Rome QF: JesusFed Silences Seppi and Italian Crowd 6-1, 6-2

Not much to report on here really. Just utter destruction. I actually replied to a comment on my blog, saying that Roger will destroy Seppi and that is exactly what happened. I mean it must have been brutal for Seppi. The crowd tried to get into the match but Roger just shut them out with a clinical display. He broke straight away in Seppi’s opening service game with another one of those cracking forehand down the line winners to make his intentions clear. He broke Seppi in the fourth game as well as he quickly rushed to a 4-0 lead. He was holding serve with no trouble at all. Seppi then held serve and produced a break point on Roger’s next service game, but Roger would not be denied. After the first set Roger’s first serve percentage was 86% percent.

So much for my theory about serving, but it wasn’t like Seppi but loads of pressure on Roger’s serve. In the second set Seppi made some more returns which caused Roger’s first serve percentage to drop but it was still high. Roger broke Seppi in the fifth and seventh games to rub salt into the Italian crowd’s wounds. In the end his first serve percentage was very high at 81%. The serve is really the thing that does the damage for Roger and then the forehand of course. But he also has excellent variation, slicing, drop shotting, and net play. His backhand drive have been very solid too. It’s just the complete package from Roger. Nadal on the other hand stands ten meters behind the base line, hits moonballs, and runs everything down.

It’s not attractive but unfortunately very effective on clay. Nadal will be extremely hard to stop from winning this event. He is back on his favorite slow red nonsense and looking in great form. Roger now plays Djokovic and judging by his form he could be very hard to stop from making the final. I think Roger will win after seeing how brutal he was last night. But Djokovic will be a very tough opponent anyway. The head-to-head currently stands at 14-10 in Roger’s favor and a win certainly won’t hurt that. Djokovic’s level hasn’t been quite at the level of last year while Roger’s has been much better, so I think that gives him the edge here. If he wins he will most likely play Nadal again, who I predict will beat Ferrer in straight sets.

I’m not very optimistic about another potential clay court final with Nadal but I have to try to be. I’m just annoyed that they keep facing each other on clay. Djokovic may have a better chance against Nadal given that he beat him in Rome last year and that Nadal is a much better match up for him. If Djokovic beats Roger I’m not gonna be overly disappointed because Fedal clay finals are not exactly very exciting to me. But Roger is playing very well so it changes things somewhat. Lets see what happens with Djokerer first. Roger needs to serve at a a high first serve percentage again and play attacking tennis while mixing things up like he did in that French Open semi last year. I hope you can watch the match. It’s gonna be a good one!

Highlights:

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47 Comments

  1. Me too, annoyed that Roger and Rafa keep facing each other on clay *rolling eyes*…
    After the blue clay, now I’m so not used to the red clay. Find it hard to trace the ball. Maybe I ought to get my eyes checked >_<
    Go, ROger, go!!!
    And thanks a million, Ru-an, for this wonderful entry ^_^

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  2. Ruan:

    Bravo! I did see your comment that Roger will destroy Seppi and while I was sure Roger will win I was a bit surprised by your audacity to say “destroy”. This shows how well you know Roger’s game! Great Prediction!

    BTW – Nadal played like a BEAST against Berdych (of course I felt Berdych choked to hold his serve) and on this surface and him suddenly upping his Serves as well I think he is unbeatable in Rome which I hate to write, but like you I hate this surface anyway!

    Best of luck for Roger against Novak! I actually want Roger to be in the finals ’cause I feel with how Rafa and Novak are playing now, Rafa will actually beat Noavk and this might get Novak out of his head which we do not want when RG is just around. Of course this means Roger may lose to Rafa but this is not new and it is Clay – so I think it is OK.

    Nice Post anyway. Thanks!

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  3. Ferrer does not want to beat Nadal.Thats what i can figure from the opening 20 minutes.2nd game of the match,nadls serve is crumbling and he is not putting many 1st serves in and Ferrer still squanders 7 yeah thats right ,7 break points that too in Nadals opening servic game.Not many are lucky enough to get 7 bps in the first service game of their opponent,but still i cant believe he just missed all of them.Nadal was not even hitting serves in the box but still ferrer somehow manages to lose the game.how surprising????lol

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    V Reply:

    ha,he breaks Nadull
    now

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    V Reply:

    and thats all guys,the routine of giving a break back to nadal seems to continue right throughout this horrid dirty masters.And that I suspect,will be the mathc for rafael nadal.

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    Chris Reply:

    Ferrer plays a great match, but the effort hardly shows on the board. The battle will finally create fatigue and frustration in Ferrer, and Nadal will be there to finish him off. As Nadal never gets tired.

