Federer Stomps Tsonga, Teases Murray Entering Australian Open Final
by Staff | January 29th, 2010, 6:36 am
  • 108 Comments

World No. 1 Roger Federer turned back the clock on Friday at the Australian Open, looking his invincible best in thrashing Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 to gain his fifth career final at the Australian Open.


“In these matches you always have to deal with how your opponent plays — but sometimes they play exactly how you want,” said Federer, who committed only 13 unforced errors over three sets, and his victory was never in doubt, unlike his early struggles against Nikolay Davydenko in the quarerfinals. “I just think it’s easier with the top players if you get them in the first set. It’s nice going through like this.”

The win was also a bit of revenge for the Swiss, who lost to Tsonga in Montreal last year. The win advanced him to a record 22nd Slam final.

For the fatigued Tsonga it was difficult going after coming off two consecutive five-set wins.

“I was just a bit more tired after the first set,” said Tsonga, the Aussie Open runner-up two years ago. “And, yeah, it was tough to play against him today. He was really good, and that’s it…sometimes you play against him again and he play just unbelievable.”

A frustrated and emotional Federer broke down crying during his post-match speech to an appreciative Aussie crowd after losing last year’s five-set final against Rafael Nadal. After cruising past Tsonga, and with the Slam-less Andy Murray waiting for him in the final rather than Nadal, Federer was in a more jovial mood.

“I know he’d like to win the first [Slam title] for British tennis since what is it, 150,000 years?” Federer joked to the crowd after the match regarding Murray. “The poor guy who has to go through those moments over and over again…”

Murray’s best Slam effort was a runner-up at the US Open in 2008, last year reaching the semis at Wimbledon, losing in the quarters at the French, and the 4th round at the Aussie Open and the US Open. Federer by contrast is appearing in his 22nd Slam final in 27 Slams contested since he won his first major at Wimbledon in 2003.

It remains to be seen whether Federer’s confidence approach versus Murray is bravado meant to intimidate his opponent, or to cover nerves. Murray’s off-speed, flow-killing game style has given the Swiss problems through their 10 career meetings thus far.

Federer has won his last two matches against Murray in tight fashion, but lost to the Brit twice last year in Indian Wells and Doha. Murray leads the career head-to-head with Federer 6-4.


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108 Comments for Federer Stomps Tsonga, Teases Murray Entering Australian Open Final

Kimo Says:

Let’s go, Roger!!! Win no. 16 for Myla and Charlene!!!

I think Roger tried to remind Murray of the pressure of being the only British player who has a hope of winning a GS. Smart move imho.


Elle Says:

Reminding Murray of the pressure of being the only Brit in many moons to be close to winning a slam will most likely strengthen his resolve. When he beat him in the US Open final, it was a different contest with Murray feeling a deer caught in the headlights. This time Murray will be in great form, and he will not be terrified. This should be one hell of a match! I am looking forward to it.


Gannu Says:

I really hope Fedex wins… Please please make my day Fedex on Sunday.. I have booked tkts for a movie approx 5 hrs after your match starts!!! and i hope you really want me to enjoy my movie… SO please please win otherwise i will go with a very very foul mood for the movie
LOL;-)))


David Says:

Elle

I agree. That’s why I was rooting so much for Murray against Cilic. Even though Fed nearly always wins Slam finals whether or not the other guy is experienced, it certainly is a tougher challenge against a guy who’s been there before.

Not only is Murray tougher mentally than he was back in 08 USO but also physically. He’s used to making the finals of tournaments, so we know there’s very little chance of him feeling fatigued, calling for the trainer after two sets like we saw with Gonzo in ’07, I think Bags in ’06 as well.


St4r5 Says:

RF’s aura of invincibility is lingering back and blanketing the tennis world once again. If Fed played like yesterday, he would be unplayable by anyone, my word, Fed will come out victorious in straight sets, on this Sunday!


sonic Says:

Like Fed gives 2 shits about petty and pointless mind games like that. You think Murray doesn’t have that shoved under his nose every day since the weekstarted by every UK paper?

He was actually being compasonate to Murray for having to endure it and made fun of the hype the UK freaks made.

Having said that, it’s the media what makes me want Murray to lose even more than his ugly tennis and personality. With crap like we have to hear on Europort about that shot (is there honesly a tennis player here that has never hit a shot like that? i have a few times, and i’m not even good at amateur level. it was a though shot in the moment and a good one, but not even top 3 of the tournament, let alone all time garbage).

And they even said Murray is popular. LOL. The guy is less popular than Davydenko ffs, there’s like 3 people on every forum/board/group that actually like the git, 90% of tennis fans can’t stand him. Popular indeed…


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Fed looked incredible yesterday, but its so hard to tell when the other doesn’t put up a fight. I was actually more impressed with the Davy match- from what I’ve read, no one is giving Fed credit for raising his game, bringing on the Davydenko collapse. Anyways, Fed did look damn good yesterday. To hear Tronga afterwards, he just had no idea how to deal with Fed’s game and doesn’t think Murray will either.
Murray better be on. If he is any less aggressive and focused than he was against Rafa, Fed will chew him up.


Dory Says:

Roger is peRFect. May he win. His record in Slam finals is bad only against Nadal and once against JMDP and once in semis again Nole. Fed fans don’t need another high handed Scot.


