Federer Smacksdown Murray, Celebrates Sweet 16 at Australian Open
by Sean Randall | January 31st, 2010, 9:54 am
  • 310 Comments

Sorry anti-Fed fans, Roger Federer is not going away anytime soon. Not after the Swiss reminded the tennis nation of who he is by thumping Andy Murray 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(11) in the finals of the Australian Open earlier this morning.

The win was Federer’s 16th Grand Slam title of his career and 62nd overall since turning pro some 10 years ago. Not bad for a kid from a small town in Switzerland who grew up playing a lot of soccer. And what a performance from a guy who really played some excellent tennis tonight. Some of the best we’ve seen from him in a very long time.

“I think I was hitting the ball well,” said Federer in his postmatch. “I felt that from the start. So I always knew it was going to be a very intense match. I’m happy I was able to play so aggressive and patient at the same time because that’s what you got to be against Murray.”

Federer was in the lead right from the start breaking a visibly nervous Murray in his first service game. As he often does Murray broke right back and away we went. The two seemed to alternate on missing break chances before Federer finally earned the go-ahead break in the first via the forehand for 5-3. Moments later it was first set to Federer.

Federer now had what he wanted, control of the match, while Murray looked again to be “crumbling” – to use Fed’s pre-match words – under the burden of ending 76 years of British futility in men’s pro tennis and having to beat a tennis God to do it.

“Well, I don’t feel great,” Murray said who still leds Fed 6-5 but 0-2 in best-of-five. “You know, obviously worked really hard, you know, to get to this stage. I wanted to win the tournament. You know, I think it was more the way the end of the match finished. You know, obviously it was pretty emotional end to the match. If it was a complete blow‑out, if I lost 3, 4, and 2, you know, it probably wouldn’t have happened. But I had my chance to get back into the match. That was probably why I was upset.”

Federer again grabbed an early break in the second set as Murray continued to push balls and play passively allowing Federer to be the aggressor. Unfortunately for Murray, Federer was hitting his spots. Second set to Federer 6-4.

With the match all but in the bag for Federer, Murray began playing more freely and more relaxed. He began striking the ball with more authority and purpose, and it paid off. The Scot jumped out to a 4-2 lead and a fourth set seemed imminent. But just when the momentum was going Murray’s way things began to fall apart for the 22-year-old.

Fed rose back up to the challenge breaking Murray as he tried to serve out the third set. Federer forced the tiebreak where Murray grabbed the lead but again was unable to keep it.

The level of tension continued to climb as both players held multiple chances to ice away the set/match. Murray had four/five sets point opportunities. Federer has his own matchpoint chances including a sitter forehand had had but instead flashed an ill-fated dropshot that Murray dug out and slid down the line. Federer had a play on the passing shot but chose to let it go. It landed in. Things were getting real interesting.

But credit to Federer, he somehow shook off that gimee miss, and moments later a Murray backhand error into the net gave Federer his fourth Australian Open title and his first tournament title since last summer.

After the 2-hour, 41-minute showdown, Federer told the crowd, “Andy, well done for your incredible tournament. You’re too good a player not to win a Grand Slam so don’t worry about it. I’m over the moon winning this again. I played some of the best tennis again of my life these last two weeks.”

We are use to seeing Roger breakdown in finals but this time it was Murray.

“I can cry like Roger,” a choking-up Murray said on stage. “It’s a shame I can’t play like him.”

Some raw words from Murray. I actually think he made some new fans with that honesty.

As I said, a great match from Federer. His backhand really held up well from Murray’s persistent peppering. Federer also served well and really went on the attack when he had his chances.

I thought Murray came out very nervous and unsettled. And I really think that extra day off hurt him mentally because it only allowed for that much more weight and more pressure to be placed up him. He also was again too passive and he wasn’t hitting his serve like earlier in the tournament. Obviously Federer had something to do with that but so too did the occasion.

In my mind, it was really a case of Federer embracing the big stage of a Grand Slam final while Murray folded under the weight of it.

“I didn’t feel it on the court,” Murray said of the pressures. “You know, you get a lot of good luck messages. You know, everyone wishing you well from back home. You know, that’s obviously nice. You know, once you get on the court, it’s not what you’re thinking about at all. And then obviously after the match, you know, I would have liked to have done it for everyone back home, you know, won the tournament. Obviously for myself and for the people I work with as well. But it wasn’t to be.”

And this is Fed’s second beatdown over Murray in a Slam final – remember he beat Murray another straight setter at the 2008 US Open. These two losses have to psychologically haunt Murray. Sure Andy might and probably will beat Fed at the smaller ATP events like he’s been doing, but when it counts Fed’s easily been the better man. And in Slams despite the growing number of challengers Fed’s still reaching finals and winning titles. Amazing.

“Now I feel like obviously I’m being pushed a great deal by the new generation coming up,” said Federer. “I always feel sort of tennis changes sort of every five years. Because when I came on tour, matches were played very differently. It was more of a bluff game, guys serving well, but there was always a weakness you could go to. Today that doesn’t exist anymore. I think that’s also thanks to guys like Murray. They’ve made me a better player, because I think this has been one of my finest performances, you know, in a long time, or maybe forever.”

Federer calls the Australian Open the Happy Slam. And for the fourth time he leaves a happy man.


Also Check Out:
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Maria Sharapova Celebrates Her Rome Title With A Swig Of Champagne [Video]

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310 Comments for Federer Smacksdown Murray, Celebrates Sweet 16 at Australian Open

ROGER ROCKS! Says:

Way to go Roger!! You’re the greatest of all time!!!!!!!!!! Love ya Loads!!!

Congratulations to Your entire team including the babies ;)


Cindy_Brady Says:

It’s been said Federer attempted to get into Murray’s head. Murray sure played like it did. Kudos to Federer for staying calm and weathering the Murray comeback in the 3rd set and tiebreaker. He showed the world, once again, what a champion he is. Congratulations Roger Federer.

Murray has the physical game to beat Fed, but not the mental stamina yet – at least in best of 5 matches. That will come in time with more maturity. It took both Lendl and Agassi “many” grand slam final defeats before they broke through. Andy Murray’s turn will come.

See, I can be nice:)


madmax Says:

Sean,

Great article. Yes. A fabulous day for Federer and his fans. But also a promising day for murray fans too. Tennis wins!


Dan Martin Says:

Sean great wrap up and thanks again for posting so much content for tennis-x. Sean is the top guy in terms of our writers here. All of his content helps get so many discussions going.


jane Says:

Commiserations fellow Murray fans – margot, puckbandit, Colin, Kimmi. He really was a shadow of himself for 2 sets. Where’d his serve go!? That’s what I want to know. He seemed nervous, or “tight”, as P-Mac liked to say over and over. Too bad. Too little, too late for Andy, but what a great tiebreaker eh? He definitely needed to step in a be more aggressive and creative earlier in the match. He lapsed into defense quite often last night.

Congrats to Fed fans, again! – he really is the guy to beat. Both his serve and forehand were on song in yesterday’s match. A couple of those forehands were wicked and his serve just carried him through games too.

The upshot for me is that Djok will finally sit a number 2 for a little while. Mind you, I’d rather that he got there by doing more at this slam than equalling last year’s results. Both Murray and Djoko have got to number 2 in part due to Rafa’s decline due to injuries, it must be acknowledged. However, Murray also went through a great winning period (March – July 2009) as did Novak (August – November 2009), so they’ve earned their way by being consistent as well.

Sad that Rafa will drop down to #4. I hope he is back to his best soon. The tour is missing a shining star without the Rafa X-factor.


jane Says:

Cindy, nice post. ; )


been there Says:

I’m very late for the party, but here goes….
woooooohoooooooooo!!!!!!!!!
:)) (: :)) :!!!!! )!!!

Roger! Roger!


Ravi Says:

Great analysis . This Sunday Federer showed the world what he is made of. There has been lot of stuff going on… about Federer’s position in the game. This AO is definetely put to rest all these talk.

Undoubtedly …Murry has been improving for the last 2 years..But he is still defensive and it takes more than that to win a Grandslam.

Like everyone said..Murry’s day will come in future.But ..Certainly he won’t get many chances
becoz he aint no federer.


been there Says:

“Sorry anti-Fed fans, Roger Federer is not going away anytime soon”

Amen to that. Same goes to anti-Serena fans [i.e. this does not include those who are simply fans of other players,....more of those who simply wish for anyone to beat her, so long as she's out of a slam. Those who simply watch her matches, despite all their name-callings, simply in the hope that she's beaten. hahaha...this is directed to those who call her 'that Serena'...'manly'...'unfair advantage 'coz of her powerful serve' (how silly!!) etc, etc]

Borrowing a part of a phrase I read on this website, may you anti-fans burn in little tiny finy balls. BURN, BURN, BURN ‘coz she’s also here to stay…Henin, Clijsters and anyone else notwithstanding. Of-course, the addition of Henin & Clijsters makes things even more interesting, but sorry to dissapoint the anti-fans, she’ll still win some. :)))

>>On another note, I found it funny that a certain Fed-fan didn’t want Serena to win ‘coz s(he) was tired of Serena winning everything. How ironic for this to come from a Federer-fan!! lol.

(yes, am in quite a mood)


Ben Pronin Says:

Congrats to Federer, congrats to Djokovic, and congrats to Murray. It’s a shame he didn’t put up more of a fight but he went down swinging. Murray needs to win a slam without facing Federer. Other than that, from the beginning of the match Federer was hitting his backhand particularly well and I think that really made a huge difference.

Federer is just ridiculous.


been there Says:

Roger Federer…a champion’s heart. Sweet 16 doesn’t get any better. Next up, Sexy 17!!

Serena Williams…a champion’s heart!! C’mon!

As has been said many times before, a champion finds a way to win or goes down fighting.

Well done to these two most brave-hearts!!

Congratulations are also in order for Serena & Venus for taking the women’s title (hmmm…I wonder what Davydenko thinks of this…money, money, money-making powerhouse lol.) Continue sweeping them all girls.


cha cha Says:

Ben, Murray WANTED Federer, but alpha dog smacked him down to teach him a lesson. Braveheart shed some tears and goes home with his tail between his legs. Don’t worry Murray fans, he’ll be the favorite again at RG, and at Wimbledon and at USO. LOL


Maire T Says:

Federer is the best tennis player in the world. Everyone knows it. He will win 20 slams, and Murray, if he is lucky….none. The Delie man will win more than Murray. Even silly Novak will win more than Murray. Watch and see. Murray will not be the favorite at any slam. Nice try. Good for Fed….keep blowing them off the court.


PietjeP Says:

Nice post Sean. It was a great match from Federer and a good match from Murray. He didn’t play that badly I think, Fed was just better today.

And Federer proved everybody wrong, you-me-and a bunch of others- since the Miami masters last year. Everybody, including me, had him written off, or almost written off. Boy, were we wrong….

But in all honesty, he isn’t the player from 3/4 years ago. Back then I saw him play almost flawless matches, with a rack up of insane shots. It just seems to be a tad less these days, or maybe the competition improved. I don’t know.

Bad to see Rafa out with an injury again. Not good for tennis. I’m not a Rafa fan in terms of playing style, but I have huge respect for his personality. And for tennis and the buzz it’s important he comes back healthy soon.

Let’s hope we will see a great series of tournaments leading up to the French Open!


PSG Says:

Federer has made the hardest physical preparation he ever made during the two last months of 2009, and it paid.


Kimo Says:

I seriously see Murray a contender in RG more than Wimbledon. He has said that his his favorite surface is not hardcourts, but clay (because of his time learning tennis in Barcelona growing up). Last year he faced a lights-out Gonzo in the quarters. This year he’ll do better.

Wimbledon will be a tough nut to crack for him. Too much pressure and his game isn’t well suited to grass.

But like Sean wrote, Murray did win me over with his “It’s a shame I can’t play like him” line. I think it’s one of the most memorable lines in slam ceremonies, right after “God, It’s killing me.” And how gracious was Roger, telling Murray, “You’re too good of a player not to win a grand slam, so don’t worry.” Look, Roger might get ripped sometimes for saying stuff that sounds arrogant, but like Jon Wertheim Wrote today:

“Federer got a pretty good grilling here — and, I gather, on American TV — for his gamesmanship and “bulletin board material” before the final. Let’s deconstruct Federer’s “trash talk.” A) The first set would be crucial for Murray. B) Murray has beaten him in head-to-heads but there was a difference between tour stops and Grand Slams. C) Murray would bear significant pressure, shouldering the hopes of a nation and knowing he has yet to win a major. When do we get to the part where Federer was wrong?”

So Fed isn’t trash talking, he’s just being honest.


Kimo Says:

I don’t think Murray would like to win a slam without having to face Roger. First of all, no one has done that since Roland Garros 2004. Second of all, you’ll always have that cloud over your head if you win without facing Roger. Did he deserve it? Would he have won it? That kind of stuff. I don’t think Andy wants that. The kid is dying to prove that he is a champion.


ines Says:

What a treat to see playing Roger today.No one come close. There is only one RF.
Congrats for all Roger´s fans and for the haters
the racquet did the talking.Go on Roger!!!


BigMike Says:

I wish Roger would become President of the United States so we could worship him over here in the states. He should play soccer, golf, and baseball to become even more of a champion. Roger Federer is a better golfer than Tiger Woods in my book.


margot Says:

jane: Andy’s game just deserted him today, didn’t it? Very sad.
Cindy-brady: you’ve made me laugh- in a good way, I hasten to add. As a matter of fact I agree with you, Andy’s tactics were awful today, but then so was his game. Not sure I agree with “he’ll get there in the end” either. I’m beginning to think that in spite of his fantastic game, he’s mentally fragile. And look Delpot, Cilic, Djko and not to forget Rafa are all there in the wings too. I just don’t know if he’ll do it anymore.


Ben Pronin Says:

At this point, is there any one athlete who’s accomplished more in his sport than Federer has in tennis?

When did Murray say he likes clay more than hard? I think his game suits grass extremely well. I don’t know what you’re talking about.


Ben Pronin Says:

Margot, like Fed said, Murray’s too good not to win a slam.

I don’t mean he’d like to win a slam without playing Fed, I’m just saying he needs to win one first then play a slam and face Fed. Right now it seems like Fed just overwhelms him mentally. I like Del Potro and all but I’m starting to feel like his win was a fluke. Not in the sense that he won’t win more slams, he definitely will, but like, really how the hell did he beat Federer in a slam final?


jane Says:

hi margot, keep the faith. It’s only his second slam final. Djoko choked at USO 2007. Murray was visibly nervous last night. I think he’ll mature; remember that it was Fed across the net, so Murray had the biggest challenge!!! Remember that he beat Cilic and Rafa to get to the finals, and don’t forget that he has a good record against Djoko and Delpo. These are the rivalries of the future.

Take heart! : D


Cindy_Brady Says:

What an eerie coincidence.

Serena Willaims 12 slams

Roger Federer 16 slams

That totals 28 slams and they are both 28 years old.


Just wondering Says:

So, doesn’t this win almost guarantee that Roger will surpass Sampras in the all-time #1 rankings?


DMB Says:

Go Roger! i’m hoping he’ll get to 20 slams before the end. after todays performance and with nadal’s moment ending due to his knee i definitly believe he can do it. And indeed, Andy’s speech at the end and his grace in defeat made me like him more (as was the case with andy roddick, although i’ve liked for a while already). Murray’s cussing and cursing i never liked but like Federer he’s overcome that. Good on him, and i hope he wins a slam (even though i’ll be rooting for the Fed every time he plays:)) Some of the people here are into golf: to me it seems as if true genius comes with an attacking nature. Roger does this, he creates his own chances, Ronnie o sullivan (genius without a doubt)does this in snooker how is this with golf? is there a defensive way of playing (hard to imagine), is Tiger more aggressive than others in his approach to the game?


jane Says:

margot – the other thing to note re: Murray (I posted about this on the other thread, that I teared up too); his teary speech suggests to me how much he *wants* to win a slam, and that hunger and desire is not going anywhere. He will channel it into his tennis and he will win a slam. Don’t worry fellow fan across the pond. It’ll happen. Even Fed thinks so, and he should know!


Vin Says:

even though i don like murray’s mouth during his screaming … i would like him to win a slam soon to end his drought and pressure …


Kimmi Says:

This was a very difficult match for me to watch. I did not want any of them to lose, but that is impossible, no?
Very sad for Murray, he should have won that 3rd set. How many chances did he miss? Some of them were so there for the taking. Oh well! I hope he is not going to get too down on himself..the season is too long. Like everybody is saying here, he is too good not to win one. I think so too and I hope he gets one soon.

But I am very happy for the Fed, what a guy. 16 GS. It was funny when they tell him “you have not won one after you have been a father” lol, the guy has 15 slam, what other records can he set? Next it will be “you have not won one after they turn one year old” LOL. It’s amazing to think the last time he did not reach the final of a GS was AO 2008…just amazing.

Djokovic # 2 eventually. Congratulation to him and his fans, he waited for too long..always being so close.

Duro, now that Djoko is number 2, hopefully we will see those Murray V. Djoko encounters that we were looking forward to see..bring them on!


Kimo Says:

Ben, just go to his Wikipedia page. You’ll find the source there. Murray likes clay courts, and in my opinion his game suits clay courts more that it does grass. His only problem on clay courts is that he has to generate his own pace and power is not his strong suit.


Vin Says:

felt sad for murray … but now feel that since he is only 23 he ll end up with a number of slams …

All the best for u !!! (From a die hard FED fan)


Colin Says:

Cha Cha, Murray was a lot more gracious in defeat than you were in gloating over the result.


Giner Says:

Federer’s pre-match trash talk was characteristically arrogant (even more so when interviewed by the Swiss media), but he’s earned the right to do that. He can (and did) walk the walk.

I can’t really criticise him for his comments because at the end of the day, he has the game to back his mouth.

My condolences go out to Murray who was just outclassed when it mattered most.

Federer is like a Serena Williams in that, he cares less for the smaller tournaments. You can beat him there, and Murray probably would have had it been Doha or Rotterdam. But when it’s the finals of a Grand Slam, bringing in a head-to-head advantage against Federer counts for nothing.

There is still hope for Murray — Fed will retire long before he does, so he will have some years to contend without the Fed. Keep in mind that a 22 year old top 5 player lost to a 28 year old who is in the tail end of his career. I don’t know how Murray would fare against an 04-07 prime Federer in a GS.


