Federer Resurrects “A” Game, Gets Revenge on Nalbandian in Monte Carlo
by Sean Randall | April 25th, 2008, 2:49 pm

Great champions rise up. And Roger Federer did just that rising up today with a convincing 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 win over rival David Nalbandian in the Monte Carlo quarterfinals. Despite entering the match on a 7-match dirt win streak, Federer has been on shaky footing, not just on clay but on any surface this year. The Swiss has looked anything like a World No. 1, showing flashes of brilliance but mostly ordinary if not sub-par stuff for most of the season. ADHEREL

With the field catching up and with the fear factor waning, Federer needed this win over Nalbandian more than anything and he got it, and he got it in fine style playing a brand of tennis we haven’t seen from him in quite a while.

What a difference a few days make for Federer who could hardly keep the ball in play Wednesday against the lowly Ruben Ramirez-Hidalgo in a match he ultimately should have lost.

Much different story today against Nalbandian who he had last two twice late last year. Federer was striking the ball exceptionally well, moving fluidly, serving good and even producing some fancy drop shots.

I thought the key was in the first set. Even though he lost it, Federer wasn’t missing easy shots or shanking balls like he has been. He was hanging in the points and even outrallying Nalbandian. I think David recognized that Federer was playing well and he knew he’d have to up his game and grind out long points to win the match, and that was asking too much for the Argentine who is not going to be able to produce as many winners on a slower surface like he can on an indoor hard court as he did last fall. David didn’t seem up for the task of grinding out long rallies. Credit to Fed.

Am I surprised? Somewhat. I’m not totally surprised at the result, even though I had picked David. But I’m more surprised at just how well Federer played – where has this level of play been hiding? What brought it out?

The guy played probably the best match he’s played on clay match in a long, long time.

So has the real Federer now returned? Is he officially over his lull? Can we finally put the mono to rest? Maybe, maybe and maybe.

Time will only tell, but as we saw and heard by his reaction on match point this one meant a lot to the Swiss. And I think he’s got to let out a big sigh of relief getting that first big win of the season and shutting up the doubters (yes, me for one) at least for a little while. In the near term his confidence should be soaring and I think he’ll even regain some of that lockerroom aura he had lost.

Federer now gets a rematch with Novak Djokovic, a winner in the last match over Sam Q. Novak’s no slouch on clay and has looked really good this week, but I would now give Federer the edge in that one. I think Roger will ride the high from today’s win to another tomorrow and set up a meeting with Rafael Nadal, who might very struggle against Nikolay Davydenko, that is if the Russian is fit.

While I still don’t like Fed’s chances against Rafa on clay if it happens, at least for now it seems as though Federer Express is back on track.

You Might Like:
Del Potro Withdraws From Monte Carlo; Kyrgios, Gasquet Also Out
Federer Reverses Monte Carlo Decision, Will Take On Nadal
Short On Confidence, Rafael Nadal Begins Clay Campaign In Monte Carlo [Video]
Scary Nadal Faces Former Clay King Ferrero; Djokovic v. Nalbandian in Monte Carlo
Andy Murray Is Back After Elbow Issue, Hopes To Play Monte Carlo

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get the FREE TX daily newsletter

55 Comments for Federer Resurrects “A” Game, Gets Revenge on Nalbandian in Monte Carlo

roki Says:

haha, thanks Sean for picking Fed for tomorow, as you are always wrong. :D :D :D

Dr. Death Says:

But Sean will get it right one day; keep on truckin.

The Federer comments remind me of something I read about Borg. When he went to a different surface he would practice 8 hours a days. A pro commented that if one saw him in the first hours of practice, one would never believe this was Borg.

So too with the clay season. The lads are adjusting and tuning up and I think we now see who has the strongest engines.

So little said about Nadal in all of this. I think he is the man to beat. Zola, Zola!!! Where you be?

jane Says:

roki – before you laugh too hard, know that Sean got his semi predictions 75% correct. So.

roki Says:

well, i just did not want to say you are wrong an i think it will bee Nole show tomorrow, so i just did what i could do.
I still think Nole will get him in straight sets, but double bagel would be really nice :) i am joking now :D

But i don’t think it will be a close match even if it goes to 3 sets they will be not so tight.

