Federer Tested in Opener; Davydenko Gives Warning
by Staff | January 19th, 2010, 6:56 am
  • 34 Comments

World No. 1 Roger Federer lost an opening set in the first round of a Grand Slam for the first time in more than six years on Tuesday, rebounding to defeat the forehand-heavy Russian Igor Andreev 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(2), 6-0.


“Tough match, like I knew from the start,” Federer said. “He’s got incredible acceleration on his shots, obviously, especially his forehand. He’s very physical and intense, so I was happy with the start I got today. I was up a break and actually feeling well, and then there was a quick swing around and he was able to get the first set. That was tough, but I reacted, and I think I played a very good match from start to finish really. A few hiccups, but I think those are more due to his good play and because of also playing against the wind.”

Other Top 10-seeded winners on Tuesday were (3) Novak Djokovic rolling Daniel Gimeno-Traver 7-5, 6-3, 6-2, (6) Nikolay Davydenko blitzing Dieter Kindlmann 6-1, 6-0, 6-3, (9) Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco (9) holding off the serving threat of Aussie Carsten Ball 6-7(4), 7-6(1), 7-5, 6-2, and (10) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga straight-setting Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.

“Now it’s everyone scare,” said Davydenko in sending out his English-challenged, cryptic warning to Oz opponents. “That’s what’s is start to talking about me and favorites and everything. But it’s interesting feeling. Now I feel like I can beat everyone. That’s was these guys now, you know, something feel different. Before no because I know I can win, but mostly I losing against these guys. But now I can beat everyone. It’s good feeling.”

Spain’s Marcel Granollers led the upsets, coming from two sets down to take out (8) Robin Soderling 5-7, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.

Other upsets were Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo over (16) Tommy Robredo 6-4, 6-2, 6-2, Croat Ivan Dodig topping (23) Juan Carlos Ferrero from two sets down 2-6, 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-1, former Oz runner-up Rainer Schuettler bouncing (25) Sam Querrey 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, Frenchman Florent Serra outlasting (28) Jurgen “Tuna” Melzer 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, and Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin summarily dismissing (32) Jeremy Chardy 6-2, 6-2, 6-0.

At press time this morning Richard Gasquet led (20) Mikhail Youzhny two sets to one, (26) Nicolas Almagro led qualifier Xavier “X-Man” Malisse two sets to one, and American qualifier Donald Young led Christophe Rochus two sets to one.

Other unseeded winners of note were Taylor Dent over Fabio Fognini in straights, Jan Hajek over Robby Ginepri in straights, Stefan Koubek over Rajeev Ram in five, Janko Tipsarevic over Ryan Harrison in straights, John Isner over Andreas Seppi in five, James Blake over Arnaud Clement in straights, and Marcos Baghdatis rolling past Paolo Lorenzi in straights.

The pickings are slim for the highlights of Wednesday play in (2) Rafael Nadal vs. Lukas Lacko, (14) Marin Cilic vs. Aussie Bernard Tomic, James Blake vs. (4) Juan Martin Del Potro, and (21) Tomas Berdych vs. Evgeny Korolev; Andy Roddick and Andy Murray are also among the seeds in action.


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34 Comments for Federer Tested in Opener; Davydenko Gives Warning

scineram Says:

Ferrero injured or what?


Dan Martin Says:

Federer is going to have to serve better to win this event. Luckily for him he should have two matches to work the kinks out before another big test looms.

Querrey needed to show more than that. I know the injury set him back some, but he had a good post Wimbledon run and now appears to be behind Isner in terms of what 2010 might offer him.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Soderling was disappointing as I predicted. The Spanish Armada is looking old these days. Federer may be a little in denial about the state of his game. We will see. He better fix things and quickly.

Daveydenko is playing like the favorite. He’s both confident and fit.

Wonder if Djokovic’s “apparently” easy draw will help him in the end or hurt him, since anyone he meets Later will have been battle tested more?? Hmmm??


jane Says:

Sad to see Gasquet go out, and also, what happened to Chardy? He was blitzed by Istomin. Like Davy, Ferrer also looked to be in top form, but his opponent retired so it’s tough to know. But Ferrer was playinig great on hardcourts in 2007 into early 2008. Maybe he’s got some of that back?