David Says:

Sonic

Which shot is the one everyone’s talking about? I saw Murray hit an incredible shot around the net post in the very last game of his match against Cilic. But then there was apparently also some great shot he hit in the second set to sort of turn the match around. I think it was on break point, but I didn’t see that one.


ines Says:

What a treat to see Roger playing against Tsonga.
No one come close There is only one RF.Hope a victory in the final against AM.


Skorocel Says:

sonic: Say what you want, that shot which Murray hit in the last game of his semifinal vs Cilic was without question THE shot of the tournament!


jane Says:

Fed kicked Tsonga’s you-know-what. The loss maycajole Tsonga to work on his plan B, or C? Congrats to Fed’s fans; it must be heartening to see him play really well like that.

That said … Go Murray!!!! Win your first slam; take those “teasing” words as inspiration! ; )


tennislover Says:

Nadal hit a similar shot earlier in the tournament which was probably better than Murray’s.


Gordo Says:

David – In the second set against Cilic Murray pulled off an amazing scramble during a 15 stroke rally on break point, ending with him being drawn to the net by an inadvertent drop shot caused by a net cord. Murray’s return was then lobbed over his head, landing very near the baseline. Murray not only ran it down but was able to hit a winner that a bewildered Cilic could only get his racquet on.
See it here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74ozGzMn3Ps

Skorocel – you are absolutely right – that shot by Murray was without question THE shot of the tournament – the best around-the-post shot ever hit in a Grand Slam.

But of course this is always a game of “what have you done for me lately,” isn’t it?

Don’t forget that in the US Open 2009 Federer also hit THE shot of the tournament in the last set of his semi-final – the best between-the-legs shot ever hit in a Grand Slam.

That shot didn’t help him in the final, did it?


David Says:

Thanks Gordo

I remember reading something about a point where Murray opened his mouth like some Scottish barbarian from the Middle Ages or something ;-)

So that was obviously it.


andrea Says:

i can’t believe the score. and tsonga’s comments make fed’s game sound invincible. can hardly wait to see some of the match.

is this man for real??? it gets more and more incredulous every time he makes it to a final.

yee ha.


Ty Says:

Wow, that sure was a letdown. I stayed up until 2:30am to catch it and I was asleep by 3:30 and Federer was up two sets and a break already.


jane Says:

Actually, no: Murray screamed when he got the first break (which was also a phenomenal point – the Murray v Cilic semi was actually quite exciting for a set and a half). When he hit that shot around the post, which WAS jaw-dropping, he himself was shocked and kind of just stood there like he could not believe he hit a winner off of what would have been a put-away shot against almost anyone. Andy’s shots on the run are truly great. I can’t believe the accuracy he can still achieve in those situations.


jane Says:

It was a very good win for Fed, but – others can disagree – that was nowhere near to Tsonga’s best performance either. Just sayin.


Ty Says:

I just didn’t understand why Tsonga was playing so damn fast. Slow things down a bit mate if you’re getting thrashed. Take a page out of the Federer book against Davydenko and go take a bathroom break or something.

He was playing like he had dinner reservations or something. Kinda seemed like he knew he was beaten after 2 game in the match and laid down for the king mentally.


Ben Pronin Says:

Well no matter who was playing how, I think Fed set the record straight.


jane Says:

The semis, in general, were kind of anti-climactic, in the sense that many of the R16 and QFs were tighter and more exciting. Both Cilic and Tsonga, coming off 2 or more 5 setters, were visibly depleted.

Murray and Fed should be relatively fresh in the final – so let’s hope it’s a good one, 4 or 5 sets of great tennis!


Ty Says:

+1 point to the slobbering Federer fans. We get it. No one is denying his lordship, just thought Tsonga put up a weak mental effort.


jane Says:

Re: my post at 11:18 – sorry David, Gordo did post the shot/point wherein Murray got the break and hollered. The more amazing “winner” to me was the retrieval, in the 4th set, of what would’ve been a return winner for Cilic – ripped cross-court at lighting speed at a virtually unreachable angle – against most.


cha cha Says:

it’s the media what makes me want Murray to lose even more than his ugly tennis and personality.

Sonic: so true. I like how Fed is mind-playing Murray. Murray has been mouthing off for a long time about how often he has beat Fed that I feel an ass whooping coming on.
PS This time Tsonga didn’t get to play a broken-wristed player or one with the sh!ts who almost won it in three.


Ben Pronin Says:

Federer isn’t playing mind games. He’s being quite respectful and he’s trying to make a point that the Brits should be happy at how good Murray already is instead of constantly pressuring him. The jokes were aimed at the media, not Murray.

I don’t understand why Tsonga didn’t put up a fight. He seemed like he was pretty eager to get a shot at Fed in his presser prior to the match, what happened? And what’s this I hear about moon-balling?


sar Says:

Just watched the match 2-3-2. Hey Jo, what happened?


Trev Says:

Fed is a bad sportsman.End of story I hope he does loose!


Gordo Says:

Interesting trivia – this is Murray’s 17th Grand Slam and he is within months of being the same age as Federer when the Swiss won his first Grand Slam – on his 17th try.


cy Says:

can’t wait for the match to begin!! Go Federer! Add upon your GS tally and make it even harder to surpass!


