several years now and I’m thrilled to see him flourish. I believe the next generation is making a big push right now and I would love to see Dimitrov lead the pack. If Roger can win Wimby this year it may in fact be the new guys who protect his slam count supremacy not the current guys. I don’t think they’re there yet, but it’s maybe a year or two at the most.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    No worries Eric I am still adapting to my job and should be able to post more frequently in the future. I want to be regular during Wimbledon anyway. Yes I am also a Dimitrov fan and it’s great to see him make big strides. I wouldn’t count on the younger generation to protect Fed’s slam count supremacy however. I think Nadal will get up to 18. It’s now up to Fed to win an 18th slam so that at least he makes it a little harder for Nadal. I have already said that if Roger wins an 8th Wimby I don’t care what Nadal does after that.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    I’m with you Ru-an. Get the 8th title. If Nadal still beat his slam count eventually, I’m fine with that. I feel like it is imperative and like a “it’s now or never” for Roger winning Wimby this year. For once, the other 3 are questionable on form; rarely have they been as relatively vulnerable as they are at this moment. Roger has gotta seize this opportunity and raise his game by hook or by crook! Ha! Nothing stopping him. He is fresh and healthy, got a good start this year getting back to no. 4. And most important of all which some of you may not have thought about, is that from next year onwards, grass season will be a little longer, which means Nadal would have more time to rest after FO and prepare himself better for grass!!! The beast just needs a little advantage and he will start romping, can’t wait for that to happen. Moment is now.

    [Reply]

    Eric Reply:

    Completely agree. Now is the THE TIME!!!

    [Reply]

    veronica Reply:

    Hehe! Eric! trying to make me a scream queen fan, eh?! For all it’s worth, Grigor did mention having Maria around does help but he also put in a caveat. He said women’s game is “totally different from men’s”…..That; I totally agree!!!! Haha! Don’t you get too excited over your man crush for Grigor, he just might be drawn in Roger’s half….. Hehe!

    [Reply]

    Eric Reply:

    Haha, yep, if he ends up in Rogers path he’s nothing but road kill to me.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I won’t be so sure about that Eric. There are some weird similarities between Dimitrov’s current season and Roger’s 2001 season when he defeated Sampras at Wimbledon in the ‘changing of the guard’. For instance both lost in the fourth round of the AO and first round of the FO, and they won very similar smaller events, for instance Queens and Halle. I hope they don’t get drawn in the same quarter or something, or else we could have another changing of the guard and Dimitrov dominating at Wimbledon for the next few years.

    [Reply]

    Eric Reply:

    I don’t doubt that possibility Ru-an, I am seeing it too. I don’t want that kid anywhere near Roger this Wimbledon. But I would thoroughly enjoy watching him wreak havoc on the other half of the draw.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Nooooooo! Ru-an!!! I couldn’t sleep so I got up and opened your site and what do I see? ……. Changing of the guard!!!! Noooo!! I don’t need a nightmare now!!! Goodnite! I AM going to bed! Haha!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    That is not the true nightmare Veronica. The true nightmare is that if Nadal passes the first week at Wimbledon he is winning the title again.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Ru-an! You are the KING of nightmares! Now I know who to go to if I need a nightmare! You hand them out for free or what?! Lol! Another biting will not ruin my life; the Beast is not worth it; but it would kill some of my passion for the sport.

    [Reply]

  8. Ru-an, thanks for posting even though you’re so busy. Like you, I think the match with Nishikori was key, and more suspenseful and interesting than the final. Even after Federer’s losing two in a row, I wasn’t worried because I thought the faster surface would help him and that was indeed the case. Nishikori played great, but Federer took advantage of the grass courts to serve well, stay aggressive and attack the net to destabilize Nishikori’s game. His slice, an oft-overlooked part of his game, is also more useful and versatile on grass and he used it to disrupt Nishikori’s groundstrokes.

    Their last two matches were on slow surfaces and Federer suffered greatly from not being able to get enough cheap points on serve and having to play too many long rallies. This time Federer was able to play much more first-strike tennis, take away time from Nishikori, and it made life far easier for him.

