Paris RD 3: Federer def Pouille 6-4, 6-4, to Face Raonic in Quarter Finals

Hi there tennis fans. Roger kept a 14-match winning streak alive today as he routined Pouille to make the quarter finals in Bercy. I liked Pouille’s game, although the high toss on his serve won’t make things easy outside on a windy day. I think he will become another top player for the French but he’s still young and Roger didn’t need to play his best tennis to win fairly comfortably. Roger was never in trouble on his own serve and didn’t face any break points, while he broke Pouille in the seventh game of each set to get the win. I find matches like these boring but as long as Roger is winning you can’t complain. The match stats proves that Roger didn’t need a very high level to get the win and I wouldn’t worry about his 20% break point conversion rate. He just did what was needed. It was nice that he got this routine win after the long match with Chardy because it saves him energy.

He now plays Raonic who defeated Bautista-Agut. Roger leads the head-to-head 6-0 and the last three wins have been routine. It seems Roger just needed a few matches to figure Raonic out and now it’s easy going. It’s not like Raonic has a plan B once you figure out how to neutralize his massive serve. He is a one-dimensional player. Obviously you don’t want to become too comfortable and underestimate your opponent but it’s pretty hard to see Roger losing. I would be more worried is he has to face Berdych in the semis, who is playing against Anderson. Unbelievably Stan lost from 5-4 and 30-0 up on his serve in the third set against Anderson. I don’t want to take anything away from Anderson because he did well to win the second set and hang in the third set long enough to get the win, but it was ultimately due to Stan’s inability to close out the match that he won.

Stan’s game is basically in ruins since he won the Australian Open, but so what? I’m sure if he was given the choice to win the Australian Open and struggle for the rest of the year he would take it any day. He is still in the top four in the world and going to London. He also won Monte Carlo and made quarters at the French and Wimbledon. Stan is just very low right now and it doesn’t bode well for the Swiss’ Davis Cup chances. Maybe people understand a little better now why Davis Cup doesn’t mean an awful lot to me and why I’d much rather see Roger get the year end #1. In fact I forgot to mention it in my last post but Roger said after his match with Chardy that he would rather become world #1 again than win a slam. A lot of people were surprised by the answer but it’s not really that surprising given that you have to play consistently well over a twelve month period to become #1, whereas to win a slam you only have to play well for two weeks.

And maybe people understand a little better now why I made such a big deal of #1. I think it would be unbelievable if Roger becomes #1 at age 33 again. When Roger lost in the Wimbledon final many Fedfans were shattered but I kept believing that it just wasn’t meant to be at the time and that Roger would still get his reward. Well that reward may just be the year end #1, and yes I think it would help his GOAT claim as much as a slam would. Think about it this way: You can win a slam but not be #1, but it’s very hard to be #1 without winning a slam. Rios is the only #1 I can remember who did not win a slam, but there were many players who won slams without becoming #1. Ivanisevic, Johansson, Krajicek, and Korda, just to name a few off the top of my head. Then you have Stan and Cilic who won slams this year and still have chances to become #1, but probably won’t.

Stan is a great example because he won a slam but look how poorly he fared since. Murray may be the best example because he has won two slams and yet he has never been #1. To become #1 takes tremendous consistency which is possibly harder than winning a slam. In fact it is harder if you look at how many players that won slams became #1, as apposed to players who became #1 that did not win slams. Becoming #1 is harder than winning a slam which is why Roger said what he said. It is not rocket science. The only reason why winning a slam seems to be so important is because people tend to remember who won slams, whereas weeks at #1 are less remembered. I think weeks at #1 is underrated and should hold more prestige than the amount of slams you win. Roger has already occupied the top spot for the most consecutive weeks and most weeks in total.

The only thing he doesn’t have is the record for year end #1’s which Sampras holds at six years. It’s not the year end #1 that is so important though. If Roger became #1 again it would be significant because of his age. Actually if Roger wins Paris and Djokovic does not make the final he will be #1 for at least two weeks, since the Masters Cup points come off before the tournament starts. Roger has already spent 302 weeks in the top sport which is unbelievable. Adding to that would just cement his status as the GOAT. I said earlier this year that if Roger won a record eighth Wimbledon title it would make him the undisputed GOAT in my mind. Well if he returns to #1 it would achieve the same thing. Certainly becoming #1 should not hold any less prestige than winning a slam, and this would be the fourth time Roger scales those heights. So I am really hoping Roger can get it because in a way that would be better than if he had won Wimbledon this year.