Giner Says:

Didn’t someone say that being a dad would affect Federer’s focus and hunger? It sure hasn’t rung true so far.


cha cha Says:

He’s a choker and had many set points in the third.I wonder if he will keep bragging about his h2h with Federer. LOL


Dave B Says:

Basel, a small town in Switzerland? There are more than 800,000 residents in the the tri-national metro area. Some may say that’s a small town but what are they comparing it to?
Great win for Roger but I wish the match had the quality of the the third set. I’m glad someone finally woke Murry up. He does seem to sleep walk which is why I wonder….


rcm Says:

Roger has consistently been voted for the Sportsmanship award from his peers. He knows tennis very well, and is no doubt well aware that he doesn’t play the same game he did when he was younger.
I don’t know if I’m reading him right, but it seems that he is pretty tuned-in to the reality of his changing abilities and has adapted his game accordingly.
He might be a role model for those up and coming tennis players for how to adapt to the inevitable changes in physical ability.
Maybe more important, and maybe a less intimidating example to follow, is that he plays with a continued genuine love of the game.
Hey, even I could do that.


Duro Says:

Kimmi, to be honest, I would like Fed across the net for Nole 3 times more than Murray! He is awesome! But, if my Nole wants his number 1 spot, he has to deal with every challenge possible. Two hard court Masters and then a clay season. I expect at least 1 encounter at hard courts, but for the clay season, your fav is gonna have to improve a lot! See you, Kimmi.


cha cha Says:

Jane-Murray choked 2 times in finals against Fed.
Good thing Prince William didn’t see that disgrace. What’s the h2h now?


Kimmi Says:

Duro: So clever you are. Encounters between Fed and Djoko means they are both in the final..yeah I am sure that will be good for Nole but Nole might need to go thru Murray first.

Re: clay, we are improving and I believe this year will be even better than last year, lets wait and see.

Seriously though. I hope rafa recovers from his injuries and he is back full time in the tennis courts. The clay season will be very boring without a 100% rafa. The down side is Nole and Fed will have to play him in the semi or even qtrs if he goes further down the ranking, I hope not.


steve Says:

“really how the hell did he beat Federer in a slam final?”

Federer was maybe emotionally drained from his eventful year. After all, he won the French and completed the career Slam, beat Sampras’ record at Wimbledon, married Mirka, and became a dad all in the space of five months or so.

Plus, the pressure of winning five times in a row got to him a bit, I think.

Del Potro still had to play the greatest match of his life in order to prevail. I don’t think he’s fully recovered from the effort yet.

To beat Federer in a Grand Slam, you can go the Nadal route, do a perfect imitation of a wall, and prove that yes, if you get back absolutely every ball without exception, you will not lose and therefore, will win, because even Federer will make a couple unforced errors here and there. However, you have to destroy your body to do that.

Or you can be so lucky as to happen to catch him on a day where he’s mentally and/or physically a bit off, then play out of your skin. And even then, you have to hope he makes a few mistakes he wouldn’t normally make.

Laver suggested that the best way to beat him was to hit him over the head with a tennis racket. I don’t think anyone has a better idea than that.


Duro Says:

Kimmi, since I wasn’t very clear enough with my statement, here’s the precise version: He is awesome (Murray that is)!


SG Says:

I’ve often been critical of Fed’s opposition. But, over the padt 3 years, with competition on the rise, Fed has really stepped up. While I’ll always have a preference for the way Sampras played the game, any doubt that Fed’s is the best ever has been vanquished by this performance. Federer has proven time and time again that his game measures up on every stage. Bouncing Murray in straights is nothing less than an incredible performance from an amazing champion.


jane Says:

cha cha, I think the H2H is 6-5 for Andy. Murray’s my second fave after Novak so I am not going to knock him. He didn’t so much choke in this match, imo, as he was getting stronger as the match wore on. BUT he did play very nervously in the first set (his serve really deserted him) and he played passively in the second set. Clearly, this cost him too. Still, I wouldn’t write him off just yet. When Nole choked in 2007 it was his first slam final and it was nerves in both tiebreaks that did him in, and then he all but surrendered in the 3rd; he was right there, with a chance, in both those opening sets. Indeed Novak keeps the scorelines really close versus Fed (2008 USO he was close to pushing it to a 5th set anyhow and this year all sets went basically the distance). Hopefully one day he can go one further and get another win over Fed at a slam. It’d be nice to back up his number 2 with wins where it counts, or he may just slip back down again. We’ll see. A lot depends on all the challengers too of coursE! Roddick, Murray, Rafa, Delpo, Cilic, so many great players to deal with.

Giner “Didn’t someone say that being a dad would affect Federer’s focus and hunger?”

I was one of the people who thought this might take his mind off the court, but so far it obviously hasn’t. The girls have inspired him, perhaps like Kim’s little girl has inspired her? But they are still really young. Anyhow, it certainly could have had that effect; it seems to have for other players. But Fed is still hungry to win.


Gordo Says:

Just wondering – you asked about whether Fed is guatanteed to pass the Sampras record of most weeks at #1 (total).

Federer’s lead over Djokovic is solid, but to beat Pete Sampras at total weeks at #1 he has to stay there until Wimbledon. Because he is defending 1000 points from Madrid and 2000 points from Roland Garros it is possible that if he were to badly falter in the clay season and not do well again at Indian Wells and Miami before that Djokovic could possibly catch him.

This is not likely, seeing how Federer played yesterday, and considering that he only made the quarters in both Indian Wells and Miami last year he can gain points and further increase his lead before the start of the clay season.

By the way, with Murray defending winning Miami and being the runner-up at Indian Wells (1600 points), Murray will not likely gain ground on Federer. This is why I say Djokovic is really the only one who has a chance of stopping Fed from going into Wimbledon ranked #1 and thus passing Sampras.

=====

A thought – when Rafa gets back, if he is playing at 100% – I know , not a given – there will now be a 50-50 chance that Fed and Rafa could meet in semi-final matches. Especially at Roland Garros, wouldn’t that be interesting?


jane Says:

Ben asks ““really how the hell did he beat Federer in a slam final?””

Delpo overpowered Fed. The announcers said the same thing last night.


Duro Says:

And where is sensationalsafin/devastatingdjokovic/Ben Pronin fellow? Alleeeez allez allez alleeeez, No2-leeee No2-leeeee… Well, maybe French isn’t the most appropriate choice at he moment, but there it is.


Huh Says:

Congratulations to Federer.

Congratulations to Federer fans like Madmax, Long Live The King, Daniel, Kimo, Gordo, FoT, Twocents and the rest.

BUT MY HEART IS BLEEDING FOR MURRAY. It should not happen to me being a Fed fan (believe me, I was Fed’s biggest fan in the world during his toughest time!), but it was unbearably painful for me to see Murray’s tears today. I was praying with all my strength and devotion during the TB so that Murray wins at least one set there. I was also praying for a Murray comeback in the second set. But it wasn’t meant to be. It broke my heart to see Murray beaten in straight sets. IT HURT ME SO MUCH! The guy wants just one slam, but circumstances are denying him that. All the pressure in the world now on Murray! Interestingly though I saw a little bit of myself in Murray, I mean his and my circumstances are similar. We are both waiting to reach our goals. But it’s not been an easy path or pleasant experience upto now, many hurdles in the way. But I hope that both of us will overcome all our respective barriers and finally reach our goals. Amen!

No need for me to root for Fed anymore for this year as he has already won a slam this year which I wanted as his first and foremost fan. But I’ll henceforth root for Rod and Murray until at least the year end in both slams and outside. And now, it doesn’t matter to me where Fed meets Murray, I’d go on rooting for Murray in each of their matches from now unwards until Murray finally gets a slam. Deal done. But as soon as Murray wins a slam (Please God, let him do it at the earliest!), I’ll be back to support my Fed. Same is the case with Roddick too. DP has won two consecutive matches vs Fed, very important ones, so here my alleginace will lie with Fed in case of their next meeting. But until all this,

GO MURRAY! GO RODDICK!

And particularly, until Murray wins a slam, no question of my supporting any other player against him.

ALLEZ MURRAY FOR NOW!

————————————

By the way, today’s performance against Murray is FOR ME one of Fed’s top-3 performances in slams, the other two being vs Pete in 2001 WIM and vs Roddick in 2009 WIM.


jane Says:

Gordo are you sure re: this statement: ” he only made the quarters in both Indian Wells and Miami”

I thought for sure Fed made the semis at one if not both of these events. I could be mistaken though.


Duro Says:

Hi Jane.


jane Says:

Hi Duro : )


Kimmi Says:

“Kimmi, since I wasn’t very clear enough with my statement, here’s the precise version: He is awesome (Murray that is)!”

Yes, he is. Thanks Duro. Coming from you. I appreciate that.


Huh Says:

MRS. MARGOT:

I’m with you now, however tough our path may get, I won’t desert you. I along with Mrs. Jane, Kimmi and you would cheer for Muzza from now onwards. Take heart.


Gordo Says:

An interesting note – up until yesterday when commentators were tracking the ongoing rise of Federer’s slam totals it was always “Who would match the Jack Nicklaus record of 18 golf majors – Roger or Tiger?”

A goofy comparison, if you ask me – a golfer has a much longer career. However, I see why the comparison was being made – both sports have 4 majors in a year and are individual sports played in all counties around the globe.

No mention of that yesterday, though – now it’s “Will he next catch Chris Evert and Martina Navratlova (who each have 18)?”

Tiger Woods – what a fool!


jane Says:

Yes, I was right; Fed was in the semis of both IW and Miami last year. But he can pick up points at Dubai too, as I believe he’s playing there again this year.


jane Says:

Huh, congrats on Fed’s sweet 16. Hope your studies are going smoothly and tennis hasn’t disrupted them too much!


Huh Says:

By the way, congratulations to the NO.1 Nole fan Duro, Mrs. Jane, Sar, Ben and others on Nole finally reaching the no.2. Enjoy!
Nole had to wait for two years to get it, but he finally got it. Your guy NOT the most undeserving to be No.2 at all IMO! And Murray’s wait for a slam too may finally end one day like Nole’s wait for No.2 ended today. God Bless Murray! Kudos to Nole too!


Gordo Says:

Jane – thanks for pointing that out. Fed made the semis of both Indian Wells and Miami, not the quarters as I had earlier reported.

So Fed is defending 720 points between the two tourneys, compared to Murray’s 1600 points. FYI, the Djoker is defending 780 points (A quarter final berth and a runner-up spot.)


Huh Says:

Hey Mrs. Jane, you and I posted at the same time!


Huh Says:

Murray’s awesome, no doubt about it.


Ben Pronin Says:

I know what Del Potro did in the match to beat Federer, but just like, how did he pull it off? Federer is just out of this world. He is absolutely incredible. Nadal, Del Potro, Safin, Djokovic, just goes to show how much potential they have. Murray has potential too but his game is a little too defensive still.

I’m happy Djokovic is number 2 but I’m not impressed by his play. He needs to step it up.


Huh Says:

Similarly there’s also no doubt now that Fed’s the best tennis player among the current ones, nobody comes close. Gotta give credit to Fed, he’s the most awesome player!


jane Says:

Thanks for the points update Gordo. Novak has the titles at Dubai & Belgrade (which is earlier this year, before the hard court US events) to defend; maybe he’ll do well at Rotterdam; it’s a fast hard court. He’s left Marsielle out this year. But Djoko will be pressured to defend a lot on clay this year. Will be tough to keep the number 2 spot if Rafa is back in form. But at least he sits there for a while anyhow! And he should, hopefully, better his results at both European slams.

Anyhow, got work to do. Bye all for now.

Meant to say thanks to Sean for the recap; quick off the draw as usual. And Ben, I am waiting for your “commentary” recap. :)


Huh Says:

Djoko’s play’s not been too impressive however, that’s true.


jane Says:

One last comment re: Djoko’s play – NOVAK – get your serve back!! The rest will fall into place. He had good success at the net, overall, in the AO. Even did better than Tsonga at net over 5 sets. His ground strokes, imo, looked strong and assured, better than at last year’s AO. But he needs a strong serve to back it all up. Fed showed us again how important the serve is!!!! Djok has lost his ability to serve consistently and to consistently pull out clutch serves when the going gets tough.


Huh Says:

Maxi:

Now that Fed’s won, what am I going to be treated to by you?


Duro Says:

Gordo, Murray is not defending his Roterdam title, so add 500 points to it as well. Nole would have made it to number 2 spot anyway in the February 15th if he didn’t make it now.

Devastating, yes, but when he did, he didn’t make it. Four times. He’ll be back, don’t worry.


Kimmi Says:

Fed backhand seem to be working much better this AO..He went toe to toe with Murray, actually he hit more winners on that wing. (Murray went too much to fed’s BH in the 1st 2 sets imo, did not open the court more till the third set) If fed continues this way, it’s good news for him because a lot of loses he had against Djoko, Murray and Nadal before is mainly due to his poor backhand, they all kept attacking that side and got rewarded with too many errors. If he can maintain the squeaky clean performance on that wing..watch out!

Davydenko will still be dangerous to fed on best of 3 sets. Davydenko does not care about attacking federer’s backhand..he goes both side and very fast.


Ben Pronin Says:

Kimmi, totally agree. I was surprised but very pleased to see Federer hitting his backhand well from the beginning of the match. There was plenty Murray could’ve done but just focusing on Federer, I think his solid backhand was the key to such a comfortable win. He hit some insane backhand winners up the line coupled with even more insane cross court angles.

Jane, Duro, whatever happened to the days when Djokovic would blast 3 straight aces to get out of a 0-40 hole? I don’t know why his serve needs all this tinkering, it was quite the weapon in late 07 and early 08.


madmax Says:

216 points were played in the AO final today. Fed won 116 of those and Murray, 100 points!

Huh!

Where were you for the match? didnt hear a peep!!!


Gordo Says:

One last point, and it has to do with the rankings and looking down the road.

Federer’s consistency and the other top guys’ inability to be consistent in 2009 means Fed has his work cut out for him to stay at #1 for the full year, even though it is looking good that he can pass the Sampras record of weeks at #1 in late June.

By winning the French Open and Wimbledona and by finishing as runner up to DelPo at the USO, Federer is defending a whopping 5,200 points.

Bt contrast, Nadal is defending a paltry 900 points for those same 3 grand slam tournaments, Murray is defending 1,260 points and Djokovic 1,170.

The bad news – Unless Fed goes deep in all of those tourneys he may get caught by one of the 3 guys behind him.

The good news – he probably will go deep in all 3 tournaments.


Duro Says:

Jane, one Novak’s fan said a very interesting thing in the Nole’s site massage-board. He wasn’t satisfied with Martin’s influence at Novak’s game and how come happened that Todd neglected service element of the game when that kind of game is called serve&volley!? Exactly. What did they practice? Only volleying? I think that because of Todd he neglected a bit his natural playing style, baseline game and forehands.


Ben Pronin Says:

Djokovic needs a coach like Stefanki or Gilbert, guys who focus on improving their pupils’ strengths. It’s good to have someone that introduces something new, but you can’t change a playing style completely. Djokovic is a great defense-to-offense guy. He’s fast, flexible, and his got plenty of raw power. He needs a coach to remind him and help him become even better at what he’s already great at. He won the AO by playing his game, not serving and volleying. That’s what he needs to do more than anything else.


blah Says:

Fed was full of confidence going into that match. I would say that has something to do with the opponent he was playing. Murray and Djokovic have to figure it out fast. No one wants to hear this, but what did Murray show last night other than what we all knew about before? We knew he was a great counterpuncher, great returner, but that he could get passive (which he was in the first two sets), and he probably prefers playing that way. As long as all slams still go through Roger Federer, he will not win a slam playing that style. Fed would have rather played Murray going in than players like Nadal (duh), Roddick, DelPo, even Cilic. He is just not worried about Murray’s passive game in a slam. Murray has to start making adjustments, hopefully his second slam final loss will teach him that.

And though I didn’t say it last night, congrats to fed, seriously. You have to beat him to win a slam, period. Nadal needs to get his knees right or else Fed would sweep up as many majors as he can before one of the young guns become more consistent. The guy’s mental game (except against Nadal) is as good as it can get.

I picked Cilic before the tourney to make the semi, and I believe that he is going to join the top guys very soon. Just as powerful as DelPo, better mover, as good of a server, mentally strong, less injury prone/ more fit.

And please Djokovic, rediscover that confidence and cockiness you had when you won your first slam, (and that forehand.) I still trust you more than Murray.


Huh Says:

Been There:

Congrats on Fed’s and Serena’s wins! I have however congratulated you on a previous thread with re: Serena’s win! Enjoy the fantastic ride that you’re having now as a tennis fan( being a Fed and Serena fan)! I’m finding it hard to believe actually that Serena’s not just one of the best champion in singles, but also she’s a brilliant record in doubles too! I’m thankful to God that your Serena’s fortunate enough for the privilege of having my gal Venus as her doubles partner, good for her. ;)

———————————–
And Mrs.Von:

Thanks for receiving my congrats for Serena’s win. Would like to hear more from you as to what do you think of Murray’s chances this yea at slams? I’m just in love with that guy now! And so sorry on the useless fans booing Serena at the AO trophy ceremony. It was totally unwarranted! Seems like people’re too jealous of Serena’s greatness, tough for them! ;)

However promise me that you’re gonna root for my Venus at this year’s Wimbledon coz she’s my favourite player by miles!


Fot Says:

Hi guys! I’m happy for Sweet 16. Regardless of whether you like or hate Roger, you have to respect what he’s done for tennis. I am so happy. When Roger became my favorite player back in 1999, I never dreamed that he would have 16 grand slams! That is just remarkable!

I want to say congratulations to the Murray fans too. He is a great player, and still young so I’m sure he’ll have many more opportunities to win a grand slam. (I just want Roger to get as many as he can while he can) lol!


Huh Says:

“Huh!

Where were you for the match? didnt hear a peep!!!”

Maxi:

I outran my download limit, so had to wait for normalcy to restore!


Huh Says:

On a different note:

Lord save all if Fed goes into Wimbledon with this form, he’d become invincible and untouchable there!


Huh Says:

Racquet change seems to have helped Fed to almost get back his former sting on his BH.


