US Open Rd 2: Federer Dismisses Berlocq 6-3, 6-2, 6-1

Pretty sharp performance from Roger today, and he got better as the match progressed. In the first set Roger got the break at 2-1 with a nice attacking forehand return up the line. That proved to be enough to win the first set. I think it was at the start of the second set where Roger broke serve but then failed to consolidate. That was the only small slip up in the match. But he broke again right afterwards so he can be forgiven. His ability to stay focused is something I am keeping an eye on because that is more than anything the thing that has cost him in the latter part of his career. His focus just seems to drift at times. It is just something that comes with age I think, because it is tough to be as hungry and focused as when he was young. But at least you want to see periods where he is focused and hungry, like he was almost the whole of 2012. I don’t think you can ask for more. This year Roger has struggled with his focus and hunger and it was just expected after 2012.

But at some point you want to see things turn around again. And I think we may just have reached that turning point in Cincinnati. That was really the best I have seen Roger play in a long time and it has given him a boost as well. To get back to the match Roger broke a 3rd time in the second set at 3-1, and it was enough for a 6-2 set. Roger also hit another sweet tweener in the second set, although he didn’t win the point. It is amazing the consistency and ease he hits that shot with. At 5-2 Roger played a pretty good game after Berlocq had break point. He hit a genius drop shot at deuce and on set point he came up with a very sharp reflex volley to win the point. By the third set he had Berlocq by the balls. His confidence was increasing while Berlocq started to fade. Roger broke in the 1st and 3rd games and took a 4-0 lead. The bakery product was on the cards. Roger then broke Berlocq once more in the final game to wrap things up and serve the bread stick.

I liked how Roger won the 1st set by 1 break, the 2nd set by 2 breaks, and the 3rd set by 3 breaks. It showed that his confidence increased as the match progressed. And that is exactly what the doctor ordered. Roger had a great tournament in Cincy but he is still short on matches and wins. Right now it’s all about getting that few more matches and wins before a potential meeting with Nadal. I have already written about that match and said that Roger could possibly have won that match, if he had a few more matches behind him. But I am very hesitant to conclude that a few more wins would improve his chances should he meet Nadal. First of all the conditions are slower at the US Open and it is best of 5 sets. But there are still a couple of matches to go so lets deal with that later. I just like that Roger seems focused and hungry.

 

I don’t think he hit the practice court again after yesterday’s match but it was nice to see him do it after his first round anyway, and small things like that can make a big difference. Going that extra mile. The serve and volley stats weren’t as good as the first round with Roger making 52% first serves and winning 28/40 points at the net, but still it was a very efficient performance. It was nice to see him approach the net so often and he even served-and-volleyed on a few second serves. He was using a good balance between mixing things up from the base line and whacking his forehand as well. That is how you want to see Roger play. Using both his power and finesse to dominate opponents. The returning is still aggressive too and consequently his break point conversion ratio of 7/13 was good once again.

Roger next plays against Mannarino who upset Querrey in 4 sets. In the interview in the ESPN studio Roger said he would rather play Mannarino than Querrey, and that is understandable given Mannarino has nothing to hurt Roger with and Querrey is American as well. Roger has played Mannarino twice before and on both occasions it was an easy straight set win. Roger’s draw is once again working out really well as Tomic has lost to Evans too. Mannarino will be nothing but another practice session for Roger and neither Evans nor Robredo can threaten Roger. Things really have worked out pretty well for Roger in New York to make a big impact. Of course there is still the obstacle of Nadal, but it doesn’t help to keep looking at him as this unbeatable monster. Roger’s mindset is hopefully that he has the best possible preparation for that match and that Nadal is just another opponent.

Roger is after all the one with the far superior record on hard courts and the US Open, and he can’t allow Nadal to get in his head before the match has even started. Roger was asked about Nadal in his presser and he said: “one match against Rafa is not going to, you know, make my season or going to make me super confident or not.” Having said that he should view this as just another match, I think if Roger beats Nadal it would go a long way towards salvaging a very average season by his own very high standards, especially since he is almost a lock for the final if he does so. A US Open final would be the highlight of his season especially after beating Nadal, no matter what happens for the rest of the season. It does look like Roger is viewing this as just another match then, so that’s good. Anyway that match is not a reality yet.

 Highlights:

Presser: http://2013.usopen.org/en_US/news/interviews/2013-08-29/201308291377812848062.html

Posted in Uncategorized.

65 Comments

  1. I can’t believe what I am reading in those previous comments on the last post. Are you guys scared or what?! What the heck is wrong with you, people! Have some faith! Roger will beat Nadal. Stop questioning that.

    I am glad that Roger doesn’t think like you. He’s not a broken man. He’s a proud champion and has the strategy to beat Nadal.

    He still believes. So should you! Don’t sound like he has no chance. And stop counting on other people to take him out neither. The clash is booked. It’s gonna happen. Just face it. Win or lose, at least Roger is not scared and he’s not running away from the challenge. We, as fans shouldn’t either.

    I don’t like that “hedging your bets” attitude – well, I think Roger is gonna get a beating but if he somehow wins, I’ll join the bandwagon and support him. That ain’t gonna cut it.

    Either go all in or fold. Stop with all this PED nonsense. Rafa is going down! Book it! :-) ))

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Agreed Vily my readers don’t seem to be very optimistic of Roger’s chances. I guess it’s just you and me that still believes in the GOAT then. Oh and Ajay above us.

    [Reply]

    Pryzm Reply:

    Oh really?

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    My apologies Pryzm I know you are one of the positive ones :-)

    [Reply]

    Pryzm Reply:

    Thanks – always a pleasure to be in such great company!

