Federer’s Testing 2013 Season in Review

Howdy friends. The tennis season is over aside from the Davis Cup final which is being played right now, but as far as Roger goes it is over anyway. Roger’s schedule for 2014 is not out yet but we know he will play in Brisbane which starts on December 30. He will also be playing a charity match with Tsonga in Melbourne just before the Australian Open. As we all know 2013 has not been the greatest of years for Roger, even though it started out well and didn’t end too badly. Roger said at the beginning of the season that 2013 would be a transitional year, where things will slow down for him a bit after that amazing 2012 season where he won his 17th major and reclaimed the #1 ranking at age 30 to pass Sampras’ record amount of weeks in the top spot. It was a monumental year in which Roger also captured his 7th Wimbledon title to equal Sampras.

Of course we hoped that form would last into 2013 but back injury aside, I think it was always gonna be a tough ask to keep it up. Djokovic had already taken the #1 ranking back from Roger during the end of 2012, but little did we expect that 4 more players would pass Roger in the rankings during 2013. Given the kind of year Roger had you’re almost surprised he didn’t slip further down the rankings, but no doubt his semi-revival during the indoor season helped in that regard. The year started out well enough with Roger making semis in Australia and playing some brilliant tennis in the process. You may remember that I was quite excited back then, and that I felt Roger could not have done any better given the slowish conditions and the fact that it suits the likes of Djokovic, Murray, and Nadal much better than it does him.

The surface is really tailor made for their incredible defensive base line games. This has been evident for some time now, because Roger has won in Melbourne only once out of the last 6 years. He has lost to Djokovic, Nadal, and Murray respectively in the last 3 years. Their defensive base line games and two-handed backhands proved to be too much to cope with even for someone with the attacking capabilities of Roger. As if these guys’ defensive games aren’t good enough, the courts provide no assistance for Roger to hit through their rock solid defenses. He is forced to engage in longer base line rallies than he likes which causes his backhand to break down. Given all this I’m surprised he was even able to take Murray to 5 sets. He only did it with a psyche job however, because he was otherwise losing the 4th set.

I think anyone who thinks Roger can still win the Australian Open is a little delusional. In 2014 the final is likely to be contested between Djokovic and Nadal again. Probably Murray would not quite be back to top form yet. I don’t see how Roger could beat either Nadal or Djokovic in Melbourne anyway. It will be hard enough for him to beat the likes of Del Potro, Berdych, and Tsonga. And then there is the young crowd like Raonic, Janowicz, and Nishikori coming through as well. It certainly isn’t getting any easier. That’s why I said quarters would be a good result. But back to this side of 2014. The falloff from Roger’s form in Melbourne was dramatic and drastic. It was like he became a different player overnight. First the loss to Benneteau in Rotterdam, then Berdych in Dubai, and then Nadal in Indian Wells.

It was clear that something was wrong, although at that time I could not figure it out. Later it came out that Roger’s back problem had flared up again, and I suppose with all the effort that went into the Australian Open that wasn’t all too surprising. Probably all the tennis in 2012 also caught up with his back. This back problem stayed with him throughout the year until Cincinnati where I think it started to improve. The clay season was disappointing with losses to Nishikori in Madrid and Tsonga at the French. And even though he made the final in Rome he was destroyed by Nadal and looked disinterested in that match. With Roger it’s tricky to know what’s going on because he keeps things to himself. He doesn’t like using excuses like someone else we know. It was only until after Gstaad where Roger reached the lowest point where we really found out what has been going on.

THOSE shoes 

As a Fedfan you are often left in the dark about these things, but I prefer that to being a fan of someone who is constantly whining like a baby about his injuries, yet despite it wins 10/13 events that includes two slams and getting back to #1 in the world after a 7 month break. After the clay court season it was the grass court season and as always new hope came with it. Roger won his first and only title of the year in Halle. It looked like he was back on the winning path and I had a lot of hope for Wimbledon. I didn’t think he would win it, but I thought he could make at least semis or better. Being drawn in the same quarter as Nadal was a setback, but then Nadal was inexplicably straight setted by an injured Darcis in the 1st round. Roger’s draw had opened up but he couldn’t capitalize, losing in 4 sets to a rampant Stakhovsky in the 2nd round.

