Masters Cup RR: Federer def Tipsarevic 6-3, 6-1

Hi guys. Long time. I don’t know if you saw my comment. I was transferred to another department at my job and I had to adapt once more. I had just started gaining momentum with my blogging again and then this happened. It’s unfortunate for my blogging but the job is more laid back now so it may allow me to blog more in the long run. My last post was before Basel started, so I have quite a bit to catch up on. And by the way I appreciate that you kept commentating even though I couldn’t make any posts. Of course Roger ended up losing 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-6(3) in the Basel final to Del Potro. Roger had a tough match against Bellucci early on and I had my doubts whether he could win the event.

He was still looking burned out to me like he did in Shanghai. He started looking better in the following rounds which gave me hope, but in the final Del Potro finally got another win over Roger. Roger didn’t play badly in the final, but I don’t think he was at his best either. I think he just lacked an edge due to being slightly tired still. Roger’s loss meant that Djokovic is now #1 in the rankings. Roger was never going to end the year ranked #1 after losing in the semis of Shanghai. But actually what cost him the #1 year-end ranking was the quarter-final loss to Berdych at the US Open. We can take it even further back.

It comes down to the Olympic Games. The Olympic Games is really what caused Roger to be tired during his favorite indoor season. It is only played once every four years and just makes the schedule that much more demanding. It was an emotional week for Roger in London and that match against Del Potro in the semis was especially tough. That is what made Roger fade out a little towards the end of a terrific year, but obviously the Olympics was important for him. I think Roger improved from Shanghai to Basel anyway. He ran into a dangerous opponent in the final and it was inevitable almost that Delpo would finally get another win over Roger.

Roger consequently withdrew from Paris, which was obviously the right decision. There was just no way with the amount of tennis he played this year that he could have played three weeks in a row. The other top players who played Paris looked tired too. Murray, Del Potro, and Djokovic all lost before the quarter finals while Berdych and Tsonga lost before the semi-finals. The highest seed left at the semi-final stage was that consistent fighter David Ferrer. He also went on to win his first Masters Series title, beating a young qualifier called Janowicz in the final. It was old versus young and old triumphed 6-4, 6-3.


Don’t know about you but I love this outfit.

I was happy for Ferrer. He has been very consistent but never won a Masters Series title or made a slam final. Yesterday the Masters Cup started, the grand finale of the ATP calendar. Roger ended up being in group B with Ferrer, Delpo, and Tipsarevic. Given that Ferrer and Del Potro has been in a rich vein of form of late the groups are very even, with Djokovic, Murray, Berdych, and Tsonga in group A. Yesterday Murray beat Berdych while Djokovic defeated Tsonga, so Djokovic and Murray are still on course for the semis as expected. Group B is a little more uncertain. Today Roger destroyed Tipsarevic 6-3, 6-1.

He looked very good judging from the highlights. I can’t find the match stats, but the score says enough. It was a clinical performance and gives me hope for his title chances. It was just what was needed after that final disappointment in Basel. He is showing the field that he means business and that he is here to win a 7th Masters Cup. And I gotta believe he has a great chance of doing that. He plays Ferrer on Thursday and I’m pretty sure he will get the job done there. Ferrer has never defeated Roger in 13 meetings. He is just a very nice match up for Roger. And I think Roger will get revenge over Delpo too, which will put him on top of his group.

Djokovic looks a bit out of sorts since his father has health problems and Murray choked in Paris against Janowicz, after winning the first set and serving for the match at 5-4 n the second. It doesn’t happen often that Roger does not win an indoor event in a calendar year and I like his chances in London. He has been somewhat burned out but I think he has been getting better since Shanghai, and withdrawing from Paris has also helped him to get another much needed week off. He may have lost the #1 ranking but he can still end the year on a high by winning a 7th Masters Cup title, thereby keeping in touch with Djokovic.


