Flawless Federer Dismantles Raonic Serve to Make 6th Cincinnati Final

Well, this was JesudFed through and through. To remove a huge server like Raonic 6-3, 6-2 from the draw in 67 minutes takes some doing. And he needed to be that quick because this time Cincy is trying to screw Roger with the draw. It was bad enough that Roger had to play the second semi, not before 9 pm in the evening, but then they put on the WTA semi, not before 7 pm. This means after the 71 minute 6-3, 6-2 drubbing of Ferrer over Benneteau in the first semi there was still more than 100 minutes of waiting for the WTA to start, as Ferrer and Benneteau started at 4 pm. And then the WTA comes out and delivers their specialty which is a boring three set marathon.  I don’t even know at what time Roger finally got on the court. Probably around 10 pm. I mean it’s just disgusting scheduling. But Roger made a mockery of it by defeating Raonic in little more than an hour.

From the get go he looked the part, holding serve to love in the opening game and breaking Raonic right away. Then he held serve to love again to take a 3-0 lead. In fact, he was peRFect on serve in the first set, not dropping a single point while making 69% of first serves. It gets no better. At 5-2 Roger then broke Raonic again after he was 15-40 down. Raonic finally served a double fault on set point. Roger was playing so well on his own serve that it put a lot of pressure on the Raonic serve which cracked under the pressure. Raonic ended with a 44% first serve percentage not because he was having a poor serving day, but because JesusFed was on the opposite end of the court. At the start of the second set, Raonic had a break point on Roger’s serve but importantly Roger snuffed it out.

Things went according to serve until 4-3 where Roger got the break after playing a terrific return game and set up break point after ripping a backhand pass down the line. Roger then went to deuce on his own serve but consolidated to make his sixth final of the year and sixth Cincy final. Vily posted the stats on my last post which says Cincy is the only tourney that Roger has won 5+ times where he has a peRFect record in the final. So going by that and the fact that Roger has a peRFect 15-0 record against Ferrer Roger must be the heavy favorite going into the final. It was really the dream performance against Raonic where everything just worked out peRFectly. And it couldn’t have been more timely given the scheduling. If it went to three sets Roger would have been screwed for the final again but he took matters into his own hands and is not the favorite for the title.

As good as it gets

This is make-or-break for Roger, but I have full faith that he will win in straight sets this time, unlike Toronto where the courts were slower. Roger has looked the part ever since the Murray match and I don’t expect fatigue to play a role in the final. In fact, I can see him doing something similar to Ferrer than he did to Raonic. Raonic and Ferrer are both very one-dimensional players on the opposite sides of the spectrum. Roger likes playing these one-dimensional types since he is multi-dimensional himself and have way too much game for them if he plays anything close to his best. I have already said that if Roger beats Raonic then winning the title will be all but a certainty for Roger, and I’m not about to change my tune now. I am not trying to jinx Roger or be over confident.

Of course no outcome if ever certain but this is probably as certain as they come. A 15-0 head-to-head record against Ferrer and a 5-0 record in Cincy finals. Not much more than that needs to be said. Aside from the fact that on these slippery courts things could get embarrassing for Ferrer if the same Roger shows up. Roger needs to win the title if he wants to win the US Open I think. He has lost in three Masters finals this year now and Ferrer is basically a sitting duck for him in the Cincy final. If he loses it is four straight Masters final losses and it won’t get any easier than this. But I have full faith that Roger will seize this opportunity and go into the US Open as the outright favorite. But yeah he still needs to go out there and win it. The tourney won’t win itself for him. Unfortunately, it turns out tomorrow is not a holiday for me.

I got the wrong info. That’s what happens when you try to speak English to Thai people! The final is smack bang in the middle of the morning hours for me too at 3 am, and I can actually feel my immune system weakening again. That said, I’m gonna do whatever I can to watch this match. A Masters title has been a long time coming for Roger. His last Masters title came at Cincy in 2012 so it has been exactly two years. He has been unlucky not to have won at least one Masters title this year already so it will be extra sweet if he can win Cincy. Therefor I don’t wanna miss it. It is exciting times to be a Fedfan again. Not only does Roger have the chance to win a Masters at age 33 but if he does so he will also be my personal favorite for the US Open. There is just that feeling for me that the stars are aligning again for Roger.

