Federer v. Del Potro, Who’s The Pick? Clijsters Tests Ankle, Nadal Out For Blood Against Berdych At Australian Open QFs
by Sean Randall | January 23rd, 2012
  • 269 Comments

It should be a great night tennis today from Melbourne. The quarterfinals begins with a terrific four-pack of matches headlined by the Roger Federer-Juan Martin Del Potro showdown.

Federer and Del Potro are meeting for a 10th time and the Swiss holds the big edge 7-2. But Del Potro has won two of their last three meetings, both back in 2009 before the Argentine injured his wrist.

The two US Open champs did meet last summer and Federer won easily 6-3, 7-5. This time, I think Del Potro is back to 100% full strength and eager to shed that horrific loss to Federer in this same round three years ago when he could only muster three games in a very lackluster effort.

While Del Potro has all the game and talent to beat Federer again, it’s hard to pick him here based on how Roger’s playing and the fact that it’s forecasted to be another hot one in Melbourne this afternoon could be the deal breaker.

“It’s nice is to see him back,” Federer said of Delpo. “He’s a good guy. I’m looking forward to the match. I think it’s going to be a tough one. He really came through convincingly in the last two especially. And, yeah, we know the firepower. I played him in Cincinnati six months ago. It was super fast. It’s going to be different. We’ll have many more rallies, so for me, a chance to mix it up, but I have to stay aggressive myself, as well.”

Added Del Potro, “It’s going to be another good moment for play. Roger is the best tennis player of the history, and of course he’s the favorite. I remember three years ago I play on quarters against him and I only win three games. So if this time is something different and I win more games is going to be okay for me.”

The key will be how well Federer serves. If he takes care of his serve he should get through. Therefore I think Del Potro keeps it close but in the end I like Federer in four sets. He really wouldn’t lose his 1000th match, would he?

I initially gave Tomas Berdych a good chance of knocking out Rafael Nadal in the quarters, but after the Berdych-Nicolas Almagro incident Rafa’s not going let Berdych off the hook for that misstep against his countryman.

To make matters worse, Nadal has won nine straight matches over Berdych who often flames out in these situations. Rafa, though, has been plagued by an assortment of injuries (knee, shoulder, brain) and in this round the last two years he’s had serious issues. Tonight, however, no issues. Nadal gets through, maybe even in straight sets.

As for the women, if Kim Clijsters’ left ankle is okay she’ll get past Caroline Wozniacki. If it isn’t, as I suspect, I think Wozniacki wins and hangs on to her No. 1 ranking a little longer.

It’s Kim’s farewell match in Melbourne so I hope she’s feeling fit. But 48 hours usually isn’t enough time to recover from an ankle sprain assuming that’s what indeed it is.

In the first match I’ll tip Victoria Azarenka to beat Aga Radwanska in a tight contest. With the Clijsters injury and Serena Williams out of the way on the other half, Azarenka really looks ready to take that next step. That step begins today.

Tennis Channel has coverage starting at 8pm ET then ESPN. If you can stay awake for all four it should be well worth it!

Rod Laver Arena 11:00 AM Start Time
1. Legends’ Doubles
Pat Cash (AUS) v. Wayne Arthurs (AUS)
Goran Ivanisevic (CRO) Thomas Muster (AUT)
Not Before:12:00 PM
2. Women’s Singles – Quarterfinals
Victoria Azarenka (BLR)[3] v. Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)[8]
3. Women’s Singles – Quarterfinals
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)[1] v. Kim Clijsters (BEL)[11]
Not Before:2:30 PM
4. Men’s Singles – Quarterfinals
Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG)[11] v. Roger Federer (SUI)[3]

Rod Laver Arena 7:30 PM Start Time
1. Men’s Singles – Quarterfinals
Tomas Berdych (CZE)[7] v. Rafael Nadal (ESP)[2]
2. Men’s Doubles – Quarterfinals
Bob Bryan (USA)[1] v. Mariusz Fyrstenberg (POL)[6]
Mike Bryan (USA)[1] Marcin Matkowski (POL)[6]


Also Check Out:
Roger Federer Wants More Drug Testing In Tennis
Federer Tries To Join Del Potro, Berdych In Rotterdam SFs; Roddick Tests Ankle In San Jose
Kim Clijsters Will Miss French Open, Clay Season
Kim Clijsters “Severely” Injures Ankle, French Open Uncertain
Kim Clijsters: “I Do Plan On Trying To Play A Full Schedule This Year”

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269 Comments for Federer v. Del Potro, Who’s The Pick? Clijsters Tests Ankle, Nadal Out For Blood Against Berdych At Australian Open QFs

marrisv Says:

Roger vs Rafa – 1 more hurdle to cross before they meet.


anthony Says:

I hope rafa whups birdie’s ass. He behaved like a spoiled little girl with that whole almagro incident.

And I hope clijsters rock woz as I would love to see a healthy clijsters battle azarenka that would be final worthy.


Thangs Says:

/*assortment of injuries (knee, shoulder, brain)*/

Sean, its not fair to mention his brain.


tennisfan Says:

Del Potro weak point is his second serve too and he has just won 48% points on it against Federer’s 63% ! Federer if he can mix up his shots and serve well, he can win comfortably. Even the stats till now also suggests that ( Federer vs. Del Potro – Statistical Preview of Australian Open Quarter Final- Part 1 http://bit.ly/AgVSOC )!

In the other QF, Nadal is the pick because Berdych last beat him in 2006 and Nadal has since then defeated him 5 times on hard court…(Data reference: http://bit.ly/wEwTwR )


tennisfan Says:

Del Potro weak point is his second serve too and he has just won 48% points on it against Federer’s 63% ! Federer if he can mix up his shots and serve well, he can win comfortably. Even the stats till now also suggests that ( Federer vs. Del Potro – Statistical Preview of Australian Open Quarter Final- Part 1 http://bit.ly/AgVSOC )!


tennisfan Says:

In the other QF, Nadal is the pick because Berdych last beat him in 2006 and Nadal has since then defeated him 5 times on hard court…(Data reference: http://bit.ly/wEwTwR )


Dan Martin Says:

Good picks – mine are pretty similar –

http://tennisabides.com/2012/01/23/australian-open-quarterfinal-predictions/

I think JMDP could pull the upset, but Federer has to be favored.


Kimmi Says:

go radwanska


S Green Says:

Dan, your picks are convincing as you like both Fed and DelPo, one a little more than the other, and I do the same but today in the reverse order, but I cannot predict and do not mind who comes of this to face Rafa.


skeezerweezer Says:

tennisfan,

Thanks for pointing that out. Until the big hitting Birdshit can hit with some patience against Rafa he is gonna continue to be Nadals bunny. Rafa in straights. And I hope he beats him bagel, bagel, and bagel, untoasted, no cream cheese, not even cut in half. And then I hope he puts those 3 bagels in a brown paper bag and sends him back to sissy land.


Kimberly Says:

Well I feel very nervous about berdych match. Hopefully rafa will play well.

I’m rooting for azarenka and clijsters. I had a brutal session tonight with a Danish trainer who made me run 40 yards dash 4 times with the weighted sled and all other kinds of terrible things and he is really excited for wozniaki so I will root against her since he kicked my ass. I know mature. Me and colino6 about the same maturity level.

Meanwhile azarenka not playing her best


skeezerweezer Says:

@K

are you planning to try it out on the tour? those are serious workouts! You go girl!


Kimmi Says:

oh god, they both cant hold serve


Kimmi Says:

go radwanska…break her again.


Kimberly Says:

Victoria not playing her best. Careless


Kimberly Says:

Something is up. I’ve never seen anyone play such a bad tiebreak in my life.


Kimmi Says:

what!!! azarenka who lost only 12 game in the first three rounds is been out played


jane Says:

Delpo says “I remember three years ago I play on quarters against him and I only win three games. So if this time is something different and I win more games is going to be okay for me.””

- Doesn’t sound very convincing does it? Sounds like he just wants to put in a good performance, but does he want to win? Maybe it’s just respect and that’ll kick in on the court.

As for Berdych, he hasn’t beat Rafa since 2006 – that’s 6 years people! Rafa will win.

More than likely a Fedal semi – and THEN who’s the pick? Things get blurrier.

Tight contest between the ladies; I wonder if Radwanska has the upset in her tonight?


Kimmi Says:

radwanska has never reached beyond qtr final in a slam. I hope she break through here..

azarenka is playing better now..


Lulu Iberica Says:

Awww… C’mon Aggie! I was really excited after Radwanska won the 1st set.


Kimberly Says:

Lulu!!!!! For the first time we can remember we r rooting for different people. I am rooting for azarenka.

In the Miami masters everyone was laughing at her. I feel bad. I think she can’t control it. I mean, no one wants to sound like they are giving birth on a tennis court on purpose.


Kimmi Says:

oh no! azarenka woke up and radwanska went to sleep.


Lulu Iberica Says:

I know Kimberly! I’m sorry to root against Azarenka, but I think she’s going to win, anyway, so you should be happy! It’s not really the hooting that bothers me. For some reason I just don’t like her. I think maybe all the injuries, etc, in the past annoyed me. I should probably give her another chance. Still, I’m not gonna root for her to win the final!


Lulu Iberica Says:

The few times I played tennis I was grunting all the time. Of course, I am terrible and lacking in all coordination and foot speed, so most of the time I was making a desperate lunge for the ball, and that’s probably why I was grunting! I need to go out and hit some balls again soon. My husband broke his ankle in a motorcycle accident this spring and we couldn’t play for quite a while.


carlo Says:

How could she go to sleep when the loon is howling like that.

Come on Agnieszka!


Kimmi Says:

i know carlo, unfortunately she is been over powered. azarenka is a better player today.

like lulu, i find it hard to like her. for me it is definitely the screaming.


jane Says:

The loon as in crazy? Or the lake bird? Just to be clear, you know. :) Looks like Aggie’s about to break back.


Lulu Iberica Says:

Hmmm… I was just about to say Azarenka is looking very good and then she double faulted twice!


