Federer, del Potro Advance to Semi Meeting at French Open
by Staff | June 3rd, 2009, 11:25 pm
  • 91 Comments

Juan Martin del Potro set up another opportunity to get his ass handed to him by Roger Federer, on Wednesday defeating No. 16 seed Tommy Robredo 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 at Roland Garros to book a semifinal meeting with the world No. 2 Swiss.


Del Potro has lost five in a row against Federer, including a 6-3, 6-0, 6-0 de-pantsing in January at the 2009 Australian Open.

“Everybody wants Roger to win this tournament,” del Potro said, sounding more like a fan-boy than a competitor entering the semis.. “But if I can’t win this tournament, I want to see…Roger with the trophy.”

The lane is open for Federer to drive to the hoop, if nerves don’t play a part against the Argentine.

“It’s going to be very difficult,” del Potro said of playing Federer. “We all know how he plays, and we all know what he wants to achieve here now that Rafa is no longer here.”

Federer advanced into the semis with a surprisingly easy 7-6(6), 6-2, 6-4 win over Frenchman Gael “Force” Monfils.

“I was very nervous before this match, yesterday and today,” Federer said. “But I have a lot of experience. I know that when I step on the court, I will play well. Or very well.”

The Swiss experienced a slow start but rolled through the final two sets.

“Maybe I took too many risks at the beginning,” Federer said, “but I was worried about his forehand.”

Monfils was the 2004 Roland Garros junior champion.

“Today he didn’t miss a lot,” Monfils said. “He still has two tough matches if he wants to win, but I think he can do it. He should be very motivated to win, so, yeah, why not?”

Seems like everyone is cheering for the Swiss, who will try and avoid flashbacks of his bawling meltdown in the final of his last Slam appearance at the Australian Open.


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91 Comments for Federer, del Potro Advance to Semi Meeting at French Open

Hola Says:

Soderling has to finish what he started. He did the heavy lifting and I hope he lifts the trophy.


Daniel Says:

Too much disrepect for Del Potro lately. The guy is 20 years old, number 5 in the world and improving dramatically week after week but yet the few times that somebody mentions his names is to mock him. I can’t understand how guys, like Monfils for example, that haven’t accomplished even half of what JMDP has get so much hype and Juan gets nothing. I don’t even care about the lack of buzz but at least show the man some respect.


jane Says:

“sounding more like a fan-boy than a competitor entering the semis..” LOL This is kind of funny, but Del Potro is really just coming into his own whereas Fed’s accomplished so much. You can see where the adulation would come from, perhaps especially because he plays the game. I just hope he’s not too overawed to make a match of the semi. We don’t want another rout like at AO, or at least I dont.


zola Says:

well, I have to agree with “the staff” here. what type of talk is that? Does Del Potro want to win the match or not?

JMDP has never had a close match with Federer. sort of like Blake fades away in Fed’s presence. Could have been different now that he is more mature, but doesn’t liik like!
So perhaps he is just getting himself mentally ready fot the defeat.

****
I just hope he’s not too overawed to make a match of the semi. We don’t want another rout like at AO, or at least I dont.
***

exctly!

I think Fed has the match in his pocket.


Twocents Says:

Oops, my Waterford crystal ball was replaced by a Walmart glass ball (made in China), by Sean, I guess. LOL…

Good call again, Sean. But I stick to my Gonzo over Sod pick. And I’m holding off flight reservation to Paris till my man passed JMDP. Again, H2H btw JMDP and Fed is misleading. JMDP is only 20! And he sure has taken a page out of Rafa book: piling up compliments to Fed off court.

Here’s my share of armchair hindsight on this QF:
Dear La Monf, please fire Rasheed and hire Uncle Toni! Rumours had it since Miami that Rafa wanted to dump his dear uncle. Part of Rafa’s recent un-Rafa moodiness.

