Your Favorite Federer Moments – The 2011 Season in Review

It’s that time of the year again Fedfans. The tennis season is over and it’s not long before Roger plays his first tournament in Doha in the new year. So lets take a look back at this year and decide which is our favorite moments as Fedfans. As was the case in 2010, a lot of those moments came during the indoor season. These days the highlights of Roger’s seasons are less, but when they do come they are very satisfying. Roger has achieved just about everything there is to achieve in tennis and there is a certain sweetness about it when he achieves something big nowadays. I can think of five very satisfying moments which I am going to list here. There are a few more but I am going to limit the list to five and let you vote for your favorite one. So without any further ado I will now list my five favorite moments as a Fedfan for Roger’s 2011 season. I am listening these moments in the order they occurred.

 

1) French Open SF: The GOAT Ends the Djokovic Streak 7-6(5), 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5)

Up until this point in the season Roger was struggling. He started the year off well with a title in Doha but from there on he was losing ground on Nadal and Djokovic. He got shut out in straight sets at the Australian Open by a rampant Djokovic. Then in Dubai he got punished 6-3, 6-3 by Djokovic in the final of Dubai. In Indian Wells he would lose in a third consecutive tournament to Djokovic, this time in three sets. Next it was Nadal’s turn to beat on the GOAT as he easily disposed of Roger on the slow hard courts of Miami, 6-3, 6-2. Things didn’t look much better as the clay court season got under way as Roger lost in straight sets to Melzer in the quarters of Monte Carlo. In Madrid Roger got lucky as Lopez choked in the second round to lose in a third set tie break. Roger went on to make the final and lost to Nadal again.

He was now 0-5 against the top two and seemed out of touch with them. He needed a win over one of them desperately, but it wasn’t going to happen in Rome as he lost to Gasquet in the third round. When was this ever going to end??? As Fedfans it was a depressing time. We badly needed something to lift our spirits. It seemed like Roger was not even part of the big three anymore. Yet when the French Open got under way there was a sense that things were beginning to change. From the start Roger was looking the part and he didn’t drop a set until the semis, where he would face a Djokovic who hasn’t lost a single match the whole season. Djokovic was the favorite going into that match, but the GOAT had other plans. This was a divine performance. The level of composure and mastery displayed in this match was unreal.

Roger settled right into the proverbial zone from the first point until the final ball was struck. I mean it was something to behold. His serve was right on the money from the start. His topspin backhand was solid as a rock, while he used his slice backhand with clinical precision to keep Djokovic off balance. Of course his forehand was on fire as well. It was just a masterful display of all court tennis and variation. The atmosphere at the match was absolutely electric. Every time Roger won an important point the French crowd unleashed a roar of approval. They could sense their favorite adopted son was busy putting in one of his special performances. Even with Djokovic serving at 5-4 in the fourth set with light fading, Roger was having none of it. He broke back and forced the tie break, where he served an ace to close out the deal.

Then of course came the celebration which was one for the ages. It was finger wag 2.0, after the finger wag he did in 2009 when he beat Nadal in the final of Madrid. Roger knew how much this win meant and he let everyone know about it with the finger wag. It was awesomely arrogant. As far as quality goes you would probably never see a better clay court match. Some bitter Djokovic fans said that Djokovic was not at his best, but that was clearly not the case. I will concede however that the crowd may have given Roger a bit of and edge. But he still had to play the peRFect match that day to slay a peak Djokovic. Even though Roger went on to lose the final to Nadal, he announced with this win in no uncertain terms that he was back and that he did not lose touch with Djokovic and Nadal. We were happy once more.

Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yil9PpIr1DA&feature=related

 

 

2) Basel F: JesusFed Destroys Nishikori 6-1, 6-3 to win 5th Basel Title!!!

After the epic match against Djokovic in Pairs there was more disappointment for Fedfans around the corner as Roger lost in disappointing fashion to Tsonga at Wimbledon after blowing a two sets to love lead. In Montreal Roger lost to Tsonga again, and in Cincinnati Roger lost in very disappointing fashion to Berdych. At the US Open we saw a different Roger however. It was kind of like he French Open where he looked good up until the semis. This time however there would be no glory against Djokovic in the semis. He did come awfully close though. Roger then took a long break to do some introspection and came back in Basel. It looked like the introspection had paid off as he won his home town title for a fifth time. In the final JesusFed showed up and treated us to a 6-3, 6-1 drubbing of Nishikori who bageled Djokovic in the semis.

