Federer Wins Ugly to Make 3rd Final of the Year

It wasn’t pretty but it was good to see. Not just because Roger won but the way in which he was able to win. Just a few posts ago in Federer Scores Important Win Over Istomin in Basel I spoke about Roger learning to win ugly, and that his ability to fight and scrap is the final strand of greatness that has eluded him so far. Whether he can do it remains a theory but at least tonight he showed the ability to win ugly and to not regret what happened in the past. This is indoor tennis which for Roger is like clay is for Nadal, so I don’t take everything at face value right now. But it is a good starting point. Somehow Roger has to find confidence again and indoor tennis is a great place to do so. I’m just happy Roger has been able to win 4 matches in a row. Never mind how. But I was pleased to see that Roger was able to put a disappointing 2nd set behind him and still progress to the final.

Starting from the beginning, Roger was looking more solid out there than he did against Dimitrov. There was no slow start this time as he easily took care of his first service game. He then broke Pospisil in the next game with a sweet cross court backhand pass. For the next few games both players were struggling to hold serve, until Roger broke Pospisil for a second time at 5-3 to win the first set. Same story as with the Dimitrov match except this time Roger did not lose concentration early in the 2nd set. In fact he broke Pospisil in the 8th game and would serve for the match at 5-3. This looked like it could be a very routine win. But instead it turned into a battle of wills. Roger played another one of those games where he lets the opponent off the hook and back into the match. I didn’t think it was as big a deal as everyone made it out to be.

There is a new intensity in the eyes…

I knew Roger was not back to full confidence yet and a 6-3, 6-3 win seemed almost too good to be true. Pospisil leveled things up and we headed into a tie break where he got the first break due to a lucky net cord. He then choked the mini break away with a nervous forehand error and we were tied up at 3-3 at the change of sides. Pospisil won his second service point after which Roger played two mentally weak points to fall behind 3-6. Pospisil held serve and it was set all. Not the end of the world I thought to myself, as long as Roger refocused in the 3rd set. But when he dropped serve to fall behind 2-3 I thought the old Fed was back. The Fed that had his opponent at his mercy but allowed him back into the match due to mental weakness. Roger then played a game which included a genius backhand flick as he broke back to love.

Big turning point. He wasn’t going down that easily. The rest of the set was nervy from Roger and at 4-5 he held serve to stay in the match. At 5-5 he finally got the break after being up 40-15 on the Pospisil serve and failing on several break points. Roger then held serve to 30 with a service winner down the T. So in the end I was pretty pleased with how he shook off letting the 2nd set slip and going a break down in the 3rd set as well. He really should not let these things happen in the first place, but like I said he is still building confidence. I think this win should give him confidence going into the final with Del Potro, who also needed 3 sets to beat Roger-Vasselin. But I am not overestimating the chances of that. Too often of late Roger has failed me after I said that. We will just have to see. Just to let you know I made a mistake yesterday when I said Roger will qualify for London if he wins today.

What winning looks like

He won’t qualify even if he wins the title. That’s what happens when you listen to people and don’t verify the facts for yourself. You just can’t take anyone’s word for anything. Roger leads the head-to-head with Del Potro 13-4 but that will have very little bearing on tomorrow. One of those 4 wins from Del Potro came last year in the final of Basel. No doubt Roger would love to turn that result around and make it a 6th title in Basel. Yes it would be huge for Roger to win Basel at this point but I don’t even wana think about that right now. In fact Del Potro is the favorite for me. Roger would have to pull off an upset to win this. As his fan I believe he can do it but he is still the underdog. Del Potro has been on a great run of form and only lost to Djokovic in his last 3 events. And that was in a 3rd set breaker…

 

 Highlights:

There were 3 pieces of JesusFed magic in the match that I remember. The first one was in the 1st set where he hit an unbelievable half-volley pickup winner at the net. The second was the backhand flick I talked about after he got broken in the 3rd set(7:15 in the highlights). The final one was the drop shot to go up 40-15 on Pospisil’s serve at 5-5 in the 3rd. There were also a couple of ‘come on’s’ that I particularly enjoyed…

Posted in Uncategorized.

22 Comments

  1. Ru-an,

    According to ATP if Roger wins tomorrow and the title, he’ll qualify for London.

    Let’s hope that he does! 6 titles in Basel would be absolutely amazing! The trophy is pretty awesome too!

    Allez Roger!!!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    That’s what I hear now too. According to http://live-tennis.eu/race he won’t be qualified yet but apparently the Paris draw is such that he will qualify as long as he wins Basel. Good to know anyway. Would be great if he can win the title and as a bonus qualify. Then he can go to Paris with loads of confidence and no pressure at all.

    [Reply]

    Florian Reply:

    Hi, if Roger wins the title in Basel he will be qualified for London. If not, Raonic has to win Paris while Gasquet and Wawrinka make it to the SF there. Independently, Roger may not add too many points in Paris. All in all pretty unlikely.
    But it would be great for his confidence if he wins Basel against Del Potro.
    Allez!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hi Florian. Extremely unlikely of that happening. Raonic is not winning it and neither is Stan and Gasquet both making semis. It’s all just theory right now anyway. Making the final in Basel 99.99% guarantees Roger of qualifying.