Kimmi Says:

go Aggie, break her!


carlo Says:

2 break points Agie, come on!


carlo Says:

She does it! back on serve. There is hope for Radvanska


Kimmi Says:

the problem for aggie is the serve, her second serve is VERY attackable.


carlo Says:

She sounds like a loon as in bird to me, and not in a good way, Jane.


Kimberly Says:

Colino6 and patricko4 managed to fall asleep with this match on. The hooting lulled them peacefully to sleep?


Kimmi Says:

oh no! too powerful for aggie. she is getting overpowerd


jane Says:

What? Neither can hold? I hate when ladies matches get like this, break, break break break….


Kimmi Says:

she holds. huge mountain for aggie to climb now


carlo Says:

Your children, Kimberly, are very good tennis fans.

Hoot and howling her way to the semi. AO radio reports 1st set some fans in the crowd were imitating her howl and it put Vika off.


jane Says:

carlo, oh the bird. I kind of like the bird, actually, but I have heard it at 5:00 on the lake, cooing at the rising sun. Not screeching repetitively on a tennis court while swinging at a fuzzy yellow ball with all of its strength. Context is everything.

Hoooo HOOOO hoooo HOOOO… Looks like the loon is going to hold after all.

Kimberly, funny your kids fell asleep. lol. Now you know what to do. Tape Vika’s matches, and when the kids are unruly or you and Kaiser want some alone time, just put on the tape, on repeat. Job done! :)


Kimberly Says:

Actually Jane, I play for a team and that’s what most of the ladies matches are. Most of the women now hit the groundies deep and take the ball really early and hit very flat, the second and sometimes even the first serve is the easiest sitter shot you will get and great opportunity for an aggressive returner to take control of the point. Unless someone has something special on the serve most women tee off the second serve and the returner often has the advantage.


carlo Says:

I am sorry, Jane. I don’t mean to insult the lake bird. Bird sounds can be annoying though, depending on what activity they are up to.

I have crows. Very clever birds and fun to watch, really.

whew, the noise has ceased on Rod laver.


Kimmi Says:

azarenka could get to the final i think. she is playing well and very consistent.


Kimberly Says:

Vika looks strong and I think so beautiful. A true athlete. Congrats on her second semi. What do u guys think about Serena? Kaiser read an article by wertheim saying unless she puts in the hard yards her reign is over.


Kimmi Says:

“whew, the noise has ceased on Rod laver.”, teee hee


jane Says:

Well, I kind of thought Vika would win, but AGgie made it interesting for a set or so. I think Kimmi is right; she needs a better second serve for sure.


Kimmi Says:

GO KIM.


jane Says:

Kimberly, interesting insider commentary. It makes sense what you say. Sharpie is an awesome returner. It’d just be nice to see more solid serving from some of the ladies. You know?

carlo, I love crows!


Kimmi Says:

Kim had the toughest draw here. On this half azarenka had it easy imo.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

This is the first time I’m watching, excited, a women’s match in a long time. These are two great players when they’re on, and, although I’m not a Woz fan, I do kind of want her to do well. Same as Fed and DelPo, I want them all to win!
Should be a great few hours of tennis coming up. I have stocked up on junk food, vodka and frangelico (I was given the frangelico and learned it can be well mixed with vodka and milk. Its a diet drink).


dari Says:

Big fight from vika! I hope she wins this thing- and in nike shorts and jabing just switched raquets ;)

Shocked about serena, but she couldn’t have been healthy already, and sometimes I think she gets surprised when somebody comes out blazing on her. Makarova was.killing it down the line, though serena made a ton of mistakes herself.

Anyway, delpo and fed up tonight. My heart will hurt a little no matter which loses, though certainly more if its fed. Give a good one, boys!


Kimmi Says:

ankle!! clever for kim to tie both her ankles today. she didnt in her last match. that was not smart.


Kimberly Says:

Lucky you tv, I’m sipping herbal tea and kaiser raiding the pantry for the kids goodies. A good friend who owns a chocolate shop in Boston gave me a box of dark chocolate covered bee pollen.

I think wozniaki wants this more. But I’m rooting for Kim for reasons stated above


carlo Says:

lol Vodka and Frangelico a diet drink, TV?

I love Woz and Kim. And after 2 hours of Vika, it’s that ah, feeling like I’ve been skating all day and just took off the skates. Ah, free at last. No more howling.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

If Woz is going to lose, I hope Kim demolishes her. This would accomplish three things: 1) elevate Kim’s stature in history 2) entertain me with Woz’ despair and possible crying (is that bad?) 3) get us to DelPo Fed fast.


jane Says:

Jeez TV you sound totally set up for some good tennis watching. I have some wine and that’s it, lol. Maybe need to go scrounge in the cupboards for some popcorn.

I think I’d like to see Kim win more, but I have nothing against the Woz either. So it’s all good.Same with Fed-Delpo. But I have a sneaking suspicion that a Fedal is around the corner. ;)


Kimberly Says:

Jane, kvitova and williams have strog second and first serves. Neither player feeds a total sitter as a second which most of the other ladies do.


Kimberly Says:

Neither player impressive so far


jane Says:

That’s why they win the slams perhaps Kimberly. Remember way back when Sharapova also used to serve well?


carlo Says:

Heartless TennisVagabond, heartless. But I completely agree about hoping Clisters can get this done in 2 sets.

Go Clijsters! Break!


Kimberly Says:

Jane, yes when Maria had a serve as a weapon not a liability. But wozniaki second serves have been batting practice for clijsters


Kimmi Says:

tee hee hee kim must be enjoying to play wozniacki. Go go go


carlo Says:

Caro has hit aces when she needs them. How long can she hang on. Kim has set pt. #5

Kim gets the 1st set with a booming winner! Go Kim!


Kimmi Says:

tough game to break. 1st set in the bag. c’mon kim


notna cirf Says:

That person who is sending Tomas Berdych back to … country has no idea what tennis is. One US tennis coach just said that he even “trained his tennis students how to hit the opponent”. Perhaps, this is one of the reasons why there are no US players in the last round of Grand Slam tournaments… Cheers, anti-Berdych crowd !!! Please focus more on tennis quality.


jane Says:

Winner will be whomever breaks serve last?


Gannu Says:

We have got a shameless WTA No 1…keep defending wozniacki…but unless somebody corrects this ranking system WTA is going to be massively embarassed…Clijsters is thrashing Woz now


Kimmi Says:

This is where they get nervous. serving for the match. C’mon Kim


van orten Says:

It would Come on clijsters finish her of..wanna see at least the first set of delpo/ fed!!!!!


Kimmi Says:

there is the break! aaaw..


van orten Says:

Typical choke in wta tennis…


longbow Says:

I have watched women’s tennis for a long time as well as other sports. I would like to know how you can have a #1 ranking for so long without a major and very few winning tourneys.


Naderer Says:

Guys Clijsters has to loose in order for the WTA to retain its pride. If she’s not coming back next year then she shouldn’t take the title with. If she leaves with the title, it’s demeaning for next years champion


van orten Says:

Horror scenario: they ll play another set…


Daniel Says:

Clijsters got to be kidding me!! I will have to come up with a lie at work tomorrow afternoon, just to watch Fed match and now she just realized she never won against a #1 player in a Slam before!! I didn’t knew this stat and it showed while I am renting here..


Daniel Says:

Return of serve in the WTA is the single most improved shot in tennis history over the last 5-8 years. Everybody is a great returner, they all develop in this regard.


S Green Says:

Women’s tennis is so predictably unpredictable that anything can happen even if you have 20 MPs. I’d not be surprised at all if Woz happens to turn it around.
Go Clijsters !!!


van orten Says:

Please tennis god no 3 rd set pls !!! It is already enough painful to watch


Daniel Says:

C’mon Woz, choke! Nothing against you but I have headaches already. And the worst part, am not asleep at all. For me is going be all night long…


carlo Says:

Okay. Kim needs to break here and win this thing.

Go Kim!

I’m falling asleep with ESPN and AO radio on. Maybe Delpo heaving and grunting will startle me awake.


Daniel Says:

OMG!!! Whyyyyyyyyy


Daniel Says:

Damm it, Clijster had 15-30 5-2


Kimmi Says:

ah, kim hitting the bottom of the net a lot. bad..

van orten, i also get a feeling it is going to third set


van orten Says:

I give up..I knew this Was coming..
Incredible…


Daniel Says:

Wow, 8 points on serve in WTA tibreak?! remarkable!


Daniel Says:

YEAHHHHHHHH!!!!


Kimmi Says:

A little wobble but finished at the end. congrats kim


Atom Says:

Yes !!! match is finally over :)


van orten Says:

Thank god!!!! Now kimmi are u ready to rumble.?. prepare for a tight one …


S Green Says:

Congrats to Clijsters, very good performance and great finish.
With that, Kvitova becomes the new No. 1. WTA should feel a bit relieved.


Kimmi Says:

van orten – I am going to sleep..NOW! i am not going to watch any of the federer match tonite. i will record and see if its worth watching tomorrow. if i watch now..it will kill my sleep and i have a long day tomorrow.


jane Says:

Congrats to Kim. I wanted her to win more, but I do feel sorry for Woz. She just can’t get over the hump.


tennisfan Says:

So are we ready for the showdown…Who will it be: Just to refresh the memories: Here are the stats of both the players: Federer vs. Del Potro – What does stats indicate http://bit.ly/AgVSOC


Wog boy Says:

So far I picked 2 out of 4. Still two to go, next should be Delpo. It is so hot inside , I am all wet, and I am siting on the sun. I had to come out , I am definitely cold weather person.
Time for Heineken :-)


van orten Says:

Good luck then kimmi…I can watch max. One set my day s alrwady begun…


Daniel Says:

Humm DelPo, bad smash!


Daniel Says:

Fed is sharp as he can be!


S Green Says:

If DelPo does not serve well , it could be a quick job for Fed.


Daniel Says:

TWO, Bye, it was a pleasure….


Daniel Says:

Wow, I didn’t see him this hungry since Nadal match in WTF!


S Green Says:

Looks like Fed finally figured out how to play DelPo’s power: chip and charge, low no-pace ball, etc.


jane Says:

Blitzkrieg bop!