You could see how much this title meant to Roger as he shed a tear in the closing ceremony. It was the end of a long title drought, and ending the drought in his home town was extra special.

 

3) Paris F: Federer def Tsonga 6-1, 7-6(3) to Win First Bercy Title!

Next stop Paris. After winning Basel I had high expectations that Roger could win his first title in Paris. It was a Masters Series title that had eluded him despite the fact that it was suitable conditions for his game. The fact that Djokovic was struggling with an injury was more reason that Roger should win this illusive title. Roger looked the part right from the start. He destroyed the two French hopefuls Mannarino and Gasquet in his first two matches in JesusFed mode. In the quarters against Monaco it looked like JesusFed had left us, but in the semis it was Goderer who returned to put in an absolute masterclass against Berdych. In the final he would play against Tsonga, and it was time for revenge. It was not quite the level of the day before, but it was good enough to get the job done in straight sets nonetheless.

Roger had finally won the title that eluded him for so long. He also passed Agassi in Masters Series titles won and was now only one behind Nadal who held the record. He also became the only player together with Agassi to win 7 out of the 9 Masters Series titles. Suddenly the 2011 season was beginning to look much better, but there was more business to take care of…

 

4)  Masters Cup RR: The GOAT Manhandles His ‘Nemesis’ 6-3, 6-0

My personal favorite. This was a result that was a long time coming. The damage that Nadal had inflicted on Roger and Fedfans over the years was immense. We needed to see Roger manhandle Nadal and we needed to see it in no uncertain terms. We needed a match that would erase all those past pains. This was it. Roger started off timidly as he served a double on the first point of the match, but there was nothing timid in the way he destroyed Nadal from then on. Things went according to serve until Roger broke Nadal to take a 4-2 lead, and from then on he would allow his so-called nemesis only one more game. The bagel in the second set tasted extra sweet. It was needed to put an exclamation mark on this win. Roger had already beaten Nadal 6-4, 6-1 at the Masters Cup before, but this was an even heavier beat down.

It was Goderer once more, because Roger couldn’t put a foot wrong all match. Together with the French Open semi and the match against Berdych in Paris, this was the only other time that Goderer(the absolute best version of Roger) showed up in 2011. This match underlined the fact that the head-to-head between the two is skewed due to the 14 meetings they had on clay. Roger was now 4-0 against Nadal indoors, having lost only one set to him on this surface. The satisfaction I got from this win was immense. It was literally orgasmic. The win against Djokovic at the French Open was epic no doubt, but Roger doesn’t have the same history with Djokovic as he has with Nadal. It was just a round robin match, but the implications went far deeper than that.

 

5) Masters Cup F: Federer def Tsonga 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-3 to Win Record 6th Masters Cup!

The win against Nadal was sweet justice, but it would not be complete without a sixth Masters Cup title for Roger. When he came up against Tsonga in the final it was the ideal opportunity to end the year in the best possible fashion, and if he failed it would be a huge anti-climax. From the start of the ndoor season everything had built up until this point. Roger would face Tsonga for the third consecutive Sunday, and having lost the first two, Tsonga was not to be underestimated. He is just too dangerous an opponent to count out, as Roger painfully found out at Wimbledon. It looked like this would be the easiest win of the three Sundays however, as Roger served for the match at 6-3 and 5-4. Tsonga was about to go on one of his hot runs though. He broke back with some impressive returning and took the set in the breaker.

Was Tsonga going to spoil the party? One set was pretty much going to decide whether this was a successful or failure of a year for Roger. The way Roger dealt with the situation and steadied the ship was beautiful to see. Not that he did anything special though. He just kept up the same level he had throughout the match while Tsonga could not remain at the level that saw him win the second set. Roger went on to win this high quality and entertaining match to claim his record sixth Masters Cup title. No doubt it was another big highlight of 2011, if not the biggest.