    [Reply]

  2. Hey Ru-an, unfortunately I also don’t think Roger will win the title (so hope I will be wrong).
    But I think the reason is, eventhough he will fight his way through, he will be too tired. The match today lasted more than 2,5 hours and ended like 8 o’clock, giving him less time than Delpo to recover… Roger should have won in two sets. He did not. But he went for it and fought and won. Isn’t it a coincidence… Roger and Delpo both lost their concentration in the second set, which cost them both the win and it went to a third set.
    Hoping for Roger to win the title, but….

    [Reply]

  3. Hi Ru-an, I saw a nice fb post in atp site by a guy named Robert Young(http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2013/10/43/Basel-Saturday-Reaction-Federer.aspx) that says Roger has already qualified for London. 3 spots remain. Those who can overtake Roger are stan, gasquet, tsonga, raonic. Lets assume Roger loses today(300pts) & 1st match(2nd round) in Paris(45pts); total-3490pts. Assuming stan overtakes Roger by reaching paris semis(3150+360), He’d take 6th spot. Raonic can overtake only by winning Paris(2770+1000). But if he wins then, gasquet/tsonga should’ve lost to him in semis. Semis isn’t enough for gasquet(3120+360)/tsonga(3055+360) to overtake Roger. So only one among the 3 – tsonga,gasquet,raonic can overtake Roger for 7th spot. So 8th spot is assured for Roger. Isn’t it right?

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    That’s correct, but either Gasquet or Tsonga is going to lose before the qf anyway, since they are drawn to meet each other in the round of 16. This means max points of 90 for one of them so I don’t see why he has to win tomorrow to qualify. Maybe the people who said he qualifies if he makes final was right after all. Then again I don’t think the Paris draw was out when they said what they said, so they must have used the logic you used below. Because if Raonic wins the event either Tsonga or Gasquet must have lost before the final.

    [Reply]

  4. There is a relevant comment on atp site:

    If you lose in the 2nd round after receiving a bye you only get 10 points, thus the reason he has not qualified yet…

    Maybe this is the reason that the final spot is not assured for Roger

    [Reply]

  5. serious question. since when did Roger start eating bananas during matches?

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Alex… I also noticed that !!!
    I thought, huh??? He did not do this before did he? Did I miss anything???
    Strange…

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    Whatever the reasoning, I’m glad to see positive changes all round

    [Reply]

  6. Overall a very good week. Little disappointing to lose today. Roger has 5 Titles in Basel from 10 Finals. A bit disappointing but OK.

    Even though he is playing better, Roger is still showing his age. That inevitability factor will also be there, unfortunately. But if couple of points went his way, he might have won.

    So, that’s it! Hopefully, Roger will take this as a positive even though he really wanted to win here, probably!

    [Reply]

  7. I have a good feeling about this even though the loss today, there was some vintage magic there and that extra oomph that was needed all this year that shone through like the rising sun. I am going to be bold here and predict 4 more slams, with form like that against close to 2009 US open delpo form, Fed went toe to toe with him. If the great Andre A could be world no1 and win the Aussie open at 33 why can’t the goat do it? Seriously think that ‘little’ back injury had more of a bearing than anything else this year. Here is to a great finish to the season and good WTF (yes he already qualified, come on!)

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    Roger is close but lacks just a little cutting edge. I mean this del potro almost beat djokovic last week. Very fine margins.

    [Reply]

  8. Not disappointed in that at all. Fed played gorgeous tennis from start to end,against a hard hitting top form Delpo, and just lost by a few loose points and a few unlucky points. I LOVED IT. The Swiss crowd cheered him for so long I actually cried watching it. Wow. that was the most enjoyable tennis I’ve seen in a long time and as far as I’m concerned FED IS BACK!!!!!!!!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I’m with you Eric. Anyone who is disappointed with this must be blind. Sure the title would have been nice but who really expected that at this point? Fantastic week!

    [Reply]

  9. Hey guys, Roger may have lost the final, but he has NOTHING to be ashamed about. Did anyone see the numbers?? I was so surprised and proud of Roger. 14 aces against Delpo’s 8, when he had almost no aces during the Dimi or Pospisil match?? How about that? And he had the same numbers as Delpo, unfortunately Delpo won. But I am so proud of Roger and I feel so bad for him. Yesterday he played nearly three hours, had less time to recover than Delpo and still gave Delpo HELL. I feel for Roger that he did not win, but he is going up. He played GREAT. Good times are coming !!! He sent a message to the top 10, you want to defeat me, you better be ready. Delpo did not get any gifts. Roger made him work for his title.
    Go Roger !!!

    [Reply]

  10. ” 14 aces against Delpo’s 8, …How about that? And he had the same numbers as Delpo, unfortunately Delpo won. But I am so proud of Roger and I feel so bad for him.”

    Katyani, I feel the same !!!

    Here are some more statistics:

    Break Points Won :
    del POTRO 2/6 (33%) vs. ROGER 3/6 (50%)

    Total Points Won :
    96/192 (50%) 96/192 (50%)

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Rahan, seriously, did you thought Roger would play that well?? Too bad he lost, but Delpo is not a nobody. He defeated Novak, Rafa and Andy this year.
    He defeated Roger also, but it looked like Delpo was more tired than Roger.
    A 7 year older player who has not have a good year gave a in form Delpo a very difficult time !!! Go Roger, make it too difficult for others to beat you !!!

    [Reply]

  11. Federer said it all…

    “It was a pretty high level match overall,” said Federer. “Probably my best match of the tournament overall, but it is always difficult to judge when you lose”.

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply

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