Daniel Says:

Damm it, DelPo is playing fantastic, but Fed is winning all the points, hardly any mistakes.


S Green Says:

Drop shot paralyzes extra tall players. Fed will be using that a lot, looks like.


Nims Says:

I believe Roger did the same in USO 09 for first 2 sets. The commentators were of the opinion that Roger was giving a lesson to everyone on how to play the big man. But we all know how things changed after that.

Del P takes atleast a set to get his FH going. So it’s too early conclude anything on the match.


Atom Says:

Tough match ….


S Green Says:

Wow, DelPo breaks back. Are we gonna have a match or what?


van orten Says:

Wow Fed no First serve 3 ue with his forehand… Brought delpo back


racquet Says:

Del Potro looking very sharp now.


jane Says:

Even Stevens.


Daniel Says:

Amazing level in this match. Can’t believe DelPo could even the match. Just Wow!!!


Nims Says:

If Roger serves 80% first serve in the match, he has a chance. Else, I doubt he is going to survive with DelP.


andrea Says:

yay kim! nice one. caroline again coming up empty at the slams. hopefully fed breaks here and takes the first set….


Daniel Says:

Fed’s return are amazing Damm, Vamo in DelPo’s face..


tennisfansince76 Says:

delpo has been bringing the wood the last few games. and holding up well in the heat. i am impressed. oooh double breaker


jane Says:

Jeez andrea, as if on cue!


andrea Says:

ouch! double fault. well at least i can go to bed with fed winning one set.


racquet Says:

Sloppy. tsk tsk


tennisfansince76 Says:

Delpo has to win 3 sets in the heat. can he do it? its too bad i’d much rather see Delpo pummel Rafa.


S Green Says:

Slice and dice is the way to go and Fed employs it right on time to take the 1st set.


van orten Says:

Impressive return game by Fed..finally woke up again..it seems to be very hot..so saving energy for big points is key


margot Says:

Some breathtaking play from Fed. :)
Gotta stay focused though, Delboy is tough.
Come on Fed!


Gannu Says:

i am damn nervous…hope feddy bear takes this all


Nims Says:

I believe DelP seems to be more dangerous when he is moving in contrast to his other tall players.

I’m not sure if the routine tactic of making the big guy move around will work against DelP.


Daniel Says:

Fed serve still is concerning, maybe that’s why he improve his return game.


jane Says:

The AO website says 34 degrees; imagine what it is on the court. Ugh.


Epsilon Says:

I feel Federer just likes to lob tall guys, as if saying: “Think that’ll help you against me?”


Daniel Says:

Nadal’s forehand is unique and powerful, but this two are the best in the game right now. Loe when DelPo, unleashes Uhuu, you know IT coming!!


tennisfansince76 Says:

delpo’s FH seems powerful enough to damage the HC surface.


Epsilon Says:

Is it the heat? They are both making all kinds of errors. Maybe except that break point.


jane Says:

Fed’s been much better at getting into Delpo’s service games rather than the other way round. He’s winning roughly 20% more receiving points.


margot Says:

jane: Aussie comms are saying it’s “perfect” tennis weather…OMG! Not for us pasty Brits…unless you train in Miami of course.
However, Fed looks as if he’s just stepped out of the shower, Delboy looks as if he’s already run a marathon.
And Fed cruising now.


tennisfansince76 Says:

yes Jane on 1st serve. 2ns serve is about even. that is odd.


tennisfansince76 Says:

actually i think the heat is tough on both od them today. Fed has been ducking into the shade whenever he can


tennisfansince76 Says:

the shade is 1/2 way across the court. relief is coming. Fed has been smart about not trying to match power w/ Delpo all the time


van orten Says:

I prefer today a low serve% and high one in possible semis…


tennisfansince76 Says:

yes van orten me too


jane Says:

I think Fed’s got this one in the bag. He’s had quality opponents the last few rounds, and he continues to come through without too much difficulty. Next one will be Rafa.

Anyhow gotta sleep. Night all. Enjoy the rest.


van orten Says:

How many times his served clicked in quarterfinals only to see it vanish the next match..already off to work..so Keep posting


Wog boy Says:

Jane, it is awfully hot inside, trust me, I am still outside watching on big screen, preparing myself to go back for third set, God help me.


van orten Says:

Serving for set nr2 now oohhh reliefed don’t have to watch it…


Epsilon Says:

Roger has a nerve. Deuce.


van orten Says:

It s so hard bein a Federist…nadal never does that…man like ua open 09


Epsilon Says:

Two in the stash.


margot Says:

Awful serving from Fed nearly lets Delboy back in. Rafa would not let him get away with that.
However, 2 set lead.


van orten Says:

Yes no dejavu


Epsilon Says:

van orten:

Did Roger do that when he was 25? I know how it feels, but try to accept it.


vinod Says:

Come on FED !!!


van orten Says:

Yes epsilon I accept it and kinda like it..Boris Becker was worse Haha


Nims Says:

If Roger loses the set, he is to be blamed. He had a great chance to go up two breaks, but missed an easy return on the second serve.


Atom Says:

Double break !!!


RD Says:

Fed in straights. Ominous, 2010 AO form.


Atom Says:

What a player !!! so great to watch ….


Nims Says:

Del P’s movement and Roger’s excellent strategy to go to Del P BH throughout the match had given him wonderful results.

Throughout the match, Roger never went to Del P’s FH on the attack, he always went behind his BH. The strategy worked perfectly today.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Wow. Never seen such impressive returning from Federer. DelPo was bringing huge first serves and Fed was consistently getting them back and often getting back to neutral position. As the Aussie commentators said, “Fed’s best is better”. Top notch display from both players. DelPotro is most definitely back as a contender, regardless of this score line. This was Fed at his best, good enough to dominate his service games with a dismal first serve %.

I think it was Ajet who was saying earlier that if DelPotro was making big first serves there would be nothing Fed could do. Fed must have been reading Tennis-X.


Gordo Says:

Rafa vs Fed here we come – the 10th meeting on hard court. If anyone can predict how this will go they are better than I.

Oh and tennis-x – do Rafa and Fed both (either) deserve to be in your trunck list at this moment?


margot Says:

Well played Fed. The first three games were breath taking. Thereafter he didn’t have to do too much.
Disappointing match in the end.


Nims Says:

It’s a pity Roger is going to face Nadal(most likely) next. I can never imagine Roger getting to Nadal in a 5-setter. It’s a great luck draw for NAdal and a brutal one for Roger. With this form, Roger clearly has a great chance against Novak, but not against Nadal.

Still hist 1st serve % is not upto the mark. He cannot get the job done against Nadal with this kind of serve stats.


S Green Says:

Fed had done good homework and he executed his strategy. He played a great match tactically. Job well done.
DelPo will need to improve more to challenge the top four, and I believe he is on track.


steve-o Says:

Masterclass from Federer, serving and returning both.

There really weren’t that many long rallies, and he handled his backhand amazingly well, hitting acute angles and flicking the ball behind Del Potro to open the court and redirecting the ball with ease. Del Potro was rarely allowed to punish the ball with his forehand.

There were shades of the USO final when he was serving for that second set, but he fought it off.

Incredible to put away a champion of Del Potro’s caliber in straight sets.

Del Potro competed as well as he could, but he wasn’t really permitted to play his game.


Michael Says:

Everybody have come to the premature conclusion that Federer is going to meet Nadal in the semi-finals even before the match against Berdych is yet to take place. Such is the confidence level with Berdych against Nadal. Yeah sure it will be a miracle if Berdych gets through. But well it is possible and it happens in Tennis although most unlikely.

So there we are, Federer will likely meet Nadal yet again and going by the past, he should find it difficult. But with the form he is in at the moment which I hope it continues, then he will have a very fine shot against Nadal provided he improves his first serve percentage which was awful against Potro. His first serve percentage should be something around 65% to have a real go at Nadal. More often than not he falters against Nadal is due to his poor first service and I hope things are different this time. Despite the hype about Nadal’s performance, he is vulnerable as he is yet to meet his match in this tournament and therefore coming to any premature conclusion about his performance level will be ill-advised. I am sure we are all awaiting that special Thursday when these two Champions will play it out hopefully.


van orten Says:

Fed seems to be in good form no ?!haha


Michael Says:

What can I say about Roger’s performance today. He played near his best but his first serve percentage was not upto the mark. Del Potro was also playing well but he was outclassed in the Ist set except for a short period when he registered a turn around. Once Federer took that second set, the match was good as over. But still Potro should have been thinking about collapse of Federer against Tsonga when he won the first two sets at Wimbledon. However, in the third set once Federer had that early break, then it was advantage to him. All in all, Roger played a near blemishless Tennis except for his first serve percentage which should improve if he needs to win this tournament for the fifth time.


Gannu Says:

I dont know how this fed woud fare against Nadal…hope he get rid of all his mental daemons and slaughter Nadal like WTF…Really hope fed brings his best 1st servce…One common feature of Fed losing against Nadal is his poor serve…If somebody has any statustics i am pretty sure that Fed would have served his horrible against Nadal…Anyways 26th jan is a national holiday in India and I would be there to see him play…Fed fans – Kimmi, skeez, madmax (were are u?), huh, Daniel others – hope our man wins 17th gslam…Its been 2 full years and he is due for one ;-)))


Michael Says:

Spot on Gannu !! Federer should improve his first serve percentage if he is to have chances against Nadal. In the 2009 Australian Open final Federer was serving an awful 37% first serve percentage. That proved to be his downfall.


Dave Says:

30-year old Federer won 59% of total points in less than two hours against Del Potro in his prime. When Federer plays like this the match becomes one sided as his opponent is overwhelmed and his will and confidence are broken — so when Federer plays well the matches are not close or competitive, unless Federer is having a bad day.

What’s scary is that Federer’s 57% first serve percentage still has room to improve.

This delpo match and Roger’s thrashing of Nadal at the 2011 World Tour Finals in November are probably the two finest performances of tennis by any player since at least the 2011 US Open, if not longer.

