Murray and Federer Win Titles in Queen’s and Halle

  • Murray Defeats Anderson for 4th Queen’s Title

Today Murray had to come out twice on the court, first to finish his semi-final with Troicki after it rained out yesterday and then to play the final against Anderson. The match with Troicki was suspended at 3-3 in the first set and when they came back Murray won 6-3, 7-6(4). Troicki was a break up in the second set but gave it back in a very lame way. He played a poor tiebreak too. It made me wonder how he had gotten that far. Mentally it was just a poor performance.

All Murray basically did was play solid and Troicki imploded. The same can be said for the final which Murray won 6-3, 6-4. Almost like clockwork Anderson dropped serve at 3-4 in the opening set, hitting a disaster of a forehand volley to give Murray the break. After the first set, I left the match because I knew there was only one outcome possible. Not to take anything away from Murray. He was quite impressive all week. He seems to be more aggressive with his backhand which is important for him.

CICRsSHWsAAmhwP

I’ve always thought he needs to go after that shot more, especially the cross court one. Murray is at least a smart player, whereas Troicki and Anderson seemed brainless. He plays the important points tough. He has great anticipation and court awareness too. He was expected to win the title, and he did well to live up to that expectation. I just get frustrated when I watch other players, wondering to myself why they can’t have the same anticipation and commitment as Murray on the big points.

But that’s what makes the difference between winners and losers. Murray is for sure one of the favorites for Wimbledon. He’s had an extremely solid year so far. Clay is his worst surface and he almost beat Djokovic in the French semis. I think as long as he stays aggressive he is one of the big favorites for Wimbledon, if not the favorite. At the French he was already outplaying Djokovic from the baseline in the fourth and fifth sets, and on grass it will be a much easier task.

  • Federer Wins 8th Title in Halle

So yesterday Federer defeated Karlovic 7-6(3), 7-6(4) in a match which I found quite boring, mainly due to Karlovic’s poor returning. He is probably the worst returner of serve in the sport. For one thing he slices all backhand returns, and then he makes the criminal mistake of missing them off of second serves on break points. It’s bad enough to chip the backhand off of second serves. The very least you can do is get it over the net and into the court. That said, Federer just did what was needed.

He held his serve and won the tiebreaks. It was expected that he would win anyway, given his 12-1 record against Karlovic before the match. Then today he played Seppi in the final who had a second consecutive withdrawal against him when Nishikori withdrew at 1-4 yesterday. This gave Federer a second chance to get revenge for the Australian Open loss which he did 7-6(1), 6-4, after beating Seppi in Indian Wells earlier this year. Seppi was playing well like he did in Australia but this time Federer actually played normal and won.

CIB0lMLWEAArFUG

Seppi had two break points at 40-15 late in the first set, but Federer served two aces and then got a lucky net cord. But at least he was quite clutch on a few baseline points too. His forehand was weak in the first set from where he made several unforced errors. His forehand started improving in the tie-break which proved to be no contest as Seppi conceded the first set with a double fault. Federer upped his level in the second set and at 5-4 you could smell the break coming after a couple of long games on the Seppi serve.

The match point was a nice conclusion as Federer hit an overhead winner from the baseline after a long rally. This is now the tournament at which Federer has won the most titles as opposed to Wimbledon and Dubai where he has seven titles at each. It’s also his fourth title of the year after winning Brisbane, Dubai, and Istanbul. Not bad considering this is his second ATP 500 title of the year. It was also his 86th title overall. Still creeping up to that 100 mark but it will be tough to get there.

  • What Does This Mean for Wimbledon?

With the two biggest grass courts events before Wimbledon out of the way, what can we say if anything about the favorites for Wimbledon? I already said what I think about Murray’s chances. As for Federer winning Halle again it’s obviously an encouraging sign. But if I was a Fedfan I wouldn’t get overly excited because this doesn’t mean he is going to win Wimbledon. He won Halle in 2013 too and lost in the second round of Wimbledon. You’d think he will surely do better than second round though.