YUSSS

Again, I’m not trying to jinx. Roger has played well all year but hasn’t quite been rewarded. Make no mistake, a Masters title will be intensely satisfying. For me anyway. And if he can do that then the excitement of possibly winning #18 in New York would be a treat by itself. I think it’s just amazing how Roger is playing at his age. Incredibly he leads the wins against top 10 opponents for 2014 at age 33. He also leads the pack for overall wins in 2014. How incredible is that?! It is really a dream to be a Fedfan as he keeps proving the critics wrong again and again. I feel like he has been building up to something this year too and that he is not even hit top gear yet. He even has a chance to end the year ranked #1, all be it a slim one. But he has a very real chance to end the year ranked #2, given Nadal is not even sure to be in New York.

That is amazing in itself. I just love how patient Roger has been and how he bode his time. The Wimbledon loss was tough, but Roger just kept persevering and is now on the brink of a big pay off. And that could only be the beginning. There is still the US Open and Roger’s favorite indoor season ahead. It is astonishing to think what he can still achieve this year. But we need to stay grounded and take it match by match. The Cincy title is not in the bag yet and needs to be won. If he wins we can celebrate for a week and revel in the excitement of what is ahead in New York and indoor season. Well, I’m starting to sneeze again so I’m gonna end it here and try to get some sleep before the final. Then hopefully tomorrow I can make a post about the final, and hopefully Roger will by then have his sixth Cincy title and 22nd Masters title in the bag!

 

Highlights:

Awesome backhand passes:

Posted in Cincinatti, Masters 1000.

47 Comments

  1. Wow! Ru-an! Yet another impressive, passionate and LONG post… I mean I can feel your excitement.. We all feel Roger deserves to finally win a Masters 1000. Yet we are nervous because Roger has been losing a bunch of these of late. That being said, he’s winning today. There is just no other way, really. If he lost yesterday, I wouldn’t be upset but losing today in the Final. Uh uh. Don’t even mention it, no! ;-)

    I think that losing all these finals though is what’s motivating Roger to push himself. If Roger won Wimbledon, would you have expected him to do so well on the hard courts?! Not so sure. If Roger won Toronto, don’t you think he would have chilled and lost early here?

    So all in all those finals losses count for something I guess. But now, a week before the Open, only victory would suffice. I mean it’s Ferrer of all people. I can’t believe that we are having this discussion right now. But ok, ok! It won’t be easy blah blah. Roger should come out focused and determined and … Pour all his frustrations on the little Spaniard…

    LOL!!!

    ATP Masters 1000 Number 22 – Alllez Roger!!! Go and GRAB It!!! Surely, you know how!!!

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    Actually just one thing to add. I did say that if Roger had won Toronto, then I was sure he would go on to win Cincy too. For me that’s how these things work these days. Roger would have had momentum, and I was confident that he could beat Djokovic here as well due to the fast conditions. But I do agree that had Roger won Wimby then he would have chilled out a little.

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  2. Veronica, by the way I am not sure if you got to see the match before that but BOY, was I annoyed SO much?! I gel I was watching the battle if the CHOKERS out there between Ivanovic and Sharapova. I mean. Just hideous..

    I see Ivanovic being 4:0 up in the 2nd with 39 minutes to spare prior to Roger’s match and then I come home to watch – what do I see? Sharapova winning the 2nd set 7:5. I was slightly annoyed there but that 3rd set was even more “drama” annoying. I mean breaks if serve left and right without consolidation. And then came the 2 match points on Sharapova’s serve. I mean how has this woman even won slams?! Choking like that. Double faulting in match points, on break points. In the end, I was actually HAPPY that Ivanovic won. I mean, I rarely switch channels when I am that annoyed, but I admit I wanted to strange Sharapova for the way she WAS Choking So bad… Aye aye… At least Roger showed HOW it’s done!!!

    I mean racing to 3:0 lead in just over 7 minutes, closing out the set in just about 25. And by the way, you didn’t mention the SHUT OUT in the first set!!! Roger DIDN’T lose a Single point on his Serve in the first set!!! Not even one!!!! 100% strike rate?! ;-) LOL!!!

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  3. Another WOW, Ru-an, great post, power of positive thinking. Am standing behind you along this line of thinking. The Best is yet to come, Ru-an.
    C’mon, Roger, do it!
    Kindly,
    Dolores

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  4. Ru-an, thanks for another great post. You’re right, Federer’s persistence and his ability to look for the good in any situation are some of his most admirable virtues.