A lot of head scratching by those who expected Del Potro to out-muscle Federer based on their 2009 US Open final which Federer was only two points away from winning. What they refuse to consider is that Federer’s back was probably hurting during that USO match, which explains why Roger’s serve, movement and footwork got worse and worse as the match wore on, and why a hurting Roger was snippy with the umpire during the match.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/blogs/match-tough/federers-back-needs-a-break/article1301682/

As I said, Federer is playing well enough to beat both Nadal and Djokovic in three or four sets, unless his back acts up or he has a bad day. After seeing the kind of form Federer displayed against Delpo and Tomic, there’s not a whole lot of motivation for Nadal to win his match against Berdych. Don’t be surprised if Berdych achieves a famous victory against Rafa.


tennisfan Says:

For only die hard Federer fans -here is something worth reading, reminds you of how he has single-handedly kept the interests of the 90’s fans still alive in the game! Just loved reading it!
Roger Federer- The Last Link To The 90′s? http://bit.ly/sPzObf


steve-o Says:

If he can beat a champion like Del Potro with such a low first-serve percentage, it’s a good thing, not a bad thing.

The important thing was that he backed his serve well. Trying to go for so many aces and service winners isn’t sustainable. It’s a higher-percentage play to set up with the serve to put away the return.

Nadal stays so far back to return serve and he likes to be conservative and just put the ball into play, it gives more room for Federer to serve and volley occasionally, just to mix things up.

The slice serve to the deuce court will be very useful. He was hitting it really well against Del Potro.


Nims Says:

I believe this match should remind NAdal about his comments on Roger’s body before the start of AO. It’s not the body which makes Roger play such consistent tennis, it’s his Tennis IQ, technique and amazing movement which makes him sweat less on court. I hope Nadal understands this rather than simply commenting on how gifted Roger’s body is to play tennis.


Ajet Says:

All that I can hope is Roger can play without fear against Rafa here. That way Fed has much more chances to beat Rafa, in fact he would beat Rfa if he could fix his mind. I sure hope Roger not gift the match away to Nadal, should they meet. And I’m rootng for Rafa BIG TIME, this time. This is just another of the ”very few times” that I have actually rooted for Nadal victory, anywhere.

Go Rafa!!!
Meet Roger, and lose to him! Best of luck in that! ;)

And I sure want federer to bring his ”timely magic” against Rafa this time rather than showing too much of his ‘magic’ against others, which doesn’t surprise many anyway…
ROGER NEEDS TO BEAT RAFA THIS TIME, or else it would be just too much for me!

PLEASE RAFA, BEAT BERDYCH!
AND PLEASE ROGER, BEAT RAFA!!!

VAMOS AND ALLEZ!!!


Gannu Says:

Feddy bear’s interview,,,I love you feddy baby ;-)

http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/news/interviews/2012-01-24/201201241327394993764.html

Roger Federer 24.01.12
Home > News & Photos > Interviews > Roger Federer 24.01.12
Tuesday, 24 January, 2012

Start of Player Photo

Roger Federer bio

Transcribed Interview

Start of Transcribed Interview

R. FEDERER/J. Del Potro

6‑4, 6‑3, 6‑2

Q. How important was it at the early part of the match to kind of put a marker down and show that you weren’t going to be intimidated by him in those early exchanges?

ROGER FEDERER: I guess for me it was more trying to get used to the day conditions again, make sure the ball doesn’t fly on me, and sort of get used to his pace and make sure I don’t have any hiccups in my own sort of service games, really.

Because I mean, how Juan Martin plays. He knows how I play. We have played some big matches against each other. So just knowing how well he’s been playing as of late, I was just hoping that I would get off a good start. But I was able to mix it up well and control the ball, and right away sort of felt confident, which then sort of helped me to use all aspects of my game.

Then it got tough with the shadow creeping in, and I knew that was going to happen rather sooner than later just because the matches before me took some time. I knew it was going to happen eventually. That’s why the second set, serving out the second set was key for me. You know, get through that tough patch, and then in the third it was a bit more free swinging for me.

Him, maybe, as well, and I took advantage of that.

Q. It felt pretty airless out there. Were the conditions quite brutal?

ROGER FEDERER: You mean the heat?

Q. Yeah.

ROGER FEDERER: No, no problem for me, anyway. It was dry heat. Sure, because there was no wind it increased, you know, the feeling of it being a bit warmer, but I had no problem at all.

I have played in much tougher conditions. I have no issues.

Q. When you saved the fourth break point on 5‑3 in the second set after a long, long rally, you made one of the loudest roars I have ever heard from you.

ROGER FEDERER: That’s why I didn’t celebrate when I won the set, just to make it up, you know.

But, no, it was a couple of big moments for me. I really knew how important that game was for me. Particularly in the one rally actually ‑ I think it was before that ‑‑ where I hit a backhand down the line and I hit it on the line long.

It was so hard to see the ball, really I didn’t know where the backhand was going to go. If it would have gone two meters out, I wouldn’t have been surprised. It ended up on the line. It was very important for me.

Then the next point I was sort of trying dictate, but I was a bit, honestly, a bit scared to hit through it just because it was tough to see the ball, you know, out there with the sun coming in from the side.

I was struggling, as well, with the serve just a little bit. I mean, photographs were having a blast. Every time I was tossing up the ball I heard about a hundred clicks, you know, so it was quite something out there.

But I was able to come through and it was big.

Q. There are endless milestones you have been passing on the way. What does it actually mean to you to rack up 1000 and do it in such style, as well?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, 1000 matches, not 1000 wins. Big difference. (Laughter.)

I wish it was 1000 wins, but I’m happy with 1000 matches in total, too. It’s nice to win this one. I mean, eventually I will forget which was one was my 1000th match and someone will remind me again.

I do not remember my 500, and that was the US Open final against Agassi. No bigger matches than those ones.

It’s a big milestone, I agree. It’s a lot of matches and a lot tennis. Either I have been around for a long time or I’m extremely fit. You decide which way you want to describe it. I don’t know. But I’m happy.

Q. You didn’t win your 1000th match, but you won 2000 sets in those 1000.

ROGER FEDERER: Today?

Q. Yes, today. With first with the first set, that was your No. 2000.

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, a lot of milestones. A roadrunner.

Q. Do you think the semifinal lineup will now be the top four players in the world?

ROGER FEDERER: I think there’s a good chance, yeah. I think all the top guys are playing really well at the moment.

But I think all of us ‑‑ I mean, I was the first to play the quarters, I guess. We were all staring down at tough opponents, you know, in the quarters, and then knowing what potentially could happen in the semis and the finals.

We know it’s going to be a tough end to the tournament if you get there. But it could well be, you know. I wouldn’t be surprised if it were to happen, but the matches aren’t easy.

Q. Do you feel like you’re striking the ball as well as you ever have and in comparison to the top 2, or is the perfectionist in you still a bit dissatisfied?

ROGER FEDERER: In comparison to the top 2? You mean my game compared to them?

Q. Yeah.

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, well, I don’t know. I’m watching them for entertainment really at the moment. Tonight will be maybe the first time it will change a bit. I will watch Rafa’s match with maybe more of a purpose, Berdych’s match, too, just to see how it’s really going.

So far they have been extremely solid. I said before, all of them are playing really well. I’m really happy with my game. That’s what I’m most concerned with, to be quite honest.

I’m moving well. I’m serving well. I’m hitting the ball clean. Today I thought, you know, in a very hot day with, you know, fast conditions, I was able to control the ball.

From now on basically it’s only night sessions, so it’s going to change now. It’s going to be an even easier sort of to get a better feel for the ball; then again, it’s going to be more athletic and tougher. I’m ready for that.

Q. Those Rafa comments before the start of the tournament are probably forgotten for you, but does this make a difference if you play against him in the semifinal? Does it change something?

ROGER FEDERER: No. No. Honestly, no. It was here for one day and then gone again. I’m happy about that, because it didn’t deserve more attention than it did.

Yeah, so for me it’s another great match with Rafa potentially, but he’s got a tough task with Berdych first.

But obviously I’d like to play Rafa because of our great epic match earlier in the finals here a few years ago. I’d like to get a chance to play him again here.

Q. Does it feel different being on the same side of the draw as him for the first time a long time? You met him several Grand Slam finals. Obviously first time in a semi potentially since ’05.

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it’s been a long time. I don’t know when the last time has been when we played in the semis of a slam. Maybe back in 2005 maybe at the French potentially, I don’t know.

But it’s true, we have been, you know, on opposite sides of the draw many times. I didn’t even play Murray last year, you know, because we were ranked I guess 3 and 4, so we always ran into Novak or ‑‑ I basically always ran into Novak.

I guess it’s a nice changeup. Okay, it doesn’t allow a rematch for the Australian Open final here, you know, if Murray were to play Novak. But I think it’s good for tennis that it changes up a bit. Like I said, I’d love to play Rafa in the semis if it happens.

Q. This is the other side of the game, but did you feel a little bit of sympathy with Caroline Wozniacki who has had to put up with a lot of, not criticism necessarily, but a lot of investigation into the fact that she’s been the No. 1 player of the world without winning a slam. Been taking quite a bit of schtick for what she’s done. Do you feel a little bit of sympathy for her in that situation?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I haven’t followed in detail what’s been written in the press about her or how she’s been handling her press conferences or how tough you guys have been on her.

But I can imagine it could be tricky because it’s been like this for a while now. Many world No. 1s in the past have not won slams. I have been aware of that, so it makes it difficult out there on the court, I guess. I see many women’s players being extremely sort of tense and fist pumping after every single point. It’s to me pretty surprising to see that, I guess.

I have fist pumped maybe five times at the most, and they do that in one game. It’s incredible to see how intense they are. But then again, I think she’s done really well. There has been many players coming in and out of the game on the women’s side.

But it’s not her problem, really. She did her work, and I think she deserves to be world No. 1. There is no free pass to world No. 1, you know. I think she’s done very well. She wasn’t just there for a week, either. You have to credit her for taking advantage of it and doing the best of it.

It’s not all about the slams anyway. They’re big tournaments, you know, but it’s not only about that.

Q. You hear on TV they talk about statement wins, which they said about you tonight. Does that concept even exist? Are there results during a tournament that other players make that echo with you?

