Djokovic, Federer, Close In On Semifinal Collision; Wimbledon QF Picks And Pans
by Sean Randall | July 3rd, 2012, 8:32 pm
  • 356 Comments

We are down to just eight at the most prestigious tennis tournament on the calender. After what seems to be endless days of rain and frustration, the Wimbledon quarterfinals are fully green lighted for Wednesday.

Tournament favorite Novak Djokovic has looked sharped thus far. Andy Murray, a winner today over Marin Cilic, caries with him the burden of Great Britain.

An ailing Roger Federer is out for a seventh Wimbledon title, but will his back allow it? JW Tsonga, so often hot or cold, has regained the form, for now. And David Ferrer, who completed his career Grand Slam today by blasting Juan Martin Del Potro, will play the role of spoiler.

It’s a good mix of players in the last eight, but unfortunately the mathups taste a little stale. Of the four only Ferrer-Murray offer any substantial intrigue, that is unless Federer’s back flares up. Then we could see some fireworks on this Fourth of July. Otherwise I fear things will be fairly straight forward.

So with that, here are my picks:

Roger Federer vs. Mikhail Youzhny
Like Xavier Malisse, I just don’t give the Russian Youzhny much of a shot even if Federer again has trouble with his back. Against the the X-Man, Federer at times could hardly move or bend over but the Belgian seemed more than complicit to hand Roger points and games by the bountiful. I think Youzhny will do the same should the back become an issue, fold up.

Federer, though, doesn’t sound very concerned about the injury.

“Honestly, I’m not too worried. I’ve had bad backs over the years,” Federer said Monday. “I’ve been around. They go as quick as they came. But of course I have to keep an eye on it now. I have one and a half days, which is a lot of time, to be quite honest, to work with. Two good nights’ sleeps and I’ll be 100 per cent on Wednesday. I’m pretty convinced, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to pull out the match the way I did.”

Back or no back, the Russian has lost all 13 encounters with Federer and that’s what matters. However, he has won some sets off the Swiss including a year ago at Wimbledon. Still I think if he can walk and serve Roger should get through this third straight test with a 30 something.
The pick: Federer in four

Novak Djokovic vs. Florian Mayer
I enjoy watching Mayer play because of his shotmaking ability and creativity. And on occasion the German can pull the rare upset like he did today in a dominating performance over an in-form guy like Gasquet. And the win put him into another Wimbledon quarterfinal some eight years after his first.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling for me right now,” said Mayer. “Eight years ago I was here in quarter, and now eight years later [here I am] again. So it’s a wonderful dream for me.”

Well, the dream is about to end. Mayer hits a good backhand and I like his return of serve plus variety, but Djokovic has been such a buzzsaw in his title defense and I don’t foresee a letdown here.
The pick: Djokovic in three

JW Tsonga vs. Phil Kohlschreiber
What is with the German invasion at Wimbledon. Angelique Kerber, Sabine Lisicki, Florian Mayer and now Philipp Kohlschreiber. Like Mayer, I also like Phil’s game. He has a beautful one-handed backhand, great movement and a decent forehand. And he knows how to play on the grass and beat the big names – he took down Roddick many years ago at the Australian Open among other upsets. But this is his first quarterfinal test at a Slam and he has a poor 1-5 record against Tsonga.

“I expect to have a very, very tough match. Maybe you will say I’m [the] favourite, because I [have] played against him many times,” Tsonga said. “But, like me, we have nothing to lose. I just have to play my game. For me it was difficult because last year I played well. I will play more relaxed.”

We know the Frenchman has a tendancy to go off the boil for a bit here and there, but I don’t think it will last long enough to allow Phil to sneak out a win. Tsonga’s power and big match experience win out in the end.
The pick: Tsonga in four

Andy Murray vs. David Ferrer
In by far the match of the day, Murray and Ferrer clash for a 11th time with two having split their previous meetings. Ferrer beat Murray last month in four during the French Open quarters. But that was Ferrer’s surface and Murray was struggling with that supposed back problem. Now we are on Murray’s turf, literally. But Ferrer will still be tough. The Spaniard just won a grass tuneup and today he destroyed a hapless Juan Martin Del Potro. What’s going on?

“To me he’s not a clay-court specialist,” said Murray. “He won last week on grass, so he’s won, what, eight matches in a row on the grass. He’s been in the semi-finals of Australia, I think semi-finals of US Open, as well, and now he’s starting to play better on grass. I don’t see him as a clay-court specialist at all.”

After getting pushed by Marcos Baghdatis Saturday, Murray had it on easy street with a weary Marin Cilic today. And against Ferrer it’s clear he is the favorite. Compound that with the fact Rafael Nadal is out, this could be a golden opportunity for the Brit to at least get to the final or maybe win the title. Who knows when another chance like this comes?

Ferrer, though, played Murray very tough in Australia last year on a surface I think is Murray’s best. He also beat Murray at the end of last year in London at the finals, a big fat ouch for the Scot. So David knows how to beat him and will if Murray’s off his game.

That said, I think Murray serves well enough and smacks just enough winners to get the job done. I’m not confident, but…
The pick: Murray in four

ESPN2/ESPN will have coverage of all four quarterfinals live starting at 7pm ET. Weather permitting.

WEDNESDAY WIMBLEDON SCHEDULE

Centre Court 1:00 PM Start Time
Roger Federer (SUI)[3] v. Mikhail Youzhny (RUS)[26]
David Ferrer (ESP)[7] v. Andy Murray (GBR)[4]

No. 1 Court 1:00 PM Start Time
Novak Djokovic (SRB)[1] v. Florian Mayer (GER)[31]
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)[5] v. Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER)[27]


Also Check Out:
Federer, Murray On Track For An Australian Open Semifinal Showdown, Will It Happen? Picks And Pans
Nadal, Murray Try To Complete Fab Four’s Return To The French Open SFs; QF Picks And Pans
Are Nadal, Djokovic Headed to the Final? Wimbledon SF Picks and Pans
Murray, Djokovic Close In On Wimbledon Final; Wimbledon SF Picks And Pans
Federer v. Murray; Nadal v. Djokovic Seeded for Indian Wells SF

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356 Comments for Djokovic, Federer, Close In On Semifinal Collision; Wimbledon QF Picks And Pans

Dave Says:

Ferrer knocked out my pick for the finals (Del Potro) but I’m very happy Daveed did it and played so well. He is one of my favorite players, even if his game isn’t as spectacular as the top four players. It’s going to be difficult for him to reach the final with Murray and most likely Tsonga ahead of him. Murray should win in four but played well at Eastbourne and so far at Wimbledon, and if the roof is closed with the momentum from today’s center court match (he’s a decent indoor player and good grass court player), Ferrer might well take it to five sets or even win this. It’s not implausible as Ferrer has dropped only one set in winning his last two matches with Murray on the big stages of the 2011 World Tour Finals and 2012 French Open.

—–

Florian Mayer’s stats against Gasquet look sensational. Did anyone see that match? I had picked Gasquet to remain hot and win in four over Mayer, but Flo has a good grass game and a somewhat unorthodox style that can disrupt his opponent’s rhythm. Flo should rise to around No. 20 in the rankings next week and winning the qiartfinals would be a fantastic bonus, though it’s been a long time since he was last in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. I wouldn’t put it past Flo to trouble Novak in the outdoor Court 1 (Flo plays his best tennis outdoors, on grass and clay), having played outdoors in all his matches and against a few good grass court players. Djokovic may have gooten too comfortable from playing his last three matches indoors. Provided Flo tries to do a Rosol on Novak, and not play into Novak’s hands, trying to beat Djokovic at his attritional game… Match goes to four or five sets, and the winner is….

——

Part of the reason Federer beast Youzhny easily at Halle was because the Russian had played back-to-back three setters against Dolgopolov and Stepanek and also beat Robin Haase in the first round.

Youzhny did play a long five setter against Istomin (335 points over four plus hours is no joke). However, Youzhny has absolutely nothing to lose (his ranking will improve to the mid-20s next week) so it’s likely he will try to do a ‘Rosol’ and throw everything at Federer from the first game of the match to try to win the first two sets. Youzhny knows winning the quarterfinal is an unexpected bonus that sends him into the top 20 again.

Federer has to take it to Youzhny from the start and finish this match in three focused, dominant sets without any lapses in concentration or level. Roger cannot afford the kind of sloppy and casual performances he had early in the first set against Benneteau and Malisse (probably because both are Fed’s friends). Players who are Fed’s friends or generation have realized that he is not as ruthless with them, and they are exploiting this weakness. Roger needs to send a strong message to Djokovic that Wimbledon is his house.

—–

Tsonga should win in four or even three sets. But Kohlschreiber — since he did not play the clay season — has had a lot of grass court practice and matches since Halle and Eastbourne, so he is really primed for grass and he is doing it as the underdog. And he is a good grass court player. Will Tsonga’s lack of grass court practice due to his finger injury haunt him if he gets frustrated in a match he knows he should win?


skeezer Says:

Find it hard to say Murray will beat Ferrer in 4. Think he’ll win, but at minimum at very tight 4 setter and more likely a 5 setter. Daveeed is really playing tough.

If Feds back is ok, as a fan, really looking to see him crush through Youz. He needs to. Novak is looming, and he’ll need good rest and confidence. PLease Fed not another 5 setter….