2013 was overall a bad year with only one title for Federer. Now he has already won four titles and he has been playing well. The biggest problem for him is still his forehand which lacks penetration and accuracy. Last year when he lost to Djokovic at Wimbledon that was probably the big difference. Against the likes of Seppi he can get away with his serve alone, but against returners and defenders like Djokovic or Murray he needs that something extra to end points with.

Last year Federer hardly had a right to force a fifth set. Had it not been Wimbledon which means everything to Federer it would have been over in four. Back in 2012 when he won his last major at Wimbledon he was still playing with his old racquet and his forehand was still good. That time he was the one who defeated Djokovic in four sets, although admittedly the indoor court may have helped. Either way he decided to change his racquet and to improve his backhand and volleys at the expense of his forehand.

Novak_2961708b

I’m not sure how much his serve improved. It was always good. Maybe it improved marginally. I think the way in which he beat Seppi today will help his confidence anyway. It was mentally tough and he had to be clutch, and like I said his forehand improved as the match went along. So this is the best possible preparation for Wimbledon. I don’t know if he is as big a favorite as Djokovic and Murray, but he is certainly among the favorites. And, of course, the draw will also play a role.

It would be tough for him if he has to beat Murray and Djokovic in succession to win the title. So he’d want Murray in Djokovic’s half. Stan could pose a danger too if he catches fire, but Murray is a bigger danger. And then there is the Nadal factor who you never know about. His serve could suddenly ignite again out of nowhere and could make him a threat. As the world #10 he could end up in Federer’s quarter so that Federer could potentially have to play Nadal, Murray, and Djokovic to win the title.

But that is unlikely. I like Federer’s chances to make semis at least and then we will see from there. As for Djokovic I kind of like that he is not playing any warm-up events. It’s like he is saying I’m the best and I don’t need to play warm-up events to win Wimbledon. I think after the French Open final loss this break is good for him anyway. Just to spend some time away from it all with his family for moral support. No doubt he will have a little extra motivation now to set right what happened in Paris…

  • Highlights

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNCdY0o4r3k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOFcx5G5ktI

The is in your court.

The is in your court.

Posted in ATP 500, Halle, London-Queen's.

49 Comments

  1. “If I were a Fedfan”. Sad too here you say that.

    Anyway I think Federer/ Murray are joint second favorites now. If the draw puts Murray in Djokovic’s half, then I think Murray will actually come through and I think Federer has a better chance against Murray than Djokovic. So ideally we once again need Nadal in Djokovic’s quarter along with Murray in Djokovic’s half or vice versa. If Murray were to be in Federer’s half I think Federer will find it really difficult to defeat Murray and Djokovic back to back. So I think the draw plays almost a deciding factor here. If Murray is in Federer’s half, Djokovic is the clear favorite. If Murray is in Djokovic’s half, I think all three are joint top favorites. Nadal I think can cause one upset maybe but if he plays Federer frankly I have no idea how he can possibly beat Federer.

    On the other hand Djokovic has made 25 quarterfinals in a row and Murray has made 20 I think. So just like how Federer’s streak was snapped I think one of them could just as easily lose before the semis or quarters. Wawrinka could easily rip someone apart just like at the French if he catches fire. Or even someone like Krygios or Isner. So I think Wimbledon is even more open than the French because I see three clear contender and 2-3 outsiders for the title.

    Personally I hope you support Federer during Wimbledon. I know you like Djokovic more than ever now but you were one of Federer’s biggest fans and this could be his last chance for a slam.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    When I said ‘If I were a Fedfan’ I didn’t mean I’m not a Fedfan. I am just more open-mined as a fan these days. Federer winning a record 8th Wimbledon would be cool, but so would Djokovic or Murray winning it. As long as Nadal doesn’t win it I’m happy :-P

    [Reply]

    Ajay Reply:

    It wouldn’t just be cool, it would be legendary. But I am also scared that if he does win one more he might retire sooner. Frankly the joy of just watching Federer play for a year far outweighs the high I would get just seeing him win Wimbledon. So I really want him to play for a long time yet (I am hoping maybe till 2018) but also one grand slam victory just to make the journey from now to the end worthwhile for him.