While I highly respect and applaud Monf’s respect towards the game and the Fed, he should have kept it off court, just like Rafa. If I were in Monf’s coaching team, I’d put down an order, not an instruction, before the match: “Call MTO when you lose 1st set. Demand it if you have to.” This may not change the end result. But that’s the best thing he could have done. Monf played a hell of 1st set and lost it, and he let Fed turned it around from it. Fast backward to 2007 Wimbledon final 1st set, Rafa waited, until Fed almost sat down thinking he just broke Rafa, he challenged the call. And they went to tie break. Fed was visibly unraveled. Everyone in tennis world knows Fed hated HES. Well, Rafa still lost 2007 WO. But who would sya it did not help his 2008 confidence?! I can’t help thinking it would not have gone to the 5th, had Rafa not irritated the TMF so much with all the calculated HES calls. Call it gamesmanship or not, this is professional tennis we are talking about, not country club competitions. HES, MTO, and backhand (and fitness, lately) are Fed’s weak spots. Opponents have every right to attack his weak spots to win. Well, my mind is for win, but my heart is for fair play…

And to SOME, not all, of Fed fans, please celebrate Fed’s 20 consecutive runs into slam semi as much as you could, and deservingly. But for god’s sake, stop right there! Fed’s still one match away from just KEEPING his 2008 FO points! You are creating pressure on Fed, just like the media you all disdain, by all this GOAT talk.


steve Says:

Del Potro is an excellent player, smart tactically and very solid.

In any case, when Del Potro steps on court, I’m sure the tantalizing prospect of becoming one of the few to upset Roger Federer in a Grand Slam will quickly wash away any hesitation he may have about beating him.

It’ll be a tight match, but that may not be reflected in the number of sets played.


mel Says:

i wonder where fedisafraid now? seems awfully quite lately.


TejuZ Says:

Del Potro is on a roll.. losing just a set till now at RG, least number of sets lost alongside Gonzo. Fed has lost the most number of sets (4) compared to rest of the semi-finalists. It will be a tough match.. Del Potro is yet to take a set off Federer, so it should be interesting if he wins the 1st set. I believe Federer will come all cylinders firing and try to impose himself on Del Potro early on. He tried to do that against Monfils.. but made a few unforcederros, just missing the lines … stil had break points on Monfil’s 1st service game. I guess we’ll see Fed use a lot of slice to Del Potro’s backhand. I hope Fed wins.. and i guess it will go to atleast 4 sets cuz Del Potro sure is in great form the way hez belting his forehand.


grendel Says:

Just because you’ve never beaten someone doesn’t mean you never will. Especially since you’re both changing – one, slightly declining (time’s ravages); one, slightly improving (time’s blessings).

One day, del Potro will certainly beat Federer. Will it be tomorrow? The omens are not favourable, but how often have you not seen them dashed? Nothing, with players of this quality, is written in stone.


sonic Says:

Wow, that was so taken out of contest, nice tabloid journalism there.

He was pushed into saying that. He said he wanted to win very much, but if he can’t, then yes, it would be great if Federer could win.

It’s not like he came into the press and said “man i hope i Federer wins the title”. What was he supposed to say? “Federer who?” “No i’m going to win it”? “No i’like to see him lose in the final if he gets past me?”


Tennisfan Says:

Who in the “anonymous” staff wrote this piece of tabloid trash? … did you lose your job at the National Inquirer?


Hari Says:

If JMDP comes from the philosophical school of Rafa, his pre-match comments will remain an indication of his humility and NOT of his competitiveness. His honesty and respect for opponents, in that case, will only enhance his performance on court. At AO, I felt he was overmatched. That may not happen on clay.

Since JMDP is key part of the future, I also hope he is as much a fan of tennis as Fed is.


Dave B Says:

Given all the upsets and surprises of the last week I suggest we all put our crystal balls in cold storage, enjoy the ride and root for our favorites. I still cannot believe that ESPN2 showed the DelPotro match with Robredo for approximately three minutes


Shan Says:

Yah, I found JMDP’s interview to be a bit unusual in his comments. In the interview he definitely made it sound like he doesn’t have a lot of expectations in his SF with Federer.

I think Federer will win his match versus Del Potro, because he still has the mental edge which was pretty obvious from Del Potro’s post match interview. IF the mental edge were even between the two, I would still give the edge to Federer, I think he’ll take advantage of Del Potro’s more limited movement (which is still really good for a big guy).

Del Potro might look for shorter points with Federer by coming to the net more, a tactic he’s employed this tournament. So that could change the match a bit. It should make for some enjoyable net points.


Samprazzz Says:

Just a tactic by Del Potro to put even more pressure on Fed to win. Smart on Del Potro’s part. Don’t be fooled: D. Potro is ranked 5 in the World: he’s here to win.


Gordo Says:

mel Says:
i wonder where fedisafraid now? seems awfully quite lately.

Posted June 4th, 2009 at 3:08 am
=======

I have been merciless at calling fedisafraid out in other threads and he/she has responded, saying he/she is still here, but Fed hasn’t won the tournament yet.