    [Reply]

    Raoul Reply:

    Woah relax..I predicted that Roger would beat the crap out of Nadal if they meet at this year’s USO before you guys, when I responded to Uncle Toni’s comments accusing Fed of not having balls !
    My comment was made on aug 28th in your thread before the last one ” Federer treads a thin line when playing against Nadal ”
    Here are the comments in question :

    Here are some though provoking statements from Mats Wilander from 2006, soon after Fed lost to Nadal at RG. Everyone will try to bark at Wilander cause he only won “…” slams, talking about high topspin, doping, lefty, age, blah-la-la but his statements for many tennis fans hold truth as if nothing has changed since 2006 :-)

    Some quotes:
    “I think Roger Federer, today, unfortunately came out with no balls,” said Wilander, who claimed the Swiss suffered a “mental block in terms of tennis smartness” and lacked an aggressive mindset even while winning the first set 6-1.

    “He should have realised in the second set, surely, after two games, ‘Wow I’m not hitting the ball quite as well, let me try going back to the game plan’, which surely couldn’t have been staying at the baseline as much as he did …

    “So I think he choked from the first point to the last point because I don’t believe that he thinks he can beat Nadal from the baseline. I can’t imagine that. Because if he can’t beat him from the baseline on hardcourts, then he sure as hell can’t beat him from the baseline on clay. That’s crazy.”

    “Sports is about balls and about heart and you don’t find too many champions in any sport in the world without heart or balls. He might have them, but against Nadal they shrink to a very small size and it’s not once, it’s every time.”

    I know the expectations are high for Fed to not let Nadal have the edge on this GS as well but he will probably lose for the reason stated above. He could not beat Nadal at his all time low confidence at RG 2011, AO 2012. His mental issues, not age will probably prevent him from winning more than a set – that`s how he can last nowadays. Last time i saw him confident was Madrid 2009 but he then avoided Nadal for a whole year and then kept the loosing streak. The win at IW 2012 was lucky but deserved but there was nothing learned as has always been the case since they 1st met. He won at London`s final master twice but 1st meeting Nadal was out of juice while at the 2nd Fed played phenomenal tennis but got quite happy the last ball to be called out by Nadal cause an epic failure was awaiting if Nadal had challenged :-) I think is better for him to tank the match before meeting Nadal. Its long been no more room for humiliation. he was wise to tank Djoko 2 times at semi-finals :-)
    Current score: 1

    Thumbs up!

    [Reply]

    Pryzm Reply:
    August 28th, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Wilander’s comments, as you said, were made in 2006, before anyone knew that Nadal would become the most successful clay court player of all time.

    Wilander has a right to his (‘thought-provoking’) opinion, and there’s some truth to his notion that Roger has been intimidated by Nadal on occasion.

    Who knows? Maybe Wilander was just trying to fire Roger up. But in any event, only Roger can say whether he wants to take it to Nadal or not.

    My opinion – based on a lot less knowledge of the players and the game than Wilander – is that Roger is ready to have a go at Nadal, for a number of reasons. This may not be his year (back issues, racquet issues) but I think it will be all the better for Roger next year, even if he loses this year, to bring everything he has to this (still potential) match with Nadal. If he sees how well he can do with this year’s bucket of issues, it will only motivate him and allow him to do even better next year.

    Mind you, I don’t rule out his chances against Nadal for this year! With a few adjustments, Roger can take him.
    Current score: 0

    Thumbs up!

    [Reply]

    Raoul Reply:
    August 28th, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Toni is that you ?? Where have you been hiding lately ? I cant seem to spot you in the stands since you decided to go for broke and juice your nephew up to the max at every tourney this year..
    You should check for doping side effects because I tell you DO NOT BE SURPRISED if your little quirky, rules bending, no manners having, butt picking then fingers smelling, time wasting, ugly ball striking, no integrity having, face cringing, humility faking nephew shits in his pants every 2 mins or cannot have kids for the rest of his life to enjoy the undeserving money your family accumulated throughout these past smoke screen years you helped create..
    But I GUARANTEE YOU THIS Roger will beat the crap out of Dopal/Nadastrong if they meet in the US Open quarterfinals !! It is all written in the stars !!
    Roger, the most respected person in the whole world ( well after Mandela but the latter doesnt have many years left in him) as well as the closest to GOAT status in terms of records and ball striking, will put an end to Nadal unbeaten hardcourt run if of course Nadull makes it that far..
    Nobody is stopping Roger on his way to his 7th US OPEN final this year trust me !
    Now that I said my piece, I’m out !
    Current score: 3

    Thumbs up!

    [Reply]

    Pryzm Reply:
    August 28th, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Is it true that using PEDs can cause a chronic itch in one’s anal cleft?

    :-)
    Current score: 1

    Thumbs up!

    [Reply]

    Pryzm Reply:
    August 29th, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Hey Uncle Toni,

    I wanted to share Wilander’s change of heart about Roger with you:

    http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/blogs/mats-wilander/wilander-m-believer-federer-again-090539439.html

    Best Regards,
    Pryzm
    Current score: 1

    Thumbs up!

    [Reply]
    #18
    Written By Toni on August 28th, 2013 @ 5:15 pm

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Lots of stuff to take in in your post Raoul and slightly confusing too. You did well for standing up for Roger. Wilander was not far off with what he said about the FO. I for one have said for a long time that Roger was way too stubborn vs Nadal in the RG finals. I didn’t see it as lack of balls though. I saw it as arrogance, and it cost him dearly. I couldn’t watch the Wilander video but at least he has changed his mind now. I can see where the people come from who doesn’t believe Roger can beat Nadal too, but I think as a fan you are obliged to believe in your player almost. If there has no chance whatsoever he can win then it’s a different story, but you gotta believe. I don’t know who wrote the last paragraph of the first post but I’m assuming that is Toni, since it could not have been you.
    What Toni said there has some truth to it, but tanking to avoid Nadal? That is garbage. It would make no sense to tank when his confidence has been so low and then had the good result in Cincy. You can’t just keep avoiding your fears. At some point they will catch up with you anyway. Roger has no choice but to face this challenge head on. No excuses, no holding back. This is why this potential match up has a lot riding on it. Fedfans are looking for all kinds of excuses why the result wouldn’t matter in case Roger loses. But that shows nothing but fear. I don’t want to be a fan of someone who is scared to face their fears, which is why I don’t brush this off as ‘just another Fedal encounter’. I’d like Roger to step up and exorcise this demon once and for all.