Kimmi Says:

To be honest, imho, Apart from the time when he was struggling with lack of confidence (from RG 09′ to USO 09′), Djoko served very well at the end of last year when he was on the roll. He served very well on his match against Federer in basel for example…there was some insane second serve aces on big points. he also served well in Paris and some of WTF.

He went off the boil a little this year for some reason. His performance in Kooyong was poor imo even though some said it was only an exho..things did not start well for him. I think everything translated to the AO too. Maybe it is “too many matches he had last year” effect but he was not looking very sharp.

I think when he feels sharp, energetic and ready to go, we should see him serving big, accurate and consistent again.


Veno Says:

Concerning the rankings:

If you subtract all the ’09 points from the top four guys through Wimby you get on 5-7-10:

1)Fed: 11350-6170 = 5180 Fed will play 9 tourneys
2)Nole: 8310-3690 = 4620 Nole plays 11 tourneys
3)M-Andy: 7800-3320 = 3480 M-Andy plays 10
4)Rafa: 7670-4760 = 2910 Rafa probably plays 9

If Fed keeps his form it’s really tough to bet against him still being the number 1 after Wimby


Kimmi Says:

“Racquet change seems to have helped Fed to almost get back his former sting on his BH.”

huh, maybe this is the secret. I hope so anyways.


Veno Says:

Jane, Novak has not much to fear from Rafa for the time being…

It’s more likely that Rafa will be challenged by Davy and DelPo if he doesn’t get back to 100% soon.
Especially mentally


Ben Pronin Says:

Federer isn’t playing with a new racquet.


Duro Says:

Devastating, he has that Gerhard-Firtzch-Hirtzch guy or something like that. A former Musters fitness coach. He has Vajda too. Martin was supose to improve his volleying, which he apparently did, but Novak needs his devastating flat forehand back! And his serve too! Serve as soon as possible! The altered forehand has to do a lot with his new racquet, but Vajda has to keep working with him to reestablish his baseline game along with his Todd Martin’s net play. If he fixes serve and start hitting flat forehands again, no one can stop him anymore. Since I am talking about something he already had, I think it won’t be long until he finds it again. With his fitness improved, net play improved, old serves and forehands, guess what… No2-vak to No1-vak!


Ben Pronin Says:

As long as Federer keeps doing what he’s been doing for the better part of 6 years, no way Djokovic will be number 1 anytime soon. Everyone keeps talking about the depth and challenges and Fed’s declining and this and that, but in all seriousness, Federer isn’t going anywhere.


Veno Says:

Duro, I love your optimism and positivity!
Keep that enthusiasm going….

Imo the problem with Novak is far more mental/psychological than physical. Once his mental strength improves and he keeps maturing, his game will start to click…


blah Says:

ben- i agree. I think he has outlasted nadal’s knees.


Huh Says:

“But I am very happy for the Fed, what a guy. 16 GS. It was funny when they tell him “you have not won one after you have been a father” lol, the guy has 15 slam, what other records can he set? Next it will be “you have not won one after they turn one year old” LOL.”

LOL KIMMI! ;)

“Duro, now that Djoko is number 2, hopefully we will see those Murray V. Djoko encounters that we were looking forward to see..bring them on!”

Bring them on indeed, but sorry guys, Murray’ll win more of them. Commiserations in advance to Duro! ;)

——————————————-

Steve:

Re: Fed losing to DP in US 09. Please give DP some credit for God’s sake!

———————————————–

“jane Says:
Ben asks ““really how the hell did he beat Federer in a slam final?””

Delpo overpowered Fed. The announcers said the same thing last night.”

Well said!

————————————————–

I really hope this Fed to face a fit and in-form Nadal at this year’s Wimbledon. It’d be a joy to see Fed beating him there. Nobody can win the Wim tournament if Fed plays like this, that’s for freaking sure!


Huh Says:

I saw some talk was clearly going on at the Fed official site about Fed having changed to a new racquet with some better width(whatever you call it). Can’t dispute the information from RF.com. They keep and tell each and every information about Fed.


Veno Says:

You’re right huh, Fed is playing with a modified racket….


Kimo Says:

Ben, Fed is playing with a new racquet. It’s the same dimensions as the one he used before, but BLX dampens vibrations more and hence enhances feel. Some Wilson players haven’t made the switch, like the Williams sisters.

And as to how Delpo beat Fed, Fed just lost his was midway through the 2nd set. He had one of his mental lapses when things are going his way too easily. Then his serve went AWOL (11 DFs!!!).

All credit to Delpo, but Fed just doesn’t lose a two sets to one advantage in a slam final without something going seriously wrong with his game. It wasn’t all Delpo. Fed let it slip through his fingers, and Delpo grew more and more confident as the match went on.


Ben Pronin Says:

I can dispute the information on RF.com. Just because a website says it doesn’t mean Federer actually switch racquets. He got a new paint job.

I’m not trying to discredit Del Potro. I love the guy. I’m just saying that him beating Federer in a slam final is an absolutely incredible accomplishment and fairly mind blowing.


Kimo Says:

As to Djoko, call me crazy, but he hasn’t been the same guy since he switched his racquet from Wilson to Head as the start of last year. In 2007 and 2008 he had the best down the line groundies in the business. He had raw power. With Head he just isn’t the same, his wins in the fall not withstanding.


Huh Says:

“Veno Says:
You’re right huh, Fed is playing with a modified racket….

January 31st, 2010 at 6:12 pm”

I’m with you on this dear Veno. I’ve also read the articles where Fed talks about it in this year’s start. He was talking about having to make adjustments for it too. I’m totally confident on this, it’s the fact and not just RF.com gossip.


Huh Says:

Thanks to Kimo for the information on Fed’s racquet.


Veno Says:

Ehm Kimo, wadr….it’s been over a year now, the problem is NOT the racket. He’s had plenty of time to adjust…I still think it’s a psychological problem. Don’t worry, he’ll fix it.


Huh Says:

As I said, Fed’s racquet is new and what’s new about it, Kimo laid down.


Veno Says:

racquet indeed….sorry guys


Veno Says:

And btw, Novak’s Head racquet was exactly the same as his Wilson, just another brand…


Kimo Says:

Veno, I know it’s not just the racquet, but had Nole not been a quality player he would have suffered serious setbacks from making such an important decision.

With Wilson, he reached he won ALL of his masters series shields (except Paris), a grand slam, and the year end championship in 2008.

With Head? It’s not even close.


Veno Says:

Not discounting it Kiom, but hardly provable it correlates to his changing racquets imo


Huh Says:

Well, hard to feel bad about Fed winning a title on this blue AO surface.


Kimo Says:

Veno, the Head racquet might be the same size, weight, and balance of the Wilson racquet, but there is still differences regarding materials used in the racquet, not to mention the strings.


steve Says:

“Please give DP some credit for God’s sake!”

I said he played the greatest match of his life. I like him, I think he’s a great player and played amazing to take the title.

But it’s almost impossible to blow Federer off the court with sheer power. His serve is too good, he has too many options, and he anticipates the ball too well.

Safin did the same thing to Federer in 2005 AO, overpowered him in five sets. But it doesn’t happen very often, especially in the Grand Slams.


Huh Says:

First AO title to Fed on blue surface.


Kimo Says:

Yeah huh, I said on the earlier thread that this title means that Fed has won slams on five different surfaces: Rebound Ace, Plexicushion, clay, grass and DecoTurf :)


Veno Says:

Like Kimo or Kimmi said earlier today….

Fed won on 5 surfaces now….

First on Grass, then on Rebound Ace, then on Deco Turf II, then on Clay and now on Plexicushion!


Veno Says:

Ah, Kimo…yes it was you(I put your name first lol)


O-Kerr Says:

Wow, Federer simply wowed me.
I believed he would pull this one off, but had thought it was 50-50 before the match. I did not think it would be this lop-sided. Yes, Murray could have made it more difficult. The way I saw it Federer had everything going more than Murray crumbled under the pressure. When Federer’s backhand is more reliable, forehand lethal, and serve clicking, I don’t think you cannot do much. Just looking at the first 2 games, one could sense where the match was heading to.
In the 7th game of the 2nd set, after Murray held overcoming 3 break points, I thought he upped his level and started playing aggressively, but the aggression was hesitant, resulting in errors.
It may sound unfitting and scandalous, but at times, I found Murray too one-dimensional in this match, like constantly going for Federer’s backhand, and even when it did not work, he did not have plan B. Where was the smart, instinctual, improvisational Murray at that point?
In the 9th game of the 3rd set, when Murray was serving for the set (5-3), the Murray of the 1st set reappeared as Federer started firing from all over.
In the tie-breaker, yes, he had 5 chances but only once in his serve, and, that, too, slipped away just like earlier opportunities.
Definitely Murray’s not going to be another Cédric Pioline, as Brad feared.
This line will remain memorable and will be quoted ad infinitum for some time: “I can cry like Roger; it’s just a shame I can’t play like him.”
Bow to the graceful champion !


Duro Says:

People, before I go to sleep, couple of comments…
Devastating, you are obviously impressed with today’s Fed’s performance. Do not make conclusions based on the moments. It’s the same mistake as if someone have said last year after AO, when Fed was keeping losing almost every serious match he had until Madrid finals that he had been over, finished etc etc. Actually he didn’t even play well at the FO too, even Wimby. He ain’t gonna go anywhere, that’s for sure, but He won’t last for ever and he has FO and Wimby to defend, so no more points obviously. One major bad result and Novak will be very much number 1 soon. About JMDP, Don’t you understand guys, his nick among his friends is Potro Loco! This is exactly how he won against Federer.

Huh, I don’t know. Maybe you’re right. I even thought Murray’s gonna win today but… He lacks serious parts of the tennis art.

Veno, you are absolutely wrong regarding Novak’s racquet.

Kimo, you are absolutely right regarding recquet and Novak not being the same!

Even so, he got his number 2 spot in the age of 22. In the end of 2010, Novak Djokovic – number 1 in the world. Amen!

Good night.


Tejuz Says:

Congrats to Fed :-) Amazing victroy. he proved he is still THE man to beat.

Feel sorry for Murray. Am sure he will win one at either wimby or US Open this year.


Tejuz Says:

some stats..

Since 2004 – Anybody who beats Nadal normally reaches the final but never wins the title. Whereas those who beat Federer triumphs in the end.

2005 – Winner Safin (beat Fed in semis), RU was Hewitt (beat Nadal in 4th rnd)
2006 – Nadal dint play the tournament
2007 – RU was Gonzo (beat Nadal in qtrs)
2008 – Winner Djok (beat Fed in semis), RU was Tsonga (beat Nadal in semis)
2009 – Nobody beat Nadal
2010 – RU is Murray (beat Nadal in qtrs)

so next.. better get drawn in Rafa’s half.. but whi knows. we cud have Fed and Rafa in the same half.


Ben Pronin Says:

It’s amazing how Federer and Nadal have transcended even the slams. It’s like, 250, 500, 1000, Slam, Federer/Nadal. Anyone recall Benneteau’s reaction after he beat Federer? You’d think he had just won his first slam or something.


Joe W Says:

Dear Roger:
Congratulations on a terrific match. Discipline and concentration are a matter of being interested. We’ll see you on the other side of the moon.

Dear Andy:
When ability exceeds ambition, or ambition exceeds ability, the likelihood of success is limited. You must either modify your dreams or magnify your skills. Focus on the latter.

Dear Novak:
Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them. Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.

Dear Rafa:
Sometimes the most urgent and vital thing you can possibly do is take a complete rest. Rest is the sweet sauce of labor.

Dear Serena:
Ninety percent of all players give the top ten percent a bad reputation. Welcome back Kim and Justine.


jane Says:

So many great comments here! At least I got tons of work done in the last few hours with no scores to follow or matches to watch, lol. Slightly-(or majorly)-addicted-tennis-fan.

Duro – what that fan said is true, but Novak himself said in an interview after his first or second round match that Todd and him ARE working on the serve. As you say he’s got the fitness coach and his standby Vjada. Now it wouldn’t hurt to have a chat or two with a sport psychologist? I am not sure, but I think I agree with Veno re: the racquet. I think that problem is behind him now.

Ben – I don’t know why they’ve decided to tinker with Djoko’s game, but it may be due to physical issues (i.e., serve and volley = shorter points). His serve seemed to go off right around the time when he lost to Safin at Wimbledon (remember all those doubles), and it’s been off and on since. It was maybe compounded by the equipment change.

blah – totally agree with your post in general – and yeah, wouldn’t mind some of that cockiness back! Or at least to see the confidence and hunger back.

Kimmi – even at the end of last year, Djoko’s serve was “off” and “on”. And when it was on, i.e., in Basel final vs. Fed or in Paris semi vs. Rafa, his game was so much smoother and powerful. But remember the Paris final vs. Monfils? Novak was struggling with his serve (some of that down to Gael’s great returns), same with at the WTF. So, imo, it’s just nowhere near as consistent it was in 2007-2008. Anyhow, that’s how I see it and I do follow his matches pretty closely.

Veno @ 5:40 – love math / stat guys like you; thanks for the update on tournaments and points to defend. You rock! :)

FoT – know you’re a long time poster here, and a long time Fed fan, so just wanted to send you some warm wishes on Fed’s win.


jane Says:

Dear Joe W @ 7:27 pm,

Lovely post; come here more often and share your wisdom. It will be appreciated. Hope your back is better (it was you back right?)


Von Says:

Dear Joe W, my poetic friend:

I love your post @ 7:27 pm. Those players need to look for the butterflies in their lives, and count their blessing, don’t they?


Kimo Says:

Great post, Joe W.


andrea Says:

just watched the third set tie breaker again. classic. even as good as the novak/rafa madrid semi….each person inching ahead by one point. much better watching it after you know what the result is!

interesting that every time andy had a chance to close out the set on his serve he never made any of his first serves.

federer would have truly rued his missed chance on andy’s return of his drop shot, if that would have forced a 4th and possibly 5th set. although roger has fitness on his side, as he gets older, those 5 setters will prove more challenging to pull off.

brad gilbert was looking like the cat who ate the canary at the start of the match, certain that andy would win. he’s kind of grown on me.


thetennisguy Says:

Federer … simply the best ever. It’s undeniable. 16th GrandSlam title Australian Open 2010.

I’m watching htis match thinking … this guy is just making it look so easy. It’s like Murray had nothing that could hurt him. And when threatened Federer was so completely in Murray’s head that it was a foregone conclusion.

Oh, and to all the Brits … we’ve been going through this all these years cheering on our own Andy Roddick … and you know what? The frustration never ends. I so much want Roddick to win another Slam but now I know (especially after last year’s Wimbledon) that unless Fed retires or gets injured (God Forbid) it’s unlikely at best.

Yes. I am a club Fed Fan. Just love watching his exquisite Mastery!!!!


David Says:

Ben

Regarding Fed’s loss to Delpo at the USO, that really was a minor miracle what happened. Fed had the worst serving day of his life and he still should’ve won the match in straight sets if not for that one challenge on that passing shot where the ball was in by 1/8 of an inch.

That losses and a couple of others at the TMC seemed to have everyone thinking that we were in some era of parity, where everything is open and any of 5 or so players can win any given Slam event.

Hopefully what we saw this weekend puts such notions to rest. Fed’s still the sun in his universe and everybody else is just a minor planet revolving around him. It’s just as simple as that.

What stood out the most for me in this final was the sheer talent gap. One guy is a very very good player. The other guy is a tennis genius. It’s as simple as that. No tactics can close that gap if the genius is playing near his best.


David Says:

I don’t see how we can put Murray as a major contender at the FO. Seriously, what has the guy done on clay? He’s less accomplished on clay than even Davydenko, Nalbandian and Gonzalez, who absolutely crushed Murray last year with his forehand. And those are the second tier guys. No way can Murray be considered a favorite over Nadal, Fed and Djoko. No way.


David Says:

By the way, I see Wertheim has started the CYGS talk. Probably crazy to start talking about it so soon, but if he can somehow repeat at the French it could very well happen.

Laver was 31 when he completed his pro CYGS, so is it so unfathomable to think Fed could do it at age 29?


Kimo Says:

David, Gonzalez played incredibly well during that match against Murray, probably his best tennis since the Australian Open semi in 2007. Murray was just unfortunate.

But like I said, his problem on clay is that he can’t generate enough pace on his own. If he can, then he’ll be a major contender.


Kimo Says:

Btw, I saw Wertheim’s article too.

Look, can Fed win the CYGS. Yes. Will he win the CYGS? That is very hard to say. He came close. Very close. In 2009 he was only two sets away from it. He does have the ability to do it, but it’s a very tall order.

Laver was 31, but tennis was way less physical than it is now. Still, I believe Roger is such a superb athlete that it’s not out of the realm of possibility to speculate that he can do it.


David Says:

Kimo

I agree about not being able to generate enough pace, but I just don’t see how he’s going to change his game at this point. Murray gets a lot of points with his flat backhand, which skids a bit on hard or grass, while on clay his shots sit up too much and the likes of Gonzalez or Soderling or even Del Potro can take full advantage, not to mention the top 3 on clay.


Kimo Says:

Well, he can alway put more top spin on the backhand. I just think that his defensive skills are way too good to be wasted on Wimbledon more than Roland Garros.


Tejuz Says:

More stats..

since Au Open 2008, Fed has been in 8 straight finals.. 2 each of all 4 Grand slams.. being a winner and a runner-up in all 4 of them. That means he has tasted success and defeat in finals of all 4 slams.

2008-09 – F F W F
2009-10 – W W F W

And he did achieve a complete set (winner tropphies and runner-up plates) of Grand Slam in last 2 years. Better than his prev achievements.


Von Says:

been there:

“Sweet 16 doesn’t get any better. Next up, Sexy 17!!”

I couldn’t let this pass. The song “I believe in miracles, you sexy thing’ comes to mind. LOL


Von Says:

thetennisguy:

“I so much want Roddick to win another Slam but now I know (especially after last year’s Wimbledon) that unless Fed retires or gets injured (God Forbid) it’s unlikely at best.”

I’m with you, and my heart gets broken many times with each defeat, but I still think Andy will win another GS, and it wouldn’t have to be at Fed’s expense. GO RODDICK!!