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    V Reply:

    thats the point Chris.we all know that Ferrer is very gritty and fights as if there is no tomorrow.But Nadal creates that illusion that the opponent has choked by his relentless moonballing which even goes above the moon itself and comes back.So on this dirt,it looks like it will be a miracle if Rog and NOle even take a set off the beast.

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  4. you guys are being way too harsh on Ferrer. He is a very determined player but he does not have the weapons to beat nadal on clay. On hardcourt, yes but certainly not on clay. He cannot do anything, he doesn’t have the djokovic type of power to beat nadal.

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    Chris Reply:

    I actually think he could win against Nadal, and will eventually. It’s just so frustrating to watch how Nadal always manages to somehow win the last, decisive points…

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    Chris Reply:

    Break points won: Ferrer 1/10, Nadal 1/1, aaaaahhhh

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    V Reply:

    Sorry Mike if I sounded like that.

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  5. I don’t know if this is going to be a tactical loss from Roger or what. With this low serve percentage I have no idea what to say!!!

    Anyway…

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    Ru-an Reply:

    More pressure on the 1st serve cos of Djokovic’s return!

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    Vily Reply:

    It wasn’t meant to be today. Let’s hope for Djokovic to beat Nadal at least.

    Roger just isn’t playing to his potential today.

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  6. Ru-an, I cannot watch anymore of this, what happened to Roger’s tennis of last night? This is sad….hope Djoko will put Nadal away tomorrow.

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    jarek Reply:

    Second that. Total tank. Too sad. I can not follow Roger any more after this. Enough.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Haha if you mean that you are not a Fedfan and have never been.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    This not a bad result Dolores. Post coming up.

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    Jiten Reply:

    Absolutely! Roger won two more matches than last year. Had he won and then lost to Nadal in the final, he would be no. 3 again. Rather leave it to the Djoker and retain the no. 2 spot.

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  7. Roger tried and I congratulate him for that!!!

    We were close…. In the end, it’s not a Grand Slam and it was probably for the best.

    I don’t think this loss will not affect Roger too much and it might actually be blessing in disguise. If Novak wins tomorrow, and draw is favourable in Paris, Roger will be more the merrier even though he lost.

    He’ll rest now and get ready for Paris. He avoided Nadal and that’s a good thing.

    I also think that at Roland Garros the courts are faster than here and with proper rest, the serve percentage will be much higher and it will give us a proper benchmark.

    Obviously with 49% 1st serve, you are not gonna beat Novak or Rafa.

    So it’s ok. Not too painful!!! I like the way he fought and forced a tiebreak!!!

    Allez Roger!

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  8. This is sad and pathetic.This match reminds me of Nadal-Federer at AO in January,very high expectations,the whole talking about Roger playing outstanding and the result is devastating.Let’s be frank-Fed was simply totally outplayed by Djoker.The return of Serb was amazing,in nearly every moment of long rallies you had impression that Swiss is under huge pressure and that there is no way he can get out of it.We shouldn’t be fooled by couple of games at the end of the meeting.We were just too enthusiastic after those wins with Ferrero or Seppi.This match proves that recent talking about regaining number 1,winning RO etc are further unrealistic.I truly can’t see Fed as a winner in grand slam against both Nadal and Djokovic in best of 5 sets.And to stand as a winner in this events you have to beat both those guys for 90 %.So frustrating evening…

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    Vily Reply:

    What would you prefer? Roger losing today, Novak winning tomorrow and Novak drawing Nadal in his half in Paris or??

    Roger winning today, losing tomorrow and then losing confidence and drawing Nadal in his half in Paris???

    I think this was OK!!! Obviously Roger had a bad serving day and that’s what cost him today!

    Like I said it’s not a Grand Slam and it’s not all that bad!!!

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    Dave Reply:

    Matt, man you’re overreacting. I watched how Fed was playing tonight, he just didn’t care enough to win. Was he chasing every ball?no! He didn’t seem motivated and who cares about Rome. Roger has won so many tournaments already and he will win another slam. Funny how people forget everything he has done up to this point because he loses once in a while. Novak is going to lose tomorrow

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    Ru-an Reply:

    You guys are crazy.

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    Candace Reply:

    I think “tanking” is too strong of a word, but it was obvious Roger wasn’t putting 100% into this match. That suits me fine because I want him seeded 2 at RG and if Nole can beat Rafa tomorrow, that will happen. Roger wasn’t going for his shots and played lackadaisically. There is no way he was putting max effort into this performance.

