Federer Falls Apart, Smashes Racquet in Loss to Djokovic
by Sean Randall | April 3rd, 2009, 3:07 pm

Wow. Well, those the worst two sets I’ve ever seen Roger Federer’s play. After what I thought was a very strong start for Federer in the first set against Novak Djokovic in the semifinals at the Miami Masters Sony Ericsson Open, the former World No. 1 once again couldn’t maintain form as he started to unravel to start the second set then completely disintegrated to begin the third culminating in Federer destroying his racquet.

Djokovic literally put Federer out of his misery with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory putting the Serb into Sunday’s final against tonight’s Andy Murray- Juan Martin Del Potro winner. ADHEREL

Credit to Djokovic for hanging in there, keeping the ball in play and allowing the Swiss to do his thing, which recently has been to violently implode late in matches. That’s the pattern I first saw against Gilles Simon last summer. Then again at the Australian Open to Rafael Nadal, Indian Wells to Murray and we saw some more evidence against Andy Roddick the other night.

But this was an epic collapse. An “amazing disaster” to steal Nadal’s line from the other night. A Black Friday if you will for the Federer Faithful.

Luckily for Federer a few things are going his way. First he needs a break, and he’ll get one this month as he’s not scheduled to play Monte Carlo. He needs a change of scenery, and he’ll get that too as the tour shifts to Europe, and he really needs a coach if he wants get his game back on track and to get over these crushing losses.

Regardless of how he got the win, he got it, and this will do wonders for Djokovic’s confidence going forward. This is a victory, a result he desperately needed and got.

Back to Fed. There’s a poster on this site with the handle “Long live the king.” Well, based on that performance it looks like the King is dead.

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124 Comments for Federer Falls Apart, Smashes Racquet in Loss to Djokovic

Arrogance, thy name is Roger Federer Says:


Arrogance, thy name is Roger Federer Says:

He didnt shake the umpire’s hand either, what a sore loser this swiss crybaby is- but I cant help laughing.

Kaka Says:

When Del Potro beat Rafa he put up a fight, Rafa helping him along.

Here, Roger just self-destructed. 30 unforced errors on the forehand alone.

alpha Says:

I said it in another post already, his days are well behind him now, all he can hope for is to reach SF’s to grab some points and stay in #2 which won’t last for much time. he will soon slip to #4 in the world this year, and beleive it or not it will be by all means a great place if we look at his level and achievements (no titles for 18months except the lucky US Open). after wembeldon he will be #6 and by the end of this year or at best first Q of next year he will be ut of top 10… the guy stamina is fading, and fading really quickly, very tough if not impossible to win 2 sets in front of the real top 4 … we will still say that he was great during his peak time.

Murray will win it on Sunday cuz he is the real number 2, Nole is the number 3.

Ra Says:

I’ve never been so excited to read an interview transcript; I can hardly wait.

I’m not convinced this isn’t going to be a good thing for Roger in the long run.

Congratulations to Novak! Now I’m hoping that he’ll have the opportunity to face and overcome Murray in the final to keep things as interesting as possible.

sar Says:

Q. Talk about Novak. You last played
him at the Open. It’s been a while.
Q. Yes. That’s the last time you guys
played. Can you take anything away from that
match, or this just a totally new situation?
ROGER FEDERER: Um, no. Look, I
mean, I also beat him in Monaco. He gave up
there. But it’s good to have, you know, won the
last couple matches against him. In the beginning
when he was up and coming, you know, I figured
him out pretty quickly, you know. I’m always
anxious to play him, especially in the big
You know, I kind of like his game, you
know, to play that kind of style player.

sar Says:

The MONO is back

Sean Randall Says:

On replay, it is true. Federer didn’t even shake ump Fergus Murphy’s hand at the end. Astounding.

sar Says:

He is a poor sport. Djok didn’t do any special celebrating. Good win.

Shan Says:

Federer was a strange beast today. In the first set he showed glimpses of his greatness, but after that became a walking ghost of his former self. Everyone and their grandmothers are yelling “GET A COACH!!!” – when if ever will he finally learn?

He still has the capability to win big matches if his consistency and strategy weaknesses are worked on.

The way things are going for Federer though I could see him retiring early if he continues down this path since his frustrations could get the best of him. I’m sure Fed haters and others alike would agree that tennis without Federer would not be the same.

Ra Says:


I fully agree with your comment on the other thread regarding the smashed racquet.


I didn’t catch that. Do you figure it was personal (I didn’t notice any kind of conflict between them along the way), or was he just s tranced out and head-tripping that he mindlessly skipped it?

Colin Says:

I didn’t see this match, b ut the first thing that stood out in the reports was Fed smashing his racquet. Are the True Believers still going to trot out the tired old mantra that Roger doesn’t care about the “lesser” tournaments? Like hell he doesn’t!

jane Says:


Novak did a little more than “keep the ball in play.” I did watch after Novak started coming back in the second set. He was hitting beautiful groundstrokes. It wasn’t until Federer began losing, imo, that he began to losing his game. Novak changed tactics, much like Roddick did, after the first set, and stopped rushing in, and played nicely from the baseline. Moreover, just exactly like he did at the AO match in 08, Novak began targeting, surprise!, Fed’s forehand, not his backhand. So a little more analysis of Novak’s play is warranted. Why should it be only about Fed’s loss?

PietjeP Says:

Hi Sean,

Well, that to me doesn’t come as a surprise. For the last 1,5 years I haven’t seen Fed play his best level. He plays many freaky matches, with major lapses. This guy used to be Mr. Consistancy.

Everybody is talking now about Nadal and Murray and this or that. To me it’s still about Fed losing it and playing below par.

If he would play at his level of 05/06/07, he would still be number 1 in the world. Translated: the level of play he showed then, is above Murray’s and Nadal’s current level.

Fed needs to get his head together himself, get a coach or get a retirement home in Boca. But this way is a dead end…..

The upside about this; tennis recently has never been more interesting then right now!!


Ra Says:


I mostly agree with you in all of that except for him retiring early (I don’t see that happening any time soon), but it’s not as if he didn’t attempt to hire Cahill full-time. That clearly demonstrates that he either wants or feels that he needs a coach.

jane Says:


I do not think Fed will retire out of frustration; I’d be very surprised were he to do so. He’s got game left. But i will say that tennis after Roger retires will “carry on smartly” (to borrow Von’s phrase), just as it has when other great players have retired. In fact, there is a plethora of talent in the men’s side right now, which suggests the tour is in good hands.


I am looking for the light for you in particular.

Ra Says:


That’s very sweet of you. I’m not worried, though; I’m sure that he’ll play many more stretches of quality tennis in his career, and I’m not someone who’s attached to some expectation of him dominating like he once did or anything. Also, there’s something fun (if at times extremely frustrating) about the fact that when he’s good he’s phenomenal, and when he’s bad he is awful.

MMT Says:

Jane: “Why should it be only about Fed’s loss?” I know you like Djokovic, so don’t take this wrong way, because in a way it’s a good thing; but when you give lose on the winners to UE ratio by 17, it’s hard to say that Djokovic really played well. He played well enough to win, and hats off to him for that, but he would really be short changing himself if, like delPo, he came out of this match saying he played “unbelievable”. It may be a bit harsh to say he kept the ball in play, because he did pick up his level in the 2nd particularly, but beyond that, this match was nothing to write home about. It’s a solid win and I suspect he’ll have to play a lot better than 20 winners and 30 unforced errors over 3 sets to beat Murray or delPotro in the final. I can’t see either of them hitting 22 winners and 47 unforced errors in the final.

Mary Says:

If Federer is freaking out now, just wait until the unplanned baby arrives. It’s like a Greek tragedy unfolding.
Just going by the scoreline and comments here, it looks like another mental meltdown.
I don’t mean to take anything away from Djokovic, it takes talent to pounce on something and he is talented so don’t bother flaming, it’s odd to see another complete meltdown apropos of nothing.Federer has no excuse for another pathetic scoreline. For the past two seasons, his personal life is really showing itself on the courts.

