Federer Craps Out to Karlovic in Cincinnati
by Sean Randall | July 31st, 2008, 5:21 pm
  • 110 Comments

I gave Roger Federer a pass for his performance at the start of year, buying into his mono as a reasonable explanation for his poor play. But after his loss moments ago to Ivo Karlovic, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6, you can hand me the shovel, I’m ready to help pile dirt on the guy.

Federer of course lost last week in Toronto to Gilles Simon, then should have lost to Robby Ginepri Tuesday before escaping in three sets. As I said, eventually having to keep escaping to get through these matches will catch up to him. Today it did as he went down in a third set tiebreak to a guy he should not be losing to in Karlovic.

Credit for Croat for staying cool in the heat, keeping calm and serving bombs. And in the end Federer has to win that match but his ground game inexplicably deserted him in the final tiebreak.

I also fully agree with ESPN’s Darren Cahill, who said Roger’s been “finding a way to lose these tight matches whereas before he was finding a way to win them.” Very true. He’s lost his confidence and his mental edge. I imagine the guys at the US Open will be licking their chops.

And I’m sure Roger will tell the press that there’s no need to panic, but there is if you are in the Federer Camp. It’s panic time. Yes, he played Ivo on an ice rink and yes he’s reached the finals at two Slams and another semifinal at the Australian Open this season as I’m sure he’ll point out to the press that those are great results. Indeed they are. So maybe he’s right, maybe that’s all we should expect of him.

Now I’m not saying Federer’s days of winning Grand Slam titles are over, etc., far from it. But rather that he’s now officially shifted into the Pete Sampras Gear, where he only concentrates on the Slams or Olympics going forward and not so much on the No. 1 ranking or Masters Events, etc.

And in my mind that’s not going to work for Federer like it did for Pete. Pete’s was a power game, Roger’s more of a timing and as Roger gets older it’s going to be tougher and tougher for him to maintain that timing. Power for the most part will always be there, but Fed plays his game on such a tightrope that the tiniest amount of slippage in his level can have great ramifications.

Again, no hard court finals through July which is startling for a guy who used to absolutely dominate this surface. And looking ahead, we are basically playing hard courts until next April.

So has the mighty Fed fallen? Sure as hell looks like it. Welcome to the Rafael Nadal Era.


Also Check Out:
After Federer Loss, Nadal Now One Win from No. 1 Ranking
Cincinnati Draw: Djokovic Tries To Become A Golden Master, Federer-Murray Quarter?
Jankovic Remembers Former No. 1 Days, Beating Safina for Cincinnati Title
Murray Hyped for Federer v Isner US Open Match-Up
ATP Preview: The Slazenger Open, Nottingham

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110 Comments for Federer Craps Out to Karlovic in Cincinnati

zola Says:

Sean,
Thanks again for the timely post. Do you type these while the match is on?

first of all *hugs* to all the Federer fans here. It is always hard to see your man lose.

In all honsety I though the match was Federer’s . Ivo looked so tired and Fed was playing fine. Then I think Ivo decided not to move a lot and go for a tie-break and that worked perfectly for him. Justlik the first set tie-break, one error from Federer and that was it. Federer should have won that match. I agree that he found a way to lose it.

This is not good for Fed’s confidence on the wake of the Olympics and the US Open.

On other forums, there is lots of speculations on Rafa’s No 1 possibilities. That’s too much pressure on Rafa. I hope he takes it one match at a time as he has done till now. He will have Djokovic, Murray, Verdasco , maybe Moya …who knows? It will not be an easy road. I hope he can go deep and keep the confidecnce.


Colin Says:

I’m going to get called a pedant for saying this, Zola, but the wake of an event comes AFTER it. OK, I am a pedant.


Sean Randall Says:

Zola, nah. Sometimes I do, but not this time. Can’t miss a third set tiebreak!


rjnick Says:

As I understood it, Rafa needed to win Cincinnati in order to be #1 DESPITE the points from last year still being counted. The question is how far does he have to go so that when those points come off, the rankings just shift and he becomes number 1.

Also, just to cause trouble — has anyone figured out what might happen if Rafa goes far enough to be #1 on 8/18, but not win the tournament, but if Djokovic regains his form and wins…is there a real danger of Roger sinking down to #3? I’m thinking maybe not since Novak also has a lot of points to defend. But I haven’t done the math.


Sean Randall Says:

And according to my math, if Nadal reaches the finals he’ll be assured of No. 1 on August 11. Of course if he wins Cincinnati he gets it on August 4.


Sean Randall Says:

rjnick, to add.

I have it that regardless of what happens in Cincy or at the Olympics, Nadal will be No. 1 on the 18th of August and will be the No. 1 seed at the US Open.

corrected: Rafa needs to reach the SF this week to secure the US Open top seeding.


Dave B Says:

As a huge Fed fan I am disappointed but his playing has lost a lot of its former flair. I think he has lost his hunger. The only player that his been playing with supercharged energy is Rafa and he deserves to be #1.


Dan_M Says:

I agree and disagree with Sean. First, yes Federer needs to beat Karlovic, but Sean even said Roger’s days of winning majors are not necessarily over so what does this fall mean. We already know Nadal is #1 for 2008. The 2009 calendar is set for Roger to make an assault on his ranking points everywhere that uses a hard surface. Another thing, slams are played in 3 out of 5 set formats. That changes the dynamic a lot when one loses a set (only 1/3 of a match vs. 1/2). If it was a 3 of 5 set match how would Roger have done today? If you think he could have come from 2 sets to 1 down vs. Karlovic or Simon then Roger could play through adversity in NY and play his way into some confidence. I agree a lot of “coulds” are there, but Roger does not need dirt thrown on him just yet. Given what he did from July 03-Nov. 07 I think Roger would need to post these type of results through Cincinnati next year before people get the dirt out.

Sean not thinking Roger will have the longevity of Pete is fine, but Pete and Jim COurier have said on multiple occasions that the way Roger plays takes a low toll on his body compared to the rest of the tour and that he can play into his 30′s at a high level because of that. I like Sean’s work but Courier and Sampras have each been #1 in the world so …


Sean Randall Says:

Thanks Dan. Good point on the format. In best of five obviously Roger will be that much tougher to knock off.

I have no doubts that Roger can play well into his 30s, his body won’t be a problem. But as he ages he’ll get slower and he’ll get weaker, everyone does. But because Roger plays with such precision, timing and with low margin for error I think it’s going to be tougher for him to win as he gets older when compared to guys like Sampras or Agassi, who were both power players.

Throw in Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, etc., and it’s not a real “Federer friendly” environment looking ahead.

He can take the Sampras route – concentrate on Slams – but losses in these smaller events are only going to catch up to him in the bigger ones. They did to Pete and I think they’ll do it to a greater extent to Roger given his style of play.


kamret Says:

There is no doubt that he is going to lose his # 1 ranking. The real question is whether he will stay around and keep playing when he falls to #2 or #3 or if he will “pull a Borg” and retire! When someone has dominated tennis to that extent for so long, it’s hard to settle for #2 or #3 and remain motivated. My guess is that he will take a long break after the U.S. Open and won’t play for the rest of the year if he doesn’t do well there.


