Federer’s Season Ends in London Semis Against Nadal

Well it wasn’t to be guys, but I am still happy with Roger’s indoor season and proud of him for persisting and eventually finding some form. It didn’t culminate to the point I had hoped for, but in hindsight it’s too much to ask to set right in three weeks what has been going wrong since the Australian Open. The fact that 2012 was such an emotional and draining year meant that 2013 was always going to be a bit of a lull, and then on top of that there was the back injury which really messed with Roger’s confidence. His confidence reached an all time low post Wimbledon. In Cincinnati he started fighting back, and although he suffered two more very tough losses to Robredo at the US Open and Monfils in Shanghai, he did very well to end the year on a relative high with his results in his last three events. I was hoping he could defeat Nadal, but the Del Potro match had taken a lot out of him.

In the end it was just one match too many. It has been a busy three weeks for Roger and the match against Del Potro must have been incredibly tiring. Something similar to last year when he beat Del Potro in the semis at the Olympics and then had nothing left against Murray in the final. Maybe the confidence also weren’t quite there yet. Where this occurred to me most was when he missed a forehand down the line on break point at 3-2 on Nadal’s serve in the 1st set. It wasn’t a regulation forehand but it is one that a confident Roger would have made. That was probably the most important moment in the match, because after that Nadal started gaining the upper hand. At 4-4 and 15-15 Roger hit the most ridiculous of slice approach shots that sat up right in the middle of the court on Nadal’s forehand. As expected Nadal drilled the passing shot for winner.

Nadal won the next point and at 15-40 he drilled another forehand winner to break serve. With Nadal serving for the set in the next game Roger went up 30-15 on his serve and then won a 30-shot rally with a forehand winner. It was probably the point of the match and it was encouraging to see Roger win it. He then also broke back after a Nadal forehand sailed long. The encouraging signs didn’t last long however, because Nadal hit an extremely accurate forehand winner at 15-15 in the next game to create another small opening for him. He went up 40-15 again and broke again after Roger hit a forehand into the net. This time Nadal made no mistake as he served out the set to love. At this point I wasn’t sure whether he lost the 1st set due to fatigue or due to lack of confidence. So I still had some hope that he could fight back.

32.0

But I should have known he was tired because his footwork lacked an extra step which caused him to make several errors. Roger then got broken in the 5th game of the 2nd set after dumping a regulation forehand half way into the net. He finally got broken again at 5-3 to lose the match 7-5, 6-3. So in the end a pretty comfortable win for Nadal and the first time he beat Roger indoors. There were encouraging signs at the start of the match and I thought Roger could win, but after he missed that forehand on break point it was all over. In the end it was probably a combination of not being quite confident enough yet and tiredness. Or maybe just tiredness? It’s hard to say. Either way he was comfortably beaten and I am still happy with the way the year has ended. The Del Potro match was the key one.

That is where Roger convinced me that there is yet life left in the old war horse. People may not understand why I make such a big deal of that match or why I wanted him to qualify for the semis so badly. It comes from experience and intuition. I know that some matches are more key than other looking ahead and I know which ones. Also I don’t expect people to agree. I believe the one with Del Potro was key. How much life there is left in Roger we will find out next year. But I have no doubt there is something good left. I am excited about 2014 as a fan. I think it will be a lot better than 2013. Roger will also be helped by the fact that he won’t have many point to defend. He ends this year at #6 and I think next year he could get back into the top 4. Then his draw become easier as well. He needs to start getting back into slam semis now from where there is always a shot at the title.

He should seriously consider a bigger, more powerful racquet and a change to his fitness as well. I don’t think he is fit enough and I don’t think he has enough power. Bulking up in the upper body like I previously suggested may cause him to gain too much weight which wouldn’t help his speed and endurance. Therefor he should change to a bigger, more powerful racquet that gives him more margin for error from the base line. Physically he should do an Agassi or a Haas. Gil Reyes made Agassi run hills all day and he did a lot of gym work too. He was in the best shape of his life in his 30’s. I feel like Roger tires too easily, like for instance like he was against Nadal just now. Roger plays one tough match and he is finished in the next match. It happened in Paris against Djokovic too. He is not winning any more slams like that.