Gordo Says:

On a completely different note, but one that is nevertheless weird – Brit Laura Robson has reached the final of the AO 2009 Junior Championship and will now face the identical twin of the girl she defeated in the semi-final. Talk about deja-vu all over again!


Kimo Says:

Ben, Tsonga’s plan was to be aggressive, but unfortunately for him, he lost all steam when he got broken in the fourth game of the match and he never recovered. He was just tired. Nevertheless, Fed played terrific and made very few unforced errors.


margot Says:

Ben: thanks for those nice, encouraging words. All I hope is that Andy puts up a heck of a fight! So, even if he loses it’ll make him even more determined the next time.
David: his forehand is stronger suddenly, he was outhitting Rafa. Also, in that match, his second serve had definately improved. If the Andy that took on Rafa comes out to play we are in for gr8 match…and I know we are.
jane: Tsonga is no longer one of my favourites, in fact he’s pretty near the end of my list! He blooming well gave up, just like he did against Karlovic at Wimbledon. What’s more he had no plan B. At least Andy will have B,C,D etc all the way to Z!


ThyGodisTennis Says:

Fed’s best on court post match interview, ever!


MMT Says:

Can’t believe Tsonga bagged it like that – what a disappointment. Federer didn’t feel that he played that well – which is either an insult or something to hang your hat on if you’re Tsonga. I thought he was awful. Maybe if he had played better, Federer would have had to, but as bad as he was, he didn’t have to be. Fed’s nothing if not efficient at beating a player that’s putting up less than a full fight.


David Says:

Margot

I think Murray knows exactly how to play Rafa. He hooks that crosscourt fh over and over again to Rafa’s backhand to create opportunities. He waits for Rafa to run around his backhand and then fires those laser-like crosscourt flat backhands to make him pay. He uses the serve and volley to punish Rafa for slicing his return.

But I don’t see any of these tactics as being of much use against Roger. I think the only thing Andy can do is just relentlessly play Federer’s backhand and hope he’s having a really off day. I’d like to think this is going to be a great match, but my brain tells me Roger in 4.


andrea Says:

it’ll be a fun match regardless. whether or not he admits it, murray has pressure. he lost his first GS final, novak and del potro have now won their maiden GS’s….he is acutely aware that he is the slam-less one.

and roger knows that. not sure if talking about it in press conferences is the right thing but we all know the top players engage in this kind of psychological game playing.

2 great matches to look forward to this weekend.


O-Kerr Says:

That was marvelous display of Fed magic. He came out swinging freely, everything went as planned (except a couple of wild ones). The last point of the 1st set was one of the best. Fed spanked him in Joe’s terms, playing a lot of net.
Joe looked nervous from the beginning, after the 3rd game. By the end of the 2nd set, he started looking for excuses, feigning stomach ailment. Brad was right in his commentary that players look for those tactics when they have nowhere to run. Poor Joe, what else could he do?

Murray is more prepared than ever to nick out his first, but if he gets into playing more against the player than the occasion, then I am not sure if that is going to bode well with him. Like he said, it may come down to who handles the high-intensity pressure and nerves of the occasion. We also heard both Fed and Murray saying the pressure is on the other, for different reasons, but we know who handles it better. Fed’ analysis of Murray’s last two matches was right on the money, offensive against Rafa and defensive against Cilic, and Fed expects Murray would bring a mixture of the two in the final. For Murray, he knows he’s the game to trouble Fed but he’s to execute under the pressure and he hopes his experience will him this time around.
My guess is if Fed sets off his high-speed train from the beginning and allows Murray very little time to react, Murray will be out of the comfort zone, just like at Cincinnati, London, and US Open final. Fed is right whoever wins the 1st set will have slight mental advantage proceeding into the match, but again you don’t want to be totally spent in the 1st set. He knows he will have to keep his composure, get his 1st serve going, return early, and play offensive, a lot of forehand winners.
Expecting a high-voltage match with a lot of emotional outbursts from both.


scineram Says:

MAndy is way more older than Fed at his first slam win.


Skorocel Says:

Gordo: „Don’t forget that in the US Open 2009 Federer also hit THE shot of the tournament in the last set of his semi-final – the best between-the-legs shot ever hit in a Grand Slam.“

Well, maybe in a high profile grandslam match (like semis or finals), but other than that, I’m more than sure there must’ve been even better “hot dogs”.


Skorocel Says:

andrea: „whether or not he admits it, murray has pressure. he lost his first GS final, novak and del potro have now won their maiden GS’s….he is acutely aware that he is the slam-less one.“

Agree. This is one of those rare GS finals where I think Fed will be the one with less pressure. Even though Murray’s still very young and has many good years ahead of him, he knows very well this is a genuine chance for him to finally step out of that „slamless shadow“.


jane Says:

O-Kerr, agree with most of your post @ 12:52, except this one comment: ” Fed’ analysis of Murray’s last two matches was right on the money, offensive against Rafa and defensive against Cilic”

I agree that Murray was *more aggressive against Rafa from the beginning of the match because he knew he had to be. With Cilic, he did *begin more defensively, perhaps just feeling out where Cilic was at (i.e., is this the Cilic who lapses into spraying errors?). When Murray realized Cilic was in for the fight, he was looking, visibly to a viewer, for ways to be aggressive, and when he got the break in the second set to go up 3-2, I think he began to play more aggressively. If you even watch the highlights, you will see Murray ending points at the front of the court, with Cilic flailing around behind the baseline. In other words, as the match progressed, Murray did what I think no other player this event did to Cilic — that is, he made Cilic concede the baseline, and thus Murray was able to step in and aggressively take control of rallies. So, imo, he did indeed play more aggressively throughout his whole 2.5 sets with Rafa, from the get-go, whereas in the semifinal versus Cilic, he started defensively, but he switched gears into offense when he knew it was necessary and he wrested control of the match in so doing.

