Wawrinka Sets Up Djokerer 39.0 in Rome After Tanking to Federer

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  • Djokovic Straight-Sets Ferrer

In the first semi-final today the Djoker defeated Ferrer 6-4, 6-4 in a relatively straightforward match. Again I felt that the Djoker was not at his best and wasn’t playing attacking enough, but looks can be deceiving when it comes to the Djoker, because he still straight-setted a player who is notoriously hard to put away. The Djoker seemed to be content with hanging back and hitting short balls at times, but that could also have to do with the camera angle. I don’t think Ferrer played badly anyway.

Yesterday I said that the Djoker has not impressed me so far but that it could change with a straight set win over Ferrer. So I guess I have to stick with that. The guy is so good and he has such a huge lead in the rankings that even if he isn’t at his best he can still find a way to win. He is now on a 22-macth winning streak again and the only guy who can stop him is Roger.

  • Wawrinka Tanks Shamelessly to Federer

Well, what a disappointing match this turned out to be after the first semi-final of the day was already pretty boring. Stan quickly raced to a 3-0 lead and then completely collapsed, handing Roger the 6-4, 6-2 win. I was hoping to at least see a three-set match, but I guess Stan had other things on his mind. He really is quite a strange player. I like the guy, but these tank jobs are very strange. He did the same against Dimitrov in Monte Carlo. Just shameless tanking.

“You were a good boy Stan”

I mean why bother going up 3-0 and then stop playing? Some of the shots he missed was just unreal. It looked like he was trying his best to hand Roger the match. Just a complete meltdown. I don’t know if it is helping Roger before a match with the Djoker either. He has now played two consecutive matches against players who just went away after going up an early break. He hasn’t been tested, whereas the Djoker had three matches that went the distance.

  • Djokerer 39.0

Well after the disappointing semi-finals we at least have another Djokerer final and it will be their first ever final on clay! Roger already did very well just to make the final, and who would have thought the quarters and semis would be such routine wins for him? That is just how unpredictable tennis is. Having come this far, it would be a nice story if Roger could finally win one of the Masters he could never win before. But it would also be another big disappointment if he fails like he did last year in Monte Carlo.

It was also disappointing how early he lost in Monte Carlo and Madrid. Even if he loses tomorrow he would have already made up for those losses and it’s great to see he is still in great clay court form after that loss to Kyrgios, as I predicted he would be. If he loses tomorrow he will still be one of the favorites in Paris, but his stamina has been a problem in slams of late and therefore he has to at least try and win the smaller titles. It won’t be easy though. The Djoker has already won this title three times and he is still winning.

This is the main problem Roger has to deal with tomorrow. It doesn’t really matter that the Djoker is not looking as confident as before because he is finding ways to win. And that breeds confidence. Already he had a cleaner win over Ferrer, who come to think of it did play well. But if indeed he is not in peak form that gives Roger his only chance. I know Roger beat the Djoker on clay in 2011 when the Djoker was peaking, but it’s four years later and the Djoker is the favorite on slower courts these days.

I do think Roger has a great shot though. He has looked very sharp all week while the Djoker has looked vulnerable. If he plays just about perfect attacking tennis like he has so far and the Djoker plays too short and defensive like he has then I’d definitely give Roger a great chance. But which Djoker will come out tomorrow? One thing you can be sure of is we won’t see another choke or tank job like we saw from Berdchoke and Stank…

  • Highlights

The is in your court.

Posted in Masters 1000, Rome.

64 Comments

  1. Hey Ru-an, I just left comments on the previous post and you already have a new post :-) Your quick :-) I don’t know…. tankjob?? What is Stan’s motive?? He has beaten both Roger and Novak before…. Isn’t it just as simple as mentally completely tired (and maybe physically) after the Dull win?? Beating Dull can suck all the energy out of a player (like beating Roger).