And this is true. If Roger fails to hoist the trophy on Sunday methinks fedisafraid is going to unleash a furious attack on the man, his wife, his tears, his dog, the cow he used to own, his attire, his play, his website and his fans.

However, I also think fedisafraid just may, as Cindy has done recently despite the fact that she says she “hates” Federer (such a strong word – that) acknowledge that maybe he really is one of the greatest of all time if he adds 2009 RG to his trophy collection.

We shall see.

6 winning sets to greatness.

Tick, tick, tick.


Gordo Says:

grendel Says:
Just because you’ve never beaten someone doesn’t mean you never will. Especially since you’re both changing – one, slightly declining (time’s ravages); one, slightly improving (time’s blessings).

One day, del Potro will certainly beat Federer. Will it be tomorrow? The omens are not favourable, but how often have you not seen them dashed? Nothing, with players of this quality, is written in stone.

Absolutely correct. Remember in 2007 at the Australian Open how Fed destroyed Roddick 6-4, 6-0, 6-2? Roddick has since beaten Fed (Miami 2008).

And yes, Fed’s punishment to JMDP at this year’s AO was maybe even more humbling (6-3, 6-0, 6-0), but remember that was Del Potro’s first GS semi. There were bound to be nerves and experience issues.

I guarantee you before Federer’s career is over he will one day lose to Del Potro. Do I think it is going to be Friday? Never in a million years.

The only way Fed is not going to the final is if Mirka’s water breaks tomorrow morning before the match.

Six winning sets to go.

Tick, tick, tick.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Nobody wants Del Potro to win that match. A Del Potro – Gonzo FO final or a Del-Potro – Soderling final would be a media disaster for men’s tennis.

I pick Federer in 4. Federer has brain farts from time to time now. I’ll give a set to Del Potro on that basis.

The occasion is too big and Del Potro is too inexperienced to win. Federer’s experience will get him through this match.


JCZ Says:

Gordo: Fed and Del Potro met in Australia in the quarters. This is Del Potro’s first grand slam semi. But otherwise I agree with your assesment.


JCZ Says:

BTW: Federer also beat Del Potro in their last meeting in Madrid on clay 6-3 6-4. Definitely closer than Australia, but still an easy match for Fed. Let’s see if Del Potro learned anything from that encounter.


jane Says:

“but remember that was Del Potro’s first GS semi.” Gordo, Fed and Del Po played the quarters at the AO; this here is the lad’s first Grand slam semi. And may he make the most of it.

Cindy, sure I’d be happy to see Fed get the career slam but if Del Po won I’d be mighty happy for him too. And you can bet that many folks in Argentina would be THRILLED were Del Po to get to the final.

But I agree that the odds are highly stacked against him. I just hope it’s not a boring rout. I’d like to see a competitive match at least.


adam Says:

actually the things with some people is that they think that they know everything about tennis and that is why they keep saying that Del Potro has got no chance against federer and similar other stupid things. The day will surely come when they will realise that Del Potro is much more talented, much more classy and muh better than what they might have ever thought him to be! And by the way, so many rafafans were out to put an asterisk on Del Potro’s win that he got over Rafa in Miami, but will they ever take the pain of realising and noticing that in that very match Del Potro was outrallying Rafa? Kindly have one more look at the clips of that match and only then will you people realise that.


funches Says:

I agree with the staff comment about Del Potro and with Daniel.

Del Potro’s quote makes me wonder how competitive he will be in the match tomorrow, but he is seriously underrated.

If Haas has beaten Federer, Del Potro would have become the overwhelming favorite to win the tournament in my book.


I like tennis bullies Says:

del potro is another choker who will bend over in fear, what a great champion this federer is. no nadal no djokovic no murray to stop him.


fed is afraid Says:

roger has not won yet. anything could happen, that is why they play the matches.


Cindy_Brady Says:

I like tennis bullies,

An idiotic statement. How is that Federer’s fault those players lost early? Last I checked Federer beat both Murray and Djokovic to win the U.S. Open finals in successive years. He also beat Nadal to win successive Wimbledon titles back to back.

I’m not Federer’s biggest fan but I give him credit when it is due.

You sir are a moron!!


Dan Martin Says:

Del Potro is the only other player than Fed to reach the quarters or further at the last three Slams. He has wins over Murray and Nadal since the loss Down Under. He is clearly #5 in the world not just in terms of computer points but in terms of quality of play. Still, Fed is the favorite vs. JMDP.