    Like you said if Djokovic or Murray win Wimbledon it would really well deserved as well since Murray had come back from a surgery and Djokovic has reached so many Slam finals just to lose them so he too deserves one. But think about this. Federer has not only come back from injury but also had kids and is at 34 now. Frankly I think Federer deserves this one more than the others just for his sheer determination to get back to the top again.

    I was also calculating the numbers to see how Federer could be the second seed at the US Open as well. Its actually going to be a straight fight between Murray and Federer from now till Cincy. That is whoever gets more points from Wimby to Cincy will get the higher seed. But Murray is playing the Citi Open (a 500) as well as Davis Cup. So hoping Federer does really well in all the three tournaments he plays till US Open Its going to be a really interesting 2 months from now till the end of the US Open. And I am hoping Federer does really well in the two slams as well maybe winning one of them !!

    [Reply]

    Hilda Reply:

    I think that Roger is putting a lot of emphasis on Wimbledon this year. Unless he leaves the tournament early (let’s hope not), he really wants to win it. He’ll also be careful with schedule prior to the U.S. Open because last year he burned himself out and missed a Golden Opportunity to win it.

    So, obviously he’d prefer to win Wimbledon and skip Montreal.

    [Reply]

    Ajay Reply:

    He will be playing only Cincy which is much faster than the US Open or else. No way he will win US Open playing one warm up tournament.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Did you take off all the points earned last year from now until Cincy to come to that conclusion? I assume so. Given the form that Murray is in and the fact that he is playing an extra event I’d have to make him the favorite to be second seed for the USO then.

    About Federer winning Wimby, I doubt he’d retire any earlier if he wins it. If anything it will probably make him play for longer. If he doesn’t win it this year I can see him retiring at the end of 2016, whereas if he wins it he may just keep going to try and get to 100 titles. It’s been a long stretch for him without a slam so yeah it would be nice if he wins it, but I don’t think it would be more deserved than anyone else. Sorry, when I said I felt Djokovic deserved the FO title a little more than Stan after all the heartbreaks at the FO and after beating Nadal and Murray, people were all over me about it.

    So for the sake of consistency I have to say it’s not about deserve. It’s just about who wins the title. Federer will have his chances anyway. His prep has been ideal. Now he just needs a decent draw. If Murray lands in Djokovic’s half that would be a huge bonus. But if he has to go through Murray and Djokovic for the title that is going to be tough. So actually for once I think the draw is going to be pretty important.

    For me, Murray is probably the favorite right now. I just have a feeling he is ready to break through again. Then probably Djokovic and then Federer. But if Djokoray have to deal with each other in the semis then Fed would have a shot if he is in the final. You say Federer deserves the title the most, but what about Murray who has fought all the way back from surgery? What about Djokovic who suffered another heartbreak at the French? This is where bias comes in.

    [Reply]

    Hilda Reply:

    I agree with Ru-an. Everyone has their own reasons to “deserve” the title but means nothing. It’s about form, level of play, the draw and simply luck.

    But I agree that the winner will most likely be between these 3 players. I have a weird feeling about Kyrgios. Roger may get the luck of the draw with Murray landing in Djokovic’s half but he may get Kyrgios in the 2nd or 3rd round. And he just lost to him in Madrid in two tights tie-breaks. That could be the early trouble. Plus, Cilic may be troublesome too… No easy path.