Kimberly Says:

Great post Dave. Watching the replay of the fräulein fight


jane Says:

Dave it’s funny you say this “Players who are Fed’s friends or generation have realized that he is not as ruthless with them, and they are exploiting this weakness. ”

Tignor recently wrote a post that says almost the opposite; here are a couple of quotes:

“But Federer’s ownership extends to the players, of all nations, that he has grown up playing. He’s 111-22 against eight guys (Roddick, Hewitt, Youzhny, Davydenko, Nalbandian, Ferrer, Malisse, and Fish) who are in the vicinity of 30 years old, Federer’s own age. Against the best of the next generation—Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray—Federer is 31-39. ”

AND

” Julien Benneteau, a 30-year-old who Federer has known since they were 12, couldn’t finish him off in the third round; 31-year-old Xavier Malisse (career record against Federer: 0-10), couldn’t capitalize on his injury in the fourth. And the immeditate future doesn’t look much different. Federer plays Mikhail Youzhny, 30, next—career record against the Swiss: 0-14. ” [it's actually 0-13 but maybe Tignor is anticipating? ;)]

The article also talks about how Nole “owns” Tipsy and Troicki, and Rafa “owns” the Spanish Armada, just like Roger “owns” Stan.

Basically Tignor is arguing that if more guys came onto the court with a ruthless or at least a more determined attitude, like Rosol did, there were be more competitive matches and possibly more upsets of the top guys. He says they are just afforded too much respect and leeway by their opponents some of whom have the game to trouble them and even win sometimes, but they don’t. I guess it’s the “aura” effect he’s talking about – or similar.


Brando Says:

AGREE with dave’s post in the main. My take:

- Fed v youzhny: DEPENDS on the back. If its good- then fed beats him in starights and gives the confidence boosting display that is MUCH needed. IF back is still a problem, who knows….

- Novak v mayer: i think mayer will be a TRICKY customer. have not seen him play, but his results and what people say of his performance give the vibe that this is a man playing some solid, comprehensive tennis. DOUBT a rosol is in store here. A TIGHT set or 2 for sure, maybe mayer steals one. Either way, novak in 4 probably.

- Tsonga v Kohls: ALI does the stuff in 4. he’s been solid in this tourny, and he knows he has a chance for the final.

- muzza v the roadman: first of all, im VERY HAPPY that ferrer has made it so far. is there nicer guy in the top 10? I think not. I think he’ll give andy a serious working over, definately some nervous moments, BUT i think he lacks the big weapon that he can use in order to beat andy. Andy for me takes this in 4- he’s been looking very good, the last 4 sets he has played have been of a VERY HIGH STANDARD.


harry Says:

Dave — Nice post.

Jane — to me, Dave’s and Tignor’s premises are not necessarily opposites.

Dave’s premise concerns the “dynamic” evolution of fed’s record against “his gang” in time; whereas Tignor’s statement concerns his “static” lifetime statistic — which obviously shows some other interesting trends. But clearly, Tignor’s numbers are not sufficient to show that Fed’s ruthlessness against his “buddies” is the same as before.


jane Says:

harry, Dave is suggesting that Fed is less ruthless towards his generation than he used to be; Tignor is suggesting Fed’s generation is less ruthless towards him. That’s how I saw “opposite”. But I get what you mean w.r.t. evolving versus statis in terms of Fed.


Daniel Says:

Agree with harry,

Lately Fed is not demolishing his peers as he used to. Seems he soften up a bit, even though he has a huge HxH against them.

Interesting details should we have a Fedovic semis:

1 – Fed had never lost a semi final in Wimbledon. Every time he reaches semis, he goes to the final.

2 – Every first match in a specific Slam they met Djoko lost to Fed.
- Lost AO 2007 before finally winning in 2008 and 2011
- Lost RG 2011 before winning in RG 2012
- Lost 3 times in US Open (2007, 2008 and 2009) before winning in 2011 and 2012

Right now they are even in Slams: 5-5

So, this 2 stats point towards Federer. Even though there is the age difference and Djoko being 4-1 in the last 5 Slam matches, I still consider Fed the favorite, if his back is not hurt. Grass is Djoko’s worst surface and Fed’s best, on hard and fast hard they are basically equal (indoors Fed is better).


al Says:

a ‘rosol’ had soon became a trending word to mean huge-upset. :-) Wonder will it stick?


harry Says:

jane —

i did not read tignor’s article, but the only thing that tignor can conclude with the numbers that he presented (or what you presented from his article) is that fed is worse against rafa, nole and andy than he is against his peers.

it would be interesting to see Dave’s hypothesis — but it needs to be normalized properly. i mean, fed’s numbers against everybody has gone down quite a bit from his heydays(not just against his buddies). so to test Dave’s hypothesis, one will have to calculate his yearly win rate against his buddies and divide it by his yearly win rate against all top 50 or 100 (for example). if this quantity shows a downward trend, then Dave is right; otherwise he is wrong ;)

thanks Daniel…

but it is quite some work to collect these numbers :)


Eric Says:

Daniel you can’t possibly actually imagine either of those irrelevant pieces of trivia actually forecast the result if Federer and Djokovic play, can you? Let’s see: quirks of slam history and results from five years ago vs. current form and recent results. Let’s definitely go with the former.

Murray – Ferrer is a tossup. The only guarantee is that it’ll be close. I picked Ferrer in my bracket and I’ll stick with that, although Murray’s best tennis has been poking its head up here and there (in the few minutes of him I’ve seen, anyway!).

The other three have extremely clear favorites… unlikely to be any upsets. Mayer might stretch Nole to four or even five sets if his serve is outstanding, but beyond that it’s hard to see Fed or Tsonga losing even a set against their opponents, barring physical problems (Fed) or a characteristic stretch of sloppiness (Tsonga). But hey, it’s tennis, anything can happen.


Daniel Says:

Oops, in the US Open part it should read, before winning in 2010 and 2011. Maybe I got Jamie’s psych predicting Djoko for US Open 2012:)


jane Says:

Eric, would did you pick in the finals?


Wog boy Says:

Something from todays The Daily Telegraph:

…in 2001 Sampras lost in a fourth round to Federer, 7-6 5-7 6-4 6-7 7-5, Sampras said something that day about Federer, then 19, that was to prove prophetic.
“There are a lot of young guys coming up but Roger is a bit extra-special,” Sampras said then.

Same artical:
Federer was asked why so many 30-years-olds and over have done well at Wimbledon this year. As usual, his answer disarmingly honest and straight to the point.
“A good generation,” Federer said.

Thought it my be interesting to share this with you.


Eric Says:

Federer… but that is only an act of loyalty. Probably I would have picked Djokovic – or maybe Rafa, although not after seeing him play at Halle – if I were being honest, but I would have had to think about it. :)


mat4 Says:

Harry,

Fed leads against his generation (at least the 8 players mentioned by Tignor) 111-22. Of those 22 matches, he has lost 7 to Nalbandian and 8 to Hewitt. There are almost no numbers to analyse in recent years. From memory, Roger lost once to Benneteau in 2009, to Hewitt in 2010, once to Roddick this year, and twice to Davydenko in 2009 and 2010. It’s 5 matches in 4 years.

Anyway, I think that there is another reason for such a dominance, and here I consider the cases from Tignor’s text. They simply know each other too well. There is no element of surprise, and the better player simply wins.

Anyway, ST’s reasoning is a bit flawed: he compared Federer’s results with against his own generation with his results against Rafa, Novak and Muzza.

Let’s see what are his results against the best 10 younger players except those three: Berdych 11-4, Tsonga 8-3, Del Potro 12-2, Tipsy 5-0, Isner 3-1, Almagro 5-0, Simon 2-2, Monaco 4-0,
Monfils 6-1, Verdasco 4-0.

Overall 60 to 13. It’s about the same percentage, ~ 84% vs 82%.


jane Says:

harry, you should read it. Tignor is not really concluding anything about Fed, so much as some of his opponents. Basically the article is saying that some players (compatriots, friends) don’t play with any “edge” against the top 3 guys.


Daniel Says:

Eric,

Actually I do, and it is what everybody does here all the time. Untill we actually see a trend broken we go with history on our side. The fun part is we are always expecting “the first time”. Ex, when Djoko beat Nadal in Wimbledon last year, first time in a Slam and a Slam final and best of 5.
There is a reason Fed has the semis stat and Djoko loses the first time they play in a Slam. Even with all his experience now and recent victories, when Djoko face Fed for the firs time on grass, he will feel it, just like he felted last year in RG, even for a set. And that is exactly what Fed will need to boost his chance, kind of the aura effect. Deep down Djoko will think: can I beat Fed on grass, somethink Nadal had to do 9-7 in the fifth. Off course on his side there is last 2 years Berdy and Tsonga upsets and his recent success agais t Fed. Also I noted recently that if Fed loses first set to Djoko is bye, bye. But if he wins first set he has a chance.
Another example apart from Nadal fans everybody want to know if Nadal will ever lose a RG final in his career. He may be 30 but if he keeps reaching RH final and winning, who is going to go against him?


jane Says:

mat4, so maybe Fed, Rafa and Nole are just better? Is that what you’re saying?

I do think that when players grow up together and play often definitely the familiarity aspect is a factor, which Tignor doesn’t really consider in much detail. Good point.

And that, of course, is what was different about Rosol – no one saw him coming, and there was no familiarity.


Michael Says:

I go with the picks of Sean except for the Murray Vs Ferrer match where I think the latter is playing very well as he showed against Del Potro. If Murray doesn’t serve well, he is gone. Murray can make a match of it only if he serves well. Other than that, I feel Ferrer will win this one, but in tight five sets.