Naydal Says:

I just think he can’t stand Djokovich just like every sane tennis fan.

sar Says:

He got Tsonga and Fed off his back, that was the important thing for now–and in the noon day heat.

jane Says:

MMT – No worries; I can be objective and I respect your opinion. However, some credit is due to Novak for changing his tactics in the second set; the commentators I was listening to from atdhe.net noted as much. And then to break Fed to begin the third was well done also. Yes, Novak hit too many UEs, and too many doubles (is it just me or is every player hitting way more double faults lately!?) but he kept 70% of his first serves in and returned pretty well throughout. He also went to Fed’s forehand, and imo FORCED some of the errors Fed was making off that wing, like at the AO. But anyhow, I am merely saying the write up is about Federer’s loss predominately. That’s all.

jane Says:

Just some stats: Novak won 42% return points on Fed’s first serve, and 59% on his second, compared to Fed’s 31% and 45%. Moreover, I suspect many of Novak’s errors were in the first set, and a few when he got nervous in the third. But he did, in the end, hold his never, even through the racquet smashing and a mini-resurgence from Roger.

jane Says:

“never” s/b nerves.

dalliaa Says:

wow, the animosity by some towards federer is amazing, it’s as if he personally sleighted each and every one of you and committed some heinous crime. no athlete is perfect and each goes thru a phase where they undertake an action someone will object to. if you follow english football you’ll have those who hate ronaldo, rooney, gerrard, lampard etc…but the vitriol here surpasses that of most football fans and they’re considered the less sophisticated groupd of sports fans!

even rafa has his moments, in his post match interview he didnt really give del potro that much credit, but no one’s highlighted that fact.

its obvious federer needs a coach, but who? cahill didnt work out and i’ve been racking my brain as to whom can work well with federer and i cant think of anyone, maybe someone else can? maybe paul annacone?

and sean, every king/queen goes through tough times, but it’s how they respond to those times that marks them out, and i hope federer comes through his.

Tennis Says:

So this is how it would have been, if Borg did not retire at 25 or how graf would have been, if Seles was not stabbed!

Lets hope the Ice-man makes a return and recaptures his form to keep the battle of the cyBORGS continuing at French Open and Wimbledon.

topspin Says:


I’m so happy as well.

So finally when fed is back from cloud 9 we get to see the REAL guy, he WAS and IS a hot head, back in the day prior to his amazing winning streak, he would go on tantrums on/off court.

Glad to see he is back!
Everyone is human again in this world, ahhh rafa lost and fed lost.
So happy.

Guga76 Says:

Jane – Thanks for continuing to be mindful of Novak’s positive efforts.

He is amazing and obviously is still learning how to deal with 2 major problems. The first being the heat, and the second is being able to think before he acts. He has no problem playing his best against the best and wowing me in the beautiful process. If he could do it over, he would not have lashed out against Andy in front of 20,000 fans at the US Open or retired as the defending champ at the Aussie Open. He just needs to learn to think (and maybe get a prescription for some asthma medication). I wish the haters would stop hating on him. Tennis is a lovely refreshing sport where if the Djokovic’s of the world are the biggest problem, then we fans are just too spoiled.

alpha Says:

1. Nadal
2. Murray
3. Nole
4. Fed

jane Says:

MMT – I should add too, and have read this in a few other press analyses of the match, that the wind may’ve played a role in both Novak’s and Fed’s error counts. It’s certainly worth acknowledging that, and noting, too, that Novak actually played better with the conditions than perhaps Fed did? On that I am not sure, though, because Fed has collapsed similarly in other non-windy matches.

Guga76 – thanks for a kind and thoughtful post; we should cut players a little slack; if I think back to what I did at 21 … well, you get the idea. Live and learn.

Bojan Says:

He burned out in attempt to win. It’s interesting the same thing happened to Roddick in USO QF last year. He spanked Novak on press conference and then went out and lost. I rarely like Federer’s personality but he can act really unprofessional in his statements.
Novak deserves total credit for hanging out there. He’s not really well-known as being consistent in long rallies but he did it today. Comparing the stats he wasn’t that behind Fed in winners. Fed made 22, and Novak 20. But the errors… Fed 47, Novak 30. And the most interesting is net points Novak got 12/16, and Fed 12/20.
Good luck Nole in finals. I hope Murray will be his opponent and I hope this time THE TENNIS will win.

tenisbebe Says:

Jane – Congrats!! So sounds like, from your comments, you decided to watch the match after all, eh? Good thing too as your guy won! I on the other hand baled after the first set to cook and clean and caught the end. Don’t like “windy” matches – ie: last weeks IW’s. Anyway, glad to hear you are happy with his performance today. Duro, congrats to you too.

jane Says:

Only beginning in 2nd set, tenisbebe. I had one eye on the scores and one on my papers until I started to see Novak make a match out of it, at which point, of course, I became more interested and abandoned my marking. Sigh. I am just happy Novak has turned his weakish start to the year around; I know it wasn’t the best match ever, but this is still a good result. Thanks for the kind words.

Hope you’re around later for Murray!

Bojan Says:

@Sean R: I guess we saw once again “GARBAGEMAN” on his act :)))

Skorocel Says:

A quote from Fed’s post match interview: “I think when I was finding my form again, you know, it hit me with the back problem. It was unfortunate, you know, BUT THANK GOD THE HARDCOURT SEASON IS OVER.”

Well, that pretty much tells you how deep is the hole Fed is in right now… I’m wondering what others are thinking, but in my opinion, this one HAS to be among Fed’s 3 worst performances since ascending to the No. 1 spot (the other two being the Volandri meltdown in Rome 2007 and the Fish debacle at IW 2008)… AND, it WASN’T because of wind! The match was maybe awful from the start (I guess I’ve never seen so many mishit shots as these two, particularly Fed, produced in this match), but what the Swiss showed in the last 2 sets was nothing short of that “amazing disaster”… Way to go, Roger!

Btw, did he really refuse to shake hands with the umpire?! I mean, I can understand that racquet smashing, but this is indeed too much… Damn Fed, please take some serious time off, clean up your head, and come back with vengeance! The game of tennis will be boring without you!

roger that Says:

lol Bojan! But if he is a GARBAGEMAN what does that make Roger? hahaha

Alex Says:


it seems our Garbage man took care of … well, it seems he can’t get the credit for his win from the garbage author of this article?

Bojan Says:

Alex, you haven’t figured it out? Novak didn’t win, Federer lost. :))))

Alex Says:


you are right, so Federer is the winner and the loser at the same time coz he managed to beat himself? :))))

Duro Says:

Tenisbebe, thanks! My boy is back!

gordon Says:

To Alex… well, it seems he can’t get the credit for his win from the garbage author of this article?

Well said Alex :)

Giner Says:

To comment on the actual incident.. this is very unsettling. Federer since 02 has been the King of Cool, very rarely ever being flapped. He has not broken a racquet in a very very long time, more than 13 slam victories ago!

To see this happen to a guy who’s so calm and collected is very telling. He’s losing it mentally. And now he has a third genuine nemesis capable of beating him. Previously his two biggest nemeses were Nadal and Murray. Djokovic had beaten him before but it was rare and exception, not rule. Djoko now may genuinely be the third real challenger to Fed. I have my doubts that Djoko will be able to do this consistently, but there really is a lot of depth among the top 4 against each other now.

Nonetheless, Djoko has clearly rattled him, and I think the recent string of losses Fed has taken to Nadal and Murray have gotten into his head and he’s feeling it now. There is room for one more person inside his head and among the three, I think the one he least likes is Djokovic due to his cockiness.

I hope Murray gets through JMDP (he should) so we can have Murray vs Djokovic which we haven’t seen in a long time. It will be a display of who is more deserving of being the real #3 best player in the word.

He played a weird game not long ago. Murray was serving at 40-0 and got broken. Double faulted at deuce to give DP his first break point and then double faulted again to donate the break, though he did get it back in the next game.

Von Says:


I don’t know about Fed’s back and what to think of that statement. I remember him being interviewed on court after he won his second round match and he said his back was fine. So is his loss today due to his back? I thought the back problem hinders a player’s serve, not his FH, isn’t it? I suppose Fed is following in the footsteps of his “idol” Sampras, with Pete’s back problems causing him to leave the tour. Perhaps that’s what Fed needs to do. Fed needs to stop practising lifting the woman over the threshold for their impending marriage. ha, ha.