    The final was an excellent performance rather than an inspired one. The outcome seemed less in doubt than during the semis, and Falla, as well as he played, is a more predictable player than Nishikori. Federer was always in control (he only got broken when he was up a break) and he did the necessary: served well, stayed on the front foot, mixed up his shots and kept attacking the net. Winning three straight breakers in the semis and final is a great sign of confidence and that he has his game together. Winning a title isn’t about winning every point, just the important ones, and that’s what Federer did. He didn’t melt down after being broken while serving for the set, as happened against Gulbis. He just kept going and steamrolled in the breaker. When he was at 5-6, 30-all in the second set, in danger of being broken and dropping the set, he again raised his game, got into the breaker, and then steamrolled again.

    Since 2002, Federer has never failed to make the final when he enters Halle so he’s raised the bar very high for himself. Basically winning is the norm; if he loses the final it’s a slight upset and if he loses before the final it’s an earthquake. He hasn’t done the Halle-Wimbledon double since 2006 so hopefully he can break that duck this year (not playing a lot of clay matches will help since he won’t be tired). Defending a title for the first time in three years is huge though and it’s also good that he stopped the run of losing in finals that he was on since IW, he needs that confidence and positive mentality.

    He was playing very well before the twins’ birth, dispatching Djokovic on clay (no mean feat!) and on the Dubai hardcourts. It was just the fact that he was playing on slower surfaces that may have kept him from winning a title. If he has indeed gotten back to that previous level, then he should be able to do very well on the surface that favors him most. No doubt the speed of the Dubai courts aided him and grass should have a similar effect, even if the Wimbledon grass is a little slower than it used to be.

    Good signs for Wimbledon. C’mon Roger!

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Steve, A plus comments!!

    [Reply]

  9. Oh no. I will be traveling for work the entire second week of Wimbledon. Panic!!!

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Darn! You can’t miss 2nd week! It is a sin! Hahahaha! Hope you can sneak some time watching! Take care on your travels!

    [Reply]

    steve Reply:

    Sorry to hear it, hope you can manage to follow it somehow. Have a good trip!

    [Reply]

  10. Yes, but the timing!! Oh, man not even funny. I’ve got to figure this out.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Maybe it’s like stars lining up or concurrent apexes or something. If so it could be a great omen for both you and Roger!

    [Reply]

    eric Reply:

    I like that thought!

    [Reply]

  11. Feel like smiling??? Watch this… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1dvVQbBt7Q

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Dunno about you guys but I enjoy the expression on Djoker’s face as much as I enjoyed the hot dog……..just classic. Djoker is just so expressive……win or lose.

    [Reply]

    rahan Reply:

    I agree, Djoker’ s expression is better than a whole post match conference.

    I enjoy each time I watch it: classic stuff !

    What a pity that Del Potro spoiled RF’s Non-Calendar Year Grand Slam.

    [Reply]

  12. I knew Federer was up for a top spot at Halle, but I would have never thought to see Nadal get destroyed on a grass court like that under an hour, I believe.

    Federer chances at Wimbledon this year are as good as any year, he needs to give it all, and finish his matches early and make it to the second week without allot of effort. Then he will need to tap into his reserves. I don’t see Murray as a threat to Federer, as Fed has a playstyle that can neutralize Murray’s, as long as Federer plays the points short, Murray can only watch.

    I predict an early exit for Djokovic, and perhaps even Nadal. Nadal needs allot of practice on grass if he is to have a chance.

    Overall I think Federer has what it takes to pull it off. But he will need to be mentally strong, and not dwell on lost points/setpoints. Because if anything Federer lacks these days, is the ability to snap back to reality when the opponent fights back at crucial moments.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Agreed Fedal it was surprising that Nadal got man handled like that in his first match. This surely doesn’t help his chances at Wimby, especially given that he has lost before the 3rd round in the last couple of years.

    [Reply]

  13. I think the most positive thing to come out of Halle was winning the tiebreakers (he did lose one to Sousa after dominating the 1st set). Because during his prime, Federer was so clutch in tiebreakers and I think that’s what let him win Wimbledon where breaks are rarer. i.e. he won 2 tiebreakers vs Roddick in 2009 and 2 vs Nadal in 2008.