Tejuz Says:

It took Nadal 4 years to finally cross the hurdle and jump from No 2 to No 1

It took Djok 2.5 years to finally break through from No 3 to No 2. But to cross the hurdle and become No 1 he will have to do what Nadal did previously.. beat Fed in Grand Slams consistently…plus stave off the challenges from Nadal, Murray and Del Po. Its a tall order for him.. and i doubt, even if he becomes No 1, how long would he be able to retain it.


sar Says:

Congrats to all Fed fans and sorry to all Murray fans. I watched the match later in the day. What can I say but Fed is great. Much as I want my guy to win and be number one someday he needs to do a lot of work and Fed has to go downhill a bit more for that to happen. I think it’s possible, but not now. The young guys are now feeling what Hewitt Roddick, etc had to put up with for years. There will be others winning here and there but as long as Fed is in the picture it’s going to be hard. And with a weakened Rafa to try to block Fed there won’t be any stopping him. Good luck young guns!


joe w Says:

dear von i am composing on a kindle so disregard gramitcal implosion. jane would certainly throw me out of her class. thanks for the email. dont take it personnally iff i dont get right back to yoou. i dont even return my mothers calls. some son i ami propos that we have the inaugural x blog party at the wash dc turney. attendees receive free tours of dc including map of the stars. pro athlets the couple who crashed the white house congressmans homes. thank you for asking about my back jane. making the best of a difficult situation. von/jane/kimo glad you emjoyed the post. dear god smoke signals would be more efficient than this kindle. be back soon via pc.


Huh Says:

Joe W:

Great post from you actually.


Huh Says:

Mrs Von:

Is it your bed-time already? If yes, then good night, but if no, then I’d wanna know what do you think about Murray’s chances in this years’ slams. I’ve also asked you in a previous post on this thread. Moreover, any informaton about Roddick’s injury would also be appreciated.


Von Says:

Hey,Joe W: Don’t worry about the grammar, I know you’re an expert with the language. I can’t even operate one of those things. LOL.

I’m so happy to hear that you’re doing fine and I’m hoping you’re being good with physio-therapy, which will do the trick. I thought you’d like that email with the Father’s voice/whispers, and how much we never listen. I guess your mom is probably thinking that she needs to introduce herself to you once again. LOL.

Joe, enjoy the X-blog party if you attend. I have some funny ones to send, which made me blush, but you wouldn’t, and will send them soon. Thanks for the chat, Yours Y.


Von Says:

Huh: no, it’s not my bed-time as yet. Do i have one? I doubt it.

Well, I think Murray’s best chance to win a GS would be the USO, and coincidentally, i read he prefers that one. That said, let’ just root for him to win that one. I don’t think he can do it as the FO, and/or Wimby, as there are quite a few grass-courters that are more suited to the grass than he is, but I could be wrong about Wimby. and, I also think it would be very apropos for him to win there, home-boy, et al. Anyway, let’s just hope he’ll win a GS this year and I’m sending him good vibes for this to happen.

Re: Roddick, I haven’t heard anything more about his injury. I hope it’s not serious, as I suffered a similar fate a few years ago, which entailed my being off work for 2 years. I’m hoping it wouldn’t be that way for my sweet puddle duck. Here’s hoping for good things for both Andys …..

BTW, Huh, when is your bed-time? I’m very bad with time differences.


Huh Says:

Oh Mrs.Von:

By the way, I’d wanna say that this loss would make Murray stronger than ever before and would motivate him to play for his slam. Disappointing as it may be, it’s still not the end of the road for him, I believe. I also have a gut feeling that Murray’s gonna do well in this year’s Wimby too. I badly want him to beat Fed in a slam now. Fingers crossed for Nadal too.


Huh Says:

Mrs.Von:

We’ve approximately 12 hrs time difference. Thus my bed-time is on 12-4 p.m. your time. But I’m an owl who’ve never liked or followed the old saying ‘early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise’.

And so far as supporting Murray’s concerned, each time Fed faces him from now unwards, I’d root for Murray, especially until he wins a slam. I love Murray too much to be able to keep patience and wait for his slam success any longer! Whoever Murray now plays against and wherever it may be(except may be Rod at Wimby), I’d be completely rooting for Murray till he gets that elusive slam. In fact as I’ve faithfully carried out my duty of sticking to, praying and supporting/rooting for Fed in his tough times, I’ve proved my loyalty as a Fed fan, nothing to prove anymore for me in this regard. But from what I’m seeing now, if I’m right, Fed’s again on the verge of becoming as sickeningly dominant as he once was! Who’s to beat an A-Fed in any other slam except FO? None IMHO from among the current guys. Fed’s simply not going to lose to any of these guys in any slams (except Rafa in FO) if he again hits his true insane top form! And that’d destroy the dreams and spirits of many of his peers and would bring them all sorts of misery(thou it won’t be an exaggeration to say that Fed’s peerless!). Tennis would become less exciting, to be honest. Thus for goodness’s sake, I think Fed’s confidence has to lowered at all costs now and for that, I’d not root against anyone when they face Fed henceforth, at least this year. I’d rather root for almost all of them vs Fed in slams/outside, unless of course the guy playing against Fed happens to be Davy or Nadal. All except Rafa and Davy’re welcome to beat Fed! So come on! But first of all

GO MURRAY!!!


Huh Says:

I mean my sleep just starts at anytime between 12-4 pm in your time(i.e. 12-4 am my time).


Huh Says:

And no doubt Mrs.Von:

GO RODDICK!


Huh Says:

This Federer’s just ridiculous!


Huh Says:

MURRAY AND RODDICK FOR THIS YEAR’S SLAMS, ALLEZ ALLEZ!!


Huh Says:

COME ON SEAN:

WHERE’S YOUR AO POST-MORTEM ARTICLE?


Huh Says:

Hey Skeezerweezer, come back pleeeeeeeease! You’re missed.

And where is Twocents? Why’s he not coming more often? I got your message buddy, but unfortunately couldn’t respond. :(
I like Rod very much indeed, just like you. :)


Huh Says:

Much as I regret it, I’ve to say Murray let himself down by not utilizingn his chances in the third set, it was brutal! When Fed plays like he played yesterday, you’ve to play him aggressively. Murray has to finish the point as soon as he hits a serve by hitting a forehand. Murray needs to use his serve and start hitting service winners instead of giving it back to the FH of any player. I can tell you, if Nole/Cilic/DP/rooddick is in the zone, you have to finish points as quickly as possible off your own serve. Just put a serve in and be ready to hit a FH Muzza! What the hell else are you waiting for? You can do it as well as anyone else.


Huh Says:

Duro:

I was just kidding. ;)


margot Says:

David @8.31: I found your post oddly consoling!
von: thanx for your good wishes for Andy M. My how us fans suffer.
huh: I’ll be listening out for those cheers for Andy!


Patrick Says:

FED’s Grand Slam numbers from Wimbledon 2003 and onwards.

Number of GS’s: 27
Number of semi-finals: 25 (only missing SF at UO2003 & FO2004)
SF win-loss record: 22-3 (only losses at AO2005 to Safin, FO2005 to Nadal, and AO2008 to Djokovic)
Number of Finals: 22
FI win-loss record: 16-6 (losses to Nadal at FO2006, FO2007, FO2008, WI2008, AO2009 and Del Potro UO2009)
Number of GS titles: 16

Details

Wimbledon 2003: Final, Winner Philippousis
US Open 2003: 4th rd, loss Nalbandian
Australian 2004: Final, winner Safin
French 2004: 3rd rd, loss Kuerten
Wimbledon 2004: Final, Winner Roddick
US Open 2004: Final, winner Hewitt
Australian 2005: SF, loss Safin
French 2005: SF, loss Nadal
Wimbledon 2005: Final, winner Roddick
US Open 2005: Final, winner Agassi
Australian 2006: Final, winner Bagdhatis
French 2006: Final, loss Nadal
Wimbledon 2006: Final, winner Nadal
US Open 2006: Final, winner Roddick
Australian 2007: Final, winner Gonzalez
French 2007: Final, loss Nadal
Wimbledon 2007: Final, winner Nadal
US Open 2007: Final, winner Djokovic
Australian 2008: SF,loss Djokovic
French 2008: Final, loss Nadal
Wimbledon 2008: Final, loss Nadal
US Open 2008: Final, winner Murray
Australian 2009: Final, loss Nadal
French 2009: Final, winner Soderling
Wimbledon 2009: Final, winner Roddick
US open 2009: Final, loss Del Potro
Australian 2010: Final, winner Murray

Number of AO: 4 (2004, 2006, 2007, 2010)
Number of FO: 1 (2009)
Number of WI: 6 (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009)
Number of UO: 5 (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)

Streaks & other numbers

Most # semifinals in a row: 23 (ongoing streak from Wimbledon 2004)
Most # finals in a row: 10 (WI 2005 to US Open 2007), current 8 (FO2008 until AO2010)
Reach final of every GS at least 4 times (AO2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 – 4-1 record)
(FO2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 – 1-3 record)
(WI2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 – 6-1 record)
(UO2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 – 5-1 record)

Reached final in 18 of 19 last Grand Slams


Huh Says:

MRS. MARGOR:

IT’S MURRAY ALL THE WAY FOR ME NOW!!!


Huh Says:

CORRECTION: MARGOT and not MARGOR as I wrote in my previous post.


Huh Says:

By the way Mrs.Margot:

There’s at least some positive for Murray to take from this AO.

1)He bettered his last year’s result by far. This was his best so far in AUS.

2)Much less shameful to lose to an on-Federer than to lose to Verdasco in the fourth round.

3) First time Murray realised that he can’t actually play as good tennis as Fed(when Fed’s at his best). All this means, he’d may be finally try to improve his game now that realisation has set in. One who admits his own fault becomes a great man as he only then tries to fix his problems and sort them out. Look at Fed finally making use of dropshot for example.

So not all’s bad for Murray fans.


R RAVI Says:

Fed is simply the great player. Murray tried his best but could not make it. Okay. if not this time, next time he will make it and win one Grand Slam. Although I am a great fan of Roger Federer, I thought that Murray will give tough fight and lastly win the match. But Federer did not give any chance to Murray. All the best to both the players for the next Grand Slams in 2010.
regards,
R RAVI


Borg Says:

Federer is the GOAT


Elwin Says:

Roger is the best thing that could have happened to tennis in the 21st century


MMT Says:

Count me among those who just couldn’t/can’t believe that Federer continues to dominate the slams. I didn’t think he was playing that well, but it seems he (as always) brought his game together when it counts. It’s amazing, but true.

As for Murray – he’ll be disappointed that he didn’t play very well in the first or second set, and let the 3rd get away from him. I think his instinct was to play the way he’s played against Federer in the past and been successful in key points and some hesitation on the inside-in forehand up the line on the first set point and this backhand volley on the second set point were just two lost moments in the set, but generally speaking he wasn’t playing well enough to win the match anyway.

I also think Federer made an important adjustment – in the US Open final 2008 he was playing lights out tennis, so no real adjustment was required. However, this time I don’t think it was lights out tennis that won him the title – I think it was the willingness to be more patient and not give away points, which caused Murray to misplace his aggressiveness and uncharacteristically make more errors than his opponent.

I don’t know that he needs to make too many more adjustments to his game – it’s not like he’s lost in the early rounds or something. He just didn’t get the job done against Federer – but his game is plenty good enough to finish ahead of the other 126 players in the draw.

I’m not sure why he wants to beat Fed (in particular) in a slam? The same rule applies to everyone on tour – you have to beat the 7 players that get through the draw – that’s it. It doesn’t matter who those 7 players are.

But if he wants to beat Federer, he’s going to have to find away to put more pressure on him than he was able to, and he’s got to committ to attacking him more regularly, so that when he does so in the clutch, he doesn’t make errors like he did in the tie-break.


sam Says:

Congrats to Fed on his magnificiet win.

He did good to get the job done.But I think Murray was really playing very nervously and fed effectivly to out play him.

Just wondering though if the ranking remains same as now till wimbledon who are they going to seed number two there Nadal or Djokovic?

Last year Nadal did not play and previous year to that he was winner and djokovic did not have good run those two years.

MMT.
Your posts are always very insightful.


jane Says:

The announcers I was listening to, maybe it was P-Mac or Cahill (?), said that Fed was putting more spin in his forehands to be safe, to ensure they’d drop in; he was taking something off them, esp. at important times like in the tie-break, which perhaps supports your notion that he was willing to be more patient, MMT.

I disagree with those who think there was no way Murray could have won; I am not saying the odds favored him by any means, but I wouldn’t close the door on possibility altogether!!

Murray played poorly in the first 2 sets, the first because he couldn’t get in a first serve to save his life (below 50%, in the mid 40s actually) and the second because he was passive, passive, passive – conceding the baseline, letting Fed come in, take control of the rallies, not even looking to finish off points, but often just getting the ball back into mid-court. Sometimes that was due to Fed’s pressure, but other times in rallies, Murray just did not look to end them. Only in the third set did I think he was near to the level I’d seen him play in other matches. Against Cilic, after the 1st set Murray started to play aggressively, and as I’d mentioned previously, he got Cilic playing defensively, which I’d not seen Cilic do much all event. Cilic tends to plant himself on the baseline and not budge. Roddick commented on that after their match. But I thought that Murray managed to make him move.

MMT, I am curious, do you think it is simply impossible for Murray to beat Fed in a slam, as some have suggested here?


sam Says:

Forgive me for the spelling and gramatical mistakes.


contador Says:

love, joy, and celebrations to all fedexpress fans here…madmax, kimmi, and all! what a nice surprise!

i have been too busy to watch live tennis, but- coulda watched more, however, the time difference is simply incompatible with work now.

all i saw live was the fed v andreev match- i sorta wrote fed off and thought nadal, nole or the muzza would win the ao this year; in that order.

finally watched the replay last night and madmax, what a great match! first set, much closer than the score, second set: some real goosebump nostalgia watching federer, to the point of beginning to imagine if i were watching live, i would be relaxed, just like in 2006. then that 3rd set. andy came to life and really thought the match would go to 5 with muzza getting his well- deserved first GS, the way he was playing. i believe he woulda outlasted RF. woulda, coulda- murray fans.

plus, i agree with fed. andy murray will win a GS. he has the talent, brains, fitness to do it. it does obviously appear he needs a to get a better 2nd serve and make that bomb 1st serve a more consistent weapon, esp. in the big moments in the slam events.

what i really loved was the emotions andy showed. sorry my british tennis fans but that media of yours has been constantly mocking and demeaning federer for “blubbing;” hey i am uncomfortable with men crying in public too. maybe it’s sexist of me, cuz i don’t mind public crying at all from my own sex. but i get embarrassed for the men. this is a sport, after all.
(dumb, i know.)

suddenly i like murray more now, a lot more. did appear during the course of the match, that he was not doing the usual annoying behaviors that have turned me off about him. looks like he’s grown up.

maybe the irritating trash talking federer/murray media hype will die down some now too.

another unbelievable win from the fed. that 3rd set tiebreaker-gotta watch it again soon!

cheers everyone- sure miss reading ALL of you on tennisx, live match comments, especially!

hopefully at least by indian wells, when the live action time difference is only an hour i’ll get to join in, madmax. miss ya’ll.


Huh Says:

MMT,

Fed was playing much better than even US 08, it occured. He was doing everything better, that which he couldn’t do was more due to Murray than anything else. To me, this AO has been one of Fed’s best performances ever and certainly the best since 2007 end. Fed was doing everything better here than he did either in 2008 or 2009 IMO.


Skorocel Says:

MMT said: “I’m not sure why he wants to beat Fed (in particular) in a slam? The same rule applies to everyone on tour – you have to beat the 7 players that get through the draw – that’s it. It doesn’t matter who those 7 players are.”

That’s true, but the problem is – one of those 7 players is always Federer ;-)


Huh Says:

I don’t know in how many other slam finals has Fed played better, more patient, stronger and more lights-out tennis than this final! It’s right among Fed’s very best performances, nothing less than that.


Skorocel Says:

Elwin: “Roger is the best thing that could have happened to tennis in the 21st century”

Very well said!


Huh Says:

“Murray played poorly in the first 2 sets, the first because he couldn’t get in a first serve to save his life (below 50%, in the mid 40s actually)”

That’s the thing, the unfortunate thing. Thou I don’t know what woulda happened if Murray was serving better, but I’m sure he coulda given Fed a run for his money if he weren’t so weird in the first two sets, as Fed says, it’s important to create the opportunities for yourself and then give yourself the chance by capitalising on whatever you get your way from any wrong judgement of your opponent. But it was indeed a shame that Murray couldn’t give himself even the least possible chance here by putting pressure on Fed, thanks to his bad serving and strategy, whatever the reason might be for that. Murray simply wasted his opportunities and that cost him way too much than he coulda thought. Some nervousness/instability probably due to the overwhelming pressure, but he still should have put all those doubts aside before stepping on the court to face Fed.


Huh Says:

What Murray could have done first of all, however is, he coulda finished off the points quickly. It’s suicidal to give the ball back to Fed to the mid-court when Fed’ss FH & (very underrated) BH are close to their explosiveness. Who’d tell that to Muzza? Arghh! :/


Huh Says:

Loud ‘Come On’s directed towards Fed, playing against him in a GS final match can be perilous to your chances of winning, especially when you’re not mentally strong like Nadal. Hope Muzza’d learnt that by now, he really should!


Twocents Says:

Huh, buddy, I’m here. Sorry I couldn’t keep up here. I wanted to. But an old man can only do so much… Von, Jane, etc. many regulars know that I can’t be coutned on. But hey, my heart is always with you guys, like they say. LOL.

I share your sentiment about Fed and Murray. You go, man.

Von,

Care to educate a naive Texan why “Sweet” 16?


MMT Says:

Jane Says: “MMT, I am curious, do you think it is simply impossible for Murray to beat Fed in a slam, as some have suggested here?”

No way! It’s not impossible for anyone to beat Fed in a GS final, and certainly not someone who’s beaten him on 6 other occasions. There’s a reason he’s beaten him so often – and not for nothing, one of the reasons is because he’s a very good tennis player.

The problem Murray had yesterday, which I believe is different from why he was beaten at the US Open in 2008, is that Federer was far more patient than he’s been in his losses to Murray, continuing to play percentage tennis until an opportunity presents itself to attack and/or allowing Murray to kill off the points with errors. This was how he beat both Soderling and Roddick last year – I don’t think he played lights out tennis in either of those matches. Roddick played (much) better than Soderling, but basically he missed chances to take the lead a number of times in the match, whereas Soderling played his worst match of the tournament in the final.