 

Honorable mentions:

Like I said, these are not the only highlights of 2011, but I thought five was a nice round number anyway. Other highlights include the Doha title, the match against Berdych in Paris, and the US Open semi against Djokovic. You may say that he lost that match in very disappointing fashion, but he was still playing at JesuFed level and came within one point of getting another telling win over the player of the season on two occasions. So although that was a very hard loss to swallow, I still took his whole US Open campaign as something very positive. Well I hope you enjoyed these highlights. As usual I will now let you decide the order of these highlights with a poll. I think the five that I mentioned are all very good for their own reasons and I am looking forward to see the results of the poll. Let me know what you voted with a comment!

What is your favorite Roger moment of 2011?

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40 Comments

  1. My favorite moment has got to be the defeat Roger inflicted on Nadal at the year end. It was priceless!

    Honestly, I had never seen him play so well against Nadal up until that point. It was perfect all through. A sweet revenge I would say.

    In other words, it was like Roger holding a remote control of a toy car(Nadal) and randomly moving the car around in different directions at his wish and will. It was absolute fun to watch!

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    Muhammad Reply:

    Lol!

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  2. Hi, Ruan. Great to see that you’re still blogging. I agree with your 5 greatest Roger picks. For me, the Best of the best would have to be Fed’s demolition of Nadal at the YEC round-robin in London. Championships be damned!—it was much more important for Roger to exorcise the Spanish Demon from his mind. That bagel in the last set must have been very therapeutic for the Maestro. And to see Roger in full-flight, to see him move so effortlessly, so gracefully, his body perfectly in tune with the highest Platonic Ideal that a human can achieve in sport … well, it was so beautiful that it brought vividly to mind the exquisite last stanza of Yeats’ AMONG SCHOOL CHILDREN:
    Labour is blossoming or dancing where
    The body is not bruised to pleasure soul,
    Nor beauty born out of its own despair,
    Nor blear-eyed wisdom out of midnight oil.
    O chestnut tree, great rooted blossomer,
    Are you the leaf, the blossom, or the bole?
    O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
    How can we know the dancer from the dance?

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    Veronica Lee Reply:

    Beautiful from Yeats, Balthazar.
    Thanks for posting it.

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    steve Reply:

    Wonderful post, Balthazar.

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  3. Beating Nole in french surly was the most memorable memory last season .. What a performance it was from RF ! No one can bring that magic but him!

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  4. My favorite is the match against Nadal in WTF,I´ve
    seen the match three times at least…It´s so emotional when he beats Nadal, really I can stand this guy!

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  5. After losing to joko in USO 2010 then losing again in straight sets in AO to the same guy and then that terrible Wimby QF loss, Fed was the underdog going into that FO SF.
    So to beat joko like that on his not-so-fav surface has to be best, it was surely Fed’s best match on clay, how i wish he had won that final…

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  6. Nice post, Ruan, thoug none of this matches is my favorite match…
    Even though Roger lost, my favorite match this year remains the FO-final between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. On the one hand I was very disappointed with Roger’s loss and the way he let slip the first set in this final, but on the other hand I was very pleased with the positives of Rogers performance in that FO-final. To me Rogers performance that day opens good perspectives for the future. Roger was able to close in on Rafael Nadal and to make him work harder for the win, but he wasn’t able yet to threaten him really. If Roger would be able to keep this positive trend going, he might be able – who knows – one day to beat his nemesis in the FO. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for this to happen one day.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well it is debatable whether he just choked in that match or whether Nadal just played too well. I felt like he choked, given that opportunities he had and his history with Nadal. So it did not make the list, nor even got an honorable mention.

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    Wilfried Reply:

    Well, I think it was a combination of different factors: Roger’s loss of concentration, some disputable line calls, Rafa’s tactic behaviour, etc.. Roger’s overall performance against Nadal was to me better than ever before in their previous encounters out there. I hope Roger will keep this trend going in 2012…

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I think it also has to do with the new balls they used Wilfried. Roger had his chances and blew it.

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    Suhas Reply:

    I have always said that whatever Roger achieves in his career, in the end the only black mark on him will be not beating Rafa in a FO final, he had five chances i think and that’s a lot of chances, the last one being the best and he couldn’t convert, so i doubt if he can ever beat Rafa in FO

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah unfortunately it is a bit of a black mark, given that chances Roger had against Nadal in the finals they played there. I always felt Roger was too stubborn, trying to beat Nadal from the base line.