    The best case scenario is that Nole beats Nadal tomorrow 6-7, 7-6, 7-6 in a four hour slugfest marathon which will drain them both. Still, it was sad to see Federror show up again when he had been cruising. I want him in JesusFed mode 100% of the time!!

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    Vily Reply:

    That can happen when he is properly rested! With a week to go and very little debt to his confidence, he’ll be just fine!!!

    Let’s root for Novak tomorrow and everything will fall into place!!!

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  9. I think there were plenty of signs that mentally he`s been better than ever this year but since he returned for Madrid in the matches vs. Raonich, Berdych, Ferrero there were visible as well lots of other problems as well – not consistent 1st serve, looked tired 1st match in Rome, vs ferrero and today.I would not say like i read in other forums that he planned just to check out today cause was going to loose at 100% tomorrow. I think he has to have more breaks between tournament to keep his body in good shape cause really looked too tired at moments after such a long break.
    Again as always …you cannot judge Feds` game if he doesn`t play Nadal and Djoko. Many of us tend to excuse him saying “its not his problem they cannot make the final (as was the case for Madrid)” but at some of his tournaments (E.g. Rotterdam)they didn`t even participate :-) Seems like he is getting so much dominant vs the rest of the field but vs nadal and Djoko chances don`t look that good after seeing everyone`s performance these days.Nadal at his best , Djoko is getting closer too…and Fed…let`s hope he will put up a better performance when meets them at the semis or the final(hopefully) in Paris.

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    Vily Reply:

    I agree with you. Roger has played 9 matches in 2 weeks and he won a Title and got to a SF. That’s excellent!!!

    And it’s much better to lose today than tomorrow! He’ll refresh, reboot and I’m sure he’ll do great in the months to come! I’d rather see him lose here that at all the other tournaments that are coming up!!

    Allez Roger! :-)

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  10. There is a vast range in between tanking and not going full throttle.

    Even if Fed got a dream draw for FO I’d only rate his chances at 30% or less. Bookies have him at 6.00, and considering the vig, they rate him about a 10% shot right now. FO not his jam, especially with Nadal’s domination on clay and him on it. Even Djoker would be a clear favorite against him. But if you look past the French:

    Case 1: Nadal wins FO then Fed would probably still be three for Wimbledon but he’ll have a shot at No. 1. If Federer can win Wimbledon (and maybe get a good result at the Olympics) then it’s his.

    Case 2: Djokovic wins FO then he should be solidly No. 1 barring collapses at SW19, masters, USO. But Fed will probably be no. 2 for the next 2 slams + Olympics. So if he lucks out in the draw he’ll only have to beat one of RN/ND to sneak a major.

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  11. My predictions were true again. Fed reached the SF, didn’t expect too much out of it. But Roger decided to troll him at the last moment, at that was REALLY entertaining. :-) Him losing in the TB made me fell I tiny bit upset because I was all hyped up when Roger held at love for 6-5, but then Roger wasted chances to get set point when Djoko was serving.

    Today perhaps was one of the off-days, the 40 UEs pretty much showed everything, had Roger brought out his A game like yesterday against Seppi, Djoko would have been destroyed. Nevertheless Roger raised his game at the end, and a spark of GOAT tennis appeared. Saving an MP and breaking back was better than losing in three sets IMO because that was what Djoko did in the last 2 years so doing it himself is really cool. Don’t worry this is just a warning from Fed telling Djoker that he’s not that easy to be beaten.

    Typing all that makes me feel much better, I think I can move on now. Oh about tomorrow’s final, I have a feeling Djokovic will be something like Roger today, so I do expect Nadal winning it. Rankings doesn’t matter that much now, if Roger is determined to win a slam then nothing will stop him no matter the draw.

    Maybe this is another blessing in disguise? If Roger had won and plays RN tmr, less time to rest, and beating a grinder on clay would certainly take a lot of effort. Now Roger has an extra day to rest with less tennis, hopefully his injuries will be gone by RG.

    Will tell you how I feel about RG when the draw comes up next week. For now, all the best Roger, have a nice weekend! Thank you Ruan for posting summaries as well! :D

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    FeddyBear Reply:

    i hope you are wrong this time, J, and Nole will take tomrrw’s final…
    i wonder what your gut tells you about RG??
    if it was up to me, i would trade RG and Olympics for Wimby. i just dont want to see RN takes another paris trophy ot ND take “Nole Slam”
    c’mon Fed, get some rest and come out somking to Paris…

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    Jonathan Reply:

    I try not to make predictions quickly, especially after a Roger loss it will affect how I feel obviously. Need to wait for the final and see how events unfold.