Hilarious Says:

hahaha lmao ur article is extremely funny!! couldnt stop laughing throughout it… “Potro set up another opportunity to get his ass handed to him by Federer”, “Potro has lost five in a row against Federer, including a 6-3, 6-0, 6-0 de-pantsing in January” too good lol. i think federer’s going to finally get his career grand slam this year too.


Shan Says:

Saying that Federer is less deserving of winning RG because Nadal and Murray have lost is like saying that Vijay Singh is less deserving of winning the British Open because Tiger had a crap first round result, or that the New England Patriots didn’t deserve to win the superbowl because the Buffalo Bills didn’t manage to get to it.

If Federer wins it’s because he was the player who was the most consistent and able to go the distance. Of course any player can beat any other player on any day, but winning tournaments is about consistency just like it is with any other sport.

For this reason to even get worked up about who’s in the final and who wins it makes no sense, especially if the competition started out with all of the hopefuls.


RZ Says:

I think it says a lot about how well liked and respected Roger Federer is that so many players (Rafa, Monfils, Del Potro among others) have come out and said that they’d like him to win the tournament if they couldn’t win.


zola Says:

Shan,
no one is less deserving to win a tournament when the top palyers are out. Than they better shut the tournament and send everyone home!

The fact remains that some wins are harder than the others. Fed has the opportunity now to win the one grand slam that eluded him and tie Sampras’s record without beating one player in the top ten. That’s a fact.
It is happenning in one of the weakest slams played. That’s true. But no one can expect Fed to withdraw and lose his chance because Rafa and Murray and Djoko lost.


Colin Says:

“One of the weakest slams played”? How do you arrive at that,Zola? The top 5 in the world were competing, including of course the man said to be virtually unbeatable on clay, especially in this very tournament (well it was said until he lost!).


zola Says:

Colin,
you are right. I meant Federer’s rout to the championship.


Shan Says:

Zola and Colin, like you’ve both pointed out, it is easy to beat to death the fact that runs to the championship are never as hard as they could be.

Looking at it from another angle, it can safely be said that no one championship run has ever been the absolute most difficult that it could have been. This would require perfection, which is unachievable by man. There’s always something that could have made them harder.

I guess we can only look at things relative to one another but even that is very imperfect. We only know what we observe and can only assume what we don’t.


Shan Says:

And none of us observe the same way. Take the classic scenario of the father who takes his young child to the parade. The father’s most vivid meory of the parade might be the dancing group of women from float x, while the young boy’s might be of the powerful trucks pulling the floats. They both live to tell a different story of the same encounter.

Here’s a fine example of how we all observe differently. Review this video and follow the instructions:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrqrkihlw-s.


jane Says:

Shan – it’s true. And cute vid. It’s very difficult to eject ourselves from an experience; one wonders it “true” objectivity real even exists. “The view contains the viewer” is more like how it really happens. Maybe another moonwalking bear watching would’ve seen him eh?


jane Says:

typos “if true objectivity really even…”


zola Says:

Shan,
that was a GREAT clip. Thanks a lot.

look, I support Rafa and I know I can’t be objective about this even though I am trying really hard.

I admit that it is by no means Fed’s fault that he reaches “immortality” ( as put by the ATP site), going through the easiest battle of his life.

He has not and will not play a player over top 11!
It is a very different route than the one Rafa took to the championship the past 4 years. Fed is just one lucky guy. Maybe the tennis Godz are paving the way for him to put this slam record finally to rest!

Again, it is not Fed’s fault and he should absolutely go for it. I am just expressing my feelings! :)


huh Says:

Rafa’s a very lucky guy who got the Wimbledon and Australian championships without any resistance, thanks to the huge dip in Federer’s form and confidence.


huh Says:

Isn’t Del Potro a top 10 player Zola dear?


Cindy_Brady Says:

Zola,

Oh yes, Nadal beat Puerta to win his first FO title. What was he ranked? And where is he now? Maybe Nadal was lucky not to have to play an “in form” Sorderling on that day.

You make it sound like all of Nadal’s wins were epic struggles and Federer’s were lucky.