    [Reply]

    Ajay Reply:

    i don’t see any bias from my side. I clearly mentioned that those were the reasons why Djokovic and Murray deserved it a lot as well. To be frank Murray maybe deserves it slightly more than Federer but surely I see no reason why Djokovic deserves it anymore. He is in his prime playing without a single injury for years now and if he gets to a Slam Final he has got to find a way to win it. I agree that with all the heartbreaks he has suffered espcially having to go through 5 set semis to get to finals (Aus 2012, 2015, French 2013, 2015, Wimbledon 2013, US Open 2010, 2011, 2013) deserves some sort of compensation as well but I don’t see how that compares to a 33 year old guy coming back from a bad back injury when literally everyone had written him off. If you add the fact that he has 4 children now you see how big a deal it would be if he were to win it. In fact if you feel Djokovic deserves it more than Federer I would say that you are slightly biased towards Djokovic.

    But I do agree that there is no notion of “deserving” in sports and right now the three top candidates will all be deserved winners no matter who wins. And like you said earlier priority number one is Nadal not winning.

    And yes I did remove the points. To give you an exact number, Murray must win as many points as Federer + 200 points to get the number 2 seed at the US Open. Wimbledon is going to play a major part in that.

    Also to Hilda, Federer can face Krygios only in the 3rd round since he will be seeded and Federer would have had 2 matches by then. So I don’t see how getting Krygios in the 3rd round will be as much of a problem as getting Murray in the same half. Also Federer can face Cilic only in the quarters and I don’t think Cilic is getting that far with the form he is in. The toughest quarterfinal Federer could possibly get would be Raonic/ Nadal/ Berdych. And Stan would a pretty tough semi final opponent as well.

    The truth is the draw could in fact decide the winner here. I think whoever doesn’t get Murray among Djokovic and Federer would be the slight favorite and Murray would be the 2nd favorite. So here is hoping Federer gets a good draw and for once takes full advantage of it.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well, I am not biased because I don’t think Djokovic deserves it more than Federer. You are a bit confusing though because in your last comment you said Federer deserves it more, and now you seem to say Murray deserves it more. But like I said for the sake of consistency we should stick to the notion that there is no deserving in sport. If Djokovic didn’t deserve the FO even a little more than Stan then there is definitely no such thing as deserving in sport.

    [Reply]

    Ajay Reply:

    Agreed best lets stick to that.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    :-bd

    [Reply]

  2. This was a very balanced and good post, Ru-an. You touched on everyone. I do agree that the favorites are:

    1. Djokovic
    2. Murray/ Federer
    3. Stan
    4. Nadal

    I think that it’s difficult to figure out between Murray and Roger. I think that the draw will be of massive importance. Maybe Djokovic feels that he should benefit from the draw by avoiding Murray. We’ll see.

    I agree that whomever has to go through 2 of the top 3 will be in trouble.

    Andy has been very consistent this year and has a Masters 1000 to his name as well as Slam Final and a Semi.

    Roger has done well outside of the Slams and has won 3 titles on 3 different surfaces so his game is definitely good enough. We’ll see.

    Djokovic can still come in and school everyone.

    For Roger to win, he has to serve like around 68-72% Consistently. His forehand must improve and be consistent. His mental state is good. I was worried after the loss at the French but we’ve learned over the years that Roger is the master of steadying the ship after a tough loss. Bar none.

    So we’ll see. A record 8th Wimbledon would be EPIC. But no doubt it will be difficult. Like always, the draw and also the way Roger navigates through it will be key for him. And still nothing is certain. But that’s why Roger still plays. He still believes he can win. Now it’s time to go out there and prove it! :-) Again!

    [Reply]

  3. I’m a little surprised by the votes in that poll, Ru-an to be honest. If we look at this very objectively, Murray and Djokovic should be about level with each other with 30% of the vote each, Federer should be at around 17%, Wawrinka at 10%, Nadal at 5% and all the others like Raonic, etc. taking up the remaining 8% – seeing as we’re asking who the “favourite” is.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I’m not that surprised Krish. Still a lot of Fedfans around here who probably voted for who they want to win not who they think will win. You can’t argue with bias. I have already said in a comment that I think Murray is the favorite. But you are right, him and Djokovic’s chances are about the same, and Federer below them. But I’m definitely not gonna be the one to count Federer out. He certainly has a chance.