Yes, I saw it, he indeed did NOT shake the ump’s hand. I think he was probably embarrassed.

Danica Says:

I think that when he mentioned his back it was in a different context. Reading his postmatch interview, I got the feeling he was talking about the end of last season – when finally reaching his old form, he had a back problem which stalled him. I didn’t think he was talking about this match.

Danica Says:

On a previously spoken note:
I was not surprised all that much that Rog broke his racquet. He did it before and he had been doing this before he became “the monster he created”. Other things he did solidified my view of him never really being a fairplay guy. Have you seen him tossing those water bottles behind his back? He would drink some water and then just casually toss the bottle behind. Twice during the same period. And then, that infamous rejection of acknowledging the umpire. Is that the same guy that won that fairplay award only few days ago?!?

Von Says:

Danica: Thanks for the interpretation. I’m reading the back issue as the way it was presented in Skorocel’s post. I didn’t read his presser, so I stand corrected. But, who said “thank God the hardcourt season is over”? If it was Fed, then isn’t he referring to IW/Miami and the upcoming clay season? And if so, then is he implying that the hardcourts are injurious to his back? I’m lost here.

Giner Says:

From Fed’s interview:

“Q. How much pressure are you feeling out there?
ROGER FEDERER: Not a whole a lot. I haven’t been winning twenty tournaments in a row, so nobody expects me to win really.
No, look, it’s been a tough last year or so, especially in the hardcourts. My game never really clicked, you know, except for the Open where I thought I played great.
I think when I was finding my form again, you know, it hit me with the back problem. It was unfortunate, you know, but thank God the hardcourt season is over.”

Thank God the hardcourt season is over? What? Umm.. less than a year ago I clearly remember him thanking God that the clay and grass seasons were over, implying that hard courts were his favoured surface. What is it now? Carpet? Mud? Water? So now he’s looking forward to the clay season? I somehow doubt that.

Von Says:


“Is that the same guy that won that fairplay award only few days ago?!?”

Have you never seen people who are so wonderful and smiling/gracious, what not, when everything is going their way, and then something just a little bad happens and they have this ‘woe is me look’ on their face and becomes mad with the whole world? I see it everyday at work and I call them “fair weather” people, or robotic. They are like computers, change a program on the computer and everything is #$^&*(*. In other words, when the dark clouds appear, therein lies the true personality of the ‘cool’ people.

Nadal, is somewhat like Fed, look at his match with DelPotro, negativity upon negativity towards the towel and ball kids.

Von Says:


Ice, my luv, ice. Skating on thin ice. My mom used to say: “a plaster for every sore”.

Daniel Says:


I think he was talking about the match regarding his back problem. On a few occasions in the final set he almost seat down in the court to stretch the back, maybe he felt a litle. In one particuar game, I think 0-3 serving, he only putted the ball in play with his first serve, no effort to make a killer serve. It was a combination of his frustration with somthing else too.

As much as it is his pattern to play bad third sets, this one was particularly strange, including the racquet thing.
It is very strange to suddenly just lose it like this in more than one occasion. The Roddick match he made awsome shots, today none, neither Djoko. Off course the wind payed a facto in it too, and we’ll find out sunday as the final is scheduled to the same time as todays match.

alpha Says:

Von: you talk a lot, Fed is a bad loser and Nadal is a true humble person.

del potro is the new #3
1. Nadal
2. Murray
3. Del Potro
4. Nole

Danica Says:

yes, I noted same things with Rafa. I was telling a friend (who didn’t see the match) today how angry and dark and negative he looked. And yes, seems like Federer finally lost few of his masks.

As for “Thank God the hartcourt season is over”, he did say it. But again, I have a feeling the clay season is not going to be much better for him.

Von Says:

Humility has no connection whatsoever with losing one’s temper. And, you talk very little to the point of incoherence — let’s cut out the judgmental statemnts. We’re here to comment on the players not the posters, got it.

Von Says:

Danica: Thanks for corroborating my statement on Nadal. Per alpha, Nadal is humble. Yeah, is that the reason he does those fist pumps as if he’s pulverizing somebody’s head? No humility there, just arrogance. Gimme a break.

steve Says:

I think it’s very simple: Federer no longer has the hunger.

When he was younger he was, like all young men, desirous to prove himself by beating everyone else. That sustained him for many years and kept him mentally able to play his best over five sets.

But he’s at the point now where the triumphs have grown too numerous to count and he can no longer be bothered to summon his best to fend off the younger, hungrier players. He’s felt the feeling of winning so many times that he’s no longer thrilled by it as he once was.

And the life of a tennis pro–constantly traveling, staying in luxury hotel after luxury hotel, talking always to the media, must grow a bit sterile and empty after so many years.

I don’t think a coach is what he needs; he seems technically as sound as ever, maybe even more sound. His problems are the same now as they were in his early years as a pro–he can’t keep it together long enough to win matches against the very best.

What he needs is a new motivation.

I have always believed that Federer was as much artist as athlete. He takes a childlike pleasure in creating new and beautiful shots. Other players play in order to win; Federer plays for love of the game.

He plays his best and most beautifully when he plays with joy and a light heart. I would much rather see him play with joy, and be beaten, then win playing fretful, nervous tennis. But I also believe that if he plays with joy, he is unbeatable. Not Nadal, not Murray, not Djokovic, none of them can touch him at his best.

I think that having a child is the best thing that could happen to him, it will give him a distraction and responsibility he cannot ignore and force him to think about something besides tennis. And it will give new meaning and purpose to a life that, as I said, may be growing a bit empty and sterile after so many years.

Because it would be awful to watch him end his career playing so nervously and anxiously, knowing that he had so much more left to give but was unable to put it together. But I think that’s not what’s going to happen.

TD (Tam) Says:

I recall Sean saying that a certain world number three player made for a great garbageman. Does anybody else remember that bit of cleverness?

Well it looks like Novak took the garbage out today. How about that!? ;D

Congrats to the Dokovic fans they must be very happy. Both players were not at their best but a win is a win.

Another Murray and Novack final, this is turning out to be an interesting little rivalry isn’t it?

dona Says:

Congradulations Novak – great Game! Keep up buddy!
Sorry, Roger – maybe next time. You are great player – but like any other game, you can’t always win. Plus, watch you attitude…it will cost you more then lost match.

sar Says:

These players won’t be at Monte Carlo

Federer, Roger SUI 2
Roddick, Andy USA 7
Tsonga, Jo-Wilfried FRA 11
Blake, James USA 13
Gonzalez, Fernando CHI 17
Fish, Mardy USA 20
Tursunov, Dmitry RUS 27

sar Says:

Down the Line reports:TENNIS’ Peter Bodo also made reference to these rumors –

There are rumblings that there’s a bit of turmoil in Nadal’s life at the moment, and if you read the end of his presser closely you’ll get a hint it may be true. For that reason, I’ll tell you that I’ve heard some rumors here at Key Biscayne, but nothing I can confirm or share – other than to say the issue isn’t career threatening or health-related. I don’t mean to be coy, but that’s all I have to say about it, and I suppose that if there’s any substance to the rumors, it will be confirmed – sooner rather than later.

Daniel Says:


Maybe that’s why almost all his relatives where in his matches, father, uncles..

jane Says:

Well Bodo’s comments are cryptic but interestin sar; what “turmoil”? Maybe the girlfriend? Hmmm.

NachoF Says:

so Federer is 0-4 against top 4 players this year, right??… not good, not good at all… this certainly is not the comeback I was hoping for.

Giner Says:


He beat Federer, which is a well earned victory, but Sean’s point is that he’s cleaning up what’s left. He wins titles when the good players aren’t present (namely Dubai). If he wins this title, Sean will make the trunk list again, but ND hasn’t vindicated himself yet. He still needs to beat Murray to win a title that was contested by all the best players.