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    No Katyani the dull win was only one close set. He either tanked or choked horribly. Some of those shots he missed actually makes me think he choked, which is just as weird as tanking. :-q

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    For me Ru-an, I think Stan and all of us should just forget his match with Roger.
    Let him and us focus on his incredible win on Rafa.
    You deserve that Stan. Beating Rafa was mighty impressive. Against Roger… we already forgot haha :-)

    [Reply]

  2. This is the Stan that has been present for most of the season, so actually for me it wasn’t a huge surprise to see this. Roger started slowly but didn’t allow Stan any rhythm off the ground, unlike Nadal yesterday. So Stan never settled and missed quite a few shots.
    When Roger started playing really well, it was all over – there was that one great return game at 3-1 in the 2nd set which is worth watching again.

    [Reply]

  3. Sorry Ru-an on this occasion I have to strongly disagree with the wording of your post. Yes, Stan did not play his best, but not once in your section on the Fedrinka match did you praise Roger for his play, and some of the shots he was hitting were very impressive. I can understand your frustration due to the quality of the match, and I do agree with the sentiment of your post in some ways. Nothing personal Ru-an.

    Best of luck to the GOAT Roger Federer tomorrow against Djokovic.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well, I said he is still in great clay court form and that it is great to see. You Fedfans here just have to understand that this is not a Federer worship blog. I wanted to see a good match after the routine first semi and I got a disaster. Sure Fed hit some good shots, but Stan was abysmal. I don’t care if Federer played like God. Stan sucked and it was a disappointing match. Nothing personal either Charlie.

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    Sorry for the harshness of my comment Ru-an and as I said to a certain extent I do agree with your sentiments that Stan did play badly. Particularly the sitter of a backhand volley at 4-4 40-30 in the first set, which really started his downward spiral. Up to that point I still felt he was playing fairly well. The way I see it is like this:

    First 3 games: Federer flat, Stan dominating
    Up to 3-3: mistakes from Stan
    From 3:3 to 4:4 40:30, good play from both
    From 4:4 40:30 up to 3: Roger in the second set, Stan playing like crap
    Rest of the match: Fed too good

    So I would say the truth is somewhere in between what I initially posted and what you wrote in your post. Good to hear your views as usual and I’m sure the final will be very interesting. :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Your comment wasn’t harsh but like I said you will have to realize this is not a Federer fan blog. The point is Stan was up 3-0 and lost 6-4, 6-2. And that after he beat Fed in MC and took him to a breaker in the third in the WTF. He also did something that Fed can’t do which is to smash through Nadal’s defenses and defeat him in Rome. So you can divide the match up however you like but it doesn’t change the fact that Stan was a joke.

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    I fully understand that this is not a Federer fan blog but that does not change the fact that Roger still had to go out there and play a solid match to defeat him. He could very easily have let the first set get away from him. And another thing is you don’t know if Roger would have beaten Rafa in Rome or not. And anyway expecting a player as inconsistent as Stan to produce two good matches against top players consecutively is a little too much in my view, as he (to my knowledge) has only ever done that once (AO 2014). And also part of the reason Stan played badly was that Fed forced him to do so, as Stan has a lot more problems with low balls due to his height than high balls. That is why he is able to effectively hit through Nadal on a good day but often struggles against Roger.

    Finally your comment about him beating Fed in MC and the match at the WTF. That is tantamount to suggesting that Berdych losing to Fed in the Indian Wells QF 6-4 6-0 is inexcusable because of their close matches at the USO and Dubai 2013 (won by Berdych) and Dubai 2014 (won by Roger). Even highly competitive rivalries such as Djokodal and Fedovic occasionally result in blowouts (Djokovic-Nadal Monte Carlo 2012 and Federer-Djokovic WTF 2010 respectively). I see no reason why this is in any way unexpected, and most of the prediction websites I checked predicted Federer in straight sets.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Federer played very well and the result was not unexpected. I never said otherwise to my knowledge. What I said was that Stan played like a complete clown, which he did. Some of those shots he missed my grandma could make, like the one at 4-4 and 40-30 or the one where Roger was at the net and he hit a sitter long. That was pure madness. Nothing you say will make me change my mind about it.