    [Reply]

    Hilda Reply:

    It’s interesting to note the following:

    Roger and Djokovic are 1:1 all time on grass

    Roger and Murray are 1:1 all time on grass

    Murray and Djokovic are 2:0 all time on grass.

    So Murray is a favorite against Djokovic and Roger is neither a favorite nor an underdog against both Murray and Djokovic.

    The draw will be huge. Roger can possibly hear Murray or Djokovic but probably not both. Murray can probably beat Djokovic but maybe not Roger.

    We’ll see. I initially voted for Djokovic based on the year he’s had but prior to looking at these numbers. They are tilting me towards Murray especially against Djokovic.

    Roger hasn’t met Murray since the 6:0 6:1 last year at the WTFs…

    [Reply]

  4. I don’t see how numbers like 30, 17, etc. have any claim to objectivity; they seem arbitrary.

    The questions to me are whether Djokovic will suffer from having played no warm-up (I know he’s done well before without a warm-up, but I’m not sure how that will affect him this year), whether Andy’s mental strength will hold together, and whether Roger can play great tennis for two weeks, i.e. whether his physical ‘strength’ will hold up.

    Also, could one or more of the other players (e.g. Stan) be strong enough to upset one of the favorites and go deep?

    [Reply]

    Krish Reply:

    I agree with these points. The numbers themselves are arbitrary of course, but the general idea is that Djokovic and Murray go in as roughly joint favourites, with Federer just behind. I don’t think we can associate “who’s the favourite” with “who will win”.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Ok, I got it now.

    And I completely agree that Djokovic and Murray are roughly joint favorites, and that Roger is somewhat behind them. Also that we can’t say one of the favorites will win.

    I hope Roger can pull it off, but he’ll need a strong forehand, a great return game, and excellent second serves (esp. against monsters like Djokovic).

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Fair questions Joe. I don’t see why Djokovic not playing a warm-up will have any effect though. Murray’s mental strength has been solid of late too. And I’m sure Federer can play great tennis for two weeks. He did so last year. My question about Federer would be his fh and whether he has enough weapons to end points against the likes of Murray and Djokovic like I said in my post.

    Those guys are great returners of serve, especially Djokovic. Federer won’t get the same amount of free points he gets off his serve against those guys. Also, he will need extra finishing power from the baseline because these guys have unreal defense. Djokovic especially turns defense into offense in a heartbeat. And now he has a better serve and volleys than last year too.

    Actually it is really tough to call a favorite between Djokovic and Murray at this point. Djokovic is playing very well still. Better than last year. His serve could be a huge weapon on the grass. And volleys are always a big part of grass court tennis.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    These are excellent answers Ru-an.

    I think (as you suggested) that the tourney final might hinge on how much Djokovic’s net game has improved…

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    At first I thought Murray would be the favorite against Djokovic because of what happened at the French, where Murray was winning all the long baseline rallies in the third and fourth sets. He seemed stronger from the baseline, and on grass I figured that would be to his advantage. But at that moment I forgot about Djokovic’s improved serve and net game. I’m kind of still favoring Murray if they met though. The last time they met at Wimby Murray won in straights. I think there Djokovic was affected by his FO loss though. I don’t think this time it will affect him that much. And he also had that brutal match with Delpo in the semis. Kind of funny how it seems Delpo assisted Murray at the Olympics too when Federer had that marathon with him and Murray winning the final in straights.

    If anything makes me give Murray the edge it is the way he fought back in that FO semi. He looked desperate to defeat Djokovic again in a slam, and I definitely think it will be easier on grass. I just have the feeling that he has been knocking hard at the door since the start of the year and that Wimbledon favors him to an extent because of his variation. You made a good point about his mentality too. He definitely needs to stay positive and offensive in the big moments. If he does that then I feel he is almost a certain winner.

    That said, all of this is sheer speculation. The winner will just be the guy who plays the best tennis on the day. Even Stan or Nadal can surprise us.