Biley Says:

Federer, even when he was at the top of the game, was never a good sportsman. His spirit for the game, respect for players etc. were always low and camouflaged by his talent and winning. He always had a history of talking down on fellow players during his press meets. Now when he started losing matches so many times, it is all coming out and becoming obvious. At the end of the day, more than for his talent, you see people loving Nadal for his commitment to the game and respect for his fellow players!

jane Says:

Vindicate himself for what? Winning Dubai? Sheesh. He’s had one of the toughest draws here, as per at least two online draw analyses I read: Dancevic, Mathieu, Berdych, Tsonga, then Federer. Even if we ignore the fact that his first two opponents are streaky, the next 3 are genuine contenders and threats.

But he’s still a garbage collector unless he wins the title.

Meanwhile Fed went through Kim (?), Kiefer, Dent; only Roddick was a real threat. Nadal went through Gabashvili, Gil, then Wawrinka, until JMDP knocked him out.

But if either of them won the title, they wouldn’t be garbage collectors, even though they faced one, maybe two opponents each who could really challenge them, and who aren’t top ten players (except Roddick).

If they make it through easy draws, but have to face only one major challenge before the final, they are champions, but if someone makes it through a tough draw (e.g., Roddick and Djoko had tougher draws), then he is a garbage collector unless he wins the title.

Logically flawed. At best.

gordon Says:

To Giner:
Wow, so you and Sean are making new conditions that Djokovic still needs to fulfill in order not to be called a garbage man? What a bunch of losers you are! Are you saying that with his 12 titles he has not properly contested? Or do we need to have selective memory and ignore important tournaments he won?
Andy Murray on other hand has 10 and no grand slam title. He is playing excellent tennis, no question about that, but that does not mean that you need to disqualify others, which with you is quite common…
When Murray was holding a thirty-plus ranking position, Djokovic was the rare player who was always praising him and stating that he belongs in top ten group. That was at a time when his own country men were disqualifying Murray and did not have any belief in him. It is amazing how quickly you forget such important details…

jane Says:

And Giner, your interpretation of Sean’s “garbage man” label is incorrect anyhow; you say Novak, per Sean I assume, won’t be a garbage man until he “wins a title that was contested by all the best players”. But that’s not quite right, because, after all, The Masters Cup in Shanghai was contested by the top guys, minus Rafa, and Rome was too. But you see, it “doesn’t count” for Sean because the “top guys” lost out and Novak won. Kind of silly, really. Even though the top guys were there but lost, it doesn’t matter as a title, it’s just “garbage”. And Dubai, well Nadal and Fed pulled out, Roddick made a political stand, and Murray was sick, so Novak’s a garbage colllector even though there is no way he could’ve know that would happen when he sign on for the tournament. Man!! It’s not like he’s playing lower tier events to collect points (which is what Davydenko has often done) but he”s playing the top tier events. It’s just a flawed idea.

grendel Says:

“We’re here to comment on the players not the posters, got it.” – Von.

Having been on the receiving end over the last week or so of a whole series of “comments” from Von – although I am never alluded to
by name, a pattern I notice, recalling the earlier anti_Zola crusade – I might be forgiven a small smile.

On the business of Federer not shaking hands, Peter Fleming said first of all, we don’t know why, but he (Fleming) said he imagined that he was so lost in his own private contemplation of his disastrously poor performance that he simply forgot. This strikes me as plausible, although you can still condemn it as weakness of character if you are of such a mind.

How you react to what someone does depends, unless you are unusually honest,on how you generally think of them. That was my point – for which I have been excoriated over and again – when calling Von “smallminded” in her interpretation of Fed and Mirka’s alleged converation re the Roddick drubbing a couple of years ago. There was a much more obvious interpretation than one of gloating, namely that Federer and Mirker were basking in pleasure at an extraordinary and probably one off feat of excellence. But intense dislike, to put it no more strongly, does blind you to the obvious. Again, how you react to being called “smallminded” depends. Clearly, this was a one off judgement, and not really a devastating one as such – I just assume that we are all smallminded from time to time, that’s ordinary human nature – but Von took it as a general attack. She absolutely did not believe me that the last thing I wanted to do was to have an allout go at her – in some ways it is easier I suspect to cling to that belief, since you can then dismiss without examination what the other person has to say. But it was, and is, true. My faults are many, and grievous too I daresay, but lying is not one of them. And not lying to myself, either. If I have a strength, that is it.

Von also pokes fun – and this was a mild one – at my praising of Federer’s forehand following the Dent match. This is justified. Rather more knowledgeble commentators than myself made the same error, and I suppose error is pardonable. But at any rate, we look pretty silly in the light of subsequent events. This admission won’t appease Von. That’s not subjective interpretation, b.t.w. I have a little experience in these matters.

With regard to Federer’s looking forward to the clay season, this seems to be pure fantasy. I don’t hold out too many hopes for him. I have said many times that I believe Federer has a fragile psyche. Watching this unravel will not be pleasant for me and other Fed fans though, judging by the predominant mood on this site, it will cause considerable satisfaction elsewhere. I think that is natural, just look at the way the popular press operates especially in England, and we’re just going to have to take it on the chin. b.t.w., I do not refer to the smashing of the racket as part of the unravelling process, which is more sinister, and tragic really (or delightful, depending upon your perspective). No, I thought the racket smashing was pure theatre, and I derived a sneaking pleasure from it. I also noticed, which noone seems to have commented on, that Mirka appeared to be close to tears. That was an alert cameraman.

grendel Says:

Considering my last comment, I realise it is wrong. Bearing in mind Federer’s careful construction of his “calm mode”, of course the racket throwing incident was part of the unravelling process. Even so, I was both startled by it and enjoyed it. Considering where I am coming from, is that not a contradiction? Perhaps, but I have very rarely been able to see things in black and white. This often gets me into trouble, people think there is some willful perversity going on – but it’s just part of me. Sorry, this is boring talking about myself like this, I was trying to explain – usually a futile endeavour, but there it is….

Rose Wood Says:

Oh this was such a depressing match…i’ve never seen Federer like that….I mean the racquet was in a state…I wanted to laugh but it was upsetting at the same time….to see such a good player just self-destruct :(

Djokovic didn’t have to do much just send the ball back and the unforced errors just came from federer…it was a horrendous match because honestly I was totally depressed….

To be honest I think the clay court season may just bring more agony for federer…becuz I neva thought clay was his surface, its always been dominated by nadal….I hope we don’t see more tears from him……..

Skorocel Says:

To Von:

No, I didn’t mean Fed’s back problems at all… I just quoted the whole sentence, but anyway, what I wanted to point out was what Fed said about “the end of the hardcourt season”. Giner said it exactly in his post dated April 3rd, 2009 at 9:23 pm. I mean, when you think that the hardcourts (and grass) are Fed’s strongest surface, it’s simply weird to hear Fed say such a thing, you know… But who knows, maybe he indeed feels that playing on hardcourts is somewhat hurting his back, though to be honest, I don’t see a big difference (if any) between playing on hard and, say, clay, in relation to his back problems… As far as I know, the hardcourts are especially tough on joints, knees, etc., aren’t they?

Anyway, it’s really ironical to see Fed winning that fair play award and then doing this… I mean, that racquet smashing, that’s OK… He’s not doing any damage to anyone but himself with this, and, even if it’s unusual to see him do such things, the fact is he’s already done it in the past (most recently against Nadal in the Miami 2005 finals, if I remember it correctly)… But to not shake hands with the umpire just because I’ve lost the match (and also that „bottle tossing“) is really stupid and unnecessary in my opinion… The fact is, the umpire didn’t do any injustice to him, so he didn’t even have any reason to do that. There wasn’t even one controversial call during the match, and as far as that warning which Murphy gave him after that racquet smashing, it was 100 % correct. Fed’s the only one to blame for this loss, and he knows it…

Also, that one thing which he said about Djoker („He played so bad in the first set, I had a great effort by finishing even worse than him“), that’s just classless… It’s as if he wanted to say: „He too played terrible and didn’t deserve to win.“ Yeah, it’s true that Djoker didn’t play anything extraordinary either, but the fact is, he won fair and square, and deservedly so! The match itself was maybe one to forget, but it was Fed who largely contributed to this fact, not Djoker…

I’ve said it already in the past, and I’ll say it again: THE GUY NEEDS SOME SERIOUS BREAK FROM TENNIS! I just don’t get it why the f.ck he continued to play after that USO win last year?! It was more than clear he wouldn’t end the year as a No. 1 player, so a couple of additional titles (in the end, he won „just“ one in Basel) and some defended points here and there (mainly for his TMC win or the Madrid final) wouldn’t do that much difference either… Steve’s right – the guy just doesn’t have any motivation anymore… He no longer has the attributes which brought him to the top – i.e. hunger, steely nerves, calmness, balance… AND, what’s perhaps most important, he doesn’t have any joy from tennis – which is only a reflection of the above said… He’s always thought of tennis as a game, whereas people like Nadal think of it as a war…

But apart from that, it’s also evident that Fed, during these last 2 or 3 years, has also lost that shyness and modesty which he used to have when he took the world of tennis by storm in 2004 (and which WAS ONE OF THE REASONS why I began rooting for him)… He won’t say it, but the fame and success is slowly but surely getting the better of him, so it’s about time to hit that emergency brake… Whether that break would help him or not is of course unknown, but I strongly believe it’s the only logical solution… I just DON’T want to see him go in such terrible fashion!