The fact is, Nadal had his chance and didn’t come though and Federer did. Great players make their luck. Nadal also, has had plenty of breaks along the way in his career. It works both ways. Not one.


huh Says:

And the guy who made Federer look mortal is not Zola’s Rafa but Jane’s Djoko.


scineram Says:

Del Potro 5.
Monfils 10.
My bet Gonzo 12.


sam Says:

” He has not and will not play a player over top 11! ”

I thought delpo is ranked number 5…..

or rank 5 is not in top 10…


huh Says:

How good a player Fed’s on clay we all know from the fact that Guga, who in 2004, at best, was the ghost of his former self, still chew the peak Fed at RG ! And all that Rafa did was beat this very Fed to win 3 FO. It means Rafa’s all but the clay GOAT!


huh Says:

Zola, how much denigrating Fed will be enough for you? Don’t you ever get tired of your constant repetitions aimed at discrediting Fed? Lemme tell ya one thing, you are most crooked, but always ask things trying to appear innocent. Such sinister designs!


zola Says:

huh,
didn’t mean to offend you or any other Fed fans. It is not his fault that the tournament folded this way.

And Delpo is top 10. my mistake.

As to whether or not Rafa’s wins in FO were good or not, I think beating the world number one at his best years should be enough.

but as I said, it is more of a feeling than an objective opinion.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Zola is bitter because her beloved Rafa is out. Rafa will have to watch Fed raise the FO trophy on Sunday.
At least the trophy want have Rafa’s spit on it.


zola Says:

Cindy,
you don’t need to be sarcastic, but I guess you can’t help it.

Fed has been there when everybody else faltered. I said before that it is not his fault, but this is one of the easiest paths to a GS championship. you can say what you want.

I have been here and defended Fed when many were counting him out. So please !

I always wrote that it was remrkable that year in and year out Fed camr to the FO and fought for it. This year he did the same thing and he is getting rewarded for it.


huh Says:

I have to agree with you Cindy that Zola is really bitter towards Federer! Sour grapes she can take with enough sugar. It would have been better had she learnt some good things from Rafa and have given credit where it’s due !


jane Says:

Cindy, didn’t you say just recently “Federer will never win another slam”? Was it post-AO perhaps? Can’t recall but it does seem so.


john smith Says:

A tournament is not just the final match. Rafa, Joker and Murray all lost. Federer did not! Anyone who has ever played tennis must know that reaching 20 consecutive GS finals playing best of 3 against the world’s best on different surfaces is almost incomprehensible.


huh Says:

Cindy, one thing is for sure! I think Rafa fans need not be bitter or ashamed because of his loss to Soderling coz the way he was playing that day, he was invincible and so Rafa lost. None except Rafa’d have been able to push Robin to even 4 sets then !


huh Says:

Rafa was an out and out loser to Soderling, that won’t change but I gotta tell I have never seen someone playing such devastating and aggressive tennis against Rafa on clay, it was good ! However it was a shame to see Parisians rooting against
Rafa,chhi


Cindy_Brady Says:

Jane, Good memory!

I did say that. That was to get Federer motivated to win another one….LOL. You never know. He may read these blogs.

huh,

Soderling’s run reminds me of the way Youzhny surprised everyone at the 2006 U.S Open on his way to the semi-finals. Youzhny upset Nadal by hitting flat, hard, and deep the way Soderling is right now. Sort of came from no where out of the pack.


FoT Says:

Well, I’m not looking past tomorrow. Roger has a SF match… not the final, not against Sod or Gonzo…but against Del Potro. That’s the match I’ll be looking at. After this unusual French Open, we can’t take any thing or any one for granted.

On Sod beating Nadal. He played the way most of the players who beat Nadal plays. Hard, fast, flat shots. Look at the people Nadal has lost to in the past with Blake, Youzhny, Tsonga, etc. They all play the way Sod played. Sod was on that day and is still riding a high right now. So who knows about that SF match. I can’t concentrate on that one because I’ll be having fingers crossed and everything trying to pull Roger through.


fed is afraid Says:

zola doesn’t sound bitter at all, but i guess she wouldn’t like me taking up for her, cause she is so nice and i’m not.


Hola Says:

huh Says:
And the guy who made Federer look mortal is not Zola’s Rafa but Jane’s Djoko.

Yup, AO 2008 first chink in the Fed armor.


Ra Says:

I don’t see don’t see this semi as a given at all. While I think JMDP was overrated around this time a year ago, I now think he’s underrated. If both guys play their A games for the duration, I have no doubt Federer will come out on top; but I have major doubts about Federer bringing his A game for the duration. He has, however, shown both the ability to make a comeback and the ability to capitalize on a lead without giving it away, so that bodes well for him.

On the flipside, Soderling vs. Gonzales should be a real thriller. Unfortunately, I’m likely going to miss the bulk of it.