In fact, this is the way Federer plays against everyone, but generally, very few players on tour (Murray, Djokovic and Nadal come to mind) are able to keep the points alive long enough, and with consistently deep penetrating shots to both wings, to elicit Fed’s impatience. Usually, the weaker players on tour either serve up a lot of errors or lemons rife for the taking, which Fed is a master at pumelling. I would also say that Fed’s impatience is greater in smaller tournaments and his desire to win those matches gives way to his tactical/strategic impatience.

In his losses to Murray, he’s destroyed himself by running out of patience and trying to force an end to points with winners that weren’t there for the taking and making a lot of errors. The US Open final of 2008 was an exception, in that he was really just playing lights out tennis and didn’t need a lot of patience – I think he would have beaten anyone on that form the way he was serving and hitting his forehand.

I just think that in the end, although it’s been maligned as sour grapes and mind games, Murray really needs to follow Fed’s advice and do a better job of putting the result of the match on HIS racquet. Letting Federer shoot himself in the foot works in matches of little consequence, because Federer’s strategic/tactical stubborness is greater. But in slams, he makes adjustments to that balance better than anyone (except perhaps Nadal). There is a delicate balance between the two and that’s why both of their records in the slams are so good.

Murray needs to find that balance in slams against all his opponents. I think he’s done it this year at the AO, but nerves got the better of his judgement and execution in the final. Whereas his adjustment is to improve his efficiency in attack, Fed’s adjustment is to be more patient. Fed makes the adjustment (as the all 3 of the latest slams would attest) but Murray has not yet.

But I think he will, and will win a slam before his career is finished.


Twocents Says:

Margot,

Murray really should leave Melbourne head high. Me think you and others a a bit unfair about his defensive game style. Do I like it, no. I personally prefer offense game. But who can deny Rafa’s record of beating the great Fed with his ultimate defensive game? Results talk.

MMT,

I’m all with you on Murray’s obsession of beating the Fed. Fed is not tennis, and Fed is not slams. One should play tennis and win slams. That’s one area Fed is doing superbly. He focuses on his own game and beat 7 players in his way.

That’s one area of Fed I think should be learnt by many players on tour: play for yourself, nobody else. In short: be a bitch.

Fed cried at AO09 coz he didn’t get his no.14. Murray cried at AO10 coz he didn’t get his no.1, and also coz he let Britain down. Murray should all but forget about Britain. He always had and will have my sympath of the stupid media hype, like Roddick. But, only he himself can beat the demon by raising above it. Granted, LTA paid his coaches etc. But he, and Roddick, only need to look at the way Fed handled his own Davis Cup duty to learn: don’t make yourself bigger than you are; get results for yourself (and you loved one) first, the rest is just given.

That’s why I applaude Roddick’s whithdrawal from DC (a patriotic Texan I am, BTW). And Andy did not need to apologise to Britain. The pressure is in between his ears.

Fed’s smarts equals his tennis talent.


madmax Says:

Contador! I have been looking out for you and wondered where you had gone during the match.

I dont know whether you know but I am from UK and I know what you mean about british media and murray. It is dreadful over here (most of the time), when he is playing – so much pressure – they need to leave off!

But federer. What can you say about the man? A role model, an incredible athlete. I adore the federer! He is adorable.The best. The best tennis player ever.

I remember a comment you made Contador about roger having a bit of “extra” weight around the middle? Pfffft! NOT any more (if ever there was a little bit, a few swiss/mince pies at christmas – why not?). He is looking leaner and meaner than ever.

Go Federer!

Swiss Bliss!

Hi other other federer fans, still celebrating?


Twocents Says:

Djok:
Lost to Fed at USO07 0:3
Won the next slam beating Fed 3:0

Murray:
Lost to Fed at AO10: 0:3
Will win FO10 and dash Fed’s CYGS.

I was, am, and will be a Fed fan. But time does not stand still for any mortal. Murray will have his time, sonner than later now. Such a bad luck that he only got under-par Fed in small events. On top of all crazy British media, at USO08, there was Hannah and red-hot Nadal, so he didn’t get enough rest for his first slam final. At AO10, he did not get enough tough matches and one extra day rest. There got to be a turning point down the road!


Huh Says:

Thanks for your kind response Mr. Twocents. It’s always great to have you here.


Huh Says:

“I was, am, and will be a Fed fan.”

And so shall I Mr.Twocents. I’M A HUGE FED FAN! Words cannot describe my love and respect for my champion Fed! But right now I just wanna support Murray until he wins a first slam.


Von Says:

Two Cents:

“Von,

Care to educate a naive Texan why “Sweet” 16?”

___________________
LOL, Two Cents: I’m sure you’ve heard about “sweet sixteen and never been kissed” (but Fed’s been kissed many times) and a ‘sweet sixteen party’? It signifyies a coming of age or maybe a rite of passage. A car, Fed’s got many of those, and a Driver’s license. Your girls will want one of those when they get to that age — so save up the big bucks, and get the shot gun ready also, because they boys will be coming around.

It’s also the time of one’s life that’s celebrated with a huge party and a cake with 16 candles. … sixteen candles, make a lovely light ….
________________________

Sean Randall: BTW, talking about ‘Sweet sixteen’, Sean Randall prophesied 2 years ago, when Roddick got beaten by Kohls at the AO, that Roddick will never get past ‘sweet sixteen’ at a GS. Quote: “Sweet Sixteen” is as far as he’ll get.”

Since then Andy has gotten to the AO SF and Wimby finals. How’s that crystal ball working for you these days, Sean? Cloudy, or fair to cloudy, with a few scattered showers??


Huh Says:

“I just think that in the end, although it’s been maligned as sour grapes and mind games, Murray really needs to follow Fed’s advice and do a better job of putting the result of the match on HIS racquet.”

MMT’s FULLY correct.


Huh Says:

What Roddick’s done at slams all these years is just incredible! He was far better than Djoko in 2009 re: slams until US Open, where his injury did him in. Murray didn’t come close to Roddic either in this regard. Great performance by Andy’s all that I can say. Andy’s still doing great or very good.


Huh Says:

Andy in 2.50 p.m. post refers to Andy Rod.


margot Says:

huh: loved your post @2.52
MMt: always appreciate your wise words
two cents: hi there,nice to hear from you, suppose you’re having loads of bloody barbeques down in that old panhandle at the mo! Weather too hot is it……..?!
PS just would’ve liked Andy to get a set, for his own pride.


Huh Says:

Oh well, there’s only one guy who, thanks to his broken fortune is lying injured, but if he comes back to his best for just one day for God’s sake while facing Fed in a slam, he can show Murray and the rest how to make even an A-Fed look ordinary. That guy’s not retired(like Safin) still and his name is Nalbandian.


Huh Says:

Thanks Mrs.Margot! But Allez Murray!


Twocents Says:

LOL, Von. Now you turned my happy Monday into embarrassment. So nothing to do with Shakespeare… We made a point not to remind our girls of anything special about Sweet 16, the débutante? We Texans always have guns ready, self defense, of course. Horrific years for parents! I’m sure Fed will hate it when his twins turn 16. The Chinese back in the old times had it best: just marry their girls out straight when they turn 16.

This AO also sends a very sweet signal to the old guns: Davy and Roddick etc have slams in them. Go ATP! I’m so proud of their fights and performances.

Huh, my friend, have fun.


Huh Says:

2003 USO QTRS, Fed’s FH and BH both firing like cannons and on-target, consistent like I don’t know how to describe it, movement was at its incredible best, returning was just mind-blowing, service was bang-on, unforced errors so very low when compared to now-a-days. But wait. He was completely outplayed and ‘out-shot’ted by Nalbandian. OH NALBANDIAN!


Huh Says:

Moderate correction needed to previous post, it must be read as PRE-QTRS.


Twocents Says:

margot,

We’re having a cold winter with many 50 degree F and lower for day high lately. My camellias must have taken some hard hits.

Andy should have got at least one set but for the pressure from the Great Britain: Neil Harman told Mary Joe F. that about 30 journo’s were folowing Murray in Melbourne, and 4 chief sports writer flew in from GB for the final. At AO09, Chairman of LTA landed in Melbourne, then boarded a flight home without leaving the airport, upon news of Andy’s loss to Verdasco.

Looking back, Prince William was the only sensible one by not meeting Andy. Andy is too young not to be affected. That’s why I say take a page from Fed, nothing to do with tennis.


Von Says:

Two Cents: LOL and LOL. I’m laughing.

I’m sure Shakespeare has something about ‘Sweet sixteen’, but I wasn’t thinking about him when I wrote my answer.

I’m hoping one day to find a rich Texan when I move there next year. Got any lined up for me? But, he’s got to be around 90, with tons of nurses, and all I’ll have to do is sit with him and read poetry = billions of dollars for me. Think you can swing that for me? My brother is looking for one that fits the bill. LOL.

I think Fed looks forward to the day when his girls can play. I saw him on the Tennis channel and he said he’d be their coach. WOW, another federer regime will be born. Let’s hope the girls have his tennis attributes.

____________
Margot: Don’t worry your andy will be fine. A GS will come, when he least expects it. I’m hoping my Andy gets his second so that he wouldn’t feel pressured to get the One slam wonder tag off his back and can play more aggressively. Here’s to hoping for good things for the Andys ….


Huh Says:

Andy Roddick will win this year’s Wimbledon coz I’m rooting for him to do that. Similarly Andy Murray’d win USO 2010 for the very same reason. You heard it here first.


Nina Says:

I just love, completely love, trophy ceremonies. It’s at these moments that you see the real emotions of the players, where their true personalities show through, and you find yourself empathizing with them and maybe starting a new allegiance with a player that you didn’t suspect before.
Andy, you may have lost, but you have won so many fans all over the world. You should be proud of yourself! I cried with you but I’m sure I will laugh more.


Huh Says:

I’d humbly accept whatever Mrs.Von gives me on dinner then. Rotten tomatoes in case Rod doesn’t win Wimby, but American exotic sweet dishes in case of Rod’s win.


Huh Says:

Nice post from Nina @3.34. :P


Von Says:

Alright Huh, I’ll hold you to A-Rod winning Wimby this year.If he wins, then Two Cents and I will throw a huge Texas shin-dig, or hoe-down, barbecue for him and all will be invited. Here’s hoping …


Nina Says:

@MMT… very good observation.
I forgot to add three important things:
1# Congrats my beloved wonderful Nole for getting to nº2, God knows you deserved it long time ago.
2# Sincere congrats to JesusFed, he played exquisite tennis and proved once again that when he’s on he’s unbeatable. I seriously believe that Fed’s records will be impossible to surpass. He’s just TOO DAMN PERFECT.
3# Became a fan of Murray, he wormed up inside my heart (but always behind Nole). You are as gracious as it gets. I’m positive you will win several grand slams. Go kiddo!


jane Says:

Thanks for your thorough reply @ MMT; can I pick your tennis brain for one more opinion then? Why do you think Delpo won the USO final? Some have said it was due to Fed’s off serving day, while others have noted that Fed can win matches regardless because of his consistent and strong second serve. Others have said – including me – that Delpo seemed to out-power Fed, especially as the match wore on. What’s your view, if you wouldn’t mind sharing? Did Fed lose his patient strategy in that match, especially after the umpire tiff?

I think Fed said in his post AO victory that he was very relieved/happy to have closed out in 3, as he was concerned that if Murray came back, who knows? He might take it to a 5th and then even win. To me this suggests that at all costs Fed wants to win quickly. He’s been known as a great front runner who doesn’t like to get embroiled in long matches. It was quite clear that Roddick was within, well, a serve, two serves,(or a 2nd set volley??) from winning at SW19 last year; the point is it went to the wire and was so close. Likewise, with Delpo, only the results went the other way. I guess I am just wondering (in addition to the question above) if he has a concern about longer matches…? Fitbess isn’t an issue so not sure why he would, but.


Nina Says:

@Huh… thanks!
I guess Murray is your guy, right? I’m quite new to this board. Surely Andy won himself another fan, maybe the first from Spain? :)


Ben Pronin Says:

Jane, I don’t think Federer was overly worried about the match extending. He said he thought Murray would take the 3rd set, but he wasn’t overly worried since he would’ve still been up 2 sets to 1. At the same time Federer realizes that in tennis, one point can completely turn things around.


Skorocel Says:

Twocents said: „Such a bad luck that he only got under-par Fed in small events. On top of all crazy British media, at USO08, there was Hannah and red-hot Nadal, so he didn’t get enough rest for his first slam final. At AO10, he did not get enough tough matches and one extra day rest. There got to be a turning point down the road!“

LOL :-) So first he is tested and gets not enough rest, and then he’s not tested and gets too much of a rest? WTF? That’s not „bad luck“, Twocents. That’s simply part of the game, and it’s only up to Murray to deal with it – just like Fed, Nadal and others did before him.


jane Says:

Ben, you may be right, and certainly in retrospect that might be the way Fed feels, but these were Fed’s own words (the pertinent bits are astericked):

——————————————-
“ROGER FEDERER: I think you also got to see the way a match ends. Is it 40‑Love point where serving and you’re up 5‑Love, or in a breaker. I don’t even know the score, 13‑11. Sometimes it’s over before you know it.

This felt similar to the Wimbledon victory in a way, because all of a sudden it was over and it hit me, you know. Whereas before I made the dropshot and I think I won, and might have been much more emotional, you know.

***But then after losing that point, I’m thinking, My God, he just grabbed the trophy out of my hands. I might end up losing this thing. Two or three points later, I’m the winner after all.***”

And here’s another excerpt:

“But I just ‑‑ you know, I always knew I had it in my hand. ***The question is do I have it in my mind and in my legs, you know.*** That’s something I had to work extremely hard at. Now I feel like obviously I’m being pushed a great deal by the new generation coming up. ”
———————————————–

I am probably over-analyzing as I do tend to do that, but these comments suggest at least some doubt in Fed’s mind as to how he would’ve made out if the match had gone longer, in terms of his “legs” and “mind” — and that even in the tiebreaker he was sensing a potential momentum shift, which may’ve even caused the drop shot blip. : )

Listen, obviously he played amazing I am just wondering how he balance patience and aggression and how he really feels about the competition and being pushed into longer matches with more regularity. For the most part he’s still been coming out the winner. But surely he must think about it and want to end quickly and efficiently. No lapses.


sar Says:

O-Kerr
What did Brad (Gilbert?) say about Pioline and Murray?

I don’t like Brad and am always interested in that jerk. LOL


andrea Says:

i just watched the match again last night and the thing that i really liked about it was that there were lots of rallies. good quality rallies with lots of points played where you could see the strategy building.

it’s so rare to see this is the men’s game where aces are prevalent. god bless andy roddick but watching him play is often very boring due to the serving.

andy is also a great returner. fed didn’t get nearly as many aces in due to andy’s ability to retrieve.

and many people talk about andy’s form being so bad in set #1 and #2 but he was in there fighting.


max Says:

MMT: interesting observations, I fully agree with you on Fed having a lot more patience in finishing the point.
I also would like to add that Fed´s backhand was rock solid for the most part and this played a significant role in the outcome of the match.
Finally, Fed´s forehand and serve were really good, in particular his forehand to Andy´s backhand.

Had Fed employed this new strategy (more patience) and had his back hand been as solid as it was yesterday, his head-to-head record with Nadal would not be a losing record.


sar Says:

Andy’s speech about, it’s a shame I can’t play tennis like Roger reminded me of the epic Madrid match with Rafa where Novak says: I played the best match of my life and still he beat me.

I kind of feel like Novak has to beat Rafa in something good this year, maybe Rome, Madrid or even FO.


sar Says:

MMT just curious. Do you think Novak can ever win another slam? I thought last year that 2010 would be good for him.


Duro Says:

Nina, you’re not completely new to this board. I saw you once. Montenegro?


Duro Says:

Hey Sar! Ajde No2-le ole ole ole!


Ben Pronin Says:

“But I just ‑‑ you know, I always knew I had it in my hand. ***The question is do I have it in my mind and in my legs, you know.*** That’s something I had to work extremely hard at. Now I feel like obviously I’m being pushed a great deal by the new generation coming up. ”

Jane, I think you took that quote out of context because when I was reading his interview, I think this was in reference to when he was younger. He said after he won the 2004 AO he was dead tired the next day and could barely move. Now he feels perfectly fine and is ready for more tennis. Basically, he knows he’s extremely fit and that’s not the issue.

***But then after losing that point, I’m thinking, My God, he just grabbed the trophy out of my hands. I might end up losing this thing. Two or three points later, I’m the winner after all.***”

That’s exactly what I was referring to earlier. Federer knows how tennis works and that sometimes, one point can change the entire match.


tennislover Says:

From the way I read it, the “legs” and “mind” bit referred to the full realization of his potential as a “crazy” talent and not anything about the final against Murray. He was not sure of his physical or mental toughness and had to work really hard to develop those aspects. He always had it in his “hand”. Read the question and the response carefully again. He also said that a 4th set would not have been a problem.

No player will like to play long matches. There are very few players who will be confident of winning after a two set deficit. Even a Nadal will prefer a quick and efficient win even though he is possibly the only player who will feel confident about physically outlasting anybody on the tour in a long five set match.


David Says:

Exactly, Ben

It works the other way too. What if Fed had converted his set point in the third set of that ’08 AO semifinal match. Djoko might still be Slam-less if he had.


tennislover Says:

Sorry I did not read Ben’s 6:18 response before submitting my post which becomes somewhat redundant now.


JimboJones Says:

New rankings are out -

1. Sean Randall
2. Dean Martin
3. Ben Pronoun


jane Says:

Ben, what he said before that quote was directly pertaining to the AO final *this year*, so I don’t think it’s taken out of context at all … here’s the lead in comment:

“… definitely had to work extremely hard so I would pick the right shot at the right time. For instance, on the match point I decided to hit a dropshot. You got to be crazy to do that.

But I just ‑‑ you know, I always knew I had it in my hand.[...] ”

And then he says the stuff about his “mind” and “legs”.