And the first thing he has to do to get is is to out perform Djokovic in Paris. Djokovic now plays Murray who destroyed Dimitrov 6-3, 6-3 and by doing so qualified for London. As I said before, he is too good not to be there. He looks to be back in great form and it is not impossible that he can defeat Djokovic. All the pressure is off after successfully completing his campaign of qualifying for London and he can now go out there and swing freely with nothing to lose. Even if Djokovic wins he could be in for a potentially very difficult semi against Nishikori. Nishikori looked very solid again in his win over Tsonga and I think he will take care of Ferrer. So it is a tough road to the final for Djokovic and Roger has to make sure he keeps winning. He must beat Raonic and preferably without expending too much energy because he could have a potentially difficult match with Berdych in the semis.

Chum Jetze!

 

Highlights:

Posted in Masters 1000, Paris.

36 Comments

  1. Chum Jetze! Indeed. Keep it up, cause the draw just got pretty rough. Ruan, this may be a little before your time, but I just had to put this out there. I finally figured out who Kevin Anderson looks like. Ric Ocasek from the Cars, although he has blond hair. Google his pic, and I think you’ll agree. G

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  2. No way is YE#1/Weeks at#1 or whatever #1 is bigger than winning Wimbledon. Fed blew it at Wimby by playing like a coward and not taking any initiative in the 5th set when he had Novak down on the mat. He should’ve broken Djoker early in the 5th set and served out the match.
    Instead, he chose to be passive because he was too scared to lose. That’s not the attitude of a winner and he rightly paid the price for it. Tennis players will always choose a slam over becoming #1 in the world. Let’s not spin this YE#1 as if it somehow makes up for Fed’s failure to win a slam when he was in good form.

    I can excuse Fed for getting manhandled by Nadal as usual at AO cause it’s a slow HC which suits Nadal’s hideous moonballing or being the unfortunate victim of a fluke run by Cilic but there’s no excuse for losing to Djokovic at Wimbledon especially when he made that epic comeback in the 4th set. The exact same thing happened to him at Wimbledon 08, atleast there he fought much harder in the 5th set than he did at Wim 14 and Nadal was way tougher than Djoker.

    If and when Nadal equals/surpasses Fed in slams, noone will care about the time spent at #1 sadly and Fed will regret this missed opportunity at Wim 14 because Nadal’s not gonna surpass his total by a lot. It’s gonna be a close contest and 1 slam might prove to be the difference.

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    Ajay Reply:

    Keep your crap to yourself.

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    Vily Reply:

    Monfed, that was completely uncalled for. Roger didn’t choke. He lost fair and square. He had chances but by no means did he choke. His Wilbledon 2014 performance was for the ages just like Roddick’s was in 2009. Please, have a little more respect for the game!

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    Joe Reply:

    Well said Vily.

    After I posted, I wished that I’d mentioned (so I’ll mention now) that Roger had Djokovic on the ground several times, taking MTO, even praying and offering his racquet to the heavens, while Roger remained very calm and focused despite the delays.

    After the match, Becker said that Roger is the Greatest of All Time, and that he’d proved it again during this year’s Wimbledon final.

    That’s high praise from a Wimbledon and multiple slam winner, for a cowardly performance!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    We understand.

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  3. To me it seems that Roger was on a tear after winning the fourth set at Wimbledon. Boris Becker, Djokovic’s coach, later said “We were all dying out there,” referring to Djokovic’s family and coaching staff. It looked like Roger was going to do it again, for the 18th time. And it looked like there was nothing anyone could do about it.

    In my view, Roger actually kept the pedal down too long, trying with everything he had to break Djokovic’s serve in the fifth, and after his titanic effort in the fourth set it might have been better for him to coast – just a little of course – for a game or so, when Djokovic was serving.

    Of course I may be wrong about all that, but even in retrospect I don’t see how you can properly speak of Roger’s play at Wimbledon ’14 as cowardly. Djokovic said afterwards that it was the highest quality final he’d ever played in, and you may remember his 6-hour battle with Nadal at AO.

    I try to keep an open mind, so I’d like to know in what respect(s) you think Roger played like a coward at Wimbledon this year. To me his play seemed anything but passive.