Sums it up pretty well zzzzzz

You have to win 7 best of 5-set matches in two weeks. You can’t afford to be physically and emotionally spent after a long 5-setter. Look at how Djokovic keeps going. He won Paris and plays three 3-set matches in London. Yet he is fit as a fiddle against Stan in the semis and schools him 3 and 3. These guys don’t get tired and neither can Roger afford to if he wants to win another slam. And like I said he is getting hit off the court by the big hitters. Maybe not so much indoors but on the slower outdoor courts I think he definitely does. Roger started gaining confidence with his old racquet again and didn’t experiment again after the US Open like he said he would. So I don’t think he would change racquets again because he is stubborn like that. But I thought I’d mention it anyway because I think it may be a good idea to change.

I definitely think he should get much fitter though. And of course he needs to take care well of his back. Tonight is the final between Djokovic and Nadal which I will be watching. I think Djokovic will win. I hope he does anyway. I’m not quite satisfied after Roger made semis. I still want to see Nadal denied the Masters Cup. Or lets just say I want to see Djokovic win it…

 

Ps. I added a contact form to my blog which you can find on the top bar. So after 5 years of blogging you now have a proper place to contact me. Better late than never, right?

Highlights:

Presser: http://www.atpworldtour.com/Media/Video-Landing/*/Tennis/Media/Videos/Uploaded/2013/11/10/Barclays-ATP-World-Tour-Finals-2013-Sunday-Interview-Federer.aspx

 

Posted in Uncategorized.

45 Comments

  1. Always read all posts on Roger all sites for years. never responded so far. Agree with your analysis totally. While he is back, unless he improves stamina and/or uses bigger recquet, he wont beat big 5 outdoors despite his superb game. There can be never a bigger pleasure than watch him play and no other player can ever do it.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Always good to hear for the first time from someone who has been reading my blog for a long time Santhi. Thanks for reading.

    [Reply]

  2. Ru-an I have also been a fan of your blog for a long time. I enjoy reading your posts and am sad that the season is over. I am hoping Roger gets some rest and works on whatever he has to so that 2014 will be better than this year. I haven’t given up on him and I so hope he has one more slam in him. To me he is the goat. I have never been a fan of Nadal or Novak and their day will come when they are no longer on top. Looking forward to 2014.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Chris. I really appreciate you long time readers a lot. You mean a lot to me. I’m sad the tennis season is over too and I am looking forward to 2014. I think there could be one last slam left in him.

    [Reply]

  3. Hey, Ru-an! After having 24 hours to reflect on this, I do agree that there is hope. Yes, Roger may be getting old, and yes – maybe he is stubborn.

    But, I think that the last 3 weeks did a lot of good to Roger. Well, it wasn’t the 2011 Basel, Paris, London sweep but, compared to the rest of 2013 it was probably the best he has played since Australia.

    Speaking of Australia, I’m very happy that it’s coming in couple of months time.

    I am really curious as to what Roger plans to do with his equipment. I am not an expert on this but it seemed that Serena Williams played with her strings and that all of a sudden gave her new life. Should Roger do that?

    I also thought that maybe he should try a slightly bigger racquet – similar to the one Del Potro is using. I don’t know.

    The key for us as fans, is not to expect too much from Roger nowadays because certainly we would be disappointed. Roger is not this unbeatable KING that he was. With that being said, it certainly is plausible that should things fall his way he’ll be a contender.

    I, for example won’t try to build up too much into certain matches like I did for this year’s US Open. It went too far. I was talking non-stop about Roger and Nadal and it never happened.

    I also have give up on all the H2H count. You can see why. Roger and Novak are now 16:15. Pretty soon he’ll a negative H2H with all his three rivals.