Also Murray was looking really strong (‘cept the serve) in the first round.

Djoko has Tsonga, Youz, etc. He could be tested early on.I’d like to watch Dent vs. Tsonga. That could be a good match. Heck Djoko only won his first set 7-5 yesterday. So I wouldn’t rate his draw just yet. See what happens. I’d hope that he equals his results from last year and gets to the quarters.

It’s still too early to say what’ll happen with these guys.


andrea Says:

i don’t know how andreev’s back holds out with the way he swings his forehand. it’s almost violent. especially noticeable playing against someone like federer who is so economical in his movements.

i can’t recall all of his first round opponents over the years, but igor was definitely one of the first times he’s had a capable opponent in a first round of a major rather than a qualifier or someone ranked 80 or so.

after watching the match, it’s clear again why roger does so well at the GS – he can so often come out on top in the best of five format.

anyway, first round everyone gets their legs and weeds out the nerves. let’s see where it all goes.

surprised about soderling, but not overly. i wonder if davydenko’s public claim that he probably couldn’t win a GS is more of just a head f*** comment or if he truly doesn’t believe. i’ll go with the latter but kind of shame if it was true.


Dan Martin Says:

Soderling, Robredo, and Chardy out – all making Novak Djokovic’s path easier. He beat Federer in Basel, beat Davydenko in London, has beaten Nadal 3 straight times, and has never lost to JMDP. He has a good path to the semifinals. There he gets the survivor of a quarter that still has Federer, Davydenko, Verdasco, Hewitt, Ferrer and Baghdatis. If he wins there, he gets the survivor of the other side of the draw. Nothing is assured, but his path looks manageable.


Gordo Says:

This might be the perfect scenario for Federer.

Certainly the difference between the world numbers one and eight are closer than they have been for a long time, but no one expects any of these guys to lose in the first round.

That being said, those seeded 33-40 in the world can still be dangerous, especially someone like Igor Andreev, who can play devastating tennis at times – remember he was the only player to straight-set nadal on clay in 2005 – but can rarely string more than 4 good matches in a row together. Hence he finds himself out of the seedings but he is still always dangerous.

At the 2008 US Open he took Federer to 5 sets (splitting tie-breakers along the way) before Fed finally subdued him on his route to GS #13.

Now Fed should just be in training mode until he reaches the Quarters where the new Davydenko will undoubtedly be raring to go.

But as we have seen many times before, Federer in a best of 5 match is the hardest plater to defeat.

The Fed-Davydenko match could be a classic. I’ll be surprised if these 2 do not get to face each other.


madmax Says:

Well, federer had to graft for that match in the third set especially, but you know, on reflection, he was up against the mighty Igor! This guy was ranked in the top 20, 18 months ago in April (ranked 18) – so hardly a qualifier.

Plus this was a difficult first round for any of the top 8 players, and I think fed was tested the most. But you are right. If he wants to win this tournament, next round has got to be a big,big improvement!

First round for Novak – Gimeno-Traver ranked 74
First round for Murray – K.Anderson ranked 148
First round for Rafa – P. Luczak ranked 70
First round for Fed – Igor Andreev – ranked 37
First round for Davy – D. Kindlman – ranked 175
First round for Verdy – C. Ball – ranked 62

I didnt manage to see the Gasquet match, but sounds incredible!


Cindy_Brady Says:

What was Soderling’s opponent ranked?


margot Says:

Duro: happy new year to you too! BTW I like Djko’s chances here, not q..u..i..ite as much as Andy’s obviously, but a lot!


jane Says:

Dan, don’t forget that Tsonga is there and he beat Djoko the last two times they’ve played. So if they meet in the quarters it’s a tough call, imo. And then Djok would have Fed/Davy in the semis.

As for Fed’s potential opponents – Verdasco, Hewitt, Ferrer and Baghdatis – I’d be surprised if any of these guys could beat him in best of 5! Maybe Hewitt if he had the match/form of his life. But it’s unlikely.

madmax, andrea, it’s true that for the first time in a while, Fed had a tough first rounder. Usually he gets a lower ranked guy but this time he got almost the toughest one – though rankings don’t always tell the whole story. The thing about round one is that the lower ranked guys have nothing to lose; they just *GO FOR IT* with all their heart. And why not? As the matches progess, things tend to settle down. But up until R16 there could still be more upsets.