Mary Says:

So, how close is Fed to losing the number two spot?
Link for Rafa-Haas: http://www.justin.tv/slazenger

I am disappointed over the pic used for this article. Surely, there is a more craptacular pic to go with the craptacular lost!


Sean Randall Says:

Kamret/Mary, Federer could fall to three if he doesn’t make it to the second week of the US Open (pending his Olympic results of course).


Mary Says:

The pic of Fed smelling his hand rocks!


zola Says:

Colin
you are not a pedant. I should read my post before pressing the submit button!

Sean,
According to my calculations! if Rafa lost today and if they did not play in the Olympics, the points breakdown would be like this on Aug 18 :

Rafa: 6025

=6305 -(225 Montral 07+ 5 Cincy 07-125 Rotterdam 07)+ 75 ( Cincy 08)

Roger: 5830

=6605-(350 Montreal 07+ 500 Cincy 07+ 0 Dubai 08)+75 (Cincy 08)

Roger can still remain No 1 on Aug 18 if Rafa loses today and the first round in the Olympics and Roger gains 200 points or more.

If Rafa wins today and loses in the final or semi, he’ll be No 1 perhaps on Aug 11.


Mjölk Says:

I think Fed will fall to three before the season ends. Djokovic will surely improve his results in the post-US Open period, especially the Masters Cup and Paris Masters where he lost all his matches.

I hope that Fed will win one of the next two slams, but it doesn’t look like it. But I doubt that Nadal is going to win both the US Open and Australian, if any of them. He has won HC masters earlier, and that didn’t do much help in the slams. A final or a win and another semi is realistic for him I think.


tennisontherocks Says:

“And in my mind that’s not going to work for Federer like it did for Pete. Pete’s was a power game, Roger’s more of a timing and as Roger gets older it’s going to be tougher and tougher for him to maintain that timing. Power for the most part will always be there, but Fed plays his game on such a tightrope that the tiniest amount of slippage in his level can have great ramifications.”

Sampras never ‘muscled’ the ball, did not use exaggerated swings to get his power, but relied on technique and timing. Roger does the same. On the other hand, Graf used to hit the forehand late and used her athleticism to jump into the balls to get the power.

The real difference between Pete/Roger at this point in their careers is the mileage. Sampras being a serve/volleyer had much less miles in his legs than Roger. Sampras serve and his volleys were always good till the end, but he lost a step in reaching the net after serve and that hurt him. For Roger, similar loss of step will hurt him on the baseline.


Mary Says:

Is there a chance of Fed bagging the season after the Games are over?


freakyfrites Says:

I agree, it’s about hunger and motivation. It’s like Roger had mono of the body at the beginning of the year and now has mono of the soul. The Olympics seems to be the one thing he really cares about right now, so maybe that will heal him. His body will be fresh, at least.


Shital Green Says:

Right now, Rafa and victory are synonymous. Anyone tries to come in between, he will meet the humiliation of Cincy’s Serra and FO’s Federer. Rafa has tossed out the page that had “losing occasionally on hard court” note from his tennis-o-graphy. Excess praise? Maybe. But He deserves more.
If you don’t believe it, witness how Rafa crushes Haas now. The match is about to start. Time to enjoy the spectacular Rafa while he is in the streak of putting us under spell.


x Says:

What kind of steroid testing are they doing at the Games?


rjnick Says:

Thanks Sean…that’s good to know. The SF is just two more matches, which is quite doable for Rafa I think. And actually, I guess that means if he wins today, he could clinch it tomorrow.


Shital Green Says:

Although Haas got broken in the 1st game, he put some resistant in the 2nd and had a couple of break chances. Contrary to my prediction, the match may turn out to be somewhat interesting.


Voicemale1 Says:

tennisontherocks Says:
“Sampras never ‘muscled’ the ball, did not use exaggerated swings to get his power, but relied on technique and timing. Roger does the same. On the other hand, Graf used to hit the forehand late and used her athleticism to jump into the balls to get the power.

The real difference between Pete/Roger at this point in their careers is the mileage. Sampras being a serve/volleyer had much less miles in his legs than Roger. Sampras serve and his volleys were always good till the end, but he lost a step in reaching the net after serve and that hurt him. For Roger, similar loss of step will hurt him on the baseline”

This is exactly right. Sampras essentially bagged the whole clay court season, whereas Federer runs the entire clay season with great success. Federer’s dominance when he was at his peak for 4.5 years has been for THE WHOLE CALENDAR YEAR. That’s why Sampras surrendered the #1 Ranking to a host of guys during his own tenure at #1, then regaining it. Once Federer took it, not only has no one ever had it, no one’s been close until Nadal today (who has more than earned it). Sampras bagging the clay season saved a lot of extra wear on his body.

Federer has a LOT of tennis in his legs because he’s been so dominant for such an uniterrupted stretch of time, and that much tennis eventually catches up with you, and not only physically, but mentally and emotionally too. So his loss of that half step might not come back so easily. And also, Federer getting back to #1 faces an additional challenge: he doesn’t posess the Sampras Serve. Sampras got many many more free points on the serve because it wasn’t just fast, it was heavy, and the weight is what made it tough to deal with – rivals of his always said it was like trying to return a bowling ball. Federer’s serve isn’t like that. His game is built around his Forehand, and that means a rally to put it to optimal use. Which also means more mileage in some legs and a head that have seen a lot of them already.


JCF Says:

Your headline was a perfect pun. Playing Karlovic is always like playing Craps. It all comes down to the tie breaks, and it’s anyone’s match, given his record. That’s why he can’t win significant titles… sooner or later he will crap out. You just can’t win coin flips 20 times in a row.

I was actually expecting this result. But I think Fed keeps his #1 for another week, because I don’t see Nadal winning this title.


Judith Says:

X,

i would also like to know how players are tested for steroids, etc. What is the stuff that Nadal sucks down before each match – usually when the other player is waiting at the net? As any of that stuff been analyzed? I don’t believe Nadal won’t perform this way too long – his body will start fighting HIM.


JCF Says:

“corrected: Rafa needs to reach the SF this week to secure the US Open top seeding.”

Even if Fed wins the Olympics and Rafa loses the 1st round?


Daniel Says:

If you look at the match stas, Haas is superior in every department, except break points convertion.


Daniel Says:

How things change in tennis in one and a half game!


Shital Green Says:

Daniel,
Without looking at the stat, I can tell you Haas is playing extremely well. He really surprised me today. He will very likely lose in straight sets but deserves a lot of credit for playing such competitive tennis.