    But that’s ok! Roger is not playing for these stats = he’s playing for the love of the game, etc.

    We’ll see how it goes. I’ll be cautiously optimistic. And if Novak beats Nadal today, I’ll even smile, knowing that Novak will be the defender of Roger’s records if the need arises.

    But we’ll see. The monster is hungry for the title. But post US-Open, Djokovic has been this MERCILESS KILLER which I like!!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    No worries Vily we all have had expectations and have been disappointed. We just have toe be cautiously optimistic like you say. I had expectations myself and was disappointed as a result. It happens. We just have to learn from it and know we can’t expect as much from Roger as we used to. Cautious optimism. I like that.

    [Reply]

  4. I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you and especially Ru-an for all the fantastic conversation, analysis, and THERAPY this year. I needed you! Really, if I din’t have you and this blog to vent to, my wife would probably have killed me already. Have a wonderful holiday season and can’t wait to see Roger back and ready to go (with a bigger racket) in the new year. Below a few words from the man himself… Long live the king!!!

    “I think it was a stronger finish than I thought it was going to be in Basel, Paris and London. I’m more positive now looking ahead than I would have been a few months ago, when I wasn’t quite sure what to expect after the U.S. Open.”

    “What I learned is that I can play three weeks pretty easily,” he said. “I played a lot of matches as of late, a lot of three setters, a lot of tennis. From that standpoint, that’s very satisfying, knowing that the body can do it, the mind can do it, life allows it to happen. I’m happy that I have that option, as well, that I know I can play three weeks in a row because I remember (Andre) Agassi didn’t do that at all any more toward the end of his career. He used to play one, maybe two, he would always pull out the third week if there was something planned.”

    “The thing is that when you stop, you’re still so young that why stop so early? Why just walk away from it because, I mean, I have many other things to do in my life than play tennis, but because I can still choose, I pick to play,” he said. “As long as I have this choice, I’ll keep on playing.”

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Haha no problem Eric. It’s been a pleasure.

    [Reply]

  5. Dear Ruan, I’ve been lurking around here for a while and delurking for now. First, thank you for your effort and your analysis of the matches – always a treat to read.

    Now on to a thing that’s bothering me lately, mostly because I’ve read it in many places. I agree with you that Roger’s fitness and physical strength is lacking when compared to Nadal and Djokovic, but I’m not sure whether I can agree with your conclusion, especially since you bring in Gil Reyes.

    Because I don’t believe improving the level of fitness and strength is as easy as to hit the gymn hard or running up a hill. Every professional sportsman does train a lot, they’re surely no slouches! But without a magic potion or two (gluten free diet, anyone ;-) ?) it seems impossible to reach the superhuman stamina and strength levels of certain players in the game (or come even close). I understand that an extra portion of confidence also comes in a package with the physical superiority.

    So I’d rather my favourite player is inferior, but makes me believe in him. Maintaining integrity is worth much more than winning, imho. If Fed showed up, sporting a torso like Djokovic and with unfreakingbelievable (in the true sense of the word!) stamina, I must admit, I’d be extremely disappointed. Imho it’s completely natural to be tired after a long match, not so for Djokovic though for (to me) obvious reasons.

    But maybe it’s inevitable the way the game is developping at the moment, with the insane levels of defense involved. Personally I think it destroys the beauty of the game when the defenders are so much stronger then the attackers, because they can retrieve about everything, wearing down the opposition, forcing them to go for early winners, turned unforced errors.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Ute. I see what you are saying. But there is no doubt ways to improve fitness without drugs. And I know Roger already works hard in that area and that he has a back problem. I am just stating what I believe to be a fact. If he can’t improve his fitness somehow he won’t be contending for slams. He gets tired too easily.