Cheers :D

jane Says:


we’ll have to wait and see. I’ll be hoping for a Novak vs Rafa final too. But that said, Novak is not a clay man and Fed has certainly proven himself on the surface, as he’s been second only to Rafa for a number of years. Therefore, I’d have to give the edge to Roger (who I like a lot better now that he’s sweaty and digging – shows his heart more imo).

juju Says:

nrs. 1,2,3&4 in the semis. nice.

deb Says:

Just want to give big congratulations to Sam Querrey – he won as many games as Andy Murray who the British press regard as being a superior player to Federer.

Dr. Death Says:

The British press is known for visiting pubs on occasion where self hypnosis is practiced.

roki Says:

great comments, but i feel fre to drop you one clip :D http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLCcu11UaNs Nole as M. Jackson . simply great stuff.

Anyone lately seen roger (rabbit) have some fun. It is a shame. Ok he has a girlfriend and all, but he could use a little bit of extra fun to show some fun like everybody else does.

enjoy :D :D :D

roki Says:

to show some heart, and sorry for double post ( haha this goes to the direction of double bagel i mentioned previously ) :D

sensationalsafin Says:

Funny how despite all the crazy results and finalist and champions this year, clay happens to be the surface where order is restored. The only result that would be overly surprising would be if Davydenko beat Nadal. But still, it makes a lot more sense for 4 to beat 2 than 99 beating number 1. I’ve always enjoyed Federer’s dominance so seeing the top 4 seeds in the semis of a Masters event is awesome for me. It’s the best tennis you can possibly see, too, I mean it’s the top 4 players in the world, after all.

jane Says:

It is pretty COOL sensationalsafin: “For only the second time in ATP history, the top-four players in the world will contest the semifinals at a Masters Series event”

But I am hoping for more unpredictability and drama as the season goes on…

jane Says:


That was Novak? He’s a Renaissance man! Not only can he play tennis like mad, he can act and sing and, now, dance too. I really love this guy. I can’t help it. He puts it all out there.

sensationalsafin Says:

Only the second time in masters history… when was the only other time? Does anyone know? I’m gonna try to find out but I’m pretty sure it’s gonna be hard…

jane Says:

the article was at sports network, but i don’t think they mentioned the other time – but google it and see. gotta go for now. look forward to your research.

FoT Says:

I love reading post like this after the fact. I get a good laugh out of it:

“sensationalsafin Says:
Nalbandian will beat Federer tomorrow. Hopefully Federer can keep it close. But I honestly doubt it. Federer is going to get thrashed.”

I’m so glad some of these posters are not fortune tellers….

NachoF Says:

The fist time was Cincinnati 1999. Pete Sampras, Patrick Rafter, Andre Agassi, and Yevgeny Kafelnikov

sensationalsafin Says:

How I love being wrong.

andrea Says:

what has surprised me in the last couple of roger’s matches was actually hearing grunting from him. he’s never made any noises before…age and conditioning catching up?

Dr. Death Says:

Andrea – Perhaps he is training with Russian women?

Voicemale Says:

Federer will be looking to pulverize Djokovic tomorrow. After all the idiotic trash talking the lame Djokovic family did about Federer being a “Dead King” after Australia, Roger will go into tomorrow wanting to put that little Serbian motor-mouth and his obnoxious parents in their place. I’m thinking Djokovic is gonna find out just how very much alive Federer still is.

Speaking of score settling, Nadal will have his to settle too against Davydenko. Rafa likes to settle his cores on dirt, just like he did to Ferrer today.

