Djokovic Adds to Aussie Open Madness by Straight-setting Federer
by Abe Kuijl | January 25th, 2008, 11:10 am
  • 92 Comments

Federer/Nadal 0, Djokovic/Tsonga 6. Who would have thunk it? Djokovic is in his first Australian Open final, without having lost a single set in the event so far. Tsonga has never won any ATP-level tournament in his career and started the Aussie Open ranked No. 38. According to the ATP website, his career record before the AO was just a mere 19-15. That’s 34 matches on the highest level. Are you kidding me?

Djokovic will like his chances against the inexperienced crowd-favorite, but after sweeping Federer, he couldn’t be more confident against anyone at this point. Their semifinal today was not too different from their US Open final in September. Djokovic again was the better player from the backcourt, only Federer did not play as well as he did in New York (not that he was playing his best there, either). The biggest difference compared to that match though, was how strong Djokovic was on the important points today. Where over the past year Federer has relied many times on his serve to get him through tight spots, Djokovic was the one to come up with the big deliveries at the right moments in this match. Federer didn’t find any rhythm on his serve until the third set, when he started to cruise through his own games. It made for an enticing climax in the tiebreak.

At 3-all in the breaker, Djokovic hit a serve winner down the tee. But Federer didn’t blink, as he produced two winning deliveries of his own to go up 5-4. He pumped himself up, thinking this had sent a mental blow to his opponent, but he was overbluffed by Djokovic, who scored two more winners on his serve, setting up his first match point. The Serb got a play on the next point, and Federer dumped a forehand in the net to end his reign in Melbourne. The way that tiebreaker played out was the ultimate proof that Djokovic possesses the true champion’s mentality.

Of course, things could have been a lot different had Federer stayed cool under pressure serving for the first set at 5-4. But then again, so could they have been at the USO had Djokovic claimed one of his numerous set points in the first two sets. Federer produced three unforced errors off his forehand and was forced into a backhand error to lose the game. His serve couldn’t bail him out in that game, and it abandoned him in the next, as he went from 5-3 up to losing 5-7.

In the second set, Djokovic raced out to a 5-1 lead when for a moment, Federer seemed to get into a groove. He broke back the Serb and had his mind set on doing so again at 5-3. Djokovic knew he really had to win this game to stay on top, or Federer would get a massive boost and probably take over the match. At 0-15, Djokovic made a poor decision in hitting a drop shot (one of his nervous traits from his early days, which on a few occasions surfaced today) which Federer easily got to, but the Swiss followed up with an easy backhand in the net, which should have been a winner. At 30-all, Djokovic powered a semi-ace down the tee. Federer got back to deuce, but two more big serves earned the Djoker a 2 set cushion. We know what happened in the third.

For the first time now, we’ve seen Federer slump in a major. The relatively poor form he displayed against the Djoker today – with his slow movement, frequent errors on his favorite shot, the forehand, and a struggling serve -, I’ve written about many times last year when Fed was vulnerable in a handful of Masters Series events. Think back to his match against Juan Monaco in Hamburg, or his loss to Volandri in Rome during the clay court swing, or his narrow escapes against Baghdatis and Hewitt in Cincinnati for instance, and you’ll realise that his form in Australia hasn’t been that bad. Still, the theory that Fed might have been playing in a lower gear to peak at the majors now seems less likely. More players are starting to believe they can really beat Federer, meaning the Swiss is no longer the routine pick to win a major. Before the season started, I predicted two Slam wins for the Fed. Now, I’m leaning more towards one (Wimby).

Women’s final quick pick: Masha in two.


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92 Comments for Djokovic Adds to Aussie Open Madness by Straight-setting Federer

jane Says:

“The way that tiebreaker played out was the ultimate proof that Djokovic possesses the true champion’s mentality. ”

I agree 100% – he really held his composure last night and only needed one match point to close it. He believes in himself, perhaps too much, as he comes across as arrogant, but it’s almost needed to get over this hurtle of dominance. Roddick was often cocky when he started succeeding, but he learned to temper his remarks. I think the Djoker will too.

However…

“Djokovic made a poor decision in hitting a drop shot (one of his nervous traits from his early days, which on a few occasions surfaced today)”

Those drop shots drove me mad! He missed more of them than he made. Maybe he’d watched Tsonga making all those droppers against Rafa and thought it was a good idea; the difference is that Tsonga was near or at the net when he made those shots not just inside the baseline.

I hate when players use the drop shot at key moments in matches because they often miss – Murray, Berdych, Baggy, Djok and Rafa all should really, really think hard about when is the best time use that shot and where they are on the court. After players hit drop shots too, they often don’t seem ready for the ball to come back and so get passed or stuck, flat-footed.

Anyhow, thanks for letting me vent about “droppers” as pmac would say.


SG Says:

The drop shot is well suited to clay where the better claycourters are behind the baseline. You almost never see a baseline drop shot on grass as players are usually closer to the baseline. I think it can be fun to watch if the guy hitting the dropper has the nerves to pull it off. There was some giy from Spain (I think) called the Dropshot Dragon. Good nickname.

Speaking of nicknames, there aren’t really good nicknames in tennis. There was “Rocket” Rod Laver isn’t bad. “Pistol” Pete is OK too but kind of promotes guns which I’m not big into. I hear someone called Rafa, “The Mallorcan Minotaur” in reference to his play on red clay. That’s really the best one I’ve ever heard of.


Adrienne Says:

What an absurd comment stating Federer was in Poor Form. WOW, do you live in fantasy land???
So what if he did not win, the points were a few here and there to a very talented player on hard court. I don’t think Federer played Poor, just not as good as the Joker.
Its just all a matter of numbers, what goes up must come down and vice versa. It would be a fantasy land if Fed were to continue winning. Its the law of averages, give the guy a break. Maybe he is slipping up here and there, lots of pressure on him. He is still the man to beat!


Skorocel Says:

First of all, congratulations to Djoker for an excellent performance! He was CLEARLY the better man today!

Today, he was not only equal to Fed from the baseline – he simply OUTPLAYED him! Whereas in the Montreal 2007 final, he was mainly returning the ball to force some costly errors from the Swiss, today, he simply overpowered him. His movement and reactions were quicker – which is maybe normal (as he’s some 6 years younger than Fed), but today, it was more evident than ever. Many times, Fed did absolutely nothing wrong in the rally – yet it ended with Djoker’s winner…

And also (as the author mentioned), Djoker showed true champion’s mentality. In the very first game of the 3rd set, he was down 0-40, but then produced (I guess) 4 excellent serves as if nothing had happened – and that was it for Roger… Then at 5-6, he faced 2 setpoints, but saved both with 2 carbon copy service winners out wide. And finally (as the author mentioned) at 4-5 in the breaker, he produced 2 service winners to earn him the matchpoint – and we know what happened after that…

As for Roger, I don’t think he played a bad match today (after all, his W/UE ratio was something like 38/32). He just wasn’t the better man on the key points… As for the first set, well, there’s not too much to say… Serving for it at 5/4, he produced a bunch of UEs, and these cost him the opening frame. But even if Djoker was leading 5/1 in the 2nd, I guess things would’ve been different if Fed didn’t miss that (rather easy) FH at 1-2, 30-30. He maybe saved the consequent breakpoint, but then soon faced the 2nd one, which Djoker converted running down Fed’s volley and then hitting an excellent FH which landed exactly on the line. Finally, at 3/1 in that 3rd set breaker, Fed missed 2 easy FHs (especially the one at 2/3 was a very painful error), and that was it for the Swiss…

So summed it up, it’s not a surprise that Djoker’s won, but 3/0? Even his most hardcore fans wouldn’t have dreamt about that! As for Fed, well, I’m happy he at least defended his No. 1 spot, which will most likely stay untouched (at least) till the claycourt season’s beginning, since both Djoker and Nadal have lots of points to defend at IW & Miami (whereas Fed did poorly there last year). Anyway, after today’s match, one thing is for sure: Roger DOES have a new rival! There’s no doubt about that!


keemaa Says:

federer was absolutely not as his best today, and looked like he was approaching the whole thing as a practice session — gotta think that Nole’s previous talks about him being beatable got to him a little. I still can’t see Djokovic’s best form beating federer’s best form


ross Says:

2006 was certainly Fed’s peak year. However, he has a very good chance of maintaining his no 1 ranking past wimbledon – rafa has hardly any opportunities to gain ranking points until wimbledon, while Fed has the American hardcourt season to gain points. Djokovic also has to defend many points in the American hardcourt season – and he won’t win too many on clay anyway.

However, its interesting now, since the gap amongst the top 3 has narrowed.

I think Fed’s lack of preparation and illness caused him not to be too sharp in the third round against tipsarevic. And come on, find me one player who has survived a 4.5 hour match to go on and win a grand slam – it just takes too much out of the body. Look at what happened to Hewitt, and many others. After the Tipsarevic match, Fed was never the same. He really didn’t hit top gear against berdych or blake. Djokovic was just a tougher player than those two. If the legs don’t move 100%, it can be tough against the no 3 playing a match of his life.