    [Reply]

  6. Hello Ru-an, greetings to you from your old friend, an avid Roger and Ru-an fan. Your blog has been my best source to keep me informed of what is happening in Roger’s matches. Did watch the Nadal match, thought Roger looked very tired, was not surprised that he lost the match. You know, I do not like Nadal, much less like to watch him play. Well, we must be upbeat for the coming new season as Roger has big plans to have a good year. In Blick.com, you will find Roger’s comments on what he expects to accomplish in 2014.
    It will be a quiet time for us Fedfans for a while. Hope you will keep in touch once in a while, Ru-an.
    Just checked the Djoko/Nadal match….am with you, hope Djoko wins it. Boring tennis, bashing the ball back and forth….
    Good wishes to Roger and family, to you and all Fedfans that come to your blog.
    Kindly,
    Dolores

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Dolores and yes I will stay in touch. I have my 5 year blog anniversary coming up and I plan to celebrate it.

    [Reply]

  7. Hi Ru-an, I have been reading this blog since
    2009 (the loss of RF in Australia) and I would also like to thank you for your great analysis and therapy. Please continue your work at least until Rio 2016 :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Haha no problem Rahan. I will see what I can do ;-)

    [Reply]

  8. Djokovic stops Nadal once again. Some amazing points were played there and unbelievable gets from djokovic. Jaw dropping stuff. Obviously the best ever season ending would have been federer winning the atp masters finals but I’m still a very happy camper to see djokovic dominate nadal once again. Hope is not lost.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I’m with you Alex ;-)

    [Reply]

  9. Hi Ru-an. Agree with most of what you say. What I’d like to add are two things – The execution of tactics and concentration. Roger is too inconsistent with these two aspects to win against the very best – Djokovich, Murray and Nadal.

    By the way, I just returned from the 02 arena. What a joy it was to see Nadal getting straightened. I’ll describe my experience in some detail after your next post on the finals.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Would have loved to be there myself Grumpy. Looking forward to your comment.

    [Reply]

  10. I am not so sure there is some kind of solution for beating the other big 3. Probably the only thing for Roger is to work his way back to his best and try to regain his previous level from like a year ago. It seems to me like the only way to beat them is by somehow playing an inspired match. That kind of performance with a lot of winners and balanced unforced errors throughout the whole match is very difficult to pull off but it has happened for Roger before and I hope it will happen again for him in the slams.

    [Reply]

  11. And the monster was slain again! Nadal was denied and will have a big fat 0 when it comes to WTF titles! ;-) )

    I’ll have more to say about this but the one shot that impresses so much with Djokovic – more than anything else is his INSANE GOD-LIKE ability to retrieve Nadal’s inside-out killer forehand from inside the court!

    I saw it at this year’s US Open and now here! It took my breath away! Standing toe to toe and demolishing Nadal’s morale when he is playing attacking tennis! Simply a sight to watch!

    Go Novak! Thank you! :-)

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Vily, “to retrieve Nadal’s inside-out killer forehand from inside the court!”…. How can Roger learn that? Or is it a singlehanded doublehanded thing???

    [Reply]

  12. Agreed. Dodged a bullet. How could anyone say Nadal is the GOAT with zero WTF titles? It isn’t going to get any easier for him either. This was his best shot, that is unless than move it to clay. What a strange egotistical man, Nadal is, always cloaking himself in false humility. The whole world needs to revolve around him–WTF needs to be on clay, there needs to be a 2 year ranking formula, steroid testing is too intrusive, etc.

    Funny, cause Federer always gets called out as arrogant when he is actually just being honest.

    [Reply]

  13. 2013 was a very difficult year for Roger and Fedfans, there were some improvements at the end of the year in Roger’s game, but not enough to become an optimist, some great victories like the one against Delpo will come on his way, but unfortunately I can not see any other GS wins on his plate. I wish Roger good luck and all the best in what was left of his professional career and also to be able to choose wisley and the moment when he will call it a day . IMHO 2016 Rio is not a realistic date.

    [Reply]

  14. I respectfully disagree. If his body holds up and he can stay in the top 8 and feel competitive, Rio it is. He loves it even more than we love watching him do it. Why should he stop when only a handful of men on the planet can beat him?