    [Reply]

    Raoul Reply:

    Ruan you are still the GOAT blogger by the way..I understand you might not have read my comment on that specific post..
    Here are things I consider why Federer is the GOAT and even if Nadal gets to 17 slams, it will not be enough to supplant Fed in the GOAT status regardless of their H2H :
    . Most records obviously, including the most important ( number of slams, number of weeks spent at number 1, etc..
    . Beautiful and efficient shot making, ball striking based on technique and raw talent
    . Integrity ( I put Fed in the elite of sportsmen of all time. He has past Tiger Wooods, Michael Schumacher and Other GOATS in their respective fields.. I might put him on the very top or behind Muhammad Ali only because he is too safe and doesnt engage in social/political issues like Ali did with the civil rights movement.
    . Roger has huge balls !! Which champion would keep playing and trying his best to beat a guy who pretends to respect him yet shows time and time again he wants to destroy him on the court with his antics, winning at all cost attitude ?! Roger has never feared to meet Nadal ( his worst match up) at any tournament yet we all know what Nadal does when he doesnt feel confident, he decides to hide and juice up and can only come back on his favorite surface to hopefully gain momentum to square off against the top guys. I want you guys to think again who has the better mental strength ! Roger with his super risky game and always ready for a challenge even when he feels down or not confident or Nadal with his not so risky game and decides to hide when he knows he is doubtful about his game ??
    . His consistency. I mean what else can be said ? This is his 56th consecutive grand slam appearance. What are the chances to always be fit and ready for a grand slam for 10 years straight ?! Im not even counting the 10 straight GS finals, 23 straight GS SF, 36 straight GS finals, 5 consecutive wins at both USO and Wimbledon, etc..
    . His love for the game. He fights for players equality in tournament earnings, always respect the past greats and history of the game, has taken tennis to heights it has never been before, his demeanor that helps put a wonderful image to our sport, etc..
    . He is a one of a kind Gentleman ! He was voted the most respected person in the entire world after Mandela. I mean C’mon !! Before the Bill Gates, Nobel prize winners and all..And I really believe he deserves it ! Such a genuine soul and inspiration to sooo many people !!
    . His sportsmanship and fair play.
    . He is Mr No Drama ! You will never find those gossip blogs yap about Roger because of his strong values and morals ! He is a role model for family men, tennis players, genuine people, etc..
    . He is easily the best at scheduling his time, even better now that he has a family ( the only slip up was those clay courts tourneys he added this year after Wimby since he was having back issues)
    . He is such a great business savvy person without running after money. He takes care of his business and everything including money comes after. He might have one of the best portfolios in sports history, Tiger too but we all know about Tiger’s woes and Tiger is American which makes it easier for him since US runs the World economy pretty much.
    . I know I forgot some other great qualities that put him above all GOATS, so feel free to add on if something comes to your mind..

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I realize Roger has a lot going for him as the GOAT Raoul but if Nadal wins 17 slams it becomes a matter of opinion who is the GOAT because of the h2h. You would say it’s Roger but a Nadal fan would say it’s Nadal, and both sides have a fair argument. There is no clear GOAT in that case between them. Many neutral fans would say it’s Nadal too because of the h2h. I will always be on Fed’s side but I’m not the kind of Fedfan who just turns a blind eye to the Nadal issue. This would be as good an opportunity as any for Roger to beat Nadal and he can’t just keep losing to him when it matters most. It makes it virtually impossible to say he is a better player than Nadal in that case.
    Most of the things you mentioned has to do with his personality as well, and nothing with tennis. If you want to strictly talk about who is the better player those things won’t count much in the final analysis. If they have won an equal amount of slams and Nadal owns the h2h he has a very strong case for being the better of the two.

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    In a nutshell.

    [Reply]

    Raoul Reply:

    Fair enough.
    But why do people consider Muhammad Ali as the greatest boxer if not the greatest athlete of all time ? It is mostly because of what he stood for, his charisma and fearless attitude. He elevated all sports to a higher ground with his morals and paved the way to sports celebrities as we know them today including Roger Federer.
    The reason I compare tennis and boxing is obvious, they are both individual sports and rivalries are as fascinating in each of these 2 sports.
    H2H doesnt really matter at the end of the day because there are boxers with better resume than Ali but will never qualify for GOAT !
    Ali lost to nobodies where as Floyd Mayweather has a clean unbeaten record. You tell me who is the better between these 2, knowing the shallow and materialistic persona of Mayweather.
    I understand people who will go for Nadal or Mayweather as the GOATS, but at the end of the day History books and majority of people will remember the ones who left a greater legacy behind to inspire people to become better and provide a more positive impact to humanity in general.
    Wow this is the most I have commented on a blog ever in my life..
    It was a nice exchange, you will see me back after Roger wins his quarterfinal match against whoever will be there, and I am hoping it is Nadal.
    I am still going to read all comments til then because i need my fix..cant survive without this amazing blog !

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Which is why I will always be on Roger’s side…

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    Wow, Raoul! That was one awesome case for Roger for the GOAT. By the way, I got that Heritage ATP Number 1 Commemorative book as a present and it’s awesome. Very informative and full with cool pictures. I am reading about Wilander right now after reading about everybody else before. It’s really well done!