    By the way, I’m with Ru-an on the question of YE#1. It would be historic in many ways. And it is more difficult than winning a slam. Spin, you say? I’d like to hear more about that perspective too.

    Best Regards,
    Joe

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    Vily Reply:

    Roger’s performance in the Wimbledon a Final ’14 was epic in many ways. I have no regrets. Of all the GS Finals Losses, the only “regret” possibly is the US Open ’09 loss to Del Potro. Roger was in a winning position for much of the match and he let it go. That was much more disappointing than a Wimbledon. Just my 2 cents.

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    Monfed Reply:

    Look at the opening part of the 5th set and just see how medicore and uninspired Fed played in Nole’s service games when Nole was clearly still reeling from his 4th set meltdown. Fed took zero chances to break Djokovic early when gymnast was at his most vulnerable. Instead of going for the kill he allowed Djokovic to settle down so when Nole did settle down, it was game over for Fed.

    The one time in the match when Fed threw caution to the wind was in the 4th set when he had his back against the wall, he broke Djokovic twice. Djokovic is not Karlovic/Roddick that it takes 4 sets to break him. Fed didn’t make any meaningful returns, apparently the plan was to ace Djokovic off the court and just hope and pray that Djokovic gifts him a break. Why did it take the better part of 4 sets to put pressure on Djoker’s service games? Fed was playing to survive which is a pity because he has the weapons to dictate play esp on grass esp against a grinder like Djoker. He chose the passive route and that cost him the title.

    As far as YE#1. That’s just consolation for Fed playing his best tennis since 2012, no way is it better than winning a slam. Fed has plenty of YE#1s so that’s not gonna do a whole lot for Roger to keep Nadal off his tracks. It’s just slams that will do the job so #18 went a begging at Wimbledon.

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    Joe Reply:

    MonFed,

    I’d like to suggest respectfully that you may not realize what the top level of competition is like, or possibly how inhumanly difficult it is to maintain an effort like Roger’s fantastic fourth set.

    If had truly a beginning to the fifth set that was, as you said, mediocre, and passive, then is that why you call Roger’s play ‘cowardly’? That’s the only remark in your post that seems to address my question.

    I’d like to suggest from a layman’s perspective that Djokovic had a tremendous serving performance during the Wimbledon final this year, without which I don’t think he could have won.

    You may say that Djokovic is not “Karlovic/Roddick that it takes 4 sets to break him,” but do you really know how good he is? I don’t think most of us realize how tremendously difficult this game is at the top level. Djokovic had a career day serving, and his follow-ups when he’s serving, both offensive and defensive, are much better than those of the two players you mentioned.

    “Why did it take the better part of 4 sets to put pressure on Djoker’s service games?” Because he served great and, and because everything else about his game was also clicking. Roger is a great returner but couldn’t get a read on the serve until the fourth. And after possibly taking a short breather at the start of the fifth set, he went right back after Djokovic, and almost got him on several points.

    So I haven’t yet understood why you refer to Roger’s (to me, magnificent) play in that match as cowardly.

    And as far as answering my question about YE#1, I understand your answer to be a simple repetition of the position you took earlier.

    Wimbledon would have been a huge win, no doubt, probably as sweet as any win in Roger’s career.

    So … maybe it should have been easy, on top of everything else?

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    Monfed Reply:

    Fred needed a breather? That’s funny, what was he doing in the changeovers?He had gone to sleep in the first 2/3 games of 5th set when gymnast was wheezing. Then fakervic took a MTO that cost Fred the title.

    The most disgusting part of that final was when Freddy got broken in the 2nd game of the second set.

    So let’s see, after winning the first set, holding on to your opening service game of the 2nd set(the most dangerous one) you get broken in your second service game? That’s called clowning. And why did Fred not try to break faker in the early part of the 2nd set?

    Why didn’t Fred try to break faker in the third set even once?

    Pathetic returning and playing safe cost him the title.

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  4. Hey Ruan, hope u doing great. It’s such a great feeling that Roger is playing so well and give us this chance to cheer for him to become the world no1. It’s great and exciting times ahead of Federer fans. One point where I disagree with you is I would have preferred him winning Wimbledon over being world no 1. Hope he wins it all from here this year to complete 1000wins as well. But I will b happy even if it doesn’t happen because he gave us fans more than we expected. It’s great being his fan.

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  5. Hey, could you recall where you read/saw Roger mention that he would rather be number 1 again than win a slam? Just curious :-)

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    Ru-an Reply:

    On Sky after the Chardy match.