ROGER FEDERER: Maybe a little bit. I didn’t look at this one as a statement win. I mean, I knew the danger of playing Juan Martin, so potentially it was my big test.

But I kind of look looked at the Tomic match as a big test for me, you know, seeing where my rhythm was, how I was playing, because the first three rounds I didn’t get much rhythm. For me it was maybe that match.

Today I was much more relaxed about playing Juan Martin for some reason, even though he’s got the much bigger record as a player. Yeah, so I don’t think players are going to read into this performance much. I’m just happy I’m moving on and I’m in the semis already.

I feel like it’s been a quick week for me, and I feel great. So it’s all about that right now. Sure, when you see the other top guys, you know, always going straight sets, you know, never any issues, yeah, I mean, it does ring a bell.

You know, you say, Okay, the other guys are playing really well, too. That’s why I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re all in the semis.

Q. Are you able to compare those matches against Del Potro? You had some tough ones and that was so easy. Does that mean you are a little better? Is he a little worse?

ROGER FEDERER: Ah, I don’t know. Look, it’s just day form as well, exists as well. Sometimes I’m just playing well and he’s maybe not, and then all of a sudden, you know, there is a combination of many things happening that you end up winning in straight sets.

But I didn’t really struggle too much on his serve today for some reason. I was able to return great, and I think that was a big key. Then I think I was serving the right way, even though I didn’t have the highest first serve percentage.

I think things really went well for me tonight, or today, I think. I still believe he’s right there, you know, in the group behind the top 4. If that means 5 or 11, I don’t think it matters much. He’s right there. He’s going to make another move and another push this year, I think.

I will definitely see him in the top 8 at the end of the year. He’ll get many more chances this year. It’s a long year and it’s only the beginning.

So for me, I’m happy I’m playing well, but I also see that he’s actually in good shape, too.

Q. Worried at all about keeping the momentum you had at the end of last season, because there is that break. You can’t really…

ROGER FEDERER: A little bit. I mean, I guess you’re always a little worried that when you come back you’re like not going to play as good and conditions are going to be different.

This was all indoors at the end of the season. This is clearly slow outdoor hard courts, so you’re never quite sure if you’re going to adjust and are you going to be moving as well or is it going to be completely different movement just because it is slower‑paced courts.

Then again, I have been there so many times and I have finished the seasons six times on an absolute high. Probably the times I didn’t win I still finished great. There’s probably eight or nine times I came in with a lot of confidence into the new season, and most of the times I always played a good Australian Open.

I never lost here I think in the first round or before the third round, so I’ve always played really well here. So you are worried it’s always going to happen for the first time, so I’m relieved I’m going to be in the semis, to be honest.

Q. Do you ever lose sleep before a big game or big match?

ROGER FEDERER: A little bit. Sometimes. Rarely. It’s more the girls than the opponent. (Laughter.)

It does occasionally happen, yes.

Q. Rod Laver arrived here today. Is there an extra feeling, an extra special feeling when someone like him is around to watch a Grand Slam?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it’s nice. I mean, I love it when former greats come out and sort of not watch me but watch us sort of play. I think it’s very nice.

It’s nice to see Lendl back in the game. Doesn’t matter who he’s playing or working with, to be honest. It’s nice to see him back and sort of caring about what sort of made his life, I guess. Because we do all love it deeply, you know, somehow, in some way.

I saw Roy Emerson also today sitting there all of a sudden. I said, Oh, that’s nice to see you, but I didn’t say that and I didn’t acknowledge him, because I’m pretending to be focused, right?

I was very happy to see him. It’s nice to see greats and legends come out and watch sort of my generation, you know, play on the big courts.


Ajet Says:

tennisfan:

article was short but nice. :)


alison hodge Says:

to be honest im not even thinking about a roger/rafa semi,atm im only thinking of rafa beating berdych im a bit like kimberly this match is already making me feel nervous,t.berds playing very well so far,c,mon rafa take it to him.


Ajet Says:

”Q. There are endless milestones you have been passing on the way. What does it actually mean to you to rack up 1000 and do it in such style, as well?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, 1000 matches, not 1000 wins. Big difference. (Laughter.)”

LOL :P

But you sure have got a great chance to move one match closer to that 1000 wins landmark starting with a semi final win against rafa(potentially), that’d be moving in the right direction I guess Roger! ;)


Nims Says:

Man, Rafa is really on song with his FH. It’s the best I have seen him play in a long time. He is even better than 2010 form. I think he has the best chance to get AO, probably 60% compared to other top players.


Ajet Says:

alison, i also know that berdych can be a very difficult opponent when everything clicks for him, he’s certainly no push over! that’s why i’m all behind rafa this time, rooting for him to beat berd boy and reac semi, to LOSE to my dear fed of course! ;)


Nims Says:

This match is being played in such high quality, wish it goes to 5 sets. It will turn out to be an epic. But you never know with Berdych. He can just freeze any moment.


alison hodge Says:

thanks hope your right ajet,except for the bit about roger beating rafa sorry lol.


alison hodge Says:

ajet if rafa looses to berdch ,i will root for roger to win in the semis though.


alison hodge Says:

pheew rafa saves 4 set points,go rafa.


Gannu Says:

ghosh this nadal berdych match is scary and nadal is just on a mission..wonder whether fed can handle him in this form!


Kimmi Says:

oh boy!


contemperory Says:

Gannu, you feel Rafa is in excellent form, but Berdych has taken the 1st set, and faced 2 brk points in the first game of the 2nd set. So do you think Berdych is playing equally well or slightly better than Rafa?


Senthilvel Says:

Hell out!! No one supporting Berdych. I am always root against Rafa!! That’s ultimate Fed fan


contemperory Says:

*Rafa faced 2 brk points (even though he won the game)


Gannu Says:

Well the level of tennis between Rafa and Berdych is scary…yes berdych did win the 1st set by playng exceptionally well…dont think one can maintain that level for 3 sets against rafa while rafa’s level will never drop..so you need to outplay him which only djoker has done in gslams and fed at WTF and perhaps stray cases like delpo and tsonga…


Nims Says:

Guys, Berdych cannot play at this level for 2 more sets, that’s for sure. But Rafa can play at this level, which will ensure he beats Berdych. I think we have seen enough of Berdych before.

He is not winning any points now on the neutral rally, it’s his serve which is keeping him alive. It can’t last long.


Nims Says:

I’m not sure if anyone has hit a drop shot on a serve, but someone can try against NAdal, looking at his position in the baseline. He is almost standing with the ballboys.


Gannu Says:

Nims exactly..thats what even i have pointed out..Nadal is a beast and not a human being! well that was said in the positive sense!!!


contemperory Says:

Gannu, I may tend to agree with this – I doubt if Fed can match Rafa in this form.


contemperory Says:

Gannu, I may tend to agree with you on this – I doubt if Fed can match Rafa in this form.


van orten Says:

i dont watch it ..but i know exactly what is goin on at rod laver …nadal getting back everything running like a rabbit ..fist pumping and butt picking …saving bpoints at will and break when the first opportunity arrives to break the oopponents mind…how this is possible i really dont know…how can u beat someone like that…what djoker did to him last year was so unique incredible seeing him eat his own medicine … berdy is fishfood..4 sets !!!!


S Green Says:

The referee screwed up Rafa big time, twice at critical moments, once facing set point and then serving for the set and broken.
This referee should be replaced by another right away. Rafa should ask for the tournament director and complain about it.


Gannu Says:

yes van thats what is happening and i hate to see that against roger…seems its pure physical work that is making him last like this and then that idiot guves 1000 excuses on injury…I hate that attitude…hope feddy bear whacks him


Wog boy Says:

Well, Berdych is not dropping the level of his game and he doesn’t look intimidated by Rafa on the other hand Rafa is not uping his game, it looks we are heading for another tiebreak, this might be another long nite, at least it is not as hot as it was this afternoon.


Skorocel Says:

“After seeing the kind of form Federer displayed against Delpo and Tomic, there’s not a whole lot of motivation for Nadal to win his match against Berdych.”

This has to be among the stupidest quotes ever on tennis-x.com… Keep them coming, dave!


Gannu Says:

yes skorocel..the last thing that nadal would do is be afraid of playing fed in gslams ;-) He letches at the thought of playing Fed considering his track record


S Green Says:

Nadal’s serve has been a libel all night. His anticipation and movement have been part of his problem against Bird’s stellar performance.
Against all these odds, he takes the 2nd set.


van orten Says:

and takes therefore the whole match…berdych had a super small chance to win this all…by winnning second set..but at 5:5 in the breaker he should have served an ace…big points you call them big points..and nadal is the best big point player ever as long as the surface is slow enough…hats off to rafa for hanging in there!!!!! he is a great fighter but also never lacks the portion of luck you need to como through i wonder if he will have the same kind of matches losing like fed lost the last couple of years…


Nims Says:

A must win set for Berd. If he loses 3rd set, then it would be a 4-setter for rafa.


van orten Says:

he even had set point berdyyyyy oh nooooo that is too much for him ..man he had nadal on the ropes


Nims Says:

I know Bered is a big server, but is it Rafa’s position on the court to receive makes it more deadly than it supposed to be. So many aces fly by, with Rafa not even moving. Understood this is a slow HC, but how is Rafa standing like a clay court.


van orten Says:

nadal broken and breaks back for sure in a few minutes…he will never go away…noleeeee where are youuuuuu????? hahhahahaha


Nims Says:

As usual brain cramp from Berd after breaking Rafa.


van orten Says:

i just read in eurosport live ticker berdych sends on set point an easy volley wide…man its tough ..happy not watching it so happy


S Green Says:

No matter what you guys say, I think Bird will win a major this year, of course if he maintains his current form.


van orten Says:

no wayyyy he willlllllll just talked to a friend who watches …he said not possible nadal had such luck or berdy just as mentioned above brain cramp to not make that set point…arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh


Dave Says:

Most Federer fans are rooting for Nadal to beat Berdych, so they can get a Roger-Rafa semifinal. So lucky that Nadal squeezed through the second set, or he’s practically toast.