    [Reply]

  4. Hey, Ru-an!

    I didn’t get to watch the match so I can’t say if Stan tanked or Roger schooled him. No matter though, Roger won and that’s what counts.

    I will not give a prediction for tomorrow but I hope that Roger will win tomorrow and be crowned as the new Emperor of Rome! ;-) ))

    PS. BTW I still have some difficulty posting depending on what e-mail I use or what location I post from. If you would be so kind to look into it, I’d be greatful! Thanks!!!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Ok Vily, I will look into it.

    [Reply]

  5. What a pity this is not a Federer fan¨s blog, but I´m a Federer fan so I think it was a good performance today.Remember when RF snapped Nole´s 43 match unbeaten streak at RGarros?
    Hope to see the same tomorrow!

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    Hope to see that too Ines. Like Roger said in his presser, he is probably the only one who gives Novak a hard time nowadays. Hope he does that today too and finally wins Rome :-) Go Roger :-)

    [Reply]

    Dolores Reply:

    Dittos, Ines and Katyani from Dolores.
    Fingers crossed!

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Girls, not only win but wag his finger too! L-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Lol that emoticon means loser =))

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    :)) oops!! Yeah, laugh till you drop on the floor, Ru-an!! Do you have a finger wag then?? What about GOAT? Can’t seem to see one. Kat said she loved my COW, hilarious and so embarrassing for me (again!) when I actually meant to put a GOAT but I thought the cow looked closest to a goat!! Haha!!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Ha I was just messing with you. Thought it was funny!

    [Reply]

    veronica Reply:

    Don’t worry, Ru-an! I was telling you off in a humorous way! Not in a serious way. And if I embarrass myself, I don’t mind at all to be the victim of the hilarity! I love humor and can’t live a day without it!! So please be as spontaneous as you can as far as humor is concerned and no need to censor/apologise! :((

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Ditto! :o)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I’m glad you said that btw because yesterday I felt kinda bad about laughing at your nerves for the match. It was humorous but still probably insensitive. You are a good sport ^:)^

    [Reply]

  6. :-) Guys, I am excited. Are you? Let’s hope for some great tennis tomorrow and let the better man win! ;-)

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Excited and VERY nervous, Vily!! May not even watch it!! X_X

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    You [-O< :-SS Me :))

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Precisely!!!!!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    >:D<

    [Reply]

  7. I agree with you Ru-an. It’s always disappointing when a capable player like Stan just seems disinterested throughout a match. I’m not sure if the lack of tough matches will help Roger either. The good thing though is he is used to playing both in day and night session in Rome so he doesn’t have to adjust much. Take the 2013 final for example. That was the first day match Fed played, that too against Nadal who was whooping everyone’s ass out there. As expected, it was a total tank job from Fed.
    I also don’t read much into Djokovic’s rustiness and him not being in his best form. We saw what happened in Wimby last year. Of course 3 setters are much more easier to win for Fed against Djokovic than 5-setters, but I’m afraid the last time Fed beat him in 3 sets was on a fast hard court in Dubai 2014. After that, all his wins have been in straights. So the lesser court time spent by Roger might be helpful in that regard(if the match goes to 3). Hoping for a good match!
    P.S. I just love the way you use/give nicknames. I’ve seen a lot of good ones from you already. But Stank? Lol. I suggest you to get copyrights for that asap. :-j

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Good points Nakul. If it goes to three sets, which I’m sure it will, then the Djoker becomes the favorite. I’m glad you like the nicknames. I’ve been known to come up with a few in my time ;-)

    [Reply]

  8. Federer could really use a win here, would improve the head2head and net him the elusive Rome master clay title! Also the chat function is a cool addition, but what happened after you tried to switch to a log-on function Ru-an? The chat window disappeared later on completely?