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  6. Hey, Ru-an,

    A wonderful post as always.. The guy that I listened to a lot – Robbie Koenig (I love him) mentioned 2 amazing stats:

    In the last four years, the player that recorded the most Masters 1000 wins, always became the Year-End Number 1

    Also, when Roger and Djokovic play, if Roger’s 2nd serve points won percentage was above 50%, he would win the majority of his matches against Novak and if that percentage was below 50%, he would lose those matches.

    Crazy, right! So far Roger has more Masters 1000 wins than Novak this year. Let’s hope it stays this way after Paris! :-)

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  7. Aaaaaaaaaa!!!!!! :-( (((((((

    That pissed me off!!!! Murray better beat Djoker or it’s all over!!! :-( (((

    If Not, Nishikori will beat him.

    But FEDERER must destroy bitch slap and destroy Raonic the next time they meet in London. I hate Milos right now..

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  8. Fed played great. Raonic was impenetrable. That’s tennis sometimes. Let’s see what happens w Murray Djokovic.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah Fed didn’t play bad but losing his first two service points in the breaker didn’t help. Raonic superb though. It would help a lot if Murray can beat Djokovic now.

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    Bharata Reply:

    Well that was disheartening. There was a mental lapse at the start of the tiebreak in the 1st as Ruan mentioned. Then, letting that set point go at 5-4 was very tough. But the guy served 140 mph out wide to save it, what can you do?

    The sad thing is he held easily through the 2nd set. Then at 0-15, a lucky net cord helped Raonic. Then Federer threw in an easy serve at 30-all and Raonic returned it too well. I think he took it a bit easy there.

    THe sad thing is that in the final game, Fed got some serves to return. He could easily have won the 1st two points.

    Well he’s had a tremendous run. He has not lost since the Cilic match. Obviously tiredness is a factor, mental and physical. So he can rest now for 10 days or so. Raonic played very well. It might as well be him beating Federer rather than Berdych.

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    steve Reply:

    His shotmaking was fine, his decision-making poor. Besides holding serve, Raonic has one tactic–run around his backhand every chance he gets so he can hit a forehand.

    Ru-an is exactly right–in the tiebreak he made a tactical mistake and got sucked into the Raonic- forehand-to-his-backhand rallies–twice in a row! If you give a minibreak to Raonic in a tiebreak, that’s more or less handing him the set since he serves so well.

    Had he won that breaker, Raonic would have had to push himself beyond his limits to catch up, and so Federer probably would have been able to manage one break of the Raonic serve in the decider, but instead Raonic got the lead and then the pressure of trying to survive the Raonic serving barrage got to him at the very end of the second set. It’s what would have happened against Karlovic in Basel had he not edged that first set breaker through a tremendous feat of mental strength. Two such feats within a week was asking too much.

    Anyhow, it’s in the past. Whatever happens to Djokovic has nothing to do with Federer. Our man did his best and won five titles this year, achieving the goal which he set for himself. There’s not just one but two tournaments left! So here’s hoping he can put together a masterclass for both of them.

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  9. Aaaah! They always play ten times better against Federer than against anyone else. If they showed half as much fight against the likes of Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray it wouldn’t be nearly as frustrating. They want that scalp on their mantle. But it’s like Muhammad Ali said: “when you can whip any man in the world, you never know peace.” They want to measure themselves against the highest standard in the game, who can blame them.

    The commentariat’s swooning over Raonic’s dramatic improvements. But we saw nothing we hadn’t seen in earlier encounters–the Madrid match, in my opinion, was far higher-quality from both men. It was an average match from Federer. Not poor shots, just poor decision-making. He let himself get pinned into his backhand corner and played right into Raonic’s hands. The slow surface favored Raonic, I think. It allowed Raonic more time on his forehand. The high bounce made it harder for Federer to return those heavy serves.

    I guess mentally it took too much to push through both Shanghai and Basel…he survived 5 MPs in Shanghai and then the insane match with Karlovic in Basel, then Chardy put him through the wringer.

    Unless Murray plays better than he has all season, the #1 ranking is probably out of Federer’s hands. He’s much improved and overdue for a win over the Djoker, but I don’t know if that will be enough.

    At least now Federer has some extra time to rest and regroup before WTF–which is, after all, the most important tournament of the post-USO part of the season. Gotta take a silver lining wherever you can find it.