It’s premature to write off Berdych. Anything may yet happen in this match — it’s possible Berdych could last four sets, five sets, even five hours with Nadal (or he could fizzle). What Berdych has been doing so far is no fluke. Berdych may be the most prepared he has ever been for the Australian Open, having trained on similar plexicushion courts in Australia since the end of 2011. Tomas took a page out of Djokovic’s playbook for winning the 2011 Aussie Open: he played the Hopman Cup this year. In addition, instead of playing any ATP tournament, he practised heavily and entered the AAMI Classic exhibition event for some light practise (losing every match while pocketing the appearance fees).

As for Federer’s serving, Federer served 67% against Nadal in the 2011 World Tour Finals. In 2012 Doha, Federer served 77% (against Davydenko) to 71% (against Seppi). At the Australian Open, Federer has been serving at 63% (first round) to 57% (delpo) — the lower serving percentage is possibly due to some of the back injury lingering from Doha.


Wog boy Says:

This is it, Berdych is gone fishing. There is no come back. Rafa is fired up. You were right , Berdych can’t keep it up longer than two sets.


Maso Says:

Berdych put up a hell of a fight, but Nadal’s definitely on top of it, now. He’s gaining momentum and Berdych seems to be out of gas. Seems like we’re gonna get a Fedal semi! The way Federer is playing, could be a hell of a match.


Ajet Says:

seems nadal isn’t motivated after all, to play the semi, LOL :P


Ajet Says:

may be nadal was trying purposefully to lose to berdych; again LOL :P


Nims Says:

Does anyone here think, Roger can beat Nadal with the way Nadal is playing?


Daniel Says:

Wow, Nadal saved 2 BP’ which can seal the deal. Berdy needs to do his part and hold, at least to force Nadal to serve for the match.


Maso Says:

Even if by some miracle Berdych were to save the set, there’s no way he’s got enough juice for a fifth set against Rafa. Nadal seems to be in scary form. Hope Roger will play his absolute best in the semi.


Drake Says:

@nims If fed can mentally stay strong I def. see him beating nadal, sadly fed is kinda a headcase when playing him.


Contemperory Says:

I don’t think so, Nims. For any normal player who has played a grueling 4 setter ending at midnight, it should be difficult to come back for the next match. Rafa?? Nah, he is a beast in terms of fitness and it is upto luck if Fed needs to win the next game.

One consolation is with the way Fed’s playing it might be just a 35-65 chance for Fed to win (which was 15-85 if this was not a grueling match and Fed wasn’t playing so beautifully)

Is the semi final on Thursday or Friday ? Doesn’t it make more sense to have both the semis on Friday?


Wog boy Says:

Very, very good Rafa, if I am Federer fan I would be worried, very worried, but I am not.


Daniel Says:

Wow, Nadal’s return never being better as well. Hum, this is the Djoko effect on both Fed and Nadal.

Fedal 26th is on!!


Aravind Says:

Hmm.. For large parts of this match Nadal was outplayed. The turning point of the match was when Berdych missed going two sets to one in the second set tiebreak. I think it would have been too difficult for Rafa to come back from 2 sets down. The volley went out and with it, Berdych’s chances. Berdych actually started the third set great breaking Rafa, but could not keep up the level and Rafa was able to grind him down. I think this is where you have to appreciate Nadal’s tennis IQ. At the start of the third set, Nadal was there for the taking. Berdych could’ve tightened his UEs, since Nadal was not attacking. As it turned out, he did not, made UEs at crucial junctures and lost the initiative. This is what differentiates a 10 time slam champion from one that has not won any!

Towards the end Rafa was making some amazing returns of the Berdych serves. Nadal seem to get stronger as the match went on, hitting the FH more aggresively, especially the returns. But, Rafa started attacking the Berdych serve ONLY in the fourth set, when he went up a break. He seems to want to play defense first. Against a player that makes lesser UEs, it may not be a winning tactic. Berdych played as well as he could, and mentally did not go away. But he also made UEs at key junctures and gave away breaks to Nadal(fourth set break he made 3 UE in one set). Credit to Nadal though. He kept fighting and showed why he is a 10 time grand slam winner. Write him of at your peril.

The Fedal match hopefully will be a good one. Both Federer and Nadal seem to be playing well. When that happens, you have to give the edge to Nadal given the match up and their history. I think Federer can play a lot more freely in this match. For starters, it is not the final, so the pressure should be lesser than a Fedal final. I think Nadal starts off the favorite although only marginally.


Nims Says:

It’s a pity that Roger at the end of his career needs to face the best of both Nadal and Novak. Looking at the way Nadal is playing today, I do not see how his body is going to break down as people have been predicting for such a long time. Probably he would reach 20GS before Roger reaches them.

I remember someone saying Rafa will win FO before Roger wins Wimbledon. I believe same thing may happen here. Rafa may reach 20GS before Roger reaches.


tfouto Says:

How is it that Nadal will win 20GS? Do you think Djokovic will let it happen? I believe in the end of career Djokovic will hold more GS then Nadal…


Nims Says:

I believe if Rafa plays at this level, I don’t think Novak can beat him. And I believe Rafa is going to get better this year as we move to clay. It looks ominous.


Aravind Says:

@Nims – Rafa played only the last 1.5 sets well. Actually, he played only the last set well. He started attacking only when Berdych was down a break in the fourth set & he was pushing for a second break. He was returning second serves from 3.5 meters behind the service line for the first 3.5 sets. That is why he got into trouble playing Berdych today. Berdych was not good enough to take advantage. For long portions of the match, Rafa had trouble hitting through Berdych. His topspin slowed down the pace to the extent that even Berdych was able to defend well.

He is not going to be able to play like that all the time. In fact, for long portions of the first 2 sets Berdych was the better player and the match was totally on his racquet. Rafa as usual defended his way to his win and was able to grind down Berdych. Playing like he did the last few games is not something that he does regularly, and I doubt he will ever be able to sustain that for an entire five set match, let alone tournaments and grand slams.

I think you are reading too much into this win. Yes, it was an amazing Rafa win against odds. But looking dispassionately, the match was such a struggle against a player he owns, with known mental/choking issues. Berdych could’ve gone two sets to love up and even with Rafa’s fighting spirit, he was not going to win three sets from Berdych at that point.


grendel Says:

I didn’t watch the Fed match live, saved it on the planner. But I didn’t know the result, so it was just as exciting for me as for you guys. As several have pointed out, Federer wobbled a bit in serving out the 2nd set, and goodness me wasn’t it shades of New York ’09. So it seemed like a good idea to get a double break in the 3rd, and save himself (and everybody else) heart disease in the process. So I looked over the last 3 points of del Potro’s final service game.

2-4, and at game point of a hard hit rally, del Potro sent Federer wide on the base line, gaining one would have thought decent position, but Federer responded with a rather short crosscourt fh. Slightly dangerous, since it seemed to offer del Potro the opportunity to unleash. In fact, he did give the ball quite a belt, but the momentum of the shot carried him slightly out of court. Not much, he was able to wriggle round quickly, but not quickly enough. Federer, anticipating, was on to the ball in a flash and calmly hooked it cross court, with del Potro a lonely onlooker.

At deuce, with the ball again in the far left corner following a hard hit delPo fh, Federer reached over and executed a kind of looping slice which floated across the entire diagonal of the court and immediately put the marauding Argentinian onto the defensive. DelPotro elected to run round his bh but he wasn’t quick enough. The ball centred on his body, he was forced into a restricted response enabling Federer now to go onto the offensive. He executed an inside out fh with no particular power (though enough) but immaculate placement. Del Potro was stranded.

And that was it, really.


Lulu Iberica Says:

Vamos, Rafa! I only caught the first set last night as I woke up and was unable to sleep for a while, so I was a little nervous about what I might learn this morning. Berdych was playing at a very high level — he didn’t look like Rafa’s bunny in that first set! I can’t wait for the semis!


tfouto Says:

Djokovic will win Nadal if that’s the final. I have no doubts on that.


grendel Says:

Lulu says:”he didn’t look like Rafa’s bunny in that first set!” But that’s just it. The first set is the first set – and then, it’s history. Berdych has to do it all over again – and again. Predictably, he couldn’t. Mind you, there’s not many who can. Nadal gets better and better and better as a match progresses. Federer, on the other hand, tends to start off like a scalded cat – and the cat cools and cools and cools. And then there is the critical point: the cooling cat meets head on the ever improving Rafa. Can the cat summon up one last crack of energy and smite this impossible creature which never tires, never flags, is never disheartened, never..never…never……


alison hodge Says:

grendel no one knows for sure which way it will go,but it will be really exciting to watch,cant wait for the match,hope it lives up to all the hype.


Nims Says:

Aravnind: I agree with the point on service return. You can see my post above for the same. I noted this as the match progressed. But apart from that, it was a very high level of play from Berd which caused NAdal a lot of trouble. I believe Berd would have won against anyone except Nadal today. Let’s give credit to Berd for playing at his highest potential, rather than putting down Nadal.

There were many break points for Berd, but most of them were erased by Nadal’s winner and amazing defense. Infact Nadal would not have lost the 1st set, if not for the bad call in the tiebreaker.

Also the match was taking place in the evening where the ball tends to be very slow. So I do not expect NAdal to hit winners, but still he hit many of them with amazing accuracy. I don’t think anyone left in the draw can beat NAdal at this level.


Kimberly Says:

last time I checked Djoker, who beat him 6 times in a row is still there, Murray, and Federer. I want Rafa to win the title but at this point I would give him a shot at the title but he is not the favorite and he will have to raise his level even more to win the next match and the one after that.


Contemperory Says:

Aravind, I like the way you explain things. How do you see the forthcoming Fed-Nadal match?


Brando Says:

PHEWW!!! Pleased rafa got through that one! Couple of points:

1- In set 1 and 2, rafa was playing as if he was on the clay of RG. Now the conditions are slow, the ball is heavy, BUT that still is not reason enough to stand 20 feet (exaggeration) behind the baseline!! Even on 2nd serves too. Now if rafa repeats this party trick against federer- THEN HE GOES HOME IN A STRAIGHT SETS DEFEAT!!!