    [Reply]

    Michel Reply:

    And I respectfully invite you to count tne number of players that defeated Roger in 2013, their rankings and the number of times they won against Roger. Some of the stats spell trouble, real trouble.
    “It’s not dark yet but it’s gettin’ t there”.

    [Reply]

  15. It is encouraging that Roger has lifted his game from the doldrums of much of this year to at least pose a threat to the top players again. But there are still some steps to go before he can think of rejoining them.

    While he is capable still of outplaying formidable opponents such as del Potro there are parts of his game that are lacking against the top two of Nadal and Djokovic – and perhaps also Murray now. His backhand remains a relative weakness, he is too prone to error on important points, and his serve doesn’t cause the damage that it used to. He also lacks the extraordinary defensive skills of those top three players.

    Can he change any of that – particularly as he enters his 33rd year? We might hope that his recovery from back injury will aid him, and that he will regain confidence as he is able to execute better under pressure. He should certainly start to play some better tennis again if that happens.

    But suggestions that he needs to improve his stamina, his strength, and get a bigger racquet to increase his power are an implicit acknowledgement of the elephant in the room. For Roger to become a stronger, faster, more tireless version of his younger self he will need to follow the same approach that his chief rivals have likely adopted (including perennial evergreens like Ferrer.) Unless he does so I fear he has no chance now of beating the top players for major titles. But I doubt he will drink from that cup.

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    As much as I’d love to disagree with you Rich, there is a lot of truth in what you say!

    There are so many variables now that it’s almost impossible to see Roger lift another BIG one!

    The one thing that does make me have some hope is this:

    If Nadal is the only player that consistently beat Federer, I’d be OK with that!

    Djokovic, Murray and Del Potro can beat Roger on a consisten basis as well but it’s not an absolute given.

    If against Nadal, Roger has 20% of winning, you have to at least give a respectful 40% chance of success against Novak, 45-50% against Murray and 50-55% against Delpo.

    The fact that he did push Novak twice to three sets – the same Novak that utterly outplayed Nadal today (who outplayed Roger) – then at least there is some sense in the matchup talk after all!

    If we just accept that Nadal is just a poor matchup for Roger, but everyone else can be beaten by him, assuming an increase in form – then it’s theoretically plausible that he can win!

    Against Nadal – I admit – the ship has sailed – that rivalry is pretty much over.

    But against the other players – you just never know.

    At the same time, getting to the QFs and SFs won’t be cake walk either as it was shown at the French, Wimbledon and the US Open!

    That being said, Australia has been probably Roger’s most CONSISTENT tournament of All the Grand Slams!

    Shocking? But true! I think he has reached the SFs or better for the last 10 years! He wasn’t able to do at Wimbledon and the US Open!

    He’s done very well there even though he only has 4 titles! Maybe it’s because he’s always fresh in the beginning of the year – who knows.

    In any case, a lot will depend on off-season preparation, DRAW and simply luck! Plus, the first 3-4 rounds are not a true indicator either.

    We’ll just have to wait and see! I’ve always wanted Roger to add at least one more AO Title – at this point it’s a pipe dream more than anything else – but you just never know with Roger!

    But I’ll grant you this – he is no longer a definite shoe in for the QFs or the SFs. If he does reach them though, and there is no Nadal lurking, you never know! :-)

    [Reply]

  16. I told you so.
    The djoker has done it again.
    3 and 3 demolition to win his 3rd season ending championships.
    What extraordinary defense this man possesses.
    Just out of this world and its even better than nadal’s and add to the fact that he is also faster,its just mind boggling how he does it.
    Just look at this if you want to see what I mean: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrshHNGrRfc
    He is playing great and his winning streak is 22 and who knows he can even beat his own 41 next season.
    This sets up 2014 really well.looking forward to it.