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  10. Today was Raonic’s day, I don’t think Roger could have done much more, such fine lines, the one good thing is that he will get a few more days off before the WTF. As for Federer being a coward at Wimbledon, get a grip man at least he didn’t feel the need to leave the court and did Djo have the trainer on or am I mistaken was it Indian Wells?

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  11. I am ok abou the loss – after all we’ve won Bercy before. Now, this means extra days off which will bode well for London… and the Davis Cup – the two remaining goals.

    For the Year-end Number 1, two realistic scenarios:

    Djokovic loses to Murray, then the difference remains 490 points and Roger wins London undefeated and becomes Year-End World Number 1 with only 10 points lead.

    Djokovic beats Murray but Nishikori beats Ferrer and Nishikori beats Djokovic

    Then Djokovic will have 670 point lead heading into London. Roger wins London and the lead is cut to 170. Then, and only if Rogers wins his next two matches in Davis Cup (75 points * 2) AND Switzerland wins the Davis Cup, then there is an additional 75 points bonus do overall Roger will become Year-end Number 1 by 55 points.

    If Djokovic gets to the Final in Bercy, then the lead will be 910 points and the only way for Roger to become Year-End Number 1, Djokovic must lose in the semis of London and Roger to win the title.

    If Djokovic wins Bercy, then the lead will be 1,310 and it’s pretty much over.

    Now, I Highly DOUBT that Novak will win again in Bercy. No one has successfully defended Bercy in the last 25+ years. So no way that it happens here. The closes someone has gotten is Boris Becker who won it in 1989 and then lost in the final in 1990.

    So since tennis is based on statistics and preceding history, then Novak ain’t winning.

    If he loses today, I’ll breathe much easier. If he loses tomorrow (either against Ferrer – who will fight for his life if he wins today or Nishikori who has a 2:1 lead over him, then great.

    If Novak makes the final it’s pretty much over.

    So if Roger loses against Raonic today, Novak had better lose today (or tomorrow) but better today because it would be awesome.

    If Novak loses today, then it will be all about the Finals in London. If Roger wins he becomes Year-End Number 1. If Novak wins, he does. But If Novak wins today and loses tomorrow, then calculations start unless of course Roger wins everything in London and maybe Novak loses one of his round-robins. That might work also.

    But that’s it folks.. The dream is hanging by a thread.. But simply based on history, Novak SHOULD not win this title and is very unlikely to even make the finals..

    If he does either, then DARN IT. I suuppse than that 30 years of history counts for nothing. Let’s hope for the best and hope that Novak falls as early as today!!!

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  12. Vily, I love that you took the time to think all of that through. I say Djoko falls to Murray today and then it’s all about the KING OF THE WORLD TOUR FINALS doing it one more time!!!!

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  13. I think that Murray will have a shot here. After all, we all knew that it will come down to London and like I said – history is history. No one has successfully defended Paris-Bercy and only one player has even made consecutive finals.

    Murray actually has a shot at finishing Number 4 in the World so I say he takes and beats Novak today.. Go Murray, go!!!! :-) ))

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    steve Reply:

    Love your enthusiasm, Vily. At his best, Murray is fully capable of beating Djokovic, and he seems to be in excellent form lately. Surely he’s hungry to get a win over a top player–especially over a world #1. The Serb may not be fully focused after the birth of his son, and Murray will be a much sterner test than either Kohlschreiber or the Monf. Murray’s qualified for London so he can swing freely.

    Federer’s won Paris before, but seven WTF titles would be a much sweeter victory than a second Paris trophy. If a few extra days’ rest lets him clear his head and regroup for the final push in London/Davis Cup, then I would say it’s not such a bad loss.

    I also have to correct you: Ferrer also made back-to-back finals in Paris, winning in 2012 and losing to Djokovic last year. So there are two players who made consecutive finals.

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  14. Federer played well, Raonic played great. I bet anyone here that Raonic loses to Birdshit. Everyone wants to beat Fed and when they do they , more often or not, lose the following round to a lesser opponent. Paris is SLOW! I remember when Del Potro lost to Ferrer partially because it was hard for him to hit through.

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  15. Classy rom Federer – do we expect anything else? Fed does seem to admit he didn’t take the usual risks he did. And that was a a slow court. No point crying over a fine serving performance. Honestly you read some of these Nadal fan sites and they act like it’s ‘not tennis’ if Rosol or Krygios serves 25 aces in a match. It’s a legal shot and full credit to Raonic.