About Davy’s underdog talk, I am not sure what to make of it, because he also said in his post match interview yesterday “I can beat everybody” so I’d say that’s confidence talking! It will be a very interesting quarterfinal between Fed and Davy – potentially a classic as I think Gordo put it – if it comes to pass. In fact we could have a number of GREAT quarterfinals:
Fed/Davy; Djok/Tsonga; Murray/Rafa; Roddick/JMDP – how sweet would that be? : )


steve Says:

Usually first-round opponents for top seeds are not as tough as Andreev. Del Potro, Djokovic, Murray, Nadal, and Roddick all played someone ranked #70 or lower.

Andreev is ranked #37, just low enough to miss being seeded. But he’s a dangerous player, especially in the first round. His forehand is a huge weapon, and he played very well in the first and third sets.

Federer had a little luck to survive the third set, but he also used some good backhand slices to force Andreev to hit very tough shots, expecting that Andreev would try to crank his forehand and overhit, and it worked.


tenisbebe Says:

Cindy_Brady – Marcel was ranked 113 singles & 22 doubles previous to his match win over Soderling yesterday.


MMT Says:

I agree with you Steve – Federer definitely had the toughest first round opponent of all the “contenders” – but Andreev choked big time. The way he hits the ball is similar to Nadal – extreme western grip and a lot of heavy topspin pushing his opponent further and further back on the court. I’m not saying Federer wouldn’t have won in 5 had Andreev won the 3rd, but 3 errors on 3 set points – just awful.


tenisbebe Says:

Davy says (referring to his relative obscurity on the tour compared to other top tens) “I’m no Paris Hilton” nor apparently does he want to be. Too funny. Not like Paris in the beauty dept either.


Dan Martin Says:

Andreev has a nasty forehand to be sure. I made a point of getting to see that forehand in his matches vs. Kiefer and Simon at Cincy last year.

Jane, I don’t think a lot of the players left can beat Federer in that quarter or Davydenko, I just think whomever emerges will be more fatigued physically and mentally than Nole. As for Tsonga, he is dangerous, but I think he has to this point in his career been so hit or miss it is hard for me to pencil him into the quarters. If he gets there, he has a shot versus Djokovic, but I’d still say Novak is favored.


Dave B Says:

It is amazing to watch Andreev. I’m surprised he can keep up his all out bludgeoning style. I would think that he would just wear himself out-like Roddick used to.


jane Says:

Dan, well I hope you’re right that Djoko is favored over Tsonga; I need to see them both play to see their current form. Tsonga got to the finals at Kooyong, whereas Djoko lost earlier. Just saying…

Re: Andreev’s spin on his shot – WOW that ball was bouncing high at times and Fed had to stand WAY back to return it.

Djoko said the court is playing very slow. I wonder if it’s due to the humidity? Anyhow I don’t know how that would affect a guy likr Andreev as his balls still seemed to be jumping high – but I suppose it could help guys who like a little more time to set things up. But Djok said it was tough to “hit a winner” in his first round match.


MMT Says:

tenisbebe – what, Davydenko doesn’t do it for you?

Jane, before I forget – I wouldn’t hold out too much hope of Tsonga doing much, and I would be suprised if he even reached the round of 16, let alone beat Djokovic if he plays him there. I just don’t see a lot from this guy these days, which is sad, because he has so much ability.

And how about that match between Malisse and Almagro – 8-6 in the 5th – oof! 10 and 6 unforced errors in 356 points! I didn’t see it, but man, what a match.


tenisbebe Says:

MMT – Honey, he is a scrappy little terrier on court & I respect his play but NO, he does not do it for me, ha ha. Although he must do something (other than tennis) right because he has arguably the most beautiful WAG on tour.