Daniel Says:

Jane,

That’s why Fed always say first two matches in Slams are tricky. Sometimes you play a guy for the first time and you don’t have time to adjust. Actually you do, 5 sets, but you know
I mean:)


Michael Says:

Del Potro tried variety of tactics against Ferrer, but it failed. He served and volleyed more often, but I thought Ferrer was in the peak of his form and that one drop shot of Potro which Ferrer retrieved was just out of the World. Not many could do that except may be Nadal. I think Ferrer is playing pretty well and he might with a tinge of luck can reach the finals too.


mat4 Says:

Some other stats: Djokovic won 7 of his 8 last matches against Federer; Federer didn’t win a tournament on grass since 2009; Federer didn’t beat a top 15 player on grass since 2009. So, Nole fans have also good reasons to hope.


Michael Says:

All about that weak era of Roger. There are four players in the quarters who are 30 and above. Does that not say something ?? It seems that the young players are so inefficient to even reach the quarters.


mat4 Says:

jane:

Precisely. And Roger is ruthless on a court.


Michael Says:

Djokovic won 7 of his 8 last matches against Federer

That might be the push for Roger here. He can win this one with the law of averages by his side. This is also his favourite court and therefore he can play with confidence against Novak. Only thing he should have Plan A and Plan B. If the first one doesn’t work out, then he must switch over to Plan B.


mat4 Says:

@Michael:

Who mentioned a weak era? Roger played in the era of Nadal, Djokovic and Murray and won 5 slams. Anyway, he’s 31-39 against those three, winning his last two matches against Rafa and his last match against Murray.


jane Says:

I guess we shouldn’t overlook that Nole and Fed still have quarterfinal matches to play too…


mat4 Says:

Sorry, he lost against Rafa at the AO.

Of course, Roger can win against anybody anywhere. But he can also lose. But let’s wait and see first if Novak and Roger will make it to the semi.


jane Says:

Daniel, yes, and imo the early matches in slams are fun for fans because we get to see different players we don’t usually see, in Masters, for example.


Wog boy Says:

jane, mat4,

That is the way, one step at the time.


Eric Says:

Daniel, I guess my point is that what happened at the US Open and the Australian Open five years ago isn’t a “pattern” meaningful for a potential Nole-Roger semi here. And you could just as easily have said two years ago, well, Roger has never lost in a quarterfinal stage here for almost ten years. Bottom line, you’re not really looking at the right kind of pattern. The match will be played between Roger and Novak of 2012, it’s not some statistical computation about their grand slam timelines.

On the other hand, there is this; Roger ended his winning streak last year at RG when Nole was at the peak of his powers. So maybe – and here’s where you are on firmer ground – it is reasonable to think that Roger will come out with the same impeccable game plan and relentless determination to win that we saw at RG last year. That was some (now rare) grit and fire from Roger. For sure, I am not willing to make a prediction either way, but I think just objectively Novak would likely to be a heavy favorite of unbiased observers…


Eric Says:

And it’s not so far-fetched that Ferrer could be a finalist here. If he actually beats Murray, surely he’s the favorite against Tsonga (or Kohls) too without needing any further luck…


Eric Says:

Oh, also, Daniel: “. Also I noted recently that if Fed loses first set to Djoko it’s bye, bye.”

Yes, for sure.


Dan Martin Says:

Sean, I agree the Murray-Ferrer match is hard to predict. Murray should win, but Ferrer just won a grass court event & is coming off of wins over Roddick & Delpo. Also, he beat Murray in Paris so he should be confident. Murray has to match Ferrer’s effort. Here are my picks – http://tennisabides.com/2012/07/03/wimbledon-2012-gentlemens-quarterfinal-predictions/


Eric Says:

Dan, I am not sure I understand why you are saying “Murray should win” and “This should be an easy match to predict.” As you must know, they have pretty much split their past meetings, no? It will only be an “easy win for Murray” if one of Ferrer’s legs fall off.


Wog boy Says:

Ferrer is in a great form, Andy has to play his best tennis if he is to make it SF. any lapse in a game and Andy will be punished, I have no dubt about that. Ferrer is all over the court returnig everything with an interes. I was impressed last night against Delpo and against Roddick when he was one set down he just kept playing like he is one set up, and playing his game. Just doesn’t give up.


Dan Martin Says:

Eric, My point is Murray is at home more or less. He’s 6’3″ and just as quick as Ferrer. If Murray plays close to his top level on this surface, he should win this match. The problem is the pressure of expectations is on Murray.


Dan Martin Says:

Beyond all of that Murray has reached the semis of the past 3 Wimbledon tournaments and he is ranked/seeded higher. I think that makes Murray the clear favorite on paper. You are free to disagree, but those are my reasons for thinking Andy is the favorite.


Margot Says:

Saw highlights of Ferrer v. Delpotro, thought Delpotro played awful, was injured wasn’t he – just my take.
If this were a clay match I’d be very, very nervous, but as it isn’t, not so.
If Andy’s serve is firing, will hardly be nervous at all….hardly…;)
Come on Andy, all the way to the final :)


harry Says:

mat4 —
your first paragraph put my wishes to rest :) the “Dave hypothesis” is not test-able due to lack of recent numbers.

jane –
thanks for forcing me to read it :) it was a good read — tignor, as usual, writes well.

but i still think that his logic is a bit flawed (like mat4 says too). what i mean is that he starts with a conclusion — about self-belief being necessary for a win, but it is incompatible with “buddiness”– but goes in search of data to support it; only, he finds the wrong data! i actually agree with his conclusions (rosol being the case in point) but fed’s record against the other 3 is not the right data to demonstrate his conclusions — that is all :)

mat4′s analysis showing that fed has impressive numbers against berdych et al is really interesting — but i am worried about coming to any conclusion based on his data too. there are many variabilities: firstly these guys are slightly older guys (2 to 3 yrs) than rafa, nole and muzz. plus in rafa and nole, we have two legends, so that skews the results.

anyway, thanks jane and mat4 :)


harry Says:

jane — a quick clarification:
when i said “but fed’s record against the other 3 is not the right data to demonstrate his conclusions”, i simply meant that his results against the top 3 is not only attributable to their better self-belief.


El Mago Says:

here is the thing :

Federer has also dominated the spannish guys (has he lost another spaniard other than rafa since 2004?) and the serb boys aka djokob!ches!

but, novak has a losing H2H against roddick and nadal against davydenko and has lost some big matches to ferrer!

federer is 51-5 or something ridiculous against those 3 guys.

Also, let us not talk about the fact that nadal is 5 years younger than fed and djokovic/murray 6years younger.

connors who was 7/8 years older than lendl had a 7-7 H2H and then lost the next 10 matches in a row to end up 7-17.

fed was 13-6 against djokovic and now it is 14-12.

he was 6-8 against nadal and now it is 10-18.

so really, nadal/djokovic having superior H2Hs against federer is par for the course.

another example. j-mac is 3 years younger than borg. borg once led 7-4 in the H2H and then j-mac evened it 7-7. he was also 3-1 in slams against borg.

now please tell me about an older guy who gives atleast 5years to a 5+slam winner and has a winning H2H. I am waiting!


El Mago Says:

ferrer might have a 5-5 H2H against murray, but 4 of those wins are on clay – red clay to be specific.

i am with Dan – murray SHOULD win this. whether he will, we will find out tomorrow.

he is a much better grass court player than ferrer.

the big thing against murray is the expectations. i think very few people are under the pressure murray faces. he is at once the face of the nation as well as the tournament. and this is no ordinary tournament. this is THE tournament on the tennis calendar. Tennis World Cup, if you will!


Dan Martin Says:

El Mago – I agree the pressure is the X factor in this match


El Mago Says:

i can’t believe tignor is falling for this BS about respecting your opponent too much.

djokovic was an absolute jack@$$ from 2007-2010, with him and his team being portrayed as uncouth, for the most part. yet he was 1-9 against fedal in slams till 2010 USopen.

since 2011, he has been a much more well-behaved guy and he has a 7-2 h2h against fedal in slams.

i think it’s a flawed argument that respect against an opponent = loss. you can win without being a crappy mo fo like mac/connors was.

sampras/borg/federer/edberg/nadal and now djokovic are all proof of this.

Nice guys dont always finish last.

let us get some perspective. rosol won 1 match. it is not like he has won a bucket-load of slams with that attitude.

if attitude won you slams/matches, why play tennis at all? If you have got the game and talent and play better than the other guy across the net – you win. if you donot have those, any amount of attitude will win you absolutely nothing.


harry Says:

ha ha, Margot! I like Andy — would love to see him win a GS; but i also like Tsonga — his volleys, his dives. So you see my dilemma in their likely SF match :)?

mat4 — i have seen clips of Mecir in youtube, and to me, his game is remarkably similar to Muzza’s — both have tons of time for their shots when they are playing well. your take on this?


El Mago Says:

yes Dan! way too much pressure. cannot think of another sportsman in an individual sport with this kind of expectations.

unfortunately, murray has to deal with this alone, all by himself! no team-mates, no coaching staff will come to his rescue.

it doesn’t help that he always gets to meet a slam winner in GS finals.

contrast that to federer’s 1st GS final opponent = phillippousis (atleast he was already in a USO final)

nadal = puerta (that dude never ever made a quarter final before/after that. he also had some doping issues)

djokovic = tsonga (his 1st GS final – yet to make another final)

murray – 1st slam final, fed = 12GS 2nd slam final, fed = 15slams), 3rd slam final = djokovic (1GS and 2finals at that stage and he was in the form of his life)

you have to say, murray has been unfortunate in that sense!


Colin Says:

Here we go again.
Federer has a bad back, which is discussed in sensible fashion. Murray, on the other hand, has a “supposed” back problem.
Don’t be so childish, Mr Randall. And for goodness sake, have you really not got time to read your stuff even once before you post it? It’s littered with mistakes.
El Mago, how is Murray the face of the tournament? If anyone is that, it’s obviously Federer because he’s won it so many times. Just as Nadal is the “face” of the French Open.


steve-o Says:

Lack of familiarity was more of an advantage for Rosol than it was a disadvantage for Nadal, I think.