    [Reply]

    Raoul Reply:

    One other quality/argument for GOAT just came to mind, don’t know if it should be under Roger has huge balls/mental strength :
    . His ability to bounce back after tough losses !
    He loses arguably the GOAT tennis match at Wimby 2008. What does he do ? He goes and snatch the next slam mercilessly at USO 2008 !
    He is put down to tears at the hands of his nemesis again at Aussie 2009. What does do ? He goes grab his so deserving French Open title and beat the slam record at Wimby under huge pressure !
    He loses his 2nd consecutive USO SF after having match points against Djoker. What does he do ? He goes on a rampage of tournaments winning, getting the record of Wimby titles and claiming back World No.1 on the way , all at the age of 30 !
    What are the chances that many Champions would have succumbed under pressure and scrutiny from the media after such tough losses ?? I say a lot of chances !
    This is comparable to Ali taking those huge blows from Foreman but refusing to go down and showing enough heart to outlast him at the end !
    Once again who has the better mental strength between Roger and Rafa ??
    I promise this is my last comment before THE MATCH we are all waiting for, I just feel so inspired..

    [Reply]

    Raoul Reply:

    ok last one :
    . His ability to prove critics wrong ! I mean how many players, tennis experts, legends of the game even his fans have had to swallow their words after proclaiming his demise loudly !
    Never count real champions out, but in the case of Roger DO NOT EVEN think about it EVER !!!
    And these last 2 qualities have nothing to do with his personality but more of HIS TENNIS doing the talking !!

    [Reply]

    Raoul Reply:

    my bad guys but had to add this one too :
    . He has never retired during a match ! How unbelievable is that ? And only retired before a match less than 5 times if not 3, can’t remember properly.
    This could fall under integrity, respect for his opponents, respect for the fans and tournament organizers, respect for the game but most importantly respect for himself !
    He does stay injury free a lot of times but that has to do with good scheduling and not being greedy.
    He doesnt like bragging about his injuries because that is childish and not gentleman like..By saying in one of his last interviews that his back holds up better now at 32 than before, who knows how many matches/slams he lost due to back spams in the past ? That is right we will never know..

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    Ah not fair Ru-an…. There are more that believe in Roger. I DO !!! STILL !!! Till infinity and beyond !!!
    It’s just that Rafa 2013 scares me, that’s all. I did say in my prediction that Roger or Rafa would win USO 2013 and that Roger will beat Rafa and when he does, there will be no one to take the title away from him.
    Yes, I know, I also say that Roger might lose to Rafa, but please don’t hold that against me, seriously, this Rafa 2013 scares the hell out of me.
    He just walses over everyone. Be it Roger, Novak, Delpo, everyone.

    Ru-an, you are the one who always says we should be fair. I KNOW Roger will win USO 2013. Somehow, this IS just his time. But I have to be honest too.
    How and who can stop Rafa???
    Please believe me, when I say, I am a Roger diehard fan. Ru-an, you say you are a tennis fan first, then a Roger fan. I am a tennis fan second and first a Roger fan. How can I not be? I knew NOTHING about tennis. I thought it was boring. When it was on tv I would always change channels.
    When I saw Roger, that is when I became interested and began to follow tennis. Only and because of him.
    So, trust me, there are a lot of us Roger believers on your site, even if they don’t comment it all the time.
    I don’t want to say more about this, but I am having some personal trouble right now, more to do with my health and please believe me, Roger is the one who is “pulling” me through. He may not know me and may never will, but right now, he is “helping” me. So please believe me, I and the rest of us, we are not and never giving up on Roger.
    Just this Rafa guy, with his cheating stuff, it is so not unfair. But we all have to pay for what we have done and are doing, so will I, so will Rafa (so did Armstrong).

    Oke, a bit too emotional. So I am changing the topic.
    I really want to see if my predictions come out or not.
    Well, one did. Delpo out. I did think that would happen, not this soon, but still. Kudos to Hewitt.
    BUT… I think my prediction of Andy might go wrong. He lost last night the third set, but my God, the last few games of the fourth set, did anyone see him play??? Really, like Rafa unplayable.
    In my opinion, Roger and Novak are human and Andy and Rafa are unplayable.
    But this is Roger’s USO. All the way.
    And I honestly believe, what comes up, must come down too. Novak’s dominating 2011 (and 2012) came down too. Roger’s 2012 came down too. And this Rafa 2013 will fall down too.
    If somehow, he does manage to win USO, he will not win a single match from now on this year. He must not, won’t he be spend??? If not, then we should ask questions. Again. Like we are always asking, but still.
    So Ru-an, there are still Roger believers here….
    Sorry for the long comment, but you know me, defensive about Roger.

    [Reply]

    Pryzm Reply:

    Ruan you did this on purpose didn’t you?
    :-)

    [Reply]

  2. I still believe in Roger. I know he hasn’t had the best season and Nadal is running rampant but I can’t stop believing that Roger definitely had a chance if winning. If Jesus Fed or Goderer show up, he will take Nadal down. Either way, I’m just happy Roger is playing well and I’ll support him whether he wins or loses :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    That’s the spirit Yaser. We have another one! :-)

    [Reply]

  3. Vily’s first, who else? ;-)
    I also don’t like those fair-weather fans. And one of the reasons why I like this blog so much is, that Ruan and his commenters always believe in Roger while others are writing him off. All in!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    We try to keep it real here Florian, so thanks.

    [Reply]

  4. Good match from Roger, he reduce his silly chip return. He is coming back. I just hope he stay healthy and blow nadal off court. I believe in him

    [Reply]

  5. I hope it’s not a criterion of being a Roger fan to live in dreamland. For those of you who are predicting with certainty that Roger will beat Nadal (should they meet here, and in tennis that is never a given) you might think back to Wimbledon and a relative unknown by Stakhovsky, or even the appalling beat-down Roger endured at the hands of Nadal in the Rome final. What were you saying then?

    I don’t have too many expectations of Roger these days, but I simply hope that if he meets the Spaniard he makes a decent match of it, and truly does play with balls. He can ask no more of himself than that. And neither can we.

