Big 3 In Rome Semifinals: Federer Faces Djokovic, Nadal Meets Ferrer; Who’ll Be Left On Sunday?
by Sean Randall | May 18th, 2012, 11:07 pm
  • 236 Comments

We are just three Fridays from the French Open semifinals. If I could peer into a crystal ball I’d have to think they’d look a lot like the semifinals do at the Rome Tennis Masters tomorrow. And that’d be fantastic. In the final big clay event before Roland Garros, the last four standing at the Foro Italico are also the four best claycourters in the world: Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and David Ferrer.

All four eased into the semifinals today without losing a set. Nadal overcame a second break deficit to deny tje dangerous Tomas Berdych 6-4, 7-5. Djokovic fought through a tough first set and finished off JW Tsonga 7-5, 6-1. Ferrer gave Richard Gasquet a lesson on the clay, edging the Frenchman 7-6, 6-3; and, Federer crushed an exhausted Andreas Seppi 6-1, 6-2.

So the semifinal pairings are set and it’s Nadal-Ferrer, Federer-Djokovic.

First up, it’s a battle between the two best Spain has to offer. Nadal leads Ferrer 14-4 in their meetings having won 11 straight on clay including a tough 7-6, 7-5 victory in the Barcelona final.

If we throw out the Madrid event – like Rafa would like us to do – Nadal’s 13-0 on the (red) clay this year winning all 26 sets. And while those numbers are eyepopping (they are), I don’t think he’s at the level on the clay we’ve seen from him in the past. He’s serving better but I he’s making so a few extra errors here and there and his forehand doesn’t look as dominant as I’ve seen in the past. So despite his impressive record I feel there are some cracks, but I just don’t know if Ferrer can find and exploit them.

“You know that to play David I will run and fight a lot and I have to play better than in Barcelona,” Nadal said. “I don’t stop and its very difficult to play against him because he pushes all the time and I think I can do it and it is normal to lose a set and to lose a set against David is terrible. He is very high level. I know I have to play my best tennis like today — to the limit and tomorrow is another day and I will do it. In this tournament it is normal …. all the best players are here.”

Plus, as I said after the Madrid mishap Nadal has to be out for blood this week. And while he may wobble a bit against Ferrer, perhaps even losing a set, I still think he gets to Sunday.

In the nightime blockbuster, Federer and Djokovic renew their rivalry. And it’s been a long time coming. In their last meeting Djokovic hit the “forehand heard around the world” in saving a matchpoint to stun Federer in the US Open semifinals last September. Federer did get on top of Novak in their previous 2011 meeting ending Djokovic’s 43-match win streak by beating him in final four at the French Open.

This time, Djokovic just isn’t the same player. And Federer, while not at his epic best, appears to be in better form. Federer also leads 14-10 but Djokovic won four of five last season.

As for a pick, this one is tough. Having already advanced Federer (in my mind), I gave the Swiss the edge after watching Novak struggle in that first set against Tsonga. But Djokovic ran away with the second, so maybe he’s got some edge, some form back(?).

Meanwhile, Federer’s enjoyed three creampuff wins and if not for a 20 minute walkabout against Juan Carlos Ferrero, he’s looked incredibly sharp. But playing three guys will little to offer – Carlos Berlocq, Ferrero and today Seppi – will make many players look good. It’s like he’s been hitting against a ball machine all week, and sometimes that’s a good thing especially for Federer who’s groundstrokes have to now be in rhythm if they weren’t already!

I initially picked a Federer-Nadal final and I’m actually going to stick with it here. Djokovic really, really needs this win over Federer and IU expect him to raise his level to the challenge, but Roger beat him last year in Paris and should have beaten him at the US Open, so I’ll take him in Rome as well. But it’s a coin flip.

“Tomorrow, I’ve got a chance against Djokovic,” Federer said. “I’m looking forward to that match. It’s another night session. I’m happy I’m playing so well on the court.”

In the women’s semifinals, the red-hot Serena Williams meets 2011 French Open champion Li Na and then it’s Angelique Kerber against Maria Sharapova. I think we are looking a Madrid rematch, aren’t we?

“Li Na is the defending French Open champion,” Serena said. “She’s great to test yourself against because she’s a good all-round player and she’s so fit.”

“I’ve watched Serena play many matches over the years on TV,” Li Na said. “She has a huge serve and she’s a great mover and I’m really looking forward to playing her, not just to win or lose, but I look forward to it as a challenge.

“I’ll just go on court and play, and try not to do anything stupid.”

Tennis Channel has live coverage of all four semifinals starting at 6am ET.

SATURDAY ROME SEMIFINALS

CENTRALE start 12:00 noon
[8] N Li (CHN) vs [9] S Williams (USA) – WTA

Not Before 1:30 PM
[12] A Kerber (GER) vs [2] M Sharapova (RUS) – WTA

Not Before 4:00 PM
[6] D Ferrer (ESP) vs [2] R Nadal (ESP) – ATP

Not Before 8:00 PM
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs [3] R Federer (SUI) – ATP
[7] M Bhupathi (IND) / R Bopanna (IND) vs M Granollers (ESP) / M Lopez (ESP) – ATP


Also Check Out:
Tsonga, Del Potro Make Shanghai Masters Cup Debut Sunday
Nadal Beats Ferrer for 5th Rome Title
Serena Sizzles, Venus Flames and Ana’s Back in Rome
Djokovic Denies Federer, Faces Nadal In Rome Title Rematch; Who’s The Pick?
Nadal Blasts Berdych To Reach Madrid SFs; Serena Withdraws, Nishikori Into Top 10

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236 Comments for Big 3 In Rome Semifinals: Federer Faces Djokovic, Nadal Meets Ferrer; Who’ll Be Left On Sunday?

tennismonger Says:

Verdasco took out Rafa in Madrid – why not Ferrer in Rome? That’s what David has to be thinking now…


NachoF Says:

Federer leads the head-to-head 14-10


Andrew Miller Says:

Djokovic probably looking for some payback vs. Federer. And I’d think Nadal would be too, just to prove himself again and reassert himself as top player, ever, on dirt that is red.


Brando Says:

Rafa SHOULD beat ferrer. Yes he’s more UE than before, but if one looks closely, you’ll realise he is trying to be more aggressive than last year. The stats show he’s hitting ALOT more winners than one would think. The FH, IMHO, has been consistent. I think he’s at the right place- a good level to beat the rest- with ROOM to improve.

the main event: I picked nole in my bracket, he has improved as the tourny has gone on, BUT federer seems a DIFFERENT ANIMAL this year. I GENUINELY thought nole would be the main challenger this year, but he’s not at the level i expect from him.

I don’t buy into the arguement that he’s saving his best etc. No. There seems to be a dip in his performance. With roger its gone the other way. He seems sharp, confident, a real presence on court once again.

I CANNOT pick a winner in this one, BUT IMHO i think it shall decide who rafa’s main challenger is on clay this year.

BOTH want the win, they won’t hold back in this one. Fed’s buzzing atm, and nole wants to claw back the limelight again. Should be VERY GOOD.


jane Says:

Brando, “Yes he’s more UE than before,” Are you kidding? Rafa hit only 10 UEs today to 34 winners!! So very few UEs. He had basically 10 more winners than Fed and 13 more than Nole.


Anna Says:

I think your reasoning in the Fed/Djokovich match is pretty sound. The only thing is Nole is capable of performing beyond reason, or even the stretch of the imagination, so another USO is always possible.

Like Rafa, David discounts the blue clay of Madrid and spoke about their match in Barcelona, saying it was going to be even harder to get the best of Rafa in Rome. If it were up to me I’d give it to the little warrior if he could then go on to win the final.


Brando Says:

@Jane:

LOL, i know what you mean. BUT the reason why i wrote what i did regarding rafa was as a response to sean saying:

‘ but I he’s making so a few extra errors here and there and his forehand doesn’t look as dominant as I’ve seen in the past’

IMHO, as a seasoned rafa fan, i think he is playing more aggressive this year, hence he seems to maybe make more UE than usual. BUT YES, 10 UE is good enough for me:-)

Also, it is impressive, for me, IF rafa hits more winners than nole or fed. Good stuff indeed.

