Masters Cup RR: Roger Federer def David Ferrer 6-1, 6-4

Roger was always going to beat Ferrer, having a 10-0 head-to-head against him going into this match. Ferrer’s best chance against Roger is probably on clay, where he has more chance to run down some balls. On the indoor courts Roger just have too many weapons for Ferrer. These indoor courts are actually quite slow though, and it doesn’t really make for attractive tennis. It really annoys me how everything is slow these days, even indoors. But at least the courts will speed up during the week, because they were freshly laid for the event. It was obvious that Roger had problems with his timing at the beginning. The ball gets a lot of bite on these courts, unlike Paris where it shot through. But even though Roger was struggling to time the ball, he still almost bageled Ferrer in the first set. He went up 4-0 and then dropped serve however.

The second set was more competitive as expected. Roger got the break in the fifth game and held on after that to win the match. It wasn’t all plain sailing though. When serving for the match at 5-4 Ferrer managed to produce three break points. Roger managed to hang on for the win though, but not before Ferrer missed his favorite forehand off a short ball from Roger. It wasn’t a convincing way for Roger to serve out the match. I can’t find the stats, but I know Roger also wasted several break points again. This was indeed a good draw for Roger. The match against Ferrer was just what he needed to find his rhythm and timing. I don’t think we can draw too many conclusions from this match, given that Roger was still finding his timing. Having said that, this kind of form won’t be good enough to beat Murray I feel.

Murray beat Soderling 6-2, 6-4 yesterday. The big difference in court speed between Paris and London was clear in this result. Soderling just could not hit through the court, while Murray was running everything down as usual. I can’t help but feel these courts are tailor made for Murray. The court speed will also help Nadal, although the low bounce may not. Soderling went into the net 28 times during the match, while Murray only did twice – a very telling stat. Soderling had no choice but to approach the net because he couldn’t finish the point from the back of the court. But Soderling is very limited at the net, so that tactic played right into the hands of Murray who was content to just run everything down. It’s very ugly tennis but a win is a win. Soderling in the other hand needs more variety in his game if he is to remain in the top four and have a chance at winning slams.

Roger will now play against Murray in a rematch of last year’s round robin match between the two. Roger won that one 6-1 in the third in what was probably his best performance of the event. I don’t think the slower courts necessarily counts against Roger. He always did very well in Hamburg which was very slow clay. The courts does help Murray however, who will undoubtedly run everything down again and try to annoy Roger as much as he can. I thought Roger played a really good match last year to dismantle the Scot. He approached the net and kept things attacking. He will have to do the same again if he is to be victorious once more. The fact that he has Annacone on his side now, who has turned him into a more attacking player, won’t hurt either. The key for Roger will be to serve well and play a very attacking game.

These courts doesn’t nearly give the same assistance to the serve that Paris did. Still, a high first serve percentage will be key, which will give Roger more chances to attack and come to the net. There is no doubt Roger will have to be on his game and almost play a perfect match if he wants to come out on top. He also needs a win over Murray pretty badly. He lost to Murray two consecutive times now, both of them in Masters Series finals. That is two MS titles Murray have cost Roger of late. I don’t think this match is as big as those because I think Roger will go on to beat Soderling and make the semi’s anyway, but it is a bigger event. Also, with the eye on the Australian Open next year, Roger doesn’t want to be giving Murray any ideas. I think it is important that he wins this to show Murray that he is still his master in the bigger events.

They may also meet in the final, which makes it even more important that he wins to gain a mental edge. And finally there is the 200 ranking points to consider for every round robin win. I’d say this match carries pretty heavy importance. If Roger it, he will almost be assured of qualifying for the semi’s. He would also have a chance of qualifying unbeaten. I think that is important if he is thinking about winning this event. He wants to be as confident as possible going into the next phase of the tournament. You may argue that it is better that he loses a match and get his one bad match out of the way, but I wouldn’t agree. Roger has not been supremely confident of late, event though he has been on a great run. The losses against Murray, Djokovic(2 MP’s), and Monfils(5 MP’s) is proof of that. Winning every match in the event may be the only way he is winning the title.