After Nadal bowed out, I was really hoping that if anyone were to win this other than Federer, it would be Davydenko. Oh well…


zola Says:

huh,
I have given due credits. Maybe you were not here.
Rafa beat Fed when he was 17 and number 50 and fed was number one! and on Miami’s hard courts.

Everyone is mortal. everyone loses. Doesn’t take anything away from Rafa or Fed, because they come back stronger.

fed is afraid,
thanks!

Sodeling’s game reminded me of Nalby. Lots of power and angles. And he did not lose concentration for four sets. That was the main point I think.

Rafa always tries to improve his game. so now he has his homework.

FoT,
Your excitement and dedication to Fed is great. I think he owes you a lot for all the good vibes you send for him.


Cindy_Brady Says:

After Sunday’s match, I bet fed is afraid is gonna go into hiding….LOL!!


grendel Says:

Zola: you may be right. Let us suppose Fed wins the French. Not a given imo,to put it mildly, but say he does. Perhaps he will have had an easy ride in the nature of his opposition (clearly it hasn’t been easy in the obvious sense that he was one point away from being bundled out, I’m assuming Haas holds serve in this scenario). This is what you keep saying, and you may be correct. But you may also be wrong. I honestly don’t know which, but I don’t think your dogmatic position is quite justified, though I agree it is tempting and many will agree with you. You see, leaving aside del Potro – who surely is class opposition – Gonzalez could be in the form of his life, and therefore as dangerous as the Nadal of this year if not of last. Or if it is Soderling in the final, we know that Federer always finds him hard to handle and digs out victories. But if Soderling maintains form, he has clearly gone up a notch, not least mentally, where a lot of his troubles stemmed from. You can envisage this new Soderling blowing Federer away, it’s not a preposterous idea, if not a hugely probable one.

In this sense, Zola, it may be the case that Federer has had a harder route to the title, if he gets it, than he might have done had Djokovic (necessarily more dangerous than del potro?) Murray and Nadal not lost. I know that seems counterintuitive, but it is at least feasible.


Dan Martin Says:

Del Potro has had a great 10 months and is on the upward trend in terms of his game and standing in the tennis world. Still, I would make a Federer a solid, but not overwhelming favorite. Gonzo vs. Soderling is really hard to call. I think if Gonzo slices some and makes Soderling bend (something Federer would be wise to do against JMDP from time to time as well) that Gonzo will win. If they just slug either one could win but Soderling serves bigger so in a slug fest it is 60-40 Soderling.


sheila Says:

i am so hoping roger takes the fo, but being realistic it really is anyones tournament. federer has not played as consistently as he once did. his forehand has let him down and his service game is not as consistent. the media, in my opinion, sets federer for failure, because if he doesn’t win then he failed rather than cing that he made it @ least to the semis. i hope he does win del potro as i would love 2c him get this fo monkey off his back. as a huge fan of federer i will not make the assumption he will beat del potro, even if on paper it says otherwise. every match is new and somedays players play better than others. i hope federer wins, but i will not assume that he will win. i hope the haas match gave him the confidence to maintain a high quality game. soderling took out nadal, gonzalez took out murray. these are not slouch players and del potro has been so consistent in all the tournaments this year. as i said rogers my guy, but i’m not counting on it until i c him hoist that fo crown.


sheila Says:

one last thought on the media. listening to all the american announcers praising andy roddick because he made it to the rd of 16. they were all saying he had a chance, but, in my opinion, roddick didn’t play any claycourt specialist until monfils and look what happened there. they hype players and then the players may or may not fail, but the reality still remains, any player, in any match, may not be on their game on that particular day. so i will not assume federer has this tournament under his belt


zola Says:

grendel,
you are so quick to brand me as “dogmatic”! just because I said Fed’s route was easy.

but its OK!

Yes, all the top guys are really great players. To me the difference between the very top players and the rest is that the top 4-5 are more consistent and more confident. The others can have more on and off days.

Tsonga had a great run till the final in AO and then he melted against Djoko. So I don’t think Soderling be a problem for Fed. Maybe if they were in earlier rounds, but by final, soderling will start thinking ( if indeed he reaches the final) and Fed is a good enough player not to let the opportunity go.
If it is Gonzo, I think don’t think a final match is even necessary.