How do you feel about nole’s clay game by the way? what’s your take on things here? since for me, whilst im not expecting nole to repeat last years performance- things seems abit more up and down in his matches.


Brando Says:

@Anna:

IF david would go onto win the tourny itself, then i too wouldn’t mind if he were to beat rafa!

Unfortunately, feds on the other side for him:-(


King Federer Says:

yes jane, rafa hit 10 more winners than fed. but he also played 22 games to fed’a 15.


steve-o Says:

jane, not a shock. Federer/Seppi was only 15 games, Nadal/Berdych 22 games, Djokovic/Tsonga 18 games.

The absolute # of winners will be larger in a longer match.


courbon Says:

I think Djokovic will take this one.;.
The reason?Every time when he is nothing special, when I think he is average (Australian Open, Miami…) he wins tournament…


jane Says:

Brando: “things seems abit more up and down in his matches.” Yeah, that about sums it up. ^_^ I don’t know what to expect from Nole tomorrow actually. I feel completely unsure. He could get beat in straight sets, he could rise to the challenge, I don’t know. He’s been patchy: at times looking great; at times struggling. So it’s really difficult to predict.

steve-o, King Federer, your point is taken.

But it seems as though Rafa is playing aggressively to have that many winners in a two set match. He’ll be tough to beat methinks.


madmax Says:

Meanwhile, Federer’s enjoyed three creampuff wins and if not for a 20 minute walkabout against Juan Sean’s comment:
Carlos Ferrero, he’s looked incredibly sharp. But playing three guys will little to offer – Carlos Berlocq, Ferrero and today Seppi – will make many players look good. It’s like he’s been hitting against a ball machine all week, and sometimes that’s a good thing especially for Federer who’s groundstrokes have to now be in rhythm if they weren’t already!”

You forget, Federer’s tough, tough draw at Madrid, and remember he flew to Rome much, much later than novak and rafa so he was due an easier first round. I still rate Ferrero and he played well. Seppi, whilst not of the same level, had one of those ‘I’m banging my drum’ moments and good for him!

I couldn’t click on the link, so posted this here:

Life is so much easier when it’s not being lived in a pressure cooker.

And it’s been a while since we’ve seen Federer look this damn good.

I am as happy as anyone to see Federer back in such great form. Not only because he is one of the most beautiful players to watch but because most of last year it didn’t appear as if the old man had this kind of tennis left in him.

Twice the world saw Federer get bounced in Grand Slams after holding two-set leads, including coughing up a couple match points on his serve against Novak Djokovic at the U.S. Open.

He went 10 months without winning a title.

And he turned 30.

After getting crushed 6-3, 6-2 by Rafael Nadal in Miami in the midst of the title-less period, Federer insisted, “I have many more years left.”

True … but after that shellacking, we all wondered what those years would look like. It seemed far more likely that the 16-time Grand Slam champion would slip in the rankings in 2012 rather than overtake Rafael Nadal at No. 2. Even Federer had his doubts.

“They were multiple tough losses [in 2011], but I decided to face the facts,” Federer said in December. “OK, some guys are playing better than you …”

So why don’t we see the tears anymore? He has learned to let go. Why doesn’t he appear terribly upset after being upset at a tournament? He has learned to accept his time is passing. That’s why no one expected a 30-3 record in 2012 heading into the home stretch of Rome. He has learned life not being the favorite is not all that bad.

[+] Enlarge
Javier Soriano/AFP/GettyImages
Roger Federer won on the blue clay of Madrid.

Let Nadal and Djokovic deal with all the pressure to be the best. To stay the best. To recapture what was taken. To fight all of the other internal battles that afflict athletes in their prime trying to establish their legacies. With nothing more to prove — or really expected — Federer can now enter tournaments with the freedom to play beautiful tennis which has, ironically, placed him in a position to be the best player in the world again.

Since the U.S. Open — which at one point appeared to be the final nail in the coffin in which Federer’s best stuff laid — he has gone 45-3, including beating his chief rival, Nadal, twice in straight sets. The four titles he has this year already match the number he won all of last year. And if Djokovic doesn’t win three Slams this year, Federer very well could break Pete Sampras’ record of 286 weeks at the top. Oh, and by the way, one man has won three Slams in back-to-back years, and I think we all know who that man is.

And yet, despite his high level of play, hardly anyone expects Federer to win a Slam this year. All of the major talk is still about Nadal and Djokovic. At least one Las Vegas betting site thinks the odds of Juan Martin del Potro winning the French is better than Federer’s.

How sweet is that?

While he has the luxury of chasing Slams and the top ranking for a couple more years, this will be his last realistic shot of winning the Olympic gold he so desperately wants. It’s hard to imagine him winning that gold, if he doesn’t win Wimbledon (both will be contested at the same venue and will feature the same players).

He’s been playing well out of the favorite spotlight. Can he maintain that internal calm, knowing this is likely the last shot at his Olympic dreams?

A lot has to go right for Federer to return to No. 1, starting with defending the points he collected after his surprise run to the French Open final last year. But by virtue of Federer’s good but not great 2011, he has the opportunity to make up significant ground.

Thus far in 2012, the pressure hasn’t been on him. That’s about to change.


Michael Says:

We have a blockbuster semi in store in the form of Roger Vs Novak. This should be a nail baiting match and it is difficult to pick a winner. Based on recent form, the edge will surely go to Roger but Novak cannot be dismissed summarily. He can rise up to the occasion and he has proved that many times before. On Clay Roger leads 3-1 and this could make a difference. On the other end, it is Rafa Vs Ferrer and with the way the former is playing, it is already given that he will be in the finals. But Ferrer will give his very best and that could make it a tight way with Nadal prevailing in the end. By the way, whom Nadal would prefer in the final – Roger or Novak ? My gut sense tells me that it would be Roger.


Michael Says:

Madmax – Good post. Nice to read.

THE SYNONYMN OF ROGER IS BEAUTY.


steve-o Says:

@jane: Nadal is certainly playing extremely well, no doubt, moving very quickly and hitting big. He is going to be very tough to stop for either of his potential final opponents.

I don’t think Ferrer stands any chance of even making it as close as it was in Barcelona. It will be straight sets. He doesn’t have the power of a Berdych so I think he will be smothered pretty quickly.


Mr. Larvey Says:

You don’t see too often World number 1 and 2 colliding in the semi finals…


Dave Says:

It was surprising Djokovic struggled for a set against Tsonga. Djokovic’s winning percentage on clay is 76%. Tsonga’s worst surface is clay — Jo has only a 58% winning record on clay (compared to 72% on grass and indoors). It would have been a more interesting test for Djokovic to have faced Juan Martin del Porto, whose clay winning record is 73%.

Djokovic needs this win more than Federer to arrest his dip in level, results and loss of invincibility compared to the first five months of 2011. A second career loss to Federer on clay might be a psychological blow to Novak heading into the French Open (their 2011 French Open semifinal, when Djokovic was still playing his best tennis, was considered the best match of the year). Even worse, a loss leaves Djokovic with 11,560 points and Federer with 10,030 points (finalist) to 10,430 points (wins title), further increasing the probability Djokovic would lose the No. 1 ranking to Federer during the summer (Federer would not need to even win a Slam to retake the No. 1 ranking as long as he goes deep in each of his next seven tourneys).

Federer makes it look so easy that we forget Federer’s aggression taking it early can turn any player into Bocconcini con Crema — like it turned Nadal into a Cannoli at the 2011 World Tour Finals. After seeing a similar display, Mats Wilander remarked that Federer is playing like “the most aggressive player of all time, sorry John McEnroe and Stefan Edberg” — except Federer is doing it now on slow red clay. Let’s face it: Federer had played at a scary level against Berloqc, Ferrero and Seppi, and seemed to deliberately drop two levels once he established a sizeable lead and his opponents looked defeated. Regardless, Juan Carlos Ferrero — former World No. 1, former French Open champion and former Rome champion — played well and consistently enough at Rome (he beat both Gael Monfils and Kevin Anderson in straight sets) to reach some of the other quarterfinal slots.