Shital Green Says:

Rafa was serving for the match, and he dauble faulted twice in a row to let Haas break.
Haas does not even win a point in the tie break. That’s lame !
Congratulation to Rafa !
Once again kudos to Haas for playing high level tennis.


Daniel Says:

Would it be Lapenti to stop Nadal?! Just kidding. :)

I am starting to believe that he is going to win this too, unless Djoko hits top form against him.

It would be great to see a possible final between Murray and Djoko. After Nadal reaches the semis he will be reliefed. Finally he will be number one, just have to wait 1 and a 1/2 week


NachoF Says:

what can I say? I’m sad, bummed, disappointed… but actually not really surprised…. considering the way he has been playing…. in my opinion he doesn’t even deserve the n2 spot and it is only fair that Nadal passes him… and eventually Djokovic as well later on.


Mary Says:

My issue with Nadal is he never looks showered. He is in a constant state of sweat. On court and off, he just looks drippy. If being number one brings about a change in that, fine by me.


Mary Says:

Just read some of Fed’s presser: It is now the Olympics and USO that count.
In case the sweat thing is a ranked number two thing, I am happy to report Fed did not look sweaty.


Henry Says:

Hey Guys – we’ve had this discussion before, but Nadal today is the new No. 1. already !

The ATP ranking is totally fictitious. With Fed losing, Rafa did not even have to play to get to no.1 as Federer is down to 5830 after today (6605 minus 350 old Rogers Cup points, minus 500 old Cincinnati points, but plus the 75 for reaching the 3rd round)
Rafa is at 6225 (6305 minus 225 old Rogers Cup points, minus 5 old Cincinnati points but plus the 125 for reaching the quarters.

There’s a website in the Netherlands that’s the only one that did the correct math from Wimbledon onwards (www.tennisencoach.nl)and declared Rafa No.1 today.


Mary Says:

Is the ATP ranking system akin to the DaVinci Code?


Henry Says:

ooops in the 6225 total for Rafa I forgot to mention you need to add the 25 Rotterdam points too that ATP deducted last week but should be added again


jane Says:

Mary,

Rafa takes a cold shower before he hits the court; hence he’s drippy and his hair is wet. Obviously it’s working for him so…


Samprazzz Says:

I wouldn’t count out Fed just yet. He’s maintained the #1 ranking since 2004. A slippage in form is going to happen eventually. All great hitters hit a slump. I think the mono has affected his year- maybe not in terms of his tennis skills, but in terms of his fitness. He looks slightly less bulky this year, a little more toothpicky. He doesn’t quite look his previous body-strength level. Look at how long Ancic was affected by mono. He still isn’t back to his old form yet either. If I were Fed’s trainer, I’d have him take off tennis after the U.S. Open, and work on getting his strength back, and increasing it. I’d start him up again for the year-end Masters Championships.
But maybe he’s just lot a slight bit of motivation? It’s tough to stay at the top for that long. What have you got to play for? A legacy? More money? He’s done it all-except for the French… Does he still have the fire to get back to the gym and hit the practice courts real hard to try to take his title back? He’s beaten all-comers on every surface (except for Nadal at the French) already. Staying hungry may be the toughest task for Fed. Maybe it would be easier if he hated Nadal, but he doesn’t. I could see Djokovic getting under his skin though, but there’s no McEnroe-Conners/McEnroe-Lendl type rivalry here.
Fed could come back and dominate the tour again, the question is- is he hungry enough?


Henry Says:

Mary, not really, the just chose to make it really complicated for themselves and tennisfans for the coming three weeks.
Just because points are supposed to count for 52 weeks they kept the Rogers Cup points and will do the same with the Cincinnati points as due to the Olympics they moved the tournaments to earlier dates. You’d figure they would then also adjust their counting accordingly. Now they do not only leave “old” points, but they also started messing with the best of five tournament system, because by leaving the extra Rogers Cup and the extra Cincinnati tournament, the list of best of five tournaments, of course, also has to be shortened. Then after those weeks are over and the old points are finally deducted, they will then again add to the best of five tournament list again.

The ATP point total is based on 18 tournaments a year: 4 Grand Slams, 9 Masters – these 13 tournaments are obligatory. Then to these are added the results of the best 5 tournaments. Then, for the top 8 players only, the end-of-year Masters Cup is added as a 19th tournament. This year, of course, the Olympics will also be added.
Hope it sounds more understandable now than the Da Vinci code….and that’s why the ATP could have kept it really simple too and immediately deduct those old points prior to adding new points for the exact same tournaments (Rogers and Cincy)


Dan_M Says:

Sean and others –
I agree to an extent about the precision and timing. I also agree about the clay court season adding miles. I will just throw out one word – anemia. Roger does not have it and that alone may make up for the clay court mileage and 1/2 step of speed and power he is going to lose as he gets older. I don’t think everything is right in Fed-land by any means. I simply think he has some tennis left.

1990 for Edberg was kind of disastrous as he lost in the 1st round of the French and U.S. Opens. (He did win Wimbledon and minus a torn stomach muscle looked to be on his way to the crown in Melbourne as well). However, the 1990 1st round loss in NY coupled with his 1988 1st round loss and 1989 4th round straight set loss to Connors made any expectation of Edberg ever winning the U.S. Open seem crazy. He goes and wins in 1991 and 1992. Edberg is the player I most liken to Federer in terms of movement (tactics and forehands do not look that much alike). Roger, I think can still have a lot of good years ahead of him if he wants them. Desire to right the ship could have a lot of influence on what he does as well. The answer to the desire question lies solely within Roger’s head and heart. Will he be as motivated if the days of dominance are done?


NachoF Says:

The thing is… Federer does come out as being somewhat pretentious and cocky… I wouldn’t be surprised if he pulled a “since I’m not the best in the world anymore, I’m retiring”…. I really hope he doesn’t, I’m just saying it wouldn’t be surprising.


zola Says:

Henry,
nice post at 10:17.

NachoF
There is lots of pressure on Fed right now. once things settle in any direction, things will be easier for him. The journey to the top is sweet, the way down is painful an every champion has experienced those moments.

Fed said on many occasions that he would like to play till he is 35. He also said in Toronto or Cincy that if he loses No 1, he will try to get it back. So, he will be here.

Even if he is not No 1, or even 2 or 3, he has specnt a record weeks at number one. Maybe he would concentrate on slams.

I don’t think he would go away. I really hope not.


zola Says:

Jane
thanks for your post at 10:14.
I heard Rafa in an interview, that its an old habit of his to take a shower right before a match.

Mary
players get tested for drugs and dopings 19 times a year randomly and after big wins. If you watch Rafa’s postmatch interview after his Wimbledon win, there is a gauze on the inner side of his elbow.