Del Potro plays great against every other player but is a great match up for Fed. I think Fed will “put him out of his misery” (in Fed’s words after their AO match) one more time tomorrow.


zola Says:

Shiela
I think player, and mostly top players, play better in the later rounds. Fed is good, just needs to concentrate and be confident. I think he knows what a big opportunity he has and he will take advantage of it.


grendel Says:

Zola, I conceded you might well be right, and indeed that most people will agree with you. You have unerringly picked out the one word which seems critical, “dogmatic”. I’ve always thought you had a canny nose on you….The reason I use the word “dogmatic” is that you don’t allow for any other possibilities than those you adduce. For example, you now say, if in final, Soderling WILL (my italics) start thinking such and such. Perhaps he will, Zola. But then again, perhaps he won’t. He seems to have a strong team behind him, and I think the notion that he will just roll over is implausible. Although the subconscious is a powerful force, and it may get him. I don’t know.

And then about Gonzo. Why so dismissive? Thinking of the AO final? What about Shanghai? Alright, only a 3 setter, but a remarkable enough performance, surely, to entitle Gonzalez to at least a fighting chance? Bear in mind also, players now believe they can beat Federer. Well, Murray, Nadal and Djokovic believe they WILL beat him, and with some justification. The next lot, which perhaps includes Gonzo, now think they stand a sporting chance of doing so. Gonzo didn’t think like that a couple of years ago.

This, Zola, is why I deemed you a touch dogmatic. But you may be right.


Von Says:

I’d like to see Soderling win the FO because he did the hard work of beating Nadal, who is supposed to be the GOAT of clay. If gonzo should beat Soderling, then I’d like for Gonzo to win the FO title, since he’s up there in the twilight years of his career and has not won a GS. DelPotro is young and has several tennis years ahead of him, and Federer already has 13 GS titles.


St4r5 Says:

I want Fed to win the FO because he has 13 GS already so he canl have 14.


zola Says:

grendel,

see,
“This, Zola, is why I deemed you a touch dogmatic. But you may be right.”

You are very clever!

I think FO is different from Shanghai. This is the one GS that Fed always wanted. He will not let anyone, least of all Gonzo and Delpo take it from him.

Soderling has a different personality and as you said has a strong team behind him.Not to mention the support of Wilander and Borg. he will fight I think, but Gonzo or Delpo, I think not!
and I maybe wrong. You maybe right.
what about that? :)


St4r5 Says:

Some people are so affraid that Fed wouldl win this one and he wouldl hence have 14 GS, because, these Fed-haters don’t want people to call him the GOAT, and they would have one hell of a problem denying it while the rest of the world would declare him as the ONE.


Von Says:

Well, I don’t care about the GOAT, etc., since it’s a never-ending topic. All I want is for some others to share in the GS titles. None of the remaining players in the draw is my fave, hence no personal interest or favoritism.


NEWBIE Says:

i know murray has beaten federer many times but has he ever played federer in clay? i dont think he has any clay prowess so he shouldnt even be in the conversation right? so the only real hurdles taken out were djokovic and nadal.

also how come everyone has forgotten federer’s mono? just noticed it in all the forums ive read. it’s like it never happened :)

for federer, im kind of scared of soderling’s game. what did he do to suddenly get this good? rafa has just beaten him badly in rome (?) … maybe his coach watched federer’s madrid tactic where nadal’s weaknesses were exposed (come on admit it, federer was brilliant there and this time he didnt capitalize on nadal being tired like in the australian open. he kept all the rallies short didnt he). back to soderling, i hope he reaches the final and then federer beats his a**…

also, who said federer had an easy route. did you see how his previous 4 matches go?


jane Says:

I, too, think this might be Gonzalez’s only chance at a slam title. JMDP will win in the future; Fed will win more, and he already has more grand slam trophies than any other player currently on tour; Soderling could have another chance as he’s only 24, and if this is a lasting change in his game/mentality, well, he can play well on every surface, so could suddenly be a challenger in all the slams, like how Verdasco has had a kind of renaissance. I know Gonzalez has a lot of talent, but I truly think this is his best, and maybe only, chance at a grand slam title and therefore I would be very happy for him were he to win the French Open. He’s my sentimental favorite to win it.


FoT Says:

Before Roger played Monfils, so many people were saying this would be Roger’s toughest opponent; that Monfils really had a shot; that Monfils will test him and many actully picked Monfils to win.

Then after the match – people come back and say “I knew Monfils wouldn’t do anything”, “Monfils is not tough enough”, etc.

Now people are saying Del Potro will be a tough test for Roger; he’s playing way better than he’s played before; he’s upped his level; etc.

So… IF Roger does beat Del Potro, I hope these same people don’t come back and get down on him by saying “Oh, I knew Del Potro wouldn’t do anything’, blah, blah, blah.

