Federer Gets Revenge on Djokovic, Meets Murray in Shanghai Final
by Sean Randall | October 16th, 2010, 9:20 pm

I went against Roger Federer, and I lost. Credit to Roger, he played too good earlier today in a convincing 7-5, 6-4 win over Novak Djokovic to advance to the Tennis Masters Shanghai final. ADHEREL

Federer and Djokovic were on even terms early on, and Djokovic had some chances but went 0-for-4 on break opportunities in the first set. Federer, got control converting the second of his two opening set chances to break at 5-5 and then serve it out for 7-5.

In the second set, Federer kept the momentum by quickly going up two breaks to all but ice the match. Novak battled reclaiming a break back but it was too little, too late.

“I think first set could have gone either way today,” said Federer. “It was really an open battle. I got the better of him at the end of the first set. I think for 10 minutes he was a bit out of it and I was able to take advantage of that. I think that cost him the match looking back because, of course, he was playing a bit more relaxed at one point which made him somewhat more dangerous.”

Said Djokovic, “The start of the second set, I lost my focus a little bit, my energy dropped. Yeah, in a blink of the eye, I was two breaks down with 4 1. So it was very hard to get back from that situation. Yeah, I’m just disappointed a little bit because I think I’ve played quite well in the first set. He played some great shots when he needed to. So, you know, he deserved to win.”

I thought Novak came in as the hotter player but in the end Federer proved (again) that he’s the better player.

“I think I’m playing really well,” Federer said. “I’ve had a great buildup. Here I’m playing well right off the bat. Then again, like I said, the season is still long. After this, I have four more tournaments to play. I’ll take straight sets any day and I’m happy the way I’m hitting the ball.”

I know many critics have shoveled dirt on Roger and declared him dead, especially at 29. But the fact that he took a month off and was still able to produce the tennis he did today is pretty remarkable.

In the final, Federer will have revenge as motivation again vs. Andy Murray. It was in the summer when Murray beat Federer 7-5, 7-5 in the Toronto final.

Murray, like Federer, has looked great all week and has not dropped a set after a cozy 6-4, 6-1 win over Juan Monaco.

“I think each match I felt better,” Murray said. “The court, this is a court or a surface for me that is very good. You know, the ball bounces relatively high. I feel like I move well on these courts and I can still get my serve through the court to get enough free points.
No, it’s just a good surface for me. But, yeah, it had been a couple tough weeks, last week in Beijing. Sort of getting ready for Beijing was tricky. But, yeah, it’s probably a better result than I expected at the start of the week.”

Overall, Murray leads Federer 7-5 in their head-to-head. Murray won their last meeting in Toronto but Federer has won three of their last four meetings and holds the edge in tournament finals 3-1.

Federer is seeking his 64th career title, which would tie him with Pete Sampras, and a Rafael Nadal-equaling 18th Masters win. Murray is eying a 16th career victory and at sixth Masters crown. The Scot has a very impressive 5-1 record in Masters finals.

As for a pick, this final is pretty even. Both players enter the championship match in form and playing well. And while Federer has the edge in finals against Murray, Shanghai won’t carry the same weight and pressure for a guy like Murray as a Slam final does, so that should allow Andy play more freely.

But based on his performance today in his stellar win over Novak, I have to go with Federer. I get the sense that he’s out to prove that he’s not done winning important titles. Not yet, anyway.

The match is on live at 4:30am on the Tennis Channel for you East coast night owls.


STADIUM start 2:00 pm
[3] J Melzer (AUT) / L Paes (IND) vs [6] M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) – DOUBLES FINAL

Not Before 4:30 PM
[4] A Murray (GBR) vs [3] R Federer (SUI) – SINGLES FINAL

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Roger Federer Confirms Shanghai Participation
Davydenko Derails Murray, Meets Djokovic in Shanghai Masters Cup Final
No Surprise: It’s Djokovic v. Murray For The Shanghai Title
Federer Shreds Soderling, Djokovic Next; Murray Visits Monaco in Shanghai

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109 Comments for Federer Gets Revenge on Djokovic, Meets Murray in Shanghai Final

i am it Says:

I pass on 3:30 AM (CT) final. I’ll watch recorded later.
Fed should prevail but you never know.

As for his schedule, he’s added Stockholm 250 (his debut) to Basel 500, Paris 1000, and London 1500. His three 500 spots have zero. If he wins Stockholm, he will add 160 points. Desperation? Some one help me here.

Who are playing at Stockholm (the draw is already out)?
While Fed could play Dent/ Wawa, and Ljub or Robredo. 2nd seeded Soderling could face F-Lo and Berdych/Blake/Belucci.

Skeezerweezer Says:

I am it,

It’s nice to come back to some wit and humor. Read your earlier stuff….Thanks :) LMAO on your Novak post…

Ben Pronin Says:

Amazingly, after early and almost inexplicable losses in his first 3 Masters this year, Federer has reached the final of the last 4. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Federer really knows how to prolong a decline.

Kimo Says:

Fed is the man. It’s just that simple. The man is 29 and clearly past his prime, his main rivals are 5-7 years younger than her is, yet more often than not, he gets the better of them (except for Rafa).

Had Federer been as young as his opponents, he would have been all over them. Aside from Melzer, who’s having the best year his career, there aren’t any players over 29 in the top 20, let alone be kicking a$$ and taking names.