———————–
margot, yes I have mixed feelings about Tsonga because he has such mixed results: one day fight, the next not so much. I feel the same about Djoko and Murray sometimes too, but they’ve been able to break into the top five and stay there due to “generally” consistent results, whereas Tsonga’s never been able to do that, in part due to injuries, in part due to lack of mental strength, and in part due to not utilizing his full assets (the guy clearly has enough game to have *at least* a plan B, if not a C, etc. — I wonder what his coach is like??)

Anyhow, like you, I hope and pray Murray fights, fights, and fights some more, regardless of the outcome. : ]


madmax Says:

well, it’s all hotting up people. What a final to come! Henin v willians and federer v murray. Just mouthwatering, salivating stuff.


Gordo Says:

scineram Says:

MAndy is way more older than Fed at his first slam win.

January 29th, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Really???

When Federer won his first Slam – Wimbledon 2003 he was 21 years, 10 and a half months of age.

Murray is 22 years, 8 months old.

Ten months apart? I wouldn’t call that WAY older.


cha cha Says:

God help us all if Murray wins. We will be have to put up the press needing him to win the calendar slam for the UK.


Cindy_Brady Says:

How many fans do you think will roll their eyes when witnessing horrendous Murray facial expressions and shouting during the AO final on Sunday. He is a major douchebag without class. God help us all if he wins!

I bet the commentators are all secretly routing for Fed to kick his arrogant ugly ass, too.

Who could like looking at this:

http://www.topnews.in/files/andy-murray.jpg
http://themax.mlblogs.com/andy.jpg
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_X4JpkpI_jtM/SkkNgQQVw5I/AAAAAAAAAvM/MC8s5vqgDOQ/s320/andy-murray.jpg
http://media.photobucket.com/image/andy%20murray%20ugly/FrankieP123/UglyCatAv.jpg


sheila Says:

was thrilled that roger got victory over tsonga. listening to his interview after win, i dont think he was disrespectful of murray. i think he was expressing the burden that murray must have because a brit hasnt won a major in so long. i think most of the time its the media that loves 2put a spin on what players say so it creates a rivalry. they kept saying murray-federer have no affection 4each other & wouldnt go out to dinner, but im sure nadal doesnt go out 2dinner w/djokovic either. i feel there is a mutual respect btwn them as players & that is what counts. as 4the match im hoping roger wins. i think this is very important 4him because if murray wins him in a gs final then it will get more difficult 4him 2win another gs final. delpo, nadal, murray in finals of gs events winning roger will definitely be a tell all. i hope roger plays aggressive & his 1st serve % is up there. from the beginning, ive heard murray is the fvt 2win this. darren cahill, brad gilbert & the rest of the commentators have predicted murray except, i believer, mary carillo who felt roger could win 1 or 2 majors this year. brad gilbert is always against federer. he is a nadal and murray fan. he likes the manly man players or he seems 2 favor them when ever i listen to his analysis. i am hoping, hoping, hoping roger can win this title & start the season off in style. murray is a brilliant tactitional player & roger has his work cut out which by the way, in his post win interview, has said murray will be difficult 2 win.


margot Says:

David: don’t agree that going for Fed’s backhand is only tactic, besides going on court and hoping Fed’s gonna have an off day is surely a recipe for failure? Fed loves pace. Murray is one of the few players who can take the pace off the ball at will. This is how he’s beaten Fed in the past and of course Fed will be ready but Fed doesn’t, or didn’t, like those loopy balls that Andy plays.
Also, and I know Fed fans are going to laugh and point now, but Andy will not be intimidated before he goes on court. Some players seem to give up before they start.
I just hope Andy does himself justice and we have a proper battle!


fed is afraid Says:

was that the same guy who beat down
rafa in 08?? what happened to him??


margot Says:

sheila: have just read your post, cannot believe Murray is the favourite!! Fed is no 1 seed and playing brilliantly!
In Guardian Murray said AO is much better than Wimbles re pressure cos he’s far away and can, to some extent, ignore the hype. Though from the TV I’ve seen he appears to be very popular down under.


Colin Says:

Andrea, you’re saying “incredulous” when you mean “incredible”.
And the person (can’t even remember the name of the dork) who spoke of Murray “mouthing off” about how often he’s beaten Federer: Murray never “mouths off” about anything. Listen to any pre-match interview, and he gives the utmost respect to his opponent. Andy is unfortunately beset by legions of dim bulbs who cannot separate what he says from what is said about him by others.
If he’d said anything even as mild as Fed’s little joke quoted here, folk would be lining up to say he was being rude and arrogant.


sar Says:

Sheila, Djok and Nadal are friendly. They have the same agent and when Nadal lost the FO, Djok, Nadal, Uncle Toni and their agent had a conference and all left together.