    [Reply]

    Krish Reply:

    Good analysis Ru-an. It would be great to see Fed pull this off, but I wouldn’t mind seeing someone else win it after playing great tennis throughout the fortnight.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thank you, Krish. I like your stance. It would be sweet to see Fed get a record 8th Wimby. But it would be equally sweet to see Djokovic win it after his FO heartbreak, and although I’m not the biggest Murray fan it would be a great story if he wins it too. There was a time that I never thought he would contend for slams again. Then he fought open a place in the WTF last year and since the beginning of the year he’s been extremely consistent. Quite an inspiring story. If he does win Wimby then it would pretty much signal the end of the Fedal era and the arrival of the Djokoray era.

    [Reply]

  5. Basically I think what Roger wants to do is the same as he did last year, i.e. not be the favourite and get through the tournament with little hype. That would mean that in the later rounds, the pressure will be on Murray and Djokovic to live up to their status. Personally I think odds of winning should be (trying to be somewhat objective here despite my Federer bias):

    Djokovic: 35%
    Murray: 25%
    Federer: 20%
    Nadal: 10%
    Rest of the top 10: 9%
    Rest of the field: 1%

    What do you guys think to this?

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    I might put Djoker in at 30, and Nadal in at 5%. I realize that Nadal can go deep here, but I think he’s actually more likely to lose early.

    But I realize that may just be my Federer bias.
    ;-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Lol. I hope there is a Fedal QF. How interesting would that be?!

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    I would love to see it too, Ru-an. And I like Roger’s chances on grass against Nadal this year.

    I’m not ruling Roger out for the finals – even though it looks like quite a mountain to climb this year – but a win over Nadal would be very sweet, something he would remember fondly, and possibly the last match between the two (though I think it’s quite possible that they’ll meet again).

    I think I would savor a win over Nadal almost as much as Roger would. ;-)

    [Reply]

  6. Yes I have to agree with Ru-an here, I find it hard to see how Federer can put together combinations to win points against Djokovic and Murray. All this talk about the forehand decline of Federer has made me watch some old highlights and yes it really was ridiculous back then. I guess it’s the new racket, age, and probably a more conservative approach.

    If anything the weakness of Federer is the return. I thought he could have won some of those Halle matches with much less fuss (except Karlovic of course) if he could get some more decent returns in play. This is a serious advantage that Djkovic and Murray have. I hope Federer just chips and charges on all 2nd serves if he makes it far enough to play these guys.

    Federer will also have to deal with the additional pressure of this being his ‘last realistic chance’ at Wimbledon. He handles it well.
    On the other hand Nadal will probably have very little pressure.

    Strange, both of Murray’s straight set wins over Djokovic and Federer came after each had played an epic match against Del Potro in the finals.

    [Reply]

    Hari Reply:

    No, the chip-and-charge-always won’t work. Those guys are good enough to hit passing shots.
    Federer can win the tournament if he improves his forehand now, the backhand is solid enough. Hopefully Federer wins but for me the favourite is Djokovic as of now, he will be desperate to bounce back from his French open loss and my gut feeling is that Federer is going to get Murray in his half. Hope I am wrong about the draw though!! And if Murray loses to Djokovic in Wimbledon, he will start getting a mental block as to how to beat Djokovic after already losing so many matches against him

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I think Djokovic’s improved serve improved volleys will improve his grass court form from last year, Hari. Also, he is overall more confident. And like you say desperate to make up for the FO loss. Many people think Murray is the favorite against him if they meet, but I’m not so sure anymore. How much can be said after that 2013 loss, when the same thing happened to Fed at the Olympics after playing a marathon with Del Potro?

    [Reply]

    Bharata Reply:

    Hi Hari, yes it’s true I guess I was exaggerating by saying chip and charge on every 2nd serve. THat would be suicide against top notch defenders. In fact the best approach is to use it as a surprise move – say returning at 15-30 to pile up the pressure on the server. I would also like to see Federer hit short slices to force his opponents in on an uncomfortable place.