    “I think he played well,” said Federer, who won just 24 per cent of his return points. “Clearly he served well when he had to. I mean, it was a classic indoor match. Few shots here and there went his way today Really credit to him. When I did have the chance, he was there, as well. I didn’t do much wrong, either.

    “It hurts to lose that way,” said Federer, who was hoping to win his 24th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown this week. “But he deserves credit for serving the way he did and doing those passing shots the way he had to do it. In the tie-break in the first set, he took risks and it worked out.”

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  16. Well, what can I see? FreakSHOW Djokovic has WALKED through and destroyed everything in his path. He has made semis now.

    To be quite honest, I doubt that anyone can stop him here. He has an absolutely disgusting draw and yet walked through it like nothing. Roger had by far the easier draw but fatigue is farigue and that’s it.

    Now all we could hope for is that either Ferrer or Nishikori can produce the magic and to detail the Serb monster. Otherwise the Year-End Number 1 can kiss good buy.

    At the end of the day, all we can do as Fed Fans is to hope for Roger to recover and wins ALL of his matches.

    IF he wins London but loses the Year-End Number 1, so be it. If he wins Davis Cup – great. If not. Oh, well!

    But at least win ALL of his matches!!! That’s all!

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  17. Djoko is just so damn rock solid right now, I agree that it will be hard for anyone except Roger to beat him. He was amazing today and even more amazing against Monfils, weathering that storm. I despair when Roger is injured or not playing well so for me, nothing to despair about here. Roger is playing fantastic tennis. Incredible serving!! There are a few guys out there with monster serves and big games that can beat anyone on a great day. Roanic is one of them and he played almost flawlessly. Yes, you can argue that on 5 0r 6 points Roger could have done better, but he played great and he even said so himself. Once YE#1 is officially off the table, which I suspect it will be soon because Djoko is winning Paris, I will sit back and enjoy the rest of Roger’s matches hoping for great play and WTF win, and Davis Cup glory, but really really reaaaaaaally will already be looking forward to the Aussie Open. Fantastic comeback year for the GOAT!!!

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  18. I suppose tomorrow will DECIDE the Year-End Number 1!!!

    I Djokovic wins tomorrow, it’s OVER! He’ll have an insurmountable 910 point lead and it will be over.

    However, I will keep hoping and relying on two powerful stats.

    1. No one has ever successfully defended the BNP Paribas Masters in the last 30 years. Only 2 men have successfully reached a back to back Final – Boris Becker in 1989-1990 (winning in 1989) and Ferrer in 2012-2013 (winning in 2012)

    2. NISHIKORI – Buddy, please help us out here! We’ve thrown everything at Novak to no avail. Kohlschreiber, Monfils, Murray and still nothing.

    You have 2:1 Head 2 Head and demolished him at the US Open. You are playing well. Please take care of him. If you win, then the point difference will be only 670 points and then it’s all on Roger’s racquet. I even suspect that if that happens, Novak will lose one of his round- robins and then it may be decided even before the Davis Cup.

    But you have to take him. Please Kei – finish David in straights today and punish Novak to help out Roger!!!

    If Novak wins this, seriously get the heck out of here. History is history and In Kei we trust!

    Plus: the key stat according to Robbie Koenig:

    In the last 4 Years, the player with the MOST Masters 1000 victories has ended the year at Number 1!

    2014 Masters 1000 Win/Loss Record: 28/7 – Roger Federer
    2014 Masters 1000 Win/Loss Record: 26/4 – Novak Djokovic (So far)

    Let’s hope that 26/4 becomes a 26/5… :-)

    Allez Roger and Allez Kei Nishikori! All or nothing tomorrow!!

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  19. Vily, Roger is with you. He is not giving up at all. “I always thought it was going to get solved in London,” said Federer. “What this [loss] means is I will have a good preparation for London. It’s not that I didn’t want to win here, but I knew it was going to be tough from the start. I accept that. Now I will continue to prepare for London.

    “I’m going to stay on indoors now,” continued the Swiss. “Obviously two days more is big. So I’m looking forward to some days off right now, really resting my body to the max in a short period of time. I have plenty of days now to get ready for London, which is kind of nice, as well. So I can actually properly practise for a change as well again.”