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    That rally was not just insane – but an absolute sight to behold. I am just gonna call it:

    “The beheading of a monster” LOL! Imagine that Nadal is 3 or 4 – headed dragon. Well, that rally just cut one of his heads off.

    Time and time again up against a break point, Nadal has always gone to this nasty serve out wide to bail him out of trouble – but I mean Novak has really improved as a volley player – he’s better than Roger at this point in their respective careers – and he just pummeled Nadal there.

    I just hope that the trend continues and in Paris next year, Djokovic finally does what he failed to do twice already – finally put the stake in the heart and close the coffin to finish him off. I have been waiting too long for this moment!!! ;-) )

    I know – I watch too many movies sometimes! LOL

    [Reply]

    V Reply:

    Yeah I have to agree with you.
    Djokovic is probably the most complete player in the history of the sport.
    He has just got everything and every base covered.The little chunk in the armor would be his low volleying skills and an aberration of a overhead smash for a player of his quality.
    If he improves those two things,he will be nigh unbeatable(more than what he is -just crazy to think about)
    He has really improved his serve several folds.He was always a great returner and now is arguably the GOAT when it comes to service returns imo.
    And add to it his leopard like agility and wall like defences-You have THE PERFECT package if ever there was one and he is having that aura which federer had in his prime and is a mental giant who does not the definition of nerves.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks for the link V and I agree 2014 looks good.

    [Reply]

    V Reply:

    No problem Ruan.
    Yeah 2014 just looks much much brighter now with the true world no 1 if you would like to call it finally regaining his former dominant self.
    I think that French Open semi final loss hurt djokovic and carried on pretty much through the summer till may be even the USO.
    Now he has shaked it off and see how he is playing.
    The thing with djokovic is that he is probably the only one who can do damage to nadal even from his forehand side,not saying that others can’t but djokovic is probably the only one who can run down that huge inside out and up the line forehand of nadal’s and put it back with interest.
    I think thats the play which hurts nadal most.If he is unable to cause damage from that particular shot of his,he seems to have no options left.
    He just goes for the same shot with more top spin and more top spin and even more top spin.The thing with that is that djokovic has improved his defensive abilities of the forehand side to such higher levels that the shot is not bothering him much anymore.
    And we all know that going for a crosscourt forehnad against djokovic is pretty much suicide for nadal given the fact that djokovic has one of the best backhands of all time.So thats where djokovic is able to get the upper hand in the latter part of their rivalry to me.His improved defenses on the forehand side has contributed much to this change of fortunes for him.
    On a side note,i read your latest post about the london 13 finals and yeah I have got to agree with you.Its just ridiculous how slow all the courts have become.indoor clay lol dont be surprised if what you say comes true ruan.
    Why can’t they allow all types of players to excel??Is the ATP too afraid that it will lose precious money if the top players don’t win??I think in contrary,if younger players are able to step up and challenge the top players,it would only make the tour more lively and more popular than what it is now.
    I hate to say it,but as much as people love this slugfest of a game this has become,it is pretty boring to say the least because all the points are the same with no variation whatsoever.All points are like replays of the earlier points played over and over again.
    Sadly the money minded ATP is too self centered to realise this and I hope they realise thier mistake before it is too late.NO point in changing courts when younger generation gets used to the present type of courts and themselves start to play grinder grinder.

    [Reply]

  17. I’ve become a regular reader of this blog. I find it interesting to read about tennis from the perspective of people who support a player that is not my favourite. I even understand that some of you want to see Nadal fall even better than Federer winning some match or other. Making fun of Nadal may be a relief but it really does not make anybody any more intelligent or witty. It gets tiring after some time and in the end it feels like a sorry thing. Djokovic was the better player last night, there is no question about it. Noone is saying the contrary. Nadal arrived late in the match and started playing moderately well and hitting the ball properly at the end of the second set. Maybe a decider would have changed things but Djoko gave him no chance. Serving and returning like that is just unbelievable. However I think there are peaks in form during the season. Nadal is not the player he was at the US Open (he’s run out of gas, this has been a very demanding season for him, playing finals most of the time) and Djokovic is just awesome now but in the spring and summer he was not regular at all. In short, form comes and goes, class is permanent.