What he eats before the matches is an energy gel. You can buy it from any supermarket. I bet some official would have noticed it if it was drugs!


rjnick Says:

The ATP Cincinnati Masters site confirms it — All Rafa has to do is win tomorrow, and the ranking will be his –

“A title would give Nadal 6,730 points to Federer’s 6,680 next Monday. If Nadal reaches the final, he will become No. 1 on Aug. 11. With a semifinal here, Nadal will become No. 1 on Aug. 18. The only way Nadal can’t become No. 1 in the next three weeks is IF he loses in the quarterfinals here and Federer wins the Olympic gold medal AND Nadal does not reach the Third Round or better at the Olympics.”


Voicemale1 Says:

Accrding to the Tennis Magazine Website, if Nadal wins tomorrow, he gets to the Semi Final on Saturday thereby becomeing #1 on August 18th. That’s the week where last years Cincinnati points change, and Federer’s loss today means he’ll lose enough to make Nadal #1 no matter how either of them performs in the Olympics.

So Sean is right, NachoF – if Nadal beats Lapentti tomorrow, he will be the US Open top seed as the World #1.


Shital Green Says:

Waited for long. Finally, the order of play for tomorrow came out.

CENTER COURT start 12:00 noon
C Moya (ESP) vs [8] A Murray (GBR)

[16] I Karlovic (CRO) vs P Kohlschreiber (GER)

E Gulbis (LAT) vs [3] N Djokovic (SRB)

Not Before 7:00 PM
N Lapentti (ECU) vs [2] R Nadal (ESP)


Mary Says:

Zola: Thanks for sharing that with me. Don’t know why you did, but um, thanks. Is he eating the gel or applying it on his body to make himself look icky?


Mary_disliker Says:

Zola

Why did u bother answering this mary person she is so obnoxious


The Game Says:

Zola

Why did u bother answering this Mary person she is so obnoxious


that matt Says:

is someone here going to talk about the actual match? or is that too hard or not as interesting as the rankings? hahhaha interesting


Get_out_of_the_game Says:

If you are going to troll my posts, pick ONE name.


zola Says:

Mary,
sorry. I shouldn’t have. It was in reply to a question by X and judith!

Mary-disliker,
my mistake! I think I did not scroll up to see who asked that question. Even if it is asked in ill faith, it is good to give the answer. The rest is up to them!


zola Says:

that matt,
I think everyone is caught up in the ranking shake up right now. but we’ll know something after tomorrow’s match.

what did you think of today’s matches? I think Haas played a very nice match and Rafa playe very crappy. He was very nervous and Haas did not let him play the way he wanted. Still Rafa won and I am happy.
It was smart of Haas to block the side of the court to urge Rafa to serve up to the T. But then Rafa served Aces to the corner and that was just great.
I liked Rafa’s serve towards the end. Of course as beautiful as Haas played during the match, he chocked big time during the tie-break.
Althogether, I am happy for Rafa’s win.


Dan_M Says:

Roger Federer is in sort of the Fast Eddie Felson self-doubt stage.


that matt Says:

zola, hey thanks for some tennis match info… you’re so far my only source of that as I do not get the tennis channel :(

i would’ve liked seeing the Haas/Nadal match as it sounds very interesting to be a very interesting matchup. Haas is atleast a veteran and that might help him play a stud like Nadal but hey, it’s Nadal’s match to lose.

how about the Fed/Karlovic match? was the third set tiebreaker close until the end or did Karlovic get out to a quick lead? did Fed hit errors or was Karlovic awesome tonight?


jane Says:

that matt,

In the third tiebreak, Dr. Ivo got the early mini break and he never let it go; I believe (correct me if I am wrong anyone!) that’s how he won the match – by a hair, really, but a very important one.


2008 is the year of Nadal Says:

Federer did few backhand Unforced Errors in 3rd set tie breaker. He was a little bit nervous in 3rd set tiebreaker. As we all know karlovic had poor ability in doing rally but strange thing is that he got break point on Fed service in rally in 3ed set tiebreaker.
We can’t say Karlovic deserved this match as Fed play his best except tiebreakers. You can imagine Nadal lost 3rd and 4rth set in tiebreaker to Fed in Wimbledon 08 Final. But on hard courts Fed lost two tie breaker. Very strange thing for all of us.


zola Says:

that matt
if you have high speed internet, you can watch the matches for free. you don’t need the tennis channel.

try this link tomorrow, a little bit after the matches start:
http://www.justin.tv/slazenger

Also try this:
http://www.channelsurfing.net

scroll down and you will see links to the Cincy.

Tomorrow I think ESPN shows some of the matches.

Haas shouted at times ( many times), but played with good confidence againt Rafa. He was trying to go to Rafa’s forehand and was coming to the net a lot. He played a perfect match. But the only times that he has a minute lapse in concentration ( his first service game, 5-5 in the second set and the tie-break), Rafa just got the points.

Fed-Karlovic was close but I was not surprised. It is always like that. The only surprise came in the first set tie-break when Ivo won 8-6! he went toe to toe with Fed. fed missed a forehand and then Ivo won the first set. The second set Fed was better. The third set, I thought Ivo would be gone. Fed would move him from side to side. It was very hot and Ivo as tired. Then he suddently stopped running. He missed very easy shots and tried to slow down the match. He conserved energy and then served well on his own games and took it to a tie-break. This time Fed missed a firehand early in the tie-break. I think Ivo missed two match points and converted the third one.

One thing he did ver effectively was his backhand slice to Fed’s backhand. he volleyed a lot too. Fed played a better match. He should have won it. But Ivo was patient and got the reward. Cahill said “in the past Fed would find ways to win. Today he foun ways to lose.” they all thought it was a confidence issue.

oops, such a long post !


zola Says:

that matt
I wrote you about the matches but because it has links it is awaiting moderation.

I just copy/paste this part:
***
Haas shouted at times ( many times), but played with good confidence againt Rafa. He was trying to go to Rafa’s forehand and was coming to the net a lot. He played a perfect match. But the only times that he has a minute lapse in concentration ( his first service game, 5-5 in the second set and the tie-break), Rafa just got the points.

Fed-Karlovic was close but I was not surprised. It is always like that. The only surprise came in the first set tie-break when Ivo won 8-6! he went toe to toe with Fed. fed missed a forehand and then Ivo won the first set. The second set Fed was better. The third set, I thought Ivo would be gone. Fed would move him from side to side. It was very hot and Ivo as tired. Then he suddently stopped running. He missed very easy shots and tried to slow down the match. He conserved energy and then served well on his own games and took it to a tie-break. This time Fed missed a firehand early in the tie-break. I think Ivo missed two match points and converted the third one.

One thing he did ver effectively was his backhand slice to Fed’s backhand. he volleyed a lot too. Fed played a better match. He should have won it. But Ivo was patient and got the reward. Cahill said “in the past Fed would find ways to win. Today he foun ways to lose.” they all thought it was a confidence issue.

oops, such a long post !

****

btw, check those links tomorrow, as you can watch these matches for free on the internet!


zola Says:

Sean,
can you delete my post at 12:51 am? thanks.