David Says:

Margot

Definitely you’re right that he can’t just go out with a defensive mindset and hope Fed has one of those error-filled matches. The trouble is can any other strategy be successful? Has he ever had any success against Roger with anything else?

I do think Andy has no choice and is going to have to get out of his comfort zone and take more risks. He has to know that Fed has really turned the tables on this rivalry the last couple of matchs.

Now it’s Andy’s turn to show he’s got a plan B besides just junkballing and playing great defense. But I think the big key is the forehand. We know how great Roger’s forehand is, but I just don’t think Murray’s got enough on that side to really dictate the rallies like he needs to be able to do.


Von Says:

Sar: “They have the same agent and when Nadal lost the FO, Djok, Nadal, Uncle Toni and their agent had a conference and all left together.”

If I’m not mistaken, I think a similar scenario ensued after Nadal played his exho match at Wimby last year.

The 2 players, and their agent, were having a meeting or a chat at the LTA, after Nadal’s exho match and got locked in the club with the lights turned off. CYI such an occurrence happening that no one checked to see if the premises were empty before turning off the lights? Where’s the security?


jane Says:

I wonder about Fed and Murray’s paths to the final, if that’ll have any impact on how they play and how prepared they are. Murray has faced a variety of players, from the serving of Isner, to the all court game of Rafa, to the power and talent of Cilic, who faded by the fourth set. Fed has faced the dogged player of Hewitt, the explosive (and then implosive) Davydenko, and a rather apathetic Tsonga in the semis.

Both guys will have to come out strong, Fed like he did against Tsonga and Murray like he did against Rafa. If Murray plays like he did against Rafa, and how he did in the last couple sets against Cilic, I believe he can win. If it goes to five, though, then it’s tough to say; that could favour Fed who has more experience in those clutch situations.


Ben Pronin Says:

“If it goes to five, though, then it’s tough to say; that could favour Fed who has more experience in those clutch situations.”

I think that should be thrown out the window considering the same was said before Fed played Del Potro and we all know how that turned out.


jane Says:

Ben, as I was typing, I thought of that, that Fed’s final set record hasn’t great lately. Do you think it’s the opposite then? That the longer the match goes the more it favors Fed? I guess I was thinking in terms of the Wimbledon final, the 5 setters against Delpo and Haas at the FO, etc. I wasn’t really thinking of the 5 setters vs. Rafa and Delpo in the slam finals last year.

I guess if we think of it in terms of slam finals, then Fed is actually at a disadvantage the longer the match goes: how many 5 set slam finals has Fed played? Four? (Wimbledon 07 and 08, AO 09 and USO 09).

If that’s the case, then he is only 1 for 4.

What do you think?


Von Says:

For Murray to win, he’ll have to be prepared to shift from defense to offense and attack mode, ala Nadal, without hesitation, in an effort to take Fed out of his comfort zone. He’s also got to keep Fed guessing by being unpredictable, and mixing things up from the inception of the match. And, if that strategy proves to be successful, he’ll have to capitalize on his break opportunities, when presented, thus gaining the upper-hand. Murray’s cat and mouse game will not work with Fed.


jane Says:

Ben “That the longer the match goes the more it favors Fed?” — I mean Murray here in my 4:51 post.


jane Says:

Oops forgot a biggie! Fed is 2 for 5 five-set-slam-finals. (He won versus Roddick but only just …)


Von Says:

“Fed has faced the dogged player of Hewitt, the explosive (and then implosive) Davydenko, and a rather apathetic Tsonga in the semis.” jane

I didn’t see Davy as being implosive, at all. I think he kept his cool mentally, up to the last game, where he tried to break Fed. His match play fell apart, which to me, was due to his previous lengthy match vs. Verdasco, and indicative of a player who had used up his energy reserves. Davy just didn’t have anything much left in the tank physically, but his mental fortitude was in tact. I view implosive ala Safin, and Davy is not anywhere near Safin’s implosion.

I think the same could be said of Tsonga, who had nothing left in the tank energy-wise, but he didn’t seem apathetic to me at all. Tsonga wanted to win, and his is a case of the mind was willing, but the body was too weak, as in running on fumes.


jane Says:

Tsonga and Davy may’ve indeed been weary, but I thought Tsonga just didn’t show any mental resolve to fight, unlike Davy and Cilic. I think the weather shift affected Davy’s play and took the wind out of his sails and the pop out of his shots (that’s what I meant by implosive; his game imploded for a set and a half). But Davy kept fighting or trying to; that’s why the fourth set was tight. Tsonga, to my eyes, kind of resolved that he had no chance from the beginning. I sensed a real resignation there. Part of that, I’d agree, was due to fatigue, but I just don’t think he showed any desire to fight, like both Davy and Cilic.


MMT Says:

“It remains to be seen whether Federer’s confidence approach versus Murray is bravado meant to intimidate his opponent, or to cover nerves. Murray’s off-speed, flow-killing game style has given the Swiss problems through their 10 career meetings thus far.”

I think this is a false dichotomy. I don’t think it’s either bravado or that he has nerves. In fact, I don’t think the statement cited before this dichotomy had anything to do with his level of confidence.