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    WIlfried Reply:

    It’s fun to read your predictions ,Jonathan, and you were right in predicting Roger’s performance at Rome. But for some reason you change your original prediction about whom will win the tournament at Rome. In your previous comment you wrote the following : « OK as for my gut feeling in Rome, I’m confident that Nadal won’t win here and Roger will retain his No.2 ranking. But I don’t think Roger will win Rome, for some reason I think Djokovic will. » Just like to know what made you change your mind on the winner ? Is it Nadal’s performance or Djokovic’s performance at Rome so far, or both ?

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    Jonathan Reply:

    To be honest I’m really not too sure about who’s better. It’s red clay, proper clay after all, Nadal still have a slight advantage here. I saw his SF as well, Ferrer was playing out of his mind, but Nadal just keep getting the balls back. On the other hand, Djokovic 2.0 seems to be re-emerging in Roger’s match, but that may be partly due to Roger giving him easy balls to strike. It really depends on what they bring onto the court today, whether Djokovic can ride on his confidence and momentum, and Rafa’s physical ability at his best to chase after balls.

    Anyway, Djokovic winning would of course benefit Roger the most, but I wouldn’t mind Rafa winning as well as I have no preference over both. I just hope this match would be ‘entertaining’, more twist and turns, and would take 4 hours. :-P

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  12. Some total over reactions here!

    Let’s track back to Wednesday when we still didn’t know if he was even going to play in the tournament, now we are moaning he lost?

    He just won Madrid after 5 weeks off. 3 matches in Rome. peRFect for the French I think.

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    Jiten Reply:

    Cannot agree more Jonathon. We the Fedfans need to curb our greed! We have become too (over) greedy at times. Compare the scenario just after his semi final loss to RN at the AO. At that time, we just wished a decent show from him till Wimbledon. Now he has won 4 tournaments, two of them at masters 1000 level. What more do you expect from a nearly 31 year old who is trying to rediscover his PRIME again? Give this guy a break! I am sure he is going to prove you wrong again in Roland Garros. COME ON FED!

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  13. I love these fans spinning like wind vane, praising him after win and cursing after loss. His serve was out, he knew it was not so important to risk his health before RG. He has to be tired as well. If he played from beginning like in the end of 2nd set, Novak would have it much more difficult. I belive he can have decent RG.

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  14. The effects of this loss will be fully known only after tomorrow and after the draw comes out in Roland Garros!

    Something tells me that we will cheer very soon!!! Keep your chins up, guys!!!

    If you watched the Champions League Final you’ll know what I am talking about. Chelsea were down and out but yet they managed to win!!!

    Sometimes luck has to be on our side!!! And I am sure it will be!!!

    :-)

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  15. I was too busy to watch the semi, and I guess it spared me some grief, though as a Federer fan I suppose I shouldn’t wish to be spared. Anyhow, it sounds like the tennis wasn’t particularly memorable.

    In his later career, Federer won’t be able to win every Masters title like he did in his salad days. After only two days off between Madrid and Rome, coming off a grueling final against Berdych, he’s probably not got quite enough stamina to handle Djokovic and Nadal back-to-back. The lack of a break between Masters matches is exhausting (and I gather shortening the season by compressing the schedule isn’t helping. Is it really worth all this just for one extra week of winter vacation?)

    He got what he wanted from Rome, matches on the red clay, some ranking points, a chance to assess Djokovic’s game on clay. He wasn’t even sure he was going to enter the tournament until the day he was scheduled to play. Granted that, is it such a surprise he lost? And does anyone really believe that he was able to produce his highest level of tennis today?

    Whereas in Rome he would have had to face Nadal the next day had he gotten past Djokovic, in Grand Slam play he’ll have that extra day’s recuperation between matches. In that situation I think he is fully capable of beating Djokovic and Nadal back-to-back should he be forced to do so.

    Remember last year after a relatively poor clay Masters run (one QF, one semi, one 3R), when he was looking pretty ragged, he unexpectedly beat the then-unstoppable Djokovic and came within four or five points of beating Nadal in straight sets.

    This year he had much better results during the clay Masters, one title and one semi. And his confidence in his game should remain very high going into RG, when last year he wasn’t very confident at all.

    With a little bit of luck, anything is possible. I said that good things were in Federer’s future and I stand by that assessment.

    C’mon Roger!!!

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    Vily Reply:

    I feel that nowadays Roger needs to have his proper rest… His game plan is right. He is playing aggressive and he knows what he needs to do. I think that when he serves with 65% and up first serve percentage, he can beat almost anyone.