And I have already stated why I think it is so important that he wins this event. It will just be the best possible end to the year and be a big boost going into next year. For me it will do a lot towards ending the doubts around his mental problems of late, and set him up for another great season in 2011.

Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=federer+vs+ferrer+london&aq=f

Interview: http://www.barclaysatpworldtourfinals.com/News/Tennis/2010/Interviews/London-Sunday-Federer.aspx

Roger Federer


Posted in Uncategorized and tagged , .

27 Comments

  1. I was hoping that he meets Soderling first before Murray to get into rhythm but I guess better now then later. It might be a blessing in disguise for him. The match against Ferru is much closer with a lot deuce points from both players. I hope not his evil twin coming on court trow

    [Reply]

  2. Another important aspect of beating Murray and finishing 1st in the group is avoiding Nadal in the semis. Although, meeting Nadal in th final if it comes to that, would bring much more pressure which Federer doesn’t cope well with lately…

    [Reply]

  3. We might bear in mind that in some of Roger’s best years, when he won the championships, his first round match was often his worst – such as his loss to Gonzalez in ’07, when he subsequently went on to win the final (destroying Roddick and Nadal en route). So he sometimes ‘feels’ his way into the tournament. I agree he wasn’t entirely convincing in the Ferrer match yesterday, and that Ferrer contributed to Roger’s win with some rather uncharacteristic errors at key points. Murray will undoubtedly be a major problem – again – with his ability to frustrate, as we saw with his match against Soderling. Roger needs to be at the top of his game these days to beat the counterpunchers. Personally, I find it baffling that with the increase in racquet and string power there are players who can consistently outrun the ball for a living, and in his early career I had never seen the (then) scrawny Scot, with his tendency to cramp in longer matches and relative lack of power, as a serious contender in the big tournaments. However, like a number of other players he has seriously bulked up (those quads are now huge!)and found the modern formula for success, running all day ‘like a rabbit.’. (Right, Christoph?)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Lol. Well the reason the pushers can do this is cos of the slow courts these days, or else they wouldnt have a prayer.

    [Reply]

  4. The courts undoubtedly help but I don’t think that completely explains it. Sometimes I feel like I am watching Playstation.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Lmao. Well Murray does play a lot of playstation.. ;-)

    [Reply]

  5. A win is a win.I´m satisfied with Roger´s performance, he did what he needed to do and I didn´t expect anything
    else given it was Ferrer he was playing.I just hope Roger wins.Cheers!!!
    Ru-an you are always so hard with Roger, did you see Nadull´s match? The actual N#1…During Roger´s dominance he has never played so bad, he was a real N#1.

    [Reply]

    steve Reply:

    Right on, Ines!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well i agree that he did what he needed to do. That why i said we cant read much into this match. I dont think i was too hard on him. What makes you think that?

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well maybe i was a little hard on Roger. Im not as faithful as you are. Youre still the best Fedfan around here ;-)

    [Reply]

  6. honestly Both Nadal and Murray have proved themselves on the faster surfaces, Nadal winning USO which is not “slow” its a quick surface and murray reaching the final of the uso. I do not know who uses steriods and who doesnt but steriods are not new in tennis. Yes they existed even when Roger was dominating. To go back to a time when tennis was 100 percent clearn, you have to look at the 70’s. There is no need to pretend as if steriods weren’t a problem 6 years ago but that they are a problem now. This has been going on for the last two decades

    [Reply]

    chris johnson Reply:

    Yea, i don’t like the idea of dissing and playing down the achievements of other players because you think it’s your moral duty to defend your idol that way. It just doesn’t feel right. Nadal and Murray both are accomplished players on blazingly fast courts too. Just like fed can play on a slow clay , these guys can play on a fast hard court. Nobody is gaining anything from the speed of the courts and please if somebody loses, don’t use the speed of the courts as an excuse.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Who was using it as an excuse?