After a week in Madrid where Federer faced a brutal draw of hot players — four opponents were in the top 10 year-to-date rankings race and Gasquet was No. 22 YTD — Federer needed a steady diet of competent clay courters to prepare for the French Open (instead of the Raonics, Berdychs, Tsongas, Isners, Karlovics and Stepaneks who would disrupt his rhythm). And don’t forget that Federer’s draw in Indian Wells was also brutal, so it’s not like he hasn’t he cannot win against a tough draw. And remember: until 12 days ago, Federer was on a 6-plus week break from competition, so Federer just reaching this level is amazing. On the other hand, Djokovic and Nadal played Monte Carlo and Nadal played Barcelona as well — we should expect them to be playing at a higher level than Federer.

Federer might be helped by having played two straight night sessions, as long as the night does not get too cool. If Djokovic is to win, he has to come out firing on all cylinders and win the first set. Federer wants to go into the final without his energy sapped by a long match. Otherwise, he’d rather have a rested Djokovic engage in a long, bruising battle with Nadal on the eve of the French Open.

However, Federer has to keep his focus on his larger goal to retake the No. 1 ranking by the summer. Federer might have to forgo going all out for a short-term win Rome in order to protect his body from injury before the French Open. This will be his ninth match in 12 days for 30-year old Federer. He might still be carrying injury and weariness from Madrid (even though he rarely whines about such things repetitively). And while Djokovic and Nadal have had much more time to practice on Rome’s slower red clay courts, Federer and Berdych had much less time to adapt to Rome’s slower conditions and different running surface after playing at least 10 days on Madrid’s faster, harder, more slippery, different blue clay courts.

It’s amazing Federer is still so sharp after all the tennis he has played, indicating he still has room to improve further over the next three weeks into French Open. The last time Federer won so much was during his 41-0 streak in 2006-2007. By beating Seppi, Federer is 31-3 this season (48-3 since US Open, 7 titles), Djokovic is 29-4 (35-9 since USO, 2 titles) and Nadal is 31-4 (41-9 since USO, 2 titles). Since 2011 French Open, Federer has been 61-7, Djokovic 58-10, Murray 66-12 and Nadal 57-13. Federer’s confidence is back to where it was at the end of 2007, before mono derailed him in early 2008.

Nadal and Ferrer will both be very motivated to win ranking points from the second last clay event of their season. After facing Berdych (pity he lost his opening service game), Ferrer should seem like slow motion to Nadal. Ferrer needs to play his best match on clay to have a chance.


King Federer Says:

mad max:

thanks for that great post and lovely article. Federer has the best shot of all 3 to be no.1 around US open time. he just needs this fine form going for the next 3 months. since september 2011, fed is around 2000 points ahead of djokovic. and 3000 ahead of nadal. If he can keep pace with the duo, something he has done admirably for the past 9 months, he will have the no.1 ranking.

in a strange funny way, fed will not mind djokovic winning today as long as novak will take out rafa too. on the other hand, novak would prefer to win this and not win in the final so that rafa gets the no.2 seed in french.

jane: yes rafa is being aggressive, but he has been trying that for the past 2 years and he spent majority of that time at no.2 it is not so easy for players to betray their true selves. rafa, will be a defensive player who can play offense. i can assure you he is not winning FO by outhitting everybody. these kind of fluctuating tactics only reveal that rafa is trying to come out of his comfort zone and in tennis, that is half the victory for the opponent. surely novak/fed will try to exploit this vulnerability either here or in paris. or someone like soda in 2009 – i would pick berdych/delpotro as likeliest candidates who can knock rafa out if he trips even a little trying to do something that is not his forte!


Dave Says:

Update: please rephrase this sentence in my second paragraph: A second loss to Federer on clay since 2011 might be a psychological blow to Novak heading into the French Open (their 2011 French Open semifinal, when Djokovic was still playing his best tennis, was considered the best match of the year).


Kimmi Says:

serena withdrew!


Stella Says:

Of course he would love to win but I think Roger is happy that he got this far in Rome. He’s improved his points and is sharp for RG. A SF loss would be no big deal as he has had quite a bit of tennis already and the summer is going to be huge!


trufan Says:

nadal ferrer will be a snoozefest.


trufan Says:

compared to fed djoke, which is attractive tennis.


trufan Says:

fed would want to beat djoke, since its a nearly 900 point swing with him for the first place based on who wins.


scineram Says:

But then Nadal will be number one.


van orten Says:

will nadal ever get broken…incredible..break point saver


van orten Says:

7 break points???????????? this is not normal..and now almost certain nadal breaks ferrer


Gordo Says:

Out of 16 points in Nadal’s first service game 7 were break point opportunities and Ferrer couldn’t get 1. It is 1-1 in the first set and they have played 22 minutes.

Good thing the French Open starts in 2 weeks; this match may take 4 hours to complete, unless Ferrer, having failed on 7 break attempts in Nadal’s first game, folds like a cheap tent.


Brando Says:

quick conditions today, should favour ferrer abit. He’s here to play for sure.


Gordo Says:

Hmmn – Ferrer holds at love. He needed that to not lose momentum. Maybe we are going to have a match after all, no?


Daniel Says:

Good for Ferrer, oddly he is playing better so far.


skeezer Says:

Zzzzzzzz..4 games = 35 minutes? Back to sleep.


Gordo Says:

Well well! We may indeed have a match on our hands. It took Bulldog Ferrer 9 attempts, but he up a break over Nadal. Let’s see if he consolidates on his serve.


van orten Says:

how does he do it why does he do that…with his first break point he breaks back..this is frustrating for ferrer


Gordo Says:

And after all that effort to break Rafa, Ferrer hands it back on the first break opportunity for Nadal by double faulting.

How sad.


van orten Says:

nadal in 2 easily ..mark my words!!1


madmax Says:

Rome.

Just got back from watching Nadal on the practice courts for two hours and watching the doubles match with Tipsa. So this is for kimberley.

I took a gamble, got ground tickets hoping that when I got there, I could be upgraded, there were so many empty seats on TV, but was told in no uncertain terms, ‘No’. Sorry tickets for centre court were sold out a long time ago (even though they were showing as not being sold on internet), different companies, different sites I guess.

Anyway, the grounds are quite small. Security is lax in Rome. Not stopped, checked or anything. Glorious sunny day, after days of really strong winds.

The ‘seats’ are marble slabs to sit on. Nadal was wearing blue tshirt, chocolate beige pants and a chocolate beige baseball cap turned back to front. Toni in Red Tshirt, white shorts. Rafa’s tennis partner was a younger version of verdasco, orange addidas t shirt, knocking balls to rafa, him whacking ‘em back. His volleying was not going so well, and there was the usual curling lip at this, but returns and serves were excellent. A few heated seconds with Toni about some returns, but then back to the ball striking.

I think he is very ready for his match kimberley, so dont worry, had a great day.

When he packed up, huge roar from the crowd and a little guy, green tshirt, blond hair, about 9 or 10 years old ran onto the balcony, ‘Rafa!’..rafa looked up and gave him a high five.

Really sweet. Kid was thrilled. You could see that.

Obviously went out on Fed patrol, but nowhere to be seen. No one else came to the practice courts after that.

Weather tomorrow in Rome for the final (and there is no roof here), is not good. Lots of rain, thunder, heavy downpours.


Brando Says:

@madmax: thanks for your post max. Hope you enjoy the tennis.


Gordo Says:

Talk about a snail’s pace – it has taken 1 hour to get 9 games played, and 2 of those were Ferrer serving at love – 4 strait points. Yikes.


steve-o Says:

@madmax: glad that you’re getting to see Rome live!


Gordo Says:

There will be more points played in this first set between Rafa and Ferrer than in the entire Federer-Seppi match yesterday. LOL


Kimmi Says:

ferrer..so close but then so far!


dari Says:

the pain of David ferrer


skeezer Says:

11/2 hr 1rst set. Can’t spend all day watching Rafa take so much time. Things to do. Ferrer can’t dropshot, volley, just bang from the backcourt. Rafa in 2 in 6 hours and 22 minutes.


