Federer Destroys Coric to Make 9th Dubai Final

Federer Destroys Coric to Make 9th Dubai Final

I didn’t make a post about Roger’s quarter final match against Gasquet because there was nothing to post about. He won the first set 6-1 and then Gasquet withdrew. There was some other big news however which was that 18-year old Borna Coric had another big four win when he destroyed Murray 6-1, 6-3. The other big four win was over Nadal last year in Basel of course. This young player is the real deal and a future #1 as far as my opinion goes. He got into the main draw as a lucky loser after losing in the final qualifying round to world #315 Martin and made full use of his luck by going all the way to the semis. He got man handled 6-2, 6-1 by Roger but he had done his job. He would have been tired after five matches and losing to Roger is no shame.

Along with Kyrgios and Thiem Coric is the future of tennis. The Dimitrov, Raonic, and Nishikori generation has been a bit of a disappointment but the next generation seems very promising. It actually looked like Coric could pose a real threat to Roger but he wasn’t ready yet. Roger did enough not to let Coric into the match, but only just. At times he looked uncomfortable against the youngster. He also made more unforced errors than he hit winners. The main thing that I was impressed with about Coric in Dubai was his physical and mental maturity. He plays a bit like Djokovic with solid ground strokes and good movement, but he probably needs to work on making his serve and forehand bigger weapons.

Old enough to be Coric’s dad? Lol.

Roger will play Djokovic in the final which is the final we have all been hoping for. It is a classic rivalry which have produced many classic matches. Djokovic had a tough test from Birdshit in the semis though which he survived 6-0, 5-7, 6-4. Birdshit played as well as he could but of course he lacks the X factor which you need to win the big matches and titles. But I don’t want to take anything away from Djokovic who showed once again why he is easily the best player in the world right now and why he will win many more slams. That said, you wouldn’t count Roger out to upset him in the final. He already showed he can do it in Shanghai and these courts are at least as fast as Shanghai, if not faster.

Roger also defeated Djokovic last year in Dubai, so he may even be the favorite. The only problem for him is that he hasn’t been tested at all this week, while Djokovic came through a very tough test against Birdshit yesterday. This will also be Roger’s ninth final in Dubai and if he wins it it will be his seventh title. But even if he loses the good news is that Roger 4.0 have stuck around this week, although the true test will be when he faces adversity again. Then we will see if he still has the clutch factor. As for Nadal he defeated Delbonis 6-1, 6-1 in Buenos Aires which will give him a lot of confidence. Nadal is still an uncertainty at this point and playing in another tournament so there is no need for Roger to worry about him.

But I’d still like to see a Fedal meeting in the near future which we have been waiting for for a long time now. I also want to find out if Roger 4.0 sticks around if Nadal rises again, because Nadal seems to be in Roger’s head and when he is dominating Roger usually slumps. I still can’t be 100% sure about what happened in Melbourne and I wana see if Fed 4.0 is mentally strong enough to withstand Nadal. But if Nadal fails to win the French this year we may never find out. Clearly I believe Nadal is in Roger’s head and I’d like Roger to exorcise that demon before it is all said and done, but he may never get the chance. But don’t expect Nadal to go down without a fight. Can’t wait for tonight’s final!

 

Highlights:

Posted in ATP 500, Dubai, Uncategorized.