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    Veronica Lee Reply:

    Yeah, BLACK mark for you, Roger Federer, for FAILING all 5 times!! I wish I don’t love you so much Roger! I really felt like throwing a whole bucket of rotten eggs at you in the FO against your nemesis this year. (Hell hath no fury than a woman scorned!!) How COULD you lose the first set????!!!! Boy! the memory of it makes me die all over in my soul again!

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    Suhas Reply:

    Exactly…that 1st set was as hurtful as the last set in USO against joko.. i still cant forget that drop shot that went just wide… :-(

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    Veronica Lee Reply:

    Exactly, Suhas. Now, Suhas, please, please, spare me the pain, spare me the details, don’t remind me again ……grrrhhh!! Aahhhh!!!

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    Jiten Reply:

    Peace everybody! Believe me, Roger’s time will come and it will be like WTF 2011 against “you know who”: destruction at its best. I have been watching the matches that Roger lost in this year’s slams (For me, it does not hurt that much now than when it was still very fresh. Well, time is the best healer) and now I realize more that all of them were extremely close: closer than what we thought when the matches were on. In all of them, he simply could not play his game at the clutch moments; he was the better player in most of them, but could not force the issue. In the AO, Nole still looked like the “pre-gluten-free” player and as usual, looked very much annoyed for better part of the match. Fed just could not press the piston. FO, again he just could not serve it out in the crucial first set. I am sure the story would have been different if he could find his first serves. This is where his stubbornness cost him where he could have taken the cue from what Nadal does most of the times: just go for a decent first serve rather than going for an ace. All England, he seemed too laid back after the first two sets; but for me, Tsonga was the better player on that day. USO, again that freakish shot from Nole. With little luck on his side, Fed could well have two majors under his kitty. But that was not to be; his biggest problem throughout the first half had been one or two lapses of concentration which cost him dear and above all, many of them were committed when he was cruising. The big positive in the Fall session this year for Fed has been his willingness to close out those mental loopholes in his game. I am sure we are going to see a different Fed in 2012 and as Veronica had said before, his success in AO will be the key to his performance for the rest of 2012.

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  7. Ru-an, thanks for allowing me to let off steam a bit in this blog! Hehehe! This is why your blog is the best. I feel “safe” loving Roger here. I feel “safe” criticising Roger here; I feel safe “going crazy” here; knowing the readers here are true Fed fans who are loyal, but realistic and accepting. Don’t ever abandon us and this blog at least as long as Roger plays, OK, Ru-an?! I was pleasantly surprised to see your new post this morning as I am bracing myself to expect less blogging from you! So what a nice surprise, thanks! I love how you recap the whole year in a very entertaining way and as always, your thought processes are so orderly, it really makes reading your blog such a pleasurable experience. I never get lost reading your posts and love the debates you spark. Ok let’s get to the debate. For me it has to be the FO semifinal. It’s more historical, more suspenseful, more dramatic, higher quality competition, and the finger wag was priceless! Priceless!! I gotta repeat it again and again. As you say, “awesomely arrogant” – love that phrase! After those terrible losses to Djoko in AO, Dubai, Meltzer, Gasquet, the list goes on; Fed, for the first time, I think, has been seriously completely written off. Not one sane tennis person predicted that FO win over Djoko and it was Fed’s weakest surface. But Fed was in God mode and he broke Djoko’s streak that no one thought was possible to break and thus wiped away that unbearable cocky smirk off that gluten-free king-kong face. This has got to be the match of the year. It was historical, dramatic, epic. It felt like redemption for Fed – that he is STILL the best coz only HE could beat the best player of the day. It was totally, utterly, satisfying and I was talking about it and basking in the win for months. The beat down of Nadal was magnificent and Oh so satisfying; as you put it, “literally orgasmic” – lol! It also healed a lot of pain for Fedfans; it can be a personal/sentimental favourite but objectively speaking, I gotta go for the FO semi.

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  8. Hey Ru-an.A nice epic post to round of a nice season for Roger.My best momnet of the season was Roger manhandling Nadal.This was a telling loss inflicted on Nadal after those 5 or 6 telling defeats at the hands of Djoker.I think this match might prove vital in the head2head between these twon and I think going into 2012,Roger will have much more confidence of beating his nemesis on a more regular basis and I would love to see that h2h become more even like 17-20 or something like that.
    I have also joined the forum as adhi_roger and have voted.