Just checking on the draw and some potential 3rd round matches that look juicy to me: (Q1) Hewitt/Ferrer-if Baggy doesn’t get him; (Q3) Berdych/Gonzo; Cilic/Wawa (Q4) Isner/Monfils

Who will be the dark horse this year? My guess is Cilic.


tenisbebe Says:

What do y’all think of Blake’s chances vs (a supposedly compromised) Delpo? They’ve only played once (2007 in that little Vegas tournament) & Delpo retired & of course that was before Delpo was Delpo & James fell off the planet but I think their styles will make for an intriguing match. Delpo obviously has much more variety in his game (James has no Plan B) but they both have big FH’s and if Juan is feeling it in his wrist, the match could be a little tight. Opinions?


sar Says:

Watching the Djok/Travers recorded match now. LOL lots of goofs for Novak in the stands.
Jane, I really like this black and red Tacchini on Novak. Could have been a better material but still nice.
Even though Soderling is out,I don’t think Novak’s draw is so easy and everyone is a threat. He will do good to think that way. One thing, the weather seems to be cooperating for Novak.


sar Says:

tennisbebe, hey!
I think Blake has a chance if he plays his very best. Depends on how badly Delp’s injury is. I heard he got a cortisone shot the other day.

I wonder if Novak saw that Andreev/Fed match and what he thinks about that…


tenisbebe Says:

Hi sar – didn’t hear about the cortisone shots. That will definitely help him short term but into the second week, it could get dicey for him. Regardless, I hope it is a competitive match.

Doesn’t Nole usually tape all the big names matches so he can study them at his leisure in case he runs into them during the forenight? I would think he does but….


jane Says:

Speaking of taping matches, I wish I would’ve taped some of the ones I missed: Djoko’s (glad you liked the colors sar; I saw a photo but it was from the side, so I have to wait until I see it on him – either way, meh. Just care that he plays some lights out tennis!), the Youz/Gasquet, and also the one MMT mentioned – who won MMT? I am going to guess Almagro, but I will go and check it out.

Also re: Tsonga – I hear you. I like him a lot, though I’d like to see Djoko better his A.O. results from last year at Jo Will’s expense (if they both get there). It’s tough to tell with Tsonga; if he does get on any kind of momentum roll he could be dangerous, so I don’t want to write him off. But it’s all been stop and start for him of late, no rolling.

tenisbebe, Blake has had his best slam results at the AO hasn’t he? Didn’t he reach the semis here last year or the year before that? Seems to me he did. And if Delpo is shooting pain relievers, then hey, James may have a shot at the upset. I’d still give odds to Delpo as I think over 5 sets he should prevail, but since he’s ailing, maybe 60/40?? Dunno.


jane Says:

Ah, I was right – Almagro previaled. He’s another player with a lot of talent, out of which he doesn’t fully get the most.


tenisbebe Says:

Jane – Good point, let’s see: 4 times R16 (2009, 07, 04, 03); Quarters 2008 (Fed). No semi but still hope it’s competitive.


tennis coach Says:

Jane, Novak beat Tsonga last time they met in Miami in April, 2009. The score was 6:3 6:4.


madmax Says:

Hi Jane,

yes. I hear what you say in your above post at 2.00pm –

“madmax, andrea, it’s true that for the first time in a while, Fed had a tough first rounder. Usually he gets a lower ranked guy but this time he got almost the toughest one – though rankings don’t always tell the whole story. The thing about round one is that the lower ranked guys have nothing to lose; they just *GO FOR IT* with all their heart. And why not? As the matches progess, things tend to settle down. But up until R16 there could still be more upsets”.

Even now, the second round played by murray and nadal, both their opponents were ranked 57# for murray and 75# for nadal – BUT these opponents have nothing to lose, can play their best tennis. I mean, today, Tomic, ranked 289# in the world, takes cilic to a fifth setter?????? what? how crazy is that?

And Roger’s second round match, against 47# seeded hanescu – i dont think federer’s draw is easy AT ALL. compared to murray’s, nadal’s, or djokovic’s –

It’s always difficult to wonder whether it’s a good think to be tested so early on, or perhaps test from round 3 onwards – one thing for sure, is that this first round should have given Roger a warning – he seems pretty cool and relaxed about things – but I do want to see more of a hunger and fighting spirit from him (eventually saw it with Andreev, with the classic “C’MON!”) from federer – I love hearing him say that –

Plus, think about how consistent federer has been in the slams for 6 plus years. He hadnt lost a match in the first round of a slam since 2002.