Rosol hadn’t ever played Nadal before, so didn’t know he was supposed to lose. If he had lost to Nadal before, he might have had that in the back of his mind and choked from a winning position. Instead he just kept playing it point by point, going at his rhythm rather than slowing down to suit Nadal’s.

Don’t think Murray will cruise on this one. Ferrer is a very good returner so Murray’s serves will be coming back with interest, that takes away one of Murray’s advantages.

Murray will be able to junkball Ferrer more than he was able to do on clay, but even so it will still be tough. Ferrer simply doesn’t give up.

As for Federer, I still want him to win the title. But the first step is to take care of Dr. Youzhny before he can even think of Djokovic.


Michael Says:

Mat 4,

Who mentioned a weak era? Roger played in the era of Nadal, Djokovic and Murray and won 5 slams. Anyway, he’s 31-39 against those three, winning his last two matches against Rafa and his last match against Murray.

That is what is often cited by Roger’s critics that he played in a weak era. But if you take the performance of players such as Nadal, Novak or even Murray against players like Davydenko, Ferrer, Roddick etc., it doesn’t seem impressive. They were able to win many matches and of significance is that Nadal has a negative record against Davydenko in hard courts and Novak and Murray struggle against these players more often than not. This being the case, we still hear sound bytes of this weak era argument from the haters of Roger.


steve-o Says:

@Eric: how is Federer’s grit now “rare”? We’ve just had two prime examples of it: he came from two sets down against Benneteau, repeatedly coming within two points of defeat, then beat Malisse with a gimpy back.

In the Benneteau match, Federer was absolutely steely. He wasn’t at his best, and Benneteau was playing brilliantly, but he didn’t let that bother him. In the fourth set, he didn’t give anything away or let himself get dejected, especially in the tiebreak. He had a minibreak twice and lost both, but he just kept plugging away until he pocketed the set.

In the Malisse match, there are not too many players who’d have fought through the pain to break back and secure that first set. He was able to improvise tactical adjustments to counter Malisse despite being unable to hit his forehand with his accustomed vigor, relying instead on placement and changes of pace to move Malisse around and open the court. Malisse didn’t choke; he simply had no idea how to respond to Federer’s adjustments.

In retrospect, that first set was absolutely crucial because Malisse could very well have been confident enough to take the second set or even win the match had he won the first–as it was, after going two sets down he still managed to win the third and go up 2-0 in the fourth.

No, Federer’s grit has been amply displayed in this tournament. As a fan I hope he will not be forced to rely too heavily on it in the next match, but if he is he won’t shrink from the task of doing whatever it takes to make to another Wimbledon semifinal.


Michael Says:

Despite what the forecast say on the Novak Vs Florian Mayer match, I expect it to be very tough probably even a five setter. Florian is playing good Tennis and he has chances of staging an upset because he has beaten top players before. Novak should be pretty careful and not be over confident. Ofcourse he has the edge but still Florian can make a match of it.


Nims Says:

It’s a good schedule today. I’m happy to see Novak play in Court 1, which will be outdoors irrespective of weather. It would help to gauge his form. In indoor conditions he has been impeccable and scary. If he shows the same form today, it would be a good indication to pick a favourite for the title.


El Mago Says:

nadal:

5-6 against davydenko, 16-4 against ferrer, 6-4 against hewitt, 9-4 against youzhny, 7-3 against roddick, 8-1 against fish, 4-2 against nalbandian, 2-1 against malisse = 57-25 (~70%)

djokovic:

5-2 against davydenko, 8-5 against ferrer, 5-1 against hewitt, 4-3 against youzhny, 3-5 against roddick, 7-0 against fish, 4-1 against nalbandian, 1-1 against malisse = 37-18 (~68%)

looks like the weaker generation held its own against the contenders for fed’s legacy. and this while they ar 5-6 years or more older than rafa/nole. fed’s record against them? 111-22 (84%)

if you claim fed’ generation was weak – you absolutely have no clue about tennis.

hewitt/roddick would have had 4-5 slams each if federer did not exist.


Nims Says:

Just like people have a valid claim that Roger is old while playing Novak / Rafa, same is trye for both Novak / Rafa. They played guys like Hewitt / Roddick when they were too young on the circuit. It works both ways.


Seventeen Says:

Well it is already proven that Feds generation was indeed very strong and very deep. Tesultsin the slams are a statement which they make at every slam again.

j


Dave Says:

British newspaper’s Chief Sportswriter Oliver Holt, who covers all sports, won ‘best sports writer awards’ for three straight years 2004 to 2006: “Why watching Roger Federer playing on Centre Court at Wimbledon is THE the greatest spectating privilege in sport… There is plenty of competition for the title of the greatest spectating privilege in sport. My vote goes to watching Roger Federer playing on Centre Court at Wimbledon. Bald statistics say he is the greatest tennis player ever but, even now, nothing quite prepares you for the magic of seeing him live. He may be approaching the autumn of his career, he may no longer be the world No.1, but the grace of his play still takes the breath away. I took my elder daughter to watch him recently. I wanted her to be able to say she had seen him live. He was struggling with a back injury against Xavier Malisse on Monday but still produced a selection of shots of quite dazzling beauty. The way he dispatched a high backhand volley midway through the match, he looked like a duelling musketeer. And one drop shot was so finely judged, Malisse let out an involuntary groan of despair as he set out in forlorn pursuit. It is a happy coincidence there appears to be nothing of even minimal controversy in his personal life. I don’t want to know anything about him. I don’t want anything to dilute the joy of watching him play.”
http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/other-sports/athletics/oliver-holt-column-on-dwain-chambers-1131234


Dave Says:

Hi jane: I hope to reply to your July 3rd, 2012 at 9:43 pm sometime after the Djokovic match today. In the meantime, I’ll clarify this: I believe that Federer’s performances were generally ruthless towards most players — friend or not — up to 2007. Around since 2007 – 2008, Federer appears to have been less ruthless towards his friends and, especially, friends/acquaintences from his generation… unless he needed a beatdown (e.g., to dispell negative press comments about his status or in his home tourney at Basel). By ‘ruthless’ I mean scoreline and/or effort on court, not personally toward the opponent (e.g., winning at all costs by using gamesmanship such as MTOs, slow play and bathroom breaks; intimidation tactics such as bumping into the opponent, animosity, thumping one’s chest, sprinting and jumping around; etc.)

I like Tignor’s writing style for a fictional novel and he does write some good articles but at times I find his tennis analysis fluffy and dubious in logic/facts.


El Mago Says:

Even in those 3 groups tignor suggested, federer is the only one who dominates those 3 groups.he has a winning % of 84 against his generation, 93% against rafa’s davis-cup team-mates and 7/7 against Djokb!ches!

contrast that to rafa/novak who have 85-86% success against their “roll-over” group, but < than 70% against the federer’s generation.

If anything, these stats prove federer’s generation is a much tougher group than the spannish/serbian players!


metan Says:

@ dave, nice post,,,,can you please shorten it sometimes, hehehe, thank you,,

Still can’t choose David or Murray,, hhmmm both I like


Dave Says:

metan, thanks. If I have to shorten it, I have to actually read what I write in order to edit it… then I’ll be laughing at words like “qiartfinals” and “gooten” and forget to shorten it :)

Yeah Ferrer-Murray is a tough call, the crowd might be a factor for Murray. I also believe Lendl would be perfect for analyzing a player like Ferrer. Ferrer mmay be playing the best tennis of his career in recent months.

British newspaper’s analysis: David Ferrer will be a tough opponent for Andy Murray
http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2012/jul/04/wimbledon-david-ferrer-andy-murray


harry Says:

Dave –
Apart from a good narrative technique (Tignor sets the context for his articles), i like the technical “skill” analyses that he does sometimes — off the top of my head, I remember an article of his where he pointed out how the gap between Ferrer’s hands while playing a BH DTL causes him to often lose some control on that shot. With regard to logic — i have an issue with most tennis writers :) With regard to facts — my facts are worse than theirs; so i dont quibble :)

conty? have you disappeared?


Gannu Says:

Hope my feddy bear is healthy enough to play well today…Perhaps i feel the next 3 matches that he plays will be the final nail in the coffin to all those doubters, skeptics, critics, and haters…For us he is the GOAT full stop and if he wins wimby i am sure the list of doubters will virtually be non-existent…He needs to be 100% and play his best if he has any chance of winning the wimby…come on feddy..just 3 matches ;-) These eyes are dying to c u win Gslams now… ;-)


Nims Says:

Not sure how correct this, but saw it in another forum.

From stats department:

Djokovic vs. Troicki (12-1): If we exclude the first match that was a loss for Djoko but played in a third tier tournament, here are some interesting insights. When they cross paths:

- In the last 11 times they crossed paths in the draw (excluding current SW19) Novak has gone to 10 finals, losing only in two of them (2010 Cincy, USO) and winning 8!
- 26.67% of Novak’s titles come from draws where Troicki was placed in his quarter
- Odds of winning a tournament when Viktor in draw: 80% Win and only 20% Lose
- The only time Novak didn’t reach a final was last year in Paris when he withdrew in QF.


Sienna Says:

El Mago Says:

if you claim fed’ generation was weak – you absolutely have no clue about tennis.

hewitt/roddick would have had 4-5 slams each if federer did not exist.

I agree with El Mago. You can throw in Safin whio would alteady is a 2 time slamwinner and woudl have had also 4 – 5 slams.

And given Rafa’s lesser performance level against the likes of Davidenko and Roddick etc. as opposed to his h2h with Roger. It is more then likely that Rafa would have lost a few finals that he now has won because he was playing Roger.