It marked the end of Roger’s incredible 36 straight quarter finals at slams streak. It was another bitter disappointment, but things had not yet reached its lowest point. There was more to come. Of course a 2nd round loss at Wimbledon was highly disappointing, but I figured the streak had to end at some point. Stakhovsky was after all playing out of his mind, while Roger just lacked a certain competitive edge. With the lack of tennis Roger played it wasn’t all that big a surprise when Roger decided to add some events to his schedule. It was however surprising that it was clay events in Hamburg and Gstaad. At this point Roger also decided to try out a new racquet, just after I had made a post suggesting he should do so. Great minds think alike they say. It didn’t turn out to be a very successful experiment though, but not because of the racquet.

Roger’s back became a problem again as he lost to Del Bonis in the semis of Hamburg and Brands in his first match at Gstaad. Now things were at the lowest point possible. I mean Stakhovsky, Del Bonis, Brands? What the hell is this! Things could only go one way from here, and that was upwards. Roger’s next tournament was in Cincy after he decided to skip Montreal and let his back rest. In Cincy he finally started showing signs of life again when he beat Kohschreiber and Haas, and then lost in a close 3-setter to Nadal after winning the 1st set. It was a drastic improvement from what transpired in Gstaad. Things were finally starting to look up again. Unfortunately Roger then drew Nadal again in the quarters of the US Open. And this time there would be no early exit from Nadal. Nadal was already waiting in the quarter finals when Roger stepped on the court for his 4th round match with Robredo.

Up until that point Roger had looked to be in superb form, routining his first three opponents in straight sets. So it was very strange to say the least when he ended up getting routined himself by Robredo of all people. Overnight his confidence had vanished into thin air. On every important point he choked like the biggest choker in the history of the sport. I mean he wasn’t even playing badly. It was just that whenever an important point came up he couldn’t make the most regulation of shots. It would have been funny if it wasn’t so tragic. There is no doubt that the upcoming meeting with Nadal was weighing heavily on his mind. Even the knowledge that he has to play Nadal is now enough to psyche him out completely. That is the extent of the damage Nadal have inflicted on the Federer psyche over the years. Another loss to Nadal at the only slam they haven’t played at yet was too much for Roger to bare.

It was a subconscious tank. Nothing more and nothing less. It was another disappointing and confidence sapping loss, but better than getting destroyed by Nadal in the last remaining slam. On to Shanghai and Roger suffered another disappointing loss in the 3rd round to Monfils. To me it was disappointing because Roger looked in good spirits in the doubles with local hero Zhang and did good to beat Seppi in straight sets in his first match. Monfils is also a notorious mental case despite his unreal talent. In the final set it looked like he was trying to throw away another match but Roger failed to capitalize, which frustrated me. But Monfils did serve awfully well, serving an unreturnable serve just about every time Roger had a break chance. It was like clockwork. Also Monfils went on to play a very decent match against Djokovic in the next round, which made me feel slightly better about Roger’s loss.

THAT moment 

Either way things had reached a point where something had to change. It was one bad loss after the other which seemed to be a never ending road to nowhere. I had a feeling Roger needed to revive his game in the indoor season or this would continue indefinitely and 2014 would be lost too. It was just a hunch I had. At this point he wasn’t even sure of qualifying for the Masters Cup, something that haven’t happened in more than 10 years. I felt he had to at least find a certain amount of confidence to give me hope that he could still have another good year in 2014, and his favorite indoor season was ideal for doing just that. It was now or never. He had to qualify for London and he had to make semis there at least. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Things went well enough in Basel where he lost to Del Potro in the final.