Nevertheless, Fed’s best is still better than anyone else’s best, on all surfaces except clay. Some R&R will serve him well now. Agreed, the Fed of 2008 will not be as lethal as the Fed of 2006 – however, I think he will still squeak out 2 majors (french is very tough for him anyway), and if he can win the olympics, this would still be a great year for him. And he still has a good shot of ending no 1 again.


xman Says:

hey! I am worried about Federers biggest fanboy Sean Randall. Is his ok? Did he kill himself yet? I sure hope not!


Ryan Says:

From this match what i have understood is that novak has got into federer’s head.First of all novak likes to play mind games with fed by stating that he is
going to beat fed before the match.After all novak is the underdog and can say
whatever he wants.If he fails to keep his word he’ll just say he lost to the best player that the sport had.What novak should remember is that will get his ass kicked the
same way by someone 5 years younger when he is fed’s age or even by fed himself the next time they meet.Anyway
these type of statements only add more weight to the shoulders of federer.
I will not buy the argument that fed lost because of the virus and that
he could not play kooyong.If thats the case fed reached the final of montreal and won the cincinatti title before the US open.He had a week off.That was
enough preparation for the US open 2007 and even then I felt that he was playing badly there and many were suggesting about his lack of AO 2007 form. To
be very accurate fed has not been playing well since AO 2007.He did play a match with djokovic in dubai which was his next tournament after
AO 2007.It dipped even further after his montreal loss to djokovic.By playing well i mean that federer was not consistent with his strokes.He did produce
many flashes of brilliance in many matches but the consistency of his forehand and backhand had decreased significantly.
Partly this could be because fed knows that novak is going to be the successor to the throne even though fed wished he was not.Fed didnt play well in the US open and he got away with that
final because novak choked on the big points.In madrid nalbandian was on a roll and in paris fed was tired.He didnt play well in the TMC and lost to gonzalez.Once he realised that novak was out of the
tournament thats when he really started playing his free flowing game.Fed has to mentally get prepared to accept the competition and he cant expect
his opposition to be much weaker than him. Infact they are closing the gap.The pressure of being world no. 1 for so long, the slam after slam assault that
he has carried out over the years have taken its toll.The high standards that he himself has
introduced to the tennis world are now coming back to haunt him.From now on if federer is not at his best he cannot win grandslams and it is as simple as
that.I thought he got away with playing badly in AO 2006 as well.But from now on federer should be considered more as a threat than as a favourite for
hard court slams.I know thats slightly ridiculous to say but he will be at ease if thats the case.I’m one of his big time fans and it was sad to see him
play badly and lose in 3 straight sets.


Skorocel Says:

To Ryan:
The question is: what’s there left for Fed? 3 more slams (one of them being RG – IF he can do that), 78 more weeks – and he can walk away as GOAT. That’s at least my view…


andrea Says:

what goes up must come down. no one believed that roger would keep winning every non clay slam. the inevitable has happened. hopefully this takes off some of the pressure.

good for djokovic for pulling through – he had set the bar high for himself at the AO and if he would have lost, he would have looked a little blowhardy….

consistency is still the biggest thing in tennis, and while we may have some new challengers, can they maintain a high level of consistency all year? djokovic pretty much disappeared after the us open and nadal has had two back to back years of poor performances post wimbledon.

interesting start to the year for sure. i’m gunning for tsonga in the final.


Ryan Says:

To skorocel: I dont know.I just thought fed could keep going on and on and nobody could stop him.We had pete sampras making predictions that fed could win around 20 slams but that is far from the truth.
This really tells us that what pete sampras had done was remarkable and that people cant beat that number by a large margin and keep going on and on forever.Anyway we’ll see how many slams the djoker can get?


Daniel Says:

Djoko did an excellent job in the big points. I couldn’t believe that he saved the second game in the 3rd set 0-40. If Federer was up 3-0, the match will be different. Congrates for him!

Now the season really got exceting. Assuming Djoko wins here, he will be 5165 having to deffend 2000 over possible 4000 points after the French Open. Nadal will be with 5980 points having to deffend 3000 over 4000 in the same period. I think that he won’t be as sucessfull on clay this year as the previous ones, just put Nalbandian in his draw. Djoko will be n. 2 by the end of the FO and I really don’t know who is goint to win it!


Skorocel Says:

To Ryan:
Agree with you… Sampras set the bar pretty high!


jane Says:

Re-watching the match makes me think Fed shouldn’t feel too badly; it just wasn’t his night. I’m sure he’ll make whatever adjustments he needs to for the remainder of 08, but I do think he should consider hiring a coach, as I said last year after the Nalby losses.

Djoker was really anticipating Fed’s serves and shots, and has said that he’s watch tapes of matches with his coach, so he’s done his homework coming into it. He stood inside the baseline and really dictated.

Credit to Djoker too for being a quick learner in all facets of the game: I don’t think he’s called one trainer this tourney even if he’s suffered nerves & breathing issues; he’s cut down on pre-serve ball-bouncing except when he’s gotten nervous; he’s low-keyed the imitations (only coaxed into to doing one Maria early on); and clearly he’s learned to shorten his matches. In other words, Djok has taken care of a lot of things for which he’s been criticized. And as I opined earlier, I think the same will hold true for his press conferences and brash remarks; he’ll heed the criticism. This guy is a QUICK study and eager learner. I just hope it doesn’t quash his enthusiasm and fight; he’s a different kind of personality than Federer or Rafa, and that’s good for the game.


sensationalsafin Says:

Ok, clearly this is gonna be a debated topic until the next time they play, so I’ll put in my two cents.

Federer’s poor form started against Tipsarevic. Tipsarevic played very solid tennis but Federer was missing a lot from his forehand side (the key indicator of Fed’s poor form). Then against Berdych he seemed to be playing a little better but he really couldn’t get into much of a groove because Berdych was outplaying him and then choking, so it’s hard to assess anything from that match. But then against Blake it still looked to me that Federer was playing bad. And after I saw that match, I knew Djokovic was gonna win. The only thing is, I didn’t expect him to win in straight sets, I thought it’d be atleast 4 and maybe 5. But the reason I called Djokovic’s win wasn’t just because of Federer’s lowered form, it was because I saw how great Djokovic played against Hewitt and Ferrer. He easily handled 2 players who’s style of play is to get under their opponents skin by getting everything back. They were not getting sh*t back against Djokovic. So I’m not surprised by this the winner, I’m surprised by the dominance. Sure Federer was playing bad, but if Djokovic wasn’t playing so great, it would not have been a straight set match.

So I’m very excited for the final. I hope there are no nerves or at least minimal nerves so that both of these great players put on a spectacular show. Tsonga is my new favorite player because his volleys are just the best. But Djokovic is a great baseliner so I think it should be a great final. Either way, we will finally have a new slam champion for the first time in 3 years. Happy Von and jane?

You can’t consider the world number 1 a mere threat on hardcourts. He’s still gonna be the favorite no matter what. But if Djokovic wins this slam, I think he can officially be called the king of hardcourts. That leaves Federer king of grass and Nadal king of clay. Unless players can find a way to impose an attacking game against Nadal on the clay, he’s still gonna dominate. As for the grass, as great as Nadal and Djokovic might be, Federer will put everything into maintaing his rule at Wimbledon. Even last year I felt like Djokovic was the best hardcourt player, he was just a little nervous when it came to claiming that title at the US Open.

I knew coming into this year that Federe was PROBABLY not gonna break Sampras’s record. He might not even tie it. But Sampras won his last slam at 31 (I think) so I don’t doubt Federer will break the record in the next few years. But winning the Olympic Gold might be out of Federer’s reach. The only way he can do that is if he’s able to blitz his way through the field the way he did in Shanghai. That Federer is truly unbeatable, but a regular Federer can be beat by other great players (Djokovic). All I can say is, this is going to be a very exciting year of tennis.


jane Says:

“But Djokovic is a great baseliner so I think it should be a great final. Either way, we will finally have a new slam champion for the first time in 3 years. Happy Von and jane?”

You bet sensationalsafin.


Von Says:

SS:

“Either way, we will finally have a new slam champion for the first time in 3 years. Happy Von and jane?”

I want to see Tsonga win. Fed can still win but not everything. And he’ll also find out how difficult it is to attain those last 2 slams. It took Pete 2-3 years to get those 2. However, Pete had some back injuries that kept him sidelined for most of ’99, and getting back into form after that is not an easy task. Look at Agassi, he had to stop playing because of his back.

I made my comments about Djok’s win under the thread “Tsonga’s Aussie Open Miracle.” Read it, I was very fair to Fed.


jane Says:

andrea,

“djokovic pretty much disappeared after the us open” – not really; he won the tournament in Vienna and got to the semis in Madrid (lost to winner, Nalby). He fizzled only in the last 2 events: Paris and the MC.