So if we put Rafa in Feds generation he probably would have trouble to reach 6 slams.


Mark Says:

Rhttp://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_sports/view/1211575/1/.htmlafa fans


Rahul Says:

A great article on Fed from NY Mag and a must for all Fed fans

http://nymag.com/news/sports/roger-federer-2012-7/


Philippe Says:

Hey folks, I can imagine that after this QF of Federer we will all realize that Djoker has to be afraid of him


metan Says:

@mark, thank you for the link,

Poor Rafa, hope he will recover soon,


Gannu Says:

Great article Rahul..loved it..hope he becomes No 1 for one last time !


alison Says:

Thanks for the link Mark,i know it was dissapointing for his fans,but at least we can console ourselves knowing that at least he didnt retire from the match,he was just beaten by a better player on the day(sigh).


dari Says:

Well the timing of that exho was terrible to begin with. Best to rafa in recovery


Brando Says:

Thanks mark. I remember thinking rafa seemed somewhat slow In moving in the rosol match. Kind of glad that he lost early now- more to recover and get back to full fitness.


Brando Says:

Rafa said he’s apologised to novak in this one : http://www.espn.co.uk/tennis/sport/story/158814.html


mat4 Says:

DISCLAIMER:

I am not and never was, a Fed or Rafa hater.

I am probably a sore loser, and sometimes I like to tease and make fun of this characteristic in others and myself, but that’s all.

I think I have showed time and time again that I respect any player (except Lendl, Ivanisevic, Soderling, Clément and at least ten others) and that I don’t try to diminish their achievements.

So, please, don’t put intentions, implications in my words.


alison Says:

Brando completely agree,and after Wimbledon the olympics is not too far away,plenty of R and R should see him fit and fresh,and ready for an asault on retaining the Gold Medal,hopefully he will be more fired up than ever now,as a fan im just missing watching him play.


mat4 Says:

It could be interesting to see the H2H between two players in a certain lapse of age, when they peak.

E.g.: Between Nole’s 20th anniversary and Fed’s 30th anniversary, the H2H is 9-9; between Nole’s 22th and Roger’s 28th, the H2H is 1-1, and including whole years 2-2 I think.

But for me, the only way to eliminate the match-up factor is to count, when it is possible, the number of tournaments two players played together and one of them won. Of course, you can do it only with top players. Just like Federer said a few years ago about a Fedal at the USO: “I was there.”


alison Says:

WOW Daveed Ferrer playing scarey good tennis, outplaying a guy what 5/6 years younger in straight sets,also ATM the worlds best spanish player,making the last 8 at wimbledon,and to think hes always been regarded as a clay court player, who knew,might be JMO but i think this guy has a lot more talent than people give him credit for.


gannu Says:

Feddy bear still doesn’t look 100pct…so many break pts scrwd already


racquet Says:

If this tournament continues it’s run of form there’s likely to be a surprise where its least expected today. Think about it: before the tournament the majority of pundits/fans predicted that Federer would breeze through his section of draw, Murray would crash out by the 3rd/4th round and Rafa would win it. The only one fulfilling the predictions is Nole. Food for thought.


andrea Says:

nice early break from roger against youhzny and consolidated.

i’d love it if ferrer took out andy…no one would expect it.


racquet Says:

Mayer breaks Nole.


racquet Says:

And then he breaks back. Nole looks a little out of sorts so far.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

It’s starting to rain.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Youzhny is really looking like a mess there.


the DA Says:

Roger practicising this morning. T-shirt says it all: #humble.

http://tinyurl.com/bsh6ybk


Daniel Says:

Gannu,

Indeed Federer missed 4 return on BP. Has to at least put the ball in play. Overall his moving great and his backhand is clicking, he is doing what he wantd from that side today. The point he chase down to have the second break when they resume play shows he is in top form.


racquet Says:

Nole fends off 3 more break points. Negative body language from him at times, lots of talking to his box. Mayer’s funky game seems to be bothering him a bit.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

I wonder why both of Roger’s coach are sitting and watching Roger’s match. I would expect atlease one of them to be in Court 1 to spy on Novak vs Mayer match.


skeezer Says:

@the DA

Oh, you mean like this?

http://tinyurl.com/7cx763r

#morehumble


racquet Says:

@Nirmal

Yes, if one of them went over there they’d see that Nole doesn’t like it and has problems when you slice and give him no pace. Having said that, Nole ekes out the 1st set.


the DA Says:

@skeezer

No, I don’t mean like that ;) If you have a pic of Rafa wearing his own image, then you score.


Brando Says:

OOHHH- had mayer kept his nerve he could have won that set.

novak not looking as impressive as before- maybe some hope for fed?………


Nirmal Kumar Says:

racquet, Roger is aware of it. That’s why he had a better advantage over Novak in HC because of his variety compared to Rafa. He beat Novak at FO 11 by using the slice more and varying the pace. Evel Tomic gave same headache to Novak during last year’s Wimbledon.

But not sure why Roger abandons the plan many times in their recent matches. He tries to go toe to toe with Novak on BH, rather than using the change of pace.

Wonder why?


skeezer Says:

@the DA

http://tinyurl.com/78fpasy

So how many points do I get? ;)


racquet Says:

nirmal, yes this match reminded very much of the Tomic match last year. Nole looked very rattled in that 1st set. His opponents, or their coaches, should be watching and making notes.


the DA Says:

@skeezer

15 points, plus a cookie.


skeezer Says:

Fed lookin much better today…

the DA,

How about a Beer instead? Forget the points…


racquet Says:

The Nole/Mayer match is so much better than Fed/Youzhny. Very entertaining.


dari Says:

This is the equivalent pixelated shirt

http://twicsy.com/i/XYb5Ab

Mayer- that 0-40 volley!

Go rog!


andrea Says:

roger in total control.


skeezer Says:

@dari

Ok, yours way better than mine, lol.

Looks like were looking at a Fed / Nole match. .


Dan Martin Says:

El Mago, I said this a year or two ago that if Murray were Spanish or Swedish he’d already have won a slam, but the pressure of the UK on his back is a lot to navigate. Also, you are right he’s faced extremely tough opponents in each slam final that he has reached.


skeezer Says:

Royalty comes out to watch the Maestro, along with THE royalty couple of Tennis, Andre and Steffi, with Andre in a suit no less!


Sienna Says:

TMF came out to play. Looking at livescores.5 games for youzhny! How is the back can he run with pain?


skeezer Says:

Maestro!
1 1/2 hr beatdown. Hope he brings this game to Novak. Go Fed! Semi-final…..again!!


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Absolutely beautiful match from Federer. The first point, a break, after the rain delay was AWESOME.
He looks ready to give Novak a run.
That slice he uses to draw opponents in, then the laser cross-court is a deadly 1-2 punch, but a player of Novak’s speed and flexibility will definitely be able to threaten it with a winner off that first slice.


Daniel Says:

Murray is unlucky. Fed had Philipoussis in his first Slam, Nadal had Puerta and Djoko Tsonga. Murray probably will have to beat Djoko, Fed or Nadal in a Slam final in order to get his first.


hore Says:

Lol Nadal had Puerta


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Roger is through to Semis. Efficient tennis, though Youzhny played as poorly as possible.


madmax Says:

skeezer!

cool post to put DA in his place! and plenty more too out there. Couldn’t resist though, this takes the biscuit (but I kind of understand, because all parents love their children) :)

And it’s all done by the sponsors for fed and rafa anyway, so don’t know why DA wanted to start something.

Fed is more humble than you think DA.

You just have to love the parents.

http://2010.usopen.org/images/pics/large/b_09132010_Andrew_Djokovic096.jpg

Awesome fed today. Therapy worked.

Another Phd for Youzhny? Really hope he continues in this form.


madmax Says:

Daniel Says:
Murray is unlucky. Fed had Philipoussis in his first Slam, Nadal had Puerta and Djoko Tsonga. Murray probably will have to beat Djoko, Fed or Nadal in a Slam final in order to get his first.

July 4th, 2012 at 10:04 am

Daniel, without a doubt Murray has had the most difficult draw at wimbledon. no one would deny that, but look at the cupcake draws he has had in the other slams and masters this year. It all balances out in the end, plus murray will probably be the most battle hardened out there – could be a blessing for him.

Come on Fed. You do the fans proud as always. :)


gannu Says:

Hmm good play…but the score is a bit misleading…youzhny played v v badly…hope fedex defeats the djoker…really want fed to take this all!


dari Says:

Well done, roger! Proud he fought through the back and then had a quick match before the semi. Bring it on, Friday!

Now, Murray up!


racquet Says:

@Daniel

That’s exactly right. Something I’ve posted several times. Those 3 had an element of fortune in their first slam final wins.


green900 Says:

djokovic v federer – here we go! :) hope things can turn around from french open 2012


Wog boy Says:

Very, very awkward player Florian.
Nole came out with his B game.


Maso Says:

Looks like we’re going to have the semi everyone was waiting for. If both guys bring their A game, it should be a hell of a match. Hope we get a better quality match than the FO semi where both guys played like crap but Federer just played worse.


jane Says:

Perfect preparation match for Nole in some ways. Firstly, he got back outside, which is good after 3 under the dome. Secondly, he faced a wily opponent. Third, he hit 50 winners! To 20 UEs. A few too many UEs, I guess, but overall nice numbers. He had an off serving day – especially at the start, first set his firsts were in the 50s – but he brought it up to 65% which is still a bit low compared to his other matches. All in all it was a good match.