Shital Green Says:

Federer’s post-match interview today:

Q. You weren’t broken in this match. How…
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, it’s disappointing losing without getting broken, but it’s not the first player it happens to. You know, especially against a guy like Ivo. He served really well, so it was always going to be a hard match.

Q. What do you think the difference was in the match? Seemed to be determined on a couple of points.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, like you said, a couple points here and there really made the difference.
I mean, I don’t know where and when they were, but he got the upper hand in the end.

Q. Did you find anything in these last two matches that gives you a positive feeling going ahead?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I don’t know what to take out of this match, you know. There’s always going to be a nothing match, these type of matches, you know. I mean, what are you going to do? I just tried to serve well.
Yeah, I mean, there’s always danger in tough matches against Ivo. I knew that from the start.

Q. How discouraging is it for you that another Masters Series event goes by without you winning it?
ROGER FEDERER: No problem. It wasn’t an Olympic or a US Open, so I can live with that.

Q. Have you already thought about how you’re going regroup?
ROGER FEDERER: No, not yet. Too early.

Q. Will you follow the rest of the tournament and see how Rafa does?
ROGER FEDERER: No.

Q. In the tiebreak sets were you attacking his backhand a little bit more? It looked like in the tiebreak he maybe changed his tactics a little bit as opposed to the regular sets.
ROGER FEDERER: He or I changed?

Q. He.
ROGER FEDERER: No, I mean, I guess his backhand is his more safe shot, but it allows you to maneuver him around a little more. His forehand is more dangerous. So always I guess depends how the point sort of starts with start with your own serve.
Yeah, I mean, maybe I got a little bit unlucky on a couple. I don’t know. But he definitely served well. Maybe in the last tiebreaker when I had three chances on second serves I wasn’t able to get one when I really needed to be on even terms with him.
I guess that cost me the match, which is hard to accept.

Q. To what extent would you hope that Nadal doesn’t win this tournament?
ROGER FEDERER: I don’t care.

Q. How tough is that serve compared to the other big servers? Do you think the height is a factor?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, sure. His trajectory is unbelievable. He’s definitely got the best serve in the game. Don’t know about his second serve. I’m surprised he doesn’t serve and volley off it because he could.
But his first serve is definitely I mean, against nobody do I have to guess on the serve except against Ivo. Especially here with the light in the back. It’s very bright and hard to see the ball.
Yeah, I mean, I basically have to guess on every serve and it makes it hard. On top of that he got the unreturnable serves. Sometimes on the ad side and down the T, if he clocks it on the line there’s nothing you can do. Makes it extremely difficult.

Q. Were you happy your preparation coming into this week?
ROGER FEDERER: Lack in preparation?

Q. Were you happy with it?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, no, of course not. I wish I could have had more practice, but the schedule this year makes it hard for us players. It’s the way it is. It’s the same for everybody.
But I think for Rafa and myself it’s particularly hard, because we were in the finals of Wimbledon so we didn’t get an extra week or two.
Look, he’s doing well, and I have done well in the past as well. This year was hard I guess with the start of the year. But nevertheless, I still think it’s been a good year.
I just hope I can show it now at the Olympics and the US Open.

Q. At what point do you start losing confidence in yourself and your game? And will that ever happen?
ROGER FEDERER: I don’t know. So far it’s okay. You know, I mean, I guess I’ll analyze and assess my game after the US Open. For the moment it’s just all a blur. I mean, it’s so many tournaments in a row, big tournaments in a row, it’s hard, you know.
I mean, it’s a tough trip we got up in front of us now, going back to China and coming back to the Open. I’m looking forward for the next two tournaments.
Those are really the ones that can make this season from a good one to a great one again. I hope I can manage to pull off something in the next couple weeks.

Q. Last match you mentioned that the courts here are quicker that Toronto. Was that a factor at all? Does it take you that long to adjust from maybe a slower to a faster court?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I have a tendency to think it’s easier going from a fast court to a slow court, you know. Then again, in this match I don’t think it played a factor. I’ve played Ivo on clay, on grass, hard court, on indoor. I played him on all surfaces and his serve comes the same speed, you know, so it doesn’t help a whole lot.
Actually he get more play action on the slower surfaces, so he has a tendency to be more dangerous in these conditions.
But what are you going to do today if he serves like that? Maybe if I would have gotten the first set I would be sitting here winning 7 6, 6 4. That’s not the case, so it’s kind of brutal.


bobby Says:

This Mary thing is stinking so much that i want to clean every thing.


sheila Says:

i am so disappointed that roger lost. i guess i don’t get whats up w/him. the match btwn him & karlovic, he looked the fresher of the 2 and i don’t get it. he’s losing to guys he never lost to b4. is it confidence. maybe the mono, beginning of yr thru feds rhythm off. i guess i’m hoping roger bounces back in 2009. i think nadal will obviously become #1 and in his career, i think he will win all 4 grand slams. i don’t think federer will ever win fo, but i also don’t think nadal will hold on to #1 ranking 4 4 1/2 yrs. each guy has great talent and each guy has broken lots of records and both players are great players. being a federer fan i hope he bounces back in 2009. nadal this yr deserves #1 spot.


zola Says:

Sheila,
I am sure Fed will come back. He said that himself. He wouldn’t b in the top for almost 5 years if he was not a fighter. This is just a hard year. that’s it!


that matt Says:

zola thanks so much for the match recaps! i really appreciate it.

so did Karlovic stop putting out an effort on Feds service games in the third set?? if so, wow

thanks for the links too, total god-send


zola Says:

that matt

yes, karlovic was not playing at all durong Fed’s service games. even the commentators said that must be so frustrating because almost no tennis is played.
btw, eurosport usually has a point by point blog for important matches. here’s the link for Fed-Ivo match:

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/tennis/livematch/246200.html


Willie Says:

I think this is the first time I’ve read Federer giving credit to the one who beats him. In the past he always like “he didn’t improved his game the last time we play it’s I just didn’t play my best tennis today”. I mean how hard it is to praise your opponent once in a while.

He’s like “No. 2, No. 3, it doesn’t matter much. It’s No. 1 that matters”. But now that Rafa is about to take the No. 1 spot, he’s like “I don’t care.”

Poor guy.


Willie Says:

And he’s talking about the Olympics and US Open now. Well that’s what he do when he loses. When Rafe beats him early in the clay season, he said that it doesnt’ matter much. He’s like “let’s see what happens in the French Open”. After FO, he’s like “let’s see what happens in Wimbledon.”

And what do you know, he’s running out of tournaments this year.


YY Says:

Willie,

Your post seems to imply that RF isn’t showing good sportsmanship. :P

I think most people recognise RF as a gentlemen with great respect for the game of tennis.

Watching the RF/IK match (being a Nadal fan I was admittedly half wishing for an upset), I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Rog cause he played a much better game. Ivo really got through coz he hung in there and won the crucial points but it was frustrating to see him win coz he was really outclassed by the many winners Fed made when they went into rallies. Looking at the states, RF did not lose his serve and had 106 points to IK’s 101 (talk about bad luck).

