Indian Wells Rd 2: Sick Federer def Kudla 6-4, 6-1

Roger was sporting a new outfit yesterday in his first match in Indian Wells against American youngster Denis Kudla. It was the same one he wore in Melbourne, just blue this time. Before the match rumors were flying around on twitter about Roger falling in practice on his wrist and not being able to practice. I didn’t pay any attention to the rumors but he ended up playing with some kind of flu. Apparently his whole team is infected but he was the least affected, which makes sense since he is fit and would have a strong immune system. Luckily he doesn’t have the virus which have been going around in Indian Wells that gives stomach flue and takes 24-48 hours to recover from. Apparently Roger was looking sick on court but I didn’t notice anything. I got up early for the match and was probably too sleepy to notice.

But I don’t notice things like that anyway. If Roger is out there it means he is ready to play and there are no excuses, so I don’t look for any. Some people say he wasn’t playing well but if you look at the match stats there was nothing wrong with his performance whatsoever. The magician of precision hit some nice backhand down-the-line winners as well as sublime drop shots. People tend to be dramatic and believe if he is ill he must play badly too, so they look for problems. Sometimes when you are sick you play some of your best tennis. Don’t ask me why though. Anyway Roger will now have another day to recover before his next match on Tuesday against Raonic. Raonic beat Berlocq 6-4, 6-2. You better believe Roger will be ready and sharp to take care of this up-and-coming youngster.

I can’t believe when I read forums and people say Roger should withdraw from the tournament because he is old and sick. I mean Indian Wells and Miami is kind of annoying tournaments which doesn’t really suit Roger’s game. But he is still the best hard court player in history and there are many ranking points up for grabs. You never know. Roger could get back to number one if he wins a slam this year. So skipping these events is not an option. I wasn’t very excited about these events myself, but the fact that Roger criticized Nadal for time wasting adds and interesting dimension to his possible match up with Nadal. It looks like Roger means business. He feels confident and has reason to. If he does come up against Nadal you can be assured it won’t be anything like the trashing he took last year in Miami. Indian Wells is faster courts anyway.

Remember if Roger loses to Nadal in their next meeting it is turkey time(10+ differential in head-to-head), and I’m sure he is anxious to avoid that. Speaking of Nadal, he looked pretty impressive in his opening match against Mayer, winning 6-1, 6-3. It must be said that Mayer was utterly useless though. Getting back to Roger’s next match with Raonic, the two have never met before. Raonic looks like he will definitely be a future top 10 player and this won’t be an easy match for Roger. Raonic has a massive serve, pretty big base line game, and has a good mentality too. If Roger haven’t recovered from his flu completely by Tuesday and his movement is still affected, then this match could work out well for him. He likes playing big servers anyway. It will be tough to break Raonic and we may have tie breaks, which means Roger will have to be clutch.

He is riding a wave of confidence so I am not concerned about that.



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  1. It’s nice to have your posts back: you were missed over here! :-)

    BTW, I didn’t notice any problem movement-wise with Roger: the only thing is that he sometimes makes weird tactical decisions with the FH (like going for it instead of the BH when not necessary, putting himself in a bad position), with passing shots and at the net.
    It’s not only yesterday (it would have been negligible considering the flu) but it’s a thing I’ve noticed it’s been some time. However, the fact that he’s winning matches makes it irrelevant; until he meets one of the Top 2, in which case it could prove fatal.


    Vily Reply:

    Maybe, just maybe he is trying to work with the forehand more, in order to get ready for a potential match up with Nadal. I dunno… will see.


  2. I thought Fed played decent match although he made some odd choices with his forehand as indicated in the above post,it was almost if he was unsure of himself at times. I could tell he wasn’t feeling good when first saw him playing and there was a feeling he wasn’t a hundred percent and I’m sure he will shake this off going into the next match against Raonic. The one thing I didn’t like was Kudla breaking back in the first set from 4-1 down but again Roger was under the weather. The second set was much more accurate to Federer’s normal high-level of playing. My opinion is that before Fed faces Rafa, he needs to tighten up his game and have a straight-foward game plan to follow through and execute. I hope Tsonga comes through and gives Rafa a run for his money. Rafa’s draw is a joke. I’m glad Roger pointed out the time-violations in regards to Nadal, Nadal deserved it with that cheap shot he pulled against Roger at the Australian Open. One match at a time and hopefully more and more progress as he continues to play. Go Roger!