Skorocel Says:

max: „Had Fed employed this new strategy (more patience) and had his back hand been as solid as it was yesterday, his head-to-head record with Nadal would not be a losing record.“

Then, WHY he didn’t do just that? They’ve already played 20 matches, yet he somehow wasn’t able to do that on a consistent basis… It’s all coulda woulda shoulda, max. In tennis (and in any sports), it’s usually about how much will the guy on the other side of the net allow you. And the truth is, Nadal simply didn’t allow Fed that much… To fully understand this, you don’t need to go any further than to look at their main weapon: the forehand. They both have terrific forehands, but if you look at their matches, in vast majority of the cases it’s the Nadal lefty FH which dictates the rallies, not Fed’s…


JimboJones Says:

Nadal is like the perfect opponent for Roger. 1 handed backhands have more versatility and save a little energy in terms of requiring fewer small steps than a two fisted backhand, but they do have problems with the high ball. Nadal’s forehand bounds high and is heavy. Nadal being a lefty means his safe cross court shot (lower part of the net and more distance to play with than a down the line shot) is lined up to Roger’s one handed backhand. That type of topspin bothers Federer (see Andreev, Igor) and Nadal, unlike Andreev is a lefty with great mental toughness). Nadal is a perfect storm for Roger. In a 3 out of 5 set match a one hander is likely going to break down versus Nadal even if Blake & Youzhny have at times bothered Rafa.


jane Says:

David, “What if Fed had converted his set point in the third set of that ‘08 AO semifinal match. ” And the same applies to the passing shot you mentioned in the Delpo match, I suppose. Of course it works both ways, because most or many tennis matches have momentum shifts, . I never said otherwise.

I was merely saying that Fed himself seemed to express some doubt in his interview, some “what ifs? ” and he also feels the younger generation are getting close, that there is a leveling.

His view, it might seem, is quite different from your earlier post, in which you said the following:

“That losses [to Delpo at the USO] and a couple of others at the TMC seemed to have everyone thinking that we were in some era of parity, where everything is open and any of 5 or so players can win any given Slam event.

Hopefully what we saw this weekend puts such notions to rest. Fed’s still the sun in his universe and everybody else is just a minor planet revolving around him. It’s just as simple as that.

What stood out the most for me in this final was the sheer talent gap. One guy is a very very good player. The other guy is a tennis genius. It’s as simple as that. No tactics can close that gap if the genius is playing near his best.”

———————

I was wondering what MMT thought about Murray having had a chance to win the final, as this comment seemed to imply there was no hope, or little anyhow. That no other tactics, i.e., playing aggressively etc, would’ve maybe given Murray a win. If the only way someone can beat Fed is if he is having an “off day,” and no one can beat him “near his best”, then that’s kind of depressing for fans of some of the other players! Maybe it’s true, but I am not sure I buy it. I don’t see all those other players as “minor planets.”

——————————————-

andrea, “people talk about andy’s form being so bad in set #1 and #2 but he was in there fighting.”

Andy himself said he played badly in set 2. I think it was fairly evident. In set 1 I thought he played alright and could’ve even won it, except his serve let him down (mid-40%). So I can see your point; he surely wasn’t giving up, but that said, he wasn’t near to his best form until the 3rd, imo.


Ben Pronin Says:

Jane, the question Federer was answering was,

“Q. How do you keep doing it year after year, Grand Slam after Grand Slam? You make it look so easy, and obviously it isn’t.”

He was referring to all the work he’s done over the years.


jane Says:

Further to my 6:24 post to Ben, and in response also to tennislover @ 6:18, you guys may be right that he meant those things about the “mind” and “legs” in reference to past matches, but it is a bit blurry to me. Either way, he was expressing doubt, whether about the past (and his physical/mental abilities then) or about going to 5 sets in the final. But your point is taken tennislover, about the question he was asked.


jane Says:

Ben we posted at the same time. LOL. My 6:48 post responds to your 6:47. Weird synchronicity in the ether.


andrew miller Says:

Mr. Randall is right – Federer was unbelievable this tournament. Like Verdasco and Lopez, who after winning the Davis Cup away in Argentina with no Rafa Nadal forever proved they have nothing to prove, so too Federer. He didnt have anything to prove this tournament and he never will ever again.

Another amazing set of performances from Serena Williams (who looked more like Federer at last year’s French Open – playing a little shaky but gutting out the win) and Federer played like his 2007 self, knowing the opponents were going to, gasp, realize they were competing well and fold.

So hey, I’m totally wrong.

Does anyone else out there think Andy Murray might want to watch some old tape of players beating Lendl at the slams? I think this one will be a bit demoralizing – maybe not like Roddick’s loss at Wimbledon last year but just depressing. Here is is, two years later and two years better, with a winning record against Federer and no reason to think he might not compete well enough for a breakthrough, and

….he loses. And he didnt just lose, he REALLY lost.


tennislover Says:

“and many people talk about andy’s form being so bad in set #1 and #2 but he was in there fighting.”

People who say that are possibly trying to take some credit away from Roger and it is very unfair to Andy too. How you serve also depends on who you are playing against. There is a very thin line between serving big and having a low first serve percentage. Sure, 65%+ first serves will help a lot but it is easier said than done when you are going for the lines. It is also not that easy to be aggressive against Roger unless you can consistently hit big and Andy simply can not do that. Roger will thrive on Andy’s kind of pace.

Andy did what he normally does pretty well. Andy has always played that way against Roger and has had considerable success against him in the past with the same strategy of eliciting errors by messing with Roger’s timing and frustrating him with his defense i.e. not letting him hit many winners. Credit to Roger for making the adjustment and staying patient and not making too many errors from either wing. It was an extremely impressive performance from Roger and certainly one of his finest considering the quality of his opponent.

Andy himself said that he played very well in the first set and had a lot of opportunities. Roger was simply too good in the second set and did not allow Andy to do anything. It was a very tense and tight match and these kind of matches can turn on a dime. It took only a tiny dip in Roger’s level for Andy to assert himself in the third set. It was a pity he could not serve out at 5-3 or convert any of the set points in the tie-breaker.


max Says:

Skorocel, Fed changed notoriously his strategy in Madrid 09 and he beat Nadal. They have not played each other since then.
But I agree with you though that Nadal is genuinely the one guy who does not let Fed dictate play.
All this said…I think that Fed has regained his mobility (fitness),improved his BH and his FH and serve went back to what they were in 2005-06. Add to all this the fact that he´s become more patience (may be because his back is not ailing anymore??) and you have a Fed very hard to beat in 5 sets.
I even think that even Nadal would have a hard time to beat Fed now…if he only could stay healthy.


max Says:

“…if he only could stay healthy” I meant Rafa.


jane Says:

tennislover, you make an interesting point here “How you serve also depends on who you are playing against. There is a very thin line between serving big and having a low first serve percentage. ”

It’s true, although I do think at least some of Murray’s first serves were missed due to nerves in that first set; he looked pretty shaky at the start, and he was doing that thing with his jaw, stretching it, which the announcers said he does when he gets tight.

I wonder, would you then see and say the same about Fed versus Delpo (USO final 2009) and Fed versus Rafa (AO final)? In other words, who he was playing impacted his serve as well?

As for Roger’s adjustment re: playing Murray, it seemed to me it was evident not only yesterday but as well in their semi final match in Cincy, in which Fed played great and very aggressive from point one, and also in their match in the WTF, which was closer, but again in which Andy’s serve failed him.

It seems the serve can go “off”; players have bad serving days, matches, sets, games, moments. It’s not only down to the opponent. In fact, many here have argued that the serve is the foundation of the game precisely because it is the one shot a player controls individual (i.e., when and how it can be returned). But if pressure keeps coming back to the server because one guy is serving lights out (which Fed was in the final) then it can take a toll, I’d agree.


tennislover Says:

“I even think that even Nadal would have a hard time to beat Fed now…if he only could stay healthy.”

That remains to be seen. I won’t bet my house on it. It is simply a terrible matchup. Nadal simply does not allow Roger to play well and exploits whatever weakness Roger has to the hilt. He does it better and more consistently than any other player. It can not get worse than five defeats in slam finals with two of them in grass and hard court slams. Nadal remains the favorite in any match against Roger on clay and slow hard courts. It is even on grass and slightly in favor of Roger on fast hard courts.


Andrew Miller Says:

Nadal has beat Federer at his best and his worst – in his prime and not prime, at the slams (three of five). Murray will have to find a way to become a grand slam champion. It’s not just serving better.

It’s developing a more steely will. Del Potro did it. Nadal’s done it. Safin’s done it, and Djokovic* (*yes Federer was ill. But Djokovic did play a better match then than he had in the US Open 2007).

I dont take anything away from Murray – he’s the clear #2 player in the world at the moment. He is playing some of the best tennis on tour. And it is spectacular. But he has got to start playing some of his best tennis in the semifinals and finals against Federer.

It’s the only way to win slams! (See Nadal, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009; del potro, 2009; Safin, 2005)


Andrew Miller Says:

tennislover is right. Nadal just doesnt let Federer play well – at least in three of the five sets. The only time that Federer really slammed Nadal was the Wimbledon 2006 Final, and even that went four sets.

Nadal did it all during Federer’s very best playing years.


jane Says:

tennislover, I was not trying to “discredit” Fed in my posts, b.t.w.

I have said on this thread,and on the other one, Sean’s “who’s the pick,” how well Roger was playing. Then again, I don’t think Andy was playing as well as he might’ve based on the other matches I’d seen him play and how well he had served (he was in the top ten for aces pre-final); it’s not always a lopsided thing, where the win (or loss) is down to ONE player. I was merely pointing out it works both ways. Fed played great (with maybe a bit of a slow start in the first 3-4 games, but then he “took off”); Andy played good, at times very good, even great. I think that’s an honest enough assessment.


David Says:

Jane

I wasn’t trying to put down the other players with my “minor planets” comment. Maybe that sounds harsh, but I just think Federer is a unique talent that comes around maybe once every quarter century. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have to play close to his best to beat the other top players, but when he does play at that level (as long as it’s not against peak Rafa on clay) I don’t think there’s anything anyone can possibly do about it.

On the bright side for fans of other players, the guy can’t possible keep this up forever. He’s still the man to beat for the moment and possibly the favorite at every tournament he plays (even the French if Rafa can’t rediscover his game) for now, but I doubt that will still be the case two years from now.


jane Says:

MMT was right way above when he pointed out that Fed just knows how to peak at the right moments; maybe he saves his best for last? I remember at Cincy last year, he was on the ropes against Ferrer, or in the USO 08 versus Andreev, but he pulled out those wins, and by the time he was playing stronger opponents (semis and finals) he was able to raise his level to where it needed to be. That’s something I am not sure all the other top guys do as much. Certainly it’s something Rafa should do more now, if he can. Not go for every point, but leave some balls and get the W.

As posters have mentioned, Sampras used to do that. One break, hold and then the sets in the bag. He didn’t need more breaks than one.


David Says:

Andrew

A much bigger “slamming” of Nadal was the ’07 TMC semifinal. That was the one where Rafa said afterward that Fed’s play was “ridiculous.”


jane Says:

David, “On the bright side for fans of other players, the guy can’t possible keep this up forever” – Sweet of you to find the silver lining. ; ) You’re right; Fed’s talent is exceptional. Who can argue that? No doubt, we’ll see more good, competitive matches from him this season and more to come.


SG Says:

There’s no doubt in my mind that Murray can beat Fed in a slam. None at all. But, Murray has to be the player he can be. He has to take it to Federer, serve well & serve big. Even Federer has become highly dependent on his serve. It’s only realistic to think that when you play Fed, you’re gonna need some free points. It’s just to hard to have to battle him for every point. Only Nadal has the mental make up to to do this.

When you’re nervous, it’s natural to fall back into old habits. I didn’t see the first 2 sets but from what I’ve heard, he was a little passive out there. Waiting for Fed to make mistakes. Del Po didn’t wait. He went after his shots and took a match that Fed looked like he had won. Murray can hit 130 MPH serves, he can drill the ball from both wings and he’s a strong return of serve. His touch and volleying are both assets as well. It’s all there. He was overwhelmed by the pressure and by a Federer that wasn’t making mistakes. At the end of the day, you have hold your serve and Murray couldn’t serve well enough to keep things tight. If he had, Fed might have “donated” some crucial points. But, once Fed gets on a roll and his confidence grows, he is really scary to play. Murray learned this the hard way.


O-Kerr Says:

Amazing Federer’s accomplishments, unlikely to be broken in his life time, are compiled by the Deuce and chances of those 10 feats being topped are calculated in percentage, which range between 1-25%, more than two-third of those range between 1-5%.
http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/DEUCE-Tennis/DEUCE-Australian-Open-2010/Roger-Federer.aspx

Sar, Pioline was one of those players who reached GS finals twice but neither won 1 nor reached another final. Brad just threw that line meaninglessly, I guess.


David Says:

SG

Murray can definitely serve a lot better than he did in the final, although certainly low first serve percentage days are much more common for him than for Federer, Roddick or Djoko. He has improved a lot in that area though, so Sunday was a disappointing regression to the bad old days when Murray would often serve at or even below 50 percent.

As far as the “drill the ball from both wings” comment, no doubt he can, BUT I think we have to be realistic here. He’s never going to be Fernando Gonzalez off the forehand side. Murray has a decent forehand, but there are probably 20 or more players in the top 100 that have a better forehand than Murray and that’s a big area of his game that’s holding him back against Roger. I think we saw it in the 3rd set that he did hit some winners, but there were also some pretty wild errors off that side when he started taking more risks.

I’m not saying he shouldn’t commit to playing more aggressively in his training and take some lumps here and there in lesser events while working on a more punishing ground game, but I think that slight weakness on the forehand side is always going to be there. It’s just not a natural shot the way it is for Roger, Gonzo, Verdasco, Nadal, etc.


Twocents Says:

Von,

Texas billions are heading to Banglore, Dubai & Shanghai. So, you’d be better of try out those places. LOL. I wish I could enjoy your Florida sun in Feburary.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Myla & Charlene grew up hating tennis. I would if my parents expect me to watch tennis before I was born :-)).

Huh,

I’m with you on Roddick a WO10 title. Surprise! Murray for either FO or USO.

Skorocel,

Yes, it’s all part of the game. But Fed won his 1st slam without British media, Hannah, or 15-slam winner across the net.


skeezerweezer Says:

two gripes.

POST: replay BG right before the match. AGAIN he is anti Fed only wanting to talk about Murray and what he should do to win. One of the primary things he thinks Murray should do? Pound the Fed backhand. What does Fed do? Just have one of the best backhand nights of his career! If Fed really improved his backhand that much in the off season, I think he is ready for Nadal at French or whenever, His back hand performance was simply brilliant. For all oif you that have tivo/dvr watch it again. As for BG, maybe you should analyze da Raiders, stay off tennis! I’m out.


skeezerweezer Says:

two gripes? I had either none or more than two….


David Says:

There seem to be a lot of people talking about a potential Murray win at the FO. Is there anything in his record to support such a prediction?

My last memory of him on clay was absolutely getting blasted off the court by Fernando Gonzalez.


andrew miller Says:

David – that was definitely a smack-down!

Even so: has Nadal really cared much about the year-end Masters? He has never one won – whereas Davydenko, Nalbandian and Djokovic have.

Maybe the year-end Masters is a consolation prize for anyone not named Federer or Nadal?


Kimo Says:

Two cents said:

“Yes, it’s all part of the game. But Fed won his 1st slam without British media, Hannah, or 15-slam winner across the net.”

No, he didn’t, but he won his first match on Centre Court at Wimbledon, which was a five setter btw, against a 13-time slam champ and 7-times Wimbledon champ. I say, not bad :)


andrew miller Says:

David – totally agree. Nothing indicates that Murray is a French Open champion. But he could see a semifinal – Henman did!


andrew miller Says:

But maybe a Pat Rafter-type player would have some better outings on the hard courts.

It’s amazing to me that Djokovic and co. arent better volleyers.

Have the new strings in tennis racquets and the somewhat slower tennis courts destroyed the serve and volley concept?

To me, Pat Rafter and Edberg could win because their serves kicked far higher than any players I can think of. Maybe I am being naive in believing that a game resembling that of Pat Rafter, even without the greatest ground strokes, would still make a mark out there?


skeezerweezer Says:

Not too start an argument here but after reading some posts, look, Nadal fans, Fed doesn’t match up against Nadal well. Given. Does that make Nadal a equal too or way better player than Fed? The guy has 16 majors at 28 and counting. It’s not his fault Nadal can’t get in every major final to prove he is better than him. Then the argument goes the same that is Nadal better than everyone else? I guess it is too bad for you that tennis greats are not decided on one matchup against another player. Look , Muhammed Ali most boxing experts will say did not win 2 out of three mathces against Ken Norton. Will Ken go down as one of the greatest of all time? Most of you probably never heard of the guy. Go figure. I wish you folks would get a life already that discussion has so went over the distance. I.m out….again


Kimo Says:

David said:

“There seem to be a lot of people talking about a potential Murray win at the FO. Is there anything in his record to support such a prediction?

My last memory of him on clay was absolutely getting blasted off the court by Fernando Gonzalez.”

Gonzelez was playing like crazy in that match. I’ve never seen anyone sustain this much power over an entire match. I remember jane describing Gonzo’s forehand that day as “nuclear”. Hell, Gonzo was drilling volleys yet they all fell in.

Murray definitely has the potential to win the FO. He will never win Wimbledon if Federer is still playing. I think his chances at the USO are less than those at the French. Why? Delpo, Cilic and their sort.


tennislover Says:

Jane:

Your opponent is “also” a factor especially if he is a great server or has a reputation for being a great returner. You are compelled to serve well if you play against Karlovic,Isner,Roddick etc. You are forced to go for the lines a lot more if you serve against great returners like Murray, Nadal,Davydenko or Djokovic. You tend to go for it a bit more on crucial points. The same thing happens for groundstrokes also. That is why, in many matches between two players of similar ability, there will be many “unforced” errors and the player with the “poorer” stats is deemed to have played “poorly” or been a “shadow” of his normal self. Things could be much closer in reality.

I just do not believe that you are in total control of the serve. Yes,you have way more control over it compared to other shots but a lot of other factors,including nerves,sun,wind,shadow,fitness etc, can affect how you serve. It could be a bad day at the office too if u r having some “technical” issues like poor ball toss etc. That overall bad day could have some bright moments(games/sets) too as you said.