This is how I am assessing RF’s year so far. It has just been unfortunate series of events that given his past record , makes 2008 dismal.

My gut feel that this will continue for the rest of the year before he regroups and refocuses for 2009.


YY Says:

I guess this is how RF is trying to psych himself to repair the damage already done to his ego and ranking points thus far.

A true champion will put behind failures and look ahead.

What do you expect RF to say? At this point in time he needs to start believing in himself again if he wants to remain/regain No. 1 position.

This is what will make him eventually be a GOAT tennis player. The ability to bounce back from lows and climb to greater heights.


Von Says:

Just finished watching a delayed broadcast of the Nadal v. Haas on the Tennis Channel. Haas played some sublime, high quality tennis. Haas kept Nadal guessing regarding his backhand and had difficulty finding a spot to serve to Haas’ backhand. It wasn’t as easy for him to do so effectively as he does with Federer. That is why Haas was able to keep the match so close. Did anyone notice the exchange at the net in the 11th game of the second set? It was enjoyable. Haas’ joy at winning that point was priceless. Unfortunately, he lost momentum in the tie-break after breaking Nadal to take that set to a tie-break. His frustration got the better of him and his concentration dipped. It would have been nice if he could have won that tie-break and taken the match all the way. Haas could have probably won the match in 3 sets because Nadal was not playing very well tonight. I was disappointed Haas didn’t win the second set because I wanted to see some more of Haas’ beautiful tennis.

I thought Federer played a much better match against Karlovic than he did against Ginepri. Karlovic won on the points that mattered. He made some crisp, laser-like volleys. I’m amazed how much he could bend for someone so tall. The 3rd set is what changed the whole complexion of the match. Karlovic was able to take control of the match by slowing down Fed, who at times was rushing. Dr. Ivo began towelling off, which is something he hardly ever does, and bounced the ball a few more times before serving.


Von Says:

that matt:

ESPN2 will be broadcasting some of the QFs tomorrow. Check their listing under “US Open Series” at 12:00 Noon and then again at 7:00 pm. Those are the times they are scheduled to broadcast in my area. I would hope it’s the same for each area but at times their programming is not the same in every state. Hope this works for you.


James Says:

Come on, guys. All his previous wins over Ivo were tight tight matches. It’s just a matter of statistics that he should lose some eventually. He’s not a machine.

Give Ivo some credit (like Fed did). And cut Fed some slack.


Kroll Says:

Von
I ve always thought Haas to be a brilliant player who is just short in all departments (a la Youhzny) though their games are different. Hardly anyone has easy games when playing him and I dont think I ve seen him dominated in games. Though Rafa’s confidence is certainly improving. A year ago he would easily have lost this match but he did well here.

I am actually pretty excited that Fed lost here. This is the first true test of Fed’s character that we’ve seen and will be a measure of his quality as to what his response it is. The power game/ accuracy angle doesen’t hold a lot of water in my opinion. Sampras always showed the depth of his character (1995 davis cup anyone?) but its never really been clear about Fed. So we’ll see now!


Didn't I tell you guys that, Ginepri choked and Federer was lucky to get out of it! Says:

Seriously, he has never won under pressure. Remember the 2005 semi at the Aussie Open with Safin? Federer lost that one as well. When he was winning all those Grand Slams that he has. He has never really won when he had to play under pressure, and Nadal was just an amateur on grass. And he was pushing him to 5 sets in the final. Nadal was really really tired to get to the final. Because he had to played everyday dued to the rain. Nadal also won their exhibition match, remember that half grass/half clay match?


Haas also had beaten Federer previously at the Kooyong Classics in Melbourne Says:

And he also took Federer to five sets in the Aussie Open I think it was 2006, when they played!


Fed deserves some slack because of his fans! Says:

I remember his fans clapped at the Tennis Masters final, when Nalbandian double faults on his serve(Nalby won that one in 5, Federer does not cope well when playing under pressure).


Fed would release a doctor report by the end of the year, and it would says that he is having mono the whole year!!! Says:

rofl


ShayHay Says:

I’ve been off the blog for a while because of vacation, but thanks Sean for an excellent post. I believe I made these same statements after the Wimbledon loss. He will still win tournaments, but as you so eloquently pointed out, the mental edge for Federer is gone. And of course time is not on his side at this point. He will definitely remain a major threat at tournaments, but the invincible shield is now invisible, as in poof…no longer. It’s exciting. While I love Rafa and I know he’ll win more majors, I kind of like the fact that there are others like Djokovic on the tour to make things interesting. In my humble opinion Federer came at a time where the game was missing something. Of course Pete was done and Andre was on his last leg, so you really didn’t have anyone to offer any resistance to Federer’s oh so boring reign at the top. Thankfully that’s not the case in today’s men’s field.


rjnick Says:

Does anyone know if the Nadal/Lapentti match will be on live tonight? Or will it be on tape?


Nadal is a saviour! Not only for him destorying Fed mentally! He also opened the door for other players! Says:

Other players aren’t afraid of him these days. Just like Steffi Graf, when he was beaten by Sanchez in 89. Then she began to get beaten by everyone. I think Fed would other other majors, it really depends on the draws. Like if Nadal, Murray, Djokovic or other players have been beaten like in his 2005 and 2006. That is how he came up with titles at the Aussie Open and US Open.


Federer been beaten 11th times in 2008 already! Says:

Like a boxing ring match. He is suffering by 4 heavy blows. First blow, Australian Open. Second blow, Hamburg. A title that he won for a couple of years. Third blow, Roland Garros. This one really hurts, like the Aussie Open. He was not only beaten, but he was humilated. The final punch, Wimbledon. It is like a country is being invaded. The flag is being replaced.


Willie Says:

YY,

“A true champion will put behind failures and look ahead.”

I don’t think that’s what he does. By the way he’s saying it, he simply implies that the tournament which he just lost is not important.


James Says:

Everyone has his share of bad luck. Fed is due to lose, after those 04-07 run. Again, give Ivo some credit.

Also, it really amzes me that Fed’s loss still stirs up so many concern?! Do people really believe he’s from outer space?


TalkAboutSport Says:

This has to be the most depressing thing in the tennis world. Federer had started his own era of rule. Now, in the time period of about 3, 4 years(not sure) its all gone (well potentially). The only way this will happen is if Nadal wins the whole tournament. For some reason I doubt this will happen because Murray and Djokovic are still in the draw. But seriously it was about time that Federer lost his Number 1 Ranking (I support Federer though).


andrea Says:

If there is anything i notice in fed’s game this year, that was not prevalent in years prior, is he is making more noise. i loved his quiet precision game. he was silent even playing long ralleys.

in the clay court tournaments this year he started to huff on a big serve or after an extended rally.

his body seems to be over rotating on his forehand shots these days – i don’t know if anyone else is noticing it. almost like he needs that extra core twist for the power that used to be there without it. i saw that in toronto and cincinatti.

sean also makes a good point about fed having that precision game – once you’re that split second behind, the errors creep in.

it seems weird that so much of his game would collapse in one year but i guess once you have mono and then start losing important matches, the mental edge starts giving out.