And it looks like Fed-Youz held to form, and I guess Fed’s back is fine too.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Roger now has the record of most number of Quarter appearance in slams. But none of the records justify the elegance and the creativity of his tennis. The records are just a concidence, but what defines Roger is the mastery on the tennis court.


jane Says:

It’s true that they had an element of luck in their first slam final wins, but just to point out that Nole still had to beat Fed in the semis at AO 08 to get to the finals.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Maso, in the FO semis, the weather had a very big role to play. It was played under swirling conditions. Standard of tennis is typically not great under such conditions.


jane Says:

Come on Muzza and Jo.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Although if you remember, Philipousis at the time was considered the Next Big Thing, with a serve, groundstrokes and physicality that were freakish at the time. His career was destroyed by injury, but like young Roddick, at the time he came out he was considered destined for greatness.
Like other New Ballers, Fed played a big part in stymying his ascent.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

The most elegant player in Tennis has just left the court, now the second best elegant player is out in CC. It’s a great day for CC fans. Wish Murray shows his proper skills and use all court game. He is not going to win by playing baseline tennis against Ferrer.


jane Says:

As for Tignor’s article, yeah it wasn’t a convincing one and you guys have pointed out the flaws rather effectively.

It is not as simple as belief. There are too many other factors, like familiarity, overall game, and so on.

Dave, don’t bother replying unless you really want to post numbers for Fed fans etc.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

http://tennis.com/articles/templates/news.aspx?articleid=18595&zoneid=25

Again a news on Nadal’s injury after a loss. I always wonder why there is never an injury news from Rafa during clay season. Most of the news comes during the HC season or post Wimbledon.

I wonder if it’s really a coincidence?


dari Says:

Why was the crowd laughing during that point, wtf?!


El Flaco Says:

Kohls is playing really well right now. I wouldn’t be surprised if he beat Tsonga.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

That point at 40-ALL on Ferrer’s serve just proves the point that Murray is not going to win by playing the baseline game.

The guy has the skill to play all court game. But not use it?


jane Says:

Nirmal, that’s too bad for Rafa but I am happy Nole doesn’t have to play it. Better he concentrate on having a break then practicing for the Olympics.


El Flaco Says:

The commentator just said that Kohls has held his serve 51 straight times. Could be a jinx.


Wog boy Says:

Tennis Vagabond,

When it comes to MP it wasn’t only injuries, it was also his head ( ferrari, maserati, girls, Paris Hilton beeing playboy etc), as you probably know Mark ended up broke even had to put a mortgage on his mothers house in Melbourne. Playing senior tours just to make living, sad;(
I don’t know why but I think young Tomic is heading that way.


dari Says:

I also saw that Kohlschreiber was the ace leader in the turbament yesterday. May have changed today, but was a surprise!


dari Says:

But wog Boy, he sold that BMW!! ;-)

Murray need some time to settle in, you can do it andy!


Polo Says:

I don’t think Tomic will even go that far.


dari Says:

I do not believe you, Daveed!


Andrew Miller Says:

Murray’s backhand is looking awful. Ferrer’s shot to go up 15-0 in the 4-1 game pretty sick.

Murray fighting but his backhand not helping. Ferrer on fire?


Dan Martin Says:

Ferrer making an impression to be sure.


dari Says:

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!, btw


Andrew Miller Says:

Ferrer up 5-2 on Murray. Not sure if Ferrer can maintain this level. He’s hitting every ball clean.


El Flaco Says:

Murray’s hitting all his backhands cross court and Ferrer is camped out over there hitting backhands and inside out forehands. This is like a clay court match which is not good for Andy.


Wog boy Says:

dari,

He did because he moved to Monte Carlo and he still has his court case going on in Brisbane. In his interview after he lost last week he said he has some private problems he doesn’t want to talk about, his model girlfriend left him ( or he left her) and they rubbishing each other in newspapers….he is only 19 years old he doesn’t need that, when did you hear something like that from other players, not just top10.


El Flaco Says:

What a difference when Andy hits his backhand down the line.


mat4 Says:

Harry:

Just saw your question about Miloslav Mecir.

I don’t know now. I liked to watch him, but tennis has changed so much. He looked very “lazy” on a court, his strokes were “soft” and, to me, was very gracious. His career was quite short: he switched from a wooden racquet very lately, than retired in 1989 or 1990. His best results are in a span of three or four years.

His backhand was very versatile. It reminds me a bit Nalbandian’s backhand for the angles he could find with it.

But tennisfanssince76 will certainly give you a better picture of the great player he was.

And yes, from a certain point of view, you could compare him to Murray, although I believe than Mecir’s court positioning was better.


Wog boy Says:

Polo,

I hope not but he has to sort out his head, I was listenig his interview and couldn’t believe that one professional tennis player can say publicly that he failed to prepare for FO, Wimbledon etc. Look at his results since AO, there are none, and he is dropping rankings to 47-48 instead of upping them.


dari Says:

I didn’t know the extent of it, WB, and was being mistly fecetious about selling the car as I remember reading about that and the article saying that was signs of his maturity. Hope he shapes up, the greater we are watching now will be gone soon.

Break time for murray- no David still stringing him back and forth


skeezer Says:

EL Flaco

A much under-used shot by BH 2 handers , would like to see both Murray and Nole use it more often. More than not, it opens up the court.


jane Says:

Break back – phew. Some good tennis by Andy at the end when he stepped in more. Nice backhand to earn bp.


Andrew Miller Says:

Quite a shot to break back by Murray. Backhand returning.


jane Says:

The slice is troubling Ferrer now.

And wow, is the sun shining?!!


dari Says:

Would not celebrate break till it was consolidated. Amd a great start to the game with the forehandbform Murray


Andrew Miller Says:

Wow, a successful drop shot vs. Ferrer. Nice touch by Murray.


jane Says:

Tsonga is dominating the first set tiebreak, and it looks like we’ll have one in this Murray/Ferrer match as well.


Andrew Miller Says:

Wow, Ferrer pulled it out. Murray’s groundstrokes betrayed him in the tiebreak.


Kimberly Says:

rooting for phillip not with much hope though. He was nice to colinO7.


jane Says:

Kimberly, he’s up a break in the second.


Mark Says:

NK 10 28. ” I wonder if it’s really a coincidence” you are kidding right? Rafa gives his all during the clay court swing so understandable the knees will cause problems thereafter.


Kimberly Says:

I know but i can’t see it lasting. But maybe. If he can just hold serve throughout the set


jane Says:

” If he can just hold serve throughout the set” – apparently this has been his specialty? Not getting broken, serving aces, etc.


RD Says:

Anyone want to pick Ferrer to make the final? He could also beat JWT or Kohls.


Kimberly Says:

comeon phillip.


Mark Says:

^ Yes, I do !!


Mark Says:

Come on Daveeeed!!


Kimberly Says:

double break point :(


Kimberly Says:

and like Kaiser Soussez, poof its gone


jane Says:

I love that movie Kimberly. Especially that montage in the police office near the end, when the detective figures it all out – too late.


jane Says:

Sh-t come on Andy!!


jamie Says:

Ferrer has lost to the eventual champ at the slams this year:

Lost to Nole at the AO in the QF

Lost to Nadal at RG in the SF

Will lose to the eventual champ at Wimbledon in the final?


jane Says:

Special K got the second set.

Andy is struggling here a bit, but he is fighting off bps.


skeezer Says:

Huge hold for Murray. That game may in the end come back to bite Daveeed.


Aravind Says:

What an unpredictable Wimbledon. Nadal out early, Roger’s struggles, now Ferrer troubling Murray and Kohlschreiber troubling Tsonga..


jamie Says:

I hope Nole wins Wimbledon.

Sampras deserves to be the only man in the open era with 7 Wimbledons. Sampras had to face better grasscourters in his era than Federer.

Sampras deserves this record.


jamie Says:

Prime Fed had to face his betch Rodduck and Claydal on grass. Not impressed.


Andrew Miller Says:

Ferrer has been a rock in set 2. He’s looking as solid as he did to get up 5-2 in set 1.


skeezer Says:

@jamie

Oh…poo…poo. That was weak.

He also has bagged 6 Wimby titles.


jane Says:

For Nole’s fans, he has now reached 14 consecutive QFs and 9 consecutive semifinals at the slams. Apparently only Fed, Laver and Lendl have reached more consecutive semifinals. I know the numbers are not super high or anything but it’s nice for us to see him being so consistent at the big events.


jamie Says:

Prime Sampras on grass > Prime Federer on grass

Sampras NEVER lost a Wimbledon FINAL.

Specially not to a claycourter. LOL.


jamie Says:

Nole will be one of the all time greats and win 10+ slams.


Andrew Miller Says:

If Ferrer beats Murray, I don’t see why he can’t make the final. He’s just a lot more focused than Tsonga, however brilliant Tsonga can be (which is mighty brilliant on court), just as tough an athlete if not tougher, and he should beat Kohlsc..er if they meet (if 2 P Phillipp makes it to the semi, which I don’t think will happen but you never know).

If Murray makes it through (big if), I think he gets to the final and takes out Tsonga or Kohlscre..er.


Green900 Says:

Jamie, don’t u know anything about tennis? Prime fed easily dismantled his early opponents due to his great dominance, his game was incredible in his peak and no one could really beat him at his best (apart from nadal on clay- which was more of a mental attribute). But Feds dominance doesn’t mean that his opponents were bad. I’d say his game was much more complete than Sampras’ was, especially if u look at his baseline play. So next time u make such ridiculous statements, think before u write.


El Flaco Says:

You know Murray is flustered when he starts with the stupid challenges.