Kimo Says:

For the record, Melzer won the doubles title in Shanghai with Laender Paes.

Fedend Says:

Federer about his SF loss in USO:
“I think I had too much of my mind focusing maybe already on the upcoming match I had to play the next day if I were to win. I think just mentally, it wasn’t just Rafa who won that match before us, I just think the short recovery time made it hard on both of us to focus on what we really had to do.”

Hahaha Federer admitted that he lost his USO SF match mainly because of his fear of Rafa the next day.

Fed is afraid !!!!

grendel Says:

Fedend – you should look up the meaning of the word “mainly”. Enjoy Fed/Murray. There’ll be some great tennis.

Gannu Says:

Wonder what it would take for that a$$ Fedend to keep his mouth shut.. cant take his gibberish..

Anyways..fedfans – kmmi, huh, skeez, blank.. u all there to cheer for our man’s 18th Masters??

grendel Says:

Barry Cowan has just suggested:”if Federer plays his best and Murray plays his best, Federer wins. If Federer plays at 75% and Murray plays at 75%, Murray wins”. Discuss – no more than 500 words.

margot Says:

Do hope Andys not as nervous as I am!

Gannu Says:

Shaky start by federer

Fedend Says:

“I think I played some of the best tennis of my life at the Australian Open and then after that I got unlucky with a few matches where I lost with match points” Federer said on 7th of October 2010.

Federer says he played his best tennis of his life in 2010. But the Fedtards here say he is nowhere near his best.

Who is right, Federer or Fedtards ??

margot Says:

Gr8 start 4 Andy, but let’s see how that serve is going.

Naderer Says:

Murray will be going crosscourt 99.9999% of the time.

margot Says:

grendel: don’t understand that 75% ??

margot Says:

Andy has no fear and is playing aggressively. Gr8 to see.

Naderer Says:

Both these guys haven’t dropped a set all week, one of them will drop two…..!!!

margot Says:

gordo: just 4 u! Am very, very happy with way Andy is playing, but very unhappy with his first serve percentage. Unless it improves I fear he will lose :(

margot Says:

Andy coughing, don’t think he’s fully fit yet…dear lord, I’m fussing like his ma…;)

Gannu Says:

the crowd is absolutely mad after federer.. loves him and they scream on every point that he wins ;-)
Fed is most popular in Asia ;-)

guy Says:

@ grendel
i don’t think the statement makes sense mathematically. if you take 25% from both sides of the equation you’ll have the same result. federer [in barry’s mind]

federer fans start with the premise nobody can beat federer at his best. therefore by default whenever he loses he isn’t at his best. handy logic

guy Says:

murray played incredible game to break again

margot Says:

YEEESSSS!!!! “Miraculous” play from Andy to take the first set. Hope u r having sweet dreams jane!

Daniel Says:

Damm Murray come out to play didn’t ?! Fed’s variation just doesn’t work against Murray who has incredible hand and touch. Fed needs to clean the errors and wait Murray’s let down. Fed should have break with that drop shot he misses in his first break oportunnity. But oneram Murray is just better today.

Fedend Says:

U r right, people really become mad, u r one perfect example.

Gannu Says:

DISASTER… thats one word which describes roger…

Gannu Says:

Fedend – Its better to be mad than be a retard like you..

Daniel Says:

Well, you know Fed is not at his best when he missões silly forehands on break point.

guy Says:

federer’s getting sooky

Gannu Says:

It would take a miracle for fed to come back and win this.. so far chances look very very bleak

Gannu Says:

Fed’s footwork looks very sloppy today!!! Come on fed fight back

Gannu Says:

Two more BPs.. Now come on roger u cant miss this… take this,,,

grendel Says:

bsolutely absorbing first set. You can see why Murray loves playing Federer – he respects him so much, he always brings his best tennis, which primarily means he keeps his focus rock steady. And then he just enjoys the tactical battle – it’s supreme.

F’s excellent bh down the line at 2-1 opened up the court for 15-30 – next bh into the net. Murray down b.point – and Fed utterly messes drop shot (Murray had domne perfect one earlier). Fed good, but slightly lacking consistency.

Sparkling tennis to hold for 2-3, I noted that it was wonderful to watch how each player anticipated the other’s move. Comfortable hold for M(4-2), aggressive returning by Fed – very nooticeable this tourney – to no avail, Murray at his best.

Serving for game, extraordinary overhead miss by F for 4-3. Gets another in same game – as if to prove he can do it – seems like another match almost, so intense has been the tennis, and F gets it this time to secure the game. Noticeable that one poor miss by Murray on his fh, he ignores and proceeds calmly to next point -fully focused.

M d-faults to give F b.point, immediately aces! Long probing rally, F. tries to finish, but bh down the line goes astray (probably spin?). When F gets these bh’s down the line consistently right, he’s hard to beat. Today, 50-50 I think. Tremendous second serve by Murray (his albatross?!) to take game.

Double fault by F, then good return by Murray, Fed caught a fraction slow. Wonderful tennis by Murray to earn set point. For there was some tremendous defence before executing the winner of the day. But this was immediately followed and eclipsed by a Murray special to clinch the set,

An absorbing set, fed had his chances, but Murray the deserved winner. Will he keep it up? Looks absolutely in the mood to me.