  3. I was there at the match and while a bit high up, I was in the corner on his backhand side. I didn’t hear anything about his fall or his fever/flu but he looked ready and again made it look so easy. I was amazed at how many excellent slices he used and how you could barely hear the strike or his feet; so quick and he’s so quiet & swift. The stats look great and thought he played amazingly well especially being under the weather! Bravo Roger!!!


  4. Federer was unquestionably sick, as in, “That was totally sick tennis!” He might have been ill, but it didn’t affect him very much, besides potentially that one break he gave up. He played magically, struck the ball very cleanly and smoothly and used his touch shots at just the right moments.

    Raonic will be tough but if Federer plays well, I think he can avoid a tiebreak. I predict a tight first set (probably 7-5 or 6-4), with Federer getting the decisive break near the end. Then he will roll through the second set.

    Raonic’s serve is very powerful, but I don’t think he mixes it up very much, and once Federer gets a read on it, he will have plenty of time to return it on this slow court.

    Raonic has yet to meet a returner with Federer’s variety. Even his first serves will be coming back with interest, and he’s probably not used to those short dink returns that Federer has recently been employing.

    If Federer gets a rally going, he’ll pretty much always win the point. Raonic’s only chance is to play first-strike tennis and hope for Federer’s serve to weaken. Federer will seek to neutralize Raonic’s serve, run Raonic around the court, and outmaneuver him.

    As Kathleen noted, Federer’s slice is very effective on this court. Kudla couldn’t deal with it and Raonic will have problems with it too, because he’s not exactly a precision ball-striker. The drop shot will also be very useful because Raonic doesn’t move that well.

    I’m looking forward to this match. Raonic is clearly a future superstar but his game is still relatively one-dimensional. Hopefully Federer will deliver a tactical masterclass to dispatch the young hotshot. C’mon Roger!


  5. I thought Roger played well. Many times when he plays a lowly player I want him to crush the guy and he seems content to just get one break or even take it to a TB… I get so nervous! What are you doing, Roger!?!? Ha ha. :p This time he was more wanting to push it in every game. But I did think he looked a bit under the weather. I don’t want him to pull out of IW either. After so many years of his amazing playing record to give 2 walkovers in 3 months… I don’t like it. Unless of course it is a medical necessity — health comes first.

    Hope he is more recovered for Raonic. But they were never going to play long rallies, so maybe it’s the best kind of opponent if Rog is a little run down from the virus. Four or five shot rally at most to either win or lose the point. I hope he and his family will get well soon. :-)


  6. Hey Ruan.Spot on with yur analysis once againI couldn’t agree more and I think the shot of the day was his drop shot at 4-1 in the second set.It pitched and almost spun back(so much back spin) and kudla didnt even bother to try get to that.Overall i feel this was a good performance and i think he will be doing better as the tourney progresses and will be 100%.


  7. Nice to see Ruan and Roger back in action. Kudla was a good opponent to get used to the courts. He was not a joke like Leonard Mayer.
    Overall I don’t think that this court favors Roger. It seems to be high-bouncing and slow. One reporter said that it could be even slower than the french open considering the low percentage of first service points won by all players up to now. Anyways before the semis it could help Roger to beat Raonic and Del Porto as their 1st serve will not be so dangerous. Unfortunately Nadal seems to be in good shape. He even wins his double matches against quality opponents.


  8. What a match.Definitely match of the tournament and maybe even the most aggressive and best match of the year till now in terms of quality and sheer class.Both Federer and Raonic deserve praise for their performances tonight and experience finally getting Federer over the finish line as both men played really well and were serving superbly.even though Federer lost tefirst set,t was literally that one runnig forehand miss that cost him and other than that,there was nothing seperating the two in the first set.In the second set though,Raonic found out that he had made Federer find his best form and Federer was returning elitely and secured two breaks and held serve to win the 2nd set.In the third set though,again Raonic started serving better until that crucial 3-3 game.Federer played that shot sliced dink return that he has played so well and Ronic could only plod it back it court and Federer secured the break with a majestic backhand pass and won without much fuss as he held comfortably to close out the match and playing Bellucci in the round of 16 also allows him to play a lefty before possibly playing a potential semifinal against nadal and who knows may be,this is the best practise possible.


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