    [Reply]

  7. Mike, you are right, that it has been a problem for at least 2 decades, and that we don’t know for sure who uses and who doesn’t. However, as Christoph Rochus observed at his retirement, some players today defy belief. I am particularly sceptical about players who never seem to tire and who can run down every ball even on fast surfaces. But of course I can’t say I know for sure. But it certainly tarnishes watching the game when you know some of them are undoubtedly cheating but you don’t know who. Even Rog might be, but to me he seems the least likely, given his physique and style of game. If tennis is, or has become, anything like the Tour de France (and many other pro sports) – which is entirely possible – then to be a ‘clean’ player today is to have the odds stacked seriously against you.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well said Neil. The corruption makes one want to vomit.

    [Reply]

  8. Hi Ru-an

    I agree with you about Fed in his first match- he was in God mode for the first 4 games and I thought it was going to be an easy hour’s viewing. Then he struggled quite alot- his shots looked tired and lacked penetration. Murray’s backhand down the line and aggresive play seemed to be more effective than Roger’s ‘liquid whip’!

    Hopefully he’ll play better against Murray. Losing to another top ten player 3 times in a row would be bad news. Soderling’s confidence should be shot to pieces now though so unlikely that he’ll beat Roger. I also think Ferrer migght trouble Murray as he’s struggled in the past and Murray plays well these days against the top top players but struggles against people like Warwinka and Monfils.

    Lets go Roger lets go!!

    Andrew

    [Reply]

  9. Congratulations fedfans and you Ru-an, COME ON ROGER!!!
    AMAZING MATCH.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Did you see my last comment to you? Big win for Rog.

    [Reply]

    Andrew Reply:

    Wow what a performance!! I am British but I was cheering for Roger 100% and he didn’t disappoint today. I guess we were all being cautious in the build up but luckily one guy never doubts his ability out there on the court

    Andrew

    [Reply]

  10. Hi Ruan,

    I loved watching Federer yesterday. He just destroyed Murray. Take a look at the article on the link below :

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/525341-federer-and-nadal-familiar-names-rise-to-the-top-at-the-wtf

    [Reply]

    Bragi Reply:

    Interesting. This is the second time I’m seeing Ruffin’s article being plugged here. He’s been notorious for writing anti-fed on that website and his hidden agenda was exposed by a few others there. His last two write-ups have been somewhat of a turnaround. Either way, Ruffin, there are more refined ways to gain recognition, not like this.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Lol.

    [Reply]

  11. Well, Federer certainly made a statement with last night’s match. With the win against Ferrer, it has been a very strong start for him. I love being wrong about Federer, since his inconsistencies of late have caused me to expect the opposite of what I might hope from him. However, we are less than half-way through the tournament, and as Ruan says, Roger’s ‘evil twin’ is still quite capable of showing up. Yet if he can maintain this sort of form and focus I think it will be too much for anyone in the rest of the field to counter: Djokovic will lose confidence in the clutch if he faces Federer in this humour, and Nadal – however determined – will again be conceding the advantage in shot-making that saw him lose in straights to Federer in 2006 and 2007. If Murray makes it to a final against Federer I think it would undoubtedly be closer than last night but, against Federer, the big occasion is still, once again, likely to prove his undoing. Did I leave out Soderling (and Ferrer). Oh, yes ..

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Agree again Neil. That was a great performance but its all about the consistency these days. Roger will have to play at least two more matches like that to win the event. If his level drops in the semis or finals he is a goner, so im not convinced yet.

    [Reply]

  12. Ruan I like this statement from you. In previous posts you used to be so convinced of Federer’s success after one or two great plays. It is better to spare the superlatives for afterwards.Let us hope for now that Federer becomes consistent as of old days.

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *