French Open Day 15: Wawrinka Wins Second Grand Slam Title

Congrats to Stan the man. Hopefully after this result people will finally understand why I keep discouraging all the calendar slam talk, and at least wait until  someone has won the first three slams of the year next time, which by the way hasn’t happened since 1969. But I suspect the calendar slam talk, at least on this blog, has a lot more to do with Fedfan bias than rational thinking. To expect that someone is going to win the calendar slam after they won the first two slams of the year is bad enough.

But to talk about it after winning just the first slam of the year is sheer paranoia. Anyway another big congrats to Stanimal for another immense performance today against the Djoker in the final as he won his second slam 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4. It’s not the result I preferred but I’m happy for Stan. He totally deserves it with the way he played and he proved everyone wrong who called him a one-slam wonder. He was unplayable throughout the tournament and not even the Djoker could stop him.

I feel like the Djoker deserved the title even more than Stan but you already knew that. He was the one who slayed the beast but in the end he was always up against it with his draw. He threw everything at Stan today but Stan in this mode is unplayable like I said. I thought the Djoker deserved the title also because of how close he has been over the years as opposed to Stan being in his first final here, but life isn’t fair and you don’t always get what you deserve. The main thing is that the Djoker gave it his all so he won’t have regrets.

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What a man!

That’s the best you can do. And as usual he was extremely gracious and classy in defeat. He refused to feel sorry for himself and draw any attention to himself. It was only after the French crowd gave him a long standing ovation that he simply couldn’t keep the tears back any longer. I have tremendous respect for the courage he showed throughout the closing ceremony and I feel incredibly sorry for him. But I actually prefer to be a fan of someone who has so much strength in defeat than someone who wins all the time but shows no class in defeat.

The Djoker may not have won the career slam(yet) like Fedal, but he is in another league to them when it comes to handling defeat. He was hurting an awful lot after this loss but you could only notice it after the crowd wouldn’t stop cheering for him. Before that he was smiling, congratulating Stan, and trying not to draw any attention to himself. Now that is truly heroic. That incident made me admire the Djoker just as much as if he’d won today. Maybe even more, because life is not all about winning.

More important than winning even is how you deal with defeat, because everyone handles winning well. I don’t care how much Fedal have won really. They haven’t suffered the defeats the Djoker has in his life. They don’t know what it’s like to hide in their basements while their city is being bombed. They grew up very sheltered and don’t know the true meaning of defeat. They think losing a tennis match is the end of the world, but compared to war it’s a privilege. They live in a fantasy world that is far removed from reality.

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Easily the most moving tennis photo I have ever seen 

I have a feeling the Djoker(and Murray during that school shooting) have seen the true meaning of defeat and I respect what they have achieved more than Fedal. When you suffer big setbacks in your life it is that much harder to come out on top. So for me, personally, the Djoker is more inspirational than Roger ever was. I never cared much for his breakdown after the 2009 Australian Open final. It was a brutal loss but it was his own fault because he choked it away. At least the Djoker didn’t choke it away.

He was blasted off the court by brute force. And yet he was incredibly gracious and sportsmanlike in defeat. That is true strength. Knowing that losing a tennis match is not the end of the world. Knowing how privileged you are just to be out there. Being truly happy for your opponent and conceding the spotlight to him. I thought it was a nice gesture from the French crowd to give the Djoker such a long ovation anyway and I think after this defeat they will like him more and cheer him on more in coming years.

It was brutal to see how he tried to fight against the emotions but the crowd just kept cheering until he couldn’t hold it back anymore. That was really the highlight of the whole thing for me. That display of pure and raw emotion. I only recently became a serious fan of the Djoker and there are always things that make you doubt or put you off, but that display of emotion touched me and made me an even bigger fan. So if any of the Fedfans out there thought this loss would make me a biased Fedfanatic again, think again…

Highlights:

The is in your court.

Posted in French Open, Grand Slams.

118 Comments

  1. Amazing win for Stan Wawrinka, well deserved. He was definitely the best player of the tournament and was unplayable for most of the match. I felt a little bad for Novak, but I think he’ll still have a couple more chances to win the French Open. I felt that Stan was almost always controlling the outcome (like against all his previous opponents) as he was so aggressive and dictated play – when he played that magnificent return game to break Novak to love in the third set, it didn’t look like he would lose. This was just one of those days where Novak was not able to find the right solutions – perhaps things would have been different had he been able to extend the match to 5 sets.

    The “Nadal Curse” also continues: the 2 people who have beaten Nadal at RG have ended up not winning the title. In fact, they both ended up losing in the Final to a Swiss man.

    Side notes: it was nice that the crowd decided to give Novak an ovation at the end, but it felt a bit fickle to me given that they had been rooting against him for most of the match.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hey, Krish. Yeah, Djoker was always up against it with his draw. Honestly, since the draw came out he always had very little chance of winning the title. So I don’t think it will bother him for very long. The 2013 loss was way harder to swallow and he came back from that just fine. He gave it all he had and he will be back to win the career slam.

    Agree about the crowd. They are quite a poor crowd overall I think. It pissed me off when they booed Stan in the second set when he hit the net in frustration in being unable to break. They are very insensitive and cheering the Djoker after being against him all match was a bit of a slap in the face. But at least they did cheer and they did seem to appreciate his efforts over the years.

    [Reply]

  2. I think it is tough to say without a doubt that someone deserved more the title than another. I get the point you make, Djoker really beat Nadal (the King of Clay), and he got all the credits for it. However, was Nadal really “the beast” in this year’s tournament? I don’t think so… I can even see Nadal losing to Murray or Stanimal if they happened to meet in the quarters. Also, I think each tournament has its own story, so just because one guy has a better record on it, I don’t agree he deserves more the title just because of it. This whole story of deserving is a bit of subjective for me, and regularly gets biased depending on who someone is cheering for.
    About Djokovic’s attitude, I agree it was admirable, but I do not agree with the critics about RF and RN. First of all, they (RF, RN and ND) have different personalities. For instance, one can be more passionate, another one can be cold, or more elegant, and so forth. Secondly, each situation tells a different story and has distinguished backgrounds. Thirdly, certain attitudes don’t or shouldn’t erase other facts about a person, like trying to distract the rival in important moments or trying to waste time to bother the opponent when in a good moment, that is, just trying to win at any costs.
    About 2009’s final at Australian Open, Federer was playing another final against his rival who had just beaten him in his favourite tournament the year before. Federer was chasing his 14th Grand Slam – try to think about the pressure he was handling from the press, from the fans, even from his friends and family. And, just to put an extra pressure, all the legends were right there to see the historical moment. And… after a brilliant final he ends up losing it in a harsh five setter. I just can’t conceive that there are people that don’t have the feelings to understand that particular situation. I can only see that Roger showed us right there that he was a human being. On the contrary, It would be very strange if he was alright there after defeat. (Not to mention the Stefan Edberg’s awards Federer has been winning again and again – Djokovic has none, this should indicate something to us…) Yeah, Djokovic was handling a tough situation as well, but he is the dominant player in the world at the moment, and he knows he will have other chances, not just in RG, to win other GS.P.S. I don’t know if we have to like less one guy to start liking another.
    About the tournament itself, I believe what Stanimal made in RG was just incredible. He just blow off the court Federer (who was playing a decent tennis himself, and Stan confused us with his own level ), the GOAT for many. After that, he beat Tsonga, who was playing well too and had the crowd’s massive support. And, at last, he wins the final against the number one, the one who is dominating the sport nowadays, the one who beat the King of Clay, the one who was at a 28 victory streak. Therefore, If those accomplishments don’t mean Stan the man had all the merits, I don’t know what a player has to do to earn it. Well, that’s my opinion anyway…

    [Reply]

    Ajay Reply:

    Awesome post man couldn’t agree more with you. Lots of people like the fact the Djokovic applauds others when they hit good shots. Do they also know that Djokovic has tapped his racquet many many times to let the crowd know the opponent just framed a shot ? One particular instance is very clear when Roger actually hit a good shot and he did this and I was pretty pissed. Truth is as far as I am concerned Nadal is a sad prick and I think he is the worst of the lot. But Federer has lots of admirable qualities as Ruan surely knows. And if you listen to his on court interviews after tough losses he always praised the opponent. And he does that genuinely.But one thing that is true is that Djokovic is the only guy that really does look happy for someone when he beats him. But Stan is a pretty likable guy isn’t he :D

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes, Stan is very likeable. I think both these guys were extremely sporting and it’s a privilege to be their fan. Even though I preferred the Djoker won I know he can come back and still do it. With Stan had he lost it’s more unlikely that he would have had a second chance. So yeah I’m really happy for him.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Yeah, part of the reason I wanted Stan to win is he is older and may not get another chance. Djoker still has many chances yet. He will win it next year ;-)

    [Reply]

    Ferreira Reply:

    Thanks, man.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Djoker is the most gracious loser of ATP. But you can’t kinda compare him to Roger or others. They have different personalities. Djoker goes out of his way to be gracious, Roger does not. Roger is not always a good loser but at least he is an honest loser.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hi, Fereira. Don’t worry too much about the ‘deserved’ comments. I said both of them are deserving winners so it doesn’t really matter. And life isn’t fair so deserve doesn’t even matter all that much. It’s more how you react to things which I thought the Djoker did well. But yeah maybe I was a bit hard on Fed. I realize everyone has different personalities, circumstances, etc. I don’t want to judge. Maybe I should have added that I can identify better with the Djoker because of where he comes from. I have, in fact, said that on several occasions and I didn’t want to keep harping on it. I was a huge Fedfan and I still am, but there are some things I personally identify with more in the Djoker. I don’t identify with where Roger came from. He has pretty much the ideal parents. I had the opposite. He is a little too conventional for me I guess. But then I like his honesty whereas Djoker sometimes you don’t know if he’s honest. So yeah it’s just personal things and the fact that I want to break away from that whole Fedfanatic thing.

    [Reply]

    Ferreira Reply:

    Yeah, Ru-an, I get it, it’s more about empathy and similarities between you and Novak. I just wanted to tell you some thoughts I had while reading your post. Nevertheless, I like your writings and your way to see the sport, even though I feel you are still in search of a good balance of how addressing the big four and incorporating your preferences in the posts (hahah). Well, let’s move on to grass season! Cheers.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks. Regarding the balance between the big four it’s like this: I respect them all, but I like Roger and Djoker. I don’t enjoy the playing styles or personalities of Nadal and Murray.

    I have preferences and inevitably it will rub some people the wrong way, but that’s what I like about this blog. I like some controversy and personal clashes. I find it interesting and entertaining.

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    ” Thirdly, certain attitudes don’t or shouldn’t erase other facts about a person, like trying to distract the rival in important moments or trying to waste time to bother the opponent when in a good moment, that is, just trying to win at any costs.” I can vividly resonate each and every word of you. KARMA IS A BITCH!

    [Reply]

  3. This is one of your weirder post. i always knew you liked Djokovic because he is Nadal’s nemesis but this article instead of being biased towards Federer (like you mentioned in your last line) is actually biased towards Djokovic.

    As for the match itself, this was what we expected from an in form Wawrinka vs an in form Djokovic. Lots of baseline rallies. Djokovic was showing a lot of his improved net skills. And he was pretty clutch as usual. But Wawrinka was just at another level. We were talking in the last post about how Djokovic just can’t use brute force to boss rallies. He mainly uses angles to get the job done and Wawrinka today was actually running pretty well and took his chances whenever he got them. Also he was crazily clutch just like in the Tsonga match. I feel pretty bad for Djokovic as well. That is just because as a tennis fan I feel he has more than earned the right to win this particular tournament, But like Roger he has now lost in 3 finals and I think he is definitely going to win it next year. But one should really try to remember that he is not the only guy making sacrifices. Wawrinka actually separated from his wife twice for his career. If it is one guy who deserved this one it is him. Also I find the statement about Djokovic going through extreme setbacks in his childhood and Roger having a cozy childhood to be slightly biased. I mean we all know the genius talented Roger but he must have also faced problems in his life. Also we have no real idea of the kind of problems Novak exactly faced in his childhood.

    All in all I think Wawrinka was the worthy winner. He defeated the number 1 and number 2 just like he did when he won the AO a year ago. Djokovic was unlucky in having to come through Nadal and Murray before the finals but I don’t think the Nadal match took that much out of him, it was the Murray match that might have made him a little tired. Also its good that Djokovic is not completely dominating ATP like Serena is in WTA. That would really take the excitement out of the game, I still think Djokovic will win one of Wimbledon or US this year, But Roger really has a good chance in Wimby. If draw goes slightly his way and he has a little luck he can win it I think.

    To Ruan personally I was just going through some of your older posts and its remarkable how much your writing has matured. I think you are one of the very few Fed Fans who is also a true tennis fan. Keep up the good work !!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks, Ajay. You are right, we don’t know what the exact situations are these guys faced. But we can get a general idea. I know for instance Roger has very loving and supportive parents, and that Nadal’s uncle Toni was pretty brutal on him. It’s just the way I look at things anyway. Someone else may look at it in an entirely different way, based on their personal experiences and views. And yes, Stan is a worthy winner. I never said otherwise. In fact, I stated exactly that, that he totally deserves the title.

    [Reply]

  4. Wow, just wow!!! Novak bring more inspirational than Roger ever was?!! Everyone is entitled to their own opinions but this is blasphemy on so many levels. Roger will always the better player and the better man. His achievements on and off the court trump Novak’s. Yes, he is an inspiring figure himself but to say that he is more gracious in defeat than Roger ever was is nonsense. I have been reading your blog for a while now and I know you have become a bigger Djoker’s fan than you ever were a Roger’s fan but that is probably only because he was able to beat Nadal consistently – something that Roger could never do.

    But achievements in tennis always come down to titles, slams, win streaks, etc. Roger’s wins in 2009 will forever be etched in every sportsfan’s memory. The Career Slam and beating Pete Sampras’s record in the beautiful sunny day at Wimbledon was the best and most inspirational memory I have ever witnessed in my life. I guess you have forgotten. Let me remind you! No mortal will ever touch him in the pantheon of Tennis Gods. Not Rafa Nadal and certainly not Djokovic. Roger Federer is the Greatest Tennis Champion of All Time. I understand this loss hurts you but to spin it in a way that Novak didn’t choke is just crazy. You are 0:40 at 4:3. Couldn’t he take one of those points?! Novak faced 2 second serves and couldn’t get it done. I BET that if Roger was in the same position and he missed too – you would have him a choker. But not with Djokovic. You are very biased right now. So what is it?

    1. Are you a True Unbiased Tennis fan?

    2. Are you a Novak Djokovic fan? Or

    3. Were you a PROUD Roger Federer fan once, only to forsake him in search of glory with another player – namely Djokovic, only to witness him lose Too and now feeling that his persona is somehow more inspirational than Roger’s!!!!

    Roger is a LIVING Legend! An enigma! A master! The likes of which we have never seen before and we’ll never see again! That 23 SF streak. 10 Straight Finals. Winning 3/4 Slams 3 Times. Novak and Nadal have only done it once. They can hold to their little H2H records against each other and against Roger’s but in the end Roger will be ThE Last Man Standing with the Most Grand Slams in History and Simply the BEST!!!

    Whatever! Roger has won. Stan too. And Novak didn’t. Karma is a bitch. I told myself – if God lets Roger win at Wimbledon in 2014, he can let Novak win the Elusive French Open in 2015. But I guess he had other plans… No need to feel sorry for Novak and yet call the Master Roger Federer a choker and Nadal’s bitch. This blog has BECOME way to biased for me. If you can’t accept the loss and move on and treat everyone with the same respect than there is no point. I am sorry!!!!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    ‘Everyone is entitled to their own opinions but this is blasphemy on so many levels.’

    I stopped reading there. Your bias doesn’t belong here.

    [Reply]

    ines Reply:

    i´m really surprised you used to say Novak was an unclassy boy ans now is the best of the best.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    He changed a lot, and last time I checked the rankings he was the best of the best. Also, I think class is overrated. The way Fedfans think about it anyway. They think Federer is class personified, and although he does have a certain amount of class, there are plenty of examples where he is not classy. The Federer worship has become a joke to me. He has good qualities, but if people want to actually worship someone as a god then I’d recommend an enlightened individual. Federer is just a human with plenty of flaws, and probably grew up so sheltered that he doesn’t even know about enlightenment.

    [Reply]

    ines Reply:

    Truly delighted for Stan. I disagree though that the serb has class.No way.
    I´m heavily relieved that the calendar slam talk has been stopped by another swiss.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Ok, let me get this right. I don’t expect you to change your views btw. In fact I know you won’t. But I say it for my personal satisfaction. You think Federer has class. Of that, I am pretty sure. Also, you just stated that Novak has no class. So you think the way Federer reacted after the 2009 AO loss was classy, as opposed to the way the Djoker acted yesterday?

    You think crying like a baby after you choked the match away, drawing the attention away from your opponent who deserved the spotlight, is classy? This opposed to the Djoker who took his loss like a real man after several heartbreaks already at the FO and getting a brutal draw again this year. It seems Federer can learn an awful lot from the Djoker when it comes to class.

    Time to wake up and smell the bias! :!!

    [Reply]

    ines Reply:

    No words , it´s enough and I can´t really believe your words.Roger the best for ever!!!Thanks and good bye!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Of course, you can’t! Lol.

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    OMG. Wow! I hope Vily is not writing this one in somebody’s name. 8-> Looks like Ru-an is standing a trial and you are the attorney of the opposite party grilling him ruthlessly. Don’t be so harsh (hostile). Opinion of people can change over time which happens with each and every mortal. If we don’t try to live with the present, we are not evolving. The present of Tennis is Novak whether you agree or not, and in my opinion Ru-an is not doing anything wrong in going with him. As you have yourself said, everybody is entitled to ones own opinion and one should try to respect that. I also do not agree with each and every word Ru-an writes in the blog. But I have respect for his vast knowledge of the game of tennis and his analytical ability. ^:)^ Ru-an, that is the price you have to pay sometimes for being the owner of a blog. :((

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thank you, Jiten! Your loyal and faithful following of this blog is extremely appreciated! Most people are too caught up in their personal biases to appreciate something that doesn’t agree with them. You’d think at least by now people got the message that I am moving on with my blog after changing the name, theme, and content of my blog, but they still seem to be caught in the past :-??

    [Reply]

    Ben Chia Reply:

    Dear Hilda, please calm down. One of the best things I like here is that differing views get to be shared and addressed. If you have been following ru-an for longer than me, then its pretty obvious that only 1 candidate for GOAT. All the talk of the calendar slam and other GOAT wannbes is just talk. Fed’s so far ahead in the debate aside from the h2h with Nadull (let’s not go there…) that its actually pointless to debate. Its like people now measuring Lebron James to MJ, its just never gonna work.

    As for some readers here taking a liking to Nole, its because he has shown us some federer qualities (getting consistently better, playing smart, showing genuine emotion) and of course, able to get into Nadull’s head. That last ability alone separates him from the pack. So, its natural for some of us to veer towards Nole if you were as frustrated at watching federer constantly get abused by Nadull hitting 99% of his returns to fed’s single BH. Its made Fedal one of the most lopsided match-ups and only adds the smug to Rafa’s face. So, looking from that perspective, maybe you see a new angle? Anyway, hope you calm down and stay with this tennis blog community. Because you ain’t gonna find a better one.

    [Reply]

  5. Take a bow Stan the Man. Take a well earned bow. I wanted to be mad at him when he beat Roger, but Stan played one of the best matches to beat him. Every strike of his, every shot of his was pure gold. Even when he defeated the Goat, I couldn’t be mad at him. But the way he played today?? Wow, just wow. It took THAT level to beat Novak.

    Good to see that Stan was not byest towards Novak. He got the same treatment Roger got from Stan. The winners were flying of his racquet left and right, up and down, in the middle and the sky :-) Sooooo many winners. Really makes you wonder why Stan hasn’t won more slams.