47 Comments

    1. Hey Ru-an, I understand when say you’re not quite sure what happened in Melbourne and that is because it was many factors which contributed to the loss to Seppi. We can make excuses all we want but I know that your blog is no place for excuses. Either way I hate excuses as well. But we are digging for the truth afterall. So, firstly Seppi played great. Truly. Secondly, there was that shadow from the sunlight forming in the final set which can be very distracting I must say. Yes, someone might say but both players had to deal with the conditions. Well yes that’s true except this can make mistakes happen in that it effects your accuracy and mental state coz you kind of don’t want to aim for the shadow and I felt as if Roger’s game was a bit restrained during the final set. In tennis ideally you need consistent lighting throughout the court. Thirdly, he may have been a little bit more tired than he let on. Finally and most importantly, the Nadal factor. Roger 4.0 is not over nadal yet and maybe it’s for the best that they didn’t meet in Australia since it holds the worst memories for fed. He will need to beat nadal first somewhere else but he must start from somewhere and like you I am not sure he ever will again. He does need to see a psychologist. To beat Nadal we must see fed 5.0, one that is playing free of the past history between the two. He’s been scarred too much from nadal and I understand why. There comes a stage however where you have to fight back with no fear.
      A friend of mine was leading the rivalry between us 11 – 0 but it didn’t last forever. I had to do something mental however to turn it around in that I didn’t tolerate the fact that he was full of excuses even when he won. I had to get into his head somehow which I did successfully. Then there was a turning point. I had beaten him a couple of times and then the third time he was up by 5 – 1 in the set. I fought back, took it to a tie break which I won 7 – 0. That is what in the end turned the rivalry around. I think we’re now 12 – 6 and catching up.

      [Reply]

      Alex Reply:

      Oh yeah I forgot to mention. Now my riend is the one who is struggling in the mental department. He barely can get a first serve in whereas before that was the thing that kept giving me problems. It’s like you say Ru-an, tennis is in huge part a mental game as well as physical.

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      Katyani Reply:

      Hey Alex, great comment. For me, the loss at AO is very simple:
      1) Roger didn’t have his day. But that was his problem.
      2) Roger was mentally and physically very tired.
      3) Seppi played focused and concentrated and in the zone and the match of his life.
      4) A bit of the Nadal factor.

      I have never played tennis before, you have, so you know wayyyy more than I know about it, but hope you don’t mind, the shadow thing does sound like an ecxuse to me.
      For me, it is very simple, if both have to endure something, then it cannot be an excuse why only one loses the match. Windy out there?? Well, then it is windy for both of them. Sun in the eyes or a shadow?? Then it is for the both of them. One side of the court is better for serving or something?? Then it is the same for both.
      Roger lost AO, Seppi deserved his win, but the shadow thing?? Nah…

      [Reply]

      Alex Reply:

      Thank you and you’re right by the way, it does sound like an excuse. And yes both players have to endure it. The only reason I said it is because I think distractions are in a league of their own when it comes to the game and life in general. I’ll give an example. Where I work, there may be lots of talk in the background, even shouting. For some, this is a big distraction. For me it isn’t and I have no problem concentrating on my own work. It’s all about how each individual can deal with the distractions. I can deal with noise distractions (for the most part) but not visual ones. Maybe I’m wrong and federer didn’t get distracted. But I felt distracted just watching it.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Well at least Katyani was right about the shadow thing. It is the same for both players and using that as an excuse is clutching at straws. You don’t lose a match because there was a shadow on the court for both guys, especially for a seasoned veteran like Roger it is absurd to even suggest that. He was 10-0 against the guy ffs.

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      Ru-an Reply:

      Well at least you admitted that I know way more about tennis than you do, because saying that Roger was mentally and physically very tired is absolute nonsense. If you played tennis like I did you would know that you are never tired physically or mentally when you are confident and winning, no matter how much you have played. The only point you made I agree with his #4, but people who don’t know anything about tennis won’t get it no matter how many times you say it.

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      Katyani Reply:

      Ouch Ru-an. Wow, I didn’t deserve that to be honest…. I have NEVER EVER made a secret about the fact that I know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING AT ALL about tennis and that I have never played it in my life for even a second….
      EVERY SINGLE PERSON here knows more about tennis than I do. Till today I cannot see the difference between a backhand and a forehand, but I still can have some opinion right, even if it is stupid??

      “If you played tennis like I did you would know that you are never tired physically or mentally when you are confident and winning, no matter how much you have played.”
      If that is the case… then why has Rafa not won more slams right after FO?? Then why did Roger not win USO after he won Wimby 2012?? Then why has Novak never won FO after winning AO all the time?? Then why did Novak not win USO after winning Wimby 2014??
      If you are never tired physically or mentally when you are confident and winning… then why do players lose matches after having won??

      Ouch Ru-an. You are very honest and I have always admired and respected that, but you don’t have to be rude. I am trying.
      And please Ru-an, Rafa is in Roger’s head, but please don’t use that as an excuse for everything.

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      Ru-an Reply:

      Deserve what exactly? I only repeated what you said yourself? As for the points you make that just proves what we said again.

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      Ajay Reply:

      Yeah I totally agree with Katyani that Ruan has been targeting you for sometime now and unlike Jonathan who is humble and accepts everyone’s opinions Ruan thinks he knows everything. Well Ruan let me tell you something I must have read almost all of your posts for the last five years and you have got almost 50% percent of your predictions wrong. And Katyani if you are offended by him like I was quite a few times in the past just read his article without commenting on it.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      I don’t agree with anything you just said(aside from the fact that Katyani should not comment if my replies bother her) and yet I am going to allow your comment and not take offense, thereby proving you wrong.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      One more thing. I remember Katyani making too long comments on Jonathan’s blog for his liking after which he deleted it, so she ran over here and I never deleted any comments from her. Please check your facts and stop being such a hypocrite before you comment here again.

      [Reply]

      Katyani Reply:

      Hey Ru-an, where is this (sudden) dislike for me or hatred for me coming from?? It is me, Katyani. I don’t understand it. Yes, it is true that the two of us sometimes disagree about Roger (or other players), but isn’t that part of a blog?? That you can give your opinion if you agree or disagree?? I don’t know what I have done wrong. Like I said many times before, for me you are a writer who comes very close to HOW I SEE Roger. I like you (me being a Dutchie and you understanding some Dutch words !!!) and I love this blog and the commentators. There have been 2 posts of you that have made me (literally) cry and there have also been some posts where I don’t agree with somethings you write.

      After having read your comment to me again, I can understand that all you wanted to say to me was that you know more about tennis than I do (which is obviously true), but honestly Ru-an… the way you wrote it was like you were insulting me. And…. I reacted to that. Maybe not in a nice way myself, but I really felt insulted. And when 2 other sweet commentators kind of stood up for me, you react with “so she ran over here”??? Seriously Ru-an, where did THAT come from?? It is like you wanted to insult me some more. I bought a laptop in november 2012 and a month later I was looking for sites on Roger. On 17 december 2012 I found your site and Jonathan’s and the same day I made a comment on BOTH of your blogs. You can look it up in Jonathan’s and yours
      archives: “Roger Federer-Madness 2012” on Jonathan’s site and “Federer’s Epic 2012 Season In Review” on your site. From that day I have been reading and commenting on both your sites. To be honest, because both your sites are a bit similar, I most of the times post the same comment on both your sites. You both have a blog on Roger and see most of the things the same way. So again….”so she ran over here”??? That is so insulting. For me, I wouldn’t be watching tennis if it wasn’t for Roger, he got me hooked on tennis and I love to talk about him and his tennis. I also comment on his own site and other sites as well (like Bleacher Report, ATP site, Eurosport UK).

      What I am trying to say is…Ru-an, you deserve all admiration and respect for your blog. It is your time, your hard work and your knowledge. Your sweat and tears as they say. But respect is a two way street. Maybe you didn’t mean it that way, but I was insulted. Just wanted to explain this to you… and I am also hoping this won’t be a long comment :-)

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Don’t let Ajay’s comment influence you so much Katyani. He is just trying to start trouble. I have no vendetta against you, or I would not have allowed your comments to begin with after Jonathan deleted your comment(s). I am just responding in my usual blunt way to you, just like I respond to everyone else. Sometimes your comments don’t make a whole lot of sense, and I will tell it to you straight. That is just how I roll. I treat everyone the same. If I see anyone making a comment that is stupid in my opinion I tell them. It is not that I am being arrogant. I am just a no nonsense kind of person and yes sometimes maybe I am too straight forward. But here I will tell it to you straight if I think you are talking nonsense. That much you can be sure of. So it is up to you whether you want to comment or not. Personally I don’t mind at all if you comment.