    I actually think the fewer grass tournaments helped Federer. It makes Wimbledon more singular and players lacked match practice, and so a more purely talented, intuitive player like Federer could dominate.

    I think Nadal’s loss in Halle was irrelevant. He will tank matches when he thinks the effort is not worth it. This way he rarely ‘loses’ a match . According to his fans I don’t’ thick he has ever fully tried and lost a match (!). He just came for his appearance money and went back home for a break.

    Noentheless he HAS to be picked off in the 1st week when the grass is slippery and ball-chasing is difficult. If he catches a big server in the early rounds the rest have a chance. By the 2nd week he will be nearly unstoppable. Ruan has discussed it many times: his style of play leads to inevitable wins. He grinds and grinds. Most shots he clearly is just hitting a neutral ball 2 metres over the net. But we must acknowledge that he is quite capable of being aggressive, and the moment he gets a short ball it’s a forehand into the corner for a winner. It seems like a perfect strategy.

    Well I guess I will watch the Rosol and Darcis match highglihts again for morale :-) Whatever happens, Fed’s 2012 back to back wins over Murray and Djokvoic rank as perhaps his greatest performances

    [Reply]

  14. Folks, just to let you know that Elizabeth and I have sent an SOS to Mirka (we are not leaving any stone unturned). Mirka has meticulously hidden every scissor in the house and has forbidden any visits to the hairdresser. The Power is in the Hair! This is no superstition. If Nadal’s bottles are not getting knocked over; then Roger’s hair ain’t getting cut either. We will play the Beast at his own game. Allez Samson(Roger)! Mirka’s got Delilah(and her scissors)locked away for good! 8/18/80!!!!

    [Reply]

  15. Edit, “beat the Beast”, not “play the Beast”

    [Reply]

    elizabeth Reply:

    Veronica tears are running down my cheeks with laughter, nice one! Fingers crossed for a good draw x

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Here, let me pass you a tissue, Liz……haha! Yes, the draw is all important. A good one please, tennis gods! Or you can start with a bad one but then Grigor/Berdych turn Moses and part the sea for Roger and then the other threatening ones all be drowned and Roger passes through unscathed. That’s my prayer. Oh, and tennis gods, Please don’t forget the Beast who is above drowning. Just knock over his bottles. That should do the job.

    [Reply]

  16. Roger doesn’t have it easy, but Nadal has by far the hardest draw this time around. Klizan, who is very dangerous, in the first round. His choice between Rosol and Paire in the second. Karlovic potentially in the third. He could get either Raonic or Nishikori in the quarters.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    You are right, Chris, no draw is easy for Roger these days but this is considered a very good draw for Roger already. His bogeyman, Berdych is not there. That’s the best news! Good grass court players are not there. Maybe has to watch out for Benneteau who plays him well. No serve bots with him. Quarter finals should be ok as grass is Stan’s weakest surface. But prob can be if he is not efficient and doesn’t close out early matches in straights, then he’s only making life difficult for himself come latter rounds.

    [Reply]

  17. Yipee! Finally Roger gets a good draw! Looks manageable and winnable, don’t you think Ru-an?! Big hitters, Rosol, Raonic, Karlovic are all with Nadal,Yay!! Hope they can hit Nadal off in the first week. But I’m not going to get overly excited. Draws this year have often not worked out accordingly. But what a great start to Wimby by getting a good draw! I actually look forward to Fedal in Wimby. They haven’t played there since 2008! Other news. Roger stabbed his 2 fingers (right hand) with a stick while playing in the woods with his kids! Should we be worried?! Anyway,I will sleep well tonight dreaming about the possibilities all night long! hehe!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I agree that Roger has a favorable draw Veronica, but I’m not looking forward to a potential Fedal semi. There can be only one outcome there.

    [Reply]

  18. Sorry Ruan but I have to disagree with the ‘only one outcome’ statement regarding a Fedal semi. I am not going to say that Roger has a good chance of winning, but on grass, Roger probably has a 20% chance or so and would almost certainly be able to take a set unless he had a terrible day at the office. I think saying he has no chance against Nadal at Wimbledon is being a little too pessimistic. Were this the French Open I would agree with you though, that ship sailed a long time ago.

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply

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