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    Well, waddya know, the die-hard Nadal fan is back – and to a Federer fan site. Yeah, we know Roger isn’t your favorite player. But you are right about one thing – “form comes and goes”. That’s Rafa for sure. Funny that.

    [Reply]

    Jian Reply:

    I agree that gloating over Nadal’s misfortune is kind of mean and I dont’t blame you for defending him. I am disgusted whenever I see people bash federer on other sites. However as a Roger fan I can’t help rooting against Nadal every time and I admit I feel relieved whenever he loses.

    [Reply]

  18. Great match from Djokovic – inspirational, really. Watching it though I realized how hard it would be Federer to beat Nadal at this stage. Djokovic really defends very well on his forehand side to the big inside out forehands of Nadal (which is basically Nadal’s one shot where he comes out of hiding and tries to be aggressive). Time after time Djokovic defended to the right. In fact he did it so much that Nadal panicked and started to go for too much and make errors – just like Federer goes for too much. Nadal hit just 9 winners or something the whole match.

    The other shot is the backhand return. Djokovic basically gave Nadal no free points on the return. The backhand return was just solid and deep. Vs Federer, Nadal gets at least 1 or 2 guaranteed points every service game by kicking it to Federer’s backhand, and then Federer tamely slices it into the net. Over and over that strategy has been used. I don’t think anything can fix this problem. But I still like the fact Fed has a single-hander.

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    Good points. Djokovic defends even better than Nadal. And that’s saying something. There’s no part of the court he can’t cover or defend.

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    All you say are valid points. The Federer slice return is precisely what has gotten him to the 17 GS titles, however. It works beautifully against 90% of the players and it is only Nadal who has been able to exploit it!

    It is difficult to change your game when it works against everyone else! It is so natural for a one hander.

    So, I am not gonna blame Roger for losing to Nadal so many times. It is what it is. The same way in which Djokovic is able to school Nadal – he is just better. In the US Open Final, there was about a 30 minute stretch – from the beginning of the second set towards the end of the third – where Djokovic was SCHOOLING Nadal like he has never been schooled ever before! Had he won that third set, it would have been over. Nadal’s confidence and Novak’s lack thereof cost him that Title. But when Novak is confident, almost no one can stop – except Roger (no pun intended).

    The point is that everyone meets their maker – it’s ok! Roger is inferior to Nadal but superior Djokovic who is superior to Nadal. It’s funny how it goes!

    Anyway….

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Right Bharata it is what it is and I still like Fed’s one-hander.

    [Reply]

  19. I think the game has changed so much in terms of court surface and racket/string technology that a one handed backhand doesn’t cut it any more. Sure, the slice backhand return won Roger a lot of his GS titles against the likes of Roddick, Karlovic, Philippoussis and others. It also works great against the big guys like Delpo or Isner. But with Novak, Andy and Rafa (with extra sauce cause he’s a leftie) who defend on both wings extremely well it’s not gonna work. The same goes for Stan, Gasquet and other one handers. There always comes a time in a ralley where the onehander is at a disadvantage because of the spin or the power and control the twohanders can create.
    And I think this is only the beginning. I don’t see them stopping the slowing down of the courts any time soon. Get ready for 7-9 hour GS finals with standard 40-60 point ralleys.

    [Reply]

  20. Hey Ruan/fellow fans,

    Do you know when Roger will announce his 2014 schedule? or maybe I have missed it already? I know he is starting in Brisbane next year.
    Thanks in advance for heads up!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    No I don’t. It will be on his website.

    [Reply]

    Ernest Reply:

    It isn’t on yet. Will keep checking. Very curious how he is gonna schedule next year. More tournaments or less? His 2013 was all messed up.

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply

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