Daniel Says:

What os fed thinking: that Murray is going to miss!

Eric Says:

This is absolutely insane. Is Federer even trying to win? Pissing away two pairs of double break points with sloppy footwork and complacent play…

Fedend Says:


Federer misses these silly forehands only when the opponent is playing well with the guts to take it to him.

How come he was playing great till yesterday’s SF and suddenly he is playing not so well ?

Daniel Says:

2 15-40 games in a row and he couldn’t break! The worst part i that Murray is not acing or anything, Fed is just not there completly.

Fedend Says:

Rafa is the only one who consistently stands up against Federer, no wonder he kept losing to him consistently for the last 6 years.
These days others are also catching up and Federer comes up short against them.

Fed is really afraid.

Daniel Says:

This is the kind of irritating loses by Fed.

Daniel Says:

Now this bad call on saving BP and that is it for Fed.

guy Says:

federer needs to read the rule book
and pull his head in

Gannu Says:

Just cant see federer losing like this.. its disgusting and all over… really disgusting… and fed has unsually lost his cool…

jane Says:

Middle of night here (2:50) – and could not stay awake. But have just woken from a terrible dream so decided to check scores – all I can say is:

Wow! Murray!!

Whatever he’s doing, he’s doing it well!

margot! good for Andy M. : ) : )

Fedend Says:

When the opponent is at his best Federer becomes a sissy, its really funny.

Wade Says:

After watching Murray today how has the bloke got no Grandslams absolutely amazes me

Gannu Says:

I have never ever seen federer getting toyed like this.. really age does cripple one badly… anything that fed wins is just a bonus..every title will come the hardest possible way… so will wait and watch the last few titles of this great man!!!

margot Says:

Gordo 4 u. Andy is leading 4-1 in second set…:) :)
jane: I have stopped breathing..

Daniel Says:

Fed is really on decline. Today I accept that. After 6 finals in the season and he lost 4, he will be 2-4 for the season. I don’t think he hás ever finished a season win more runner-ups than titles.

jane Says:

Just checked stats and Murray’s at 52% first serves for the match, but he’s dominating Fed’s second serve – has won 75% of second serve points, and Fed’s at 70% firsts. So clearly that’s not the whole story. Hope it repeats on TSN tomorrow so I can see what’s happening. Murray – he’s such a clever player.

grendel Says:

just seen these figures for 1st set, F. won 67% of first serves, M won 80%. F won 29% of 2nd serves, M won 54%. An winners to U.E., Fed, 2 to3, Murray, 11 to 10. These figures seem to me reflect pretty well the true story. Fed’s not playing bad, but Murray’s on fire!

Fedend Says:

Whats ur guess for today ??
Will it be back/leg issues, or bad weather, insufficient light, or opponent on PED ?

ertorque Says:

today Andy’s defence is just too good. He’s returning all Fed’s shots

ertorque Says:

And Fed’s is getting frustrated the guy is inpenetratble!

Daniel Says:

Fed os not enjoying at all. A set he should have vêem a break up and he os a break down.

Fedend Says:

Federer says he is not in any kind of decline.
But the Fedtard Gannu says age has caught up and he is in a decline.
Who is right ?

jane Says:

Wow, Murray’s defense. Just saw that – he is on fire.

jane Says:

Fed serves & volleys. Works once, but not twice.

Daniel Says:

Fedend put your boas aside and honestly looking at the balls Fed is missing. Murray is playing great but he sabe 6 break points not doing anything special. Fed didn’t topo his chances and os alteady in the bitter part of the match.

Fedend Says:

Lets see who guesses it right.
What will be Federer’s excuse today ?

jane Says:

3 volley errors from Roger in a row brings up match point; but he gets it to deuce and throws in a great serve. He’s still in there fighting. But lots of u. errors from Fed’s end, in this last bit I am watching.

Naderer Says:

Congratulations to Andy Murray

TGiT Says:

Complete beat down of TMF by the Muzzle.

No Fed excuses on this. No break point conversions. Murray just too good today.

(did I mention his easy draw…..)

jane Says:

Congrats to Andy M!!! margot, celebrate! I will later, as I need to go back to bed, : ) I wish I would’ve seen more of the match. Maybe tomorrow I can catch a replay. Hope so.

Don’t be too discouraged Fed fans; he got to the final in a draw that wasn’t easy at all -Isner, Soda, Djoko- and he showed dominating form at times. He’s got 3 more events to go as well, before YEC.

Fedend Says:

The point is Federer plays extremely well when the opponent is not playing great tennis.
But the simple truth he cannot stand up against any top 5 player at his best anymore.
All his talk about dominating anyone is a joke.

Daniel Says:

From the get go we should ser this comming. Fed was 40-15 on his serve and for broken. Yesterday Fed faces similar situtaions but wasn’t broken. Seems in the second set Fed got annoyed not being able to break plus that bad call.
Cresto to Murray who played tactical match and Nadal line dedense plus he was more agressive.

guy Says:

highlight for me was murray’s 100mph backhand crosscourt winner. that was cool

Daniel Says:

Fed play finals in the last 4 Masters. I prefer when he was playing grand slam finals. He hás more chance in those!:)

Daniel Says:

I gave up, i will never post by phone again, period!