It was the same result as 2012 and given the rest of 2013 it was a good result. Roger had not yet technically qualified for London though. He still had to win his 1st match in Paris against Anderson, which he did. He then beat Kohlschreiber and would play Del Potro again in the quarters. It was time for revenge, which Roger got. It was only his second win over a top 10 player for the year, which tells you a lot about the kind of year he had. Things were looking considerably brighter though. I felt in a sense that Roger was back, but I still wanted him to qualify for the Masters Cup semis. In the Paris semis he would face Djokovic which would give him a good chance to gauge his form against the best. He started well while an intimidated-looking Djokovic dropped the 1st set. Djokovic soon got his act together then while Roger began looking flat, conceding the next two sets.

Onto London where Roger would play Djokovic in a second consecutive match, one that he lost again in 3 sets. I felt given how ridiculously slow the indoor courts in London had become, Roger did better against Djokovic than in Paris. He also did well to straight set Gasquet in his next match even though the level of tennis was nothing to write home about. It was all down to the match with Del Potro to decide who would qualify for the semis. This was the big test as far as I was concerned. OK maybe not the end of the world if he lost it, but still a very important match to win I felt. Roger was under the gun right from the outset, getting broken twice in the 1st set. But he kept clawing his way back like he was playing for his life. Even being a break down in the 2nd and 3rd sets was not gonna let this one get away from him.

He finally broke Del Potro at the late stage of 5-5 in the 3rd set and held serve for an epic win. It was as courageous(and dramatic) a match as I’ve ever seen him play. He showed the kind of determination and passion that had been missing for most of 2013. Thus I found it to be a very satisfying win. Roger had proven to me that he still wanted it as much as ever and that he could produce under pressure. It didn’t really matter to me how he got it done. It was more about an attitude than anything. After all the tough losses in 2013 where Roger often didn’t look very motivated I had started to doubt his attitude. Was his heart really still in it, or was he going through the motions? Well the match with Del Potro answered that question for me. I don’t doubt Roger anymore. I believe 2014 will be another successful year…

 

Yes, there were highlights:

Posted in Uncategorized.

36 Comments

  1. Thanks Ru-an, a very nice written, informative and fair summary of the difficult season in 2013. At this point, I keep wondering, why does Roger keep playing? Doping has obviously become a reality in tennis, even though we can’t know for sure how widespread it is and who is involved. But anybody who is willing to see it can detect the signs, without any profound knowledge of the topic. I hope Roger stays clean, if he is. Furthermore, the courts have been slowed down, for the benefit of some, but certainly not Roger. And his body is suffering, hindering him from playing at his best. All this results in him experiencing a low confidence, which seems to result in a vicious cycle. Yes, if everything clicks in and if the stars align in his favor, he can still produce some of the best tennis out there. But he can’t do it for many matches in a row, heck, he often can’t do it for many sets in a row, or even a decent number of games in a row… What is it that keeps him going? Does he believe he can still win many tournaments, even Grand Slams? Does he want to protect some of his records? Or does he enjoy to challenge the young and strong ones? He must get tired at some point to get denied the business end of the tournaments. I’m not saying he should retire, not even thinking it. It will only be good news for his family, nobody else, when he retires. But I’m interested in better understanding this exceptional athlete, in understanding why he still goes out there.

    [Reply]

    rahan Reply:

    I think that he really enjoys to play and he believes he can still win a Grand Slam

    He also want to protect some of his records, otherwise Rafa will take it all for granted.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hi Chris. Good comment and question. I was gonna write about this but my post was already too long. This article which someone posted on my last post says it well: http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2013/11/gods-and-humans/49792/#.UofdkSfYEmA. Despite all the odds that is against Roger I think he still believes there is something good in him left, and I think he feels 32 is too early to retire. He will regret it later in life if he quits now. Even Sampras regrets not playing longer. 32 is still young even in tennis years. Look at what Connors and Agassi did, and what Haas is doing. Sure Agassi and Haas didn’t have the miles on the body that Roger has, but in that sense I feel 2013 was almost a good year because he played less and his body got much needed rest. At this age it will go more in cycles for him I believe. You are right about the slow courts and and the conditions that doesn’t favor him though, and you do make a good case for him just calling it a day. But I think that is where that article also brings things into perspective. Roger doesn’t have to go out in a blaze of glory like Sampras did. That is an expectation some people have but for a great champion but as long as he enjoys what he is doing and there is even the smallest of chances of more slam glory I think it is worth continuing. I definitely think that there should be at least a chance that he can still achieve something great, even if it’s very small. That’s why I put so much emphasis on a revival during the indoor season. I just don’t see a great champion as him going through the motions and just playing for ‘fun’. There has to be something more that drives him, and I think he knows Nadal will probably catch up with his slam count. So it’s worth it to hang on and try and add that one extra slam, even though a lot of that will now not be in his hands. The draw will have to work out really well and he will have to find a run of form which is unbelievable. But we saw Sampras come from nowhere to win the US Open so we know it’s not entirely out of the question. I may make a post about this issue in a while, because it’s something quite important and interesting. Thanks for the question anyway.