Maso Says:

What a disappointment for Ferrer, missed some important points that proved costly in the end. I feel like he needed the first set to have a chance in this match, but now… Nadal in 2. Credits to Rafa, he has this ability to play even better than he usually does when he’s under pressure, time after time. What a competitor!


Kimmi Says:

skeezer – lol!


Maso Says:

@Skeezer

Hahahaha, yeah, that was one long first set! But that’s no surprise, obviously.


Andrea Says:

Wow…heading to a bagel second set. Disappointing.


Brando Says:

VAMOS RAFA- a good win, especially when he didn’t play as well as in the berydch match!

Gutsy effort by ferrer in the 1st set- IMHO he didnt deserve the bagel in the 2nd! CLASS ACT THOUGH- competing so well when the others have the greater artillery!


Nirmal Kumar Says:

It would be a pity for the tournament if Roger has to beat Novak in the semis. After having good QF and SF, the finals would be a foregone conclusion if it’s Roger vs Rafa. It would be a much easier match to predict than Seppi vs Roger quarters.


madmax Says:

Feel sorry, shouldn’t say that, for Ferrer. Watched him at Wimbledon and he really is a great player live. He is in the shadow of rafa, a bit like stan with Roger. Both great, great players, but just missing something.

Ferrer will get there one day, I feel because he is such a fighter. He never gives up. Runs for everything. Did then, does now.

It’s all in the mind.

The wind has picked up in Rome now everyone. So it will be a windy match for fed and novak.


madmax Says:

Do you know, Roger has played so well and even though I had tickets already, there was the possibility that he wasn’t going to play here. Now he is playing, I am glad he has gone deep.

SF against the world no. 1. But Roger has enough match practice to make it to the final. Right now, I don’t care if he doesn’t make it. I don’t think it is going to be an indicator of bad things to come if he loses. I think he has done what he needs to do. Last time, he didn’t even get this far and still did well at RG.

Whoever does get there, I hope it goes to three sets and I hope it isn’t a snooze fest in the final.

These finals will rafa tend to be a foregone on clay.

I hope for something special; something different.

I think it is pretty equal right now.


Drobovik Says:

Nadal is a freaking monster… He’ll be 40 years old with titanium everything and winning clay tourneys haha. We’ll see if serbian matador could spoil the running of the bull.


jamie Says:

Federer wins today but loses tomorrow.

BTW, the RG balla this year will be slower.

===========================

Pat Cash ‏@TheRealPatCash
Im at a chilly Roland Garros its clear to me how crucial the ball speed is for Roger. FFT said they are different than 2011. guessing slower


jamie Says:

Edit.

BTW, the RG balls this year will be slower.


Rick Says:

Djokovic would wins, if Roddickens could beat Federina. So would the number 1. Especially Sean had picked Federina to win, Sean always has his ways to jinx him.


racquet Says:

Nole breaks in the 3rd game!


Kimmi Says:

early break for djokovic. federer leaking errors at the moment.


racquet Says:

They both can’t find a 1st serve. 30% & 33%


Skeezer Says:

Rafa fan says;

No! Please not another Rafole!

Fed fan says;

No! Not another Fedal!

Nole fan says;

Yes, I’ll take either :)


mat4 Says:

It seems they are both very nervous.


Kimmi Says:

djokovic playing fed bh. fed making errors


Kimmi Says:

bad miss


madmax Says:

wish fed was playing with more freedom. Seriously, he should just enjoy it and let his fans enjoy it too! Stop thinking so much! My livestream keeps cutting out, so am relying on you guys to keep me posted.


Kimmi Says:

djokovic playing very well


Kimberly Says:

Ugh!y kids r hogging all the tvs. Can’t see the match! Don’t really care who wins .

Madmax, great live report. Jealous of your sittings of Rafa!


racquet Says:

Double break to Nole. Federer has to get that 1st serve % up.


Kimmi Says:

second break. djokovic very pumped.


Maso Says:

Djokovic seems to be dead on. Federer’s mishitting a lot. If Fed doesn’t wake up, this could be over in a snap.


Bob Says:

This time Feddy Bears not gonna dispatch of the djoker for Nadal… hahaha

Im a Fed fan and happy…let Djoker beat Nadal and let fed play murray in the semi final at the french yeah!!!


Rick Says:

Federina’s ass would gets kick, when Novak finding his serve. He was alreadty troubled by JCF the other day. He is lucky to get into the seminar, he was playing a tired guy yesterday.


racquet Says:

Djokovic takes the 1st set 6-2.


Kimmi Says:

djokovic the old in that first set.


Kimmi Says:

federer needs to raise 1st set %. 39% wont cut it against nole.


Brando Says:

Federer getting thumped here! It’ll be good for rafa to face nole!


racquet Says:

Well, today lots of posters didn’t seem to like long matches. This one is zipping by.


Rick Says:

Federina back to where he belongs, the nursing home.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

I think Novak’s return playing in Roger’s mind too much. Roger is an instinctive server, but seeing Novak on the other end makes him think. It’s not good for Roger’s game.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Looks like Roger vs Seppi was more competitive than this one.


Kimmi Says:

c’mon fed, dont get broken here again


Brando Says:

SHAME fed seems AWOL here- IF he plays awful in the 2nd his confidence maybe dented big timegoing forward!


Krishna Says:

Wow 39% 1st serve percentage..this is the reason Fed is losing this match.. :(


Brando Says:

Shades of Miami 2011 v rafa for fed here!


Brando Says:

@kimmi: correct.


sheila Says:

boring & predictable once again. my 2 least fvt players, nadal & djokovic will make it to the final in rome & this time nadal will win. nadal’s pissed having lost 7x last year to djokovic so this year he will make it up by winning rome, fo & most likely wimbledon.


Kimmi Says:

spreading the court well djokovic


Kimmi Says:

difficult to hold. djokovic returns are insane


Kimmi Says:

3 aces helped in that game.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Novak is playing at an insane level. He plays a totally different game against Rog and Rafa, and he excels either way. He’s really flattening his shots and going for angles and its just amazing the success he’s having with high risk shots.


racquet Says:

Nole’s returns are top notch as usual but I think he’s actually hitting harder than Fed.


Bob Says:

Come on! people! give me your thoughts!

Don’t you think its better for Fed to loose to Novak?

Cause of the bad match up with Nadal?

I mean if the Joker wins and beats Nadal its better than if Fed wins and loses to Nadal?

What are your thoughts?


Rick Says:

Federina just isn’t really that good, he was beaten by Gasquet here last year. And in 2010, by Soderling at the French. He often has to avoids playing some players to win a tournament. And most finals were played in best of five sets. Now they are three. They should not allow the active players to take part in the ATP council, they would just do anything to benefit themselves.


Kimmi Says:

nole hlding easy. suddenly its time for fed to serve again. needs and easier game here..


carlo Says:

Kimmi, I just got back home. Oh my, oh mama mia….

Hugs to Fedfans. This is what I expected though. No1e is the natural successor to Federer, not a fluke – extremely talented, smart, and the one with the youth, tennis game, and weapons to truly beat or match Nadal on any surface. Ajde Nole!

Madmax, love your Rome descriptions and details. Keep it coming, if you have time. thanks.

But I actually hope Feddy bear lets this go in 2 to Nole, like Ferrer did for Rafa.


Kimmi Says:

ugh! too many errors. 30 UEs


carlo Says:

Hey Rick: Very classy troll job. Go back to TT? oh that’s right, not enough Fedfans anymore over there.


Rick Says:

I knew it, especially with the way how Novak handled Ali yesterday. And Federina has an easy draw. But was struggling against another vet like himself called JCF.


Kimmi Says:

carlo – welcome. federer making too many errors today.

It doesnt look good… but he will fight till the end.

Good thing he is serving a little better though. djokovic BH is a killer.


dari Says:

Novak does not have a weak side off the ground!