I don’t think we can cite poor serving or even alleged bad back as an excuse for Roger’s losses at 2009 AO or USO. This notion of someone’s best against someone else’s best is good for armchair analysis. How a match is actually played out depends on so many factors that an outcome can only be mere speculation especially for matches as big as slam finals. Nobody is invincible and Andy can beat Roger in a slam final. Had Roger not played as well as he did,Andy could easily have taken the title. There is no guarantee that the next final between them will follow a similar pattern. Roger’s greatness lies in consistently reaching these finals and playing well in most of them but that did not prevent a first-time finalist like Delpo from beating him. Nobody can play high quality finals all the time and Roger’s poor serving could have been due to a variety of factors. His back might have been slightly dodgy and became dodgier as the match progressed against Nadal but this is only an explanation. I have no doubt that the sight of who he was playing against and the consequent nerves,as the match became longer, played its part too.

Delpo is a big server and you are always under pressure to serve big against him and also go for the lines because of the wingspan. However,I do remember Roger having trouble with the wide serve into the ad court in particular. This could have been a technical thing but I observed he was not able to jump high enough which suggested something wrong physically but I could be way off here. In any case,all credit to Delpo for coming back and outplaying Roger in the final set. He showed the heart of a champion.


Kimo Says:

As for the Rafa vs. Fed arguement. If you wanna argue who’s the greater tennis player, the debate has been settled long ago.

As for their H2H, yes, Rafa does seem to have an edge, but if you look at their matches, the only blow out is the RG 2008 final. Other than that, their matches have always been competitive (maybe not in the indoor fall season though).

Remember the set point Fed drive-volleyed out when he was leading Rafa 5-1 in the Monte Carlo final 2008 then lost the set 5-7? Remember the 4-0 lead he squandered in Hamburg that same year only to lose in straights? Fed blew a number of clay matches against Rafa for reasons that I don’t know. But don’t try to rub a 13-7 record in my face and tell me that’s domination, ok? I know better.


Ben Pronin Says:

Blowing that 4-0 lead in Monte Carlo doesn’t mean he blew the match. He blew the set but even if he had won it, it would’ve been 1-1 in sets and Nadal still could’ve won. But yeah he totally blew that match in Hamburg.


contador Says:

Madmax, of course i remember you are in the UK! i’m in the rocky mtn west and if i want someone, anyone this time of year to watch tennis with me i have to either bribe, beg, or pay them! so grateful for tennisx, as opposed to that “other tennis talk site.”

swiss bliss!! still smiling madmax, unbelievable our federer.


David Says:

Kimo

This is my last comment on this because I know we disagree, but I sort of see Murray as an 80s or even 90s clay court player. Probably he could’ve been Wilander and won 3 FOs in the 80s, but nowadays I just think you need serious firepower and heavy topspin hitting to win the French and I just see Murray as much more effective on fast courts because the court “does the work for him,” giving him some skid when he connects on that flat backhand. I think he’s a decent clay-courter. Maybe he’ll even make the semis one year, but I think that’s the least likely Slam win for him.


tennislover Says:

Jane,
I wrote a reply to your post but,for some reason,it is yet to appear on this thread. Resubmitting leads to a message about ‘duplicate’ post. I wonder what is going on here.


Twocents Says:

While I picked JMDP to win over Fed before USO10, I would not attribute his game better than Murray’s overall. Off court things contribute big time in JMDP’s 1 slam vs Murray’s 0 slam. Namely,
1) USO is a fast court that favors youths. It’s no co-incident that Fed also did poorly in indoor 2009;
2) Fed was drained mentally after FO & WO & Cincy & kids;
3) Fed was physically unable to keep up with back-to-back matches. He would never admit it, but he needed that one day break which was no there for USO final;
4)JMDP almost got Fed at RG. He knew he could do it;
5)JMDP had and still has much less pressure from media;
4)JMDP was not giving Fed any dissing off court;
5)Karma:Fed had won the past USO yet lost the past AO;
6)Rumors had it that Fed pulled his thigh muscle at QF against Soderling.


Twocents Says:

Good catch, Kimo. But 4th round is not final.


tennislover Says:

Jane,
I wrote a reply to your post quite a while back but,for some reason,it is yet to appear on this thread. Resubmitting leads to a message about ‘duplicate’ post. I wonder what is going on here.


jane Says:

Thanks for letting me know tennislover; I was curious to hear your response as you’re obviously knowledgeable about tennis and Fed’s game. If you put a link on it, sometimes it gets put in the moderation queue – least that’s happened to mine before. Anyhow, I’ll watch for it.

Twocents,

Like your take at 9:15; lord knows there are SO MANY factors as to why matches are won and loss and they are not all “on court” factors. While some disagree, they are not so much excuses as the myriad things that can affect a player. Players having experienced bad losses, big streaks, personal issues, media pressure etc. can be affected on the court.


MMT Says:

Sorry for the delay folks, but here goes:

Jane:

I agree with you del Potro over-powered Federer at the US Open – he did what he could in terms of scrambling and coming to net, but in the end del Po’s power was too much. With the serve I think del Potro belting second serves put pressure on both serves, but mostly the first – I don’t think the bust up with the umpire had anything to do with it. I too find that umpire a little annoying.

Federer said himself (after his match with Hewitt) that he plays better as a front runner, but I don’t think it’s always a fitness issue as much as it is a concern that as the match goes on it puts more and more pressure on him because he was in the lead and he would have given it away – that’s like watching your self fall in slow motion and there’s nothing you can do about it – it’d be better to go splat and be done with it.

Also, knowing that Murray has beaten him in the past by continually getting to “one more” ball, the in point pressure of trying to finish a point off before “it’s” ready, and the pressure in the match of having given away a lead or failed to close it out, would make it increasingly more pressurized for him, and more likely for his game to fall apart, and/or for Murray to use the momentum change to his advantage.

Sar:

Yes, I think Djokovic can and will win another slam one day – I don’t know when. I also think that once he wins a second slam, it won’t take another 2+ to win his 3rd because he will have less to prove with each successive slam (and thus less pressure) and by then many of his most competitive contemporaries will have probably long retired or lost their potency.

At this point, it’s still too important for him to be “considered” one of the game’s best and he winds up basically choking under the pressure he places on himself, more than anything from the outside or that his opponents are doing. That’s why I think once he wins a second slam, he won’t put himself under so much pressure and will play better and tough it out more often than he does currently.


tennislover Says:

Jane:

Your opponent is “also” a factor especially if he is a great server or has a reputation for being a great returner. You are compelled to serve well if you play against Karlovic,Isner,Roddick etc. You are forced to go for the lines a lot more if you serve against great returners like Murray, Nadal,Davydenko or Djokovic. You tend to go for it a bit more on crucial points. The same thing happens for groundstrokes also. That is why, in many matches between two players of similar ability, there will be many “unforced” errors and the player with the “poorer” stats is deemed to have played “poorly” or been a “shadow” of his normal self. Things could be much closer in reality.

I just do not believe that you are in total control of the serve. Yes,you have way more control over it compared to other shots but a lot of other factors,including nerves,sun,wind,shadow,fitness etc, can affect how you serve. It could be a bad day at the office too if u r having some “technical” issues like poor ball toss etc. That overall bad day could have some bright moments(games/sets) too as you said.

I don’t think we can cite poor serving or even alleged bad back as an excuse for Roger’s losses at 2009 AO or USO. This notion of someone’s best against someone else’s best is good for armchair analysis. How a match is actually played out depends on so many factors that an outcome can only be mere speculation especially for matches as big as slam finals. Nobody is invincible and Andy can beat Roger in a slam final. Had Roger not played as well as he did,Andy could easily have taken the title. There is no guarantee that the next final between them will follow a similar pattern. Roger’s greatness lies in consistently reaching these finals and playing well in most of them but that did not prevent a first-time finalist like Delpo from beating him. Nobody can play high quality finals all the time and Roger’s poor serving could have been due to a variety of factors. His back might have been slightly dodgy and became dodgier as the match progressed against Nadal but this is only an explanation. I have no doubt that the sight of who he was playing against and the consequent nerves,as the match became longer, played its part too.

Delpo is a big server and you are always under pressure to serve big against him and also go for the lines because of the wingspan. However,I do remember Roger having trouble with the wide serve into the ad court in particular. This could have been a technical thing but I observed he was not able to jump high enough which suggested something wrong physically but I could be way off here. In any case,all credit to Delpo for coming back and outplaying Roger in the final set.

About Andy’s level, all I can say is he played great right through the tournament but caught a player who was on a higher level on the day compared to his previous opponents. It was unfortunate for him that Roger saved his best for the final. Had he played the final the way he did against Andreev or even Davydenko,things could have been much different. It is also up to a player to find that extra gear when it matters the most. It is amazing how great champions like Sampras or Roger are able to do that more often than not.


tennislover Says:

Thank goodness!


skeezerweezer Says:

Kimo,

As they say on a west coast sports radio show, “Good knowledge”

“Remember the set point Fed drive-volleyed out when he was leading Rafa 5-1 in the Monte Carlo final 2008 then lost the set 5-7? Remember the 4-0 lead he squandered in Hamburg that same year only to lose in straights? Fed blew a number of clay matches against Rafa for reasons that I don’t know. But don’t try to rub a 13-7 record in my face and tell me that’s domination, ok? I know better.”

Thanks for bringin that up….


sar Says:

Thanks MMT! That makes sense.


skeezerweezer Says:

And for you folks coming up with excuse about Feds losses, give it a break. He is human despite your conviction figuring out why he didn’t win this major or that. Look at the bottom line. Career so far, 16 majors and counting. GOAT. Based on AO, somehow his game has improved, go figure. You are obviously putting him in the stratosphere of ? if we are talking about why he lost that major or why he will get beaten in the next. He will win 20 if he stays healthy. Will he get beat, yes. Will he lose a mojor eventually, yes. By whom? Who cares? That is all that needs to be said. I’m out.


sar Says:

I think his chances at the USO are less than those at the French. Why? Delpo, Cilic and their sort.

Kimo it odd you said that, I just read:
Goran Ivanesivic is joining Marin Cilic’s coaching team.


skeezerweezer Says:

andrew miller,

Slowwe courts opverall are the big factor. Wimby plays like a clay court. Ever played on grass 5-6 years ago at Wimby? the ball skids, stays low, and favors the server and slice. Sampras style. Nowadays? The Wimby officials changed the surface. ball bounces high, and slow, more taylor made for groundies. I think until they change the surface the serve and volley guy is toast. I’m out.


David Says:

skeezerweezer

It sure didn’t play like a clay court in last year’s Wimby final. How many consecutive service holds did Roddick have?


Skorocel Says:

max: I wouldn’t give that Madrid 2009 final that much of an importance. Sure, it was nice to see Fed beating his nemesis once again (especially on clay!), but I just don’t think this match should be taken as a certain „pattern“ for Fed on how to beat Nadal in the future… I don’t think he played that differently in Madrid – it’s just that this time, contrary to their previous matches, he WON THE IMPORTANT POINTS. That is, he converted his BPs whenever the chance presented itself, and consequently, saved those of Nadal. But to say he suddenly „changed“ his tactics (after trying to do so 18 TIMES before) is just plain silly… Yes, there was that occassional FH dropshot here and there, and a couple of BH slices to change the pace of the rally a bit, but all these things he already tried zillion times before vs Nadal, and it usually wasn’t enough…

As for that Sunday’s final vs Murray, it was without question a very good performance from the Swiss, but again, to say he would’ve beaten Nadal with the same effort is just nonsense. It was more than enough to beat Murray, but that’s about it. As I’ve already said in my previous post, it’s all about who imposes his game on the opponent better, and, as we all know, Nadal is doing a pretty good job of it vs Fed. A perfect example is that Wimby 2008 final – Fed, traditionally, played a very good tournament in that year, not even losing a single set en route to the finals, but there, it was almost a 3 sets to love drubbing from Nadal… Why? Simply because Nadal was just too good for him… It wasn’t mono, it wasn’t „a bad day at the office“, it wasn’t darkness or rain – it was, first and foremost, Nadal.


Skorocel Says:

Twocents: „But Fed won his 1st slam without British media, Hannah, or 15-slam winner across the net.“

That’s not an excuse. Fed too had a lot of pressure from his home country when he was looking for his breakthrough. When he got humiliated by Horna at FO 2003 (which was really a painful defeat!), everyone was talking about him as a wasted talent, but just 1 month later, he proved them all wrong. I agree that the British media are somewhat specific in this regard (just look at what they’re doing to that poor girl named Laura Robson!), but it’s not something which a top class athlete like him shouldn’t handle. Re: that „15-slam winner across the net“, well, JMDP and Djoker too had to beat THE SAME guy for their 1st (and thus far only) GS title – so why not Murray?


Kimo Says:

Skorocel said:

“I wouldn’t give that Madrid 2009 final that much of an importance. Sure, it was nice to see Fed beating his nemesis once again (especially on clay!), but I just don’t think this match should be taken as a certain „pattern“ for Fed on how to beat Nadal in the future…”

But Fed did play different in that match. I remember distinctly that whenever Rafa hit a high ball to Fed’s backhand, Fed, instead of trying to come over the ball and go crosscourt (and probably shank it) as he usually did, he hit a slice down the line that forced Rafa to have to hit a backhand on the run that put Fed in a good position on the next shot. It’s the kind of shot I’ve been hoping Fed would try agaist Rafa on clay but smoehow never did, until that match.

Yes, Rafa was definitely tired, but Fed did play different.


jane Says:

MMT and tennislover, thanks to both of you for your informative posts @ 10:05 and 10:09 respectively. It’s great to hear how other people interpret matches and make forecasts. And you two clearly have a lot of knowledge about the games/players.

MMT I also appreciated your reply to sar about Djoko’s prospects; it’s heartening to hear, and I hope you’re right!

The pressure some of these players put on themselves surely weighs heavily. And your analogy of falling in slow motion or just going “splat” was great! It made me think a little bit about how Davydenko must’ve felt falling down slowly from the highs (and sunshine) of the first set and a half, while Fed climbed out of the shadows to swipe the win with expertise.


Twocents Says:

I believe the Fed beaten by JMDP and Djok was not as good as the Fed who beat Murray at Flushing & Melbourne.

I don’t have the link. But Roddick told Stefani after seeing JMDP beat Fed “Fed never gifted match to me that way.”


Twocents Says:

Jane,

In short, I think it’s all about “day form”, as Fed put it, among top 5 guys especially. Physical & mental day form.


skeezerweezer Says:

David,

“It sure didn’t play like a clay court in last year’s Wimby final. How many consecutive service holds did Roddick have?”

Good Knowledge David,:)


skeezerweezer Says:

Skorocel,

It is funny you are looking at the past and Rafa did this and that against Fed. How many majors has he won and will he win? Why are you living in the past? Ok, let’s say RAFA OWNS FED. that is what you really want to say. That, still doesn’t take away Feds 16 majors, and GOAT title. When Rafa wins are as equal, AND he has winning records against EVERYONE, your defense of Rafa vs. Fed is a non topic. I’m out.


Michael Says:

Federer is the GOAT. There will be none like him. His records will stay for 100 generations to come.


Michael Says:

Murray will have his chances in future. But he must hope that he is not pitted against FED


Huh Says:

“Fed’s still the sun in his universe and everybody else is just a minor planet revolving around him. It’s just as simple as that.”

Haha, sounds great David! ;) :D

——————————

Fed’s best form > Murray’s best form

————————–

And to me, Fed this AO looked like Fed of 2007 indeed. He can play even better, when on, than how he played here though.

————————————————

One more thing is even if Murray had played much better than he played here, who can say that Fed might have not played even better! And part of why Murray became nervous and played less than his best is that Fed simply wouldn’t allow him to do so. And all this becomes mute in a way because Fed can beat ANYBODY even if he’s not playing at his best coz he plays the most important points better than everyone else and that’s why he’s won 16 freaking slams. We mustn’t forget that! And Murray also proved much more than Fed in one aspect and that’s seizing the opportunities which beckoned him in the third set, while Fed didn’t. Again shows Fed’s superiority here. The sooner one accepts, Murray is worse than Fed right now, the better, particularly if he’s a Murray fan otherwise it’s becoming kinda laughable already when saying how Murray woulda done this and done that to win/make the final match close as the final result shows a drubbing. The harsh truth in the end is that the match wasn’t even close in the end, a pretty lopsided victory rather for Fed. But that’s NOT the end of the world. I surely hope Murray makes the needed adjustments, the firs tof which should be serve well, hit service winners and finish the points quickly instead of trying to outrally Federer (which IMO ia a gross underestimation of Fed’s incredible defensive qualities by guys who are always trying to make him run, they forget that a fit Fed can also run GREAT and cover the court like nobody else can, recall young Fed’s court coverage if ya have any doubt). Much more to say but time’s running out. Not a dig at you Mrs.Jane.

———————————

“I just think Federer is a unique talent that comes around maybe once every quarter century. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have to play close to his best to beat the other top players, but when he does play at that level (as long as it’s not against peak Rafa on clay) I don’t think there’s anything anyone can possibly do about it.”

Agree with most of it. Just wanna add the clause
‘ from among the current generation ‘ to the last sentence. That’s right. Also wanna say Sampras was also nearly as unique a talent as Fed. We can’t simply forget that Pete had some noticeable physical/genetic problems to deal with(Thalssemia) and he also got injured towards his career end and had to change his style. Despite that he won slams overcoming all these adversities. Pete Sampras was a Supreme Champion too and also almost as much ‘in quarter of a century talent’ like Fed IMHO.

——————————————-

Fantastic post by SG at 8.05 p.m.


jane Says:

Makes a lot of cents, Twocents : ) – “I think it’s all about “day form”, as Fed put it, among top 5 guys especially. Physical & mental day form” – that sounds right to me.


Huh Says:

It’s hilarious now, this Fed-Rafa comparison, hahaha hahahahaha hahahahahahahahah hahahahahahahahahahahahahah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Huh Says:

Hi Skeezerweezer! :)

You’re back again to do what you do best, that is-make me happy! Some of your posts are so very enjoyable! :D


Huh Says:

“And Murray also proved much more than Fed”

Holy crap! Sorry guys, but I meant to say ‘MUCH LESS’ here in my 12.42 post. Andy proved lesser to Fed in seizing the opportunities(e.g. in 3rd set) coming his way, I intended to say.