    [Reply]

    rahan Reply:

    Hi Ruan and Chris

    “…So it’s worth it to hang on and try and add that one extra slam, even though a lot of that will now not be in his hands…”

    Yes, I also think that he should improve, even we consider only the months after USA OPEN.

    You may look at the data
    (I hope that I didn’t make a lot of mistakes):

    Nadal 13030
    after USA Open: 300+360+360+1000=2020

    Djokovich 12110
    after USA Open: 500+1000+1000+1500=4000

    Ferrer 5800
    after USA Open: 45+90+90+150+300+600=1275

    Murray 5790
    after USA Open: 0

    Del Potro 5255
    after USA Open: 500+600+500+180+200=1980

    Federer 4205
    after USA Open: 90+300+360+400=1150

    Berdych 4180
    after USA Open: 150+180+90+180+200=800

    Wawrinka 3730
    after USA Open: 90+45+180+180+400=885

    Gasquet 3300
    after USA Open: 90+180+10+250+10+180=720

    Tsonga 3065
    after USA Open: 150+45+360+90+10=655

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Interesting Rahan. Looks like you are making the role of stats man for my blog your own. Amazing that Djokovic made almost double the amount of points Nadal did since Nadal became #1. As for Roger I almost expected he would have made more points. But I would have liked to see the points distribution for the indoor events alone. If you look at this points distribution then Roger just about justified his #6 ranking, which is pretty bad considering the indoor season is usually the highlight of his season. At least he averaged better than Ferrer who as usual played every event possible.

    [Reply]

  2. Hi ! You may want to take a look at some pictures:

    HALL OF FAME… No 1 Roger Federer

    FROM

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/article-2492356/Roger-Federer–Hall-Fame-No-1.html


    Sportsmail today launches our brilliant new Hall of Fame – celebrating the greatest sporting champions in history.

    Each week, one of our team of writers will nominate their latest pick and write why they are being included.

    Our inaugural inductee is the best tennis player in the history of the game, 17-time champion Roger Federer. Here, tennis correspondent Mike Dickson explains why he has to be first in…

    [Reply]

  3. Hi Ru-an, good summary of a very grueling season. I’d have to say that despite his strong finish, which is very encouraging for next year, he still ends with a couple question marks over him.

    Is he still on the upswing, or is this his new best level? Judging from his performances, it’s hard to say since had to work so hard just to qualify for London, and then was drawn in the toughest group. Even in the Del Potro match, it was grit more than great shotmaking that got him through. It was crucial to know he still he had that grit, but it leaves open the question of whether he can still raise his game one more notch. Only time will tell.

    Like you, I don’t expect that his form will be sharp enough to win the AO. He still needs a couple of tournament wins to get his full confidence back, I’m not sure he can just step on court cold and win in Melbourne. If he can make it to quarters again that would be fantastic.

    I think Murray will be very strong and that he’s taking this long break in order to target AO. He’s won his first major (USO) and broken his Wimbledon duck, so the next logical step is to tackle the other hard-court Slam. After making the final three of the last four years, he’s quite hungry. If the draw works out well for him (i.e., he doesn’t have to face Federer or Nadal, only Djokovic) I feel he will win the title.