Btw, did you watch the other semi between Murray and JMDP? I only saw the 3rd set, but anyway, what „the other Andy“ showed there was nothing but top quality tennis! Unbelievable, how the guy improved within these last 1-2 years, isn’t it? I have to admit, I haven’t seen that many of his matches thus far (I mainly saw the ones where he played Fed, except the last three in Madrid, Doha, and IW, that is), but I can safely say – the guy is playing some unbelievable tennis! When he played Fed in Dubai last year, I wasn’t that convinced of him (I guess you remember my „sore loser like“ comments back then, don’t you?), but my goodness, what a difference one year makes! How easy it looks when someone believes in him/herself, isn’t it? The truth is, Murray’s selfbelief got to a gigantic proportions within the last 12 months! At times, he’s maybe overdoing it a bit (I mean mostly those c’mons after the opponent’s errors), but the fact is, he’s believing in himself – and it shows… Really, unbelievable how the guy improved over the last 12 motnhs! Some may argue that it’s actually JMDP who improved the most over the last year, but in my opinion, it’s clearly the Scot. Don’t know if he’s got a new coach or what, but the fact is, he’s hitting the ball really nicely, always gives each shot a very good placement, reads the game and anticipates the opponent’s moves very well, thinks on the court, AND, at the same time, still manages to keep his UE ratio at minimum… Looks like Tim Henman has a more than a decent successor, doesn’t he?

Skorocel Says:

To grendel:

Did Fleming really said that? I mean, he’s a great commentator, no doubt about that, but here I think he’s fantasizing a bit… The truth is, this wasn’t Fed’s first match on the tour, was it? In other words, I strongly doubt that Fed, after playing almost 800 matches on the tour, suddenly “forgot” what he’s done so many times before… If the umpire did some injustice to him, then I can understand his actions, but he DIDN’T do any, so he thus SHOULD have shaken the hands with him, period!

grendel Says:


Your whole post is very good, and your explanation for why Federer didn’t shake hands is more convincing than Fleming’s. (I too admire and like Fleming, b.t.w.) And my instant reaction to Federer’s post match comments about Djokovic was the same as yours. Mean spirited and juvenile, I’d call them. Nevertheless, Fleming’s proposal – very tentatively put, I might add – isn’t quite as silly as you make it sound. It is possible to become so immersed in your own misery that you just overlook the normal proceedure. Still, on balance, I think Von got it right on this occasion (and I should have said so): the idea being Federer responds to the umpire’s reprimand by a “How dare he?” type thought. That reads right. Guess I’d better withdraw Fleming’s suggestion – possible, but unlikely. Note that even if Fleming was right, Federer was still at fault, for it is up to him to pull himself together at least till he gets off court.

I’m not sure that a break would help Federer. Why must we assume that somewhere, if you look hard enough, a solution is to be found? Sometimes, there is no solution. Safin suggested something like that (talking about Federer) very bluntly quite recently. Age has found Federer out, imo. Some players last longer than others, and it has long been my belief that Federer was a star that shone with extraordinary brightness for a brief number of years, and then blinked out. What remains is the professional knowledge, the hard earned technique, which will still carry him through against most players ( but the three he can’t beat now will soon become 4, 6, 9….). The magic cannot be resuscitated.

People always think you are apologising for someone (and sometimes they are right; I think I was too quick to pick up Fleming’s account of the handshake) when you try to understand why something is the case. There is a reason for Federer’s disagreeable behaviour now. If you’ve never been able to stand him, explanations are easy. The rest of us, though, are obliged to try and put ourselves imaginatively in his shoes. I don’t think it is unique at all when a very ordinary person happens to possess an exceptional talent which generates extraordinary public acclaim – and when the gods say:”time’s up, chum” and withdraw their gift, he just falls apart. Because he was never able to stand apart from his gift – a gift, after all, is not intrinsic, but something given to you – he falls with the withdrawal of the gift. I think there is potential for tragedy here, I am sure some playwright or other must have addressed the theme. But there is also the potential for laughter and mockery. Both positions, I daresay, have their place.

jane Says:

grendel, skorocel,

Well, apparently John Mac has offered to help Roger! Here’s the link:http://uk.reuters.com/article/tennisNews/idUKL460330220090404

alpha Says:

he is still in self denial, I can understand, but don’t worry, in deepest of his mind he knows that he will soon lose his #2 spotand be out of top 4. he was waiting for clay court season he said, what a joke! come on Fed, what tournement u seriously think u will win? come on …

Naydal Says:

If he thought he was just not up to it anymore, I don’t think he would be mad. He is angry because he is not playing nearly to his full potential. I have no clue whether it’s purely mental or he has a far more serious back injury than anyone really knows….only time will tell…

Alex Says:


yeah true, McEnroe offered help to Fed so he can teach him how to smash his racket more efficiently and how to apply more frustration-release methods from his own huge repertoire.

doobee doug da dinker Says:

His match with Novak reminded me of Pete when Safin and Hewitt dismantled him at the us open and age set in. Now dont get me wrong I still think Federer will surpass Sampras but it looks way harder then it did when he was winning every major but the French. All the gloaters saying hahahahaha at Federer will pay dearly for that in the long run. He definately is struggling while Murray, Novak, Verdasco, or on the come up. The heat is awnnn Roger, lets see what your made of now!!!!!!!!!!!

blah Says:

Give me a break with the mental problems and the “back problems” and waiting for clay court. He’s past his prime, he’s on a downhill slide now as most players are when they reach a certain age.

His court coverage is not that good anymore, his backhand has been completely exposed as a weakness, his most dangerous weapon, his forehand, is now inconsistent and is starting to cost him matches, his serve is going out more often, he clearly struggles with players who have a defensive mindset.

The mental part is that he is too arrogant to admit that he’s not as good anymore, that he no longer has the same intimidating effect, seeing him trying to keep up this image is just sad. He no longer looks like he’s having fun. A return to the pre-champion mindset would be the best for him. He’s a contender going into slams/tournaments, just like everyone else now. He has to stop thinking of himself as the favorite.

Momstootie Says:

I’m so glad Novak won yesterday! It’s my hope he wins the final tomorrow.

I won’t say anything about Federer, but suffice it to say, I’m not a big fan of his.

doobee doug da dinker Says:

“Roger the Great” may be on the downside but it is going to be a nice ride when he wins three more at the most. Do not be fooled by these tirade of sorts from the classiest man who ever step on a court. A grandslam champion has great responsibilities to the media, charities, and commercialized merchandise. Federer should focus on his fitness like Agassi did and play until he 36 is what I hope he does but who knows? Roger is Roger and only he holds the key to his destiny.

blah Says:

And yes, Federer is looking very spoiled and is even more disrespectful to his opponents now. One could understand why Federer would try to keep this image when he was in his prime; he wanted other players to think they have absolutely no shot, he wanted this air of superiority around him, as if he were tennis royalty.