Brando Says:

Fed NEEDS tough draws IMHO- since easy draws leave him undercooked for the big boys these days I feel!


racquet Says:

ruh-roh, Nole breaks. Leads 4-3.


Kimmi Says:

another error to give the BREAK. i think that is it.


mat4 Says:

Roger seems to have back problems again.


kriket Says:

None of that much hyped Fed sharpness from this season. So far it looks as a routine victory for Novak.


dari Says:

Fed has been doing better facing adversity, brando, i see what youre saying. sickness and decent oponennts in IW, blueness,.raonic and such in Madrid.

At least one of them is playing well tonight, geeze


Kimmi Says:

The blockbuster didnt turn out to be one.

Lets hope we get one tomorrow.


carlo Says:

Nole is just fantastic, Kimmi. I can watch this and it’s all fine, just like Delpo or Murray, if they would ever start beating Federer again. But these anti-fed trolls disgust me so I’m outta here. Will watch in peace and post on the bracket ;)


dari Says:

Tweener must be much harder than roger makes it look


Nirmal Kumar Says:

After madrid win I posted saying now that the exhibitions are over, the big boys will start showing up. Looks like that’s what has happened here.

Once Nole and NAdal start putting their mind on winning, then Roger rightfully is at 3rd place, irrespective of what the Rankings define.


carlo Says:

It’s true, Nirmal Kumar @ 3:26 pm


Kimmi Says:

carlo – just ignore them. its not worth to leave because of them.

I can watch this one today too carlo. The moment i dont give roger a chance he surprises me. today i gave him a chance but look what is happening. Its all my fault :))


Kimmi Says:

ah! surprising the BH is working!


Kimmi Says:

oh man!


racquet Says:

Fed breaks back.


carlo Says:

Okay, Kimmi xxoo to you :D you are right. And look it might turn competitive after I was about to give up. But I really don’t want Feddy in the final, you know….mamma mia


dari Says:

Just when i was getting accustomed to the idea of tremendous novak winning tonight and going on to beat rafa, roger goes and does this.

Whatever. Go rog


Kimmi Says:

what a game! unbelievable!! where is this one going now!


Humble Rafa Says:

But I really don’t want Feddy in the final, you know

Why not? The Arrogant One is my favorite Sunday meal.


Dave Says:

Ugh, Federer needs to lose in two sets so he can be rested for the French Open and the rest of summer. Let Djokovic and Nadal kill each other for the Italian title


Kimmi Says:

Go away humble rafa. the fat lady hasn’t sang yet.


Brando Says:

THAT is roger federer people! Win or lose- I want fed to show fight each time every time anytime against whoever!


Kimmi Says:

Dave – i am thinking the same thing. too much tennis for fed already.


racquet Says:

“Federer needs to lose in two sets”

LOL


Kimmi Says:

what a rally!!


carlo Says:

Well, HR, I simply prefer a Nodal final, particularly on clay. I love No1e and Federer. sorry.


Kimmi Says:

ugh! the errors are coming back. 40 UE


Kimmi Says:

he defended so well fed then he make easy error.


carlo Says:

Even with the fans cheering Fed. But Fed’s tuning up Nole for the final! that’s what he needs. ah gotta feel for Mirka sitting there…


racquet Says:

Nole through. That was a very convincing statement win. Yes, Fed had a lot of UFEs but many of those were due to the ferocity of Nole’s hitting & returning.


Kimmi Says:

there! congrats djokovic. he seem to be back.

should be a blockbuster tomorrow.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Roger is getting into mode of Ferrer, who can be competitive with the Top 2, but can’t win big matches against them.


Dave Says:

Kimmi: “Dave – i am thinking the same thing. too much tennis for fed already.”

Exactly. His poor serving may be due to that inflamed back from Madrid. It’s stupid to go 3 sets with Novak , try to beat Rafa tomorrow and end up with more injury and exhaustion. He’ll be wasting precious days trying to recover.

Whew. He lost. good.


Humble Rafa Says:

The Arrogant One is a pain in the neck for Arrotards. When you can lose 62 64, he drags it out, usually the result is the same.

The damn backhand still sucks. Slightly better than it used to be.


carlo Says:

There it is. At least Federer fought.

Congrats to No1e!! Ajde Nole, Ajde!

Love Federer…no sadness whatsoever. Glad to see Nole back in good form, especially in the last set and TB


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Kudos to Novak, incredible incredible incredible level of tennis from him. Roger played quite good, but he was always fighting from behind, and Novak was controlling the vast majority of rallies. The UEs from Fed are not a reflection of poor play, but the fact that Novak makes him hit more balls than he wants, and go for more high risk than he wants.


jane Says:

Phew, lots of dramarama at the end there, but I am so very PROUD of Nole! :) Congrats to Rafa too.

Commiserations to Daveed and Fed (and Kimmi and carlo).


Brando Says:

Pleased nole won. As for fed, it’s telling when ardent fans o his such as Dave are glad that he lost. He just DIDNT show up today. AWOL for a set and a half. Shame.


Kimmi Says:

OK! prediction from robbie koenig. Djokovic to win tomorrow.

Lets see!


dari Says:

Novak, easy don’t break something with the running jump.celebration!

Good of fed to play some ball at the end there, nothing to be sad about, old man needs some rest.

Positives:

fed played quite poorly for most of the match so there is room to improve.

Novak played great, and if he brings this and a little more to rafa tomorrow, fed can stay #2.

I know its a little weak this way, and I gave fed fans who wanted him to lose a hard time, but we’be gotta think bigger picture here, fed got a few red clay matches, let the younger guys kill themselves tomorrow for a 1000, maybe novak wins the no. 2 seed for fed (hahahahaha) and hope for a magic draw for RG.

ON TO PARIS, ROG!


Kimmi Says:

my bracket is busted! i will take a nose dive as I picked fed to the final. A rafa win will rescue me ofcourse.


carlo Says:

Fairy Godmother of tennis was outvoted by fairy Godfathers. Fairy Godmother of tennis would have had Ferrer winning his 1st Masters 1000 by beating Nadal, Djokovic, or Federer.

no fairytale ending this time. But we get Djodal – a great match, hopefully! :D


Milos Says:

Looking forward to another Nodal :) (nice one carlo) classic. Fedal final is too predictable.


Kimmi Says:

dari – i am thinking the same way. on to paris we go!!.

Glad nole is playing better again. he probably needed this performance from a top player to measure himself. I thought his returns were top notch today and the BH didnt leak too many errors as for the past few tournaments. Lets hope for a blockbuster tomorrow.


carlo Says:

It’s all good, Kimmi and dari.

Will Brando or scineram win the bracket challenge? that’s the big question, lol…


mat4 Says:

I am just very happy. Nole played well. Roger seemed a bit hampered by his back, though. Kudos to all Nole fan.


dari Says:

My bracket busted too kimmi! Except.for.that I’m jot.gonna hope for rafa to win to save it!

Novak fans, I bet its nice to see him playing so well, great level.from him tonight, not bad to watch, even if against my guy.

Fed looked kinda disappointed at the end, no? As he should, champ that he is!


Brando Says:

I’m very GLAD nole won. Rafa gets to see how much more he needs to improve against him 2moro. Had he faced fed, he wouldn’t gain much from it, in terms of where his game is at and needs to be IMHO.


carlo Says:

Thanks Milos, I like Nodal or Djodal better than Rafole…sounds too much like as****e


mat4 Says:

@carlo:

:-)

I don’t think Nole stands a chance against Rafa tomorrow. But, who knows? I has won so many times against all odds.


Brando Says:

This WAS probably the most 1 SIDED match between these 2 since nole wo Davis cup- and that was down to fed not showin IMHO. His reaction at the end displays his disappointment in his performance. Picked nole to win, BUT I thought he would have had a match on his hand.


madmax Says:

Rick Says:
Federina just isn’t really that good, he was beaten by Gasquet here last year. And in 2010, by Soderling at the French. He often has to avoids playing some players to win a tournament. And most finals were played in best of five sets. Now they are three. They should not allow the active players to take part in the ATP council, they would just do anything to benefit themselves.