Fedend Says:

Today Federer tried his best to keep it to Murray’s FH but invariably kept going to Murray’s BH.

guy Says:

murray looked at the toy he got given and couldn’t work out wtf it was. funny

jane Says:

I think Murray’s playstation victory over Rafa was a sign. ; ))

margot Says:

Hooray! Hooray! This is why I am an Andy Murray fan!U r in the darkness so long, it makes the light more brilliant!
Andy was superb in the last two games of the first set and managed to stay focused. Return of serve was a killer. He jumped on Fed from the start, which is how to win, Fed is an amazing front runner.
jane: :) :) :) a replay would be good and I’d like one too, didn’t enjoy this one till the very last point!!
and kimmi, hope u managed 2 enjoy this one,
seeing Andy play so well must’ve been some
consolation for beating your Fed.
conty: congrats, u r the queen of punts!

grendel Says:

hope I’m not repeating others’ point too much (don’t have laptop).
Aggressive start by F. to 2nd set, moving to net, but serving at 15-40, hardish to F’s bh which is not up to it, Murray finishes pt. Aweful Fed fh at 30-40 goes sailing over the line – due to , Murray cleverly changing the pace,perhaps, slowing it down. I love Murray’s change of pace – this is Mecir reborn, but with so much extra too. M finishes game with unhandkeable 136 mph screamer. At 15-love, Federer pulls Murray to the other side of the court, and still the Scot produces a magical crosscourt winner!.

1-1, 0-30 M produces 135 ace. At 15-40, M seems to lull Fed into error. then gorgeous, cagey rally, both men seeking opening – by now, you’re expecting M to find it and he does. Deuce, little glimmer of light for F again snuffed out. It shows in his play – immediate UE to give advantage to Murray, followed by the ace. M calm and assured.

Murray gains 30 all (1-2) after another longish rally, almost as if Murray senses the error will come from Fed eventually – he saves the spectacular play for the urgent moment. Another error for 30-40, and Fed is legitimately disappointed by a bad call (he’d thought he had game point) and, unable to regain his composure, rather limply surrenders his service. Slumping shoulders followed by fruitless argument with umpire. Can Fed fight back? Frankly, hard to believe.

Murray smooths his way through to 4-1 with Fed barely making an impact. He looks baffled to me. Murray takes a breather until Fed tries a drop shot – fails again. It must be a matter of chagrin to Fed that his new(ish) weapon is just not working against a fellow great. Still, F holds with a great 2nd serve.

At 4-2, 30-15, lovely play from both men but it ends, as so often, with Murray inducing the error. The great baseliner Federer, one of the greatest ever, cannot beat a Murray in this mood from the back alone, and it seems he now lacks the oomf to inject that extra needed aggression. Another lovely point yo end the game, F yet again (just) failing with the drop shot – to beat Murray in this form, pinpoint accuracy is required, and Fed doesn’t have it.

Grim UE by F – a meaningless dump into the net – for 30 all, then a terrific ball by Murray (off a good, deep Federer shot) lands at the incoming server’s feet. Fed can’t handle it – but then who could, Edberg perhaps? – and Murray has match point. Fed fights back, but then 2 more terrible UE’s give Murray his 2nd match point which he takes with elan in a great final rally.

This business of UE’s. Difficult to interpret. Federer is known to spray them from time to time, on the other hand you must say that to a degree they are induced by Murray; fed’s mind must have been in a turmoil, in my opinion, this was a bit of a beating the great man was taking. No shame, happens even to the great, especially when they are slightly over the top. Winners to unforced errors (2nd set) Fed, 8:15, Murray, 10:9. Pretty telling.

grendel Says:

guy and margot

dangers of shorthand! What Cowan meant was, if Fed plays at 75% of HIS level, and Murray the same (i.e. neither quite at their best), then Fed wins. Looks a bit shaky that argument now, doesn’t it!

grendel Says:

Daniel:”Fed is really on decline. Today I accept that.” Actually, I remember you saying, after Berdych beat Fed at Wimbie that this was end of an era, and I agreed with you then.

Yes, there’s not the slightest doubt that Fed is on the decline. That’s been fairly clear for some time I would say – and I think I’m right in saying you would too, Daniel. I understand your thinking, though, since I share it exactly! I keep wanting to think that Fed still has surprises up his sleeve, so against one’s better judgement, one hopes against hope! But there is not the shadow of doubt that Federer cannot now beat any of the other top 3 players if they are at their best.

People have had some surreal hopes for Fed’s future slam count, but I have thought for some time that he MIGHT get one more, conceivably two, although I think that’s unreasonable now – one more at tops. The point being, of course, that luck always enters into these things. It’s not always the best man who wins the the tourney, that’s for sure. But although dame fortune might smile on Fed, and he could win one more, I think you have to say it’s an outside bet. And of course, outside bets sometimes come off.