    Nadal will mount a very tough challenge and try to get that second AO title so he can burnish his hard-court credentials. I think Djokovic could stop him, but otherwise he will be very difficult to beat on such a slow court.

    Now that Federer finished the season strong rather than fading away, he can look to 2014 with confidence. I think he went through a short period where his motivation wavered a bit, and he wasn’t really sure what he should shoot for next. The injury may have compounded that and made the year even harder.

    Motivation is the most important thing, and he showed he still wanted it towards the end of this season. He’s still hungry to face and master new challenges.

    Unlike many people, I think Federer can regain the #1 ranking and that he will win many more Grand Slams, not just one. If he stays healthy, he should be able to sustain long stretches of high-level play through multiple tournaments, and then the sky’s the limit. So c’mon Roger!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well quite an optimistic statement from you as expected Steve. I agree with much of what you say although I’m not sure Murray will be ready to win the AO. Also I don’t think we will see Roger return to #1 and win many more slams. I can see him win one more at most. But he definitely proved something to me during the indoor season and I think there is a lot of hope. If Nadal wins the AO that’s his second career slam, something Roger couldn’t do. I don’t think he will win it though. I think he will slump in 2014, while Roger will rise again.

    [Reply]

  4. Hey Ru-an, what’s up? What’s up?? Kind of boring without Roger playing right?? I read Steve’s and your comment. I know it is wishful thinking, but I am with Mister Laver on this one: Roger will win AO 2014 !!! Hey if we let go of the hope, what is there left right?? And like you, I don’t think Rafa will win it. Novak or Roger will. Somehow Andy and Rafa will be stopped. Question is by who. And like Steve, I do think Roger can and will be number one again. But it will be like in the end of the year, not sooner. Like he says, number one is important, he is not interested in any other rank.
    And I also think Roger will rise, which means Rafa will fall. He cannot keep this up for two years in a row. Novak could not do that, so Rafa will definitely not.
    But…. the thing I am worried about is that Rafa will do a “Borg”. Meaning getting some important titles and then “retire” on a so called “injury”.
    And just to be clear, I really like and admire Bjorn Borg. First I did not even know he was a tennisplayer. I thought he was in the fashion !!!
    Roger has too much in common with Sampras and Rafa has too much in common with Borg…

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I was going to make a post this weekend but after the lack of responses on my last post I found it hard to motivate myself to make a post. You are the only one who has consistently commented of late, and maybe one or two others. If I make a post I wana at least see some discussion. It was after all a post about Roger’s entire season. Maybe people have given up on Roger after 2013, in which case I won’t blog much in 2014. It will be hard enough as it is going overseas again to do a different job.

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    Dear Ru-an,

    Don’t ever think that we have given up on you and Federer. How can we? We have been constantly monitoring your blogs all the time. Not making comments does not necessarily mean that we are not following you. You cannot imagine how great your blog has been to all our lives. It has become an integral part of our daily life. Probably we are a bit lazy sometimes to even type a few words. I think a bad year (by his own astronomical standards) in fact has turned Federer’s playing career even more interesting than ever. There should always be some unpredictability, twist in the tale. If Mathematically we assume that Fed had attained his absolute minima in 2013, his performance curve can only go up and will definitely attain a local maxima somewhere in the remaining years. I hope that local maxima was not his performance during this year’s indoor season. I know something better is coming definitely!

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Jiten Bhaisaab !!! Your comment + 1 !!! Except about the lazy part. Not lazy, some of us are just too busy. Good news is that Roger is already practising and I really think he will use the bigger racquet. Roger is not done at all. Trust me, as long as Rafa has the chance to overtake him, than Roger will go on. He will not sit by and let Rafa take it all. He will do more than his best to get 1 GS. This really sounds silly, everybody always says Wimby and USO are his best chances, but somehow I think he will do great (or even win) AO and RG !!! But we will see !!! Keeping faith in our Goat !!!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Jiten those are very nice words from you and gives me new inspiration. I can’t agree more about the twist in the tale and absolute minima as well as local maxima. I have thought and said that for a while now. I think we can expect a high at some point again and like you I don’t think it was the indoor season. Probably that was just the start of something good. Kind of a reminder that he can’t be written off yet and that there is something good still coming!