2- HOWEVER, from midway set 3 and set 4 especially, rafa played much closer to the baseline, his returns were aggressive, strong serve and generally just played much better.

All in all, rafa got better as the match wore on. His biggest plus was his body language as the match got tight: constantly fighting, not hesitant, and passionate enough for the win. IF he can play like he did towards the end of set 3 and 4, then he can beat federer. But if it is rafa in set 1 and 2, then federer takes it in straight sets.

50/50 is the best call on this one i feel…………


Aravind Says:

@Nims, completely agree that Berdych played an amazing match. I expected him to go off after the second set. But he kept fighting all the way till the fourth. Berdych got so many short returns from Nadal who returned from 3 meters behind the baseline, essentially handling him the advantage at the beginning of the rally and Berdych dumped so many FHs long. A better tactical player will take advantage(Federer, Djokovic). Nadal hit most winners in the fourth set by which Berdych was slower. Like I said earlier, it is difficult to make judgments by seeing 15% of a match. All top players hit a purple patch at sometime in their match when everything goes alright. The last few games was one such patch for Rafa. I don’t think he can sustain it for 3 full sets.

@Contemperory – The match between Rafa and Federer at this moment is a toss up. Rafa has had the longer/more grinding match and this is not 2009(when he was full 3 years younger). Nadal starts favorite, based on history and his matchup. I see a lot of high balls, especially service returns to the Federer BH, so no matter how well Federer serves, he starts off neutral in his service game. In the past, Nadal has won all his close matches through superior defense, either forcing Federer to go closer to the lines or hitting insane winners from back of the court. He has never blown Federer off the court(French open 08 the exception).

Federer has always been in pursuit of history in his close losses to Nadal(was very close to breaking Sampras’s record). This along with Nadal snapping at his heels meant that Federer lost all the close matches. Sitting at 16 grand slams, I think the pressure is off Federer. For starters it is not a grand slam final. There is also comfort for Federer knowing that Nadal even if he wins has to go through Djokovic to win the final, a task that is difficult even with Nadal in this form. So, I think he starts off playing freely, which will help him a lot. In fact, he played Nadal really well at FO 11, but ultimately, the matchup could not be solved on clay. I like Federer in this match. I think this is going to be extremely close, but I wont be surprised to see Federer pull it off in 4. I like Nadal if it goes to 5. I would be very suprised to see a straight set victory for either.


Aravind Says:

@Brando – Nadal started very poorly in set 3. Actually Berdych was very good in the start. He broke Nadal early, but in the very next service game he made 3 UEs to give a 0-40 advantage. That was a key turning point in the match. Berdych actually played a very poor game to give the break back. Nadal loosened up and started playing better. But he did not actually start attacking returns until he went up a break in the final set, by which Berdych was running on fumes. Even there, in the game he broke, he did by standing 15 feet behind!


margot Says:

Would agree grendel and others, the first 3 games Fed played were beautiful. Then he came down to earth a bit but still managed to make Delpotro look slow.
The first set and a half Rafa looked slow and was a mile behind the base line to receive second serve! WTF! However, as the match progressed he got better, more aggressive and improved his court position. At the end looked as if he could go another 2 hours. Of course Berdych converting 2/13 and playing awful volleys at crucial points, helped no end.
Alison/kimberly are you breathing yet?
Lol jamie’s psychic, two in the net in a row. Darn it, I was just getting excited about Andy’s end of year prospects too…;)


Kimberly Says:

Margot, Colino6 came in and woke me up at around 6:15 as he fell asleep to Vika’s loon calls and left the tv on, apprently he woke up in the middle of the night. He then woke us up to inform us the match was one set a piece. So apparently I missed a lot of the 6 feet behind the baseline poor play. He was also reading comments on tennis-x which he knows how to do now and apparently was quite assured that Berdy would blow the match, which of course he did. But I thought Rafa looked pretty good but of course I saw the good part of the match.

Well, jamie’s psychic blew this one. Good thing I didn’t make any bets based on her preditions!


Kimberly Says:

so to end it, apparently colino6 woke up at 4am and watched the entire match, he is going to be a disaster in school today and his tennis lesson. Question, he claims the umpire was cheating against Nadal making bad calls? Is this true or is this his 6 year old temper?


Kimberly Says:

tonight I am rooting for as follows:
Kvitova (even though it would be harder for Maria I want to see a great tournament)
SHarapova
Murray
Hmmmmmmmm, I can’t decide on the last one, I have reasons for wanting both outcomes, but dependent on a lot of other future outcomes. hmmmmm.


Contemperory Says:

Murray should take out Nishikori in straight sets unless a miracle happens. Djokovic-Ferrer should be more competitive than the Hewitt match, but the chances of an upset are very remote.

Thursday should be the women’s SFs and Friday should be men’s SFs.

Is Nadal’s strategy of standing way back of the baseline going to work against Fed?

As Aravind pointed out, regardless of how high Fed’s 1st serve %age is going to be, Nadal’s super-defensive game has the ability to take it out in a slow outdoor court.


Nims Says:

@Aravind, yeah we can keep discussing on the match at length, but the dimension of the match depends on the opponent. Against Roger, noway Roger can hit down the lines BH against NAdal’s FH. The only place to go is to NAdal’s FH, which is probably at his very best now. He is hitting FH DTL as good as he did in USO 10. His serve has become much more effective than last year. I would give a 3-setter for Nadal against Roger considering it’s going to be night match and Roger can never really use his attacking game when the weather is cool in AO.

I believe it was the reason for Roger’s downfall against Novak last year too at AO. He just could not penetrate Novak’s defense. I just cannot believe Roger is going to penetrate Rafa’s defense considering his poor matchup against Nadal.


margot Says:

kimberly, yes, it was a bad decision IMHO.
Good luck with Colin after school!
What! Rooting for Murray??? That is Andy Murray is it and not some other dude, your talking…;)


Aravind Says:

@Nims, Nadal is not hitting his BH nearly as well as his FH. In today’s match, many of the FH DTLs were when Berdych went flat and hard off the service return on the BH side basically leaving the court open. I don’t think Federer has the pace that Berdych can create. Federer cannot hit DTL BHs, but neither can Nadal consistently. That is how Djokovic has been able to trouble him. By keeping Nadal camped on the BH corner. Berdych hits a flat ball and cannot do it effectively. Look for Federer to hit some high balls to Nadals BH if it starts off neutral in a rally. Nadal at some point will go down the line with his BH, but it won’t be a forcing shot most of the time. The key there will be how well and angled Federer can hit his cross court BH. DTL BHs are great shots. But other than Djokovic, most cannot hit it consistently.


Kimberly Says:

I like his on court interview the other day and want two good semis. Nishikori ferrer not a fitting end to this great tournament. I would root for him over Novak of fed comes thru, believe it or not if nadal comes thru this time I want Novak.


jane Says:

If Fed is in scary 2010 AO form, and Andy M and Fed meet in the final, what will happen? Will it be a repeat of 2010, or this time will Andy come out and start where he ended in set three? One thing Andy’s been doing here and in Brisbane is starting faster. Now, I know there are more matches to be played, and this is all speculation; however, if Andy and Fed do meet, and both maintain present form, it could be an amazing match.


Aravind Says:

@Nims, also in last year’s AO SF, being not able to penetrate Djokovic’s defense was a problem alright. But Djokovic has always been a good defender. A much bigger problem for Roger was how each and every service return landed at his feet. He did not get any free points. I think this was a much better problem for him than just Djokovic defense.


Nims Says:

@Aravind :That is how Djokovic has been able to trouble him – yeah but that was last year when Rafa was not using his FH efficiently. But when Rafa plays well with his FH, the match most likely to resemble would be their USO 10 final. Nadal will run around his BH to hit IO FH. I do not see this as a concern for Rafa against Novak in his current form.

The key there will be how well and angled Federer can hit his cross court BH. DTL BHs are great shots. But other than Djokovic, most cannot hit it consistently. — It does not matter how angled Roger’s BH going to be when he is going to hit them from the doubles line. he is going to be out of position leaving open court for Nadal’s FH. This is not indoors where the ball does not spin and Roger can hit the ball on the rise standing in the baseline. Also Nadal does not use this strategy against others, so it does not matter if others can hit the BH DTL.

Also importantly now Nadal has learnt how to position himself on this specific court. This is the biggest takeaway for Nadal.

When was the last time Roger beat NAdal on outdoor HC? I just don’t recollect it happened for atleast last 3 years.


jane Says:

BTW, one thing Delpo could not do last night was take his chances. He generated some break points throughout but didn’t take them, going one for six on the night. Given the bp conversion ability of the other top guys, Fed would want to be equally as protective. Had Delpo converted one at the end of the second set, it is possible he might’ve at least forced a fourth set. Still, it is noteworthy, too, that Fed, by contrast, was very good at converting his chances, going 5 of 8, and that has sometimes been an issue in the past, particularly against Rafa. So it bodes well for Fed in that contest methinks.

I am not sure what to make of Nole’s form right now. Tignor suggests the show of nerves/distraction versus Hewitt might be crucial, possibly even in a good way, since he was tested and will be more prepared. But the serve is concerning. Also it looks like he has Ferrer at night so slower conditions again. But at least cooler at the same time! :)


margot Says:

One match at a time jane.


Lulu Iberica Says:

Yes, grendel, I know Berdych generally can’t maintain that level for 3 sets, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to go back to sleep! Still, I was a bit nervous. Anyway, yes, agree with all above that in that set Rafa was way too far behind the baseline and didn’t move at his absolute best, but he still made some great shots and looked better, especially confidence-wise, than he has in a while. Anything can happen in this semi, but VAMOS RAFA!!!


Aravind Says:

@Nims, all I am saying is that if Roger’s BH is not a weapon, the same can easily be said of Nadal’s BH. He has hit it much better in the past, and that is a shot that he has to be extremely confident to hit well. Even if he does hit it well, based on how well Roger defended Delpo’s cc FH’s today, there is hope for him.