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  9. thanks for a good read Ruan.
    for me it was that FO semi… such a sweet feeling… that is why i feel the biggest disappointment of a pretty disappointing season is the FO final loss vs Rafa. he had it, he blew it.

    i share your joy about the victory over Nadal at WTF. and that’s also begs the question – is the balance of power Fed and Rafa changing?
    it seems Rafa has gone beyond his physical peak this year, and also his mental fortitude has been damaged thanks to Djoko (and thanks to Rafas demanding game style). on the other hand Fed is keeping himself in good shape (although he is also beyond his physical peak, obviously) and his motivation is as strong as ever. i believe that in order to cement his legacy Fed must get a couple of wins over Nadal in Slams in the next few years. if Nadal is indeed physically and emotionally weary i do hope that Fed will take the advantage and capitalize on the opportunity to turn the tables on Rafa.

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    Veronica Lee Reply:

    Yah, he had it, he blew it. I think the FO 2011 against Nadal is the biggest choke in Fed’s career. It was the best chance he ever could get to beat Nadal at FO and he blew it big time. I don’t think he would get as good a chance again. But I will continue to hope. I don’t know how Fed got over this loss. I don’t think I will ever get over it.

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    steve Reply:

    Veronica, to me it matters not if he loses 99 RG finals to Nadal, if he wins the 100th. That would be a fair exchange to me, and I think Federer would think so too.

    He’s not motivated by revenge or having something to prove to others about his legacy. It’s purely the desire to meet new challenges and break new ground in tennis that drives him on now.

    Beating the greatest clay-court player ever in the final of Roland Garros has got to be one of the biggest challenges out there.

    A great player like Federer needs challenges worthy of him. He wouldn’t achieve his greatest level without overcoming the greatest resistance to get there.

    If he hadn’t had Nadal he would have won more but he would never have been forced to plumb the depths of his character and his game.

    Perhaps he would have gotten bored with winning everything and quit the game early, like Borg. I can’t decide which is the more horrible thought: a bored Roger Federer, mechanically going through the motions on court, or Roger Federer retiring at 26. Fortunately, none of that happened.

    As an unapologetically greedy fan, I want to see everything this Federer fellow has to offer. I think he was holding out on us in 2004-07 and can produce an even higher level of tennis.

    He has plenty of opponents to spur him on to greater heights: Nadal, Djokovic and the young bucks like Raonic and Tomic who will be squaring off for Grand Slam glory in a couple years. So I have no fear that he will be plenty motivated to keep fighting for several moe years.

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    Manu Reply:

    I agree. The Fed of 2006-07 was more consistent but the Fed of 2011 (ever since FO) seems more….magical.

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  10. tks again Ruan for another excellent blog !! well what can i say, manhandling nadal was long over due but what a performance..that was no doubt the best day of the year for me (coupled with the Watch The Throne concert i attended later that night which was the best concert ever)!! First off i was too tense even before the match so i copped a bottle of captain morgan private stock mixed with some pepsi and there i was a lil tipsy ready for the match. i was still stressed out til my man Fed got the break. From there on i was screaming at the tv screen after each marvellous shot but i noticed something in Roger s eyes: an unbelievable focus i had never seen before and the way he was agressive on returns..at 5-3 i started screaming GIVE ME A BAGEL RIGHT NOW and he raised his level even higher as i could see he really wanted to bagel him in the 2nd set. i was getting drunk by then and was letting the whole neighborhood know what i was witnessing !!! This match ranks high up there among the best federer experiences of my life if not the best!! I even started screaming at him for letting nadal control the h2h because nadal even stated after the match that the GOAT would have destroyed his ass had they played on any other surface including clay !! That was tennis at absolute best ( shot selection, serve, hammered nadal bh, good use of the slice, variety, lethal FH but most importantly EXECUTION) and my guts are telling me he is going back to number one next year no doubt!! after the match i didnt even care if he lost the tournament or by a long stretch if he retired! the deep wounds had been healed and i was on cloud 9 to a point where when i think about this match it still gives me goosebumps and im confused if it was a dream or not. I screamed nonstop for a bagel and he gave it to me in style against his nemesis..ill never forget this day ever!! FO semi against djoker comes close on the list too but i never can duplicate the feelings i had for 3 days straight after the beatdown he gave to Nadull..we are so lucky to be witnessing history in the most beautiful way!! i think i ll quit following tennis if our man retires which i hope wont be in the near future. Federer=GREATEST ATHLETE OF ALL TIME and my personal idol on so many things !!!

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    Veronica Lee Reply:

    Fed played beautifully, perfectly and oh so confidently against Nadal and the way he stepped up was so exhilarating for us fans who have always witnessd him folding over when Nadal applied the pressure. But if only it had been the FO. If only….if only.. if only. If only he won that FO final it would have been complete redemption and it wouldn’t matter anymore if he never won another match against Nadal again. As some of you commented before, to beat Nadal at FO is the one dream all Fed fans can only dream about. And when the beautiful dream actually started to happen in this year’s final, Fed blew it, he BLEW it; and the beautiful dream turned into a nightmare! Nothing hurts more or brings me more regret than this – not even AO2009 and Wimby 2008 because they were all hard courts and Fed had won those before. WTF is Fed’s territory; he sort of did a similar thing to Nadal last year although he upped it up more by granting us all a bagel. Watching the match, I was too, like you, half drunk (with happiness) but I couldn’t let the FO go and screamed to Roger, “Now, smart maestro, why weren’t you this smart in FO final against Nadal, huh?! As for the USO, most people said that Roger should have won the match, that he had Djoko on the ropes and had match point. Djoko came up with THE shot and it changed everything. I’m sitting here thinking, common, it was just one shot; although it is THE shot. He still had 2 more sets to redeem himself; 2 more sets, guys! and he just couldn’t do it. He just HAD to be so affected and insulted by THE shot that it became THE end for him. Pfft! Not only that, he went quite lamely away. So USO is another all time choke match for me. However, I’m cool now guys, it’s all right. I just want to get it off my chest. I believe like Jiten said that Roger seem to have taken steps to get over those mental loopholes as evidenced in his late season surge. What I see in him now would have surely closed out the FO and USO matches this year. So, onwards and upwards, Roger Federer!

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    Raoul Reply:

    i agree that those losses hurt like hell even though the US open semi left me depressed for like a week thus was more hurtful for me..1 of the most underappreciated strengths of Fed is how he bounces back after these bad losses though !!! Losing to nadal in this year FO final cant compare with the 2008 wimby nor 2009 aussie where Fed was the heavy favourite and nadal put thim to tears. Nadal was still the favourite in this year FO final. Fed blew his chances no doubt but it was still a step ahead in the right direction and he had just produced a classic match in the previous round against djoker. Also in the us open semi Fed didnt have 2 sets to redeem himself, The shot happened in the decisive 5th set after Fed had managed to get his mojo back after being spent in the previous 2. What hurts me the most about the us open loss is when djoker hit his out of world return he started asking for roars from the crowd and i could see him not only making Fed lose concentration but frustrating him as well. That was lack of class, lasted a lil too long and it got to Fed i could see it. From that point i pray he gets the next point but he hits the cord and i know the match is over. He could still have turned it around but i dont think anybody could have managed to shift the momentum at that time. Fed had a good plan for the match how he saved up energy and came back strong in the 5th but it wasnt meant to be. Divine intervention is the only explanation i have for this loss since losing to nadal in the us open final might not have made it possible for him to lift his record 6th WTF title knowing it would have crushed him. I believe everything happens for a reason so now we have a nadal losing passion for the game due to the djoker losses and the latter just cant repeat the same year with all his injuries and coming back to earth with the recent losses. So its now on Feds racket to take full advantage of the situation and i see him hungry and motivated for the challenge. One other thing regarding the beatdown at WTF against nadal : nadal has never humiliated Fed like Fed punished him in that match. Even at the 2008 RG when he got bagelled while having mono it was him making tons of UE than nadal dominating him. What he did at this year WTF is taking nadal back to nursery school of tennis. Nadal was just clueless as any player would be past, present or future.

    Anyhow i enjoy these healthy convos about the GOAT and i predict more records to be broken next year !!

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  11. Of course I agree with Jiten, I love Roger winning or losing and I remember the best of 2011 nor the worst.This is the precious moment to savour without thinking on next year.Just like in life, please be happy.Congratulations to the most wondeRFul player!
    SIMPLY THE BEST.