Brando Says:

oh bollocks! its now or never for andy in THIS game!


jane Says:

Oh no. Well I didn’t see Ferrer versus JMDP but that result is becoming clearer now. Murray must break back; he doesn’t want to go down two sets to Daveed. He is just so consistent, this Ferrer. But Murray should step into the court more and dictate.


skeezer Says:

Andy is not pulling the trigger! Ugh. At this level, you have to open up t.he court and then smack the winner. He can’t seem to do it….waiting for someone to make a mistake is Rafa’s game….


jane Says:

PHEW!


Brando Says:

YES! STEP UP NOW ANDY!


racquet Says:

What a point!


jane Says:

Classic running point from Andy! :D


jamie Says:

Federer had no great grasscourters to face in his prime. Period.


jamie Says:

Prime Sampras on grass > Prime Federer on grass


jamie Says:

Hopefully no more slams for Olderer. 16 is enough.


Brando Says:

have to agree with jamie, for once, the pistol pete at his peak > over everyone else on grass.

grass has, as we all know, slowed down. Hence the success of rafa, novak- even ferrer today.

the pistol faced some GENUINE GRASSCOURT players in his time.


jane Says:

Staff, just noticed that rowing picture of Nole; it’s much better than the usual plane-flying one you use. Thanks. :)


jamie Says:

Nole will save tennis.


Aravind Says:

Prediction that is safe.. Winner will come from top half of the draw.. There are just too many grinding tough matches in the bottom half..


Sienna Says:

Fellow fedfans.
It has been a remarcable achievement from the Maestro to come to this point.

We might say that he has 1 match for achieving the goal he has set himself after US Open.

That he has the chance of beating #1 and reach the final of his dreamslam is performance foit for a King. But we are not sattisfied yet.

I hope he kept his garros form 2011 for this final 4.


dari Says:

Save tennis from what, jamie?

Andy, find a way! David so on with that forehand, its killing Andy


jamie Says:

Murray sh*ts the bed.


jane Says:

Murray gets the second set!


racquet Says:

YES!!! Whew that was tense. Great match.


Brando Says:

WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


dari Says:

Yay!!!!!!!


Brando Says:

ferrer is such a tough customer to deal with- over 2 hours for sets, and possibly 3 more!


Brando Says:

damn the net!


Brando Says:

yes- loving the proactive stuff here from andy.


racquet Says:

yes, more aggression from him now.


jane Says:

Tsonga and Special K in another tiebreak. Tsonga is 1 of 8 in break points and only 32% receiving points won.


racquet Says:

Clutch from Andy to save those BPs.


Brando Says:

yes, gutsy hold by andy


Ben Pronin Says:

This is the first time I’ve rooted for Murray in a particular match since probably 2008 or 2009. It’s extremely frustrating. And his shortcomings are extremely evident: the guy just doesn’t have the forehand he needs. Ferrer has a better forehand and that’s just sad.


skeezer Says:

“Hopefully no more slams for Olderer. 16 is enough.”

16 is enough hehe. Still is.

What a great match this turned out to be. Great stuff.


jane Says:

Tsonga has finally broken and consolidated in the 4th.


Humble Rafa Says:

What a great match this turned out to be. Great stuff.

It was a lousy one sided affair. Only an Arrotard would enjoy a match like this.

It would be even better if someone can start a tennis channel where the Arrogant One hits against the wall. All of you can watch it 24/7 and admire his GOAT-ness.

P.S: There will be a 3 min break between wall hits…enough time to come on Tennis-x, give updates and live in his glory.


racquet Says:

That wasn’t a bad FH.


lukas Says:

I KNEW IT !!!
since nadal lose i was expecting an excuse, a tantrum, something that show the gamesmanship nature in nadal.
and now he had spoken…
he had canceled his own charity event.
he now its “injuried” like always after an upset, after losing to a lower ranked player who make look him bad.
what really happened?
he know he had zero chance of winning djokovic in grass?
uncle tony was upset, he move the puppet to show up?
he start talking injuries cause olympics in grass will be the same as halle and wimbledon?
what about his fans?
maybe they were not there, maybe at 10 days the sales for the exhibition were low, he will not plat in an empty stadium?
all show why he can not be in the top legends history of tennis, who of them will cancel such an event?
he is injuried… lol… for what? for playing 4 matches in 4 weeks since he was in perfect health cleaning the “real” clay season… give me a break.


jane Says:

And Murray breaks too!


racquet Says:

Yes. Andy breaks, avoids another TB (I hope).


racquet Says:

After some beautiful serves Andy takes the 3rd set.


El Flaco Says:

Ferrer has been to net more than Murray.


skeezer Says:

Great playing there Andy!

Meanwhile,

Lets please all respect there are other quality sports events going on today. Congratuations to Sonya Thomas…

http://msn.foxsports.com/other/story/annual-nathans-hot-dog-eating-contest-on-coney-island-070412


Brando Says:

@Ben pronin:

i agree with you- andy’s forehand at times feels like a shot that would belong to a top 20 player in the WTA- not the world no. 4 in men’s!

LACKS POWER & PACE!

HOWEVER, the serve is clicking now, and IF he uses his BH more aggressively then he’ll be fine IMO.


jane Says:

ha ha skeezer – hot dog eating contest. :) That’s sick – 45! And she’s tiny, too.


the DA Says:

Who said he didn’t have a FH? ,)


Brando Says:

@Skeezer:

LMFAO- that DOES deserve public recognition!


El Flaco Says:

Murray has one of the worst overheads I have ever seen. He’s missed at least 2 today and badly. Ferrer is probably 5 for 5 on smashes today.


jane Says:

Fed on Nole:

“But six years on from the infamous Davis Cup clash, Federer insists that the pair now enjoy a cordial relationship.

“I was just upset at him calling the trainer out for no obvious reason against my buddy, Stan, in a five setter,” said Federer, who reached a record 32nd Grand Slam semifinal on Wednesday with a 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 win over Mikhail Youzhny.

“That was it. We had a quick chat about it in Madrid after that, and things are cool since a long time between me and him. I’ve always respected him.

“Have I gone out for dinner with him? No. But we have had many meetings at the players council, and then now with the Grand Slams. He’s been nice to work with.

“We’ve met on several occasions because of other things together. I have no issues with him, and I hope you believe me.”"

——————————————–
Nole on Fed:

“He’s rated probably as the best player in history. He has won everything that a tennis player can win and he’s coming back for more. He has a lot of respect from me, from all the players. There is no question about it,” said the world number one.

“But we are all rivals, we are all opponents. I don’t think about his history or his success or whatever too much when I’m on the court. I just want to win that match.”

———————————————


Brando Says:

ALI IS THROUGH!


Brando Says:

awesome BH DTL!


skeezer Says:

Kohls had a great run. Congrats to Aii.

Just heard Murray/Ferrer practice alot together. Very cool. They must have a blast hitting together, lots of fun points!


jane Says:

Tsonga said himself he’d be a force at this year’s Wimbledon. But Murray is 5-1 over Jo, so I would be shocked if Tsonga won. He’d have to play his best, most aggressive match, like he was playing at the AO in 2008, to beat Andy imo.


racquet Says:

Get the feeling that Ferrer’s intensity is dropping off slightly and Murray’s is increasing.


jane Says:

Agree racquet.


racquet Says:

I’ve never seen Ferrer serve better than in this match.


racquet Says:

I don’t know why Andy wasn’t hitting his FH at the start like he is now. Lendl better deal with that.


Brando Says:

‘I’ve never seen Ferrer serve better than in this match.’

VERY TRUE!

I’m so glad though that ALI has made the SF- shows ALOT of mental strength after RG qtrs loss!

Still not sealed, BUT IF andy plays him- IMO it shall be tougher than this match.


jane Says:

Just checking stats, Ferrer is at 67% firsts, winning 71% of those and 54% of his second serves. 5 aces no doubles.

Andy is at 57% firsts, winning 79% of those and 59% of second serves. 13 aces, 3 doubles.

Murray has hit 47 winners (should better Nole’s 50 winners at this rate) to 35 errors. Ferrer has hit 35 winners to 28 errors.


Brando Says:

@Jane:

when did you become a stats wizard?

first novaks streak, then the SF h2h, now the match stats- your on quite a roll today, lol! :-)


racquet Says:

oh dear. Brain cramp.


Brando Says:

brain cramp? more like like a brain fart there!


racquet Says:

Another clutch hold.


Ben Pronin Says:

Jane, why does it matter if Murray will end up hitting more winners than Djokovic. The fact that the first 3 sets featured a LOT more games than the Djokovic-Mayer match should be enough reason for Murray to have more winners than Djokovic did. The fact that he doesn’t is pretty telling. No forehand, no winners.


jane Says:

Um, phew.


jane Says:

Brando, heee heee I always write the stats during/after matches. But the Nole QF/SF Nole one I just read in an article. Plus when things get tense these days, instead of cleaning, I just google. ;)


Eric Says:

Murray played those BPs perfectly.


Eric Says:

And now rewarded with two of his own!


Brando Says:

@Jane:

LOL- good stuff! they’re VERY WELCOME HERE.


jane Says:

Ben, winners matter methinks. It proves he is going for his shots. He has more winners than Ferrer, too. So that’s key.

Here’s Andy’s chance!


Ben Pronin Says:

Jane, then comparing them to Ferrer would make more sense than comparing them to Djokovic. Especially since they played very different types of players. It’s obviously harder to hit winners against Ferrer than Mayer. The numbers alone don’t tell enough of the story.


Brando Says:

awwwwwwwwww!


Eric Says:

Oh come on, how much luck is Murray going to get in this game? I grumble in protest!


jane Says:

True Ben. Maybe that was a pointless comparison to make.

So Murray 52; Ferrer 39.


Kimberly Says:

what a game!


Andrew Miller Says:

Ferrer is tough.