    By the way…. nice to see all throughout the slam that Novak, Rafa, Stan and Muzza also shank balls. I thought only Roger has a patent for that :-)

    Ps: I am not a fan of Novak, but… take a bow Novak. You played great and a fair match. It took Stan to play the best match of his life to defeat you. Novak deserves serious credit for beating Rafa and Andy.

    Also at times I think Novak being gracious in defeat is overrated…. but NOT today. He was honestly happy for Stan. And he was genuine gracious. The standing ovation he got was well earned. Take a bow Novak. To be honest, I did feel a tiny bit sorry for Novak when he sad alone on the chair, but true sportmanship from Stan to go to Novak. Great respect and good examples for the upcoming stars.
    When I see the ladies shake hands at the net after a match, I always think… why?? Why does it have to be so businesslike, so cold?? Look at how the guys do it…

    After Roger’s game, there are 2 people’s game I really love to watch (no matter if they end up beating Roger) and those 2 are Delpo and Stan.
    When THIS Stan plays like THIS…. he truely outplayed Roger and Novak….
    That backhand… after 300 years, they will still be talking about Stan’s backhand :-)

    And want to bet that next year they all will be wearing Stan’s tablecloth?? =))

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    Oops sorry… biased (my bad)

    [Reply]

  6. Hey Ru-an, I just wanted to say something “personal” to you. You know I am a big big fan of the way you write (especially when you used to write about Roger), but…. to be honest… I don’t know what to make of this post. I don’t agree with somethings you write.

    My Dutch teacher used to say, you never know what goes on behind closed doors. No one is or has a perfect life. Roger’s and Rafa’s may seem perfect, but who can say that for sure??
    To give you a personal example… people who see my mom, my sisters and myself from far, may say we have a perfect life, never been through stuff and don’t know what it is to suffer…. but my mom was a widow when my youngest sister was only 1 year old. She raised 4 little girls all on her own. She gave up her happiness for us (never even thought about remarry, let alone let a man come near us). We have been through some “stuff”, but we don’t show it or talk about it and maybe that is why people think we have it “perfect”. We don’t know the things a player goes through. Even if it is Roger, Novak, or even a Dimi or Kohlschreiber. Novak didn’t have a perfect life, he saw things a child should not see, but…. which player has had a perfect life??

    I also notice that lately you make a remark about Fedfans or Fedfanatic on almost every post. Why?? You are above that Ru-an. Let “them” be. Just focus on yourself and your blog. This may sound harsh, but hope you know, I mean well.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Nah it’s not harsh at all Katyani. Sorry about what you’ve been through. You are totally right that I give too much attention to the Fedfanatics. I’m just not always sure that people get the message. It’s like they hear me, but they don’t want to believe me so I remind them. I will leave it now. And yes one should not judge or jump to conclusions. Sorry if it appears like I did that. But again, when you watch a match like today and you are disappointed with the result and you check your blog and there are annoying Fedfanatics making unnecessary comments then it affects my post. That’s why I tell you people don’t get the message, and why I keep mentioning the Fedfanatics.

    So what I’m saying is I wasn’t really being judgemental or jumping to conclusions, but that some of what I wrote was a reaction to comments.

    [Reply]

    Ajay Reply:

    Yeah I actually understand what Ruan is saying. But just try to remind yourself that there are plenty of normal Fed fans like me who just come to this blog to read your insights. Try reading the fanatic comments and having a laugh. For example I just read Hilda’s comment and showed it to my non-tennis friend and we all had a pretty good laugh :D

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    =))

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    I challenge you, Ru-an! Try writing your next post without using/referencing Fedfans, Fedfanatics!! ;-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Haha ok I will try. Sorry if I’ve been a little hard on you guys too. I know I’ve said some things that you guys don’t want to hear.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    “….said some things you guys don’t want to hear…” You mean the Roger bitchy part ;-) meh, that’s fine coz there is some truth in that… ;-) but it’s more like Fedfanatics is your favourite word atm. You use it like in every second sentence ;-) Or every opportunity ;-) Or at the slightest provocation ;-) but no worries, a pissed off Ru-an does add an element of enjoyment to the masterful writer, Ru-an! :)) You wouldn’t be able to write as well as you do without being uniquely you!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Not sure I use the word Fedfanatics that much other than in the comments of this post, Veronica. As for Roger being Nadal’s bitch, of course there is truth to it. It’s just a blunt way of stating the truth which I adopted from Ben Chia after a biased Fedfan drew it out of me.

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    I am moved by your own tale Katyani. Have you heard this Ghazal (soulful poetry rendered as songs) whose English translation goes like this: “Is it that my eyes are not moist, so I do not have any grief “? You are what you are. You cannot be more and you cannot be less. But I assure you, this Desi Bhaiya (brother) of yours will always be with you. My bubbly, jovial Sis, just continue to remain the way you are. :o)

    [Reply]

  7. Congrats to Stanimal and commiserations to Nole and his fans. He will have another chance next year.

    Just wanted to mention, and I’m sure Fed fans here know this, Roger had that terrible hardship in his early tennis career too, losing his coach to a car accident. So he’s had to overcome a tough loss.

    Anyway, ‘deserve’ is not always the best word when talking about winning matches and titles.

    On to Wimbledon!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    So you don’t think Stan deserved the title?

    [Reply]

    Marron Reply:

    Sure he did. So would have Nole, too. I just think sometimes using the phrase ‘X deserved to win more than Y’ doesn’t really work well in tennis.

    Just a word bug-bear that I have, sorry. Should have been an old schoolmarm.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Ok because I said both deserved it. In my personal opinion Djoker deserved it a little more because it was his third final, his 5th semi-final, he’d lost to Nadal after being a break up in the 5th sets, and he’d defeated Nadal, whereas Stan’s best result before yesterday was one QF. But yeah, that’s just my opinion. I can see many people don’t agree with it.

    [Reply]

  8. I have been following and enjoying your blog for a number of years, so many thanks for that. I would normally not post a reply but your last post however puzzled me a bit.

    I was surprised by how much you focused on Djokovic’s loss compared to how great of an achievement this was for Stan. He played great tennis, his back hand was phenomenal, he stayed strong physically and mentally and in the end totally deserved to win.
    That means that on the day Djokovic was lacking a little something and deserved to come in second.
    Djokovic showed a good attitude in defeat as has Federer and other players in the past but that alone doesn’t all of a sudden make them heroes in my book. It mostly shows that they don’t have any obvious character flaws : )

    This is high level sport and anyone who reaches the top is extremely competitive and puts in a lot of work and sacrifices to get there. Stan being a great example of that. Federer, Nadal, Djokovic are not nice guys when they step on the court. They all want to win and when they don’t they handle it as best they can based on their character.

    Federer has had problems at times in his career with the mental aspect of the game and it did cost him some titles but let’s be honest no one else has had to put up with that amount of pressure. From the start he was hailed as a genius that redefined tennis and everyone expected him to win every match he was in. I remember after he won 4 or 5 majors the media and respected commentators were stating that he should reach 16,17 or more no problem. That’s still a lot of work to do when you’re on five! And that is just to live up to what others have established as your base line.
    He is also a world celebrity and that brings extra media pressures and so on. None of the other guys have that level of exposure.
    I certainly don’t feel sorry for him but from a tennis perspective he never had the luxury of playing the underdog role like Nadal and others did for so long.
    Now at the end of his career he can do so but the benefits of that are much reduced as his level has or will drop.

    That brings me back to Djokovic at RG, this time he had to handle the sort of pressure Federer had most of his career. He was expected to win, everyone thought so but he couldn’t.
    He is a great champion and totally deserves to win it but my point is that things become a lot harder when you are the favorite.

    NB: I would also not hold it against someone for not having experienced a public childhood tragedy. People can only develop based on their reality and so far Federer seems to be pretty decent guy. It’s hard to gage what people go through from the outside anyway.

    Anyway, thanks again for the blog

    Mark

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks for the following Mark. Just a small thing which you seem to have misunderstood about my post. I wasn’t holding anything against anyone for the way they grew up. How could I? What I meant to say was that I personally identify better with someone who had it rough. That is all. I didn’t say that explicitly in this post because I said it already many times before. Of course Federer have faced pressures of his own and his coach died. But overall I would say he grew up pretty sheltered and removed from the harsh realities of life. He lives an incredibly privileged life. He has never known financial struggles which most people face every day, wondering where their next meal will come from. For millions of people, life is just a daily struggle to remain above ground.

    As for not focusing enough on Stan I already said I prefer the Djoker to win and that I have my favorites(of which Stan is one btw) and when I see so much hate for the Djoker on my blog and I see how sportsmanlike he was in defeat, then it inspires me to make a post where I focus more on him. So I have no regrets as far as that is concerned.

    [Reply]

  9. I have some mixed feelings about this. I rooted for Stan to win here, and I got what I wanted. But I realized that part of the reason I rooted for Stan was I kind of just assumed Novak would win here. But as the match went on and was slipping away for Novak I didn’t want either player to lose. When Stan served for the match I was just stunned. I expected Novak to dig deeper and find an extra gear, but it just didn’t happen. Maybe playing a 5 set match against Murray over two days cost him too much physically, and maybe beating Nadal drained him a bit mentally as well, despite steamrolling him. But then again, Stan was probably just too good on the day.

    I’m really happy for him and he deserves it. He played amazing, just crisp hitting and unreal power. It was just spectacular to see. He has had some bitter losses to Djokovic in the past too, epic 5-setters that could have gone either way, so no-one can say that he didn’t deserve this victory.

    It’s just that Djokovic deserved it a little more. He did most of the hard work by dispatching Nadal and Murray, and he has been the only serious challenger to Nadal in the last few years. So I think he should be the rightful heir to the clay throne. Maybe Stan felt that way too. His celebration was very muted, seemed very conscious about not rubbing it into his opponents face. It almost looked he was feeling guilty of having comitted a crime. Novak took the loss like a true champion, and the ovation he got from the crowd was very moving. I really hope he can win here next year, it’s long overdue.