These forums just love to build up a player, then when the player ‘lets them down’, they like to tear up that same player.


Von Says:

jane: It’s hard to say if Soderling’s performance will be lasting. Look at Verdasco, he seems to be reverting to his old ways again, hence, it could be the same with Soderling. Some people are cyclical and if there’s a previous tendency they tend to regress. Due to that scenario and the fact that he beat Nadal is why I’d like to see him reap the fruits of his labor now and not later.


Shan Says:

This is definitely one of the most open men’s French Open semi-final draws that I’ve seen in a bit!


Kimmi Says:

I want to see how Nadal can recover after this devastating loss. Federer did not do very well after he lost Wimbledon last year. But Nadal has proved to be mentally stronger so we might not see any difference in him performance wise.


zola Says:

Kimmi,
I think it will affect Rafa, but I hope in a positive way.


Kimmi Says:

Zola, Yes. Let’s wait and see, because he has a lot of points to defend in the next 3 or 4 tournaments so he needs to be very sharp, if he is not the other guys will pounce.

Murray favorite tournaments are coming again. I want to see how he will match on Grass but I know hard courts are his bread and butter. Wimbledon and Murray= crowd, center court and fast court. Looking forward.


TejuZ Says:

i guess this year was Roger’s toughest draw, atleast till the semi-finals… previous years he either lost just 1 set or no sets till he reached semis or the finals. This year he has lost 4 sets… but what we have seen this year from Fed is fighting spirit, especially when he is not playing well… this year he has displayed this better than Rafa, Djoker or Murray… so he deserves to be in the semi-final. If he wins tonight and also the finals.. he will be a deserving FO champion.

Do u guys put an asterix in front of Agassi’s french Opne win in 1999? he defeated an un-heralded Medvedev. Before that he had lost 2 RG finals to Gomez and Courier.

And well.. Rafa’s draw till the finals for last 3 years were all cakewalk … cuz he owns everyone on clay.


huh Says:

Inability to defend FO of all titles may or may not affect Rafa in a positive way, but his opponents may certainly give Rafa a hard time this year. Needless to say he’s young and he’ll handle it. However I’d say none deserves this FO more than Soderling !


huh Says:

In my opinion this ain’t the year when either Rafa or Fed are stopped before finals! So it’ll be Rafa v Fed Wim final,forget about Djok & Murray! This year’s Wimbledon will be remembered for long because this is THE wimbledon which’ll define Fed’s legacy.


huh Says:

Rafa will return with vengeance to this year’s Wimbledon and will try to prove that losing FO doesn’t mean he’s shattered. The only person who may/can stop Rafa at Wimbledon this year is Federer. Murray and Djokovic fans will have to wait for 2009 .


huh Says:

I sincerely hope that the idiot organisers don’t put Roddick in Fed’s half of the draw so that Fed again ousts him. Roddick’s only the third truly talented grass courter besides Fed and Rafa and so he should be allowed to go deep into the Wimbledon.


zola Says:

huh,
The organizers don’t make the draw. It is actually drawn by the previous year’s champions. So you have to talk to Venus!

And I blame Ana Ivanovic for Rafa’s draw!
———

When I become ATP’s head ( haven’t applied yet!), I will make the draws by the rankings and the numbers will stay there. So number 1 will always meet say number 32 , etc. That way the players will know their ranking will place them in number one or number two’s half. Then rankings will have a meaning and there will be no discussion of an easy or hard draw!

I am patenting the idea btw!


jane Says:

huh says “Murray and Djokovic fans will have to wait for 2009 .”

Whoo hoo – just a few more weeks to wait!!! ; )


huh Says:

I mean Djokovic and Murray fans need to stop until 2010 to see very good performance from them in Wimbledon. This is not their year for Wimbledon finals!


huh Says:

Oops my mistake then! Thanks Zola for making me know more about the draw system. But I can only say that it’s hard for me to blame Venus as she’s by far my most favourite since Graf. I like her more than even Henin. Venus is just too awesome!


scineram Says:

“When I become ATP’s head ( haven’t applied yet!), I will make the draws by the rankings and the numbers will stay there. So number 1 will always meet say number 32 , etc. That way the players will know their ranking will place them in number one or number two’s half. Then rankings will have a meaning and there will be no discussion of an easy or hard draw!”

I will never let you be ATP CEO.

Top story: Rafael Nadal: I Am Not The Favorite To Finish The Year No. 1
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1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
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