Madrid QF: Federer def Ferrer 6-4, 6-4, Djokovic Falls

I don’t know about you guys but I am a little astonished by what happened yesterday in Madrid. The day after Nadal loses to his favorite whipping boy, Djokovic goes and loses to Tipsarevic. And in straight sets of all things, 7-6(2), 6-3. Who would have come up with such a plot?! But a nice one it is anyway because now Roger has an open road to the title. It doesn’t come much easier than not having to face any of the top four players on the way to the title. But Roger still had some work to do after Djokovic lost. He did lead Ferrer 12-0 in the head-to-head, but as we saw with the Nadal/Verdasco match it doesn’t guarantee anything. Knowing that Nadal and Djokovic is out of the draw brings is it’s own kind of pressure.

But he seized the moment and put in yet another clinical performance. It wasn’t the most exciting of matches. It was mainly a great serving performance from Roger, with 7 aces, 78% first serves in, 86% of first serve points won, 90% of second serve points won, and only losing only 6 points on serve. It really doesn’t get any better than that. The surprising thing is that Ferrer hit more winners than Roger, but he also made many more unforced errors. Having beaten a very consistent player like Ferrer 13 straight times is and impressive record in itself. The problem for Ferrer is that he just doesn’t have the weapons to cope with Roger. Roger on the other hand has so much to hurt Ferrer with, and on this occasion it was mostly the serve.

I have learned to appreciate Ferrer much more than I used to, but the fact is he has never won a Masters Series event or made a slam final. It just shows how important weapons are in today’s game. His mental toughness and fitness is a kind of weapon, but it’s not enough to reach the very top of the game. You need at least one very good shot like a serve or a forehand. In Roger’s case he has one of the best serves and forehands ever. But lets get back to the bottom half of the draw. Del Potro beat Dolgopolov as I expected and he did so quite comfortably 6-3, 6-4. Berdych on the other hand destroyed Verdasco 6-1, 6-2. Clearly Verdasco was a spent force after his win over Nadal. For him that is like winning the calender slam so I guess it’s understandable.

So it will be Berdych vs Del Potro in the bottom half and Roger vs Tipsarevic in the top half. Del Potro leads the head-to-head 3-1 with Berdych and I would have to give him the edge again here. I don’t think it matters much for Roger who he faces if he makes the final. He has been on a good winning streak against Del Potro though so that may be the most comfortable opponent for him. As far as Roger’s match goes he leads the head-to-head with Tipsarevic 4-0. He only lost sets in one of their matches and that was that five set thriller at the Australian Open in 2008 when Roger had mono. Tipsarevic is a top ten player these days however and he played a great match against Djokovic. But in the end you have to think that Roger will get the job done.

There is now a great opportunity for Roger to go ahead and snatch this title, and in the process keep his incredible year going while at the same time passing Nadal in the rankings. I said in my last post that Roger will pass Nadal if he makes the final but he has to win the event to do so. Since Djokovic is out that provides a fantastic opportunity for him to do just that. Then I don’t think there is much chance of Nadal passing him in Rome again, which means he will be second seed at the French. There is a lot of exciting stuff going on now, but there is some work left to be done here. Roger will play at 19h00 local time. If he keeps his good serving up and keeps Tipsarevic on the run I don’t see any reason why he won’t be in the final come Sunday. ALLEZ!

Highlights:

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12 Comments

  1. It must be freeking for Nadal and Djokovich to see Federer, with this 6 months of terrific tennis, being so close to them, he is the hunter and they must feel like a wild rabbit now, thats why they are running so fast on the courts!!!!