    [Reply]

    Ben Chia Reply:

    hi Bjorn Eirik,
    You summed it up perfectly IMO. I too assumed that Nole will force a decider and rev up a gear (or two) like he’s done all season with a breadstick or something. But credit to Stanimal. He was hitting off the charts. Rest of my thoughts, you summed it up so very well. Thank you!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Same here BC. But Stan to his credit was simply too good for the Djoker to force a decider. And that is all there is to it really. Clearly a decider would have been very interesting and made for a more dramatic final, but it is what it is.

    [Reply]

    Bjorn Eirik Reply:

    Thanks, Ben

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Great comment BE! I am personally very happy for Stan and don’t regret that he won the title. He is a great guy and on the day he was the better player. Simple as that. When the draw came out the odds were always against the Djoker to win, and in the end he stumbled across the final hurdle. Do people even realize how difficult his draw was? Just making it to the final was an achievement, and then he played Stan in absolute beast mode. Next year he will be back to win it if he gets a better draw, which you’d think can only be the case. And Stan was amazing in the closing ceremony. Really gracious and humble winner as well.

    [Reply]

    Bjorn Eirik Reply:

    Thanks. Honestly I didn’t really give much thought to how tough Novak’s draw was. That’s what happens when you’re at the top, people just take for granted that you’ll win no matter what. He’s certainly grown on me, really hoping he gets a better draw next year. Doesn’t need to be an “easy” draw, just a more balanced draw.

    [Reply]

  10. You wrote 95% about djoker’s emotions and loss. Nothing about Wawrinka.. There is no term DESERVING in tennis.. Djoker is simply not good enough to win RG. its was his 3rd final and he lost in 4 sets in all three finals which means he didn’t even took the match to distance. Stan played incredibly well. Whoever plays best wins the best prize.. Its life and i am so much happy for stan.. And you said you willwill be a biased fed fan again but now you look a biased djoker fan all its about him nothing about Wawrinka who won his 2nd slam proved everyone wrong he has beaten fed and djoker in route world number 2 and 1 and he has aweful h2h against them he was 6-33 against them yet he has beaten them CONVINCINGLY . wow hats off to Stan you are a Champion. And yes i would suggest you to write another post for Stan the man afterall its a TENNIS blog. Its a HUGE achievement and you need guts to beat such players in 4 sets and straight sets to Win a grandslam.. CHEERS Stan ALLEZ

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes, I will write another post about Stan the man! He is one of my favorites too after all. The reason for this post was mostly because of annoying comments I received by bitter Fedfans. I am very happy for Stan and also admire the way he conducted himself during the closing ceremony!

    [Reply]

  11. Hi all,

    Really happy for Stan’s win. In fact, I am happy any of them won apart from Nadal.

    The win for Stan totally changed the outlook for rest of the seasons this year.

    What does this mean rest of the field in Wimbeldon a couple of week’s time from now?

    Novak – it will leave behind him a scar and his confidence could decline. He knows he won’t be invincible and will be fearful if Stans in his draw. Likely not defending his title and a SF appearance would be all.

    Murray – his game suits the grass and confidence remain high after a SF run in RG which Brought Novak to 5 sets. Expect him to make SF or final.

    Nadal – low confidence and likely to exit before QF given his past 3 Wimbeldon performances. His game no longer a serious threat on grass.

    Federer – he will be highly motivated to win this quite possibly his last chance as he is passing 34 soon. Pressure may be too much for him but expect Fed to make SF or F if he gets a good draw.

    And Stan? It could go either way as he might still in shelf shocked after winning RG or he could be the killer everyone fears to play. Expect a QF or SF run.

    Bottom line is the talk of ‘calendar slam for Novak is ain’t happening and not going to happen. Whether he can win RG next year is still questionable.

    Can we see other players Nishikori, Cilic, Nygros, Roanic etc making a deep run, quite possible but the big 4 + stanimal isn’t going anywhere. I predict Murray, Fed Novak & Wawrinka the last 4 men standing, Wawrinka being the man no one dares to play.

    Wawrinka is ‘in the zone’ and he is that good so long he is free from injury and fatigue. Even he might not in Wimbeldon, he is definitely a force to be reckon with for USO. Go Stan!

    [Reply]

  12. Big congratulations to Stan he was just too good. If Novak had won that would seem to have been more deserved but who can say I can’t remember a lot of sympathy for Nadal when Soderling won although I realise this was a final! As a tennis fan I think it is good that we again have someone who can throw a spanner in the works. Djo no doubt is the No 1 player at the moment but I’m sorry he just doesn’t do it for me and it isn’t because I love to watch Fed play…it’s just that I remember so well all the antics he pulled and to some extent still does. However Ru-an you confuse us by ditching ‘Ruans Federer Blog’ and renaming ‘Ultimate Tennis’ when it seems that you have just replaced Federer with Novak……I love your blog and I hope that tennis will win out!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Ok let me make it clear then. Ruans Federer Blog was about Federer like the title made clear. Ultimate Tennis Blog is about the cutting edge of the men’s game, where Djokovic is right now. And I still have my favorites like I already said. But it is not just about one player anymore. That should clear it up! ;-)

    [Reply]

  13. Hey, everyone!

    First off, I would like to start by saying that I have no personal issues with Mr. Ru-an. I have followed his blog for several years now and I started seeing a shift this year maybe after the Australian Open. I am not a blind Roger supporter. I get frustrated with him just as well.

    But I would like to speak on behalf of all those who might be afraid to say what needs to be said. So here it goes:

    Every person is entitled to sympathize with whomever they choose. Some people choose to be loyal and others – well sometimes we call it – glory hunters, they pick and and choose to sympathize with a new face.

    When Roger was on Top, it was easy to be his fan. Throughout his downfall and later on with his “Redemption” we stuck together and experiences some of the greatest memories a sportsfan can experience.

    Now, however, all of a sudden with Djokovic’s undeniable dominance over the tour (apart from the French Open riddle – which still remains elusive to Novak), some people choose up gloss over Roger Federer’s achievements and call him names and epithets that do not befit a true legend of the sport and the greatest tennis player that perhaps has ever picked up a racquet.

    I have no problem with Ru-an sympathizing with Djokovic. I can even understand it. What I don’t understand is how freely he is willing to just diss Roger and biasly defend Djokovic. It used to be that he was one of the happiest man when Roger crushed Novak at the French in 2011, and yet now he blames Roger for doing so.

    Also, the enigma of the French obviously involves going around Nadal and not through him. No mortal has ever beaten Nadal at the French and won the title. That simple feat was repeated yesterday. I would have loved to hear a little more about that.

    And how about Stan’s achievement? At 30 he is 2 for 2 in slam finals and against Nadal and Djokovic nonetheless. Remarkable. Stan and Murray combined have the Career Slam. That’s quite remarkable as well.

    In any case, no hard feeling. Just wanted to call it like I see it – something that certsainly is promoted on this blog.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I’m sure many biased Fedfans agree with your sentiment Hilda. That, however, does not make them right. Like you, they will insist that I am a glory hunter when the opposite is true. They are projecting their glory hunting onto me. To many Fedfans Djokovic is the bad guy. He is one of Roger’s bitter rivals. He will also never reach Federer’s achievements. With this blog, I have been a bigger supporter of Federer in one year than most Fedfans are in their entire lives. And yet I have blogged about Federer, and continue to do so, for more than six years. I don’t owe Federer or his fans a damn thing.

    I can be a fan of whoever I want whenever I want. If anything made me steer away from Roger it was his fanatical fans who worship him like he is a god. If he was a god then why does his main rival own him? Surely a god can overcome that? I was a fan of Sampras in the past and became a fan of his main rival Agassi because Sampras became boring, knowing that Agassi loses most of the big matches to Sampras. So get out of here with your accusations of glory hunting. If anyone is a glory hunter it is you who can’t get over your Federer fanaticism.

    [Reply]

  14. I am just happy that neither Roger, nor Novak won. Cant ask for more than that really. I am almost shocked at the almost complete 180 turn that Ruan has made with regard to being a Fedfan. Makes for an interesting read though, and definitely better than the nauseating Fed worshiping of last years. Kudos!

    That aside though and on a serious note, Stan played out of this world tennis. He most definitely deserved that win. And yes I felt a tiny flicker of pity (for lack of a better word) for Nole. He gave his all against Rafa and Andy. But that’s tennis. He just has to pick himself up and try again.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    There was no 180-degree turn Emy. That is just a wet dream of fanatics like yourself. I am a Fedfan like I always was, but I am also mature and open-minded enough that I can be a fan of one of his big rivals. Djokovic just happens to be better and go deeper in tournaments than Federer right now, which is why I am writing more about him. Anyway, it was awesome to see the moon baller get destroyed by the Djoker :-bd

    [Reply]

    emy Reply:

    Never really thought of myself as a fanatic, but never mind. I am just saying I am surprised at the way you are writing nowadays. Not completely unbiased but I will take that over the nearly worshiping of Fed. I completely get you and many others. Djokovic does to Nadal what Fed cant do. Its only natural that some Fedfans will be drawn to Djokovic. Just like many Rafa fans I am sure celebrated Stan’s win yesterday. That’s just all of us being human.

    and I guess it was awesome too seeing Nole getting blasted off the court by Stan the Man. Cheers :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I just remember you coming here all the time after a Federer loss and rubbing it in with below the belt comments which is why I thought you were a fanatic. So if you are not one then I’m sorry. For some reason I thought you were a Nadal fan, but maybe I had a different person in mind. It’s not always easy to keep up with everyone on my blog.