    You know in the Seppi match, which I watched completely, one could see by the middle of the 2nd set Federer turned up the aggression and started to go after his backhands and forehands. That’s when Seppi’s service games started to get tougher, and as Ru-an said you could see the break was coming. So we know Federer has the game to be more aggressive when he wants – the trick is when to turn it on against the tough players.

    We all remember in the 2nd set of the Wimbledon 2012 final, Fed down a set and Murray serving at 5-6 and it’s 30-0, suddently Federer threw in some unorthodox drop volleys and aggressive CC backhands and stole the set. It was unreal. Now it’s 3 years later, so he will need even more magic like that to win.

    Just hope that Murray and Djokovic are on the same side..I suspect they will be, since the Lawn Tennis association would love a Federer-Murray rematch (!)

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Great stuff Bharata

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Good comment Bharata. Fed’s fh used to be the best fh in tennis if not the best shot. Now it is far from that. The return is also quite poor in comparison. Then like you say the additional pressure of knowing this is probably his last chance. I find it hard to believe that he will win it, but you never now. Hopeuflly he makes at least semis. Losing before that would be a shame. The last thing he wants to do is lose to Nadal in the QF.

    [Reply]

    Bharata Reply:

    Hi Ru-an, thanks. Yes I think semis is a realistic goal, like you said QF was the goal at the French. If he can make it that far, one cannot really complain. But overall even though the talent and skill and desire are there, I just think playing that much tennis at his age will be too much.

    Last year he got through dropping just 1 set to Stan. We know he will probably start on Day 2 so that’s 1 less day of rest. As for Djokovic, I don’t think he needs a warm up at all.

    ANyway as you always remind us, overanalyzing these scenarios is usually just speculation, and half the expected matches don’t even end up happening.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah it’s kinda hard to say where Federer’s game is compared to last year. The one good thing is that he had a better clay court season. He’s won three more titles too. So you’d think he comes into Wimbledon feeling better about his game. That said, I feel like last year may have been his last best chance. It gets harder every year, and this year Murray is in the mix as opposed to last year when he was still struggling. Djokovic is playing better too.

    We have recently seen at slams that not even an easy draw really helps him. He could get another easy draw at Wimbledon if Murray is not in his half and Nadal is not in his quarter. Doesn’t mean he’s gonna win it. But maybe karma is on his side or something and he wins one last slam before he retires. I think realistically this is probably his last chance.

    [Reply]

    Pet Raa Reply:

    Hi Ruan,

    I do not think Federer’s forehand can be called the best shot in tennis, it certainly was before Djokovic came to the party, but Djokovic’s backhand and even his forehand now are much better than what Federer’s forehand ever was. I think Djokovic is the most complete player we have seen so far and it is really nice to see that you appreciate him much more now. Even 2006 Federer would have lost comfortably to the 2015 Djokovic, and it is crazy to think that he can get even better in the coming years !

    [Reply]

    Pet Raa Reply:

    replace comfortably by comprehensively..

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Not sure if serious. Federer fh was better than anything from Djokovic. At least as an offensive shot. And his level in 2006 was higher than Djokovic’s 2015. Hell, even 2015 Federer beat Djokovic in Shanghai and Dubai.

    Federer’s peak level was the highest of anyone ever. Only Nadal could beat him due to the matchup problem. With Djokovic, he always felt comfortable. Only place where this Djokovic would have been a problem for him is on slow hard.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Cheers for that one Ru-an!
    :-bd

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    It’s difficult to compare anyway Joe. For instance, Djokovic beat Federer in the Canada Masters final in 2007. But Federer was definitely a superior offensive player and still is judging from Shanghai and Dubai. The point is the match is on his racquet because he had the bigger weapons in his serve and fh. Djokovic has a better return and bh, but those are not out and out offensive shots. Djokovic’s returns and bh is more about making shots that turn defense into offense in a heartbeat.