May 19th, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Rick,

take carlo’s advice and get lost. Seriously. You are a disgrace.

Am not sad in the slightest. Thanks for the commentary kimmi, livestream is crap. But, I look at it this way. Fed just came straight off a win in madrid, and I really don’t care what the colour is. Clay is clay whether it should be red, blue, yellow, pink or purple. He’s got 4 matches at Rome under his belt and a trophy behind him. I am pleased. Fed now can take his rest, recuperate and do some damage at the FO.

Congrats to you Jane and to Duro, (wherever you are), and to sar.

Seems like the racquet thrasing did the trick!

Very proud of Roger for what he did today. He must be tired come to think of it. Remembering that Nole and Rafa both went out early in Madrid and I am happy that this is their time.

See you all tomorrow.

Carlo, why you change your name?


jamie Says:

LOL @ Olderer. He is done.


jane Says:

Brando, I think last year at Dubai was even more one-sided. I like Tennis Vagabond’s take @3:52 more than yours ;). It sounds better to me.


madmax Says:

Jamie,

Yeah you’re right.

Winner of madrid, aged 30,(as you keep reminding us), reaches SFs of Rome, no.2 in the world, and who cares for how long?

You really know your tennis Jamie.


carlo Says:

Well, Mat4, I picked Nadal in my bracket, who will play like ‘Madal’ tomorrow. He’s got a point to prove.

hey, are you in the bracket game yet? it’s not a serious competition, unless you are as good as “Marcolides” who actually was on the leader board for quite awhile; very prestigious for tennisxfan bracketeers.


jane Says:

Thanks madmax. I enjoyed your take on seeing Rafa’s practice and the high five for the little boy. Sorry you didn’t get to upgrade your tickets. Hope you had fun in Roma anyhow.


madmax Says:

Brando it is the right result.

Fed has been on a tear. He has been brilliant all year.

Time to heal now and come back stronger and he will. Hopefully Mark and Rick and their sidekick Jamie will be in Australia by then.

Invite from wogboy to dinner – can but hope:)


jamie Says:

@dari

Pat Cash who is at RG right now is saying Babolat changed the balls for 2012. They are slower. Not fast like in 2011. Olderer is screwed. :O)


carlo Says:

Madmax, my hero, Alberto Contador, was very unfairly, imo, banned for a teensy weensy bit of clenbuterol. Barely any in there. UCI is corrupt. The pick and choose who they want to test. Bruyneel, and the whole Radioshack team, Astana, Lance, ect all doped…just never “tested” positive. I got really mad because the Spaniards are unfairly singled out. There is no team or rider that hasn’t done something. It’s just the EPO has been tricky to detect during the Armstrong years, then he had the Cancer excuse….on and on….

Couldn’t be the name of a banned cyclist, could I? Though I hope he comes back in August and wins the Vuelta a Espana! (sorry, so off-topic)


jamie Says:

http://twitter.com/#!/therealpatcash

Pat Cash ‏@TheRealPatCash May 18
Im at a chilly Roland Garros its clear to me how crucial the ball speed is for Roger. FFT said they are different than 2011. guessing slower.

:O)


Dave Says:

Brando: “As for fed, it’s telling when ardent fans o his such as Dave are glad that he lost. He just DIDNT show up today. AWOL for a set and a half. Shame.”

Brando, that’s why you can’t be a coach. You miss the big picture — you failed to ask WHY Fed didn’t show up today. :)

Read my long post above. This match pretty much unfolded as I suggested. Djokovic needed the win, Federer does not. Given Federer’s focus on his larger goal of retaking the No. 1 ranking during the summer, it makes sense for Roger to forgo going all out for a short-term win in Rome. He has played too much for a 30 year old: 9 Masters matches in 12 days on two different surfaces. He needs to protect his body from injury before the French Open. Federer’s heart did not seem to be in the match from the start — either he’s cooked or he’s decided he didn’t need to win this match. The way he served indicates his injuries and weariness from Madrid remain. In any case young Djokovic and Nadal have had much more time to rest, and they have had more tournament practice on red clay in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and/or Rome’s slower red clay courts. Players like Federer and Berdych had much less time to adapt to Rome’s slower conditions and different running surface after playing at least 10 days on Madrid’s faster, harder, more slippery, different blue clay courts.

Bottom line, losing is a smart result for Federer at this stage of his career. he has built up enough ranking points since after US Open that he can practically cruise to the No.1 ranking at some point during the summer. If he stupidly injures himself fighting both Djokovic and Nadal for the Rome title, it would do more harm to his bigger plans.

Had David Ferrer managed to somehow beat Nadal, it wouldn’t surprise me to have seen a different Federer out there tonight.


dc Says:

@ jamie
jamie Says:

@dari

Pat Cash who is at RG right now is saying Babolat changed the balls for 2012. They are slower. Not fast like in 2011. Olderer is screwed. :O)
———————————————-
Balls are slower means Nole meets Nadal in the finals.
Kneedal is screwed :OO))


Brando Says:

@madmax: I admire passionate fans like yourself. I agree it is the RIGHT result- no doubt about that. Like I said I picked nole to win this match pre tourny, HOWEVER disappointed at the fed that showed up today.


carlo Says:

Madmax, I wonder if who you saw, you say a lefty? Maybe it was Ramos. Ramos is moving up the ranks. But at Indian Wells, you know, I got to watch a lot of Ferrer and Rafa, Ferrer and everybody up close. Unbelievable is Ferrer. Rafa was po’d in 2011 because he couldn’t find his rocket serve – lots of swearing in Spanish…sort of cute…lol…


Brando Says:

@dave: so do you think fed did not go full tilt tonight purposefully?


jane Says:

Nole had a tough draw in Roma too, playing Tomic, ranked 32; Monaco, ranked 15; Tsonga, ranked 5; and then Federer, ranked 2 – all just for a date with Rafa in the final! And Nole lost only one set, which was at least partly due to his irritation from the wind, and partly due to Pico playing great tennis, hitting some fab forehands. So yeah, I am totally proud of him. He really stepped up today.


jamie Says:

@dc

As long as Olderer does not win anymore slams, everything is fine.


jamie Says:

Think about it. AO, Wimbledon and USO are using slower, heavier balls than they did some years ago. Now Rg is using slow, heavier balls. Yummy. Olderer has won his last slam already. :O)


Kimberly Says:

Madmax–don’t let bad rafa fans push your buttons. SOme of them aren’t even really fans of Rafa. They are people who are taking out the angst in the personal lives on people they don’t know on the internet as some sort of anxiety outlet or to amuse themselves. Their anger isn’t aimed at Federer or his fans but at who knows what, or simply to amuse themselves. The more we react, the more pleasure they get.

I must admit i’m guilty of somewhat similar behavior on basketball blogs, at least until lately when my team started sucking.


Blah Says:

how lucky for the tour that feds mono/back flared up again and he decided to tank on a nonlegitimate tennis surface while being the players council leader while having the burden of kids otherwise he’d bagel everyone as long as they didn’t cheat with moonballs amirite?


mat4 Says:

@Kimberly:

You’re not the only one. It is sometimes difficult not to react. BTW, what’s your team? I used to watch basket-ball very much.


mat4 Says:

@jane:

What’s your take for tomorrow?

@Conty:

No, I don’t play the bracket challenge. Tried once at home and discovered how bad I am at it. I would without any doubts embarrass myself.


jamie Says:

Astrology says Nadal should win tomorrow the final.

But Nole has bigger balls, whole lot more testicular fortitude than Nadal.

Astrology vs. bigger manhood.

Undecided.


Kimberly Says:

Humble Rafa-forgot to tell you yesterday I found your Ms.Big Lady post very funny. Do you have other names for the women as creative as the Egg Lover, Mr. Lady Forehand, Your Humble Highness, The Arrogant One? Who is Sharapova, Azarenka etc? Or do only Serena and the men get names?