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I saw you disappear Fedal and then I deactivated the plugin. I’m not sure if I will use it today. It is a big distraction when I am trying to watch the match. :)]

    [Reply]

    FeDaL Reply:

    No worries! Match is about to start soon, let’s see how it plays it! Crossing fingers for a Federer win.

    [Reply]

  9. Stank :-bd That’s the story of Stan’s life, isn’t it, since AO and MC 2014? Disappointing. From “serious contender” status, he is treading dangerously into “streaky player” status. I think it’s a combination of things. He said he didn’t feel 100 percent and if he is not 100 percent, he said it’s hard to play against Roger. I think once Roger got into the groove, Stan was too fried mentally (maybe even physically. Some ppl commented on his heavy leaden legs) and he just played mindlessly without much conviction or motivation. I suppose that is like tanking. And now another Djokerer!! Didn’t see this coming either! Roger has already exceeded my expectations reaching the semi. But now that he is in the final, I would like that he wins it. First it bodes well for FO and for his confidence. Secondly, he has to start winning the big ones, ie slam or Masters. Thirdly, it is good to maintain a healthy h2h with Djoker, it keeps Djoker honest! And lastly, he is peaking nicely, perfectly prepped to take out Djoker! – although I would still say he wasn’t tested as much as Djoker. Djoker is impeccable on this surface and always finds a way to win, even if not playing his best. Thankfully surface is playing faster this year and it’s gonna be a hot day! So advantage Roger! I think it will come down to who serves and returns better. Crowd could be a factor too, most probably neck to neck, 50/50. Djoker is incredibly popular here, he may get really annoyed (and blow the match :-) ) if the crowd swing to Roger 60/40. By the way he relates to his Italian fans, It seems he is very protective of them and that he should be their only love!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    :)) I must admit Stank is a pretty good one. The problem with Stan is just consistency. He played an amazing match vs Nadal so he feels somehow that his next match must be a complete disaster.
    Will be interesting to see what role the crowd plays in the Djokerer match. We have seen at IW what happens when they play on a slower court and it goes to three sets. Clay is, of course, a different surface than hard, but how does Roger go about winning this match? Is his only chance in straight sets? And what are the odds of that happening on this court? He’s been able to do it on fast hard but like Nakul said the last time he beat the Djoker over three sets was Dubai 2014.

    [Reply]

    Nakul Reply:

    It’s not just in recent times but over the course of years that Fed has either beaten Djokovic in straights sets, or maybe in 3 sets a few times on fast HCs like WTF and Dubai. As far as the crowd is concerned, I feel it will be much better than 50-50 for Fed, as it is everywhere. In Dubai it was something like 90-10. It’s up to Djokovic to stop the crowd from getting into his head. I’m sure Fed knows that it’s tough to beat Djokovic in a deciding set. He said something like that in yesterday’s interview, but he sounded optimistic and ridiculously said that he hopes to cause the ‘upset’ today. LOL :->

    [Reply]

    Nakul Reply:

    Here’s the video
    http://www.tennistv.com/video/videoId/1xl3jjr5qsj6s1vdgq1fkfiud8/title/federer-interview–atp-rome-sf
    Another interesting stat is that Djokovic has never defended a clay title, whereas Nadal has never defended a non-clay title. There’s a guy called Federer who has defended at least one title on all surfaces. $-)
    Also, the last time a top seed won Rome was way back in 1997.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Yeah Nakul, Nick Lestor mentioned that Djoker has never defended a clay title! Dare we get our hopes up?! And Djoker is not that invincible on clay against Roger. Hope Roger executes well. C’mon!

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Yeah, As I commented in last post, Djoker is specialist in deciding sets, not only against Roger but against all players. Roger has to do it in straights.

    [Reply]

    Dolores Reply:

    Does not look good for Roger, Veronica. Am sad at the moment.