    I feel very positive for Roger in the months to come!!! Obviously he can’t win every tournament but he has done very well and he is definitely on the right path. :-)

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  16. Weird match from the onset i felt federer would loose. He dindt seem to be motivated enough it was as is he wanted to loose hitting unforced all over the place compared to his recent form the way he played today was horrendous. Yes Djokovic s return was good but fed wasnt there. He clearly didnt want to play nadal and even a 5% doubt in his mind was enough to let djokovic run away. After being 5-4 down in the second he decided to win a few games and show us fed fans that he could beat djokovic if he wanted to and make the score respectable.He than resumed his bad play from 6-5 onwards. Either it was this or djokovic was too good for him i think the former is true. Anyway being fedfans we try to draw positives .. Hope Djokovic can beat nadal. But maybe he will be in doubt to as if he wins he may meet nadal in the semis of the French.. but djokovic is not that type of player he will want to win lets see what happens

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  17. I think as Fed fams we take his losses very hard, probably harder than he does. I feel he played Rome to get red clay experience for the upcoming RG and will do fine with some rest. We want him to win another GS but he is only human and is playing great tennis as seen by his many wins since us open last year. He can only do his best, he is still the greatest of all time!

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  18. Roger was tired going in to the match. And rightly so. He played as a good sport and interested tennis player, Nadal and Djoker complained about the blue clay which is harder to play. I do not have any complaints about today. Roger is the best and I hope he can win another slam. Without Roger tennis will be boring and the tv audience will loose interests. Look at the up coming players – dull, very dull.

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  19. A bit of over-reaction to this loss. Djoko played at his absoute highest level, which we ain’t seen since the slams last year. That’s pretty much what it takes to beat Fed. On the other hand Rog’s form dipped a bit last night (the serve and a few shanks here and there), so he was gonna lose. To beat the Djoko we saw last night would have taken his full ‘A’ game. If Rog had won the semi I doubt he would have sustained that form into the final. So there would have been yet another loss in a clay final to Nadal. No thanks. (But I am not saying he was tanking. Even Rog can’t dial up his ‘A’ game at will.)
    So the final puts the Djoker up against Nadal. It’s a better match-up. Hey – we may even get a match! Rog didn’t embarrass anyone last night, including his fans, he just came up against a world no.1 playing his best game when his own level had dipped a little. That’s all it takes. He can now focus on the French.

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    Chris Reply:

    Finally somebody who makes sense here! The current world number 1, holder of three GS titles and defending champion of this tournament, played a great match and won in a completely deserved manner against the current world number 2, holder of no GS title at the moment, and who was never ever able to win the Master of Rome title in his entire career, even in his prime. Why are so many people commenting here pretending that this was an unexpected, surprising and disappointing result? Their last meeting was also won by Djokovic, and afterwards Djokovic went to win the US Open and the Australian Open. Face it guys, the better player won yesterday. And Djokovic has a least a certain chance of winning against Nadal, which in the case of Federer reaching the final would have been very unlikely. Federer is having a great run, and I hope for him to make another major and regain this No 1 spot once again just to break the record. But he will not become a dominating No 1 who plays in another league than the rest of the field, ever again. He can eventually get a win over Nadal or Djokovic again, but not on a regular base. Those who expect otherwise, will keep licking self-inflicted wounds…, again and again

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  20. My observation is roger lacks the emotion and intensity. I would have expected his c’mon after he broke roger and the fist pumps! None of these
    On this game. Anyway whatever it is I really don’t feel bad about this loss. He was just the champ a couple of days back for god’s sake! Give him a break! If it was the grand slam I might lose some sleep so I will reserve that for FO :-)
    But did you notice the handshake? What I don’t like is novak’s antic afterwards with all the jumping and the shouting?! Just hate it! But I’d rather have him win than nadal anytime!

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  21. I fully agree with Rich and Chris. I recall the result of Hamburg masters and FO back in 2007. In Hamburg Federer bagelled Nadal to win the championship and Nadal should have gotten to know what strategy to adopt for FO and Federer managed to win only one set off Nadal in the ensuing FO final. If for some reason Federer had defeated Djokovic at Rome Masters yesterday that would have exposed Federer before far more important tournament. So even being a fan of Federer I was wishing Federer to lose match against Djokovic . Of course I had wanted a respectable showing which Federer did by breaking straight after being a match point down.Even if Federer has some hidden agenda against Nadal and Djokovic, he should use them not for Rome masters but for Roland Garros.

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