But I agree that consistency is key and Djoker will have a lot of points to defend this year, so it’ll be important for him to be consistent.

No one has really “called” the final yet. It’s a tough one to predict I think – maybe 50/50 given all the various factors (pressure, no pressure; never having played each other; neither having won a GS; etc…). It may come down to nerves as someone said, but I think a lot will depend on who is able to dictate points and go the distance. Dictating could depend on 1st serves but returning well also and fitness may be a factor. I think the match is earlier in the day than the semis? If it is, that may favor Tsonga. Anyway, it should be competitive.


Von Says:

Jane:

“If it is, that may favor Tsonga. Anyway, it should be competitive.”

Tsonga also had an additional day for resting and preparing. It should be an electrifying final. Djok is going to prove you wrong — wanna make a bet that if it’s a day match he’ll have an injury timeout.


jane Says:

Von,
Lol. No, I’m not the betting kind. I have a tough time trying to predict winners most of the time. And how could I possibly bet on whether or not Djok will have a timeout? Maybe he will. But I was simply trying to make the point that it obvious to me he’s working on things and will continue to do so, whether it be aspects of his game, his fitness, or his off court relations. I think he’ll continue to grow and learn.

Earlier you said “what happened to grace and class” – well I think there are different personalities in sports and that’s fine; in fact it’s great! Look at Connors – he irked a lot of people but he was a great champion nonetheless. I like the theatricality of the Serbs; all the players shouldn’t have to behave in the same way when they win or lose. It’d be kind of boring, I think.


fedex Says:

I find it disturbing that federer has not been able to capitalize on early breaks or break point opportunities in sets. this happened in semis in the first set and also on tipseravics match. that is so unlike the great champion. Anyway, i think federer is still the best in the world…and will keep wining in the future now that the pressure is a bit off.


Von Says:

Adrienne:

“What an absurd comment stating Federer was in Poor Form. WOW, do you live in fantasy land???”

I agree. I don’t think 7-5, 6-3, 7-6, is poor form by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe, a poor form for Fed considering his high standard of play. What I saw was an errant forehand and a few steps slower as the cause of Federer losing the match. Fed was not dictating play, Djok was. It also seemed to me that Fed surrendered after he got broken in the first set. his body language seemed to say, why bother.

The writer stated: “The biggest difference compared to that match though, was how strong Djokovic was on the important points today…” That’s the theme of the whole match in a nutshell. Djok was stronger on the important points. Federer was not winning the key points.

The question that’s being asked is, “What’s next for Fed?” The question should be: “What’s next for Djok.” Djok has an established pattern of not being able to win back-to-back tournaments. One example that stands out is his win in Montral and then losing in the first round of Cincy. That being the case how could he possibly be a consistent No. 1 player.

If, and when, Federer loses the No. 1 ranking, the top 5 will become a revolving door. There will not be consistency in the Nos.1, 2 and 3 rankings which will cause a domino effect going through the top 10. Nadal has exhibited a pattern in the last two years of his play coming to a halt after Wimby. Djok similar results.

I don’t think the writer should place too much emphasis on Djok’s form as the benchmark for all future tournaments because of his ostensible fitness problems.

I pick Tsonga to win the final/championship match.


Von Says:

Jane:

“Lol. No, I’m not the betting kind. I have a tough time trying to predict winners most of the time.” I can’t either or else I would have lost a bundle today. I was just pushing your buttons.

“It’d be kind of boring, I think.” I agree.

Don’t laugh, but I am not very smart at interpreting the acronyms on these threads. What does “LOL” mean, and “GOAT”?


jane Says:

I’d never laugh Von – had to google half them myself.

LOL: laughing out loud (or sometimes lots of laughs)

GOAT; haha – took me a while to figure that one out myself – it means not stubborn or Capricorn or cheese, or any of the other things you’d associate with the mammal. It means “Greatest of All Time”.

Maria and Ana final match is entertaining so far; I’m glad it hasn’t been a rout. I’d love to see it go three sets. Masha just took the first set, but it wasn’t easy for her. The difference so far may be that Maria is a ruthless competitor (as commentators said), and Ivanovic is not quite there yet. But she will be.

Is anyone else getting tired of “come ons”?? Sheesh – can’t they say something else.


Tejuz Says:

Djok might be too carried away after beating Fed that he might be in danger of losing his next match. Just like he lost in Cincy after beating Fed in Montreal. Tsonga might surprise him for sure… and he might not have too many plans againt Tsonga.


Franz Says:

.. sadly i missed the federer match, but i have seen djokovic play, Tsonga certainly surprised all, those who missed the match ought to be ashamed, espn360 still has it under replays, tsonga is unbelievable and has never played Djokovic, so both of them don’t really know eachother. i’d like to see tsonga loose after what he did in match though, yelling at umpire even if call was bad is just wrong.


Von Says:

Jane:

Thanks for not laughing.

I thought that LOL could possibly mean: laugh out loud, or, Lord Oh Lord. I always say “Lord have mercy.” That’s my way of expressing myself if I am faced with a problem.

And GOAT, in the sports world, is like the following: “one day hero, next day goat.” Goat meaning a loser, idiot, etc.

Never thought GOAT was the Greatest of All Time. I used to wonder why they would refer to Fed as the GOAT and thought, Oh my, they like him and call him that.” How funny.

Maria won,just as I mentioned when Ivanovic won that Maria would pound her, she did. Ivanovic was crying. I felt so sorry for her but she is another Hantuchova, she freezes. However, she is young and she mikght toughen up.

I just want to tell you that it’s not that dislike Djok, I just don’t like his bragging. I get angry at Andy too when he brags. It sounds silly, and then if they don’t win, they look stupid.

At the beginning I used to back Djok but he was so streaky, that I stopped backing him. I’ve had too many let downs by Andy, Safin and Pete in his latter years, that I stopped rooting for anyone. I just watch the matches that I feel would be interesting and not root for anyone. But, at the back of my mind I dhope that my favorites would win. The AO this year was a triple whammy, Safin, Andy, and Murray.

I don’t care for the c’mons. When the kids were little I would take them for a stroll and they would stop and dawdle, I used to say come on, meaning, let’s go. The c’mons in Tennis has a different meaning. That’s a Hewitt exclusive.


Tennis Fan Says:

Djokovic is a very dislikeable personality. Smug,Disrespectful,Self-loving. His game is largely one dimensional, and most uninteresting. Truly a sad day for Men’s tennis. We will see whether Tsonga now eliminates Djokovic and creates a vacuum for a while until either Federer regains his form, or another multi-dimensional player fills the void.


Tejuz Says:

Franz.. u should see the match again. Tsonga yelled at the umpire because he had a service winner which was over-ruled as out by the chair umpire.. but it was infact ‘in’ after referring to Hawk-eye. Instead of awarding the point to Tsonga, he was asked to replay the break point. If you were Tsonga, wouldnt u be pissed at the umpire to intervene a winning point and then being asked to replay again I surely would.. cuz by the time the umpire had intervened Nadal had already lost the point.


Tejuz Says:

Tsonga sure is more multi-dimensional than Djok or Nadal… and if he takes the baton from Fed it could still be great for Men’s tennis. Even Murray is pretty versatile.. but is as cocky and bragger as Djokovic. Anyway.. i guess we need different personalities in tennis. But somehow i feel Tsonga is more like Safin (though i hope he is not).. Devastating in his best form.. else mediocre… not very consistent through out the year. I certainly dont see Djokovic dominating Men’s tennis like Fed has .. The No 1 spot would be like a revolving door.. once Fed lets go of this spot. But i think Fed will be more than ready for Djok the next time they face each other. He doesnt like anything better than a revenge…


sensationalsafin Says:

Von, I read what you said about Federer and I kinda agree. He’s always said he likes the pressure so I don’t know how much it’s really bothering him. I still think his biggest problem is that he needs a coach. This really dates back to ever since he fired Roche. Sure he still hits amazing shots but his game has become predictable. I”m an amateur and I can see the patterns in his game. He needs to find a really great coach to help him because there’s not all that much he can really change. I’m not saying that if Federer has a coach he’s gonna become unbeatable, but he’d atleast be able to put up more of a fight against someone like Djokovic, and even Nalbandian. He’s not as good off the baseline as he’s been in the last few years. I feel like he’s back to the way he was before he became TMF. He goes for shots too early, he gets cranky, and he starts missing. I think he’s being stubborn because he’s always trying to play aggressive even when the best game plan is for him to just lay back a bit and keep the ball in play. There’s more but I need to go make breakfast.

P.S. Djokovic in 4 over Tsonga


SG Says:

Watching the Fed-Djokovic match, it just seemed that Fed was out of sorts. I actually think it was mental more than physical. He can match Djokovic shot for shot. I think he is the better shotmaker.