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  12. Yes, Ines, I completely agree with you that it is always better and healthier to focus on positives, not the negatives. I am like this in every area of my life, not much can get me down; everything that happens to me, good or bad I take it as an enriching experience. BUT when it comes to Roger Federer, all bets fly out the window and I become this irrational, passionate animal that won’t give Roger peace, ha! ha! I’m actually just allowing my feelings some freedom of expression(!), getting into the passion of the game which I think makes it more interesting and actually healthier instead of burrying what I instinctively feel maybe wrong with Roger and denying those feelings and deceive myself as a fan that everything is all right in Roger land. This blog has allowed me to just lash out those hurt feelings in the safety of like-minded fans and I am grateful. I will never ever leave the FedExpress, and like you, win or lose, he will always be my number one. Plus I just adore his personality and character, win or lose, how an exemplary husband and father he is and a very very decent human being. Don’t take my rants too seriously. It’s just “verbal art” – hehehe! and meant to add a little spice to this blog! Just like how you add your spanish spice, the prolific writers (Balthazar, Booya, Steve, Wilfried, Feddbear, etc etc) add their tennis expertise and Beethoven spices and Ru-an, our GOAT blog add his CEO spice heading the FedExpress, getting us all on board, keeping us happy on board and making sure we all behave ourselves on board! hehehe!

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  13. I was torn, but I voted for the masterclass against Nadal in London over his victory over Djokovic.

    The RG match is an all-time classic, with perhaps some of the finest clay-court tennis ever played. It proved that even at age thirty, he could still prevail over a man nearly six years his junior, whom the whole rest of the tour couldn’t touch for nearly nine months. He prevented Djokovic from achieving the Calendar Slam and announced that there was still plenty of tennis left for him to play.

    But the match against Nadal gives hope that Federer can shift the rivalry his way.

    He simply executed his game plan instead of letting himself get distracted or rattled. He played with full belief from the first ball (OK, maybe only from the second ball–he double faulted on the first point) to the last.

    He moved Nadal around from corner to corner, mixed it up well, and kept the ball out of Nadal’s strike zone, while picking on his backhand. He won many of the baseline rallies.

    I held my breath during that 31-shot rally on break point in the first set. It’s not often Federer (or anyone, save gluten-free Djokovic) can beat Nadal in such a long rally, and if he had lost that point I knew he would have lost the set, probably the match.

    But when he came out on top, I knew he would win in decisive fashion. Nadal was completely buffaloed, he did not comprehend even a fraction of what Federer was doing to outplay him. He knows only one thing: run down every ball and try to get it to Federer’s backhand, and Federer completely nullified that tactic.

    Nadal didn’t even see a break point and was broken on 2/3 of break points on his own serve. I can’t think of the last time that happened.

    Mentally that should stand Federer in good stead for the next time they meet, whatever the surface.

    Indoor courts are a kind of laboratory for Federer where he can experiment with different tactics in perfect conditions, without worrying about wind or weather.

    Then once he has mastered the tactics indoors, he can try to transpose them to outdoor surfaces.

    We’ve spoken a lot of how clay allowed Nadal to rack up a lot of wins against Federer and gain confidence against him on other surfaces.

    Perhaps the indoor courts will allow Federer to hone his strategies against Nadal to razor sharpness. Then, no matter if they meet on the slowest, highest-bouncing clay in the world, Nadal will only be able to watch the balls sail past him for winners.

    Good things take time–it took four years for Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

    If it takes Federer seven or eight years to figure out how to beat Nadal at Roland Garros, it will stand as one of the greatest accomplishments of his career; he will have been forced to produce a still higher level of tennis than he has shown hitherto.

    That day may never come, but if it doesn’t, no matter–it won’t have been for lack of trying.

    At an age when most athletes would be putting their feet up and thinking about retirement, Federer continues to seek out the most difficult, daunting challenges. With a lot of work and a little luck, he can achieve this one.

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    Raoul Reply:

    Very good post !!

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  14. I fully agree with Steve. In terms of significance dismissal of Djokovic at FO is the most important but more satisfying to Fedfans is demolition of Nadal at WTF due to Federer’s poor head to head with Nadal and Nadal retorting to all kinds of tricks at key moments in matches with Federer. I am hopeful that should Federer meet Nadal at FO 2012 he will find way to reverse the losing trend.