    [Reply]

    Raoul Reply:

    I know it looks silly to confidently predict a Roger’s win here based on what is on paper but I feel there is some destiny to it..
    Roger and Sampras have a lot in common :
    Birth dates : Aug 8th 1981/ Aug 12th 1971

    Height : 6’1″/6’1″
    Wimbledon titles : 7/7
    US Open titles : 5/5
    Like Ru-an said in many of his past posts, I think Roger is just better and more complete as a tennis player and always goes one step further than Sampras. My point is :
    . Roger beat Sampras record of slams thus supplanting him as The GOAT
    . Roger got his 1 French Open title that Sampras never got
    . Roger won his 6th WTF to beat Sampras record of 5
    . Roger beat Sampras record of number weeks spent as No.1
    . The only record Sampras can hold on to is the 5 consecutive years as No.1

    You see where I am getting at don’t you ?
    I think Fed will definitely beat Sampras record of 5 USO titles and it is going to be this year, to repeat what Pete did at the same age of 32 yrs old after he had lost in the 2nd round at Wimbledon the same year ! The only thing is Fed won’t retire after the win because he is just better ( I mean he is still in the top 10 and hungry as ever)..
    I also predict that Fed will eventually beat the record he shares with Pete of 7 Wimby titles, and I think that could be his last slam before he decides to hang it up..Time will tell though.
    I am a strong believer in destiny and that everything happens for a reason, I might just be very optimistic and naive but that is what my gut is telling me and if there is one guy that can make me believe it is Mr Federer !
    I understand why it looks silly to go against the grain and believe in him for one last run, especially with having tougher opponents and conditions not suiting his style anymore but what am I supposed to do as a fan ?
    One thing I can be sure about though is Nadastrong/Dopal wont be playing this great at 32 yrs old because of his lack of balls to fall in early rounds of tournaments !

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    Roger is not Sampras, or vice versa. Different players, different eras. What Sampras achieved over ten years ago will have absolutely no bearing on what happens should Federer meet Nadal next week. If they are to meet there is no destiny that says one must beat the other; the outcome will depend entirely on who is playing better that day. We can hope it’s Roger but with the odds favouring the Spaniard we can’t count on it.

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    I loved that post, Raoul!

    It is Roger’s destiny! It’s gonna happen! I know it and that’s why for some reason I am not worried whatsoever. :-) ) Tomorrow I expect a MASTERCLASS SERVE from Roger. I want an ACE Count in the Teens tomorrow. That would be very OMINOUS! Let’s hope! I know he is winning tomorrow. But I really want that ACE count to pick up a little bit.

    1st Round – 12
    2nd Round – 6
    3rd Round (Night Session) – Give me 14, Roger! Paint those lines, baby! Just like old times! :-)

    [Reply]

    Wilfried Reply:

    He better keeps his masterclasses for his meetings with the Spaniard.

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    Then how do you explain his losing record against Nadal?

    [Reply]

    Wilfried Reply:

    Hi Rich,
    My comment was rather the expression of a wish, Rich, than a statement as I prefer Roger playing his best level against Nadal instead of displaying it against lesser players.
    Wether that level is still good enough to beat Nadal or not, is another matter.
    It would be like a miracle in my eyes.

    [Reply]

    Pryzm Reply:

    Hey Rich,

    About that head-to-head:

    I guess we all know the head-to-head is 21-10 in favor of Nadal, with a surplus of 11 match wins. But 13-2 on clay is the same surplus, so that’s why the head-to-head is so lopsided. They even out on other surfaces (not on each surface, but on all others combined).

    Of course, this is well known, and if you have two players that are equal on other surfaces but one pulls away on one surface, that certainly seems to suggest that the player with the edge – in this case – on clay – is by no means the weaker of the two.

    However, there were fewer chances for the two to play on surfaces other than clay for a reason!

    Roger was setting all kinds of records for consistency (that Nadal will never touch) while Nadal wasn’t making it deep enough on non-clay surfaces to encounter Roger.

    I haven’t said anything about Roger’s bout with mono in 2008 and 2009 because I don’t know enough about the details – and because it’s no excuse. He stepped on the court to play matches during those years, and the results are a matter of record.

    In any event, if Nadal ever matches Roger’s (hopefully still moving) Grand Slam total – which I still doubt Nadal will ever manage to do, even if the magic number stays at 17 – some will surely say the head-to-head suggests Nadal is the stronger of the two.

    If I’m trying to be objective, I have to admit that such an observation has validity, but I’d also suggest that Roger’s records for consistency are also part of the equation, and deserve the same consideration.

    What are your thoughts about the head-to-head?

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    The h2h only matters for what it says about a match-up between 2 players. As I have said previously, tennis isn’t decided that way but on opponents beaten in the draw. Roger has 17 slams. Until Nadal equals that number I don’t believe he can be claimed to be the better player.

    That said, it is disappointing that Roger has lost so often to a major rival. Quite apart from the issue of surfaces Roger has had the winning of many of those matches but still somehow found a way to lose them. Nadal has exposed Roger’s relative (as between them) mental fragility.

    But for me there is another factor that I must take into account. If Nadal is doping – which I believe he is and has been throughout his career – then none of his wins – against Roger and all other players – were fairly obtained. Sorry, but there it is. Flojo never failed a dope test but we all know by now that her performances had to be assisted. I can’t see any different for the Spaniard. His game reeks of it.

    [Reply]

    Pryzm Reply:

    I couldn’t agree more Rich.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well said.

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  6. Hi, guys! I am glad that my comment stirred you up a little bit. All I am gonna say is this: This US Open is just too good of an opportunity for Roger to pass up. By the looks of it, it will probably be Roger’s last SLAM with the old racquet. With that being said, even if Roger reinvents himself in 2014, things are only going to get harder from him.

    With guys like Raonic, Tomic, Janowicz and Dimitrov rising, Roger might be facing these opponents as early as the 3rd or 4th round. Than, Imagine – Berdych, Tsonga or Delpo in the QF, followed by Murray and Djokovic in the Semis and Nadal in the FInal. It will be insane. You can just forget it.