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  2. thanks for the post Ruan.
    i am actually very excited bout Fed’s year. ope he will win the whole thing. if he does make it to the final i believe Delpo is a better match-up on these problematic courts that limit the players movement since Fed can hurt him with his array of shots.
    if Fed will make it back to the 2nd place he has to do very well in Rome in order to remail there, no?
    anyhow, these weird (and beautiful) blue clay that rewards good servers and atacking style of tennis, had no doubt a lot to do with rafa and nole’s losse. but despite that, no one can claim that Fed doesnt desreve the 2nd place since he has been playing so well these last 6 months! he has gathered thousands of ranking points, won so many titles and won against so many top 10 players… i only wish to see him face djoko again and kick his !@#

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    Vily Reply:

    I also kind of hoped that Roger will be playing Djokovic today. But, you know what – winning the Title and getting all the stuff that comes with it – it doesn’t get any better than that.

    And, if you think about it, Roger will then be a true MASTER of all surfaces: Carpet (Milan 2001), Indoors, Hard, Grass, Red Clay and now Blue Clay.

    And by the way Djokovic and Nadal have complained, who knows – it might be the last time we see these beautiful courts. So winning this year would be very very special!!!!

    Allez Roger!!!!

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  3. What a MASTERCLASS from Roger today!!! Tomorrow I expect a close match, something similar to the Raonic match, but nonetheless the title will be ours tomorrow!!!

    Allez Roger!!!

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  4. Yea Roger is in the final. I sure hope he can beat Berdych. He got a little sloppy at the end against Tipsarevic. Berdych seems to have picked up his pace in his matches here in Madrid. Will Roger have to win tomorrow to move into the #1 ranking spot?

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  5. A decisive win. He baffled Tipsarevic for a set and a half with his all-court wizardry, and by the time the Serb seemed to get his feet under him for a last-ditch push, it was way too late and Federer was able to serve it out without much fuss.

    He’s adapted to the courts very quickly after six weeks off tennis. I don’t think he’s dropped serve since facing Raonic!

    Del Potro let his temper get the best of him. The ump was razor sharp and was right on practically every line call, but Del Potro argued with him and let it prey on his mind. It was so close that those mental lapses may have been decisive.

    Berdych seems to thrive on the blue clay–he smashed everyone on his way to the semis–and he will be tough to stop. I’m sure he’s salivating at the thought of beating Federer for his second Masters title so our man will have to play a Master-class to come through.

    C’mon Roger!

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    FeddyBear Reply:

    i think Berdych is shaking rather than salivating – yes he can beat Fed but it is the Berd who has to put on a masterclass to win.
    Fed needs to maintain his concentration on serve and try to jerk the big man around with changing spins and angles, low sliced balls and timely drop shots.
    Fed is the favorite in this one and i hope he wins.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Pray for death Birdshit :-)

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    steve Reply:

    Oh, I agree, I was just commenting on Berdych’s likely attitude. After crushing his opponents up to the semis and then outlasting Del Potro, I’m sure he feels confident that he can blow Federer off the court.

    Federer’s all-court skills are totally different from anything Berdych has encountered in the tournament.

    Baseliners are one thing, but Federer quite another. And having watched him dissect Tipsarevic with slices, drop shots, and off-pace, weird-angle balls, I am confident he can do the same tomorrow. But he still has to play well.

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  6. Great, another easy win for Feddy. Tisparevic could not cope with the wind. Federer is a master in windy conditions. He is just such a smart tennis player with so many tools and strokes to hurt his opponent if there is a lot of wind. He did the same thing in Indian Wells against Nadal.

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  7. Ruan, for info on rankings issues I really recommend that you register on roger’s website and consult the discussions there regarding the rankings – that always has the most up to date and accurate information.

    You are correct that Roger will be #2 if he wins tomorrow. However the reason for that is that last years Rome points will have already dropped off. So Nadal only needs to outperform Roger by a bit in Rome to get the #2 ranking back for RG. If Nadal wins Rome, he will be #2 again. If not, it depends on what Roger does and how far Nadal goes in the draw.

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  8. You play with cards you are dealt with. Whatever be the cards in the Goat’s hands, he adapts; he wins; he survives – Survival of the best – Roger Federer!

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