Meanwhile, what are we to say of Murray? He really is a terrific talent, an absolute one off. But is he going to do himself justice? It would be criminal if a player of this exceptional ability didn’t win quite a substantial number of slams. But will he even win one? Come on, Murray, pull your finger out and do what we know you can do on the great stage!

guy Says:

murray’s serve was huge today. that’s the difference.
look there’s always been guys that can match or beat federer from the ground. nalbandian,davydenko were doing it back when fed was unbeatable. but these players never had the serve of fed therefore they would lose. that simple.
but now you have players that are actually better players than federer from the ground, namely the top 4, and their serves are getting much closer to fed’s level.
he still has a better serve than murray,nadal,and esp djoker. but it has to be significantly better for him to dominate these guys and that’s not the case anymore. hence the H2Hs.

people talk of federer’s errors these days.
i’ve been watching federer since before he got to number one. he’s always played risky on the forehand and always took the strategy of high winners, acceptable unforced. the point is, there was never a time when played with the error count of say hewitt or roddick etc. people who remember this just have selective memory. people who think he had this perfect game and never missed just buy into the hype way too much. errors have always been a part of his game, or any aggressive game, but he always got away with it because it was good enough.

he did dominate in terms of wins, but he didn’t dominate every match like people think. i remember he almost lost to a japanese qualifier without a ranking in tokyo during his prime. there were plenty of cases like this. rochus had matchpoint at halle. many close games. fed won, he was better, but he wasn’t demolishing everybody, he was just always at least a little better.

not to mention he used to play guys with softer games, shorter balls and could tee off more easily.
spanking roddick around at the aus open and hardly missing is a different story to handling deep,faster balls of current top players. and having to hit more balls because of the superior defense. you can’t dictate easily and you have to go for more which is what was clear today.

the point is, there is no real evidence federer’s game has dropped, but there is a ton of evidence showing the players now are better than they were in fed’s prime.

there’s nothing wrong with that and this right now is pretty much a golden period for the atp. when’s the last time the top 4 were so evenly matched.

Skeezerweezer Says:

Margot, Jane

Congratulations to you and Andy M.. Great tourney ! It’s not just the hotel Andy loves in Shanghai, but his game also right now! Woot!


As usual, quality post.

Back to sleep too…….

TGiT Says:

Here we go again. Still waiting for my post from 2 hours past. What is up wih this site!

TGiT Says:

I mean what? Do I have to dislike TMF as much as Sean to get a post in?

montecarlo Says:

Its frustating to hear this Federer on decline thing again and again. IMHO this is Federer’s peak. He has improved everything in his game from his so called 2006 peak. He serves better now and his backhand is much more reliable now. He is moving faster than everand therefore able to convert a lot more balls to his forehand thereby protecting his weak backhand which was severely exposed in older times.

The thing is everyone is playing so much better these days when compared to 2005-06 period. Federer is improving but everyone else seems to be improving at a faster pace.

Nadal always beat him by keeping him in backhand corner and then rushing him on the forhand side and in the mean time being able to return Federer’s big shot (which finishes point againt most opponents) and Murray more or less follows the same pattern and that’s why these two players have so much success over him.

These people have been beating him since start and they are still beating him. This isn’t rocket science. Federer on decline, Federer is slow, Federer not playing well, Federer is finished. All this is Bull crap.

To beat Nadal or Murray Federer has to play over his 100% level and hope these two are below par. I am not saying they are better players than Federer but they are really bad matchup for him.

montecarlo Says:

OOps sorry.. I dint read Guy’s post above. I think we have almost similar views.

Daniel Says:


Concerning Fed’s errors, I believe you are wrong. Not lonmg ago, in US Open 2007 for example I rememebr he was hitting 4 or 5 UE per set. Even in the set he lost to Lopez one time. Nowadays is very hard for him to keep less than 8-10 per set, on his good days. In the old days in the midle of the rally if the ball landed in Fed’s forehand I use to shout to the TV, BANG. And that was it he finished the point in 1 or 2 more shots. Something Nadal is doing these days.

But you are right abolut the serve, I believe it was 2 or 3 aces for him today. When he seerve is on he flows his grounds better. At some point they showed the avarage for fisrt serve and it was:
Fed – 118 MPH
Murray – 130 MPH

Even Murray being the great returner he is Fed was not on fire, something grendel mentioned since yesterday.

You are right RE:Wimby. But back then was the end of an era, now that Fed is losing to Murray in finals without winning a set after an excelent win agaisnt Djoko the previous day, the IDEA that he is on decline is plantyed in my mind (just like in INCEPTION).

Murray I beleive can’t maintain foccus for two long and the onde day rest in Slams hurt his game. In Masters he plays 5 days in a row doesn’t losing his mojo. In Slams he has too much time to think and the more time passes without winning one the worst it gets.

Vulcan Says:

Haven’t seen the match yet but I don’t follow the argument that this loss signifies any kind of further “decline” by Federer. As has been pointed out Murray has always been a problem for him and I’m thinking that he is only second to Nadal in the H2H department when it comes to having a winning record against Federer. Although Federer is the GOAT his backhand is a relative weakness, his game is not as well rounded as some other players. I recall a spectator event at the US Open where the top players where chosen to hit a target with their various strokes…Federer did the worst of all of them with his backhand. If you can do what Nadal has done in the past…and hit 100% of serves to Federer’s backhand and also repeatedly attack it from the ground you have a shot at beating him…with that said Federer’s one hander is still one of the best in the world IMO due to some of the ridiculous pickups and half volleys that he can come up with.

Fedend: I would like to see more harmony on this site between Federer and Nadal fans but you are a necessary evil until certain posters grow up…also unlike some of the other posters you at least make valid points.