Somebody posted on another thread here about how much they hated the aesthetic ugliness of the Nadal game – preferring the artistic beautiful hitters. True that Nadal didn’t go to an expensive tennis academy to learn gorgeous looking strokes & then show them off on the Junior Circuit. But what Nadal demonstrated yet again today is that to be #2 in the world and stay there for almost 3 years you need, above everything else, is an acutely developed mental capacity of HOW to play a match; you don’t need aesthetically smooth & refined stokes (and if all you got is pretty hitting you’re in deep water). Today in the 2nd Set, Nadal recovered from a deficit of TWO serve breaks, one of which he got back facing down 3 Set Points, recovered from 2 break Points on his own serve at 5-all, then initiated a break of his own at 6-5 to win the match in straights when it looked for all the world that match was headed to a third set. When you think of how many time he’s snatched victory from the mouth of defeat in the last year against: Youzhny & Soderling at Wimbledon; Wawrinka at Stuttgart; Murray in Madrid; and both Tsonga & Blake at Inidian Wells – you get the idea that he’s not real worried about lacking pretty hitting. And there are a lot of beautiful ball strikers that would give up their pretty hitting in exchange for half of Nadal’s match playing intellect. Make book on that.

In 2002 Federer had lamented that he couldn’t understand why he kept losing to guys that could never match his “beautiful technique”. Peter Lundgren helped him learn that to get to the top and stay there you needed that same match playing intellect, above all else. Without that, the lesser artists of ball striking would send him home far more often than not. Only when Federer learned that did his beautiful ball striking matter. he’s accomplished what he has with mostly his head – he could never have dome it on his strokes alone. As he himself has said.

Dr. Death Says:

Nadal is poetry in motion. I would like a more rap like beat to his serve, but the ground strokes are as fluid as they can be.

tennisballpenetrator Says:

Voicemale – Don’t forget about Nadal’s win over Moya in the Chennai SF’s, 6-7(3), 7-6(8), 7-6(1) after saving 4 match points in the 2nd set tiebreak. And Moya was up a break in the 3rd set and hadn’t been broken for ages, but Nadal finally broke him after having countless break points. A good example of Nadal’s toughness there.

Also in Paris SF’s last year when he beat Baghdatis after being down a set and a break won, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Also in Rome vs. Davydenko, and Hamburg vs. Hewitt, anyway, you get the idea.

jane Says:

NachoF – thanks for the stat update

Dr. Death – “Perhaps he is training with Russian women?” Yet another classic quip from the master-of-doom; keep them coming.

Voicemale – Rafa rocks, but so does Djokovic, imo. Fed may get revenge, but that shouldn’t take away from all Novak has accomplished in the last year, nor how incredibly motivated he is. Sure he’s confident, but he usually backs it up on the court. Oh well, you’re entitled to hate his guts.

jane Says:

Rafa has mettle for 10 players; he’s the comeback kid. Rome 2006 has to be one of my all-time favorite Rafa moments.

His comeback at IW this year against Tsonga was also just thrilling.

I’d LOVE to see him win Wimbledon.

bob22 Says:

I will like to hear (before the match) from Fed fanatics answer of following question. If their god loses tomorrow, will MONO excuse come back again to heal their wounds?

Von Says:

I have to admit that when Djoko won the AO, I could not stand him. And, I was very vociferous in my remarks. So vociferous that I upset his whole fan base, especially his Serbian fan base. But, I have changed my views and now I have grown to like him in some ways. He is an acquired taste, and a young adult who is just trying to find his way, and make a name for himself. He has toned down his arrogance, but still needs to work some more on it — A work in progress. He may never be one of my great faves, but I would root for him against an unknown player, or one whom I don’t like. His game is solid and can he can be entertaining. I especially like his spunk and his fearless attitude toward Federer. However, I would like for him to be less vocal. I’ve come a long way, and I hope that others will begin to accept this spirited young man.

jane Says:

One positive for Novak fans – if there are any of them around! – is that he got only to the Round of 16 here last year and he’s in the semis this year. So that’s a nice gain and another good indication of his ability to learn & improve quickly.

I am already digging his grave and justifying his loss against Federer tomorrow. Oh me of little faith, I know; I am such an anxious pessimist.

But even if he loses, it really is a gain – silver lining you know.

Leo Says:

Bob22 – We just might use that mono excuse again ;-) Depending how badly Fed loses.

I hope old Rog can get this one, but somehow I doubt it. Djokovic is in good form. And besides, Sean picked him. So that’s almost a hex! I hope I am wrong.