As well as this, I think when people say that Federer isnt at his best – how can one player be at the height of his “best”, after winning 3 consecutive slams, 3 years on the trot, that is going to take some slamming on his body eventually – it has to – so when all things are considered, federer is looking good and I expect him to continue playing well, there are just a few more of “those uncomfortable moments”.

Watching Andreev yesterday, I was really surprised that he played so brilliantly, and why he isnt a top ten player – he really was excellent -

Also, I understand that this is more of an “open” Open, especially when you have “dark horses” like Cilic, being 2 sets to 1 down to a 279 ranked player? What’s that about?

I dont know a lot about Hanescu, but I would imagine, like everyone, even if they dont win the slam, it’s important to them for their CV to have “beaten federer” – that’s how great he is.

Federer had just better be on his guard and get those UE’s sorted out and the first serve IN!


leo vixen Says:

I like Davy but when players speak in “forked incomprehensible tongue” especially when English is not their first language, why don’t they just use a translator so the rest of the world can understand what they are saying and what they really mean, unless this is part of the ploy; to keep us guessing on and off the tennis court and never reveal their true selves? Davy doesn’t think he can physically compare to the “big boys” who can play for 5 hours….Nadal probably 10, as Davy said. But maybe this is his strategy or I am giving him too much credit? He seems like a humble sweet man who really has gone unnoticed because he goes onto court and just gets the job done and goes home. If it cannot be Nadal to keep his crown, then I will be happy for Davy to at least have one slam in his career. The wife will be very happy as well, davai Irina?


Ashino W. Sushanti Says:

…Davydenko in sending out his English challenged, cryptic warning… sorry, but I think to write such a remark occurs to me quite patronizing. Moreover you could easily highlight the lack of english speaking skills with Nadal, Del Potro and many others also. For those guys English is just one “working tool” and nothing more. They’re surrounded with guys in their teams of their own mother tongue and don’t speak that much English at all. For instance Nadal’s SpangLish isn’t any better as Davydenko’s RussLish, ha, or haven’t you read Rafael’s original transcripts of his interviews in English. And I would dare to claim Del Potro is even worse. Fact’s simply they all aren’t in love with English, why ever, and they don’t have to be good at that. And if would interview Mr. Davydenko in Russian and would translate this properly, I guess, you would be surprised how thoughful & lovely self-ironic his answers really are. Never underestimate this >lost-in-translation-thing< in using broken English or any other language. Too much get lost or will be misunderstood.


jane Says:

Great point about the English interviews Ashino. How true about translation – was Kafka’s bug even a bug? a cockroach? a beetle? or a “vermin”? The ambiguity of the german word makes it tough for translaters to even express.

leo vixen – I assume the journalists want to hear answers straight from the player rather than an interpreter; and maybe the players themselves want to practice/try out their skills in their second (3rd? 4th?) language. In my opinion, it’s not a ploy; I admire anyone who speaks more than one language, whether perfect, flawed, whatever.


jane Says:

tennis coach – you’re right; thanks for the correction. I’d forgotten about their Miami match. I just hope if the Djok/Tsonga match comes to pass that Djok is ready and playing his best.

madmax – ” i dont think federer’s draw is easy AT ALL. compared to murray’s, nadal’s, or djokovic’s”

I think this is partly due to individual perspective, but also match ups and history. It’s tough to compare draws (though we all do it all the time, myself included : )), because a player who might be tough for one player is not at all tough for a different guy. It just depends on match ups. And then, too, a player who normally isn’t so great suddenly turns up and plays the match of his life! Or a top guy runs up against a guy he’s never played, an “unknown” so to speak and so has to figure out a strategy in the moment. So who knows? Early rounds are tricky for a lot of reasons.


Global Tennis Forum Says:

Totally agree but Davydenko should have kept his mouth shut. Now Federer will go out for blood and i predict a straight sets victory.

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