Daniel Says:

To me Murray’s form in Australia was way better than this tourney. The game in the first set when Fed had a drop shot on break point Murray should have being broken as he used to (lapses). He served 5 second serves in a row and even so Fed choose wrong to finsh the game. Now the result was awfull, but could have being differnet if Fed was a bit more sharp. That is my point! They always had close encounters, this is the first washout, wait US Open 08’was all Fed.
But my pojnt on th decline thing is the last 2 times he oplayed Murray, in a final he lost without losing a set and each time worst.

Overal Fed made the last 4 masters final, losing to Nadal on Madrid clay, Murray inm toronto, winning Cincy and now. He had decent rewsults in Slams with one win, one semis and 2 quarters. Nobody other than Nadal got more Slams points than him, #2 performance. But this is not Fed standards.

I used to think he could reach 80 titles and 18 Slams. The first one is not going to happen with him losing finals they way his been (he has 63 titles now, 70 seems achievable). The other, well, he is TMF and if he wins one more in 2011 and 1 in 2012 to finish his career it would be great. He would be the first to win a slams for 10 years in a row.

Fedend Says:

The number of unforced errors and the first serve percentage are not just the indication/reflection of how well a player has played.

It also shows how much the opponent pushed that particular player.

You cannot just say that since his UEs are less it means that he has played well or vice versa.

Very good first serve percentage and less of UEs also mean that the player did not have to try too hard and he played within himself.

Unforced errors go up and the first serve percentage comes down when the player tries too hard. And the reason for trying too hard is that the opponent pushes you to the brink.

Whenever the opponent plays well it pushes you to try harder and take more risks. It makes you hit the lines more, it makes you hit faster, it makes you hit with better angles and this results in UEs. This obviously results in higher number of UEs and lower percentage of first serves.

For example in the USO final during the second set Nole raised his level and that resulted in 13 UEs from Nadal. Its not the other way around.

Higher UEs and lower first serve percentages should be attributed to the opponent’s level of play.

Federer’s statistics were very good in AO 2009 till the final. Then the UEs crept in and first serve percentage just fell apart in closing stages of the final.

Federer did not lose because of his poor numbers, its the other way around, his numbers fell apart as he losing due to the relentless pressure from the opponent (Rafa).

Whenever Rafa is your opponent your fitness also comes under severe test. Maintaining good numbers towards the end of long 5 setters is almost impossible against Rafa.

Fedend Says:

I agree with you about your view on Federer’s BH. To be frank his BH is not a major liability as it made out to be. It is quite good.

If you have followed his career closely you would know that his backhands even against Rafa will be quite good during the first one or two sets at the beginning of the match. But Rafa and his team are the best ever in the history of tennis when it comes to strategy or tactics. They just pound his BH relentlessly for hours and break it down towards the end. Thats why Rafa vs Federer matches lasts so long. Technically Federer is better than Rafa (atleast till 2009). But Rafa beats him by targetting his weaker hand. Weaker hand doesnt mean it is a liability. Infact it is extremely good, but comparing to his other weapons his BH is the weaker one.

Try lifting a 5 pound object (just 5 pounds). Will it be difficult ? No. But repeat the same for 100 times, 200 times and finally you’ll realize that you wont even be able to move it. It doesnt mean your hands are not good enough. But there is a always a limit for your body.

If Federer is made to hit FH for hours, even that is bound to fail. But Rafa and his team chose his BH because it is slightly less difficult to attack his BH compared to his FH.

Thats the main difference between Rafa and other players. Others run out of patience very quickly. But Rafa is GOAT when it comes to patience. If you remember correctly Federer’s BH was firing well in the initial sets of AO 09, Wimby 08, FO 06, etc. But Rafa kept pounding it relentlessly till in broke down.

Others dont try it relentlessly and the other major factor is its also not so easy to always target his BH, you need a very good game apart from patience to try it.

Kimberly Says:

wow, I was downright jinxing in this tourney, worse than sean randall for this tournament. If I predicted a player to win, he lost.

Condolences to fed fans and congrats to Murray fans.

I wonder if Gulbis will show his face in Stockholm after the scandal last year.

Vulcan Says:

Fedend, because of your excellent comments I can only ascribe some of your vituperative comments to passion for Nadal’s tennis and NOT schadenfreude for Federer and his fans. (a very important distinction)

“But Rafa and his team are the best ever in the history of tennis when it comes to strategy or tactics.”

Definitely an underrated part of why Nadal has been so successful. The unveiling of his serve at USO was IMO an unprecedented development. I can’t think of many other examples of a player so successfully altering the mechanics of their game to make a tactical adjustment so successfully.

“Others don’t try it relentlessly and the other major factor is its also not so easy to always target his BH, you need a very good game apart from patience to try it.”

I often hear people try to denigrate Nadal by suggesting that he is not as “precise” as Federer.
I recall a match where he hit 100% of second serves to Federer’s backhand. His ability to target Federer’s backhand is the epitome of precision.

Skeezerweezer Says:

Fed can do more things with his BH, than anyone. However, it can be weak. One contradicts the other. Having a one hander gives you more variety. But timing has to be a lot more perfect than a 2hander.

I agree that they are bad matchups among players.