Voicemale1 Says:


I’d take you comment seriously about being entitled to hate Djokovic’s guts but for one thing: you have such a Pollyanna view of every player everywhere and that all of them are wonderful all the time that I just chalk it up to that :)

Djokovic isn’t quite yet walking the walk of the talk he and his low rent family routinely puke out. I don’t see his name parked at the #1 ranking yet, much less having had it there for over 200 weeks. There was no reason to malign Federer after Australia (unless you’re try to tell me they didn’t, or if they did they were misunderstood – LOL). When you try to elevate your own achievements by talking down about someone else, you’re classless – whether you’re a tennis player, politician, movie star or assembly line mechanic. Federer deserves respect for what he’s accomplished thus far – he’s achieved history in many areas of the game. That Djokovic doesn’t show him any was something shocking to me – until I heard his parents flap their useless gums. Then I realized Djokovic comes by his disrespect naturally. Something about fallen acorns & trees, I think.

Novak Djokovic has won exactly 1 Grand Slam title, at age 20. In case you need reminding – Sampras won his first at 19, and didn’t win another for 3 years. Agassi, 2 years between the first and second Majors he won. Sharapova, 2 years. And many others. Djokovic has had a lot of good success so far – but his early round crapouts in Marseille and Miami this year show us that he’s just as capable of being the first man out as the last man standing in any tournament he plays. Ergo, his inconsistency hasn’t earned him the right to talk trash about anyone else, no matter how much of a Legend-In-His-Own-Mind he thinks he is LOL. So yeah, when someone like that loses – I’m glad for it. Couldn’t happen to anyone better :)

sony Says:

“With the field catching up..”
This keeps getting repeated over and over again, but except for Nadal, who has always been there, ND and, it’s not true. Federer’s struggles against and losses to lesser players this year have been due to his level of play dropping significantly(for whatever reason) thereby evening the playing field; not players he would normally spank all of a sudden ‘catching up.’ He tripped down to their level.

Yesterday’s win was great but I don’t expect it to be some automatic switch where he’s suddenly going to be playing 2006 quality tennis from here on out. Regaining his form and consistency is going to be a work in progress, and the wins like that against Nalbandian should do a world of good for his confidence.

jane Says:


Ha-ha. Obviously you don’t know me to call me pollyannaish. I am the least dimple-cheeked-braid-wearing-optimistic person you’re likely to ever “meet.” But the reality is that I like TENNIS not just one or two players. So I don’t take swipes.

I have my favorites, which I’ve always openly stated – Djokovic, Rafa, Roddick, Murray and (sometimes) Safin.

As for Djokovic’s achievements in 2 short years, they speak for themselves (he’s the only player to receive the “most-improved” player award for 2 years in a row). I’m not going to judge his family, but it’s clear he comes by his cockiness, arrogance, or whatever, honestly. On the other hand, his confidence has done nothing but help him on the court, so it can’t be all bad. And he has given Roger respect; I’ve read & heard him say that Roger’s “one of the greatest players” & commend Roger’s consistency.

Anyhow, I realize you’re not going to change your mind, so I won’t continue, but it doesn’t hurt to be open-minded and just enjoy the game, does it? I am not a diehard fan of one player, but so what.

Skorocel Says:

To Voicemale:

Don’t worry about Djoker. Such losses like that one in Miami vs Anderson will surely make him respect Roger (who was pretty consistent over the last 5 years) even more…

Voicemale1 Says:

To Skorocel:

When I see more repect from Djoke, I’ll be happy to give him the credit where it’s due. Just not sure I’ll be seeing it any time soon.

bob22 Says:

To Voicemale:

I don’t recall ever hearing from Djokovic any disrespect statement for any tennis player, including Federer. On a contrary he has always the best words for everyone. Remember Australian Open? He believed since age 6 that one day he will be tennis player number one. In number of times he did show respect to Roger.In his last statements he stated how he does not see himself reaching number one ranking is 2008. That is surprise to everyone who believes in him.
To bring his family again in to this discussion forum is tasteless. For families that risk everything to leave countries their own country to go to Germany, France or US I have only respect. After reading what Novak’s parent did for him I can’t have any other feeling then sympathy. Determination of these players coming from Eastern Europe, India and China is helping tennis to get new talents and improve the game to highest standards. Of first 20 players on WTA tour 12 are from Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Poland and Ukraine. How WTA tour will look without them?