      Ok I just read the part about Jonathan’s blog. All I remember is you making a comment of 2000 words on his site or something and him telling me he deleted it. Far as I remember I never deleted any of your comments and have always been welcoming to you. But like I said if I don’t agree with what you say I will tell it to you straights. Sometimes you do make some far fetched comments. And since you are so adamant about the fact that you don’t know anything about tennis then why do you make such long comments? If my replies bother you comment less or shorter.

      [Reply]

      Zikov Reply:

      Don`t worry Katyani, you don`t have to agree with everything the host says. It doesn`t matter if you have never played tennis, any objective person with common sense is free to challenge his point of view and provide a good debate. In fact, I agree with you and think all your other points are more likely than the Nadal factor, but of course that is just my opinion…

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      That’s right. No one has to agree with anything I say. I encourage people to differ from me because it is more fun and interesting that way.

      [Reply]

      Katyani Reply:

      Hey Ajay and Zikov, thanks for your comments. I really appreciated that.

      Ajay, I understand what you are saying. To be honest, I will have less time to comment anyway. Next week I am starting a difficult course at work and in the last week of April I will have my exam.
      I Just hope I can watch as many matches of Roger in the meantime (timedifference with America is also not working out !!!).

      And Zikov, I totally agree with you. Rafa is in Roger’s head and unfortunately won’t go away (yet). But I refuse to believe that ALL of Roger’s actions have got something to do with Rafa. I totally refuse to believe that. To me it feels like I am disrespecting Roger big time for everything he has worked for and has accomplished by saying: “oh well, you only won because Rafa wasn’t there”. To me, that is unfair to Roger. And he gave me way too much for me to be unfair to him. Rafa is and will always be one of the greatest of all times, but players don’t just win because Rafa lost or because Rafa was not there. If Roger is not bigger than tennis and neither is Rafa. And for me, sometimes you just have to be honest and give credit where credit is due. Seppi played great, Roger didn’t. Just like in Dubai,
      Novak played amazingly great, Roger just played even greater. IW is coming and lets see what happens there. Roger doesn’t enter a tour just to play…. he enters to win it…. so I am also going for that. Last year he made the final… this year he will win it :-) I will always believe Roger can win and will win the tour he enters :-)

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Ha well done with turning the rivalry around Alex. Yeah you have to fight back and get into the other guy’s mind. Surely it can’t be that hard, as you proved. You have nothing to lose after all. You are expected to lose so you can throw caution into the wind and experiment as you like. But it seems Roger is so scarred by Nadal that he finds even that hard to do. I have said many times in the past that he should do something to get into Nadal’s head, like to the same thing to Nadal that Nadal does to him. For instance taking a bathroom break when Nadal is about to serve for the match, or serving under arm when NAdal stands so far back on the return. But I guess Roger is too ‘polished’ to do such things and that it is below him. Well then he must accept that beating Nadal is above him.

      [Reply]

      Alex Reply:

      DO you think it would have any effect if he said something publicly about nadal in that for him it is only about winning rather than enjoying the game. if he stops winning he becomes a cry baby basically.

      [Reply]

    1. The Coric match was not routine at all. Apart from the error-strewn game when he dropped serve, Federer played masterful tennis. I felt Coric was playing well throughout and would have made it closer had Federer not been so focused. In Coric’s own words:

      I was feeling so rushed, you know. I didn’t have any time to play my game plan. You know, I was just trying to hold in the rally as long as I can, and it was basically only thing what I could do.

      Federer played very aggressively and took Coric’s time away, he stayed close to the baseline and mixed up his shots to keep Coric off-guard and sought to come forward whenever he could. Judging from that performance, he’s playing great.

      Djokovic, of course, is in another league compared to the opposition Federer dispatched to get to the final. He’s reestablished himself as the dominant hard-court player in the world–having won Beijing, Paris, the WTF, and AO in the last few months–and it’s going to take a masterclass from Federer to stop him. He’s been tested, and Federer has not. Plus he’s out for revenge, hoping to reverse last year’s result and capture a fifth title which would put him one away from Federer’s historical tally.