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Ru-an, don’t think of this as a threat, but you are not getting rid of me that easily !!! Like I have said many times before, I have been reading articles, etc about Roger for almost two years by many writers and commentators, but in my opinion you are
    the ONLY one who gets Roger (the way I think). So please keep going, also in 2014. I don’t know who will read it or comment, but I will.
    Unfortunately, I am so busy at work right now, that is why I comment less. I am working almost every day late and Saturdays too. So it may seem like I have forgotten this blog, but that is not the case at all. Hope you know that. Good news for me is that I have my vacation in 3 weeks. Something to look forward too and then I will have more time.
    So keep blogging Ru-an.
    Ps: What did you mean with your last sentence? Are you going abroad for a job??? Or did you mean something about Roger??
    Also ps: Like many many others, I will never give up on our Goat. He is fighting, so will we !!!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes I’m going abroad for work. Still don’t know how I’m gonna fit in blogging because this time it’s gonna be really crazy.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well thanks Katyani. I happen to agree with you about me being the only one ‘getting’ Roger in a certain way. I always felt a certain chemistry/mysterious connection with Roger. For most people that will sound like madness but for the people who have followed my blog for a while they will know there is something there. I know you guys are still faithfully following my blog. I see it in my traffic. It’s just that I put the effort in even though Roger is struggling and when people don’t really play an active role it feels like I’m doing it all myself and I lose inspiration.

    [Reply]

    Wilfried Reply:

    Hi Ruan,
    I second Jiten’s reply.
    We don’t give up on you neither on Roger Federer.
    It’s not the quantity of posts and comments that really matters to me either, but your writing style and the ideas expressed in your posts (and in the comments section) that I find worthwhile of reading,and that make me coming back to your blog .
    Lately I haven’t been able to watch tennis as often as I’d like to and used to before, which made it more difficult for me to join the discussions on your blog this year.
    Roger’s inconsistent results this season didn’t make things any easier either, particularly for someone like me who likes to analyze and wants to gauge Roger’s chances of winning more important titles(adding eventually another episode to his already brilliant career).
    Like Steve I can see Roger winning another slam, but I don’t expect him to ever climbe back to number one in the rankings. That’s a too tall order in my view as it requires a consistent relative high performance level over a long period of time.
    Roger is behind Ferrer and Del Potro in the ATP rankings. But is that ranking not a bit deceptive after all?
    In my view Roger is still a much better player than the two that preceed him in the rankings. It will show at the AO where JM Del Potro never really delivered what one could expect from him.
    As for the AO, I doubt Roger will find himself drawn in the same quarter of the draw with Nadal again (like at the US Open last year).
    I expect Roger therefore to at least make the QF’s in Melbourne.
    Anything less would disappoint me.

    [Reply]

    Wilfried Reply:

    correction to my comment: “like at the US Open last year” should read “like at the US Open this year”

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    Even I have subconsciously beginning to think 2013 as “the last year”. It’s the Federer Effect. Start of the slack season means, the year is over. Thank God that he is not playing any Exhos this year. He needs practice and the body needs rest in between. I think last year’s schedule towards the end of the year was a calculated risk and Fed’s body could not recover completely from the wear and tear accumulated over the season. Hopefully in 2014, Fed will be able to accomplish his objectives set at the beginning of the year. COME ON CHAMP!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hi Wilfried. I know it’s harder to be optimistic and comment when Roger is not performing the way he used to. I kind of understand what is going on now. As the leader of this blog I had to stay strong and optimistic when Roger wasn’t looking good. Eventually it just wears on you because you feel like you are in it alone. But it’s fine I understand now why you guys were less enthusiastic to comment. I don’t blame you and I hope you guys will feel more optimistic after Roger’s indoor season. As for Ferrer and Delpo being ahead of Roger I agree. I still think Roger is better too. I mean he just beat Delpo in back-to-back matches after all, and we all know the h2h between Roger and Ferrer is heavily in Roger’s favor(14-0!). So in 2014 when Roger has few points to defend I would definitely like to see him get back into the top 4 where he belongs.