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    Me too sweet Dolores

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    :-( me too, grandma. I actually wasn’t feeling good about his chances and had an uncomfortable feeling he’s gonna lose in straights. I watched till 2 all in first set and I switched off!! Just those few games I could tell Roger wasn’t feeling it and Djoker is too dialled in. So I chickened out, [-O< and went to i-) hope you feeling much better today dear Dolores. Roger has done very well, he exceeded all our expectations and I'm sure we are all proud of him. It's just this part of me that still hope and wish that he would win a few big ones before he retires. When he fails it hurts as time is so running out for him, especially with a very dominant (even more than Roger in his heydays) Djoker and so many fine players now.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    >:D<

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    This one hurts, but not that much. Roger played great, unfortunately made some mistakes at the crucial points and like Vily says, Novak in beast mode, what can you do?? Rome will be there next year and next year we will try.

    Like we all were waiting for “Rafa 2013” to finally fall…. I guess now we will have to wait for this Novak beast to fall…..

    Good positives are that he played great all week long and this is yet another tour where he made the final and he was not sure he would play it….

    [Reply]

  10. One of Federer’s poorest finals ever combined with Djokovic barely missing anything, this match was only going one way. Only chance Federer had was to make that break at 4-4 and as usual he played badly at a break point. Still a really positive week of tennis for Federer and sets him up nicely for the French and Halle/ Wimbledon. But I still don’t see how he will defeat Djokovic at Wimbledon. Hopefully by then he has a lot of confidence because even today there were shades of brilliance from him.

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    Some tournaments are just never meant to be won and we need to be ok with that. Eyes on the prize: Wimbledon!!!

    Let’s hope for the best! Novak is just in BEAST Mode right now. We can book him for the French Title..

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I don’t think Roger played badly on break point Ajay. Djoker in the other hand played it very well. Roger played about as well as he could. Just too good from Djoker today.

    [Reply]

    Ajay Reply:

    I agree Djokovic played very very well but no way Roger played his best. Not even close to it. This is not coming from a sore Fed fan or anything because I am really happy with Roger’s game right now but if Fed plays his best, either Djokovic loses or it goes at least to a 3rd set.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Ok where was the problem in your opinion for Roger?

    [Reply]

    Ajay Reply:

    Well in clay Roger knows he needs to be able to rally with Djokovic before he pulls the triger because he can’t do it as early as maybe in a fast court and today either he missed pulling the triger too early or he just couldn’t keep up with the rally for more than few shots. Also even though his backhand was very steady a lot of times I don’t think his forehand had that explosive power that he usually has. These small things combined with the fact that he was not at all clutch when it mattered (wasted the first break point of the match then wasted a game point in the next game (both winnable points) and then getting broken twice in a row). I also think Federer didn’t read Novak’s serve at all even though visibly he wasn’t serving much better than Indian Wells where he also served superbly where Federer did have loads of opportunities to break and yet here Roger did not have even one good return game except that 9th game of the match. Also Federer should have never chosen to receive and I just think it was a bad day overall which happens. On the other hand Novak played the perfect tennis match which I totally agree.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Ajay, good points. I feel too Roger didn’t play his best overall but then he hasn’t quite reached a great form. The matches agaisnt Stan and Berdych, where Roger played well, to be fair, had a lot to do with Stan collapsing and Berdych not playing well. Roger just stayed solid and the collapses freed him up to play well. After the losses in MC and Madrid, I felt it was already good that he showed a better form in Rome. But definitely not up to a level to give Djoker some competition. I hope the “not able to read Djoker’s serve” in IW had not jinxed Roger permanently! A new match, new chance to redeem IW and still he couldn’t put a decent return game into play except one! I hope Djoker’s serve has not got into Roger’s head!!

    [Reply]

    Ajay Reply:

    I think he read Djokovic’s serve much better in IW. I mean he missed loads of break points on that day but yesterday he barely even had a look in.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Djokovic served very well at 70% first serves though. Not much anyone could have done.