sensationalsafin Says:

I started watching the match with Djokovic serving at 3-4. Federer won the set 6-3. I don’t know how the rest of the match has been but Djokovic isn’t playing as WELL as he probably could. But I honestly believe that’s because of Federer. So far I was right in saying that Federer will win BECAUSE it’s on clay. Federer is actually playing very good clay court tennis. With all his UEs lately it’s great to see him not miss a single shot. Djokovic is having to produce all the winners and is overshooting a lot. The only thing going for Djokovic right now is that Federer isn’t reading his serve that well. That’s why he’s standing so far back and it’s giving Djokovic plenty to work with. Djokovic needs to start hitting short angles rather than trying to go through the court because Federer is getting everything back.

sensationalsafin Says:

Argh!!!! Why is Djokovic such a pansy??? How is it possible for one player to have someone retire against him in 5 consecutive tournamets? (It’s 5 now, right?) But of all players, the world number 3? Is that how he plans on taking over number 1, by retiring? Atleast let Federer have to complete win, damnit, grind your way. What a shame. Oh well.

Federer was playing pretty well today. But his matches against Nalbandian and Djokovic don’t say anything about his chances against Nadal. Both of them are primarily hardcourt players and Federer is, in fact, the second best clay courter. He plays on clay better than them and their shots don’t hurt him like they would on faster surfaces. Federer’s gonna have his work cut out for him against Nadal but if he can keep grinding like he has been, he has a chance. Last year at the French, he made Nadal play a hardcourt game. Tomorrow he should try outclaying Nadal. It’s definitely nearly impossible, but if Ferrer can get 3 set points then I believe Federer can, too. Good luck Rog, show us why you’re number 1!

Maja Says:

I think they both played best tennis today, but Federer was one level better. I’m Djokovic’s big fan but I don’t support his dropping of macth beacouse of health condition, this time I really don’t believe him that he wasn’t feeling well, I don’ believe him because he played great all the time in this match and suddenly he can’t go on only because all major points were on Federer’s side – I’m sorry my dear and fully talented joker – you really play amasing but I don’t like this, it’s not honest.

Maja Says:

Sorry for my spelling mistakes…
The match was really brilliant – I think Federer’s toughest opponent is Djokovic, this match was so amazing, until Djokovic…well, we know what he had done at the end… I think Federer will beat Nadal tommorow easier then he did Joker today…in this match it was tight for every game, there was no easy earned point, they played it to the perfection..only Djokovic’s first serve messed his plans but they both really played amazing

TD Says:

I’d like to know if Sean plans to write a headline criticizing Federer’s boorish ugly European behavior today when he yelled at Novak’s parents to shut up?

Or is that just more classy behavior from the gentleman Swiss?

Von Says:

Bummer!! This was a great match — except for the retirement from Djoko — high quality tennis. What happened to Djoko for him to retire? Will this hurt Federer with not enough match play? Federer was hitting the ball very cleanly and his forehand was working like a charm. Somehow, this week he has been able to tame that errant forehand and the timing seems to be coming back. Also, his court positioning was very smart. He was coming into the net and was successful whenever he did so. Also, he was able to move Djoko around. However, his serve percentage was only 54%. He’ll need to get that up tomorrow against Nadal. Tomorrow should be exciting.

Davydenko looked like a novice against Nadal. He seemed resigned and disinterested in the match. He did not put up any type of opposition against Nadal, who just had to wait for the UEs. Very poor quality tennis from Davy.

Voicemale1 Says:

And once again, we have a Djokovic retirement. By my count, this is the 3rd high-profile ATP Tour Match retirement since he came onto the tour: 2006 French 4th Round vs. Nadal (saying in his press conference that day how in control of the match he thought he was, down 2 sets to love before packing it in LOL); 2007 Wimbledon Semi vs. Nadal (supposedly a blister); and now today vs. Federer (a vague unexplained “breathing” issue). All these retirements to players ranked above him. Hmm.