That part is over now; no matter how elegant he tries to appear, how many invites he gets to fashion shows, how lowly he thinks of the two handed backhands to his one hander, at the end of the day his job is still winning matches and slams. Perhaps Mirka’s pregnancy has come at a right time; he is going to end his career in a very miserable way if his mentality does not change soon.

I still think he can win a slam or two this year and next year, it’s still Nadal and him and Wimbledon, and a lot of things can happen in other draws, but unless he wants to retire immediately when/if he breaks Pete’s record, he has to change this thinking of him being this superior player and this superior human being (I have no doubt that he thinks this)to all the other inferiors on tour.

As someone else mentioned already, this arrogance came when he started to collect his slams, and I would not mind rooting for him if his highness gets down from this ivory tower. Maybe becoming a father would help.

doobee doug da dinker Says:

Federer did NOT disgrace the game or his country with the raquet smash heard round the world. He smashed it because he is sick and tired of losing in the semis to guys like Novak, Murray, and Nadal who are great players by the way.

Jay89GT Says:

Seems everyone over thinks things yes Fed is having a hard time no doubt. However how quickly everyone forget how good he is. I am sure if any of you are tennis players have had the same reaction on a tennis court. Sometimes you just get in a bad mind set and complete frustration sets in. It can be from wind, sun, leaves on the court your opponent. Sometimes all these things. I have felt the same way on the court you try to not to let it happen but eventually it will all come out. And why is everyone raging on Fed so much? I seem to remember Murray being a big brat on court swearing at his coach moping around like a baby. Novak is the most arrogant of them all and can find a excuse for every loss he has. Fed usually is fairly respectful most of the time and any pro is not ever going to fully admit in a press conference that someone is better than them. They may say the other person played well but if the said hey he is better than me that is self defeating. Fed has to maintain a belief he can win. Samparas did the same thing even when he was not winning all the time but he still knew it was in him and he proved it. If Fed slowly slips in the rankings so what it will make it that much more sweet when he wins a GS again and he will. Last thought the clay court season has been good to Fed as far as I can remember so Nadal wins more on clay but Fed is clearly the second best on clay he will put up some good results. He will hang around and get through this. In all honesty he is off to a better start than last year as far as results go. He has done better by making the final in Australia and now two SF at the masters when he was beat in the QT in Miami last year. Okay enough talk Fed will win again.

Von Says:


Hello, again, mon ami! Well, well, wonders never cease but daily increase. I suppose you did listen to me after all, and I’m happpppyyy to see you posting. Keep up the good work, and by now I think I shouldn’t have to say it, but I will, that i enjoy reading your posts immensely.

Thanks for the detailed explanation on the Fed back problem. Last night, after a delayed broadcast of the Murray/DelPotro match, FSN sports recap showed tennis, hello, FSN showing some tennis news, that’s unusual, but I suppose the story was too juicy. The demolishing of the racquet was on full display for all American sports fans to see, and I can’t tell you how awful that is for Fed, because now everybody and his brother in the US will know, tennis and non-tennis fans. Oy Vey! I hope he doesn’t use the Internet or pick up a magazine/newspaper or any media related medium for a few weeks, or else he’ll be absolutely emotionally blown to smithereens.

You of all people know my innermost thoughts on Fed, but to people on this site, I will come across as being anti-Fed, which I’m not, I only speak what I perceive to be the truth, regarding his speech, et al. Hence, when I say to you that I genuinely feel sorrow for Fed, I know you’ll believe me.

I watched a condensed portion of his after the match interview before Murray’s match and my heart went out to him. He was crying and all red in the face, looking like a very broken man. For one instant, I felt like putting my arms around him and saying, don’t worry, everything will be alright, and tomorrow you can start over. Defeat is part of life and how you handle it will either make you or break you — there’s beauty even in the ashes.

In gist, from that interview, he was asked about a coach and his answer was an adamant one, “Ive had five (5) coaches. He then told the writers “write whatever you want”. That speaks volumes to those who feel he needs a coach. However, Federer doesn’t think so. Which, to me, underlines ‘alpha’s’ post of 12:44 pm, that Fed is in denial. Fed’s not only in denial, Fed is utterly confused. Right now, I don’t think he knows if he’s coming and/or going.

I know we had discussed Fed taking a sabbatical last year, and I’ve openly stated such on this site, but now, I don’t think this is a good time for him to take a break. His whole world is now upside down, and with the advent of the baby’s arrival, his mind has to be in chaos. Tennis is the only saving grace he now has, and to abandon tennis at this time, might send him deeper into chaos. Regardless of his statements on the baby which has led the public to believe he’s happy, I think that’s the straw that has broken the camel’s back. I say this, because I don’t feel this was a planned pregnancy and it’s been more a shock, and more of a negative more than a positive for him, IMO.

If we were to look back to the AO, his breakdown, and what has transpired since then with respect to Federer’s comments and behaviour, we’ve got to think that something is seriously mentally wrong with the guy — his mindset is very chaotic. His is not the behaviour of a happy man, a man who is to become a father in 3 months. He appears as though he is carrying the world on his shoulders and is mad at the whole world. I don’t know what goes on between him and Mirka but if the baby was only her idea, and I’d like to say and hazard a guess that it is, more her pushing for the family than him. I say this based on an article I read just a few months prior to the baby announcement, wherein Fed states he’s scared of marriage and the family unit as a whole. I suppose he made that statement before he knew about the baby, and then shock attack, Mirka informs him she’s pregnant. Could you just imagine the pandemonium that kind of news could have caused? The poor guy is most probably still reeling from the after effects and it is being manifested in his tennis results.

Now, all of the foregoing is pure conjecture on my part, but what I’m trying to say is that there is something very grave that’s troubling to this man, who knows that his distraction and present behaviour could very well have ‘baby’ written all over it in the dark recesses of his mind. Presently, on the tennis court is where he finds salvation and some semblance of his life prior to the baby. He needs a rest yes, but I don’t think it is from tennis, I think it’s from the added responsibilities, the smothering and togetherness with Mirka. I try to imagine what so much togetherness could be like, and for myself I think I would feel as though I’m living in a straight jacket and from working with men, I think most of them would feel extremely trapped. Most married people wake up, get dressed for work, and they go their separate ways between the hours of 9 to 5 or whenever their work day ends, then they return home to be with each other. During the hours they are apart they are free to do their jobs, speak to other people and interact on different levels with other people. For Fed he’s with Mirka 24/7, which to me is too much togetherness and it’s a way of life that could ultimately kill a relationship instead of solidifying it. Anyway, these are just my silly musings, and I speak without any knowledge of Fed’s relationship with Mirka, but I’m just wondering if that’s not one of his problems or his sole problem for the degradation to his game, his personality and his whole demeanour at the present time.

doobee doug da dinker Says:

Momstootie, Murray should handle Novak in straights tomorrow whether a three or five setter, whatever it is it wont matter. Murray is better mentally the Djokovic.

fed is afraid Says:

roger is a phoney, it is all coming out now. he will never win another big tournament, it is over for him

doobee doug da dinker Says:

Roger is still a great ambassador for the game around the world no matter how much you make fun of him we may never see greatness like what this man displayed for five years of his illustrious career. Let me know when Nadal wins the U.S. Open also.

zola Says:

I read that Federer was red-eyed during his press-conference. Too many emotional moments for Federer in a very short time.

He makes me mad with some of his comments, but he is still an amazing player and it just breaks my heart to see a player distressed like that.

Is there a problem with his back? These days it is hard to understand what is wrong with him. He comes out pre-match to say he has never been this good and then after the match he talks about a problem, back, mono, etc. All in all, it is now evident he is looking for a clue and he still hasn’t been able to find it.

Amazing that a year or two ago, we would have never imagined Roger entering a tournament and not winning it. Now seeing a champion disappointed and perhaps in “panic”, is too much to take.

I hope the media and the fans give him some time to rest and just stop analyzing and over analyzing and give him advice. I think he just needs some peace and quiet to sort things out.


And the reason I came here in the first place! AZARENKA!

OMG! how could I miss that match?
I saw her beating serena in AO and then falling to the heat and a stomach bug. But she just finished that job here. How great to see another fresh face in the WTA. Maybe all hope is not lost afterall!

zola Says:

thanks for that link. I wonder what JMAc’s idea is to beat Rafa.

jane Says:

Some Roger analyses; oh lord what’s going on!? Federer has smashed a racquet. Well…here are some takes in the press. They make for good coffee accompaniment.

