Toronto SF: Federer Breezes Past Djokovic 6-1, 3-6, 7-5, to Face Murray in the Final

Lol. What more can one say? It’s getting little ridiculous at this point. This was a similar pattern to what we saw against Berdych yesterday. A dominant first set, then a disappointing collapse in the third, and finally a nerve-wrecking fifth set that ended in triumph. I have to say I think I’m getting pretty good at disconnecting emotionally from these matches now. And I suggest the same for you if you plan on living beyond 50. Roger started off in really dominant fashion. At 6-1 and 2-0 I thought that this could be a quick night for the GOAT. But we all know that happens rarely these days. Djokovic would go on to win 5 of the next 6 games. Again in the third set Roger would manage to break, but again he would tease us by losing serve. Finally after getting the break for a second time in the eleventh game he held on for another heart-stopping win.

This is pretty much my summery for the match. I really can’t make a long post this time because it’s late here and I actually went out before the match. This match was pretty much a repeat from yesterdays match, only slightly less nerve wrecking. Roger faces Murray in the final now who had an impressive 6-3, 6-4 win over Rafa. Murray is still 6-5 ahead in the head-to-head even though Roger won the last three meetings. So I’m sure he would desperately want to set that record straight. But more importantly he needs to win this to complete his comeback. A tournament victory here would give him maximum confidence going into the US Open. Coming through extremely difficult matches against Berdych and Djokovic will give him huge confidence, but at the same time Murray will be an even bigger challenge than those guys.

It is all about confidence at this point. I don’t see much difference in tactics from Roger. I just think that Annacone is a calming influence. His expression never changes and I think it must be good for Roger to know that he has someone like Annacone court side now. This makes me excited for the future. Toronto is their first tournament together and already we are seeing a different Roger. Now Roger just needs to win this tournament and the new partnership will get off to the best start possible. Also, with this win Roger overtakes Djokovic once more in the rankings. With a win tomorrow Roger would close in on the number one ranking once more. He is still about 4000 points behind Rafa, but with a win here he would at least get closer to the number one spot. There has been a lot of talk of late about Rafa finally winning the US Open this year, but I think Murray’s win over him once again proves that it will be a tall order for the Spaniard.

As far as tactics go I think Roger must just play his game tomorrow. When he plays Murray the match is pretty much on his racquet when he is playing his best, and I think he is approaching his best once more. Berdych and Djokovic are great players in their own right. Make no mistake. I’m not even sure anymore that tactics is so important. Roger has shown that he can still beat the very best if he is on top of his own game. I think it is the emotional boost he gets from having Annacone in his corner more than anything else that is helping him. Whenever they show Annacone I feel a certain amount of comfort myself. He just looks really solid and calm. You don’t see Roger looking at his support group like the other players, but I’m pretty sure its just that knowledge that he has someone really experienced there that gives him confidence.

So like I said, this makes me excited for the future. I would really love for Annacone and Roger to get the best possible start together tomorrow with a 17th Masters Series title. That would really announce his return to form in the best way possible and it give him the second most Masters Series titles together with Agassi and one title behind Rafa. It would also make him feel really confident going to Cincinnati and the US Open. One more to go Rog…


Roger Federer

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  1. The ranking situation is interesting for both Murray and Federer. I think Federer would like to keep his #2 spot and Murray definately doesn’t want to drop to #5. In order to do that Federer needs 1 final and 1 trophy and I guess so does Murray.I think Federer and Murray can get what they want before US. The only concern is it will be too much tennis for Federer and Murray before US Open if they would like to keep their rankings. Murray played 2 finals in a row last year and he was injured in US Open. And this year he played in another tournament before Toronto. I think Federer also should take it a bit easy next week, he just come back from a long break and 10 matches in 2 weeks seems a lot. And I guess this will be the thing he will do.


  2. Not certain Federer will be able to scrap his way past Murray like he did against Djokovic.

    If Federer is making a lot of errors, that plays into Murray’s game. Any kind of match where there are a lot of breaks of serve, where players have trouble holding serve, you’d expect Murray to have an advantage, just because he’s better at sheer grinding than almost anyone else (except Nadal, of course).

    On the other hand, Federer’s serve is working very well (it’s saved him the past two matches when his forehand has gone AWOL). And more importantly, he has the will to win. He was very clutch tonight when he had to fight off crucial break points and he came good in the end. Still it will be very difficult.

    It’s the damned break point conversion that’s getting him in trouble. It’s a purely mental thing of not being aggressive enough when he gets those chances, and it will take time to change that. Still, the fact that he could get past Berdych and Djokovic while converting so few break points is a testament to his grit.

    It’s fascinating to watch Federer try to learn a different way of playing tennis. He’s still backsliding a bit into his old habits of trying to outrally these guys, but with time he will adjust to a more aggressive style. I’m sure once he’s gotten more used to it, it will be something to behold.


    Ru-an Reply:

    Hey Steve, i didnt analyze the match much and i thought you did a pretty good job here. Like you said Murray will be tough because he hes an even better defender tan Djokovic. But on the other hand he is not as penetrating from the back as Berdych and Djokovic. So Roger will have more time, and he will need to play almost perfect attacking tennis. Hes serve must be on fire as well as his forehand, and he must play attacking tennis tennis like he did the last few meetings against Murray, going to the net when needed. I think he has a good shot if he does all these things well. He has to dictate the match which he has done in the past.


  3. Thanks for the compliment. You make some good points about Murray giving Federer more time to work. I guess we’ll see what happens.


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