But, Fed often wins on mental intimidation. I don’t think Djokovic was the least bit intimidated when he stepped out there. He truly believed he was going to win. So, in essence, Djokovic didn’t beat himself. He forced Fed to come up with brilliant shot after brilliant shot to win points. This actually out pressure on Federer.

The other thing is, Fed has been getting used to exiting tight spots with his serve in the last year or so. His serve would bail him out here and there when he was missing forehands. But, Djokovic was reading Roger’s serve pretty well. He basically forced Federer to play a lot more balls than he normally does on a hardcourt. The equivalent of what Nadal has done to Fed on clay the last few years.

I don’t know if Fed needs a coach. But, I think that he didn’t really rest enought over the very short off season. Then there were the matches with Sampras. Fed just didn’t look mentally fresh in crunch time against a very determined Djokovic. Perhaps Djok still would have won even if Fed were a little mentally more rested. But, I don’t think Djok bounces Fed in straights.


SG Says:

It’ll be a tough road for Fed to Paris with his hopes of a Golden Slam vanquished. That being said, on grass, he is head and shoulders above most everyone.

I think he will gather himself after Paris and play very well at Wimbledon, the Olympics and the US Open. I expect him to be No.1 at years end and I expect him to tie Pete’s record in this calendar year. There are no guarantees for next year, but he will be a force at Wimbledon for the next few years for sure.


jonesy Says:

A Federer-free final WOW!! I am so happy about that. When Federer loses tennis is the winner. NO EXCUSES Novak OUTPLAYED Federer all the way. Congrats to Djokovic and Tsonga!!!! For once, this is one slam final I will be very happy and excited to watch.


sensationalsafin Says:

I think now that he DOESN’T have to worry about the Golden Slam, it’ll make his quest for the French easier. He’s going to be eager to win his first slam of the year, win one of the few titles he hasn’t one, and just prove himself to everyone again. If he can raise his game to the level it was at Shanghai, he can win the French. I just think he needs to focus mentally. I agree that it was very mental. Both Nadal and now Djokovic, and Nalbandian every now and then, just don’t fear Federer. And I have always said Federer is so much better than these players but when they push him he falls apart.

I don’t really think there are many excuses you can make for this loss, though. So Federer was a little sick, it happens. He still made it to the semis by only dropping 2 sets, the same amount Tsonga has dropped. But Djokovic played his game the whole way through. The biggest difference Djokovic never backed down. Seriously though, Federer shanked 2 pretty easy forehands in that tie-breaker, so it’s safe to say he was definetly not at his best. Federer’s best vs Djokovic’s best means Federer wins. But like they were saying on tennis.com, Djokovic is no longer one of those players Federer can beat on his off days.


jane Says:

sensationalsafin & SG:

“I think he’s being stubborn because he’s always trying to play aggressive even when the best game plan is for him to just lay back a bit and keep the ball in play.”

“He forced Fed to come up with brilliant shot after brilliant shot to win points.”

What I take from both of these points is that Djoker was the more patient player of the two. Federer’s efforts to end points quickly weren’t working – whether he tried with the serve, or with angles or with coming in, not much worked. Djok got everything back.

I do think Federer wasn’t playing his best, but Djoker has a great all round game.

Djoker’s got a good and consistent serve, he’s good off both sides, he’s fast around the court, he’s getting better and better at net, he’s a good tactician (except for some droppers), and what’s more, he’s good on every single surface. He’s the youngest player in the open era to have reached the semis of every Grand Slam. He’s weaknesses are his breathing/nerve issues and his bravado. But he’ll work those out. I predict a stellar career for this guy.

Tsonga is another great all round player with a theatrical personality – jumping around, wearing his cap hip-hop style. Having not seen him play as much as Djok it’s hard to say what the year hold for him, but I hope he isn’t another Safin and can keep his brilliant form of late consistent.

jonesy – I agree with you that Djok outplayed Federer and that this slam final will be a treat. We should all sit back and enjoy the tennis.


Mike Says:

I’m excited about this final because it’ll be great to see a new Slam champ. Plus it means another year for Agassi to still have the AO record at 4 wins (can’t believe nobody else won AO more times???).

I was a bit disappointed to read Federer’s post-match interview (on the AO site); I realize he’s disappointed at having lost. But he commented on not caring who wins the final and how he probably won’t watch the final because he’ll probably just leave, and how he won’t make an effort to watch it on TV.

I think that as the #1 top player (and possible tennis GOAT, to paraphrase Jane), he has some responsibility as tennis ambassador (even after he’s just lost a match) to at least say that the final is still great for tennis, and that he hopes to watch it, even if he has no intention. His comments made me think “sore loser” too much.

Incidentally someone else previously asked about who has won a long 5-setter and then won the GS, and it reminded me of Becker’s 5-set victory of Derrick Rostagno at the ’89 USOpen. I don’t know how long that match was, but I think he might have even faced a match point that match.

x
Mike


jane Says:

Here’s an interesting stat regarding predicting the final winner:

“History would seem to favour the man who played his semi-final first. Since 1997 the champion has been the man who completed his semi-final first in eight out of 11 years.”

Von – you mentioned something about this, how Tsonga will be more rested, and he has no pressure, whereas I think Djoker does. This final could be a major upset. But Djoker wants it badly too, as he showed in beating Fed. So – who knows?


sensationalsafin Says:

Who cares about the stats? Federer was 5-1 against Djokovic and like 2-0 in Slam matches. Tsonga had like a 19-15 TOUR record before this tournament. In tennis, and basically in every sport, stats mean nothing.

I’m not gonna lie, I’m pretty happy with this. I’m usually the one supporting Federer but I don’t even care that he lost. I like both of the finalists and I’m eager to see a new slam champion. But most importantly, he lost in the semis!! That’s not even bad by Federer’s standards. It’s only his 3rd slam semi that he lost. I think poor form is the reason it was in straight sets but it was still the semifinal. He could make up the loss of points by getting to both semis at Indian Wells and Miami. This isn’t the end of the Federer era, it’s just a new phase. How many straight slam semis does he have? 15!!! 15 straight semis, incuding 10 straight finals!! Big news will be a loss before the semis, otherwise the semis is a great result even for the world number 1.

I agree that he should atleast make an effort to watch the final. There’s no excuse for him to say that he doesn’t care about the result.


Shital Green Says:

Many of you guys made a big deal about Djoko’s confidence and went on to characterize it as cockiness. Like everything else, behavior is also measured with respect to norms, and norms are formalized by the hegemons, the ruling elites of the respective group. Federer is part of that Tennis hegemony or establishment.

In Federer’s interview with AO, dated January 23rd, he says: “That’s not cocky. That’s confidence. That’s just a normal tennis player.” This remark should be a guideline for those Fed fans who deserve to be carried away at a time when Fed loses in straight sets (last time Fed lost in straight sets at the Slam level on hard court was in US Open 2002 against Mirnyi).

After the brutal defeat, Fed is like his fans who seem to have lost love for tennis. Part of Fed’s January 25 interview with AO is evidence to that:
Q. Do you think he [Djoko] will go on and win the final now?

ROGER FEDERER: I don’t care really.
A little later,
Q. Will you watch the final?

ROGER FEDERER: I don’t know if I’m here, so we’ll see.

Q. If you’re away, will you try and find it on a television station somewhere?

ROGER FEDERER: No, I won’t.
[Any one who loves tennis will not miss watching a Grand Slam Final, but Federer...?]


Von Says:

SensationalSafin:

“Von, I read what you said about Federer and I kinda agree. He’s always said he likes the pressure so I don’t know how much it’s really bothering him. I still think his biggest problem is that he needs a coach.”

It’s that stubborn macho pride. He needs a second pair of eyes to see his game and break it down for him. He won 8 slams during Tony Roche’s regime as coach. He made the worst mistake getting rid of Tony, but his stupid pride won’t let him acknowledge it. I’ll just preface an example with a simple comparison. I know I post with some typos, it’s not that I don’t read over what I type, but it’s not accurate. I can’t proofread my own work, I don’t see my mistakes. Comparison: Fed cannot breakdown his match play for himself, he needs an expert to show him where he went wrong, he needs a second, more experienced pair of eyes.

What’s his reason for not having a coach. Simply put, ego. He has to show the world how great he is, minus a coach. He can do it all.

Sampras had a coach until he retired. Why, because he can’t see his mistakes. Roche had the knowledge, foresight, hindsight, the whole enchilada = 8 slams Fed won while he had Roche as his coach.

As I stated before, and I’ll say it again, he has placed too much self-imposed stress on himself, plus his inflated ego and pride. It will be the cause of his undoing. He is probably going crazy now trying to breakdown his game, where he went wrong and beating the living daylights out of himself. Simple solution, get a coach, and remember that you can’t have it and win them all. Be thankful and be proud of your achievements. Play his game and the additional slams will come. He’ll never get them if he continues to push himself in his egomaniacal state.

Fed is the type of person who has a big ego and a certain amount of greed. You can’t have it all. He’ll find fault with everything else but himself, and the problem lies within himself.