Wog boy Says:

No excuses, please. If Federer could he would win, but he couldn’t Nole was better one tonight ( this morning Sydney time). Give the man a credit please. Federer wanted this one as much he could but Ne was to good for him tonight, thank you very much.
I’ll get back to you later, watching football, turning interesting.
Congrats to all Nole fans.


Kimberly Says:

Mat4–the Miami Heat


Dave Says:

Brando: “disappointed at the fed that showed up today.”

Was the Fed who showed up today better or worse than the Djokovic who showed up in the Monte Carlo final? Or the Djokovic who lost to Tipsarevic last week? Whatever excuse Djokovic had for losinglike that (he’s in mourning or he doesn’t like blue clay), well, 30 year old Federer can be excused after playing so much tennis since 12 days ago.

Brando: “@dave: so do you think fed did not go full tilt tonight purposefully?”

To me, he did not go all out. When he goes all out you can see it in his feet, his movement. As to whether he didn’t do all out because he tanked and/or was injured and/or was tired, etc I don’t know the reason.

Of course, kudos to Novak as well. If Djokovic came out limp for the taking, Federer would have wanted the win without too much effort.

You can see it in the Seppi match. In the first set, for 5 games his feet were 100% into the match and he was hitting lines. At 5-0 he practically started feeding balls to help Seppi hit winners to win a game. It was smart: had he mercilessly clobbered Seppi 6-0, the Italians wouldn’t have liked it.


mat4 Says:

BTW, Nole didn’t serve well, but Roger returned very, very bad. I feel that in the first set Roger played to close to the baseline and this hurt his backhand.

The best point of the match, for me, was the first of the TB. Roger threw everything he had, but the ball kept coming back, just like she had hit a wall.

Nole needs to improve his BH down the line.


jane Says:

mat4, my take is that I have no idea. Nole and Rafa are both playing great tennis based on today and their quarter final wins against quality opponents. It really could go either way. In a way it doesn’t matter too much. I am just glad to see Nole playing well!


Kimberly Says:

http://live-tennis.eu/race

The top 3 are all razor close, Ferrer the distant fourth.


Blah Says:

sshhhhh wogboy none of that around here ;)


Kimberly Says:

http://live-tennis.eu/rankings_under_21

And more interesting for some like Carlo, race points for players under 21. Are they a telling indication of the future of tennis?


jane Says:

That’s a cool link Kimberly, about the “under 21″s – thanks for posting it!


carlo Says:

Mat4 ( i actually like contador aka conty better as a moniker than ‘carlo’) call me what you want ;)

Wog boy, full credit and congrats to No1e! very proud of him. I still have a personal, friend to friend small bet Nole gets his Djokerslam :)


Brando Says:

@dave: interesting take. Fed for SURE wasn’t up to the mark today.


madmax Says:

Blah Says:
how lucky for the tour that feds mono/back flared up again and he decided to tank on a nonlegitimate tennis surface while being the players council leader while having the burden of kids otherwise he’d bagel everyone as long as they didn’t cheat with moonballs amirite?

May 19th, 2012 at 4:30 pm

I’ll answer for you bla bla, urwrong. Ok?

Brando,

I know. Be disappointed but not for too long. I think I agre with dave, watching the seppi match with fed yesterday, fed was like a bunny rabbit. Hopping everywhere. he looked reall fresh and well, bouncy. Today, remember, he had a late match laast night, way past 10pm. He was NOT fresh today. That’s for sure. Novak was well rested, Fed has done what he needed to do to get himself into shape for the FO. He is in a much better position thatn he was last year.

Carlo/conty, thank you for that. :)

Jamie, seriously bugger off to Australia and go talk to the kangaroos. They can listen to your drivel all day.

kimberley, yeah. I know, but you understand, right?

wogboy, all fed fans as far as I can read have congratulated nole. There are no hard feelings nor excuses. You got to admit that fed has played himself well into Rome. He doesn’t need to do anymore. He has done better reaching this stage than last year. We are proud of him.

Good luck for tomorrow.


carlo Says:

Saved that link, thanks Kimberly. Will have more looks at it – always looking for the new talent. Keep thinking another Nadal, Federer, or Djokovic will emerge but…slow in coming. Have not seen it.


mat4 Says:

jane:

You’re right. Nole is playing much better. He was great in defense, his CC FH worked well, and he still can hammer high balls with his BH. Just hope he will peak for the FO.


Brando Says:

@jane: I feel this more 1 sided than Dubai since that was peak nole, today’s nole serve wasn’t anything special at all. Then he outplayed a federer in good form, today federer was listless. I do not want to offend either sets of fans here, but IMHO tsonga was a more of a challenge for nole than fed today.


jane Says:

Brando, that’s fine. I agree to disagree. :)

Kimberly I bookmarked it too – great link.


jane Says:

mat4, just look at his Rome draw. I saw Nole play Tomic, for example, and Tomic is no slouch – that was a good match but Nole was ready. And then again, Nole quieted a quite ferocious Tsonga and broke his spirit and serve down – he puts constant pressure on his opponent’s serves, constant. If Nole had consolidated his breaks against Tsonga in set one it could’ve been 6-3, 6-1, and same against Fed today, if he had held on serving for the set it might’ve been 6-2, 6-4.

Thus I think the concerning issues for Nole are still his serve and also nerving out those crucial moments of a match. For example, on his way to the Miami title, two, or was it three?, times when Nole was serving for the match/second set he was broken and his opponent forced a tiebreak – the exact same thing happened today versus Roger. I feel like Nole has to toughen up at those crucial moments and serve big in the clutch moments. If he can do that, no problemo. But it is easier said than done.

Still, I am not complaining. He has had a very strong season. It’s a pleasure to see him play well and I don’t expect perfection. A win is a win. :)


Fot Says:

Federer’s serve, backhand, forehand, and movement was “off” today…but Novak took advantage. I’m not too sad that Roger lost since he did win last week and got to the SF this week in the only 2 clay court events he entered. It’s still good preparation for the French Open.

Tomorrow’s match is tough to call for me. Based on how they both played this week, I’ll have to give it to Nadal; but when Novak and Nadal plays – most times lately, Novak has Nadal’s number…so who knows. I hope it goes 3 sets, 5 hours! lol!


skeezer Says:

Well just got back from my own Tennis and watched the match via DVR.

My own take,

Fed didn’t put much thought (strategy wise ) in this match. Not saying he didn’t try his best and gave it is all. But banging it out with Nole is only going to help his(Nole’s) rythym. And when one guy is hitting at the baseline and you’re hitting 4-5 feet behind the baseline, you’ll lose that war 99% of the time. Where was the short low slice mixed in with some droppers? Feds winning formula over Novak has been mixing it up. And where did that awesome first serve go?(although Noles return of serve has that effect on players..hehe)

Overall, Fed looked more worn out imo as the match went on. Whether that was by design(some have mentioned) or he is just plain worn out from all the tennis I don’t know. Good news is imo the xtra rest now between now and FO will bode him well.

Nole grew by leaps and bounds(wrt to the last few months) in this match and is ready again to take on Rafa again. His form started looking ominously like last year. And regardless what was going on with Fed, Nole was the cause of most of it, and deserved a great win.

Nole should win the final, the Rafa Slayer.


Wog boy Says:

carlo,
I hope good Lord can hear you:)

madmax,
Thanks, he will need a bit of luck for tomorrow, I give advantage to Rafa but Nole is No1e :)
Now go ans ser Rome, there is a lot to do and see in that beautiful city:)
You are making me very busy man downhere, slow down, please:)

Brando,
Are you watching football? Who is going to win ?


Brando Says:

@ jane: I think your 5.03 post is SPOT ON, I’ll agree to that:-)


Wog boy Says:

Should say “and see”


Brando Says:

@Wog Boy: a pitch full of Germans and WHY oh WHY does a dutchman take the penalty? I’m thinking destiny is on Chelsea side.


Brando Says:

@wog boy: penalties!


Wog boy Says:

Brando,

Penalty shootout, since Germans missed one in regular time,I give advantage to Chelsea.