    [Reply]

    Ben chia Reply:

    Hello Emy, I’m a relatively new reader to this blog. So perhaps I’m missing insights u guys seen from reading much earlier…. But I do want to share that I was more a fedfan than tennis fan. I watched the golden years of Becker, Chang, edberg and Sampras in my youth. It was entertaining but never captivated me till this FEDERER chap came along. In 2009, I finally became a fedfan and still am. But It’s recently after reading so much on this blog that I’m now bothered to watch a match that does not feature fed. Wait a min, now I’m a tennis fan? Ha… Never saw that coming. Point is, Ru-an switch in writting now reflects its blog title more than ever before. Ru-an as a writer surely will peeve some people off. If readers want neutral stuff, go to tennis.com, atpworldtour or espn. Here, Ru-an writes what he feels and the best part…, he lets us bitch about it in comments section. That I think is worth much more than sterilized writing. My 2 cents as a new community member :-)

    [Reply]

  15. The comments are great. Being a fan of some or other tennis player is like falling in love; there is zero logic here. Djoker had some heartbreakers at RG and any decent logic human being should have cheered for him. I tried to cheer for Novak, but each time it got tight I found cheering for Stanimal. So just cheer for your guy, who cares.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Glad you enjoy the comments Cornel. I do too. And you are right, logic goes out the window when you are a fan. That much is abundantly clear here =)) Glad you got to watch the final anyway. Was a good one!

    [Reply]

  16. Hey Ruan look I have read all your posts from the beginning and I know how much you like Roger. Don’t let this stupid Fed fanatics get to you because I see you are suddenly a lot more pissed off with Roger as well. Take it easy because at the end of the day you can always choose to ignore the trolls.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Right Ajay, and thanks for your faithful following btw. Don’t worry, the fanatics won’t put me off Roger, although it seems they are trying very hard. I still love the way he plays and how well he is doing at such a late stage in his career. But tennis is also moving on and I am not stuck in the past like some people. I can actually get over my fanaticism and like other players too.

    [Reply]

    Ajay Reply:

    Yup there is nothing wrong in liking other guys. For example I have taken quite a liking to Murray this past year even though I used to hate him before. I really liked Dimitrov till last year but now I seem to have misplaced my trust. But I like all the young guys: Nishikori, Raonic and Thiem. Its a lot of fun being a tennis fan these days.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Right. As you know I have also broadened my horizons and I encourage other fans to do the same. I always criticized Federer and showed his opponents respect, but the whole Federer worship thing just became nauseating. And tennis will exist after him, just like it existed before him.

    [Reply]

  17. Hey Ru-an,

    Thanks for all your great posts recently, and for taking the time to respond to virtually every comment.

    I honestly don’t know what is more impressive: the volume, depth, and accuracy of your analyses, or your willingness to spend countless hours having long conversations with us about what you really said, and correcting people who simply misread your posts!
    :-)

    Cheers,
    Joe

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks, Joe! I very much appreciate your classy and unbiased posts too! I admire the Fedfans who have to tolerate some of the things I say about Roger in response to the fanatical Fedfans. I say some things that, although I believe them to be true, I would not usually say out of respect for the unbiased Fedfans. So I feel sorry for the unbiased Fedfans who have to endure that and I admire the fact that they can enjoy and respect my posts regardless. So really you are impressive, not me!!

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Yeah, Ru-an, Count me as one of those “enduring” your Fedfanatics hate ;-) But it’s all right because I totally understand where you are coming from ;-) those days when every word you said went under the microscope and no matter how you go, you couldn’t please your readers ;-) I didn’t feel free to criticise Roger in the early days as your readership was very Pro Roger. But today, it’s gone the other extreme! Let us all work towards achieving a happy medium. This wonderful blog deserves it! :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks for being a good sport Veronica. I am more sensitive to people’s feelings than it may appear. But sometimes you have to push it to other extreme before you can attain a happy medium.

    [Reply]

  18. Hey Ruan,

    Congratulations to Stan for a wonderful win, he played very well in the final and deserved the title. I am really happy for him but I am sad for Djokovic. He wants the French really bad and you can see it in his eyes. You can see how much it meant for him when the French crowd gave him a long standing ovation. I think some people are still living in the past as they want to see the Fedal matches and there’s nothing wrong in that but they are forgetting the present which at the moment is Djokovic. He is playing great tennis and every tennis lover should appreciate it.

    Congratulations on the new-look blog. Feels great.

    The ever-present reader,
    Vamesh

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hey, Vamesh! Thanks and great comment! I hope to have more blog followers like you in the future!

    [Reply]

  19. It is Wimbledon 2015, the Djoker just thrashed Stan the man in the semis and Roger Federer beat Nadal in a classic 5 setter. Ru-an for which dude are you vouching for?

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Good one Cornel. I don’t think it will ever play out that way but if it does I’d probably root for Fed. I like it when players get things like a career slam or a record 8th Wimby. Those are historic things so I always like to see them. How about you?

    [Reply]

  20. Hello again!

    I read all of the comments and I must say that whomever invented the word “Fed Fanatic” should define it for us fans and readers of this blog. Because I am certainly confused.

    My definition is that these are fans that see no fault with Roger, think that he is invincible and that he’ll always be the best player in the world.

    I certainly do not believe that Roger is that. He has faults. He has lost important matches. But he has won some amazing matches as well.

    I am not sure what to do. Am I Fed Fanatic for defending Roger against those who chose to call him a mental choker and someone’s bitch?! Whomever uttered those words should apologize. Emotionally affected or not.

    Or if that’s not the case, than the same standard should be used with all the players as well. If Roger choked at match point at the U.S. Open against Dhokovic in 2011, by the same token Djokovic blew it (choked) a 3:0 lead and TRIPLE break point at 4:3 in the fourth set here. We also have to look at the perspective.

    Roger won his only French Open title in 2009 at a time when Nadal was crushing everyone at the French Open. He had won 4 FOs before and as history showed us – 5 more after that. Federer’s majestic win also came at a time when Nadal had inflicted two devastating loseses to Roger – at Wimbledon in 2008 and at the Australian Open in 2009. Nadal was number 1 in the World. Roger had started to show some real vulnerability at the time. And yet, despite his trials and tribulations he was able to come true! He had only ONE shot at it and he took like the True Grand Slam Champion that he is.

    In comparison, Novak is in his absolute prime. He crushed a Nadal who is a shadow of himself, beat in form Murray and didn’t have Roger standing in his way. And yet he crippled. He couldn’t get it done. He first lose his serve to lose the 3rd set. And then after having the early lead, choked it away. It’s as if Roger with the WORLD watching lost to Robin Soderling in the Finals that year.

    Novak had no excuses. He had to deliver. And he didn’t. That’s the truth. He was gracious in defeat, yes but in the end he still lost. And I am not sure that he’ll recover from this either.

    What’s the problem with that view? If everyone is allowed to speak fairly, there should be no problem. And yet, I feel that on fm this blog unless you conform to certain views, you will be either banned or called a Fanatic. If that’s the case, I am certainly guilty as charged for defending Roger.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hilda, I’m sorry, but I can’t keep responding to your long comments. I just read the start so I will reply quickly. A Fed fanatic is someone who is completely biased and see no fault with Roger, like Ines for instance. They basically see him as their god. Their whole lives revolve around him. They have lost perspective and touch with reality. Every time you criticize him or compliment a rival of him they are crushed. I don’t know what you are. Your first comment suggested that you are a fanatic but the second one seemed more balanced. You will know for yourself anyway.

    [Reply]

    Hilda Reply:

    I appreciate that you took the time to respond. I really just wanted to get my point across. I am sorry if I get a little emotional myself.

    I understand why many, including myself identify with certain players. I do with Roger. You now with Novak. That’s perfectly normal and ok. No one is perfect. I know personally that whenever Roger loses I have a bad day. But I don’t even know the guy. He has inspired many, but we shouldn’t get too obsessed with certain players. Maybe we should take a page from their books.

    These guys are gladiators and warriors on the court and yet they remain civil and respect each other immensely. Tennis represents Class personified and we should strive to stay Classy on this blog. With no derogatory comments, etc. I’ll certainly strive to do that myself as well.

    Look, you are a GREAT writer, Ru-an! No one can take that away from you. Just know that.. And remember, sometimes your biggest CRITICS are the ones that care most for your blog. That’s all! I’ll leave it at that. :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well, thank you very much for this comment. I get emotional myself so no worries. It’s like people bring out comments in you that you don’t really want to make. So then I feel bad. I feel like I betray old blog followers etc. Having a tennis blog is kind of a serious business! I actually think about comments I made a lot more than people probably expect. I can be very blunt and even rude when I want to get my point across. Things just kind of escalate to the point where I say something that I regret afterward.

    This tennis fan business is a serious thing and you are right that we should follow the example of the players. That’s why I’m trying to steer away from being a fan of just one player. The Djoker’s loss pissed me off, but it didn’t cause me to have a bad day or week like it did with Roger losses in the past. I’m really happy for Stan and overall this FO was a very enjoyable experience for me that ended in a nice way too, all be it not necessarily the outcome I wanted.

    Anyway, I really appreciate your compliments and I’m sorry if I was hard on you earlier. We all just need to calm down a bit and realize this is after all a game and about having fun! <:-P \\m/

    [Reply]

  21. A close-up analysis on how the players behave after the results. A very nice review, just like both players being reviewed are also very admirable ones.

    In all honesty, I am a bit concerned about the Djoker’s future after this heartbreaking loss. Just like Roger before 2009, he had to endure losses upon losses before he finally won it. Granted, 2008 RG loss was not heartbreaking as he was totally schooled. After a point, when you suffer heartbreaks upon heartbreaks, you just lose it and eventually give up. For the Djoker, there has been so many pains in this tournament. It could be that this is one too many.

    I certainly hope not and next year he comes back as strong as ever. Yet he’s not young anymore and next year he’ll be 29. So, looking at his loss is very tough for me, even more so when he finally cried. But then…if he had won, the other player might never get anymore GS, admirable as he was.

    How’s your view on this Ru-an? Do you think the Djoker can recover from this loss and come back strongly, or will this prove to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back in terms of chasing the career slam? Also an interesting question…how Stan will pick up this win. I hope for him to take this as a platform to mount strong challenges at other GSs. This way, the tennis world will become more interesting.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks, Jason. It is nice to see you commenting again as well. I know you have been around for a long time. To answer your question, the career slam is extremely hard to achieve. Both Federer and Nadal only barely achieved it. They were both in dire trouble at the slams where they won the career slam. Same for Agassi. That’s why I couldn’t believe all the talk about the calendar slam. The career slam is difficult enough as it is to achieve, and the Djoker failed again. He seems to be cursed, and yes he may never achieve it. There is always something that seems to be against him at the FO.