If anything he was commisserating with the crazy level of expectation placed on Murray by the British.


Ben Pronin Says:

I think Murray knows exactly how to play Federer, it’ll come down to the day.

As for who has the edge the longer the match drags out, I don’t really know. The 5th set collapse against Nadal, to me, was mental. He lost to Nadal in a really tight match at Wimbledon and I think a part of that was still lingering in his head. The collapse against Del Potro was more related to Del Potro just increasing the heat at a ridiculous pace and Federer running out of answers. Physically, I think Fed is fine in 5 setters, as he showed against Roddick at Wimbledon.

Federer claims the first set is really important for Murray. I think the third set will be the most important assuming they split sets. Until IW last year, Federer ALWAYS won the first set and then Murray would win the next two. So Murray knows Federer winning the first set means nothing. Should they split sets, I think whoever wins the third will win no matter what happens in the 4th. That being said, I also don’t think we’ll see either of them come back from 2 sets to love down. Then again anything can happen so I don’t fully agree with Federer’s assessment.


Kimo Says:

Fed will win in four. You heard it here first.


Cindy_Brady Says:

I think the Fed/Murray match will be determined by unforced errors. If Fed keeps those to a mininum he will win.

Both are equal in foot speed, serve, and defense. Murray is slightly more consistant off the ground because Fed is more explosive and will take more chances.

Anyways, if Fed makes a lot of errors while Murray stays consistent Murray will win. Basically Fed’s play determines who wins and loses. He’s the aggressor while Murray is the counter puncher defensing enough balls back to extract errors from Fed.

Should be a great rumble down under.


Kimo Says:

Go to Tennis.com to read Steve Tignor’s previews. I love his writing.


David Says:

Kimo

Actually I said that first ;) at 12:36 p.m


O-Kerr Says:

Jane, I agree with your elaboration, w.r.t. Murray’s offensive-defensive tactics. If you read/ heard Fed’s interview, you must notice I was only paraphrasing Fed’s generalization. He would probably agree with you, but articulated extemporaneously within the compressed time, he is not wrong, either.

Hewitt and Tsonga were disappointing. As for Davy, he appeared not only implosive until that last point of the 4th game of the 2nd set, he appeared to heading to victory. He was scary good, speed, accuracy, serve, and everything. Suddenly after “that point,” he vanished from the court for straight 12 games and only intermittently returned in the last set, but that was too little, too late.
One could draw a parallel between Fed-Davy match with Murray-Cilic at several levels: Davy-Cilic’s strong start, each winning the first set, etc, but there are equally many differences, too, as Cilic did not black-out, so to speak, for any protracted period.
I think that particular post of yours compares Fed and Murray’s preps, the matches they had to play. Hewitt, Davy, and Tsonga may not have presented the kind of challenge to Fed many of us expected; nonetheless, they were challenges before the match. Mental challenge to play these players was no less, at least in the 1st set (in Davy’s case, a set and half), but it is hard to predict their effects in the final. And then there is Fed’s 1 day vs. Murray’s 2 days off. Both sounded happy for what they got. A lot of other intangibles could have some role in determining the outcome, for instance eating, sleeping, waking, practicing, weather, etc.


madmax Says:

Sticking with Federer to win on sunday. He is feeling the most relaxed I have seen him in a while. His on court interview with Jim courier was hilarious. So funny. very relaxed roger. what has he got to lose?

He can play freely, knowing that more pressure is on Murray. But I am really looking forward to the match and I believe Roger will do it.

His first serve has got to be “on” though. It’s the key to his game. Not so much the speed, but the placement. The placement when it’s is is utterly awesome.

So c’moon fed!
The spirit of a champion and go for no. 16! Wow!


Kimo Says:

Ok, Dave, you beat me to it :)

I don’t understand the argument “If Murray comes out aggressive as he was in the Rafa match”. I just don’t get it. Rafa has no problem being on the defensive, so if Murray likes to up the pace in a rally, it’s in Rafa’s nature to accept that. In the Cilic match, Murray couldn’t become as aggressive simply because Cilic by nature is more aggressive than Murray, and the guy who is playing his primordial game is usually who wins in situations where both players are seeking the same tactic.

By nature, Roger is an offensive baseliner while Murray is a defensive baseliner. Sure, Roger can defend, and defend well, but Murray will always be better at it. Murray can attack and attack well, but Roger will always be better at it. But in top tier tennis, aggression always beast defense except maybe on clay. Therefore, Advantage Federer. Murray can’t be as aggressive against Roger as he was against Rafa because simply, Roger will not allow it.


madmax Says:

when it’s “on” – !!!!!


sar Says:

Federer is the gatekeeper of this match.


jane Says:

Kimo “In the Cilic match, Murray couldn’t become as aggressive simply because Cilic by nature is more aggressive than Murray”

But you’re wrong here. Did you watch the match? Many of the commentators said the match was on Murray’s racquet, depending how he approached it. And based on the turn around he created **by switching from defensive play to offensive play about half way through the second set until the end** Murray could become aggressive; he did become aggressive; and he won playing aggressively.

O-Kerr writes, “A lot of other intangibles could have some role in determining the outcome, for instance eating, sleeping, waking, practicing, weather, etc.”

LOL! : ) How true.