      Hopefully Federer has enough to top Djokovic. He’ll certainly be well-rested, but the question is whether he has carried over his good form of last fall after such a long break from the tour. He’ll have to exploit the speed of the surface to its fullest extent, and nothing less than his A+ game will suffice to win the trophy. So c’mon Roger!

      [Reply]

    1. Well, I have to admit there are some disappointing matches which make you shake your head. But then you see a tremendous performance like that – down 0-40 at at 5-5 in the 2nd set, then suddenly breaks Djokovic (helped by one double fault but the rest was FEderer’s great play off the return), then comes back to hold after being down 0-30. And he came back from 15-40 3 times times…Djokoivc 0-7 on break points in the match. If that is not clutch then I don’t know what is…

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      I can’t get excited about these titles anymore. It’s nice I guess but hardly adds to his legacy. From MS upward I get excited, and beating Nadal.

      [Reply]

      Alex Reply:

      Well at least he’s beating Djokovic.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Yeah that was nice. When they play on fast courts the match is always on his racquet. Just shut the door with big serving.

      [Reply]

      Bharata Reply:

      Yes just a 500 tournament bu tit adds to total titles won (84) and the HtoH with Djokovic is 20-17. Of course it’s a fast court. But I see it as a big positive from the confidence point of view, it makes Melbourne more of a one-off, hopefully and puts some spring in his step. He did seem weirdly resigned about the Austrlian Open from the beginning, some of that caused by burnout. Onwards to Indian Wells I guess…

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      If he seemed resigned about the AO I guess exhibitions are more important to him then.

      [Reply]

      Bharata Reply:

      I don’t blame you for saying that…it can’t only be the Nadal factor but that does play a part. But in that case he might as well give up now; Nadal is going to be around in most of the tounaments, starting with Indian Wells…

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Well that would be a shame if he gives up. I don’t think any of us wants to see that. He should tough it out and if Nadal comes up in the draw face him down.

      [Reply]

      Alex Reply:

      I’m actually hoping that they do meet in Indian Wells. I get the feeling that he has a good chance of beating Nadal there.

      [Reply]

      steve Reply:

      I agree that there’s a great chance of his meeting Nadal at IW. Nadal will be super-confident after he wins Buenos Aires (he’s cleaning up against Berlocq as I write this, and I hardly think Monaco will give him much more trouble). He also has a great record at IW: 8 straight semifinals and 3 titles in 4 finals. It’s by far and away his best HC event. In 2013 it was his launching pad for the great season he had. He will be wanting to win it again this year and make a big leap in the rankings.

      Conversely, in 2012, when Federer beat Nadal there and went on to win the title, it was a key step in regaining the #1 ranking after Wimbledon. And it was encouraging that he was able to win it after six years where he had failed to make the final. It’s a very important tournament to gauge his level. He’s played some of his best tennis there–witness the final in ’06, when he came back from a double break down in the first set to steamroller Blake in straight sets. Every year he’s won it, he’s won a Grand Slam as well.

      Federer’s got a long break coming after IW, so he can really focus on it without having to worry about pacing himself for the rest of the season. He’s in great form and is very confident now. He’ll surely be aiming to do well at IW.

      Today’s final went a long way towards settling who’s the king of Dubai between him and Djokovic. Had Djokovic won, he would have been in a position to eclipse Federer’s record in Dubai over the next few years. Now it looks much harder–winning four more Dubai titles won’t be easy even for Djokovic.

      In three weeks, Federer may be in a position to decide who is the king of Indian Wells between him and Nadal. If it’s the final, so much the better. To get to #1, he has to be able to beat all the top players in big finals, including Nadal, and there’s no point in hoping he avoids Nadal forever. Of the two occasions where he’s beaten Nadal on outdoor HC, one of them was at IW so it’s a good venue to meet Nadal.

      Hope he’s able to play a great tournament in the California desert!