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  1. Ruan, the highlights were pretty flattering because Tipsarevic was quite poor. At one point in the first set, Roger was serving at 35%. His second serve will be ruthlessly punished by DjokoRay.. Having said that if there is any court that complements Roger’s playing style best, after Wimbledon, it has got to be the O2 Arena. The bounce is low, the court is neither too fast nor too slow. His strengths get amplified and his weaknesses are not exposed on this court. It is not a surprise that he has gone undefeated here on two occasions.

    I think Roger has had a phenomenal year considering that he turned 31 and to regain the top rank albeit for a short period is one of the biggest achievements of the year.

    I came across a post somewhere that said that Roger’s loss to Nadal in 08′ was hailed as passing of the torch to the next generation. Since that final, Roger has won 5 slams and Nadal has won 6. They are quite close in terms of overall titles as well. It is extraordinary that Roger has been able to do it in the age when he was past his peak (27 onwards) and he has been able to match Nadal’s peak achievements. If this is not a tesimony to the fact that he is the GOAT, I don’t know what is..


    Kyle Reply:

    We have to remember though that Fed’s second serve is incredible on this court because he backs it up with an extremely solid baseline game. Even when he has to hit his second serve, he can win rallies against Djokovic and Murray, just like he has against Nadal for the past two years. Looking at the stats of the Djokovic/Murray match, Nole had 23 winners and Andy 28. If Fed was playing either of them, he’d have well over 40 for the same scoreline, because he knows how to attack even the best defenders we have ever seen (Rafa, Djokovic, Murray).


  2. Hey Ru-an, you’ve been campaigning, haven’t you. Well it’s over now, Obama gets another four years as #1, just like Roger! Good to have you back!


  3. It was absolutely surgical. His timing and footwork appear to be back in gear after being just a little off during Shanghai and Basel. Forehand, backhand, slice and volleys are all working well. First serve wasn’t the highest, but hey if you can avoid even facing a break point relying mostly on your second serve, you must be doing very well indeed.

    I hope he can keep it up and have another strong end to the season after his recent difficulties. Next is Ferrer who’s playing very well, so he’ll have to play well and use all his variety and shotmaking to baffle the tireless Spaniard.

    Meanwhile, Djokovic and Murray have battered away at each other in yet another grueling baseline marathon. I doubt they can continue that kind of exertion for another two matches, but given that Murray plays Tsonga next, and Djokovic Berdych, they probably won’t have to. Those opponents don’t have the greatest defense, so it won’t be as demanding physically for Djoko/Murray.

    If Federer is to win he’ll probably have to down Murray in the semis and then Djokovic in the final so it won’t be easy to hoist this one. Nonetheless, go Roger!


  4. Completely agree with Ruan. He perfectly summarizes what has happened over the last three weeks. I thought Roger was good in his premiere against Tipsarevic. Most of you may disagree but I’m more afraid of Murray than Djokovic on this surface.


  5. Just a comment about Roger at the final in Basel. He had a look on his face that we see now and again. It’s a look of anger, pain, annoyance or something. When I see that, I think oh no he’s not in the zone. Anyone else observe that? I hope I don’t see that this week!


  6. Ruan, good to have you back.
    fully agree with your post comments today.
    about Tipsy match – the man doesnt belong there with the top 8. he is going to be the whipping boy of group B.
    about Fed’s match today vs Ferrer – i think our boy stank up the joint big time. but somehow got away with it thanks to good play on key points and lack of belief from Ferru; but surely he will have to elevate his game to get the better of ND or AM.

    at the end of the day – i dont mind if Fed wont win here. i am so happy and proud in the year he’s had… it will be indeed a very sweet cherry if he can defend his title in the O2, but not one that i will miss when taking a big bite off this cake.


  7. He got the job done and moved into the semis, which is all anyone can ask. Not every match can be a masterclass.

    The first match was important so that he could make sure his game was in working order, build confidence, and ease into the tournament after his recent difficulties.

    After that, he did only what was needed to deal with Ferrer. He has to conserve energy to handle Del Potro, and then possibly Murray and Djokovic. If he makes it to the final, he will be playing for three straight days. Not easy at all.


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