    [Reply]

    veronica Reply:

    It used to be if Roger serves well, he wins against Djoker. Not anymore. Djoker is matching Roger in the serve dept himself. Where does Roger go from here? He still has the advantage in fast hc. It maybe only that from here on because even Wimby will be difficult with Andy returning to form and Djoker in beast mode.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes, I’m afraid so. That’s why it’s even more important to me that Nadal doesn’t win the FO this year. I don’t want him to come closer to Roger’s slam count. We may see the Fedal era come well and truly to an end this year if neither wins a slam. Djokoray looks primed to take over their reign completely.

    [Reply]

    Nakul Reply:

    Well let’s all hope that Roger does his part in keeping Fedal era alive by winning Wimby this year, just like how Nadal kept it alive by winning FO last year( and this year too probably?)

    [Reply]

  11. Really good tennis from Djokovic today, Ru-an and unfortunately Federer couldn’t produce the level of play required to dislodge him. He still played pretty well, but it wasn’t enough. A final appearance is not too shabby though, he could make a decent run at Roland Garros. Of course Novak is now a HUGE favourite with the bookies to win it all, and I don’t see anyone who could stop him if he’s playing well.

    [Reply]

  12. For the first time in 39 matches, Federer fails to break Djokovic’s serve. Yes you read that right. /:) Well it’s has been a while that Roger has played all the matches in a tourney and never played a third set. Fedfans have to accept the fact that Roger is never going to win MC and Rome anymore. I don’t see how it’s that important anyway. He lost to the clay GOAT in most of the finals. There are many other records which are quite significant and untouchable.

    [Reply]

    Krish Reply:

    Well said Nakul, and I for one am happy to accept this. Djokovic was very clinical today, he served really great. His serve is the one element that has improved a lot over the years – the rest of his game, IMO, is still not quite as fearsome as it was in 2011. Tit for tat, I suppose , seeing as Fed turned on Servebotterer mode in Monte Carlo, Shanghai (2014) and Dubai (this year) and did not lose serve in any of those matches against Novak

    [Reply]

    Nakul Reply:

    Thanks Krish. The fact that Roger has been able to break Djokovic’s serve in 38 whereas himself not getting broken even once in many matches is quite telling. Djokovic was quite a servebot himself today though. Anyway the serve is 50% of any player’s game, so even if the rest of his game is not up to the mark as you say, his serve makes up for it. I really hope he has no hiccups at FO this year. If he loses there again which is very unlikely, I don’t see how Roger can beat him at Wimbledon if they meet again.

    [Reply]

    Krish Reply:

    We’ll see what happens – I think Djokovic straight-setted Roger in 2012 both in Rome and RG, but Roger did turn the tables on him in the Wimbledon semis. A lot will depend not only on their respective serving forms on the day, but also on a couple of external factors. For instance, I feel Djokovic would win if he’s had good route through his draw with maybe 1 or 2 tough opponents and weather conditions are good for him (i.e. not too hot, but still pretty good weather, rough/slow grass). If it’s been raining and the roof is closed and if Fed has a good serving day, however, I would back him for sure (all hypothetical, of course :D )

    [Reply]

  13. Is there any way to permanently disable the emails about new comments? It’s really annoying when I forget to untick it and get about 20 e-mails.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    This comment belongs under Feedback Charlie but I have been having the same problem and will look into it. I guess whatever I do the comments notifier doesn’t want to work out. Maybe I will just get rid of it and people have to come look for themselves if there are new comments.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Ok, I looked at it. Looks like you can’t unsubscribe from the post you subscribed to, but you must remember not to check the box to the next post if you don’t want to receive comment notifications. That is the best I can do for now. I just looked at another plugin which you have to buy, but it may be worth it with all the shit I had to deal with in comments already. Anyway let me know how it works out.

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    Sorry not used to the new website layout, didn’t notice the feedback column.

    [Reply]

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