    This draw is the EASIEST draw I have seen in quite some time. Let’s face it – Roger is basically two epic wins away – spread out with a gimme match in between. Come on, this is too easy.

    Roger will concentrate and put everything here. Nadal is good and whoever wins is pretty much a lock for the title.

    Roger’s biggest problem – recovery time won’t be bothering him cause he’ll be completely rested for both Nadal and the other Finalist. It’s a dream.

    It’s just too good of an opportunity to pass up.

    By the way – I am looking at Hewitt and Delpo – right now. It’s insane. Our Roger would have straighsetted either of them the way they are playing. And they are about to start the 5th set.

    Advantage Djokovic for that SF spot. Delpo has such weapons but he is such a poor serve and volley player. Otherwise, he would be such a great player. But soiid baseline play by itself ain’t gonna cut it at the Open.

    [Reply]

    Wilfried Reply:

    J.M Delpotro is a very difficult obstacle to overcome for every player, a curse in a certain way, despite him not playing anymore at his 2009 US Open level. Since then no player drawn in the same half of a slam in which the gentle giant happens to be drawn as well, managed to win a slam title.
    So, yeah, if this trend continues, the winner of the US Open 2013 will come from the bottom half of the draw, most likely either Federer or Nadal.

    [Reply]

  7. Good news, guys! Roger is definitely climbing up the rankings. After Delpo’s own undermining and Hewitt’s IMPRESSIVE display at his age, Roger us climbing to at least number 6 after the Open.

    Obviously, the goal is – Number 5 and the 6th US Open… Djokovic is gonna be fresh for the semi but I like Hewitt here.

    Former World Number 1 – it was beautiful to watch. He has all the shots – he is like Mini Roger but I am very happy for him..

    :-) ))) Go Hewitt. I bet Roger is gonna get a kick out of this! :-) )

    [Reply]

  8. Hi Ru-an,guys,well count me in.Im the one who change t-shirts when Roger is playing close matches(not changing colours but dry ones :-) ).For me,Roger is Goat and will be no matter what,i dont really care about head to head.I still believe he can win this Us open and one or 2 more grandslams,even though all my friends are laughing at me,it was same last year before wimbledon..i just know everything will click for Roger,cause he is Roger.If not this time,then next time.It wont be easy,but it can be done,other guys are humans not machines.I said to myself when he won last Wimbledon that everything after this will a bonus and no one will replace Roger’s tennis in my heart nor head.
    Enjoy tennis guys,take care

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks for the nice comment Pete. I think most of us feel that way about Roger. In our hearts and minds he will always be the GOAT.

    [Reply]

  9. Roger’s next opponent is Mannarino and the he is left handed. Its good for Roger to have a match against a lefty before his possible encounter with Nadal…

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  10. Some of you seem to be forgetting this tournament isn’t about Roger beating Nadal. That is a quarter-final matchup, and not the title match. Roger still has at two matches to play before he could meet Nadal in the quarters. At the pro level, no match can be taken for granted. I would think Roger will be thinking no further ahead than his next match. That could be good advice to some of his fans. If he and Nadal do meet I doubt whether he so under-estimates or disrespects such a formidable opponent as to think the win is in the bag. If he wins, it will be great. But it won’t change his place in tennis history. That is already established. If he doesn’t win then his legacy will remain the same and life will continue as usual. But if he loses I fear some of you will need therapy.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Good comment Rich it is just a tennis match after all. There are more important things in life. We all get a bit carried away. I guess we are just passionate and would love to see Fed win this.

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    Vily Reply:

    Hey, Rich

    I respect your opinion and your casual and “nothing to lose” approach. Nevertheless, I couldn’t disagree with you more on this one.

    First of all, I have 0% doubt that Roger will make the quarters, certainly none with the way he is playing right now.

    I agree that a loss to Nadal might not change his place in tennis history as one of the greatest. However, if Roger wants to be remembered as The GREATEST, he has to win. There are no two ways about it.

    Nadal has 2:0 record at the Australian Open; 5:0 record at the French Open; 1:2 record at Wimbledon; If he gets the 1:0 record at the US Open, he’ll complete the GRAND SLAM of victories over Roger. How do you think that will look once it’s all said and done. Roger CANNOT allow this to happen.

    This match has EVERYTHING to LOSE and EVERYTHING to WIN. Roger certainly knows this. He might not be showing it now but once he gets there, he’ll CERTAINLY get HIS GAME FACE ON!!!

    With that being said, if anything, Nadal is the guy who is not assured of the QF spot. I certainly don’t get this obsession with Rafa 2013 and what not.

    May I need to remind you that that same Rafa was literally ON THE ROPES at the French Open semis against Djokovic. That same Rafa was ousted in the 1st round at Wimbledon and he certainly was almost beaten by Roger at Cincy.

    I know – ALMOST doesn’t cut it in TENNIS but sooner or later, JUST like with DJOKOVIC he is gonna start losing those TIGHT important points that decide the outcome of matches.

    With that being said, I predict that his match with Dodig will go to at LEAST a couple of TIEBREAKS and that Dodig might take a set of Nadal. Don’t forget that Dodig is 1:1 with Nadal and won their last meeting.

    :-) ) Roger That!

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  11. I have to admit that Nadal played really well today – didn’t get broken and was pretty aggressive and hitting his spots. The thing that impressed me the most is how he stands on or inside the baseline and how he dictates the points.

    The match with Roger will be decided on exactly that – WHO WILL IMPOSE HIS WILL TO BE ON OR INSIDE THAT BASELINE. Rafa is very nasty with that coming in. Roger has to be careful. Serve and volley is a strategy but he can’t rely only on that because Dodig got schooled today.

    I expect Roger to answer the call and show another great performance tonight. He needs to be aggressive and not be pushed around by Nadal. He has to be the aggressor. If he allows Rafa to dictate, it will be a nasty beatdown.

    Roger has to be AGGRESSIVE!