    Obviously if he’s making this many finals, it means he’s playing very well, and sooner or later, he has to break through. Once he does, he’ll be off to the races and riding the momentum. In the meantime, he needs to be patient and to fight through it.

    As Eric said, for most of these past couple weeks he’s been winning without playing his very best tennis. He’s been able to improvise and adapt and use whatever pieces of his game happen to be working to get through the match. Once it all comes together, it’s going to be incredible. Beating Murray was a spectacular confirmation that he was on the right track. Last night was a tactical masterclass in dismantling big servers. He needs one more great match to land this title. After losing three Masters finals in a row, he’ll be very hungry to win this one.

    Then he can rest up next week while he preps for New York.

    There is one small thing that worries me, and that is the “no one beats Vitas Gerulaitis seventeen times in a row” factor. At some point, you figure he has to lose to Ferrer. But this is a fast court and he’s playing well, so I think his chances are very good (and this is the sixteenth, not the seventeenth encounter).

    Stay healthy, Ru-an! And go Roger!

    [Reply]

    Dolores Reply:

    Always enjoy reading your well-written comments on tennis, Roger’s performance in particular, Steve. You stated, “one small thing that worries me…..”, legit concern, Steve. Let us hope and pray that Roger will be playing well and win the title.
    Best,
    Dolores

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    Dolores Reply:

    I became very uneasy seeing the 2nd Set…thank goodness, Roger roared back to win!
    Bravo, Roger!
    Dolores

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  5. Any if you there? What the hell just happened. At 1 love in the second I went to make a salad. Came back and it was 5 love. .?????

    [Reply]

    rahan Reply:

    He is playing with my hearth ! I hate this feeling…

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  6. And now he’s playing great again. Seriously guys, what the hell happened while I was gone? Bizarre.

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    Jiten Reply:

    Don’t make salad when Rog is playing! :-)

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    Eric Reply:

    Jiten – you are right about that!!!!

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  7. 4-2 instead of 5-1 :-(

    I am afraid that I don’t like some spanish players…

    [Reply]

    rahan Reply:

    Tomorrow I will check my ECG.

    But now, I withdraw my last comment and i make a small correction: “I am afraid that I don’t like ONE spanish player…”

    :-)

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    rahan Reply:

    “I never can beat Roger,” Ferrer, who fell to 0-16 against Federer, said in his on-court remarks during the trophy ceremony.

    “He’s too much for me. But anyway, in the senior tour, I will win, I think.”

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  8. Yessss!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Man I am so stoked. Especially after Roger gave us a bit of a scare there in the second sent. YUSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!

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    Charlie Reply:

    Yeah it was great to finally see him win a big title again, he really deserves it after all the trouble of the last year or so, the new racquet, back problems, new coach, lack of confidence, etc. I really liked how classy Ferrer was at the trophy presentation, calling Roger the GOAT and saying that he just played too well for him unlike Mr. “I didn’t play anywhere near my best” Raonic.

    Rafa still hasn’t decided on his USO participation I don’t think, and Roger according to the live-tennis.eu website is qualified for the World Tour Finals, and unbelievably, he is no.3 in the Race and only about 1500 behind Djokovic at no.1!

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  9. YES. Roger has had a lot of tough wins that we’ve said he “really needed to get back on track” but this one I think is actually that match. Not that’s he’s been off track this year, but he finally won a big tournament rather than one a lower-ranked player could realistically win too. This finally PROVES that Roger can still beat these top guys and win big tournaments these days. We’ve all known that he still can, but now it’s on paper. This is AWESOME.