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Well I would hope so given how well he’s been playing and how poorly Nadal has been playing.

      [Reply]

      Nakul Reply:

      Clearly Fed 4.0 has gone nowhere. That’s one thing nobody can have a second thought about.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Yeah he’s gone nowhere since Nadal is out of the picture that’s for sure.

      [Reply]

      Charlie Reply:

      Perfect attitude Ru-an, yes this is a good win but I’m not getting ahead of myself and calling Roger favourite to win the bigger titles (M1000 and up) based on one tournament. If he wins IW or one of the clay masters, then we can talk.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      I feel like this is conquered ground. Nothing new here, except maybe for the fans who joined the bandwagon in the last few years. He won Dubai last year too but failed to win IW or a slam. So hopefully he can improve in that this year.

      [Reply]

      Bharata Reply:

      Ha Ru-an you make a tough tennis coach ! But that is the kind of attitude you need to be the best, never being satisfied. He came within a tiebreak of Indian Wells last year, but Nadal conveniently was taken out by Dolgopolov I believe so Federer had an easier SF than he should have.

      In any case he beat the No.1 in the world today and there were beautiful down the line backhands on display and some clutch serving. Naturally Nadal doensst’ play Dubai so we’ll never see how they would fare on this court with newer aggressive game. He did actually Federer here the only time they played, I think (2006 or 2007?)

      [Reply]

      elizabeth Reply:

      Congratulations Federer glad that today was your day. I’m sure had he lost to Djokovic then lots of people would be saying he’s just not good enough anymore! When Fed lost to Seppi you would have thought he had lost to Nadal. We know that Nadal is a bad match-up for Roger but if Nadal is truly in His head then Fed should have retired years ago…if he had just think of all the great matches we would have missed! x

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Yes but who cares about those people. They are not real fans. The problem is Fed didn’t lose to Nadal in the SF, he lost to Seppi in the third round who he owns 10-0. And why do you think Fed should have retired years ago? It would be unbecoming of a great champion like him to run away because someone is in his head!

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Right Nadal beat him in the 2006 Dubai final when Roger was having his best year. You are right beating the world #1 is special and he hit some very sweet bh’s. It looks promising but we will see what the deal is once Nadal is back in the picture.

      [Reply]

    1. Nice win for Roger today, 6-3, 7-5, saved all 7 break points he faced and was ultra-aggressive. The unfortunate part is that none of the Slams play as fast as Dubai does, so he’s going to have to keep playing as well as he did today to score big victories like this in best of 5 set matches.

      I really want to see him play Nadal now, and I hope he really wants another crack at him too. Dull in poor form, losing to pigeons – surely he can stomach a loss to another one of his “pigeons” lol. The BH is of course the key – it’s actually hurt everyone else on the tour, so if he can just pretend that Nadal is someone else for a couple of hours on court, he can definitely do it.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      Yeah I’ve been wanting him to play Nadal for ages now with his new found net game and mental strength. I have said before that is the combination he needs to beat Nadal but who knows what went on at the AO. IW is not a slam or anything so that provides a chance for him to get a win over Nadal and then have some more confidence when they meet again in a slam.

      [Reply]

    1. My thoughts:
      1. Federer further improved his head-to-head vs. Djokovic today. That probably means more to him than anything else.

      2. I somehow suspect “best-of-five-sets” is in Federer’s head more than anything else. That would make sense given that he’s won 7 tournaments since the start of last year, none of them grand slams. Also getting older is a disadvantage for best of five.

      3. Federer’s enthusiasm for tournaments like Dubai is really an inspiration to me. I know some people will say that it’s not a slam so it doesn’t mean much, but I admire Federer’s attitude. It’s a big part of why I’m a fan. Just my opinion.

      [Reply]

      Ru-an Reply:

      I don’ think five sets is in his head. He has won the most titles of tournaments played over five sets in history after all. And I think the getting older business is overrated as far as excuses for winning slams go. He still looks very fit to me. Yes Fed’s enthusiasm is an inspiration. No doubt about it. Just my opinion.

      [Reply]

 

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