    That’s why Djokovic also has an 8-8 record in slam finals for instance. He can’t get that cheap points the way Federer could in the big pressure moments. Both players at their best are very complete, but Djokovic is a better defensive player than an attacking player, whereas Federer was a better attacking player than a defensive player. That’s why the match is on Fed’s racquet. It’s a great matchup though. Probably the best in tennis history.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Hey Ru-an,

    All true, and well said too.

    I’ve been wanting to ask a question and it didn’t quite seem to fit in with any of the posts, so I might as well put it here.

    Novak had a career day serving against Roger last year. I don’t get to watch as much tennis as I’d like, but I’ve never seen him serve that well. How likely is it that he could do that again? I’m not trying to pump up Roger’s chances, or get about seven matches ahead of the present moment, just wondering if you think Novak is likely to be that good again.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes very likely Joe. His serve has improved from last year. Don’t mean to be the bringer of bad news but that is what I’ve noticed.

    [Reply]

    Pet Raa Reply:

    Well, Federer escaped in Shanghai and Dubai largely by servebotting, and I’m not sure Djokovic was as invested as he would have been in a similar situation in a grand slam final. In terms of pure tennis skill and consistency, Djokovic (of course, post 2011) wins in my opinion.

    Fed felt comfortable against a pre 2011 Novak, the sheer consistency of Djokovic’s return always keeps him under pressure nowadays, and you cannot say that the quality of his serving has declined in any way.

    Not saying 2006 Fed would never win against Novak, but in a 5 set match, Novak would probably win far more often.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    ‘In terms of pure tennis skill and consistency, Djokovic (of course, post 2011) wins in my opinion.’

    Ok with a statement like this it becomes increasingly difficult to take you seriously. No one in the history of the sport has more pure tennis skill and consistency in his prime than Federer. Never mind just Djokovic. There is literally no comparison.

    And people call me biased towards Djokovic :-@

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Federer ‘escaped’ in straight sets in Dubai and also in Shanghai, where he ended Djokovic’s 28‑match winning streak in China.

    He’s definitely quite an ‘escape’ artist!

    =))

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Is it true that Novak was complaining in his post-match interview after losing to Roger 6-3 7-5 at Dubai, saying “I sure wish Roger would keep escaping from me in straight sets!” ?

    :))

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    About the servebotting that is exactly why Federer was more dominant. That and his destructive forehand which is non-existent these days, but still he has enough firepower to defeat Djokovic in straights in Shanghai and Dubai. As for Djokovic’s returns, it is very good but like you see on a faster court Federer’s serve is still too strong for it. The one place where Djokovic would probably beat any version of Federer is slow hard.

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    I have to say that I disagree with Roger’s return being “quite poor”. It may not be an aggressive return like Djokovic or Murray, but the difference is that Roger is better at getting back fast serves. Not saying he has as good a return as Novak and Andy, but I think those low slice returns are more effective than people give them credit for. If you meant quite poor compared to Novak or Andy (or Rafa from 2-3 years ago) then I agree but apart from maybe Ferrer I would struggle to name any top 10 players who do better returning. IMO Federer is about half way down out of current top 10 players when it comes to returning, behind Novak, Andy, Rafa and David.

    [Reply]

    Bharata Reply:

    Yes, that’s a fair point – clearly when saying Federer’s return is a ‘weakness’ it’s all relative, compared to how much better the rest of his game is.

    When it comes to returning hard servers I think he’s still the best. He beat in the last year guys like Raonic and Karlovic on greass. On the other hand it’s against guys who are `medium’ hard servers like Djokovic and Murray, etc. that it seems he can’t just slice/block it back since their serves aren’t as hard or flat. So this makes their service games a lot easier. Too many returns just get dumped into the net. Luckily Federer makes them pay on their 2nd serves.

    Also about the above posts, saying Federer ‘escaped’ with 2 straight set victories is too much. If a 33 year old Federer can beat this Djokovic on a fast hard, or take him to 5 sets on grass, then the 2005-7 version would be more than a match on a hard court. It would be interesting to see prime Fed against this Djokovic on a slow hard court.

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply

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