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  10. Now today is a peRFect example why to stay on the Fed bandwagon and be a TRUE Fed fan. Took 2 years for a Masters 1000, but HE DID IT!!! G

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Gary, no matter how it looked last year with all the losses…. never left the Fed Bandwagon and never will :-) And I know this also applies to most of the Roger Fans :-)

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  11. Roger did! Congrats to him! To be fair, it wasn’t pretty at times but a win is a win! ATP Masters 1000 #22 in the Bag. Title No. 80! Simply great desperately wanted to get that monkey of his back because at the Masters 1000 Level he was 0-4 coming into that match going way back to the Rome Final in 2013. Ferrer is a stubborn animal and he kinda frustrated Roger in a couple of key moments. The inability to break Ferrer early in the 2nd set led to Roger’s demise in the 2nd set. For a second there, I felt that Roger might let this get away from him. His serving game for 5:1 was ABSOLUTELY key. Thankfully he held there and then he had a serving Masterclass in the 3rd. Maybe he could have broken and won 6:1 but no matter. Impressively, he didn’t let that unnerve him again and he set up triple match point at 5:2. Ironically he won the match on a challenge call but the victory is sweet. In the end, Roger is still playing amazing and he’s hot to be feeling awfully good for the US Open. I am actually shocked that some experts are still picking Djokovic as the favorite. After Wimbledon I thought that Roger will have a very good chance in New York but now I really actually believe that he’ll win this year… It will be awesome! I think that Roger is gonna go on a winning streak now at least until Shanghai. That will include the US Open and the Davis Cup Semis… Roger is the Man right now – on all surfaces but especially on fast hard courts.

    He’s made Finals on all surfaces and won 3 titles on fast courts and made a final at Wimbledon. I think that his consistency is what gives me confidence that he’ll go very deep at the US Open and actually win it!!! Number 18 feels like La Decima for Real Madrid (winning the Chanpions League for the Record 10th Time Last Year) I think that Roger will do it in New York! I am so glad that I might witness it with my own eyes!!!

    Allez Roger!!!! :-) )))

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  12. So pleased for Roger and all his many followers. Having lost the second set it was amazing that he steadied himself and won with such authority, his mental attitude was fantastic! I’m not even going to think of the U.S.Open at the moment…just going to saviour this win x

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  13. Hey guys, it is sooooo annoying that I still cannot comment from home, so I have to wait to go to work just to comment here. Veronica, I am still behind you girl, just couldn’t comment :-)
    Soooooo proud of Roger. 80 is in the bag. And I honestly believe he will win more titles from now on. I won’t say he will do a “Dramadal” and win 13 titles…. but now that he is winning again, he will win a lot more. Especially now that the indoor season is coming.
    And Roger….. please please please win USO and FOR GOD SAKE please win the WTF !!! That one is ours this year :-) Love you dude so much. Proud and honored to be a Roger fan :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Sorry Kat but nothing I can do about that on this side. Maybe it’s for the better lol.

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  14. And Ru-an, thank you soooo much for keeping the posts coming and for making beautiful and true posts. Still love the titles under them “Hello, I am Dorkerer” :-)
    Hope all did go well with the work permit. Everything still oke??

    Ps: How fast people jump on a bandwagon. Now Mark Petzschy says that Roger is his personal favourite to win USO :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hi Katyani thanks and yes everything is just fine.

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  15. The first tennis of the tournament I got to see was the second set of the final.

    And it was scary! Roger looked SO tired. And it was so humid out there that even Roger was sweating, despite all that’s been written about the ‘perpetually arid’ Federer.

    But I think it was great USO preparation for him that he had to fight back against Ferrer, who was playing better than he ever did against Roger, for the win. Roger was digging deep in the third, badly missing some shots but still making plenty of great ones too. What a fighter! After two successive tournaments with serious ‘scheduling inequities’ – he came through – and I’d say, with flying colors. These two recent tournaments with their quick transition from semis to final are probably comparable with, or maybe even more demanding than, a 7-round ordeal in a major event.

    And I suppose everyone has heard that Nadal is not going to play at the US Open this year. :-)

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Joe, finally a chance where Roger can beat Rafa because he is playing damn well….. and then Rafa is a “no show”….
    Think it is possible that Rafa wanted to wait till he knew who would win Cincy, to see exactly how strong Roger is???

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Hi Katanyi,

    As a matter of fact, that is EXACTLY my thought. Sooner or later these two will meet again. And IMHO Nadal will do everything possible to ensure that the meeting occurs on his terms.

    I think on a ‘neutral’ surface, the ‘new’ Roger has a pretty good chance to beat Nadal btw… but I’m not sure others would agree, and I’d honestly have to sympathize with them. I hope that makes sense!

    For example, in the second and third set of yesterday’s final, I did see Ferrer going to Roger’s backhand pretty effectively… but I still think Nadal might be concerned about the new game Roger is bringing now.