    This year it was the draw. I mean the guy is a damn good clay court player and very complete as a player. For instance, he defeated Nadal many more times on clay than Fed did. There is an argument for him being a better clay courter than Fed, but he’d have to win the FO to make that a serious argument. So yeah I definitely think he deserves it after beating Nadal this year at RG(something Federer could never do and he had to wait for someone to take care of Nadal) but it’s not always about deserve. I’d like to believe he can be back in the next few years and get it done with a better draw. I definitely don’t think he will give up because the 2013 loss was way more brutal and he bounced back very well from that.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Just to be clear about something here, when I say in dire trouble at the slams they won the career slam I mean for Nadal actually the AO, not the USO. The AO is where he won only one slam and there he was in dire trouble. Fed and Agassi won it at the FO and they were both in dire trouble there. Fed vs Haas and Del Potro and Agassi vs Medvedev in the final where he was two sets to love down.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Hi Jason,

    Can Djoker come back next year? I hope he will, and I expect him to; even to come back strong before this year is out. So I’m admitting some bias! ;-)

    But thinking about your question put me in the mood to think about a little historical perspective, so here are my thoughts for anyone who would like to read them:

    First of all, my concern about the Djoker is not his mental strength; it’s that his brand of tennis is predicated on supreme physical fitness. That’s one reason I don’t expect him to to be a threat to Roger’s total slam record. Djoker can easily be a great athlete for 5 more years if he takes care of himself, but I don’t think he can be supremely good for that long.

    In fact, I’ve started to wonder if we’re seeing it a little bit of the beginning of that downward trend now. I thought he was tired at USO last year, and I know he’s been playing a lot of tennis but I think he was tired in the FO final too. As great an athlete as the Djoker is, if he loses half a step, or a few minor degrees of flexibility, would it make a big difference? I think it’s possible…

    I like watching him come to the net more, and continuing to broaden his repertoire. That will lengthen his career, and I really like to watch him play. He’s one of my three favorite players (I like Del Potro but haven’t seen him in some years) so I’m actually a little concerned that Djokovic, along with Nadal and Murray, won’t last as long as Roger, just because all their games are based on extreme athleticism.

    The biggest difference between Roger and the other three is pure tennis skill, as opposed to athleticism. That’s how I think history will look at Roger too: Someone came along who had more tennis talent than we’d ever seen, and then three other guys came along who didn’t have as much tennis talent, but perfected an athletic form of baseline tennis and took advantage of the talented guy’s one-handed backhand on increasingly slow courts.

    For example, I think Nadal has to be the strongest, the fastest, and have the most endurance, in order to win majors. I think he needs to reign supreme in all these qualities to be the winner we’ve seen, because his pure tennis talent is the least of the Four. When Roger slims down, I think it may help him in those long major tournaments; but when I see Nadal looking slimmer, I think the lack of strength will be too big a price to pay. In fact, I don’t think Nadal can afford to lose any more in any of those dimensions and remain a world-beater. So I think 14, or maybe 15, will be Nadal’s legacy.

    More or less complete tangent: I agree with several who’ve said Andy could be a big threat at Wimbledon this year.

    Lest I be accused of more bias than I’ve actually admitted, let me repeat that I really like Djokovic. To say he’s the best player in the world right now is frankly faint praise, and even to say he’s one of the best in history is to risk saying too little about him.

    But I do think the big three will start to fade in a year or two, maybe three in some cases. Not all at the same time of course. And I hope Roger can keep his athleticism up to the point where his pure tennis talent will allow him to be competitive for as long as possible. Another historical feather in his cap is that he will probably be retiring at about the same time as some of the Big Three, who are five years younger.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Interesting comment Joe. Djokovic is quite talented compared to Nadal for instance. You can see it in the difference of their backhands, returns, and serves. Djokovic also has better volleys. He doesn’t come in to just finish the point like Nadal. He is actually a legit volleyer. I think his raw talent and lack of injuries will help him to stick around for some time still, but one thing he may want to improve is his upper body strength. He can get overpowered like we saw against Stan. It’s not a huge problem, but it may just give him a little extra finishing power which seems to be lacking at times. But yeah the way he keeps improving and the improvements to his serve and net game will already help him to stay around for longer.

    [Reply]

    jason Reply:

    Great observations there Joe & Ru-an. Let’s put the mental aspects aside for a moment and focus on technicalities. Just like Joe said, the three seem to need to rely more on supreme physical strength to perform consistently. But as Ru-an pointed out, Djokovic is becoming more adept at the subtler, deft touch games.

    I think this will need to be reviewed more as we still don’t know how much reliance of physical strength he can let go and compensate with the talent based games. For example, when Roger compensated his gradual loss of athleticism with the subtler games, the decline is quite remarkable. From racking 2-3 slams every year to 1 slam a year, then 1 slam in more than 2 years. Yet we must also mention that during those declines, he managed to snatch back the no.1 several times.

    I think we are beginning to see this decline is Nadal…but I digress because just like you I often get it far off when predicting Nadal declines. But IF indeed this is his time, the decline is quite remarkable: going from no. 1 to number 10 in just a year.

    Djokovic & Murray are somewhere between Nadal & Federer. So perhaps their declines (when they come) will be somewhere in between, as well.

    Of course the discussion can also involve mental aspects…and that will be a much lengthier discussion fitting for an article, which someday you may want to touch, Ru-an :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I think as you grow older you want a bigger serve to get you more free point, which is what Djokovic is doing. Also better at the net to finish points faster. Roger did both these things and Djokovic is starting even earlier. Not that his movement has declined. He takes care of his body very well and is injury free. So I can see him going on for quite a long time. But like I said some more strength wouldn’t hurt I think.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Thanks for getting back guys. And I do like to see Djokovic broadening his repertoire, because I’d like to see him stay around for as long as possible. It will be interesting to see how he changes in the coming years, and I really like the idea of adding some upper body strength (What do you think Ru-an? Maybe 3 to 5 or 6 pounds?). A hybrid of Djokovic and Stan – in a way – would be a very formidable player!

    Jason, it’s interesting that you use the term physical strength to describe what I meant to refer to more as total athletic ability – including speed, stamina, recovery time, flexibility, coordination, etc.

    I think it’s interesting because I suspect that more physical strength would have helped Roger to remake his game. Time is short at this point in any event, and I just want to see him smile one more time with a major victory. I think that’s all we can hope for at this point. I know it would mean so much to him.

    And as far as Murray and Djokovic are concerned, I agree that they’ll drop off more gradually than Nadal. But I think Andy will drop off more quickly than Djokovic. I think Djokovic has an opportunity to extend his time at the top by continuing to broaden his repertoire.

    I respect Murray, his athleticism and his toughness. And even if I didn’t have any Scottish ancestry – which I do – I would still have been glad to cheer along with most of the rest of the world when he won Wimbledon. I just don’t think he has Djokovic’s complete tool set. His athleticism and retrieving skills keep him at the top of the sport, and some of his tennis attributes are the best in the game, but when he loses half a step – well, I hope he will have been proactive about adapting his game by then.

    :-)

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Love your discussion here Ru-an, Joe, Jason. Maybe join you all tomorrow. Late now. Goodnight!

    [Reply]

  22. The 5 minute ovation for Djokovic was stunning and his reaction makes it hard to dislike him. I have always liked Djokvoic anyway, simply because he had the guts to stare down Nadal at slam finals, especially AO 12 and US 11. As Ru-an said it’s one thing to be gracious but another to actually be truly happy for your opponent and I thought Novak was for Stan. He really is the most classy player in defeat.

    That aside, Djokovic’s task was made more difficult I think by having to play into Saturday another set and a half pretty much. Those were long grinding rallies with Murray and he is human, it must have tired him out. That does not detract from Stan though. His groundstrokes were inredible as usual. But what really struck me was that he was pretty clutch and won a lot of the long rallies as well, which you would expect Djokovic to win since Stan generally had to win his points with a winner or forced error.

    Someone above wrote: did Djokvoic choke this one glorious chance he had, unlike Fed vs Soderling in 2009? Both were facing enormous pressure, and I would argue Fed faced more to win. Fed had also played 2 5 setters before (Haas and Del Potro). But Fed got it done. Both were against big hitters, but Stan is a slam winner already and better balanced on both wings then Soderling. So I can’t really say Djokovic ‘choked’ here. But it’s a fair point.

    That one-handed backhand is something to behold. I hope kids are watching this and starting to play that way as well. Stan can go down the line and cross court easiliy with it, and even if you see it coming it’s hit so hard and flat you can’t react in time…if Roger had that backhand he might have won 20 slams.

    So fifrst Halle, and then onto Wimbeldon…

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hey, Bharata. Good comment. It’s hard not to like someone who stared Nadal down in three consecutive slam finals that’s for sure.

    Agree that Djoker’s draw was brutal too. No one in the history of tennis would probably have won the title with that draw. Stan played unbelievably well I must agree and again, probably everyone in the history of the sport would have lost to him.

    About the comparison with Fed there I may disagree with you. You cannot possibly compare Fed’s 2009 draw with the Djoker’s draw this year. Fed wouldn’t have gotten past Nadal to start with. I don’t think the Djoker choked at all. If anything he choked in the 2013 SF. I would say that was his big chance. This year he never really stood a chance with his insane draw. But again, Federer never beat Nadal to win the FO. With Federer’s draw in 2009 the Djoker would have won the FO easily this year or since 2011 for that matter. Nadal was always in his way and the year he finally beats him he gets a brutal draw.

    Stan’s bh is gorgeous. I hope you saw the gif I posted.

    [Reply]

    Bharata Reply:

    Ha yes it’s true – you can’t compare those two draws. Fed had an easier draw in 2009, even though probably the pressure was crazy on him as probably this was his only chance to do it. I was taking Djokovic’s defeat of Nadal for granted. He made it look straightforward but he had to survive that insane comeback from 4-0 by Nadal and then crushed his spirit in the last set.