Just take a look at what is his new mindset, not only does he want to win everything, he now wants to win, 6-0, 6-0, 6-0. Isn’t that crazy. Who cares about beating someone only losing 6 games, it’s the end result that counts, he got the “W”. Regardless of how sloppy he played.

I often state that I think of him as a Borg parallel, and more and more I’m seeing it happen. Didn’t Borg go oachless? Well, guess what, Fed’s thinking, I want to be like that. I’m going to show them I can do it also. Wrong. It ain’t gonna happen. When he won the ’07 US Open he stated that he couldn’t, eat, sleep and his hands were shaking throughout the tournament. Guys, does this sound normal to you. So what if he lost the USO, didn’t he win it many times before. This is just self-imposed pressure.

SG: You stated: “I don’t know if Fed needs a coach. But, I think that he didn’t really rest enought over the very short off season.”

You’re doing what he does, finding excuses for his loss. He had a lot of time. That’s a cop out. The fact is, he was beaten and no excuses.

Mike staed:

“I was a bit disappointed to read Federer’s post-match interview (on the AO site); I realize he’s disappointed at having lost. But he commented on not caring who wins the final and how he probably won’t watch the final because he’ll probably just leave, and how he won’t make an effort to watch it on TV.”

Doesn’t Fed sound like a spoilt child making that statement. He lost his lollypop so now he doesn’t care. The answer is, he cares and it hurt too much to watch the final. He wishes he was in the final. He’ll watch the final to break down the games of both players for future reference.

Patrick McEnroe and Chris Fowler were talking about Fed’s loss and Fowler said that Fed stated he does not look at the other players’ matches. McEnroe said, don’t believe him, he was in the gym talking to Fed and Fed was already breaking down Nadal/Tsonga match, so, don’t believe all he says. Then Fowler said, you mean he’s fibbing? Mc says sure he is. To me it seems as though everyone sees his sore loser behavior and his incongruence.

SS; you stated: “I think now that he DOESN’T have to worry about the Golden Slam, it’ll make his quest for the French easier. He’s going to be eager to win his first slam of the year, win one of the few titles he hasn’t one, and just prove himself to everyone again.”

I don’t think it will be asier for him, he’s going to be thinking about his AO loss and he’s going to run himself ragged trying to win more slams. This loss makes it harder for him to win. His confidence is at zero presently. He needs to just let things flow and be patient. Presently, Fed is worried about his No.1 ranking, what if, he loses this tournment or that tournamrnt, he’s scared. Unfortunately, that’s the human mind.

I pick Tsonga over Djok in 4 sets.


Von Says:

SS: “There’s more but I need to go make breakfast.”

I thought you had a maid. I don’t think Marat makes his own breakfast. How is it that SensationalSafin has to make his own.


Von Says:

Tennis Fan:

I saw that match. Tsonga didn’t yell at the Umpire. They had a difference of opinion and he told the umpire he was wrong, n a semi-soft tone. The umpire was indeed wrong, Tsonga had an ace and he had to replay the point. He should have given the ace to Tsonga. However, as fate would have it, a lot of times when we do something hurtful to another person, we indeed do them a favor. Thus, on Tsonga’s next serve, he hit an ace. Sort of poetic justice?


jane Says:

sensationalsafin: “Who cares about the stats?”

Pretty much everyone who wants to call Federer the “GOAT” cares about stats.

I realize stats, scorelines, and records are not what make a great player or a match or whatever, but a lot of people base their analyses or opinions on stats. I just thought it interesting so I threw it out there.


jane Says:

Von,

“Doesn’t Fed sound like a spoilt child making that statement.”

One of the things I enjoy about your posts is that you’re so blunt, or that you call a spade a spade. This is the exact same thing my Aunt said about Federer when we were watching his match against Djoker.

One thing I agree with Federer about though is the whole lack of umpire input at times. I like Hawkeye technology, unlike him, but it does seem to have made umpires more like passive scorekeepers. In Ivanovic’s match against Hantuchova and in that Federer / Djok match, the umpires were pretty useless in terms of over-rules. When Djok challenged a serve (an ace) called out, Federer was already walking to the other side because he knew Djok was right. Why didn’t the umpire say something; it was even a serve on the ump’s side, out wide, so it should’ve been easy to see.


Von Says:

Jane:

“One of the things I enjoy about your posts is that you’re so blunt, or that you call a spade a spade.”

Thanks, Jane. I like your posts too, they’re insightful and illuminating.

SS: “Who cares about the stats?”

Fed does. How is he going to re-write history without the stats. He uses the stats as a guideline. In my opinion, the record, stats, et al., don’t mean a thing, What should matter is the win/loss column. The statisticians and the media have made Tennis so intricate and complicated by breaking down a player’s win, by how many sets he played to win the match, how many points lost on serve, how sloppy the match was, their body language, net play, baseline play, unforced error, clean match, etc., etc.,

The bottom line is it was either a win or a loss. You can have all thise wonderful stats going for you and still lose.

Just remember guys, “It don’t mean a thing, if aint got the swing, doo wop, doo wop….”


Von Says:

Sorry, please excuse the typo in the following:

Just remember guys, “It don’t mean a thing, if aint got the swing, doo wop, doo wop….”

It should read:
“It don’t mean a thing, if you ain’t got the swing, doo wop, doo wop.”


Von Says:

SenastionalSafin:

“I’m not gonna lie, I’m pretty happy with this. I’m usually the one supporting Federer but I don’t even care that he lost. I like both of the finalists and I’m eager to see a new slam champion.”

By George he’s got it!

I see that you’re finally making that turn to my way of thinking. This is exciting. A new era has begun. Here we have two players who’ve never played in the finals, one a virtual unknown, who probably did not even entertain the thought of ending up in the finals, and the other hungry for his first slam. I think we’re in for a treat with great shot-mking and variety in different styles of play, but most of all, players who can play within themselves.

Variety IS the spice of life!

__________
Footnote: Jane, we have a one-sided bet — you know pushing your buttons!


Kash Says:

Von:

I will post more later, but with roche, fed won 6 GS. 2 in 05, 3 in 06 and 1 in 07. roche was fired before hamburg. so that is that. Fed won 1 GS with his other coach. The remaining 5 he won without a coach. I cant see his decision to not have a coach as egoistic. Roche was hired specifically for the french. Did he do his job? I dont think so. Fed might have thought the same. I am a ph.D student, and I know the travails of finding the right advisor. Almost as challenging as finding the right partner to live with.

From what I read about Fed’s opinion on a coach, Fed wants to find that right fit and not fire coaches left right center like murray, a-rod or safin and most other players do. Fed, in most cases, seems to be the person seeking a long-term solution. He doesnt want wham-bam thank you mam kind of situations. I can imagine how tough it might be for him to find the right coach having invested close to 5yrs myself to find myself the right advisor. There are people in this world, who dont think of work as a 8-4 and forget it kind of thing. Given that, working relations become as important as personal relations because work is a very significant part of life. I am sure most of the people will agree very few people like tennis as much as fed-does.

And dont forget, he has mirka for a 2nd opinion. She was an ex-wta player, right? Or is it not qualification enough to be a coach? I think it does not make sense to say fed doesn’t want coaches since he has a huge ego. Why then did he even bother with roche?


Franz Says:

… a bad call is no excuse to yell at umpire


Franz Says:

thats waht challenge system is for


Kash Says:

about fed not watching the final:

I did not watch tennis for almost a year or so when sampras was beaten by federer in the 4th round at 2001 W. It was devastating to see sampras lose at wimbledon. Just never could bring myself to terms with it. I could care less who won that year. As it turned out I missed a great chapter in sports with ivanisevic winning the big W. To me it mattered nada! This is to a person who was obsessed with his favorite player win his favorite title. I cant even imagine how pathetic it must feel for a player to lose a match. What are the chances that blake and roddick are setting their alarms to watch this ground breaking final between joker and tsonga? Or nadal is oh so eager to see tsonga win this title in a hard-fought 1 for the ages kind of match?

Dont hold your breath for that to happen. These people are competitors 1st and anything else after that. To expect them to be diplomats, cancer curers and to come and part the red-sea tomorrow is unreasonable. They play only to win. Given that how can you expect a guy who suffered the worst loss in about 5 and a half yrs of GS tennis to cheerfully oblige your whims and be a tennis ambassador, world leader and I dont know what not.

I donot think any player other than, maybe blake, can claim to be not egoistic. I am sure some blake hater will throw us some fodder on that, not to mention it might not be totally unrelated that blake’s killer instinct on the court is as much as that of a sheep left in the middle of a safari. I am sure any person who dominates a sport like fed did with tennis will have enough people unhappy about his conduct to make a list of his flaws. Does some one dare suggest an exception?


jane Says:

Kash,

“Why then did he even bother with roche?” I think you answered this question yourself – Federer bothered with Roche because he wants to win the French Open and therefore be considered the GOAT – It is, after all, the one thing he hasn’t won, besides Olympic gold, which he is also chasing this year. So when he didn’t win the French, he fired his coach. Commentators always hesitate to call Fed the GOAT because he has not won the slam on dirt, so Fed wants that a lot. He’s chasing “history” as he says.