    [Reply]

    Josafina Reply:

    Hello Katyani,

    I don’t think Borg retired due to “injury.” He was before my time so I’m not 100% sure, but I think he was under contract with the WTT and wasn’t happy with being forced to play certain tournaments. Also, I know he was quite renowned for fitness and I’ve never heard mention of injury. Do you know something I don’t?

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Josafina, I regretted what I wrote about him as soon as I posted it. Borg was also before my time. Seriously, I only knew him of clothes, sunglasses and underwear. Then suddenly I heard his name during a match. Did not even know he was a tennisplayer. But he was a handsome one !!! Even now, he looks so nice and he has a niceness about him like Mister Laver. I do not know about his injury, but I heard he retired at 27 because of it. And no way he is the same as Rafa, but some things they do have in common.
    I have never seen Borg play, but I can see his is a nice man…..

    [Reply]

    Josafina Reply:

    He certainly was a handsome one! I think he was a bit like Rafa in terms of playing style. Borg had a one-handed backhanded and played from the baseline – quite rare in those days. Anyway, I’d never heard that Borg was injured, so I thought I would ask.

    Take Care!

    [Reply]

  5. Hi Ruan,
    Slightly off topic, but I tend to agree with your assessment that Nadal might not win the AO next year despite him being the highest seed.
    Based on current form and recent results, Nadal and Djokovic seem to have the best chances to win the AO.
    But their form is not the only indicator of things to expect.
    The player’s results in the past have to be taken into account.
    For instance their slam results as highest seed of the draw in a slam.
    Divided over two periods of 4 consecutive slams, Nadal was no less than 8 times highest seed in a slam draw during his career.
    His performance went like this:
    First period (2008-2009):
    Nadal Loses the US Open 2008 from Murray (1), wins the A0 2009 (2), loses RG 2009 from Söderling (3) and withdraws from Wimbledon 2009 (4);
    Second period (2010-2011):
    Nadal wins the US Open 2010 (1), loses the AO 2011 QF from D. Ferrer (2), wins RG 2011(3) , and loses Wimbledon 2011 from Djokovic (4).
    Nadal’s record as highest seed in the draw is therefore: 3 wins, 4 losses and 1 withdrawl.
    The same applies to Djokovic whose balance is also askew: only 3 wins out of 8 slams in which Novak was the highest seed.
    Only Roger Federer has a break-even record in that respect: 11 wins out of 22 events in which he entered as highest seed in the slam draw.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Interesting stats Wilfried. It is true that Roger liked being the favorite while Nadal and Djokovic does not like it. If Djokovic or Nadal had 22 events as the top seed I promise you their records would have been way worse then 50%. You can see what happened as soon as Nadal overtook Djokovic in the rankings. Djokovic all of a sudden was in his more comfortable chasing role and started winning everything, while Nadal didn’t like being the chased and started faltering for the first time in 2013.

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  6. Hi Ru-an, Heatiest Greetings to you. You know I never miss reading your blog, your analysis of Roger’s tennis in all avenues. It’s the best, please keep it up for us all, whenever your time allows it, of course. Ru-an, question….is it not your 5th anniversary of your blog coming up? Am looking for the promised blog to help you celebrate, a salute to this occasion.
    Kindly,
    Dolores

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    Dolores Reply:

    Ooops, should read “Heartiest Greetings”, Sorry.

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    Jiten Reply:

    No Dolores, heatiest suits just fine. Ru-an really needs some HEAT as he was under the impression that his followers have been pretty cold about his last blog. Ha ha ha!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes Dolores my 5th anniversary is coming up. Stay tuned.

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  7. Right on, Jiten, Ru-an does need a little bit of HEAT….he has that idea all wrong, we do not abandon him because we are a bit quiet like tennis is at the moment. Cheers, Ru-an!

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    rahan Reply:

    I also hope that Ru-an will continue this wonderful blog at least until RF will win his next GS !

    Allez Roger and Ru-an !!

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