Von Says:

Kroll:

“Sampras always showed the depth of his character (1995 davis cup anyone?) but its never really been clear about Fed. So we’ll see now!”

Gosh, do I remember that 1995 Davis Cup!! Pete was a one man army. He won both of the single live rubber matches and the doubles as well with Todd Martin. I don’t know if you remember seeing after his last singles match he collapsed on the court with cramps and had to be carried off by the coach and another guy. WOW, that was some Davis Cup with Pistol Pete as its star.

Another example of Pete’s true character was demonstrated at the Wimby match when he heard the news about his coach, Gullickson. He threw up, and cried throughout the match, but somehow he managed to win the tournament. He said he dedicated that win to his coach. I later saw some clips wherein he stated he took the trophy and gave it to his coach’s family at the funeral. Pete was a true champion and much more a wonderful human being. He’s always been, and will always be, my all-time fave.


Von Says:

andrea:

“If there is anything i notice in fed’s game this year, that was not prevalent in years prior, is he is making more noise. i loved his quiet precision game. he was silent even playing long ralleys.”

“…his body seems to be over rotating on his forehand shots these days – i don’t know if anyone else is noticing it. almost like he needs that extra core twist for the power that used to be there without it.”

Fed is suffering from a classic case of burn-out. What he did in that 4 year run, is now taking its toll. No one can keep up with that kind of stress. In addition to his mental burnout, he has a physical problem, which I mentioned earlier this year, and that is, he has lost a lot of muscle mass, especially around his upper body. If you look at earlier pictures of Fed around 2003, you’ll notice there was much more bulk/muscle on his body. It’s almost as if his muscle mass began wasting away, and now he’s a shell of that person. This accounts for that over-rotation you saw. He doesn’t have the power/strength he once had.

Fed needs to take time off to rest and recuperate; build up himself both physically and mentally. However, he’s stubborn and will persist to his detriment. If you notice the great chanpions always skipped some seasons, or paced themselves. It’s not possible to do it all non-stop. Fed is a man driven to achieve something like yesterday. When, and if, Fed comes to grips with the fact that he needs to rest and recharge and it takes root in his thought processes, his healing will begin. Until then, he’ll continue to deteriorate and the healing process will be much longer and more difficult. Sometimes, we are our worst eneny.


Andrew Miller Says:

I want to agree with Mr. Randall but I cant, because of one significant factor:

The Andre Agassi factor.

Federer is more in the mold of Lendl and Agassi, who like Mr. Randall pointed out, have games dependent more on timing and shot making than a lethal serve and demolish game (Sampras had a serve and demolish game – Federer to me seemed to show up and toy with players by playing THEIR game better than they did, rather than matching up X’s and O’s as Nadal or Agassi did/do).

However, if Federer goes all strategy on us – like Agassi who, in the latter sets of his match with James Blake at the US Open, noticed that Blake was not as prepared off of his backhand wing on the ad side and hammered away – if Federer begins to match his strengths against opponents weaknesses, mapping his target practice accordingly, I think he’ll win and win big.

Federer’s not a “step” slow physically – he’s playing, like Mr. Randall said, something around 5% worse than he’s played in 2007, and maybe 5-10% worse than he played in 2005 and 2006. So if he plays just 2-3% better (Miguel Seabra of Europe suggested Federer consider a 95 inch sq head size for his racquet, vs the good ol 90-92 sq inch) then he might win 10 more points per match.

10 more points per match means more wins.

So…Federer man, get larger headsize for your racquet, run some mountains like Agassi did, maybe by moving back to Basel and hitting the great outdoors, see Cinderella Man and get your game back, or at least morph it into something formidable!


Kroll Says:

Von
“”Another example of Pete’s true character was demonstrated at the Wimby match”"

That was actually the 1995 AO in the match against Courier which he won in 5 sets after losing the first two sets in tie breaks. His fourth round match was also a 5 setter, but it was a super effort throughout. He finally lost steam in the final against Agassi.


Von Says:

Kroll:

“That was actually the 1995 AO in the match against Courier which he won in 5 sets after losing the first two sets in tie breaks.”

You’re right. I made a boo boo. Shame on me!! I remember the match was against Courier when Pete heard the news that his coach had brain cancer. I somehow merged the two matches into one. My memory lets me down sometimes. :) I confused the AO, when he heard the news, and the Wimby tournamnet dedication, when the coach died later that year. and Pete gave the Wimby trophy to the family. That I remember clearly.

How did I do on the Davis Cup? Did I have all the details correctly?


Ra Says:

I actually thought Federer worked himself into yesterday’s match very well. The first set was not his strongest play, but I think he played very well in the second and third and with minimal errors. When he went up a break in the second, I thought, “OK, this is the moment of truth. Will he give it right back as he’s been doing, or will he build off of it and begin his journey back to solid form?” And he built off of it. His serve got better and better, his errors went down, his forehand began to look more reliable, and (as was already mentioned) he only gave up two points on his serve in the entire third set – one before and one during the tiebreak. Unfortunately, even though he seemed to take all the right steps, he lost. With 106 points to Ivo’s 101, he fell to someone with whom he always has exceptionally close matches. I’m not sure that match will do anything for his confidence, but I don’t think it was the same kind of loss as his fall to Simon, and he played far better than he did against Ginepri. I think that’s a very good thing unless because he ended up losing anyway his confidence falls further still (which it very well may).

Credit to Ivo, though. His serve was as strong as I’ve ever seen it, and his all court play was quite impressive. He hit with some remarkable finesse along the way that I would’ve been impressed by regardless of who was holding the racquet. I’m not watching his match today, but if he maintains yesterday’s level over the course of the week, I won’t be surprised if he is a finalist.


I like tennis bullies not tennis sissies Says:

Welcome to the Rafael Nadal Era.
————————-

hurrah! it took long enough

buh bye rojah!


Ra Says:

So, I did just end up watching the tail end of Karlovic v Kohlschreiber and am once again impressed by what I saw from Ivo (even though Kohlschreiber kinda choked in that tiebreak).

Although I’m a big fan of Murray, I’ll be happy whoever wins that semifinal and will root for that player to win the tournament (because it’d be nice to mix things up even more and have someone take their first Masters Series title, too) unless the other finalist is Gulbis (in which case I’ll be completely torn but will be happy no matter what happens).


Von Says:

Ra:

“…but I don’t think it was the same kind of loss as his fall to Simon, and he played far better than he did against Ginepri.”