I don’t agree that Fed is playing as well as 2006, and IMO his movement and focus have fallen. Said it in the spring and I hold onto that.

UE’s , BP % and serve percentage doesn’t always tell the story, but it mostly does.

Kimberly Says:

skeezer-i think its tricky to compare fed of 2006 to fed today. Fed would probably tell you he has improved but that his opponents have improved as well. Tennis is obviously at its highest level so perhaps he has improved but not as much as the other top 3?

Take Roddick for example. Most people say he’s a much better player today than in 2003. But he’s ranked lower.

Who knows.

Fedend Says:


“Fedend, because of your excellent comments I can only ascribe some of your vituperative comments to passion for Nadal’s tennis and NOT schadenfreude for Federer and his fans. (a very important distinction)”

Hehe, you missed it.
To be frank I was a die hard Federer fan and now a tennis fan who respects Federer’s accomplishments and also love Rafa’s game and gradually becoming his fan.
My provocative comments here are not because of my love for Rafa or hate for Federer or his fans.

There are a lot of Federer fans like Grendel, Contador, etc who are always objective and fair. There are also Federer fans like Skeeze, Huh, etc who are mostly objective and fair. I enjoy their posts a lot.

But there is a third category called “FEDTARDS”, and there are quite a few like Gannu, Superman (I miss u, pls come back), etc (sorry if i have missed anyone). To be frank I enjoy their posts more than anything else.
I initially had some problems in enjoying Rafa’s wins. But the anti Rafa rants here by the FEDTARDS make me enjoy Rafa’s wins more.
If not for the anti Rafa posts I would not have enjoyed his USO win this much.

So I am here to provoke the FEDTARDS to make more such absurd comments like “Rafa is on PEDs”, “Rafa is not playing hard court tennis”, “DelPotro owns Rafa”, “Rafa is a 1-D player”, etc. Such comments make me more of a Rafa fan which in turn helps me to enjoy his victories.

Skeezerweezer Says:

Just goes to show u I always don’t agree with my fav, ha! But thanks for your thoughts

grendel Says:


very interesting post indeed at 10.32. The question of Fed’s bh has often been mysterious to me,why it can be so variable, because it can be so good. The essential point you raised just never ocured to me. Thanks for that. Barry Cowan after the match said he thought Murray was like a righthanded Nadal in his approach to Fed today. Leaving aside obvious differences and poetic licence as you might say, what do you think about that?


“there’s always been guys that can match or beat federer from the ground. nalbandian,davydenko were doing it back when fed was unbeatable. but these players never had the serve of fed therefore they would lose. that simple.” I disagree. First of all, Nalbandian’s serve occasionally could be better on the day than Federer’s. When on song, his placement was just outlandish. I’ve always though that Nalbandian was Federer’s equal in ability. Their types of ability were very different, Nalbandian having (imo) a great deal in common with the great Safin at his best, Federer having far more variety at his disposal. Sometimes Fed outplayed Nalbandian from the back, sometimes vica versa. The same is true w.r.t.Davydenko. I suspect that people back their own bias – that is, they have a definition in their minds as to what constitutes supreme quality, and naturally the player who most closely matches that particular quality is deemed the better player. But actually, people differ enormously on how they define quality.

“he still has a better serve than murray,nadal” – not today he didn’t.

“i’ve been watching federer since before he got to number one. he’s always played risky on the forehand and always took the strategy of high winners, acceptable unforced. the point is, there was never a time when played with the error count of say hewitt or roddick etc. people who remember this just have selective memory. people who think he had this perfect game and never missed just buy into the hype way too much”
Well, I never thought like that, not for an instant, and I’m sure many were like me. Fed’s game was such that you were nearly ALWAYS on the edge of your seat. He bagles Blake and Hewitt in slams, and one of them takes the next set, the other very nearly does. I think you are suggesting Federer isn’t something few really claims he was. The converse of that is, you’re missing the real greatness.

“he didn’t dominate every match like people think. i remember he almost lost to a japanese qualifier without a ranking in tokyo during his prime. there were plenty of cases like this. rochus had matchpoint at halle. many close games. fed won, he was better, but he wasn’t demolishing everybody, he was just always at least a little better.”

Again, straw man. Apart from the first sentence, I agree absolutely. Only recently I posted on how, in Dubai, an Arab ranked in the 400’s or something damn nearly took a set off him. I think it was in Dubai, anyway Middle Easy (Oman?) Monfils some years ago could easily have beaten him. Right in Fed’s prime, I remember watching Malisse outplay Fed for portions of the match. In the end, Fed’s superior will prevailed. One could easily dig out all kinds of other examples, of course.

Obviously hyperbolic claims have been made about Federer – the tendency to hero-worship seems more or less universal. But in attempting to rectify this, can we please not throw the baby out with the bath water?

Skeezerweezer Says:

“So I am here to provoke the FEDTARDS.

You are not a tennis fan, your mission is to provoke posters up here. Wow. Thanks for the revelation.

Sure, and by your own words your not a tard?

jojostruys Says:

Skeez, you provoke Nadal fans almost all the time so what’s the different?