This one offers the various theories concisely and rates them:


This one begins with a Roddick quote that somehow seems prescient (retrospect is like that) and appropriate:


This last one, occasionally deprecating in tone, does make one strong point: times stays; we go….


jane Says:

zola, I was happy that Azarenka won too; I wrote it on the WTA thread. I am merely guessing, but I remember the one RG final, wherein Roger took a set off Rafa 6-1, Mac was saying over and over and OVER how Roger needs to come in, to put pressure on Rafa, to attack the net and play aggressive tennis and NOT to stay back on the baseline. Of course it makes sense that Mac would want to coach / coax Roger into using a little S & V since Mac was the master at it for a time. I don’t know that any of this is true, but that’s my guess.

Duro Says:

Jane, hello and good night. Looking forward to tomorrow…

Von Says:


“Is there a problem with his back? These days it is hard to understand what is wrong with him. He comes out pre-match to say he has never been this good and then after the match he talks about a problem, back, mono, etc. All in all, it is now evident he is looking for a clue and he still hasn’t’t been able to find it.”

I’ve wondered about this too — the back problem and have stated the same as you did. He says in his interviews when asked about his back that he is fine and all’s well, but then he throws in the back in his pressers when he loses, and I’m totally confused. My confusion lies not with someone else speaking on Fed’s behalf, but Fed himself doing it — he’s fine on one level, but then he goes back to ’08 and the hard-court season, and states the opposite of what I’ve heard only a few days or hours after his match. I’m confused, so I can understand how much more he’s confused, saying so many different things.

Re: Azarenka, I like her — a little milder sounding version of Sharapova but she’s got game. I’m sorry Serena lost, but she was out of sorts and playing poorly from the fourth round, not to mention the limping, but one never knows what’s up with Serena also. I don’t know to what she attributed her loss to Azarenka, and I’m hoping she wasn’t a sore loser in her presser. Serena’s a very good athlete, but one who’s extremely devoid of classy statements in her pressers. Too bad.

Duro Says:

Von, Von, Andy Roddick at the throne!

Von Says:

jane: S & v worked great in the past, but there are guys on the tour who can beat S & V players by retrieving the volley shots, making deep overhead lobs and nullifying that strategy. Johnnie Mc tries to do so on the Seniors tour and he gets killed by the base-liners at times, so that’s not a sure fire strategy nowadays. Anyway, we’ll see. Johnnie Mc now is at a loose end because he’s retiring or has retired from the Seniors tour so he has some time on his hands. I would love to see him do some work helping our own American young players with their games by donating his time to the cause, instead of when commentating on CBS and/or ESPN, demoralizing them by his destructive criticisms. However, that’s probably not an endeavour that would catapult him into the limelight as opposed to helping Federer. I suppose to each his own would be the right thing to say here, but I’m sort of unhappy that except for Agassi and PMc, none of the other older American male players want to help our American youth develop their game.

sensationalsafin Says:

Von, I have to say, I have plenty of my own ideas on what’s going on with Fed, but the whole baby thing, wow. You have a lot more life experience than me so you may be right and I appreciate you taking the time to explain all that. I never would’ve imagined guessing all that since I’m no where near having a child of my own yet.

But just based on tennis, I think Fed is right that his game just never managed to click on the hard courts for whatever reason. What happened against Djokovic was just a build up of shitty matches until it produced an absolute awful day. I do think the clay will bring him some salvation because despite what everyone says, Federer is above everyone except Nadal on clay. The dirt will give him more time to really hit a stride rather than someone randomly hitting winners. Only Nadal can completely rattle Federer on clay. We have yet to see what Murray’s capable of on the dirt. And I think a clay match between Fed and Djoker would be close but I give Fed the edge.

Von Says:

Hey Duro, mon ami, Andy Roddick on the throne of what or where? devant l’Éternel? je t’embrasse. Bon soir and sleep tight with the baby tennis genius.

Von Says:


Thank you. Believe me a baby can turn a well-oiled spousal relationship into a nightmare/chaos. Just picture this, without the baby, they can spontaneously say, let’s go to dinner, but with the baby that sort of impromptu stuff doesn’t work, unless there’s a full-time nanny. Other than that, the woman has think, ‘we can’t, we need to find someone to baby-sit’. The spontaneity in the relationship takes a nose-dive and unprepared male spouses, don’t see joy, they see hindrance and become very frustrated.

Yes, with the exception of Nadal, Fed up to ’08 was the best on clay, but this year there are some strong contenders who could give him some trouble, e.g., Tsonga, Djoko, Murray, Verdasco , Ferrer and some other Spaniards and the other French guys, Simon, Chardy, so it’s not a safe haven as Fed imagines. Remember Hidalgo-Ramirez how he pushed Fed but got the yips closing out the match? However, we can speculate as much as we want, because the proof of the pudding is in the eating and only time will tell.

Fernando Says:

Novak Djokovic is future number one. He plays technically the best tennis and once Novak build endurance like Nadal, nobody will even come close to Novak Djokovic.

jane Says:

Von says “but I’m sort of unhappy that except for Agassi and PMc, none of the other older American male players want to help our American youth develop their game.”

I can see your point of view here, and I also agree that J.Mac loves the limelight so may be seeking it at little, although he has also always been rather enamored with Roger, as his commentary, which used to be quite biased against Nadal but changed, especially after the Wimbledon 07 final, has always shown. So I think he also genuinely wants to help Roger.

Perhaps s & v won’t always work, but it might help. Stepanek used it on clay last year, and actually eliminated Roger at Rome. I don’t know what other strategy Mac might have; perhaps he has recognized some hole in Rafa’s game?

Speaking of Rafa, the rumours floating around that something personal is bothering him remind me of your analysis of Roger’s baby woes, and also of Djoko’s earlier possible family woes. No doubt when there are unsettling issues in one’s personal life it will affect / infiltrate the “work” life too. It’s inevitable; we can try to compartmentalize, but no boundaries are utterly impermeable.

jane Says:

Hey Duro – I missed you; hope you’re sound asleep in dreamland. I am looking forward to tomorrow too. See you then!

Von Says:


“J.Mac loves the limelight so may be seeking it at little, although he has also always been rather enamored with Roger, as his commentary, which used to be quite biased against Nadal but changed, especially after the Wimbledon 07 final, has always shown. So I think he also genuinely wants to help Roger.”

Up until last year’s USO, when PMc was helping Andy Roddick, I used to mute my TV whenever Andy’s match was on whenever johnnie Mc and Carillo were commentating. If any one member of the media that was detrimental to Andy, it was JMc and Carillo. They were the meanest and most critical towards him. They verbally crucified the kid. JMc did the same to Pete Sampras during his decline and when Pete played the 2002 USO, the negativity was unbearable. JMc laughed when someone stated Pete had a chance to win the USO, and he added many an endearing comment (sarcasm here). Thankfully, Pete won and he shut them up permanently.

I think that Fed is cognizant S&V is an effective way to play his game, but he’s always been resistant to its use. My guess is he enjoys playing tennis more when he’s able to employ the use of his ‘balletic’ strokes which is what oohs and aahs the viewers and I think it’s probably the reason he doesn’t want to change that for S&V, or anything else that’s not as beautiful — it’s only a guess.

Re: Personal problems — unfortunately it can seep into and ruin one’s business/sports career. I made it a point that when I left my home, I left my personal life there, and when I walked through the office doors, then my other life began. I’m so busy thinking of angles and strategies that there’s very room for anything else, thankfully. However, that sort of mental outlook takes years of practice. I suppose the young guys can learn to disassociate personal and business, and if they do, we’ll see the results.

doobee doug da dinker Says:

Federer matters to the tennis world more then Novak ever will you can put that down and remember who said it first. Novak can win majors but not the French, never Wimbledon so go for the hardcourts and leave the rest to Roger and Rafael.