    [Reply]

    rich Reply:

    Vily, Roger is generally always the more aggressive player. He usually plays aggressively against Nadal. What kills him are his errors. His mistakes come at critical times. He has to cut those down and make the most of opportunities to get the break. That’s about it. Simple, but so hard to do against Nadal.

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  12. Hey guys, I just watched Roger win. Stayed up all night to do so. He looks mighty handsome in dark blue !!! Go Roger go, three down, four more to go !!!
    But we will take it one match at the time !!!

    [Reply]

  13. Whew!!! That was very close. And I am not talking about Roger’s 6:3 6:0 6:1 win over Mannarino today.

    I am talking about Robredo’s win over that DUDE Daniel Evans. Man, that little prick was making me nervous.

    If Roger goes on to win this year’s US OPen, he is gonna have to thank his buddy Tommy Robredo. If he had to play Evans, it was going to be EXTREMELY nervous match and Roger might have been pushed to 4 or 5 sets. I watched a little bit of that match and Daniel Evans is one NASTY player. Kinda like Stakhokvsky.

    Powerful serve, aggressively comes in (like Roger), great overhead, forehand, backhand. It would have been extremely nervous match with Roger and it would have cost him the tournament.

    Now, at least Roger can school Robredo in 3 sets (4 if he has a RARE slip-up) and get ready for Nadal.

    Speaking of Nadal, he got lucky with Isner getting beaten today but oh, well! I guess the match with NADAL is GONNA happen, guys! Get Ready! :-)

    As for Roger’s performance today – to be honest it wasn’t amazing. I am glad that he was efficient and finished in only 81 minutes, which is great. Mannarino posed NO THREAT whatsoever and that’s WHY I am so glad that ROBREDO BEAT EVANS today. You guys might be laughing but EVANS beat Nishikori and Tomic and almost pushed Robredo to 5 sets after being down 2:0 to love down.

    What a little prick. He was up 3:2 in the fourth. Robredo broke back for 3:3. Then Evans broke back for 4:3 and than got to 5:3.I was like – man if they go to 5 and Evans beats Robredo, Roger is gonna be so screwed.

    So, when Robredo broke yet again and broke Evans one more time to win, I had a huge sigh of relief. You don’t understand. Nowadays, Roger has extreme problems when he plays powerful players who on top of having a power game, come in to the net and push Roger back.

    I just didn’t want have to deal with Roger struggling to beat some djoker and wasting both physical and mental energy, especially when he is slowly building up his confidence.

    With that being said, I have to agree with Rich that the mistakes are what’s gonna hurt Roger. Even tonight, Roger had couple of games where he was making uncharacteristic errors. At the same time, he had more winners than errors so that’s ok. You can’t have a perfect game.

    What more can I say? Roger will have a quite easy warm-up against Robredo (10:0 H2H) and get ready for the real match. Hopefully, against Nadal he’ll have that MASTERCLASS performance that we are waiting for. Nothing less than that will suffice.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Little prick? Care to explain Vily? Roger would have destroyed Evans.

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    I am not so sure, Ru-an. The same was supposed to happen with Stakhovsky and Brands and we know what happened. I am not sure if you got a chance to watch some of Robredo – Evans match but I did and I saw some things that would have troubled Roger. Evans has great court position sense and attacks the short ball on serve and return games. His fastest serve was 130mph and he has decent volley and overhead as well as very good powerful forehand and backhand. He has to be very good player in order to beat Nishikori and Tomic back to back as well as almost push Robredo to 5.

    At this state if the tournament, Roger really doesn’t need to run into some #196 of the world that play insane and really well. I am sure that Evans is a one off and he’ll probably lose just next 5 matches but the guys was feeling confident and you have to respect those crazy hitters that have nothing to lose. I am so glad that Robredo took him out. It’s just gonna make me sleep better. I know for sure that Roger will beat Robredo instead of guessing what’s gonna happens with this Djoker Evans.

    Anyway, a quick very positive comment from Roger after the match:

    The father-of-two said his back is no longer troubling him. “I’m not scared of getting injured anymore,” Federer told Jim Courier in a post-match television interview. “I’m happy to [take] full flight and chase every ball, which is key if you want to win this tournament.”

    I think that this bodes very well!!! :-) )) 3 done! 4 to go!

    [Reply]

  14. Here is a fresh insightful interview with Rafa Nadal from today after his match with Dodig. He talks about how he wished that he played with Roger at the US Open Final in 2010 and 2011 and how that was a couple of match points always from happening! :-)

    He also says that he’s prefer not to play Roger this year if he had to choose. He looked relaxed and funny in the interview. A rare change from his usual self..

    Also he talks about Evans and confirms what I said prior – i.e that he is very aggressive player and a has a great position sense. In any case, I am glad he is OUT…

    Here’s the interview:

    Check out this video on YouTube:

    http://youtu.be/0PK-qCvWtZE

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    You think Roger can beat Nadal but he would have had a problem with Evans? Don’t make much sense Vily. Not sure why you have animosity towards Evans either. Maybe you are taking all of this a bit serious? This is just a game we are talking about after all.

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    I don’t have animosity towards Evans. He just made me REALLY nervous. Sometimes, and you know a lot if great players say the same thing – it’s better to play against someone that you know than against someone that you don’t. And when I say that Evans has weapons, he has weapons. I know that Roger would have prevailed but it would not have been a beatdown. Rogef would have faced several nerve-racking moments that would have destroyed his confidence.

    Roger likes to know that the match is on his racquet. When you play a guy that strikes the ball as powerful as you and hits it as hard as you, and attacks your second serve and comes and swats every ball – it would make you very uncomfortable. And if Roger played a 4-setter or a close escape just like against Benneteau – it would have ruined his chances against Nadal.