Vulcan Says:

Jojostruys, thank you, this is the same individual that uses the expression “the mud is thick” to refer to Nadal fans…one can only speculate on what he is trying to say but suffice it to say that given the source its likely meant to be as offensive as possible.(and yes at about the same IQ level of a “tard”)

jane Says:

Daniel says “Murray I beleive can’t maintain foccus for two long and the onde day rest in Slams hurt his game. In Masters he plays 5 days in a row doesn’t losing his mojo. In Slams he has too much time to think and the more time passes without winning one the worst it gets.”

Interesting theory Daniel! As I went back to bed last night, quite proud of Murray’s efforts, I couldn’t help thinking “Why doesn’t he do that when he faces Federer in a slam”? If he did, he’d have two by now, or one surely. I thought maybe it had something to do with mental pressure – Shanghai is a long way away from all that, even Toronto/Montreal, but to a lesser degree. I was thinking that he just can’t execute because of the pressure he feels to win one. But you idea about the day off and lack of momentum and focus is convincing because we all know Murray is a thinker on the court (probably off too) so he may ruminate so much he overcooks. : ) I don’t know. But it’s puzzling how he can basically dominate like that but in his and Fed’s slam matches, he hasn’t won a set??? I do agree with some of the points here (perhaps it was guy who said this) that it’s a match up thing with Murray and Fed, as from the beginning, he’s often been a tough opponent from Roger, much like Rafa.

Vulan – love that you used “schadenfreude”. It’s appropriate in a lot of cases, but often in sports wins/losses, and well, such a great word. :)

jane Says:

sorry *Vulcan* for the typo on your name @1:04.

madmax Says:

Fedend, just by the very nature of your name, I think it fair to say Federer fans know your take on the man.

Skeezer is far from a provocative poster here – very intelligent, very fair and knows a lot about the game – He is entitled to his opinion, as are you. I am surprised you think Skeezer provokes. More like he is having to defend right now.

Skeeze, don’t bother.


“Obviously hyperbolic claims have been made about Federer – the tendency to hero-worship seems more or less universal”.

And there is no shame in that.

The man has 5 million (at least) fans on facebook, having overtaken colby bryant, so I gather, and I think federer has earnt his place in sport. Hardly hyperbole, more to do with fact and less to do with exaggeration or opinion.

Hero worship? who cares? There are worse people one could hero worship, don’t you think?

Nina Says:

Congrats to Murray, he played lights out tennis today and was the better player. Overall I think the match was very good and much closer than the final score suggests. Roger had his chances too but Murray was just too good today. Clearly Andy is a bad match up for Roger.
I enjoy the top field being so open lately, the tour is really about the Top 4.

Fedend Says:


I am not here to argue with u what is right or whether I am right or not. I am enjoying what I am doing here. As a Rafa fan I know I wont be able to survive here if I am fair and reasonable with my comments.

I enjoy taking on the FEDTARDS here.

Btw I am glad that I got under ur skin.

Skeezerweezer Says:


No offense taken :). I have no problem with someone accusing a player of this or that, or
that they just plain suck or dislike them. But
to be here just to provoke is not what this tennis blog is about IMO . Having opinions about players is cool, but when posters start attacking personally other posters or using the forum for name calling, WTF? In the end, I realize we are not moderators of this blog and posters for the most part can say whatever they want, so …….WTF? Blog on….

margot Says:

jane: the times they are a changing and Andy’s time is a coming. On tennistv, Adler and Goodall(?) were likening him to Lendl.
Have u seen match yet? My favourite shot was a forehand, yes a forehand! that Andy seemed almost to curve round Fed and down the line. Adler said it was “breathtaking,” the other, Goodall I think, said it was “miraculous.” They were both “running out of superlatives” :) :) :)
BTW do u like Ken Loach, he is my favourite director.
kimmi: don’t be sad for Fed he’s had the most astonishing career and isn’t finished yet, be happy for Andy for whom, the best is yet to come.
skeeze, mem, Naresh, Nina, I am it, Sean, grendel and all who’ve congratulated Andy. Ta, Ta and Ta again :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

Nina Says:

Federer will win another grand slam, of that I’m sure. And Murray’s first is due as is the second for Novak. Please Rafa stop winning everything! :)

Vulcan Says:

jane Says:

love that you used “schadenfreude”

Glad you liked it :), this is the dysfunctional tennis blog after all…never ceases to amaze me how clearly labeled things often are in life.

Vulcan Says:

Nina, as was the case for Sampras I suspect Federer will concentrate all of his focus on Wimbledon in his quest to solidify his position as the GOAT. That is one place where I think Nadal would still be regarded as the slight underdog against Federer.(even with all the hyperbole about how slow the surface is now)

jane Says:

margot, I know, it’s coming girl, the first slam, and more, and another for Nole, fingers crossed! No haven’t yet seen a replay, but usually TSN plays these things later and am snowed under with bad papers.

Ken Loach! Don’t think I’ve seen one of his films since “Riff-Raff” which I did enjoy. What recents ones would you recommend? I’ll rent some as respite. : )

margot Says:

jane: “Land and Freedom” makes me cry. “Looking for Eric” makes me laugh. “The Wind that shakes the Barley” makes me think. Goodness could write pages!

jane Says:

margot, I don’t think Roach gets a fair shake over here; have been to IMBD and don’t recall any or many of his recent films running in theatres. But at your recommendation I’ll be sure to seek them out, and according to effect, at that, as you’ve so kindly laid out. cheers!

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