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  20. By the way maybe Ferrer should face Novak. Think about it:

    Raonic only beat Roger today because HIS LIFE was on the line!

    Now, if Kei wins today, he qualifies so he’ll take the foot of the gas and freak show Novak will win.

    However, if David wins (and I really like him) he’ll play for HIS Life tomorrow and he may finally beat the monster. He’s been on the verge of einning many matches and he’s been losing after having match points.

    So you, know what I think that if Ferrer wins, he’ll fight for his life.

    In fact, I suspect a Ferrer – Raonic Final.

    And check this out: if Ferrer wins today and beats Novak tomorrow and Raonic makes the final, then Ferrer qualifies no matter what.

    He’ll have 4465 points.

    Now if Raonic wins the title, both Ferrer and Raonic qualify. But if Raonic makes the final but loses to Ferrer,

    Then Ferrer and Nishikori qualify.

    Only 5 points will separate Nishikori and Raonic:

    4445 – Nishikori
    4440 – Raonic.

    So I bet that if Ferrer and Raonic meet in the final. Then Raonic will beat Ferrer since Ferrer will let of gas, knowing that he qualified.

    This is all speculation but in any case I WANT either Kei or David to BEAT Monster Novak Tomorrow!! Please Kei and Please David!!! Just DO IT!!!! :-) ))

    [Reply]

  21. Guys,

    I wanna share my thoughts on what happened today and hopefully on what will happen tomorrow.

    I suppose that the loss of Roger to Raonic could be considered a small blessing in disguise precisely because the extra days of rest that Roger will surely need in order to tackle the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, the Davis Cup and potential Year-End Number 1 Ranking.

    Raonic did what he did and even though I was upset about it at the time, it is what it is and he did what he did in order to qualify for London. Roger had been getting the better of him for many times in a row so sooner or later it was going to turn the other way. The fact that it hurt Roger’s chances might actually just be an initial observation. It actually depends on what happens later in Paris and in London.

    The reason being: let’s say that Roger prevailed. He would have exhausted even more energy. Tomorrow it would have been another tough affair against Berdych and if for some reason he got through that, I would have predicted that he would lose to Djokovic. They have been alternating wins and the reason why I predicted that Roger would beat Novak in Shanghai was precisely because Roger was the fresher of the two. Novak had played the week before. Here it was the opposite. In any case what happened happened.

    Ferrer also fought valiantly today and a part of me wanted to see him win only because I felt that maybe Ferrer would fight tooth and nail to beat Djokovic knowing that if he lost and Raonic beat Berdych, it would have meant that he would be out.

    In any case, Kei Nishikori won and I am very happy for him. The field is set for the Finals and the calculations are put on end. Or at least that is what I thought initially. I actually worried and still worry that after qualifying for London, Kei would chose to withdraw from tomorrow’s match.

    However, after watching Nishikori’s post match interview and the fact that he wants to win tomorrow it made me feel better. Looking at the ATP Race to London points, Kei actually has a chance to become Number 4 in the world. If he beats Novak he would be at 4865 points while Wawrinka would be at 4895. And if Kei beats Raonic like he did in Tokyo, then he would claim his first Masters 1000 title and the number 4 ranking.

    That would be amazing for him but also it would immensely help Roger who would maintain that strategic 670 points difference with Novak.

    That combined with the extra couple of days of rest, he can go all out in London and if he wins it undefeated and Novak loses just 1 round robin match, than Roger will end the year at Number 1. And if Novak wins all his matches before the final, then Roger could still become Number 1 in the world but only if he wins his last too matches in the Davus Cup AND if Switzerland claims their first Davus Cup.

    Obviously if Novak wins tomorrow, then the Year-End 1 Ranking would be his, but I would be perfectly OK with it only if:

    Roger still wins in London and (hopefully) if he wins the Davis Cup.

    There is also a scenario in which Roger loses in London in the final or in the semis but wins the Davis Cup which would be the lesser success.

    And also there is a chance that Roger goes empty-handed which would be somewhat sad..

    I also wish that if Novak wins tomorrow, he still loses in the Paris/Bercy final which would be at least some justice to Roger and to history after all. Come on, if no one has won consecutive titles in Paris, I would prefer that it stays this way.

    Let’s hope for the best! First things first, let’s all hope for a Kei Nishikori victory tomorrow! :-) )

    Allez!

    [Reply]

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