    Evans was very HOT. Even Nadal agree – he would NOT have been a good opponent for Roger. Period. I am so glad that Robredo dud Roger a favor here. You’ll see. When Roger looks back upon it would be because Evans was taken out. He just has demeanor about him – hitting freely, attacking and moving in – and even after being 2 sets down, he almost completed a full comeback. The guy just didn’t flinch. I repeat – we don’t need a nerve racking stressful match before the EPIC clash. It’s just not gonna bode well for Roger. I am so happy that it turned out the way it did.

    You can pretty much book the Wednesday night! FeDal 2013 US Open is upon us! ;-) ))

    [Reply]

    Mesao Frio Reply:

    Ruan, I’m with you on this one. In Roger’s new and current form (free of back issues), he would’ve crushed Evans. If he can’t beat Evans, he would’ve no business playing in the QF vs nadal anyway. If he wants the title, he must have the game and form to beat 7 players en route, that’s all.

    [Reply]

    Mesao Frio Reply:

    Sorry Vily, I won’t pollute a Federer blog with an image of Nadal, the greatest fraud in tennis history. I don’t believe in a single word from the guy who customarily lies thru his teeth with the most innocent and adorable smile.

    Why doesn’t he tell us what we’ve been wanting to know instead? Why has he evaded the most mysterious question still outstanding without a SATISFACTORY explanation to this day? How did he gain an unprecedented 10+ mph OVERNIGHT on his serve when he won uso’10? What happened to that serve since?

    BTW, why beat a dead horse and ignore history? 1) Purity of the GOAT status can never be rendered to Nadal as long as he remains a prime doping suspect;
    2) Another win by nadal over fed is just another win. It’s immaterial. He doesn’t become GOAT by beating only 1 player, even if that player is Roger Federer. THE achievement of the true GOAT is to beat 7 players to win the most coveted slam title CONSISTENTLY and then add up the total slam count to compare that against previous slam titlists. What’s the use of beating Fed when he can’t even handle the Rosols and Darcis in his prime to get thru even the earliest rounds in a slam? Our true GOAT never had that problem when he was 26/27 did he? Bwhahahahaha……

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Vily, indeed a nice interview of Rafa, but lets not believe him for a second when he says that he rather not play Roger now.

    I really believe when the draw came out, Rafa, the Great Uncle Toni and their entire team did a happy dance.
    Don’t believe Rafa for a second that he was not happy seeing that Roger would be in his QF. He rather play Roger anytime, then play Novak or Andy.
    I think lately, or even before that, when Rafa and his team see that Roger and Rafa are in the same draw, they are really excited.

    [Reply]

  15. Hey Ru-an, I just wanted to give you a compliment.
    You know why you are such a good writer and blogger?
    Well, when one of your commentators (meaning me !!!) is believing but at the same time having doubts, you take them away with your confident and good reasonings !!!
    I know when Roger and Rafa will play that Roger will win. But unfortunately at the same time I cannot get passed this “Rafa 2013 crap”.

    You are the one who is confident that Roger can and will win. Well…… I am becoming more confident that Roger will win this one for sure !!!
    Not because of the way he beat Marra…guy, but because of the way Rafa played Dodig !!!
    Yes, Rafa did win, but Dodig did not roll over.
    Rafa did not lose his serve, but almost always, Dodid won the first point on Rafa’s serve. Yes, Rafa played great, but he did not win 3 times 6-2. Dodig made him work. And if Dodig can do that to him, imagine what Roger can do the Rafa !!!

    Roger is winning easy, he is not beeing tested, but I am not worried about him not beeing tested before the Rafa match. Lets not forget, Roger played “bad” the first matches at Cincy, I thought he was going to be destroyed by Rafa (for the way he played Tommy Haas), but look at how he played Rafa !!! He played actually bad at Cincy and then had one of his best matches of 2013 against Rafa in Cincy !!!
    So, I am not worried for him for not beeing tested. He knows exactly what gear to use for opponents and what gear to use for Rafa specially.

    So thank you Ru-an, I am now much more confident for the QF. Roger will not win in straights. No way. He will win in 4 or maybe even in 5.
    But he will win. Lets us just take care of Robredo first !!!

    [Reply]

  16. Hey guys,some very good discussions for me to catch up i guess.
    Anyways,Roger has made smooth progress over these 6 days and he is doing what is required of him in these early round and building nice momentum to slay the claydull.
    The very first return roger made was enough for me to judge what his intentions were.It was a speedy 1st serve from mannarino to the federer backhand and federer just whipped his backhand into the net. Of course he lost the point but what is important is that he was showing his intentions as early as that and I think wanting to do something is the first step to achieve something and fed is clearly showing his intent to climb on almost all second serves and that is a very good sign and will help him in the latter rounds..I was shocked when Fed was interrupted during a sentence midway by that stupid questioner.Something definitely going on behind the scenes and now I am hearing that even Jim Courier is rooting for nadal. So there looks to be some controversy in the tour to me.I guess people are looking too much into how nadal is playing rather than concentrating on our own man.I believe that fed is preparing in the right way for that match if its gonna happen.DOnt worry about feds 1st serve % and worry that nadal has a higher percentage.what matters is the speed and placement and thats what has been proved in the USO through some serve statistics and I think Fed his hitting his spots on the serve really well and is nicely building momentum to that eventual clash.

    Believe guys,like I said before the tournament started:
    NADAL IS GOING DOWN

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    “Believe guys,like I said before the tournament started:
    NADAL IS GOING DOWN”

    V….. So hope your words come true.
    I will hope for it and prey for it.
    Roger has been ‘hurt’ too many times by Rafa. For some losses Roger is to blame, but for most of them not, that is all Rafa’s fault (if you know what I mean.

    Roger deserves to defeat Rafa. If Rafa wins, can you imagine the critics saying stuff like Rafa beat him everywhere.
    But to be honest, I don’t know who said it on this site, but someone said “if Roger loses to Rafa, he will just have lost a match, nothing more”. And I agree with that.
    Look what all had been written when Roger lost to Rafa at AO 2012 SF and look how he kind of destroyed Rafa at IW 2012.

    [Reply]

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