    Best,
    Joe

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    If Nadal and Roger were to meet in the early rounds of the US Open (was never going to happen) then I could pretty much guarantee a win for Roger due to Nadal not being as match sharp as Roger is. But should they meet in the semis or final then Nadal would already be match fit and unless his wrist injury is pretty serious then he would still be very tough for Roger to beat. Make no mistake about it, the US Open is not as fast as Cincy. If it was Cincy then bring on Nadal and Roger would have destroyed him looking at their both of their forms at the moment. But the US Open is slower, Nadal can defend better. Even at current form Roger would not be able to defeat a fit Nadal (due to the matchup issue). The only difference right now is Nadal’s wrist injury (if real) which could render him vulnerable. In any case, if Nadal’s injury is real then obviously he has no reason to go into the tournament since there are many other people who could upset him other than Roger. Roger on the other hand played the US Open last year while suffering with back injuries coz that’s what a true champion he is.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    These are all good points Alex and I agree with every one of them, although I do think even a ‘fit Nadal’ is slowing down with age, while Roger’s attacking game is improving. So I keep hoping..

    Slower courts are obviously not a good factor for Roger… but my biggest concern about USO, now that Nadal is out, is that Djokovic or someone else (maybe Tsonga?? but not likely him) might have time in seven rounds to play himself into shape and become more dangerous to Roger in the process … but Roger’s showing so much mental fortitude lately, and I am surely wishing the very best for him.

    Best Regards,
    Joe

    P.S. I can’t resist saying that I think Roger would have won Toronto with some better scheduling! I was somewhat surprised how the announcers said several times that Roger had struggled in finals recently, but didn’t mention the scheduling inequities. I know they are part of every tournament, but I think they played a major role in Toronto and Cincinnati. That is to say, I think Roger would have more or less taken Ferrer to school if he hadn’t had such a short period to recover from semis.

    I’m glad he had to win while he was so tired though. That’s just about the best prep for the big events.

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    I fear the same thing. That someone will play themselves into fitness and be a thorne in Roger’s title chances again.

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    Joe Reply:

    Something else I think is noteworthy:

    On this page, announcing Nadal’s withdrawal: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2166631-rafael-nadal-announces-he-wont-participate-in-2014-us-open-due-to-wrist-injury?utm_source=cnn.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=editorial&hpt=hp_t2

    We can read this text:

    “An exact diagnosis has not been publicly made available.”

    Who was it who said curiouser and curiouser?
    :-)

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    Alex Reply:

    Yeah everything around Nadal is covered in mystery. It’s always been the case. It is so strange that he would just withdraw from so many grand slam events. So strange. I mean fed was injured last year and still played because… well you never know…the draw may open up. Djokovic was thinking of withdrawing from RG with wrist issues but no he went ahead anyway. Something is not right with Nadal’s story yet again!

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    Eric Reply:

    Here’s the one thing I will say though. Maybe if Roger shut it down and took two months off in April last year he would have recuperated, switched rackets, and had a better summer and end of year.

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    Indeed!

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    Joe Reply:

    Yes!

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    No I hadn’t heard that. Thanks for the update. That’s good news!

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  16. I suppose the stars are aligning for Roger to win the the US Open!!! This is the best news we could have hoped for..

    Check this: The last four Slams that stiffer had WON – Nadal either wasn’t playing or got ousted early:

    French Open 2009
    Wimbledon 2009
    Australian Open 2010
    Wimbledon 2012

    The last time he had such opportunity was in 2012 but u believe that he was both mentally and physically exhausted after the Olympics.

    This time it’s different. Djokovic is Shaky. Nadal is out. Murray is lurking but this is Roger’s time!!!

    And check this: Roger is now officially the Number 2 Seed so he can’t meet Djokovic until the Final.

    Now Murray is also the Number 8 Seed so it’ll be interesting to see where he lands – hopefully in Dhokovic’s Quarter. Also Ferrer is the number 4 Seed… I don’t know if I really want in Roger’s half because he’s played really good as of late. Maybe Wawrinka is better…

    In any case, this is ANOTHER Golden opportunity for RF to win Number 18. And I think that THIS time he’ll Take it… He’ll finish the unfinished business in NYC… Awesome!!! And I am here. Holy Cow!!! :-) ))

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    That’s the spirit Vily. Also your comment is number 22. It’s a significant number.

    [Reply]

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