Brando Says:

@ wog oy: I do too- bayern missed SO MANY chances- will that play in their minds? BUT never say never with Germans in penalty shootout…..


Wog boy Says:

Never say never with Germans in anything:)


Wog boy Says:

Well….:( doesn’t look good for Chelsea, three to go.


mat4 Says:

Yes, I agree, Nole has that ability to make opponents play bad. We all thought that something was wrong with Jo in the second set, and Fed played awfully in the first. Novak used a different pattern of play, but both time he pinned the weakness: for Roger, a backhand on the run, for Jo, the forehand on the run. The pressure he puts on the second serve also impacts the first, so, one thing here, another there… But I really think he can play better, especially on the backhand side, though he countered, from that wing, slow sliced balls very effectively this time.


mat4 Says:

Germans and penalties? They never miss. I almost died in 1982 watching the penalties in the semi. France lost, of course.


Wog boy Says:

It takes one Czech to take Germans down:)
There is going to be riots in London:)


Brando Says:

WOW, bayern lost:-(


jane Says:

mat4, you’re probably right that he can play better. He could get his first serve percentage up higher for example. And if you think about it, in a way that’s good news. It’s good that even though he won, there is still room for improvement. I think Nole is the type to keep working as well.


Wog boy Says:

Brando, What is your club, if you don’t mind asking?


Brando Says:

@ I’m a devil, a red devil of Manchester united:-)


Wog boy Says:

mat4,
I noticed Nole doesn’t use his BH DTW as often as before for quite some time, I think it is for a reason, meaning he is improving his game and using variety of other shots, does this make sense to you, jane and others?


Wog boy Says:

I am on the other side of the fence, Liverpool :)


mat4 Says:

@WB:

Nope. He doesn’t use a variety of other shots, but a CC BH instead most of the time. I think that he has improved that crosscourt backhand, BTW.


Brando Says:

@ Wog Boy: LOL, both in tennis and football:-)


Wog boy Says:

mat4,
Tell me just once that I am right, please. That hurts:(
Ok, let’s try this, what about his CC FH on the run, fast, strong and more flat, right or wrong?


Wog boy Says:

Brando,
In both cases you have more titles:) but I am not giving up!


scineram Says:

I hope Serena also withdraws at Roland Garros.


jamie Says:

@madmax

Olderer is done. Period. He can only win mm titles where he avoids Nole. Anything else is impossible for the old fart.


Brando Says:

@wog boy: LOL, good attitude to have!


skeezer Says:

Post match like I was sayin

“Overall, I don’t think I was playing good enough,” said Federer, who won the Madrid Open last week. “Plus, I was a bit tired. I’ve been playing a lot lately.”

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/tennis/news/20120519/italian-open-djokovic-nadal/#ixzz1vME22tMC

And Novak stepping in the court….KEY

About playing Rafa and what he did against Fed…

“I need to step into the court and take chances and not allow him to move me around.”

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/tennis/news/20120519/italian-open-djokovic-nadal/#ixzz1vMEWPwHg

Congrats again Nole, should be a great match tomorrow(albiet a long one, 6 hours and 22 minutes )


Wog boy Says:

skeezer,
That is OK, I took Monday off:)


skeezer Says:

^lol


rave Says:

Congrats to Nole. He played incredible today. I am sad Fed lost in one sense, but in another, I am glad he lost. I too, noticed he was not there today, though I have to admit I ahve a sneaky suspicion that Nole had a role in it.
More rest and practice.

All the Fed haters, and Jamie, condolences to you guys. Life must be pretty tough for you that seeing someone lose makes you guys so happy.

Yes, ROger is olderer, but what a way to get old. Look at all the accomplishments in his youth (relatively speaking). And yes, life happens. We all get old. THere are some laws of physics that humans cannot change, but you have to admire Roger’s passion and hard work, he never gave up. He is still in the top three and he is still winning tournaments. He is a remarkable tennis player who can let dissapoinments go and not let his life get bogged down and become and angry. He is content and happy with his life, but still has a desire to get better.

And Madrid to me is important. Remember what Billie Jean King Said “Champions adapt”, and who is the champion. Oh wait! Billie jean is olderer so she does not count just like tournaments that the old ROger wins does not count.


Steve 27 Says:

Madrid 2012 wasn’t clay really. this is the truth.


Steve 27 Says:

Take risks Jamie, who wins RG, Wimbledon, U.S. Open and the Olympic Games. No future with predictions, say it now and do not change every few minutes.


skeezer Says:

rave,

Yeah I hope some of us Fed fans are here when these types are cheering on the fav when there fav is 30, hehehe. Am a life long tennis fam so I will be here, AND reminding them. At that time, when it comes, Fed will still be the all time record holder. Am confident of that. Been around this stuff awhile. Look forward to pointing that out to the haters when that time comes.


rave Says:

Steve27, Madrid was a tennis match, on a tennis court, a difficult one to play on. It was not ideal clay, but it was a tennis tournament.And who was it who adapted and played on a very difficult court and won, without any sniveling and whining.

Skeezer, I have been a lifelong tennis fan too, and an old one at that. Borg was my favorite till I completely fell head over heels for Roger when my husband nagged me to watch him. And yes, I will still be around when their favs get olderer and I will be right there alongside you LMAo.


skeezer Says:

rave,

“ditto”


M Says:

“you have to admire Roger’s passion and hard work, he never gave up. He is still in the top three and he is still winning tournaments. He is a remarkable tennis player who can let dissapoinments go and not let his life get bogged down and become and angry. He is content and happy with his life, but still has a desire to get better.”

This is why he is inspiring.

I hope he serves as a role model for all our favorites to continue to play for years to come. I for one enjoyed that Federer/Ferrero match.

Allez Roger!
Vamos Rafa!

*throws side-eye at whoever said FEDAL was boring, upthread*


Nims Says:

I think Roger understands his position in tennis today. He knows his game is well behind Rafa and Nole. He is not going to sweat it out till the USO. Post USO Rafa and Nole would start loosening up on tennis and focus on their commercials, while we see the resurgence of Roger again winning tournaments.

Let’s wait till then. Now is the time for the big guns to take centre stage till USO.


Nims Says:

I remember Soderling say after his FO, that most of his matches against Roger were bad, because Roger makes him play bad.

I think same applies to Roger vs Novak too. Shortly we may hear such statement from Roger about Novak. Till then lets assume he is tired and saving his energy blah blah.

Looks like Roger now has two bad match ups in tennis. His longtime rival Rafa and Nole now.


Steve 27 Says:

rave this is the opinion of Nadal, what care more his opinion or yours? Yeah! Tiriac is great doing business, but he failed a big time in Madrid. So, Madrid is the less more important tourney on clay. Is a fact!


Michael Says:

Nims,

Not to take any credit away from Novak. He won deservingly. But your talk-up about bad match-ups for Roger is too mischeavous. Remember Roger is six years older to Novak and that is a great disadvantage in this physical sport which demands so much from a player. It is not that Roger has not beaten Novak or Nadal before. He has done that and that too convincingly. Just two months ago, he just eclipsed Nadal in Indian Wells and Novak was indeed very lucky to win the US OPen semis twice against Roger. Therefore, your talk of all this bad matchups for Roger is just out of place.


Nims Says:

Michael, I’m looking at the slams not the 3-setters. Irrespective of what we talk, the fact it Novak has been better player than Roger when they met at GS. Roger might have had Match point but who cares?

He lost 2 semis in AO, 2 semis at USO to Novak and many finals to Nadal. I’m not sure what is wrong in my above statement.

I agree the loss and matchup is more of a by product of Rogers age. I do not see a 2006 Roger getting beaten by today’s Nole. That Roger is different. But let’s live with Roger we have today.


Rahul Says:

I think Skeezer’s post at 5:06 pm nails it. As the match went on I felt Roger didnt know how to win points anymore besides the odd good serve or error from Novak.

I have to say though Novak’s suddenly looking very dangerous and he’s playing fearless tennis. I expect him to win tonight and if he can maintain this kind of form even RG is on his racquet.

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