    As I watched the finals yesterday I just enjoyed it, without being too attached to who won. I was cheering mostly for Stan because (as someone said above) I just assumed Djokovic would win in 4 or 5 at the worst once Stan started making errors.

    Yes 2013 SF was the closeting thing to a ‘choke’ by Djokovic, but the guy was playing Nadal so it’s tough to call it a choke. The one that makes me sick is the US Open 2013 finals, because I thought Djokovic had so many chances and yet still lost.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes, I am not taking the pressure Roger faced in 2009 for granted. I knew it was now or never so there was huge pressure.

    In the final I was cheering for Djokovic but it didn’t hurt all that much when he lost really. I got irritated that Stan just kept smashing winners no matter what Djokovic threw at him, but you can just say too good.

    The 2013 SF was actually pretty tough to take for me, but again not like it used to be with Fed. I was just pissed off. I was really mad. He came so damn close and Nadal got away with murder yet again. The 2013 USO loss was irritating too, but I knew Djokovic was still crushed mentally from the FO.

    [Reply]

    Bharata Reply:

    Good point yes – the FO loss was in Djokovic’s mind when he lost in at the US Open 2013 finals. It’s the only explanation , on top of the Wimbledon 2013 loss to Murray.

    There is something about tennis that makes it easier to lose to people you have lost to before. You almost expect to lose and accept it. It’s hard to turn it around. Djokovic did do it to Nadal.

    I don’t want to write Nadal off, since he always comes back, but his game has holes – just a few but they are there. Unless his magic 128 mph serve comes back he can’t win cheap points, whereas Djokovic’s serve has really improved. his volleys are great too. He continues to improve. Meanwhile Nadal is too tied to Uncle Tony to get another opinion. Does he really think ‘working harder’ will change things? How about a new aprroach or tactics? Nadal is not done though, he will come back and has few points to defend the rest of the year.

    Anyway well done Stan, he combines raw power with some nice shotmaking…

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    The 2013 Wimby loss was also due to the FO loss I think. Since when does Djoker get straight-setted by Murray in a slam? I think Djoker will recover from this loss straight away. I wasn’t sure if he’d ever recover from the 2013 loss, but he did very convincingly by adding two more slams and dominating tennis again this year.

    http://www.menstennisforums.com/showthread.php?t=649537

    Looks like this was a tough one for the hardcore Djoker fans. I feel for them, but I would have thought the 2013 loss would be tougher. Had he just held serve and won in 5 he was a lock for the title. So for me he was closer there. Against Stan, he lost in four and was pretty soundly beaten.

    [Reply]

  23. Please Ru-an I don´t want to receive all the comments 37 comments too much I´ve no time working and studying all day..

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I don’t hate you Ines. Just in case you were wondering. I will unsubscribe you from the comments.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I just checked you are not subscribed to this post, Ines. So you should be ok.

    [Reply]

    ines Reply:

    Thanks Ru-an I want to receive your posts but not all the comments.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Ok. I didn’t forget the good old times on my blog. But things change and we have to change with them or get left behind.

    [Reply]

    ines Reply:

    Yes it was an unique blog.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    ;-)

    [Reply]

  24. Ru-an, there’s a lot to digest about this result so I hope you make some more posts about it. There are so many more aspects to touch on: the future of the “big four”, what this means for Wawrinka, for Federer, for Nadal, etc.

    For the Djokovic side: many factors played a role: first, the “curse of Nadal,” which I think is easily explained. Beating Nadal at RG is emotionally draining in and of itself, it’s like playing a second final before the actual final. That’s just too much to deal with. My feeling is that the only way that anybody could beat Nadal and win the title at RG is to beat him in the final.

    The signs were already apparent in the semi, Djokovic should never have let Murray take it to the fifth set. With his back against the wall, Murray started playing hit-and-hope tennis, trying to be more aggressive, and it worked for two sets, until he overexerted himself by playing too aggressively and Djokovic was able to reassert himself. IMO, people have mixed up cause and effect here: it wasn’t the exhaustion of playing five sets that caused Djokovic to lose the final; the very fact that he let it get to five sets that was a sign that mentally, he wasn’t quite ready to win the title. He had a huge lead but nearly pissed it away against a player who, as you say, is largely a “pusher.” In the final he came up against a player who was the opposite of a pusher, and who simply blasted him off the court.

    There’s also the fact that he was carrying a 28-match winning streak into the final, which added its own pressure. He did everything right this year–won nearly every big match from AO onwards, collected every Masters title and beat all the top players, even beat Nadal at RG (which only one other man has ever done)–and yet, during the biggest match of his career, he fell short. He clearly planned his entire season to peak for Paris–ripping through the spring HC season, playing MC to wallop Nadal again, skipping Madrid to conserve energy while minimizing rankings points loss, and then returning for Rome to get peak confidence just before RG. And all of that planning came to nought.

    Maintaining a winning streak takes energy; the more you win without losing, the more of a mental burden it becomes to keep it going, the more you’re going against the laws of probability, and eventually you’ll lose. I’m sure Djokovic would have traded all his non-AO titles this year for RG, even if he won’t say so.

    It’s not clear that Djokovic will a) be able to recover fully from this loss or b) have another such golden chance to win the title.

    Even after being thrashed in 2008 in the final in Paris for the third straight year, Federer still believed fully in his chances of winning RG. And once he saw his opportunity in 2009, he moved heaven and earth to seize it. In retrospect, that was pretty much the only real opportunity he’d have, given that Nadal reestablished his stranglehold on the title for the five years after that, and Federer’s consistency declined significantly with age after 2010. Had Federer missed that forehand against Haas in the fourth round, he might never have won the title, and if he hadn’t won it then, he might never have won it and he might have retired a couple years after that a broken, disappointed man, having failed to break Sampras’ record or win the Career Slam. The window is that narrow.

    And I think the window will be equally narrow for Djokovic. I doubt he’ll have a better chance than this one. And he’s not that young anymore; he’s going to be 29 next year. Suppose Nadal is back to full strength by then (and I think his doctors are well capable of coming up with some way to do this) and then beats Djokovic in another close, grueling five-setter at RG. Then where does Djokovic go from there, getting into his thirties without having entered the tiny pantheon of players who have mastered all four Grand Slams?

    As for whether he can handle this defeat, I’m not as sanguine about that as everyone else seems to be. Of course, Djokovic will say he retains his belief that he can win RG. (What else is he going to say?) He may even consciously think he retains his belief. But the truth lurking deep in his subconscious will only come out once he’s on Court Philippe Chatrier, playing in the semis or final. And I think we may have already seen that truth exposed to the harsh light of day.

    After all, he had many chances in this final. He won the first set. He was up 3-0 in the fourth and had 0-40 at 4-3 on Wawrinka’s serve. He even had a break point when Wawrinka served for the match. He really should have been able to drag it into a fifth set, where he would have had the advantage of greater endurance–indeed, their previous three Grand Slam matches had all gone five sets. Sure, Wawrinka played amazing tennis, but there’s no denying that Djokovic had plenty of chances and failed to take them. The problem wasn’t just Wawrinka’s power, but Djokovic’s mentality. There were doubts and hesitations somewhere in his mind–the same ones Nadal exploited in their last few encounters in Paris–and they surfaced yet again in this final.

    When Federer had the Career Slam in his sights, he closed it out ruthlessly. He was absolutely surgical against Soderling in the first set, and then when it got close in the second, he landed four straight aces in the tiebreak and took all but one of Soderling’s service points. Had Soderling leveled the match, he would have felt energized at the thought of possibly winning in four or five sets, while Federer might have started feeling fatigue from his grueling trek to the final. But with the two-set lead, Federer was able to finish it before fatigue became a factor. He did exactly what he needed to do to get the title. This is one of the qualities that sets Federer apart from the merely great champions and puts him the rank of the greatest champions. He played with the hunger and desire of a young player going for his first Grand Slam title, not a man going for his 14th, and yet he had the clarity of mind to know exactly what to do.

    Djokovic, by contrast, never looked like the winner in his final. Even when he won the first set, I felt it was more due to Wawrinka’s nerves than the exceptional quality of Djokovic’s play. He never played with the intensity of a hunter with his long-sought quarry finally in his sights, the way Federer did. He didn’t close it out, he didn’t have that mentality that sets the greatest champions apart from the great champions. I never felt clear thinking or clear intentions from him. There was confusion emanating from his racket. He didn’t play with the hunger and desire he should have had. This is not to say he played poorly–individual shots were often good. But they didn’t cohere into a whole. And you can’t win a Grand Slam title with that kind of tennis, let alone the Career Slam.

    Of course, everyone wants to be nice to Djokovic in defeat, so they’re saying he deserves the title and he’ll win it for sure next year. (If Federer had fallen short against Soderling, they wouldn’t have said such nice things–they’d have called him a choker and charlatan who deceived them by promoting himself as the “greatest,” even though he himself never made any such claims).

    But sport is cruel and unforgiving, especially individual sport. There is no “deserve.” Take a great and underrated champion, Andy Roddick. In most people’s estimation, he deserved a Wimbledon title. But he was unlucky to come up against a Federer seeking to break Sampras’ Grand Slam record. To play as well as he did, to serve 38 games without dropping serve, only to be broken at 15-14 for the championship–there can be no crueler way to lose a Grand Slam final. A year after that, he got knocked out of Wimbledon early after suffering from mono. And then two years after that, struggling with age and injuries, he retired at the US Open. No final blaze of Wimbledon glory. That’s what awaits the vast majority of players, even the vast majority of great champions: McEnroe, Becker, Lendl, Wilander, Edberg… It could all be over tomorrow. So who knows if Djokovic will ever make another final in Paris?

    And just because it wasn’t a five-setter doesn’t mean it wasn’t harsher than the 2013 loss. Maybe this defeat has left deeper scars than the last two–deeper, because in his heart of hearts he knows he can’t blame Nadal for this loss, and because he knows he won’t get too many more chances. It will certainly prompt a period of deep introspection for Djokovic, and who knows what, if anything, he will get out of it.

    [Reply]

    Hilda Reply:

    Hi, Steve!

    You made the comment that I wanted to make all along. It was wonderful. The way you described the way Roger emphatically took his Lone chance at the French was remarkable.