Von Says:

jane: I just saw that link you posted on a quote by A-Rod, thanks:

“DON’T feel too sorry for Roger because none of us do. He’s spent far too long getting right into our heads, now let’s see if he’s going to be subjected to a little anguish and self-belief problems.” The words were those of Andy Roddick, somebody who has suffered more than most at the hands of Roger Federer.”

Right from the horse’s mouth. This is exactly what I’ve been saying for so long with respect to their match-up. Fed’s in Andy’s head and what a shame. I feel so sad for Andy and a vision of his dejected/disappointed face comes to mind after his loss on Tuesday evening. Poor kid, he has suffered so much and I wish things were better. I can’t help but wonder why he always seem to end up on that side of the draw.

Von Says:

Every 128 of the players in the GS draws matter to the tennis world, and you can write that down. And, who said that first, walla, walla, bing, bang?

Von Says:

Good Lord Rogi is back again, singing his usual praises, repeat, repeat, repeat.

doobee doug da dinker Says:

Vons love for Roddick is cute, why dont’ you go kiss his mudd maker and get back to us after you brush your teeth, fruitcup.

Miles Says:

Don’t understand how Federer could have won the sportsmanship award when he is such a bad loser. It’s easy to be gracious when you’re winning all the time. It’s when you lose that your true colours show. It’s time he showed a bit of humility & respect for his opponents. Interesting article in The Times charting his fall from grace:

D Says:

Wow just a smash of a racket and people are talking retirement?

It is worth noting that he lost this only due to *a single break* in the third, and although his racket smashing is call for concern, Roger’s still hanging around and reaching the semifinals wherever he goes. That’s pretty good still aint it?

sensationalsafin Says:

Being consistent is good, but being a consistent semifinalist is bad.

milas Says:

“Djokovic literally put Federer out of his misery with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory”

So soon his own words is being used to mock him. Karma is such a bitch…

pete Says:

Federer: “Thank god the hard court season is over.”

What he really meant:

“Losing to Nadal I can get used to, but losing to Djokovic… this is killing me, eh.”

David Says:

I couldn’t agree more with your analysis.

That was such a nice tantrum that even SuperBrat John McEnroe is offering to be his coach:


Roger, Roger, Roger – where is this going?

Colin Says:

Grendel,I think your remark about ordinary people sometimes having a specific talent, which makes them a celebrity, and the problems they have when the talent fades, was very perceptive. Mind you, some of the subsequent posters have ignored your insight. If you look at other sports (which I prefer not to!) you can see many examples of stars whose collapse involves rather more dramatic events than a spot of racquet-smashing. Alcoholism, drugs, truly criminal behaviour, you name it. When ol’ Rog becomes a falling-down drunk, and is gaoled for beating Mirka, we can really start talking.
As for the possible details of the Roger-Mirka interaction, well, we just don’t know, and maybe we never will. One thing struck me in Von’s remarks – married people getting dressed and going off to their work. How about the women who don’t have a job outside the house? And is it necessarily Roger who’s in a strait jacket (not “straight jacket”)? Mirka is not now a tennis player (was she ever?), and I have seen suggestions that she might not be completely happy trailing round the world watching his matches. Maybe she feels trapped in the tennis world, Truth is, we don’t know.

doobee doug da dinker Says:

Federer can watch championship tennis with the future stars on the ATP tour in a few hours. I bet Mirka made love to Roger last night to get his mind off his failures. The press conference showed how much of a baby Roger really is. Could any of you imagine Pete Sampras or Andre Agassi acting like that at Federer’s age? I think not! With football players like Leonard Little and Dontae Stallworth driving twice the legal limit loaded on their gin and juice and killing innocent families and destroying their lives…well excuse me if I think throwing a raquet is minor. The steroid era cheapened athletic accomplishments throughout sports. Baseball, Olympics, and Football are in total chaos when nobody has confidence they are not on drugs. Athletes like Micheal Phelps, Lebron James, Dwight Howard, Tiger Woods, and saddenly even Nadal are all under the microscope and have to prove they are clean because we can’t take their word for it anymore in today’s society.

Colin Says:

No, doobee, they don’t have to prove they are clean. When any accusation is made, anywhere, the onus of proof is on the accuser.

Von Says:


“..ordinary people sometimes having a specific talent, which makes them a celebrity, and the problems they have when the talent fades, was very perceptive. Mind you, some of the subsequent posters have ignored your insight.”

I mentioned this on another thread that when an athlete begins to fade during and after sports, there’s usually a period of despair and loneliness, stardom one day = one day hero, next day goat. The athlete’s self-worth diminishes because the only life he’s known for 10 plus years is that of being in the spotlight and/or limelight, and without that limelight, his self-worth diminishes along with his identity. I’ve also mentioned that we the public who’ve had careers/professions, in some instances are a lot better off than these athletes, except for the money, because we can work for however long we want to, as opposed to the athletes who only have that window of 10 years to experience self-worth and place a seal on their identity. Epidemiological studies have proved this to be very true, and one only has to look at some of the former greats who are just existing and going through the motions of everyday life as compared to when they were active athletes. They’ll do anything to earn a few minutes in the spotlight. For example, when Connors coached roddick he was again in the limelight and I’m positive with his ego, he enjoyed it immensely. It was a lif-line in some respects. I think the Seniors tour is helping some of the retired players to hold on to some vestige of their self-worth and identity. Reams have been written about athletes who’ve reached their zenith and then plunged down to their nadir. That’s the reality of life for the athlete, and the smart ones who’ve been lucky to secure an education prior to sports, can fall back on their education and branch out into business ventures, e.g., Paul Goldstein, a UCLA graduate is now working in business.

Further, the same can be said of retirees, and here again epidemiological studies have proved that the retirees are at their wit’s end to find something to occupy their time to maintain their identity and self-worth. It’s one of the reasons some become borderline demented, irascible and/or difficult to live with (there’s a high percentage of marriages failing apart ending in divorce after 30 plus years of marriage due to that problem) because of that loss of identity and self-worth. Some high-powered retired businessmen are no longer making decisions and embroiled in strategies, etc., which places them at loose ends and presents the challenge of living a fulfilled life.
“One thing struck me in Von’s remarks – married people getting dressed and going off to their work. How about the women who don’t have a job outside the house?”

My point in that statement is that the couple do go off in different directions every day. In the case of a house-wife, she remains at home, but she has chores and other things with which to occupy her time, while the husband goes off to work. And, due to that scenario they both have time away from each other living their individual lives and pursuing their interests, as opposed to two people who are thrown together 24/7. The retiree and his wife are together 24/7 and what happens, they are at each other’s throats and many end in divorce.

I often wonder whether Mirka likes sitting through Federer’s matches, because she seems so inanimate, just content to chew her gum, talk to the person next to her, or when there isn’t anyone else around, fiddle around with her cell phone. If she does clap for a point it seems to be an effort as opposed to someone who absolutely enjoys the point and claps with gusto. As I mentioned previously, it’s just my silly musings, but one wonders, and I suppose I’m entitled.

Tracy Says:

I have been reading all of the blogs about Fed. Give him a break!! He will turn this around and shock and amaze all of the critics. I believe in Roger Federer and know that he will be back. I like the fact that he threw his racket and showed some anger and frustration. I think that it will make his tennis better and be so fun to watch. Without Fed in Men’s tennis, it will be so boring and no big tv stations will televise the matches. Murray and Djoko were so boring that as soon as the match ended, CBS moved quickly to Ladies Golf. ugg, I promise if Fed had been there, they wouldn’t have moved so quickly. Hang in there, Fed fans, he will return and with a VENGEANCE!!

jennifer Says:

I do think that fed’s back is bothering him.Look at his serve lately. It is not as good as it has been in the past. old age is not too fun!

andrea Says:

i am a fed fan but his fall from the lofty heights is not a pleasant thing to watch. it’s easy to be mr. nice guy when you’re #1 and winning all the time, but not shaking hands with the umpire is really ugly behavior….especially for him.

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[…] it’s Federer with the decided 7-3 edge over Novak who did win their most recent rumble coming during an error-filled, racquet-smashing performance from Federer in Miami. I cannot imagine Federer plays that bad again tomorrow. For if Roger’s not on his game he’ll […]

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