When I think about Sampras playing Agassi in the 2000 AO Semi with a torn groin muscle – he finished the match (not to mention his entire run at 2000 Wimby on an inflamed shin); when I think of Nadal laying on the ground at last years US Open in agony with tendenitis against Ferrer, yet he finished the match; when I think of Federer playing Canas at IW last year with blisters on both feet – he finished the match too. And countless other examples. Retiring once or so? Yeah, OK – I get that. But Djokovic is making retiring in matches a habit – and not just any match, like a first rounder. He quits when the stakes are highest – and always when he’s losing. Somebody needs to tell him to Man Up – take the loss no matter what the issue (unless you’re literally gonna DIE), and come back to live & fight another day. You can bet the other guys on the tour were howling watching Novak throw in the towel – again.

Quitting is for wusses. And no mater what he says, the REAL reason he quits is becoming obvious: he doesn’t want the outright loss to blemish his record, ESPECIALLY against Federer or Nadal, since his PR Narrative is that he’s the real #1 Player in the world. It’s tough to buy the spin if he loses outright to these guys. He wants the “well, I had to quit or else I would have won” excuse or asterisk next to these losses.

And Bob:

His family’s hardships are irrelevant to what they say. No matter what anoyone endures, your struggles don’t exempt you from scrutiny or questions about your words or actions. You think bringing upvtheir comments are tatseless? I reply by saying their comments themselves were tasteless. And the mindset the produces tasteless comments like theirs about Federer is the same type of mindset that can manifest itself by, oh..say..quitting when your’re losing – instead of taking your losses like a man.

I have even less respect for Djokovic now, which was tough – since I didn’t have much for him personally to begin with.

Maja Says:

I think every fan of tennis as a game should have respect for Djokovic because he has almost perfect game, so damn good player he is… and for his health tactics THIS TIME I don’t believe him and I don’t support that…but as a tennis player he is absolutely amazing, everyone should admit that because it’s objectively true.

Maja Says:

But I think when he gets enough press critics about his retirements, I think then he will change that, because he’s still young and is learning very well and actively… even his family started to behave more sophisticated then before – they are all good learners.

jane Says:


“Bummer!! This was a great match — except for the retirement from Djoko — high quality tennis. ”

You said it; some great rallies and high quality play between these two.

I’m very disappointed in Djokovic for retiring though. At least fight it out, even if you lose badly. This is the ONE area in which I really struggle being his fan. I can take his obnoxious family, because we don’t choose our families! I can take his ensuing vocality because I can see where it comes from and I can see he’s already tempered it somewhat. But I wish he’d stick it out and finish matches like this one. As Voicemale says, “live and fight another day”. Roddick & Rafa hardly ever retire, even Murray has fought through some tough losses. Well Djoker should too. But I am not going to stop rooting for him because of it.

(On this retirement note: someone should have a look a stats or something; does it not seem like there are more than EVER in the last year or so?)

Clearly Fed was the better player & competitor today, so congratulations to Federer and his fans.

Back to Rafa and Federer in another final. Tough one to call; they’ll both want this badly…

andrea Says:

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Djokovic:

Please accept the towel I hand you in which you two can wipe the enormous amount of egg that is all over your respective faces.

In retrospect, I don’t doubt that you wish your very ill timed remarks post US Open and post AO Open could be erased from the record books. Perhaps it’s best not to declare that (after Novak’s final loss at the US Open) ‘this would be the last time Roger will beat Novak’ or strut around like a pair of roosters on steroids shrieking ‘the king is dead’ post AO win. Or how about my personal fave (spoken like any true child obsessed mother un-accepting in defeat at the US Open): “Novak is a better player than Roger”.

Prior to declaring any more hyperbole, maybe it’s best to wait and see where his career ends up. Just maybe.

But that’s my opinion.

Thank you Roger for delivering a well deserved piece of humble pie.

ps djokovic retired? wow. what a surprise.