    That Whole month – the French Open and Wimbledon in 2009 delivered the greatest EVER memory that I have witnessed as a Sports fan, not only a tennis fan. The come backs from the brink at the French. The EPIC 5 setters in front of the eyes of Laver, Borg and Sampras who flew especially to watch it happen. And Andy also. I mean it was the perfect fairy tale. And like you said – Roger got it done. That’s what sets him apart. Like you said – people assume that Nivak will get it done and I hope for his sake but nothing in life is a guarantee. Like Novak said himself – it doesn’t matter how much you want something. Unless you go out there and take it with a bit of luck and Divine Infervention, it may not come true.

    So, yes.. This loss may not have immediate implications but certainly long term unless Novak finally wins it, it will have major implications on his legacy. He could be among the greats (McEnroe, Borg, Lendl) or he can joint the greatest (Federer, Laver, Nadal). It’s up to him. ;-) Roger has already cemented his legacy. So has Nadal. They can only add to theirs. Novak is the one seeking immortality. So far it eludes him. BTW the AO Open 2012 final is the one that really made me like Djokovic. That was a mental beast there against Nadal. The come back from 2:1 sets down and a break down in the 5th. That was his best ever win, I think.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Some wonderful points, Steve and Hilda!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well, at least if he doesn’t win it he has the satisfaction of having beaten Nadal at the FO, something Federer could never do.

    [Reply]

    mridul1 Reply:

    By the same token Soderling will take satisfaction in the fact that he beat Nadal in his prime which not even Djokovic could do even though he is better matched up with Nadal than Federer is

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes, both Soderling and Djokovic did something Federer could not do. But Federer wouldn’t have defeated even 2015 Nadal at RG. He couldn’t even push Nadal to five sets at RG when he was in his prime. At least Djokovic also has the consolation of pushing prime Nadal to five sets at RG and also being a break up.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Hi Ru-an! You are incredible! Do you sleep at all?!! I so wanted to join in the wonderful discussions earlier but wasn’t able as I had some dateline commitments. Anyway, I’m wondering if I’ve watched the match correctly. I thought the first half of the match, Stan was playing it safe and seem just contented to hit with Djoker! There were many moments where I thought the Djoker was the aggressor! Some of the bp opportunities, Stan was just content playing safe. But don’t you think Stan was outstanding in his defence?!! I think that was a major contribution to his win. Whatever Djoker threw at him, he got it back, and with interest, pushing the Djoker back, got to neutral and then started blasting! No one could live with Djoker in a baseline rally. It’s incredible that an offensive player like Stan could! It’s rare to see an overwhelmed Djoker repeatedly and predictably resorting to drop shots! And is there a more clutch player than Stan?!! Also, I thought Stan was not playing as risky as he always does (didn’t really go for the lines and he hit a lot of mid court balls) In a way, he was more lethal in the match against Roger? And Djoker , maybe not at his very best? Mentally a little tired, shots lacking zing and he wasnt confident with his bhdtl which he hardly used. The handshake/hug at the net was beautiful. Stan was almost apologetic! Love his humble, shy, yet edgy personality!! Even more beautiful was Stan walking over to console Djoker. And as if there wasn’t enough beautiful moments, Djoker cap it all with his touching tears. Kudos to the French crowd despite their fickleness. The muted celebration by Stan was classy. So also was Djoker’s muted celebration over Nadal. Tennis remain in safe hands. Ppl are saying now that Stan is a threat at Wimby. I think maybe not. He doesn’t have the time to set up as in clay, which is actually his strongest surface. And his movement, his stoutness, not sure….I look forward to another post on this final as you said you may do, Ru-an! As Steve said, there are so many aspects to talk about. But meanwhile, I leave two outstanding quotes from the Stanimal for you all to enjoy. “Do I want to compare myself with them (big 4)? No, I just want to move forward, to improve and to beat them when I face them. Well said, Stan, well said =D>

    “I’m still convinced that I’m not as good as they are, because it has been 10 years that they have been around and they have won everything. But I am good enough to win 2 grand slams and to beat them at major tournaments” How humble is this guy, huh?! And how sweet?! You won’t see another more genuinely humble, respectful and appealingly honest comment. Go Stan! I love you! And I will join Katyani to take a bow for Stan the Man!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I don’t know if Djokovic was tired in the final or whether Stan played better against Fed. I think the second one is probably just Fedfan bias speaking. I think Stan played unbelievable throughout. I am more inclined to believe Djokovic was tired. Beating Nadal was much more intense than the scoreline suggests and the match vs Murray was brutal too. I am very happy with his performance. No one in the history of the sport would have won the event with his draw. Maybe if he had a better draw he could have beaten Stan? I’d say that is at least debatable, but it doesn’t matter. He lost on the day to the better player and that’s all there is to it.

    I don’t think Stan is anywhere close to the big 3. He’s not even on Murray’s level. He had two great runs that won him slams. For the rest, he is very inconsistent and mediocre. No doubt his best level in unbelievable, but consistency is important too. In that regard, Murray is way ahead of him too.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Nah! There you go again, Ru-an! This is classic eg what I meant when I said you mention Fedfan/fanatics in every second sentence! I said that to drive the point home just like you drove home some of your views. It NEVER was about Roger when I said that I thought Stan played great against Roger! I thought he played outstanding in that quarters regardless that Roger was at the other end! I saw some things in the final match which I wasn’t sure about so I sought your views. I was actually impressed with Djoker taking the initiative in some patches in the match and that he could do that may mean Stan wasn’t that lethal; at least for set and a half. I think Stan got better and better (and returning better) and Djoker just dropped a fraction. Just tell me what you saw without resorting to that Fedfan bias! Gosh, Im the one who is often negative and not easily impressed by Roger’s performances compared to many Fedfans here! I need to be careful now making comments as anything Roger could be construed as biased Fedfan! ;-) I think your empathy towards Djoker now maybe clouding some of your better judgement, Ru-an! ;-) Anyway, like you, I am inclined to think that Djoker was a bit mentally exhausted. If he hadn’t had to go through Nadal/Murray and if Stan hadn’t been completely on he could have won it. But what doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger. Djoker is not a broken man. Nah, ppl reading too much into it. Having to break the Fedal stronghold was the ultimate test. To me, not winning the FO is not pressure in true sense of the word coz he is still the best player in the world, still dominating. How can ppl even think about him not winning it ever?

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well it seemed you thought he was more lethal in the match with Roger, which I didn’t see any evidence of. He was very lethal against Djokovic. He had to be because Djokovic is a lethal defender. So I guess that’s what made me thought you were being biased. And also just the fact that you brought Roger into it at all because that’s what biased Fedfans always do. So if you bring Roger into it and say something I don’t agree with then I couldn’t help thinking you sounded biased. Gotta look at it from my viewpoint too.

    [Reply]

    veronica Reply:

    You got a point there. But it may also indiciate that you are super sensitive to anything Roger ;-) Anyways, the whole point of me raising this issue is sometimes we don’t know our own faults and it takes a brave other person (usually an o:-) :-) ) who care enough about us to tell us about it ;-) Anyways, your longtime faithful readers can understand and tolerate a lot of goings on here. As long as this blog exists, we are very happy already! I truly appreciate it and love how much care and heart you put into it! Onwards and upwards!! Oh! I can almost smell the green green grass of Wimby! Can’t wait!!

    [Reply]

    Bharata Reply:

    I enjoyed reading this comment. It emphasizes how much was on the line for Federer in 2009 vs Soderling. But he was playing a guy who was playing his first finals and I think he won the first set easily. But yeah that 2nd set tiebreak was clinical. I think he won every one of his serve points with an ace or almost all of them.

    Usually Djokovic outlasts his opponent, but Stan simply blasted him off with glorious shot making. Some of those backhand clips posted above are crazy. Was it a sign of mental exhaustion from Djokovic? I never thought of it but this comment makes a good case for it.

    Actually Nadal is already back in action in Stuffgart, on grass. It’s not a strong field outside of Cilic. I wonder if Nadal can get his confidence back on grass? I always preferred the quick turn-around to grass, because it gives less time for players to adjust and puts emphasis on just talent and instinct. Nadal can only go up now.

    I expect both Murray and Nadal to do well this year – to me, I’m sad to say, Federer is the question mark. He must know this is his last shot and the pressure might be too much.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah, Fed faced loads of pressure in 2009 Bharata, but with the same draw Djokovic faced this year he would not have passed the QF. Not a chance. By the same token if Djokovic ever has Fed’s 2009 draw he would win the title with ease.

    And yes, I think Djokovic was mentally tired. The Nadal and Murray matches were brutal, and the Murray one carried over to Saturday too.

    As for Nadal yes it will be interesting to see what is next for him. Didn’t know he was already playing on grass. Be fun to see who he loses to next :))

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  25. Btw, Ru-an, I do feel for Djoker, although I am ecstatic for Stan. He has grown so much from his imitation days. The classiness and dignity he showed in his loss. Unequaled. If anyone but Stan had been in the final, I feel Djoker would have won. I said Stan would be sternest test yet for Djoker and sure he was. Still, I expected Djoker to win; especially when he won the first set. He handled the early pressure so well by sweeping through his draws. Then maybe it did get to him eventually, in the final, I suppose, because he did some choking and couldn’t play his signature bhdtl. But I believe he can win it in the next couple years. He is still the best player in the world and in his prime. Nadal maybe back next year. But it maybe a mountain too high for him to climb back to being Clay Monster. At the end of the day, as you said, Ru-an, it was already a huge achievement in itself, by Djoker to dethrone the Clay King. Onwards and upwards!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Right, Veronica. Djokovic achieved a lot at the FO. No one could have done better. No one in the history of the sport. Federer himself would have lost to Nadal already, even in his peak. Djokovic’s task was impossible. That is really all there is to it and he won’t have a tough time to get over it if he has any common sense at all. I know that is a big hope for Steve, but it’s wishful thinking as usual. He didn’t cry at the end because he was broken or anything. It was just healthy emotion after a heroic effort. I hope he wins Wimbledon now.

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