I don’t know if you read my comments, but I wholeheartedly agree with you, Fed played a lot better than he did against Ginepri and I also felt when he broke Dr. Ivo in the second set he would win. However, in the 3rd set Karlovic began dictating play more by slowing down Fed, and in the tie-break Fed showed some signs of a concentration dip, on which Karlovic was able to capitalize.

“Credit to Ivo, though. His serve was as strong as I’ve ever seen it, and his all court play was quite impressive. He hit with some remarkable finesse along the way that I would’ve been impressed by regardless of who was holding the racquet.”

I also touched on the above in my comments. I was very awed by some of the crisp, laser-like volleys Karlovic played. He was pretty impressive at the net.

Consideing Karlovic took out Fed it would be only fitting fcor him to at least get to the SFs or be a finalist. He deserves it!!


JCF Says:

jane Says:

“Mary,

Rafa takes a cold shower before he hits the court; hence he’s drippy and his hair is wet. Obviously it’s working for him so…”

I’ve tried that before. It is a VERY masochistic thing to do. I couldn’t last 5 seconds.


jane Says:

JCF

Rafa saves his sadistic side for the court; haven’t you noticed?


jane Says:

What do you think Shital? B+ for Djoko today? He played pretty well – nice serves towards the end, a few good trips to net, excellent groundies overall. Just needed to cut down on errors.


Shital Green Says:

Jane,
Yeah, definitely B+.
Just like you said, he’s gotta work further on serve, cut on UEs, hit more backhand down the line consistently, and return quickly. If he can do that, he will make the tomorrow’s match competitive. In all likelihood, Rafa the invincible will sail to the trophy, but it remains to be seen how easily.


Von Says:

Shital: Don’t discount Dr.Ivo. That cincy court is tailor made for his serve. Serve and volley should be Dr. Ivo’s motto at cincy.


jane Says:

Yes – I think all of our semi finalists so far – Murray, Dr. Ivo, and Djoko – are in with a shot, and we can probably assume Rafa will be the 4th.

For Murray to beat Dr. Ivo, he just has to stay the course in tiebreaks; that’s going to be the norm with Karlovic now, I suspect. I am not sure who is the clear underdog in this match up.

If Djoko has to play Rafa he is the underdog for a number of reasons, not the least of which being momentum. For Djoko to beat Rafa, he’ll have to play his best – and do all those things Shital pointed out.

We’ll see. But no matter how you slice it, there will be a new champ here this year.


Shital Green Says:

Von,

It is quite possible Dr. Ivo can do just like he did in the last two matches: With 25+ aces, stay unbroken, and win in tie break.


JCF Says:

Imagine how many Wimbledons Karlovic could win if only he returned a little bit better.

Any top 10 player who could trade serves with Karlovic would probably win every major.


Von Says:

jane: If Murray can get to a tiebreak against Dr. Ivo will be the question, regardless of whether that’s the norm for Karlovic. Tiebreaks against Karlovic only happens if his opponent is holding their serve and serving 75% or above. Murray will have to serve very well and then back up his serve with good shot-making and groundies. Anything else, then it will be Dr. ivo unless he’s having some physical problems.

I agree there will be a new champ. I’m all for variety and sharing the spoils/wealth.


jane Says:

Von – yes, he’ll have to get it to tiebreaks first and Andy’s serve can go off. But Murray has a 2-love H2H with Karlovic, and won against him at Indian Wells this year 7-6, 6-7, 6-3. I think both guys are probably playing even better now though, so this match could be a doozy. Looking forward to it. We should have two great semis.


JCF Says:

TalkAboutSport Says:

“This has to be the most depressing thing in the tennis world. Federer had started his own era of rule. Now, in the time period of about 3, 4 years(not sure) its all gone (well potentially). The only way this will happen is if Nadal wins the whole tournament. For some reason I doubt this will happen because Murray and Djokovic are still in the draw. But seriously it was about time that Federer lost his Number 1 Ranking (I support Federer though).”

Von made an analysis that some stars burn bright over a long period of time, others shine very brilliantly, but not as long. Fed is clearly a case of a person who did in 4 years what another similarly qualified legend would have done over 10 years. This is a positive in and of itself. I’d rather win 12 slams in 4.5 hours than 12 in 10.

He’s not even done yet. He just has to find his form, and he will be a threat to continue winning slams again. I do not see Nadal dominating the way Fed did from 04-07. Nadal will conserve his fuel a bit longer. Nadal relies on hard work to get his wins, Fed just wins based on pure talent, which is easier to sustain. Nadal will not be winning 3 slams a year. There will be plenty of openings for Fed to come back and win some.

Having said that though, I do feel that Nadal has a much stronger chance of completing a career grand slam than Federer does. He hasn’t won the hard court slams yet, but I think they are more doable for him than RG is for Fed.

As a Rafa fan, I hope Nadal loses in the SF and loses early at Beijing. Winning streaks put a lot of pressure on you and are difficult to sustain. I can’t fathom his streak being this long: Hamburg, RG, Queens, Wimby, Toronto, Cincy, Beijing, US Open. That is a ridiculous streak that not even Federer has matched before, and he has to lose. If he’s going to lose, I’d rather he lose it here or at Beijing than to run out of steam at Flushing.

Although winning at Cincy will remove another oft-recycled barb from his critics: That he can’t win on fast surfaces (grass is slower than hard, etc..). This is a fast hardcourt, and it’s faster than USO.


JCF Says:

“Federer’s not a “step” slow physically – he’s playing, like Mr. Randall said, something around 5% worse than he’s played in 2007, and maybe 5-10% worse than he played in 2005 and 2006. So if he plays just 2-3% better (Miguel Seabra of Europe suggested Federer consider a 95 inch sq head size for his racquet, vs the good ol 90-92 sq inch) then he might win 10 more points per match.”

That last 5% makes so much difference Andrew. It’s the difference between winning 3 slams in a season, and none.

Unfortunately for Fed, he now must return back to the world to join the rest of us as mere mortals.

“I somehow merged the two matches into one. My memory lets me down sometimes.”

NO WAAAAYYYY!!!!!!!

‘Sometimes’ must mean 0.0001% of the time. You’re scary to be around. :P


Von Says:

JCF:

“I somehow merged the two matches into one. My memory lets me down sometimes.”

NO WAAAAYYYY!!!!!!!

‘Sometimes’ must mean 0.0001% of the time. You’re scary to be around.:)

You’re really scared aren’t you? There’s a saying: “Do nothing, fear nothing.” If you live by that motto you won’t have to make notes and NO ONE will be scary. :)


FED ADMIRER Says:

Have a heart – that is no way to talk and criticize any player. Be Kind – don’t say anything if you do not have to say something nice. Put yourself in the place of the person you are criticizing and I am sure you would not like. do not mix politics with tennis. Even the commentators talk so badly about some players they do not like. Please stop. Just give us your comments on the game being played and not your who is going downhill or uphill. Enjoy it as it comes.

Top story: Djokovic v Murray Halloween Friday In Paris; Raonic, Ferrer Fighting For Final London Berth
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