But, from what I understand, Federer is a little bit stubborn when it comes to taking advise: he wants to beat a baseliner from the baseline – at his own game. He was advised to play a more attacking style at the French against Rafa in their second final, and he didn’t – except for in the set which he won. John McEnroe called Federer “stubborn” during that match; this was directly after he had fired Roche, was it not? I think even the best players need someone focused on their game. Sure Mirka can offer advice, but she’s also his manager, so would be dealing with P.R. and media and everything else. Coaching, in addition to that, is too much.

About Fed not watching – I don’t really care whether he watches or not; however, I would think that most players would WANT to watch so they can be on top of their new competitors, see what’s up-and-coming. Not to mention the fact that they LOVE the game.

But whatever – we’ll be watching! ;-)


Kash Says:

My take on the federer joker match was that neither player played their best, but ofcourse joker played closer to his best than federer did. Joker played really brilliant tennis from 3-5 0-30 down in 1st set till the end of 2nd where he started doing what appears to be more and more questionable, “the breathing problems”. Is there any medical and tennis expert who can explain this breathing problem and how joker can be troubled b/w points, yet run like a rabbit once the point starts. I dont remember him doing this in the matches in 2007 and ofcourse we remember that legendary 2006 match against nadal at the French open, where joker retired 2 sets down and later claimed he was in a winning position or something to that effect.

Anyways, fed seemed flat, for most part of the match, almost like in his loss to volandri at rome. He appeared to be very much like the man burdened by the insane standards he has set for himself, reaching the finals in 10 consecutive GS and other such crazy numbers. He played totally scratchy tennis, much like what he played against blake and berdych. Ofcourse novak is no blake or berdych and he duly put the hammer down on the fed in 3 sets. It is very strange how fed went from the lethal form he was in at the end of the masters in 07 to this scratchy form. We will have to see how he does in dubai and ofcourse the american masters.

Feds serve and forehand were a far cry from their best and this was the prime reason he folded so meekly. He has played this scratch tennis through out 07 except till dubai and the last 3 matches at the masters. The difference though was the serve was exceptional during those times, like the wimbledon and us open final but here it was ordinary. Joker’s aggressive play made it look even more ordinary.

As for joker, he started the match hesitantly, but played awesome tennis from 3-5 down in the 1st. I guess this is the last time he will be so nervous in a GS match, coz he is most probably going to get the big W today. I hope he sorts that breathing issue out or clearly explains how it affects him only b/w points and not during points. He better not do that crap in the match today. Another thing, was the chair umpire calling him for his excessive time b/w points. It is high time the umpires get pro-active and make sure the game is played at a fair pace. It is not at all fair to the fitter/rythm based player to have more time b/w points than is necessary. Shame on novak for acting like an idiot staring like a moron at the umpire for implementing the rules. I hope more umpires have the guts to do that. They should not give into players’ demands and cop out on their job.


SG Says:

Von,

I’m not really the biggest Fed fan. But, I do think some objectivity is required here. Federer has put a lot on himself. He wants to wins the Grand Slam, he wants to win in Beijing, he wants represent the sport, he wants to be No.1. And he has dominated the sport pretty damned well. With all that pressure, every person needs some down time. Tiger Woods made sure he got away from the game for a couple of months. Look at him at the Buick. He is on a planet all by his lonesome. Even the very best need down time. Sometimes, for no other reason than the opportunity to see the forest thru the trees. This guy empties his bucket when he plays. He wants to win every point, every set, every match, every tournament, every major. That level of personal expectation takes its emotional toll. I suspect that Fed will re-look at his schedule over the next few years and be a little more strategic. It’s time to gradually scale back so that he can make sure he is freshest when it matters most.

None of what I’ve said is an excuse. Djokovic never flinched. He took Fed out in straights in a major. That’s no fluke. Djokovic has serious game. And he has time to get even better. Fed struggles to read his serve. And the kid can bomb away from the backcourt with flat penetrating shots. He is a great mover and he if confident. With some better net presence, he could easilty reach No.1 at some point in his career. Perhaps he could get to No.1 even without a better net game. This is rivalry that will be interesting to watch.


Tejuz Says:

Franz.. Tsonga wouldnt have yelled had his ace been called out by a linesman. This was a match refree intevening a valid winning point, which was turned down by Hawk-eye. Even if the linesman had called it out..the point should have still been awarded to Tsonga because the call was made after he won the point and it had no impact on Nadal’s action.


Kash Says:

Jane:

I agree with you on the stubborn part, fed does seem to be very much it, which I have to add is how a good portion of champions are. If they hear the advice of every john, mats and pat out there, they might not have become great in the 1st place.

but it also takes the right person to put that word through. After all, there are two ends to coaching, right? To most humans, it is not just what is said, but who is actually saying it. Like the mcenroe example, I would really love to hear the same comment from some one else who doesnt always yap about how racquet technology has changed the way tennis is played. It makes more sense to me coming from a commentator like cahill or mary carillo or even maybe pat mac. Johnny mac is so stubborn himself, it makes it less appealing for me to take his word. Ofcourse I donot deny he is right in this case, but I hope you see my point. As I understand, fed is looking for his own “cahill”. I think it would be more apt if roche/lundgren said Roger is stubborn and not johnny mac. How are we sure fed did not implement what he and roche discussed? Or is fed stubborn coz he does not do what johnny mac thinks is right?

And about other players watching, are you telling me roddick watched each of federer’s matches after he got thrashed by federer? I can safely make a bet he did not till his coach or someone suggest he do so. I know how much I hate losing. I play informal ping-pong tournaments with my friends and once I lose that is it for me. It is so hard to be the big guy at that moment. I dont have any reason to assume these tennis players who covet winning much more than me and abhor losing worse than most things in life, will be the big guys without any vested interest. I can believe players watch to take note of what went wrong etc etc. Most probably fed will do so before the next time he plays novak. He doesnt have to do it exactly tomorrow when his wounds are still fresh, right? I t is almost impossible to believe any of the top-10ers actucally going to watch the match of a guy they just got thrashed by a couple of days ago for the GREATER and GENERAL GOOD or WORLD PEACE (made famous by miss south carolina!). They might do it to analyze but they maynot do that at the point the match is happening, at this point in history when we have dvr and other such recording devices.

Fed did not say he will never watch. He said he doesn’t care who wins it and he will not make any EXTRA effort to watch the final. That does not imply he will never watch the match at all in his life. Surely a competitive creature such as a sportsman can do so without questioning his commitment for the sport? Anyone who does so, I can give you a list of more significant 50+ no-concern for tennis actions, which might need our immediate action starting with novak’s questionable injury time-outs and nadal’s excessive time b/w points, roddick’s abusing every person on the court in the crappiest language possible when he is losing a match and rememmber i have not even started talking about safin and nalbandian.


jane Says:

Kash,
“Is there any medical and tennis expert who can explain this breathing problem and how joker can be troubled b/w points, yet run like a rabbit once the point starts. I dont remember him doing this in the matches in 2007″

First, Djokovic has been operated on, for, I think, what is called a deviated septum , so he definitely has a medical condition.

Second, we see him have breathing difficulties between points where, as you say, he’s run like a rabbit because, a) the action is much slower between points obviously, and b) many players who’ve just had a long rally gulp for air between points, not just Djokovic.

Third, Luke Jensen thought Djoker may have a kind of athlete’s asthma, which could be aggravated by activity, stress, and heat.

Fourth, Djokovic did have breathing problems in 2007; for instance, at the US Open during the 5 setter (which was on a hot humid day) against Stepanek.

I think it’s valid to question Djokovic’s fitness at times, as he’s been know to call a trainer or two. However, he hasn’t called a trainer at this tournament, and he’s stretching a lot between points, and trying to stay calmer, which I see as his efforts to control his breathing condition.

As to serving times, if the umpire is going to call him on time, fine, but the timing of that call was a very intense time, and he took just as long between other points, so why not call it earlier, right away, not at a crucial point in the match. Also, if it’s going to be called against one player, call it against the others, like Rafa, who also is slow between points.


jane Says:

One last point about Federer answering the press’s question, “who do you think will win the final” with “I don’t really care” -

When Henin was asked about the remainder of the tournament, after being beaten badly by Maria, she did not hesitate: she said it’s Sharapova’s tournament to win, she’s a great champion, she’s playing the best ever, etc.

Maybe Federer could have offered a slightly more diplomatic answer to that question, even if he isn’t interested in watching the match, he could certainly speculate on it.


Kash Says:

Regarding today’s final, my prayer is that tsonga not freeze all of a sudden. To his credit he didn’t do so against nadal, when i was almost sure he will. If the semi-final tsonga turns up, i am actually a little scared for joker for who it will be almost like watching the rog-novak semi-final through fed’s view. The worst thing is joker doesnt have the 11GS experience to draw upon like fed had.