Skorocel Says:

Kimo: That BH slice maybe worked in Madrid, but it won’t work forever. Nadal is simply TOO FAST for Fed to do any damage with this shot. As far as I remember from their previous matches, whenever Fed tried to hit this sliced BH down the line, Nadal would usually run around his BH and hit his punishing lefty FH, which would automatically negate all the advantage which Fed was trying to gain with this shot, and, even if Nadal would chose for the BH, it was still not that difficult for him to handle it, as his BH has a lot of spin (which is always better than when you’re trying to counter a sliced ball with flat shots), and last but not least, because he virtually plays both the FH and BH as a FH (as he’s a born righty). Not to mention the fact, that, for Fed to play these shots, he must be very careful, as the net is always the highest near the sidelines. It’s maybe a good shot to change the pace of the rally a bit (which can occasionally work, as Nadal is a guy who loves the pace), but it won’t do any constant damage – simply because Nadal is too fast and too smart to not see what Fed is trying to win with this shot…


Skorocel Says:

skeezerweezer: „Ok, let’s say RAFA OWNS FED. that is what you really want to say.“

Bingo! You can win 16 slams and be a GOAT, but none of that matters when you’re on the court against Nadal. Got it?


margot Says:

two cents: camelias in bud!! LOL


Twocents Says:

Skorocel,

It matters 0.02 cents maybe: Nadal no.2 the hunter played much better than Nadal no.1 the hunted. Fed with 1 FO played more freely than Fed with 0 FO. Fed with 15 slams plays with house money.

Jane & margot,

Don’t tell US Internal Revenue Services about all my cents and plants. LOL.


skeezerweezer Says:

Skorocel,

“Bingo! You can win 16 slams and be a GOAT, but none of that matters when you’re on the court against Nadal. Got it?”

HAHAHAHAHAHA! LOL! Very good!

Huh,

Thanks :) Always around for the Slams…


Nina Says:

@ Duro… well I’ve been reading you guys for a while but I haven’t really posted much here. Damn this is the blog with the most replies I’ve seen in my entire life, it’s difficult to read it all through. :)
Montenegro? hmmm you have mistaken me. I’m from Barcelona.


madmax Says:

No stranger to jaw-dropping numbers, Roger Federer’s most impressive statistic just might be one that doesn’t involve hitting a tennis ball. Since he first appeared in a Grand Slam draw at the 1999 Australian Open, the world’s best player hasn’t missed a single one of tennis’ major tournaments.

That’s a span of 45 tournaments in 11 years. In a sport that beats up legs, knees, shoulders and minds like few others can, Federer has been a veritable Superman. Most of the rest of us pull a muscle playing for the company softball team. This guy circles the globe inflicting real punishment on his body and never misses a step.

And he’s not showing up to these Slams with a limp, either. He has made 23 straight semifinals, an eye-popping stat that defies the laws of consistency in the sport.

Federer’s amazing durability is something every other recent tennis star hasn’t quite realized. Arch-nemesis Rafael Nadal has missed four Slams since playing his first in 2003. Pete Sampras missed five between 1990 and 1999. Andre Agassi missed 20 — though most for reasons other than injury — in the 20 years he competed. All of them have had their share of disappointing results.

We’ve worried before that Federer was losing his grip on dominance. When he lost to Nadal in 2009′s Australian Open final, many writers — this one included — wondered if he would ever get to that record-setting 15th Slam title. When he lost to Juan Martin del Potro in last year’s U.S. Open final, we were reminded of the coming generation of players that was closing the gap between Federer and the field.

At this year’s Australian Open, injuries claimed almost all those would-be challengers. Nadal was forced to retire in the quarterfinals with a knee injury that will keep him out four weeks. Novak Djokovic — who defeated Federer at the Australian Open in 2008 en route to his only Grand Slam win — was slowed by breathing issues in a quarterfinal loss to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Del Potro was battling a wrist injury all tournament long. Andy Roddick — who pushed Federer so admirably in last year’s Wimbledon final — hurt his shoulder in a quarterfinal loss to Marin Cilic. Even Murray — who had looked like the most impressive player of the tournament headed into the final — started feeling pain in his leg toward the end of that match.

In the end, only one man was left standing. In more ways than one.

“I always knew I had it in my hand. The question is do I have it in my mind and in my legs?” Federer said after beating Murray. “That’s something I had to work extremely hard at.”

Federer now heads into the spring stretch with a world of confidence. Down a set and a break against Nikolay Davydenko in his quarterfinal match, Federer rebounded to play some of the best tennis we’ve ever seen from him, closing that set on a 5-0 run and then winning the rest of the eight sets he played in Melbourne. He’s the undisputed No. 1 and talk is already bubbling about his chances at winning the calendar year Grand Slam.

Meanwhile, most of the rest of the top 10 is nursing injuries — typical of the late months of the year, but a very troubling development for Feb. 1.

“Now I feel, like, obviously I’m being pushed a great deal by the new generation coming up,” Federer said. “They’ve made me a better player, because I think this has been one of my finest performances in a long time, or maybe forever.”

His finest performance ever? That new generation had better get healthy … fast.


madmax Says:

guys, the above was reported in Foxsports.


Ben Pronin Says:

I just want to point out that, since the 2008 US Open, there was this notion that each slam was going to get tougher and tougher. Federer’s next slam was the 2009 French Open, where he lost 6 sets, the most he’s ever lost en route to the title. He got to the final rather easily at Wimbledon but won his closest slam final ever. The pattern was there… until he won this Australian Open rather comfortably, dropping only 2 sets. Unreal.


TILDEN'S GHOST Says:

The GOD’S have spoken thus and so it shall be…..St Roger will win 37 Slams with the final one being the 2022 French Open. He will play….and win….until he’s 40. At this point he’ll retire and run for King of the Universe. He’ll trounce a rejuvenated Charlie Sheen in that one and it’ll be a glorious reign for the World No 1!!!!!…….That is all…….


Mr T Says:

mad max, great analysis of how incredible Fed’s achievements truly are. In such a physically demanding sport, fed’s day in day out, year after year consistency is outstanding. Pay attention Nadal fan’s. Breaking your body to beat the greatest athlete in the world may help you hold number one spot for a couple of months but the price paid is long term damage. (Just as a boxer will eventually become punch drunk from taking too many shots to the head, remember jake lamato & sugar ray robinson)


David Says:

madmax

Clearly Federer’s incredible durability is a huge part of his success.

But didn’t Edberg also have similar “ironman” credentials? I count him as playing in 54 consecutive majors starting with his first in Wimbledon 1983 through his last in USO 1996.


Mr T Says:

To all you nadal fans, Do you think your man will come close to 16 majors the way he plays the game?? That’s why fed is the greatest player of all time. Week in week out; year after year he’s there or there abouts, even on nadal’s favourate surface clay. Come on board the federer express, it’s a much nicer ride than pinning your hopes on the battered body of Nadal


Fot Says:

One thing I have noticed lately about Roger (and I kind of like it) is how he’s playing some ‘mind games’ with the other players. For instance, I recently just went back and looked at that Madrid final again between Roger and Rafa.

Rafa’s thing is to get his water bottles lined up and do everything so percise, all while the other player is waiting patiently up at the net with the chair ump – waiting and waiting for Rafa to finally come out for the coin toss. Rafa does this every single time to his poor opponents.

At the Madrid final. Roger sat patiently in his chair, not even looking towards Rafa. Rafa does his usually thing…then noticing that Roger is still sitting down, he glances over to Roger, waiting for Roger to go out out to the net. Roger still sits and sits. The chair ump is waiting for them to get to the net. Roger still sits. Nadal peeps over at Roger again. Roger never looks at Rafa. Seeing that time is wasting, Nadal is forced to get out of his chair and go to the net (first). Then Roger finally gets up and meets him at the net.

It may seem like a small thing, but I think that set the tone of the entire match. Nadal didn’t know what Roger was going to do for that match – starting with the coin toss up. I loved it!


Michael Says:

Next in line for Federer is the French Open and in my honest assessment it will be a tough nut to crack for Federer this time around with threats from the likes of Nadal, Del Potro and Djokovic. So it will be 40:60 for Federer at the French. However in Wimbledon he will be the favourite to retain the title with only visible threat emanating from Nadal who is certainly not at his best. Going to the US Open once again Federer has pretty good chances to regain the title once again although the challenge will be severe this time around with the likes of Murray, Potro, Djokovic and even Tsonga playing roughshod. All in all, Federer can utmost try to win another two at best and one at worst this year at the Grand slam. That will take his tally to 17 or even 18 and breaking Graff’s record will become a real prospect for the future to become the higher grosser of all in grand slams.


Kimo Says:

FoT said:

“At the Madrid final. Roger sat patiently in his chair, not even looking towards Rafa. Rafa does his usually thing…then noticing that Roger is still sitting down, he glances over to Roger, waiting for Roger to go out out to the net. Roger still sits and sits. The chair ump is waiting for them to get to the net. Roger still sits. Nadal peeps over at Roger again. Roger never looks at Rafa. Seeing that time is wasting, Nadal is forced to get out of his chair and go to the net (first). Then Roger finally gets up and meets him at the net.”

WOW really? I must watch that. If indeed Roger didn’t get out of his chair before Rafa, then it MUST be mind games. And knowing how clever Roger is, I wouldn’t disbelieve it ;)


Kimo Says:

Michael, Graff’s record is 22. Evert and Navratilova each have 18. That’s of course only their singles titles, coz if you include doubles the numbers will get ridiculous.

I think Roger has a real shot at 20 by the end of his career.


madmax Says:

Oh Roger Federer! Swiss bliss! So many posts here to read, but great to see all of you guys here again – am watching the fed match final again and – and again – i just love it!

Federer is amazing.


Michael Says:

Kimo, Please see my posting which I repeat for your convenience “That will take his tally to 17 or even 18 and breaking Graff’s record will become a real prospect for the future”. I know Graf has 22 Grand slams. But comparing Mens and Womens tennis is ridiculous. The former plays just 3 sets and the competition too is at best pedestrian. I can bet on my life that Serena will not be able to stand a number 300 ranked male player. The great Martina could not stand against an aged Connors who had just one serve and even Martina had the advantage of enjoying greater space on the court than Connors. That being said, it is to the credit of Federer that we are doing this comparison today with the pinnacle of some of the women’s best just because of Federer’s monumental achievements which will stand the test of time.


Michael Says:

I am just wondering as to how come the GOAT Federer was not able to beat Nadal at the dirt clay of the French Open despite four tries. However it was Soderling who was the only player to put Nadal in his place at the French and that too in just four. His place will forever be remembered in Tennis history as Nadal slayer. So Soderling did an incredible thing which Federer or any other player was not able to do. Does that mean Soderling is a better player than Federer ? I think it all boils down to the level of game on that day. Nadal just seemed too good on those days against Federer and he was also on his head as some kind of “unbeatable” syndrome. But with Soderling showing that any player is beatable on their favourite surface, I think every player will take a lesson out of this in the current French Open and nobody will be scared of Nadal as they were earlier. My prediction is that Djokovic or Del Potro will win this year’s French Open. I might be once again proven wrong by Federer, but if that happens I will be very happy.


Fot Says:

Michael, anyone can beat anyone on any given day (that’s what makes roger’s consistent records so impressive). But Soderling’s game (when it’s on) is the kind of game that gives Nadal trouble. Same as Davydenko. The flat, hard hitters are bad match-ups for Nadal (just like the high looping back-hand is a bad match-up for Roger). It’s all about the match-ups and on that particular day – Soderling was “ON”. Doesn’t mean Soderling is better than Roger or he’d have 16 slams! lol! But they all are professionals so that is why it’s so important to not get caught up in the ‘upset’ bug in these grand slams. Now you see by Roger making 18 of the last 19 finals and 23 consecutive SFs what kind of consistency, game, and yes, sometimes luck, plays a part in him keeping this record going? Heck, just to not get hurt during all these consecutive slams is amazing!


Fot Says:

And Kimo – yes that happened at Madrid. I have the tape to verify it. I watched it over and even the announcers made some kind of comment about it so they, too, noticed it.


Michael Says:

Fot, I am just not belittling a great champion like Federer. Do not mistake. I adore and respect him for his elegant, graceful and beautiful play & the records that he has set will stand for generations to come. He is the Master and he is the King of Tennis, some kind of a maestro if you can add further. We are short of words to describe his achievements and that is the hall mark of the greatness of Federer wherein commentators are a loss of words and superlatives to describe him. We are nobody to criticize such a great Champion. I do competely agree with you that any player can be beaten on a given day. But I honestly feel that Federer had this “Nadal” syndrome in his mind when he played him. He was in his head and he just could not play the best against him everytime the two faced. In most of their matches, Federer had the upperhand against Nadal only to fumble at the last post. Even in Australian Open 2009, Federer had no business to take it to a fourth set. The match should have been over in 3 or utmost 4. But it went to the distance and Federer crumbled in the 5th to gift away the title to Nadal. Against any other player he would not do that and only the odd match I can point out was against Del Potro where once again he fumbled in the 5th. May be the pressure of equalling and bettering Sampras was on his mind and the severe beating at the French had their influence. If flat and hard hitters cause problems to Nadal then Federer would have no business to lose to Nadal because he is the best in that. But their H2H tells a different story. So there is more to that and it is all a mind game. However, I am truly convinced that the Federer of today will just blast away Nadal. He is now not under any pressure and will play his free game of offence. Moreover Nadal today is a pale shadow of what he was earlier.


jane Says:

Michael, re: Wimbledon “with [the] only visible threat emanating from Nadal ” I think Roddick is a threat, should they meet. Or, barring what happened at the AO, possibly even Murray (course the pressure would be worst there for Andy M). With Murray, too, it’s difficult to say if/how much he will adjust his game after their last match, but with Roddick we know he came close last year. I wonder if Delpo will improve on grass this year, or if it’s just not the surface for him, and how Cilic might do there. But I agree generally that Fed’s the clear favorite at Wimbledon still.


Skorocel Says:

Michael: “However, I am truly convinced that the Federer of today will just blast away Nadal.”

We Fed fans were no less convinced before the Wimby 2008 & AO 2009 finals…


Michael Says:

Jane, At the French Open I am tipping Del Potro or Djokovic to win this time although Nadal too will be a potential threat. I just do not visualize much chance for Federer there. But if he still surprises me, I will be the happiest. As regards Wimbledon, it will be all the way Federer as it has been for the past seven years. Nadal will pose some threat if he reaches the final but I do not think he will make it thus far this time around and might be knocked out pretty earlier or may be will Nadal meet Federer in the quarters or semis. That will definitely be a humdinger of a match and a real challenge to Federer. Ofcourse he has nothing to prove but the stakes will be definitely high if he meets Nadal because he just cannot afford to lose against him in his favourite court once again. All said and done, an outsider like Roddick might spring a surprise or two this time around at Wimbledon. But FED is the real and time tested favourite there. In the US Open, Federer will once again be the favourite but there will likely be worthy competitors like Potro, Murray, Djokovic and even Nadal who have the potential to give a fright to Federer. But Federer might ultimately triumph. So in all I give 50-50 chance for him to win two more slams this year.


Michael Says:

Skorocel, Remember Wimbledon 2008 was very close and the match could have gone either way. It is just a matter of one or two points in the end and Nadal emerged triumphant. You need a bit of luck and Nadal had it that day. However in Australian Open, Federer simply gifted away the match to Nadal. Nothing more and nothing less – the better player that day just didn’t win. Take the number of break points Federer had that day on the Nadal serve and I lost count of it and he just couldn’t convert by fate. Ofcourse we must give into the resilience of Nadal too on those occasions, but it must also be admitted that Nadal was lucky once again that day. In all the sets, Federer went ahead only to broken again in the fag end of the set and this happened thanks to the poor serving of Federer which went below the pathetic 50%. I just do not think Federer ever served such poorly in a Grand slam final before. It so happened that was not Federer’s day at the Australian Open and he lost. But despite his poor serving, he took the match to five sets. Look Nadal’s H2H against Federer does not count for anything or makes him great than he really is. What matters for a Champion is consistency and Nadal severely lacks in this department. He just is not in a position to reach Grand slam finals on a continuous basis and give a challenge to Federer. You cannot blame Federer for that. Moroever H2H is rather misleading. For instance Davydenko leads Nadal by 5-4 whereas he trails Federer 2-13. Will you conclude from this that Davydenko is a better player than Nadal but inferior to Federer wheraes Nadal is inferior to Davydenko but superior to Federer. That really makes no sense. Similarly see the H2H of Nadal against Del Potro it stands at 3-2 in his favour whereas Del Potro is 2-7 against Federer. Same in the case of Soderling, Roddick and many other players. So H2H is rather misleading. What matters ultimately is consistency and consecutive 23 grand slam semi finals is the pinnacle of achievement which every Tennis player can only envy.


Michael Says:

Skorocel, You seem to make too much about the H2H record of Nadal against Federer. But does that mean anything at all ? Let me cite a simple comparison. Davydenko enjoys 5-4 advantage against Nadal H2H whereas he is trailing 2-13 against Federer. What will you conclude from this. Davydenko > Nadal Federer Davydenko< Nadal. If you conclude like that, that will be a foolish conclusion. Similar is the case of Soderling where Nadal is leading by the skin of teeth at 3-2 and Del Potro too. On the other hand, Federer has a comfortable H2H against both Potro and Soderling which stands at 6-2 and 13-1. In a nutshell this H2H matters nothing and is rather misleading. Ofcourse Nadal can be proud of his H2H against Federer as he is just a handful who can boast that. But that doesn’t anyway make him a better player than Federer is. Got it straight.


Skorocel Says:

Michael: Where did I say Nadal is a better player than Federer?


Skorocel Says:

Michael: “Ofcourse he has nothing to prove but the stakes will be definitely high if he meets Nadal because he just cannot afford to lose against him in his favourite court once again.”

So it doesn’t sound like he has “nothing” to prove after all, does it?


Michael Says:

Skorocel – Even assuming in the worst case he does lose that it doesn’t diminish his achievements in any way. Let us for argument sake assume that Federer loses all his matches henceforth at 6-0, 6-0, 6-0 to his opponents, even then his records stand testimony to his greatness. What I meant was psychologically he would not like to lose against Nadal in a Wimbledon match and stakes are high


SG Says:

Murray has to beat Fed in a slam. Doesn’t have to be in the finals, but best of 5 in one of the biggies, he has to win one. Until then, Fed will always have the edge mentally.

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