Nadal knows how to position himself on this court, he did win this title three years ago. I thin the outdoor hardcourt is a misleading stat. I don’t think Roger nearly plays as well in masters 1000 tournaments as he does in slam. So far Fedal have met only once in a hardcourt slam and that was on this court three years ago. That is a long time back. I think Nadal has declined a bit since then, especially in defense, which was his big weapon against Roger. I think Roger played a tactically brilliant match in the last match@London. He has been tweaking his game a bit and posted some solid wins against players who troubled him(Tsonga/Berdych/Delpo) over the last year. At 31 he is showing signs of change, so there is hope for him.. Don’t write the old man off yet..


jane Says:

margot, of course, but I am just noting that once again Fed and Murray seem to be the in form guys, just like in AP 2010. But the difference is that this time both have coaches (Fed didn’t have Annacone at AO 2010 I don’t think) and Murray seems to be hitting the court with gusto, no slow starts other than perhaps with Harrison. So that might be suggestive, is all. Can’t help but leap ahead and think of the possible finals scenarios at this point. ;)


Nims Says:

@Aravind: I’m not sure what’s the point in discussing Roger’s BH with NAdal’s BH. The matchup is between Nadal’s FH and Roger’s BH. Roger can win against NAdal wen Roger’s BH becomes better than Nadal’s FH. I’m not sure if it’s possible.

Nadal knows how to position himself on this court, he did win this title three years ago. — But it never looked like he knew in the first 2 sets of the match. Infact it was poor entire tournament, but luckily he did not face any quality opponents. I believe at the end of the match he understood his positioning much better.

I’m not writing off Roger in general, but only against Nadal. I believe Roger has a good chance against both Murray and Novak if he can face them in day match. But against Nadal, yeah it’s a bit too much to ask from Roger.

I understand people are upbeat on Roger since he won against NAdal in WTF, but they should also remember Roger beat him in a dominating performance in WTF 07, but we knew what happened in 08 and 09 in the slams. What happened in WTF is irrelevant, as Roger himself pointed out many times the difference between indoor and outdoors.

Let’s hope for a competitive match on 26th.


Aravind Says:

@Jane, Murray has had a potentially nightmare draw turn out to be a very good one, with both Monfils and Tsonga defeated. I think he is going to cruise into SF and get a brutal shock at the sudden step up in the quality of the opponent. Djokovic already dropped a set against Hewitt(something that I feel will benefit him). Ferrer is the perfect opponent to fine tune his game, he will push Djokovic, but he won’t be in any danger and all the knives will be sharp when he gets to play Murray. Unless he is injured, I think he is surely the favorite against Murray


carlo Says:

I love nature and the wild, Jane. And you are right the wails and howls coming through the morning mist across a lake are something quite different from a similar noise made repetitively on a tennis court over 2 hours or more.

An Australian TV channel is using a “shriek meter” and WorkSafe Tasmania measures Sharapova’s noise in decibels higher than a jackhammer and chainsaw.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/tennis/russian-maria-sharapova-into-the-quarter-finals-of-the-australian-open/story-fn77kxzt-1226251761018

My dread is Sharapova and Azarenka meeting and it becomes a completely unwatchable final. I watched last night to see Radwanska and now hope Clijsters will knock Vika out. On the other side, I really want to see Makarova, having never watched her, but it’s annoying that she’s playing Maria.

For some reason the lower decibel grunts are not as grating. I’ll take Nadal’s grunts over the howler and shrieker any day but Olivier Rochus – wow, I didn’t realize how bad he was until the final in Auckland. Ferrer’s grunts don’t bother me but Rochus was as bad as Vika.


marrisv Says:

Great effort by Rafa last night!!! But he does have to play more confident tennis right from the start if he is to have a chance of progressing further. Slow start against Fed similar to FO 2011(although he won) or WTF will not be good.


marrisv Says:

Last night Berdych served great but it was amplified to some degree because of Rafa’s appalling return position in the first two sets and especially the second serve returns.


carlo Says:

But even this over 2 hours, if forced to hear it, would put me in a straight jacket.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfAZYCTz9Zo&feature=related

end of my rant.


steve-o Says:

Berdych was always going to run out of gas against Nadal. His serving performance of the first two sets couldn’t possibly be sustained. Nor could his aggressive baseline tennis.

Of course it got easier for Nadal to be more aggressive and take more chances as Berdych wore down physically, made more mistakes, and started being a little slower to get to the ball. But before that he was constantly on D to stay alive.

I think marrisv has it backwards: it became easier for Nadal to return as Berdych’s serve began breaking down from having to try for so many aces.

There aren’t too many players who can hit Nadal off the court in a best-of-five match. Eventually you make mistakes mentally or you get tired.

He won this one by attrition, as he always does.


marrisv Says:

steve-o – Berdych’s serve perfomance may have may have gone down as the match wore along. My main point was with Rafa’s ROS position expecially in the first two sets.


grendel Says:

steve-o says:”There aren’t too many players who can hit Nadal off the court in a best-of-five match. Eventually you make mistakes mentally or you get tired.

He won this one by attrition, as he always does.”

That’s true, in spirit if not quite in fact (“always”…). So there is a case for saying that if Federer is to beat Nadal, he has to do it in 3. To straight set your opponent looks like demolition. In fact, there may be no alternative. Once Nadal gets on the board, the process of attrition is well underway.


alison hodge Says:

hi margot i wont lie i was nervous about the match,a wins a win just glad about that,and glad to see rafa looking confident and with that desire again,in fact regardless of what happens against federer hes played really well this tourney,and can draw on alot of positives,im sure he will still have a great year,hes playing much better now than he did last year in fact,so i dont believe as some say that its all doom and gloom if he looses here,as some people are saying,vamos rafa.


alison hodge Says:

margot im hoping our man has an easier test in his game against kn,hopefully i dont see much of a problem,but you never know do you?these matches arent played on paper,theyre played on a tennis court,anyway go andy.


steve-o Says:

@marrisv: presumably as the match wore on, Nadal noticed Berdych’s serve weakening and decided it was worth taking a few more chances on the return.

Nadal’s very conservative in his game plan. He usually doesn’t take chances unless he has a really big lead.

For me, where the match was won was the set point in the first, at 15-40, where they played a long rally. Berdych hit four or five big forehands but Nadal retrieved them all, Berdych came to net, and Nadal made a scrambling get to save the set.

Perhaps if Berdych had won the set at that point, he would have had just enough big serves and forehands left in the second set to take a two-set lead–as it was, he was two points away from doing so. That would probably have given him the victory.

Instead he was forced to expend more effort to win the tiebreaker. Though he did (thanks in part to a bad line call), it was a Pyrrhic victory: he was left with slightly less in the tank than he needed to take the second set.

The rest of the match was a foregone conclusion. Nadal’s decision to take a few more chances in the last two sets may have hastened the end, but it didn’t play the decisive role.

As grendel points out, if you’re at one set all against Nadal, it’s not really even, even if the score says it is. Nadal has the advantage because he can keep running longer than the other guy can keep playing his best tennis.

His opponent has expended so much energy and brilliant shotmaking only to get nowhere, and that’s disheartening for anyone, even a top-level pro. And then it becomes either physically or mentally impossible to keep up that kind of level for two or three more sets.

Federer could presumably beat Nadal in four, but he would almost surely have to take the first two sets in order to win. Not that a two-set-to-love lead is any guarantee for him these days.

That’s why it’s so important for Federer to convert his chances against Nadal. Every break point is precious.


jane Says:

“As grendel points out, if you’re at one set all against Nadal, it’s not really even, even if the score says it is. Nadal has the advantage because he can keep running longer than the other guy can keep playing his best tennis.”

I was thinking that Nole might be the exception to steve-o’s “one set all” idea. Last year he was, but only in terms of 3 set matches at IW and Miami. steve-o’s idea holds true for the Nole/Rafa slam matches last year, because at both Wimbledon and the USO, Nole had a 2 set lead before Nadal got the third set, and then in each case he closed it out in 4 sets. Had it gone 5 sets, then perhaps Rafa would’ve won? Thankfully, at both, Nole was able to close out that possibility and double his slam count to four.

Has anyone beat Rafa in a 5 set match at a slam – I mean one that went the distance? I can think of only Fed on grass in 2007. That’s it.

It does make one pause: to beat Rafa at a slam, does a player almost have to do it in 3 or 4 sets? Interesting thought…


jane Says:

or perhaps, it’s grendel’s one set all idea…


steve-o Says:

@jane: I believe Hewitt beat Nadal in a 5-set match at AO, a long time ago. He and Federer are the only ones to do it.

It used to be that Djokovic would get tired against Nadal and start going for riskier shots because he couldn’t afford to play that many long rallies. Then he would make mistakes and Nadal would pounce.

Now he can play as many rallies. And if he has time to work a rally, he can hit more winners than Nadal can, without having to try for too much.

It’s Nadal who’s being forced to go for big winners to try to end the rallies quickly, and he can’t make enough of them because that’s just not the way he plays. He makes errors and he’s really not used to that.

He was physically exhausted at the end of that USO final against Djokovic. That’s the first time I’ve seen that happen in a Grand Slam in four or five years. Winning that third set completely depleted him and then Djokovic was able to just hit him off the court in the last set.


Skorocel Says:

steve-o: Yep, Hewitt beat Nadal in 5 sets at AO 2005.

Re: Djoker’s ability to win these longer rallies against Nadal, well, I’m not quite sure whether it has something to do with Djoker being more fitter or mentally stronger or whatever, but the fact is, when these 2 played last year, Nadal would, quite often, make an error in a longer rally – and sometimes even in very crucial stage of the match. For example these last few games of their Wimby final – the match was still well up for grabs, but Nadal, in a couple of long rallies simply broke down and made an UE – which is something you rarely see from him in these important moments…


grendel Says:

And in that match where Hewitt beat Nadal in 5, Hewitt actually wore a young Nadal down. My impression was that as the match progressed, Nadal grew to get the measure of Hewitt, tenniswise – but he ran out of gas. I bet he learnt a lot from that encounter.


tfouto Says:

Djokovic doesnt get tired because of the gluten-free diet. He’s probably living on a paleo or semi paleo diet. He can run for hours now.

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