That said, joker has shown us that he knows how to prepare for the big-stage and i expect him to edge tsonga out in 4 tough sets. If tsonga finally freezes, he will be sent back in 3straight sets to france into that same assylum from which gasquet and paul mathieu, monfils come.


jane Says:

Kash,

As I already stated, it doesn’t matter to me whether or not Fed watches (this was other poster’s complaint, not mine – see above), I would just think he’d want to for the reasons I said. However, I can certainly see your point that he might watch it at a later time, in a few weeks or whatever. I can also see that the loss would still be fresh; after all, the press were asking him to speculate on the match and it had only been over for 15 minutes! Crazy.

As for Johnny Mac being stubborn, well, you got that right – and it’s definitely as champion’s characteristic. But I was just pointing out that maybe if Federer had had a coach he’d listen to, maybe (?) he’d have won the French. Maybe not too.


Tejuz Says:

well.. Fed did explain that he fired Roche cuz at one point of time there wasnt any communication between them even during the tournaments. He dint say much when fed lost to Nadal and Volandri. What are coaches paid for??? Roche was just a part-timer.. he might give some inputs on how Fed can improve his own game(which is not much).. but i dont think he is the kind who would watch oppenents matches and devise strategies to beat them. He probabaly thought Fed does it anyway and getting his fat-cheque for doing virtually nothing.

But i do agree that Fed needs a coach. Fed is sure has a huge ego.. but so did all the previous great champions. Comon.. he just lost a semi-finals to No 3 on a new plexi-cushion court where he hasnt played much before… Havent Sampras been beaten by Krajicek in straight sets as his fav wimbledon in ’96. but he did bounce back to win the next 4. So i think it would be fool hardy to write off Federer. He still has a lot to offer.. and he knowz it.

Djok has talent.. but his tennis sure is not that pretty expecially his forehand and service motion. He has a heavy western grip which looks awkward when you watch it in super-slow motion. His service motion isnt that pretty either, neither are his volleys.. but they are effective. I do like his backhand though.

I like Tsonga’s game more.. reminds me a bit of Safin.. hez so cool during the points .. and seems like he has all the time in the world to cover the court. I hope he beats Djok in the finals.

Djok must be thinking he has reached the summit after beating the world No 1.. he might not be too prepared for Tsonga ‘Tsunami’


Kash Says:

Jane:

Thanks for the clarifications on novak’s condition. I hope the doctors help him get rid of it, coz the I think I dislike in tennis is these injury time-outs and I really appreciate players who use them as little as necessary like fed, rafa, a-rod and hewitt. Novak does come from a different fabric i guess, but I hope the condition gets cured because it is hard to assume people are being fair to their opponent in a sport as selfish and individualistic as tennis.

Regarding the time-call, why the umpire chose that time is debatable but better be called than never at all. I donot have problems if rafa/fed or any of the many gazillion wta players gets called. not implementing the rule is a disservice to the more fit player.

About justine, it is great she answered that well, but if you run the moral police records overall, you will know federer and most other men/women players are light years ahead of her. The 06 aussie final is reason enough to never take what justine says seriously, ever! The point here being, you cant have everyone living upto your personal standards every minute. Fed could have answered it better, but he has done enough to be allowed to have some moments of minor flaws such as this one like all grown ups, rather than treating him as a pedantic teacher would treat a elementary school going kid, placing every action of his under the microscope.


jane Says:

“you cant have everyone living upto your personal standards every minute. Fed could have answered it better, but he has done enough to be allowed to have some moments of minor flaws such as this one like all grown ups, rather than treating him as a pedantic teacher would treat a elementary school going kid, placing every action of his under the microscope.”

Again, this wasn’t my initial complaint; it was another poster’s (see above), so they aren’t my standards. I was only adding my 2 cents, saying perhaps he could’ve answered it better.

Maybe the solution is to give players some time to have a shower, massage, or whatever, after a match, AND THEN have the press conference. Then the players could actually think about things a little, you know?

No one’s perfect, not even Federer – and God knows, not me!!


Kash Says:

“Maybe the solution is to give players some time to have a shower, massage, or whatever, after a match, AND THEN have the press conference. Then the players could actually think about things a little, you know? ”

>>>>> Amen to that! I agree Jane.


sensationalsafin Says:

As much as I enjoy reading all your posts, you guys write waaay too much. Seems like all the debate is on how Federer handles his business. I don’t think that his loss at the Australian will haunt him. He lost to Safin in 2005 and still had arguably his second best career year (after 2006 of course). I don’t think this will be one of his best years but I mean cmon, he didn’t even have a chance to warm up in Kooyong. His feet aren’t wet yet, once he’s in the water he’ll start playing better. I feel like even the people who are against Federer are finding all these reasons. Djokovic could have easily put on another choking performance like he did last year, like Berdych did in the 4th round. It’s because he played great and Federer played decent. A decent Agassi wouldn’t have beaten a great Sampras on any day because these players are at such high levels that they have to be at their best to compete with each other. It’s not like Agassi and Sampras never straight setted each other. It is weird that Federer got straight setted but it’s not the end of his world. Not by a long shot. Even when he loses it’s all about him. Why can’t we just enjoy the final… that he’s not in!!


Von Says:

Lord have mercy. I don’t know who I should answer first, but, I’ll start with my favorite nemesis, Kash.

Is this deja’vu, all over again? I don’t know if you would believe this, but I had this vision of you coming down on me like a ton of bricks when I wrote my other posts. Now, we don’t what that to happen, do we?

If you would take a look at my post on the thread “Tsonga’s Ausie Open Miracle,” you’ll see I was very fair to Fed in my analysis of his match. I also wrote some comments on Djok’s bravado and his breathing techiques/ailment. I also, possibly angered Jane, (for which I am sorry) by jokingly making a bet with her on Djok’s breathing problems and how many time-outs he’ll take in the final. That being the case I have viewed everything from an objective/subjective viewpoint.

I do like your statement “slam bam, thank you mam.” It’s hilarious, I have a friend who uses the same phrase in his out of court arguments when he does not submit his documnets to the court on time.

Anyway, let’s get down to the nitty gritty of the argument. I am glad you were a Sampras fan, so am I, at least we have that in common. I cried when he lost, of course I was younger then, and I cried when he retired, and like you, I did not watch tennis matches for a few years. I disliked Agassi for no reason other than he beat Sampras on a few occasions. I also, disliked Hewitt when he beat Sampras in the ’001 USO, and Safin too. I now happen to like Safin very much and I don’t mind Hewitt at all.

Be that as it may, I can only say I think that Fed could have answered the Press’ questions with a little more diplomacy. You’ve got to remember he is still the No.1 and should not subject himself to more unnecessary criticsm by sounding like a bitter person. Don’t add fuel to the fire. His statements sounded very childish. He needs to mature in that respect. You know life is not a one-way highway. There are bumps and bruises, the good and the bad. That’s how people show the mettle of which they are made. Don’t you think the other players are hurt when he beats them, but they certainly don’t make those kinds of statements. (I ache for Roddick when Fed beats him, and it has created a psychological problem for him) Roddick, God bless his sense of humor, turns it into a funny Q an A session. He had to learn how to deal with it. The problem is that Fed likes being No.1, because he says people respect and listen to you. But, he is lacking the grace/class that is required of that prestigious title, and what good is that title if you are going to behave in an unprofessional manner. It’s the same with people who run for office but don’t want to do the work. There isn’t excuse for discourteous behavior. We are judged by what we say. There’s no question about that. Fed is a professional tennis player, 24/7,52 weeks a year.

I felt that Fed needs a coach because him not having a coach he can talk with, plan, strategise or vent to is part of his problem with the press. The other players have someone to whom they can vent. What’s Mirka going to say, “Oh honey, I am so sorry.” Like that’s going to quash the anger, hate and need for revenge building up inside of him. Mirka stopped playing at 23 or 24, when she met him. I don’t think she was any tennis dynamo; her ranking was No.69, at age 23. She should have at least been in the top 10/20, if she was a firecracker tennis star. I never heard of her until she hooked up with Fed. If I want advice I am going to go to someone who is better than I am, not worse.

You stated: ”
There are people in this world, who dont think of work as a 8-4 and forget it kind of thing. Given that, working relations become as important as personal relations because work is a very significant part of life.”

Agreed, I most certainly don’t have a 9-5 job, I work by my caseload and what briefs are due or subpoenas served on a specific date, and trial prep, and if it entails my working until 12 midnight, then so be it. That’s my job and my profession. Likewise, Fed’s No.1 ranking should not be a parttime thing. He can’t be all smiley (and I still can’t get those smileys, no matter how hard I try) when he wins and gloomy, irritable and rude, when he loses. He has a certain standard to maintain, if he does not want that,then why want to be No. 1.