Kimmi Says:

How great/amazing this federer is? Another slam final. A lot of players were hotter than him coming in to this GS. I thought Nadal was looking better in abu dhabi and Doha, Djokovic end of the year run was incredible, Davydenko, need say more!..where are these people? Some of them sick/injuried, some just mental collapse but the bottom line is Federer is not going away guys, he is getting stronger and stronger.

I am so happy Murray is bouncing back. Last year did not look good for him GS wise and this is just the perfect start. If in some miracle Murray wins tomorrow (fingers crossed), i think it will be the beginning of more good things to come..i hope and hoping he gets it..


Kimo Says:

jane, I think you’d get a better read about how the Cilic/Murray match up would have gone if you looks at the first set and a half, coz after that Cilic was done physically.


jane Says:

Kimo, I agree Cilic, like Tsonga, was visibly depleted, but Cilic put up a valiant fight, imo, until set 4, when he was spent. I don’t think he was done after 1.5 sets. If Murray’d've let up and let Cilic back in it, say, in the 3rd, then Cilic could’ve persevered. But Murray didn’t allow it; he kept his pedal to the metal.


David Says:

Ben

I have to disagree about the analysis regarding the first set. I don’t think there’s ever been a better frontrunner in tennis than Fed. Once he starts steamrolling you, it’s almost always over, and at Slams even more so. Last year’s USO final was an exception, and maybe the 06 FO final, but those are exceptions that prove the rule. So I would imagine it will be very disheartening for Murray if he loses the first set on Sunday.


Tejuz Says:

Gordo Says:”Interesting trivia – this is Murray’s 17th Grand Slam and he is within months of being the same age as Federer when the Swiss won his first Grand Slam – on his 17th try.”

Already questioned this in another thread. Fed was almost a year younger when he won his 1st GS.. and he had atleast 3GS in his bag when he was the same age as what Murray is now.

Maybe comparing Delpo with Fed is more appropriate.. cuz both won their in 1st appearance in of a GS final at age of 21 .. and both them lost in 4th round of the next GS after they won their 1st GS.


Huh Says:

Murray’s interview after losing to Fed in the round robin stage of ATP WTF was also blown out of proportion and was made appear as if Murray was disrespectful of Fed. It would seem if one goes through the media spin that Murray and Fed are enemies and have a dislike for eah other, but the truth is far from it. When Murray said that the way he served that day, anybody coulda looked good against him, it has at least a grain of truth if not more. And lest we forget, Murray stated in that pre-match interview as to how he likes the challenge of playing a player like Fed, whom he again reiterated as probably the greatest player ever. Wasn’t that complimentary to Fed?


Kimmi Says:

LOL
Fed on-court interview after tsonga win – i enjoyed it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWYcMgGWiiA


jane Says:

Kimmi, yeah, Fed was very relaxed in that interview wasn’t he? I liked the bit about training on the couch. Also funny was the end when he described how the match would go. “I’m gonna come in on his backhand, he’ll pass me, he’ll hit lobs, I’ll return them between the legs; something like that” LOL.


Kimmi Says:

Yeah jane, you got right about the joke on how he will play andy..ha ha ha


Andy Says:

I was kind of shocked at how easily Federer beat Tsonga. He just seems to be getting better, which is frightening.

http://tenniswire.wordpress.com/2009/09/07/collegians-in-queens/

I’ve seen a couple of Tsonga matches live, and would have guessed that his power and ability to mix up paces would have made it tougher for Fed.

Let’s hope Federer Express slows down at least enough to give us an entertaining final.

–Andy


fed is afraid Says:

murray will thrash him, will roger cry
like last year?


Tejuz Says:

Well Fed wouldnt care a lot if he lost closely to Murray today, cuz he has achieved what he had set to achieve last year.. FO, 15th slam and reclaim No 1.. and thats what he said in that on-court interview. He wasnt all that flustered when he lost to Delpo in the US Open finals. So.. really he has no pressure going into this final.

Wonder what British media will say if Murray loses this final


jane Says:

I tend to agree: can’t see Fed crying this time, though I think he could be more disgruntled than losing at the USO because it’ll mean two younger rivals winning two slam finals over him in a row. But still, he seems content, which means in many ways the pressure is truly on Murray. To me, Murray has always handled it well. I just want Murray to win his first slam so he can relax a bit and just play his best.


fed is afraid Says:

roger is lucky the guy who owns him
won’t be there. but roger will lose
anyway.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Fed is afraid,

Why do you hate Federer so much. You have never said why?

Just curious.


fed is afraid Says:

i don’t hate him, just think he is
overrated, and when someone really
steps up and challenges him he can’t
handle it, ie nadal or even murray.
he has dominated in what seems to
be a weak era. he is lucky nadal
couldn’t manage his schedule very
well or roger just might still be
stuck at 13 majors.


Tejuz Says:

fed is afraid… u seem like a Sampras fan


fed is afraid Says:

no petey for me
too boring
i’m more a lendl gal


Long Live The King Says:

I think if you look up boredom in the dictionary, you will find a picture of lendl there.

Ironical that a lendl fan calls Sampras boring. Lendl had all the personality of a tooth-pick. You will also find Lendl’s picture against the word choking. Dude won like 8slams in 18finals. Talk about someone being afraid.