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  15. I have some thoughts regarding Roger’s heartbreaking loss to the Djoker in the U.S. Open semifinal. As you all know, he blew another 2-set lead there, and this right after the Wimbledon debacle against Tsonga. While watching Roger choke another lead away, I couldn’t shake the feeling that turning 30 had forced him, almost unconsciously, to recalibrate his reserves of stamina—and find them wanting. So as soon as the Djoker broke him in the 3rd set, Roger quickly folded to conserve his energy for the 5th. To his credit, the plan almost worked. However, the Question remains: has Roger basically decided that from now on he would be willing to blow leads as a strength-saving measure? Has he concluded that he can no longer give it his ALL for Five Full Sets, like he could in his younger days? Any feedback would be much appreciated.

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    Veronica Lee Reply:

    Balthazar, I totally agree with you! That is exactly what I have observed about Fed these days. He would try his utmost to get it done in straight sets firing from the word go and he usually takes the first set. However, if the competition is a little stiff, he sometimes can’t finish it in the 3rd set. That is when the “check outs” invariably happens and he tries to save his energy for the 5th set. I have felt this for a long time but never brought it up because most tennis fans always concur that Fed is one of the fittest on tour. It’s actually quite obvious because he can suddenly “turn it on” with a more energetic level in the last set. He is a high risk player, in a sense you can say, super confident player, to leave all the stakes to the last set. In that sense, his confidence is admirable. Fed knows his body very very well, he takes extreme care of it; no other player is even close to how Fed knows and cares for his body; and he knows exactly how much toil his body can or cannot take. Like you say, I feel that sometimes he doesn’t give it his all (when you know/feel he can but he just doesn’t) because he was more concerned about the long term, ie preserving his energy/body. I totally feel he goes into “energy rationing” if a match calls for it. That’s why I get very very nervous if he can’t finish matches in 3 or 4 sets.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I think if he won the match, which against anyone else in the world he would have, this question would not come up. It’s only a ridiculous return which changed the outcome of the match. Was it not for that one shot we would all now be singing Roger’s praises for beating Djokovic again. At the French Open Roger also won the first two sets, lost the third, and won the forth. So no, i don’t think it’s a trend.

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  16. Whoops I’ll start again congrats to Fed wonderful player, he’s one of the best to play the game and AO will be interesting. I do question some of your Comments and federer knowledge. I think fed best win was against djokovic but this whole Nadal thing is being totally overplayed its well known in the British press with a few of the writers saying Nadal was Going to pull out after the Fish match but when he heard Murray pulled out he didn’t want to let the tourney or the fans down. So in other words it’s well known now he went into the fed match with food poison, looking pale, struggling to move around the court and taking deep breathes. Being a RR and Nadals state their really wasn’t much significance. Important for Fed perhaps but on the whole I don’t see it affecting the h2h long term. I have to pick something up though,whoever said roger had mono, at the French 08. Incorrect I gather you r a knowledgable federer fan but it’s on the net coming from the horses mouth himself saying that he had mono at the ao08 and recovered fully from it before they even started the clay court season. Theirs a video of roger that I remember seeing where he said before the monte Carlo tournament that hes made a full recovery and is fresh 100%. Federer also struggled with his back at sw19 2010 but nobody really talks about that and that made it very hard for roger to defend his title. It’s never nice seeing gr8 champions sick or injured but because of feds playing style it helps him prevent injuries compared to nadal djokovic Hewitt. Anyway 2012 should be a gr8 year for tennis and hopefully we get some great memorable matches.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    The British media is very unreliable for one thing. We know this from all the Murray hype which has come to nothing over the years. Nadal was sick in his match against Fish, not Roger. He didn’t look sick during the match and said he was completely healthy afterwards in his presser and before the match on Facebook.
    As for the mono thing, bring the video proof. Then I might be inclined to take you more seriously. He may just have said it not to look as though he is looking for excuses. Even if he did recover fully, it doesn’t mean his confidence was not affected from the mono. I think it’s pretty obvious his confidence was affected at the FO and Wimbledon. It think it’s also obvious the mono pretty much ruined 2008 for him. If you have proof to the contrary then come up with it.

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