In every position in life we have certain written and unwritten codes by which to abide. Being testy and rude for tens of millions of people to witness does not a good reputation make. To coin your phrase, “slam, bam, thank you mam,” is that what you want for your No.1 TMF. I am angry when Roddick spouts off at the umpire/linesmen because he behaves like an enfant terible’, and I have considered sending him an email to that effect.

One other point, when Fde fired Roche he made some very unsavoury statements about Roche. I have never seen anything written or heard anything said by Roche with regard to their dispute. Tony Roche conducted himself with rhe utmost professionalism.

Kash, my comments about Fed hiring a coach was meant in the kindest way, and I’ll still stick to my statement, that he needs a coach. Two pairs of eyes are better than one.

In summary, with regard to the match, Fed did not play his best, but as I mentioned in another post, it was not a runaway match, 7-5, 6-4, 7-6, he was not beaten comprehensively. Fed lost the important rallies and points. Djok cashed in on the important points. Djok’s play was not that clean either, it was a fairly close match.

I pick Tsonga in four (4) sets.


Mike Says:

Do both winners and losers sit in the same interview room? I went on the Roland Garros tour and learned that there are different rooms so that the interviews can be conducted simultaneously. To make it more painful, the loser is in a smaller room and can see the winner in the bigger room. Wimbledon seems to use the same room.

Anyway maybe the AO has a similar two-room situation, so that while you’re doing the interview, you can’t help but notice the winner in the other room, and maybe let it affect your answers and professionalism.

I still feel that Federer has some ambassador role with tennis, and he shouldn’t have been so flippant to not care who wins, or not make an effort to watch it. He may have personal feelings about it but as the long-standing GOAT and #1 player, he should feel some responsibility when doing interviews to promote tennis whilst answering questions about himself.

x
Mike


Von Says:

SG:
“Federer has put a lot on himself. He wants to wins the Grand Slam, he wants to win in Beijing, he wants represent the sport, he wants to be No.1. And he has dominated the sport pretty damned well. With all that pressure, every person needs some down time…”

Could you read again your statement above. I don’t know if you read my post on the “Tsonga’s Ausie Open Miracle,” thread , you’ll see I addressed Fed’s pressure. I was very fair to him. The important point is “Federer has put a lot on himself.” Q. Who has placed pressure on whom? A. Federer. He has self-imposed pressure. That is no one’s fault, but his own. He wants to achieve all of those things. There’s only so much that a person can achieve in life, we can want all we can, but it does not mean we’ll get them. Or, if we happen to get it, how many people will we tread on or hurt in the process, and how happy we’ll be when we achieve our goals.

Our minds/soul/body can only withstand a certain amount of stress and if we don’t stop, then something’s gotta give. In Fed’s case, it’s either his match play or bad/irritable/discourteous disposition. No one is doing this to him, he is doing it to himself.

Maybe, in a weird way, it’s a good thing he lost. It will give him a new perspective on life as a whole and his role as the No.1 tennis player in the world. He can wear that crown with dignity, poise and grace, or he can wear it as a frazzled, irritable No.1,the ball is in his court. Do you see what happens to the ball after 3 games, it frays out, just like our minds.

I hope this clears up my point.


Kash Says:

Von:

More to come later :) but I do see where you are coming from :)

Anyways, for the smiley use : ) with no space between the colon and the curve bracket, but make sure you leave space between the word which is before the colon or is after the bracket.

then use this list

; ) = ;)

: D = :D

: P = :P

:( = :(

: o = :o

I am just guessing the last one, so if it does not come through, it will help you guess what the right hand side of those equations are for the rest of them.


Von Says:

Mike:

“I still feel that Federer has some ambassador role with tennis, and he shouldn’t have been so flippant to not care who wins, or not make an effort to watch it. He may have personal feelings about it but as the long-standing GOAT and #1 player, he should feel some responsibility when doing interviews to promote tennis whilst answering questions about himself.”

I see we are on the same page. That’s what I stated in my posts.


Von Says:

Kash
Did you read the pst on the other thred as I mentioned? I am going to do the smiley again, here goes :)


Von Says:

Kash:

By George, she’s got it. You know Eliza in My Fair Laidy?,


Ryan Says:

What irritates me is that Fed’s free flowing ass kicking game is only coming once in a while.Like Kash said i only saw it in AO 2007 and shanghai masters.Its like the higher he is climbing the more dizzy he is feeling.I do agree with everybody else in here who says that he has to get a solid coach who is as competitive in his profession as fed is.


jane Says:

WOW – It’s currently 3-3 in the 1st set and this is already phenomenal. I am so happy these two are playing that I don’t care who wins.

(Von, not angered at all – this is a place for us to speak our opinions and I respect those that differ from my own.)


jane Says:

Tsonga utterly amazing – just won 1st set and I’m guessing those who called him to win this will be right. I didn’t see all of his match against Rafa but sheesh! This guy is stunning. He has the flash that Djoker doesn’t and Djok’s forehand is failing him. Maybe he caught what Fed had? Lol.


Shital Green Says:

Alright, Jane, Djoko just won the 2nd set. It is going to be more competitive now. Let me get back to the game.


jane Says:

Hi Shital Green,

Nice to hear from you.

Yes, Djok more consistent in sets 2 & 3 and Tsonga less on form or in clouds or whatever. Back to set 4.


jane Says:

Djok was pretty distracted the 1st set too, with all that crowd stuff.


jane Says:

Von – looks like you won the un-bet. :)


Shital Green Says:

At 5:54 am CT, Djoko wins the 1st Grand Slam and tosses his racket to his fans ! Congratulations to him !


jane Says:

Hey Shital Green – HE WON!

Congrats to the Djoker for beating the King and taking the title.


Von Says:

Jane:

Von – looks like you won the un-bet.

But my pick was wrong. Oh well, can’t be right on everything. :)


Von Says:

Ryan:

“Its like the higher he is climbing the more dizzy he is feeling.”

Did you notice you rhymed, climbing and feeling. Maybe you should do some poetry writing on the side. :(


sensationalsafin Says:

Haha I was right again! Djokovic in 4? Isn’t that what I said? Nice!! I’m glad Tsonga made Djokovic earn the win, makes his first major title that much more meaningful. And Tsonga definetly proved he was the second best player the last 2 weeks because he was the only won to take a set off Djokovic. How ridiculous would it have been if Djokovic had done what took Federer 10 slams to do?


Ryan Says:

I dont know if anybody felt it but ever since that incredible point that fed played in the first set where djok fell down, djok really was fighting tooth and nail to avenge the embarrassment.The momentum shifted from then onwards.


Marko, Serbia Says:

“For the first time now, we’ve seen Federer slump in a major.”

Congrats for young Novak Djokovic of Serbia !!


Zola Says:

I wouldn’t say a slump for Federer. If he could play up to semi finals while suffering from a stomach flu and losing 4 kg , I think it says heaps about the guy.

Just for comparison, see how Djokovic and Tipsarevic’s body collapsed in the DAvis cup tie. Playing with an ailing body is not easy and Federer did that for almost two weeks. It is even scary how fit his body must have been to endure that.


Marko, Serbia Says:

This is NOT a first time for Joker to outplayed Federer.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic produced the performance of his career to beat world number one and defending champion Roger Federer 7-6 2-6 7-6 to win the Montreal Masters last year.

After beating Andy Roddick and Rafael Nadal on his way to the final, the third seed claimed the biggest scalp in tennis to secure his fourth title in 2007.

Djokovic, who had beaten Federer’s hot Spanish rival Rafael Nadal less than 24 hours earlier in the semi-finals, calmly ripped through a final set tiebreaker to win a second Masters last year season after Miami Masters.

In 2007 he was the runner-up at the US Open and reached three Masters Series finals, winning in Miami and Montréal. He also reached the semi-finals at French Open and Wimbledon.

respect to Novak Djokovic!


Charles Davis Says:

This is NOT a first time for Novak to outplayed Federer.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic produced the performance of his career to beat world number one and defending champion Roger Federer 7-6 2-6 7-6 to win the Montreal Masters last year.

After beating Andy Roddick and Rafael Nadal on his way to the final, the third seed claimed the biggest scalp in tennis to secure his fourth title in 2007.

Djokovic, who had beaten Federer’s hot Spanish rival Rafael Nadal less than 24 hours earlier in the semi-finals, calmly ripped through a final set tiebreaker to win a second Masters last year season after Miami Masters.

In 2007 he was the runner-up at the US Open and reached three Masters Series finals, winning in Miami and Montréal. He also reached the semi-finals at French Open and Wimbledon.

all respect to young Novak Djokovic!


Zola Says:

well,
respect is something to be earned. AO was a blow to that. But as for the tennis, we shall see in the coming year. May the better players win.


Zola Says:

Kash ,
thanks for the smileys. let me see if I can make one:)!

Top story: ATP London Race (20 Oct 14): Murray Moves Ahead; Federer Looks To Close No. 1 Gap In Basel
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