And nobody owns Roger-Fed except maybe mirka and the twins ;)


margot Says:

To paraphrase Clinton, who care about personality, it’s the tennis——!


Kimo Says:

Federer overrated? Did you ever watch the guy play?
Did you ever try when you go to your local tennis club to hit like Federer does?

His service technique is flawless. Even Sampras, who did have a better serve, had a slightly awkward follow-through on his serve. The forehand? My God!!! I don’t think I have the time or the writing skills needed to describe how impossibly good his forehand is. He can simply do anything you can imagine, and quite a few things that you never thought possible. Look at how fluent and easy it looks. Look at how with one swat of his forehand he can go from a desperately defensive position to a winning position. See how he hits it on the rise, almost half-volleying it from the baseline. Heck, look at how the guy his his forehand while coming foreward without slowing down to set up for the forehand or re-adjusting his body to but his weight behind it; something that I never saw from any other tennis player ever.

His backhand is a thing of beauty. Simple, efficient, and verstile. Only one person on this planet had the ability to abuse the only weakness Roger’s backhand has, and that’s Rafa. But I honestly believe that had Rafa been exactly the same player, but a righty instead of a lefty, he wouldn’t have had the same success against Roger. The thing I love most about his backhand however is that it defies the test of time. If someone asked after Pete Sampras retired: “Would any player with a single-handed backhand have much success in this era?” The answer you would have got from almost everybody is no. Racket technology and slow court simply puts the single-handed backhand player at a disadvantage. So having a guy like Federer not only succeed, but utterly dominate for seven years is astounding. That’s how good his backhand is.

His movement? You’ve heard it from every commentator out there and you can see it for yourself: It’s like he’s floating on court. It is the complete opposite of how Rafa moves.

I can go on and on and on about the guy, but I’ll leave it here.

You can say you hate the guy’s guts, I’ll even bear reading your posts saying that he’s lucky (however I don’t get how a player who had a 247-15 W/L record over 2004 to 2006 can be lucky. No one is that lucky), but overrated? Please.


Huh Says:

“margot Says:
To paraphrase Clinton, who care about personality, it’s the tennis——!”

Thank God, finally a voice of reason.


Skorocel Says:

Kimo: Seems like you didn’t get the point of FIA’s post. He didn’t question Fed’s tennis skills, but his mental toughness…


madmax Says:

“fed is afraid – roger is lucky the guy who owns him won’t be there.”

THE most shocking post ever to say that fed is overrated. But proof that this woman knows very little about tennis and even less about roger federer.

And the reason why rafa is not here? because he was beaten by murray and because he has injured his knees yet again. Whose fault is that FIA? Roger’s I suppose?

Actually, come to think about it, it’s probably all the times that rafa has had to play roger and work “really hard” to overcome him. I guess it has taken it out of him. And what better player for Roger to have a rivalry with, the great rafa. World No. 2 – I couldnt think of a greater rival.

But Roger is still here, still playing the game, and doing it pretty spectacularly.

Wishing Rafa the best of recoveries so that he can come back to tennis healthy – once again –

But no one can touch Roger in this form. Not even Rafa. The fact that he isnt here just proves it.


Kimo Says:

And btw fed is afraid:

Even if you think that Rafa “owns” Fed, which he doesn’t, he just has a good record against him, but even if you think so, Rafa’s problem seems to be that quite a serious no. of players own HIM, unlike Federer, who has just the one.

Chew on that for a bit.


Long Live The King Says:

“He didn’t question Fed’s tennis skills, but his mental toughness…”

Questioning the mental toughness of a 15 time slammer. Right! that makes sense…. this is a guy that has racked up some sick numbers in the slams and yet you question his mental toughness? you cannot be serious!

Nadal is more mentally tough than roger, but questioning roger’s mental toughness? Thats like saying Nadal’s game is one-dimensional compared to the variety that fed has.

Fed having a bad record against Rafa – that seems more of a match up issue than mental issue. If it was, he should not have had the 12-0 records he has against players like gonzo, soderling, davydenko…. players who are capable of taking Rafa to the woodshed.

Anyone stupid enough to think Fed is afraid of any tennis player must be a moron of elephantine proportions.


Tejuz Says:

btw.. last 8-10 months .. all top-10ers owing Nadal.


Elwin Says:

If Roger beats Murray, it will be a huge boost for reaching around 20 GS, if he loses all the young guys behind him really get an injection full of confidence.


madmax Says:

Elwin,

Roger to go in to final tomorrow, feeling confident, exciting, and playing passionate, vibrant tennis of the highest quality. He has nothing to lose. He already has his sights on winning more slams over the next 3 years, yet alone just tomorrow –

So, just go for it Roger!
C’moon!


margot Says:

fed is afraid: don’t think he’d cry but he would be in a strop!


Kimo Says:

Rare interview with Fed in February 2001. He was so young back then he had acne:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxXDBDRfIA4&feature=fvsr


Kimo Says:

Fed/Phillippoussis highlights from the Wimby final. Serve and volley all the way baby :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEysBocPWOE


Skorocel Says:

8:33 – one of my all time favourite Federer shots!


sar Says:

Lance Armstrong Twitter:

Australian jetlag is doing to me what Roger Federer just did to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

2:55 AM Jan 29th from UberTwitter

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