Tennis Fan Says:

Djokovic lovers … what you see is what you get. You get the obnoxious family … you get a player that won’t finish when he knows he’s beat. I liked Djokovic when he hit the tour … now I can’t stand him. Maybe he will mature … only losing badly for sometime might shrink his head back to a size that will fit on the court. Federer looks like he may be regaining his form … tomorrow’s match between him and Nadal will be worth watching!

grendle Says:

“Andy Murray who the British press regard as being a superior player to Federer.” The British tabloid press is pretty repellent, but they are delusional only insofar as this enables them to sell newspapers. And the British public, although they ache for a hero, are healthily cynical about the likelihood of this happening. Murray (whom I happpen to like) is overrated – nothing more silly than that.

Federer was playing well, although I thought Djokovic nearly matched him in the first four games. That heavy breathing and so on – is it a physical condition, or is it nerves? One can easily see how it could be the latter.

For my money, Nalbandian is an incomparably more enjoyable player to watch than Djokovic. There was huge tension in the Nalbie/Fed match, as you watched – well, like two prize fighters, in a way. But boxers, not sluggers. Can’t warm to the Djoko game, whilst conceding its excellence. b.t.w., did anyone notice that Federer was back to some pretty dismal drive volleys? And people say he has no weakness – what about his overhead smash – competent, at best, and not good today.

jane Says:

“That heavy breathing and so on – is it a physical condition, or is it nerves? One can easily see how it could be the latter.”

He had an operation to fix a deviate septum (end 06 I think), as you may know, so it *was* a physical condition at one point; however, I am inclined to think it’s nerves because it shows up in big matches when stakes are high. Djoko seems like a highly strung guy so it follows that it’s anxiety.

angel Says:


Djokovic Taps Out Again, Sets Up Federer v. Nadal Monte Carlo Final Says:

[…]  Federer Resurrects “A” Game, Gets Revenge on Nalbandian in Monte Carlo […]

Maja Says:

Angel your comments are not angelic…

Maja Says:

I have to quote Sean Randall in this one because it’s perfectly said and I think the same way: “In Novak’s defense, I understand he’s had a breathing problem, one that was serious enough to require surgery. So it’s there. That’s a fact. It’s been an issue. But Novak, what I cannot understand is if it’s that serious how come you don’t ever retire when you are winning? And why is it only against the top guys and at moments when you feel like the match is no longer within grasp that decide to wave the white flag?

I think it’s safe to say the guy has a game of a No. 1 player, but much like Richard Gasquet, his fate is going to be determined by what goes on between his ears. And right now he’s not right up there.

Sure there’s a physical component, but it’s seems to be more mental with Novak because he feels it more in the tougher times. And his ego maybe does get the best of him.”

Dr. Death Says:

So I woke up for this? Djo retires again? Is there a doctor in the house? (Angel – love “Jokebitch” but a bit cruel don’t you think?)

From Fox Tennis:

“From the start I didn’t feel so great,” Djokovic said, complaining of dizziness and a sore throat.

“I just couldn’t get enough energy back after each point,” he said. “I feel dizziness a little bit in the last three days. I don’t know. Doctor in the tournament couldn’t give me the right diagnosis. I’ll check as soon as possible.”

So let’s see here. He felt ill for three days, but managed to win the quarterfinals, and then really felt this coming on when he was losing to Fed. In my professional opinion (1) he will live! and (2)

Nullus guttus


Take two aspirin and see the Disciplinary Committee in the morning.

Von Says:

Dr. Death: ****”Nullus guttus” = No guts. Is that your clinical diagnosis? Where did you find mono.? He has that too?


“But I wish he’d stick it out and finish matches like this one. As Voicemale says, “live and fight another day”.”


James Bond says “die anothr day.” I wish Djoko would have done that another day. What I have observed from him, and I’ve written this on another thread, he’s not a very strong, healthy athlete. He needs breaks in between matchesz = days off. This is why he lasts longer in the slams and IW. He has days off in between matches to recuperate. Unfortunately, he had to play for 3 days in a row. That does not bode well for someone with a weak constitution. I would say the psychological side to this is that the breathing issue is just more mental than physical. But, we all know that the physical + mental + whole person. I think we can look upon Djoko as an also ran. A hit or a miss. Sad for an athlete with so much promise!

Top story: Djokovic Saves MPs In Thrilling 5-Set Win Over Federer In Wimbledon Final