El Flaco Says:

Look at the ratio of winners per point played rather than just the raw number.


Eric Says:

Haha, and then Murray holds in approximately three seconds.


Brando Says:

ferrer is a champ- a genuine fighter.

you got to love him!


racquet Says:

Oh no! Rain.


jane Says:

Ferrer wants the roof closed as the rain is falling steadily. All the spectators’ umbrellas are going up.


Brando Says:

JMac is right:

ferrer is a middleweight amongst heavyweights, and YET he makes them fight for their dear life!

awesome player- had he been say 6 foot 2 inches then im CERTAIN he would be a multi-slam winner!


Andrew Miller Says:

Ha Murray was trying to push the match towards his advantage before the match was suspended for rain. Got to say his tactic, if not opposed by the officials, is passive aggressive and pretty smart. Call it gamesmanship, or call it something else, but Murray is seizing small advantages where he can and that’s made a difference.


Andrew Miller Says:

I agree with Brando, Ferrer is amazing. He plays like he belongs and belongs he certainly does. I am enjoying this Murray-Ferrer matchup


Seventeen Says:

why compare winners of Murray and Djoker? Chances them two meeting in final are < 10%


jane Says:

“El Flaco Says:
Look at the ratio of winners per point played rather than just the raw number.”

Good point! And thanks – something for me to do during rain delay. :D

Murray – 54 winners/37 UEs in 295 points played thus far (won 154 points)
Ferrer – 39 winners/30 UEs (won 141 points)

Fed – 25 winners/13 UEs in 148 points played (won 89)
Youz – 14 winners/20 UEs (won 59)

Nole – 50 winners/20 UEs in 161 points played (won 94)
Mayer – 14 winners/17 UEs (won 67)

Jo – 43 winners/27 UEs in 262 points played (won 138)
Khols – 35 winners/31 UEs (won 124)


the DA Says:

The chances of anyone taking Seventeen seriously are < -5%


Ben Pronin Says:

Jane, now those are some great stats. That has to be telling, that Djokovic won more than half his points off of his winners alone. I’m surprised to see that not even Federer did that, although from what I read, Youzhny gave himself 0 chances today so Federer didn’t have to do as much. But see what I mean, Murray is only winning a third of his points off of his winners. Ferrer even less. It’s a style of play thing for sure. But it’s also the reason why neither of these guys will be holding the trophy on Sunday.

Tsonga is way too streaky. I think Ferrer could very well beat him. But Murray, while on paper should also handle him, might choke under pressure (aka 99% chance he’ll choke under pressure).


Skorocel Says:

What’s the situation now? Are they closing the roof again or what?


racquet Says:

haha..only Agassi and a friend have stayed in the royal box.


racquet Says:

They’re back out.


Dave Says:

jane (part 1, July 3rd, 2012 at 9:43 pm): First, let’s examine Federer’s losses, since 2008, to ‘lesser players’ (i.e, players ranked worse than about No. 20) not due to a slump: the only lesser players Federer lost to were No. 48 Julien Benneteau in 2009, No. 32 Lleyton Hewitt in 2010, No. 34 Andy Roddick in 2012 and No. 87 Tommy Haas. Is it coincidence that all four matches ended in 4-6 final sets (instead of 6-7 or 5-7)? Is it coincidence that all four players were Fed’s friends/acquaintances from his generation? I didn’t count No. 98 Mardy Fish — another generational friend of Federer — because the loss happened during Roger’s mono-induced slump (but their 3-6, 2-6 scoreline was the friendliest loss to a ‘lesser player’ since 2008). Is it a coincidence that Federer, who was playing at a high level and had long ago figured out how to beat such players would lose to these players he mostly owned? When do multiple coincidences upon layers of multiple coincidences smell fishy?

- In 2008, even when Federer was in a slump and/or compromised by mono and back injury, the only players outside the top 22 that Federer lost to were his buddy No. 98 Mardy Fish at Indian Wells and the not-buddy No. 27 Radek Stepanek at Rome. Of the two losses, Federer tried hard not to lose to not-buddy Stepanek as suggested by the 6-7(4), 6-7(7) scoreline, where Fed won 52% of the points. Still in a mono-induced haze, Fed lost ot the annoying Stepanek.

- In 2009, the only player outside the top 16 that Federer lost to? His buddy No. 49 Julien Benneteau. The No. 16 player Fed lost to: his Swiss buddy Stan Wawrinka, coincidentally the week after Roger’s wedding thus enabling Fed to go on his honeymoon.

- In Spring 2010 Federer was in a slump (probably due to his pneumonia in mid-February), losing four straight tournaments between Indian Wells to Estoril to No. 33 Baghdatis, No. 20 Berdych, No. 40 Gulbis and No. 34 Montanes — all four matches ended in tiebreaks (3) or 5-7 sets… and three matches involved deciding sets… indicating Federer tried hard to win these matches (ok, Estoril to Montanes was possibly a tanking as Madrid Masters started a few days later).

- Since 2010 Estoril till today, Federer has lost only three matches to players outside the top 19 (Tsonga at 2011 Wimbledon): No. 32 Hewitt at 2010 Halle, No. 34 Roddick at 2012 Miami and No. 87 Haas at 2012 Halle. I doubt Federer lost any sleep losing to Hewitt, Roddick and Haas. He was probably happy (ahem) that Haas’s win would help him get into the direct draw of the Olympics and Roddick’s win was a lifeline in a sagging career (which Roddick promptly squandered over and over again). On the other hand, it probably would have irked Federer had he lost to Alejandro Falla three rounds before Hewitt or to young Ryan Harrison the round before Roddick or to young Raonic two rounds before Haas.

Was it coincidence that Federer’s first career withdrawal before a match finally came at 2008 Paris to his buddy and fellow ironman James Blake, who like Federer has never retired from any match in his professional career?

To recap, I believe that Federer’s performances were generally ruthless (scoreline, focus and/or effort on court) towards most players — friend or not — up to 2007. Around since 2007 – 2008, Federer appears to have been less ruthless towards his friends and, especially, friends/acquaintences from his generation… unless he needed a beatdown (e.g., to dispell press negativity or to impress his Basel tourney home fans). For example, Federer-Roddick’s H2H: before 2007 Australian, when Roddick played his best tennis, Federer tended to have relatively more one-sided victories over Roddick. After 2007 Australian, Federer laid beatdowns on Roddick only at Basel (twice) and 2007 Tennis Masters Cup. In a period when the rankings gap between Federer and Roddick was wider, it is curious that every other match went the distance and Roddick recorded 2 of his 3 career wins over Federer.
http://www.atpworldtour.com/Players/Head-To-Head.aspx?pId=F324&oId=R485

Federer’s biographer Rene Stauffer describes Federer’s attitude toward his ‘rivals’: “His unusual attitude towards perfection had a positive side effect in that he did not consider his opponents as rivals who wanted to rob the butter from his bread, as the sometimes reclusive Jimmy Connors used to say. His opponents were more companions on a common path. This attitude made him a popular and well-liked person in the locker room. He was social and someone you could joke around with. For Federer, tennis was not an individual sport with opponents who needed to be intimidated, but a common leisure activity with like-minded colleagues who, as part of a big team, were pursuing the same goal.” As competitive as Federer is, relationships do grow after spending 10 to 15 years on tour with some of these like-minded colleagues.

As Federer played his beautiful tennis into masterpieces, surely he sensed the humiliation and frustration of his beaten opponents, especially when his friends who had a hard time dealing with bad losses on and off the court. For example, take his dominant 6-4, 6-0, 6-2 thrashing of Roddick 2007 Australian Open. The New York Times’s Chris Clarey described: “Federer Finds New Ways to Torment Roddick… Roddick’s frustration eventually gave way to anger, and he could not even get that quite right. He smashed a ball into the stands after losing his serve to fall behind by 0-5. He accidentally lost his grip on the racket in the process, sending it hurtling toward a photographer courtside and earning him a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct.” Add Andy’s locker room melt downs and Federer probably felt a slight bittersweet taste in some of his ruthless wins. Thus after 2007 the tone of Fed’s matches against Roddick changed a bit.

But don’t get me wrong. Did Federer get satisfaction beating certain players (who deserved it) whether for himself or for the locker room? For sure. Does Federer simply hand over matches to his friends? No, they have to play very well. But it wasn’t 100% satisfying crushing a generational friend or acquaintance, unless he absolutely needed a big win, like he needed against Youzhny today. But Federer was unlikely to lay a 6-2, 6-0, 6-0 beatdown of Youzhny the way Nadal did to his friend Juan Monaco at the French Open. Federer’s friends and generation are not stupid, they’ve probably realized this long before I did. It gives them hope in matches against Federer and it is their responsibility to exploit this weakness, when Roger starts off sloppy and casual early in matches against them.


tennisfansince76 Says:

we’ll see ho this match works out but Ferrer definitely had his chances serving for a 2 set lead. he played a tentative game and got broken back. too bad. Ferrer is a very good player but i just don’t think he has that bedrock belief in a semi or a final against one of the big boys. but he may yet pull it out.

@mat4 i never really saw Mecir that much. i didn’t follow tennis as closely post 84 for various reasons. i just remember seeing him get really hammered by Lendl in the 86 uso final. he was a smooth mover who took the ball very early but didn’t generate a whole lot of power. Lendl just overpowered him. actually he was in the final mostly because Boris Becker was a bonehead. he always wanted to play a baseline style against good baseline players (it drove Tiriac crazy as he always wanted Becker to play attacking tennis) and it cost him a # of times. against Mecir in the semi if my memory serves Becker played from the baseline and lost the first 2 sets. then he started to s&v and chip+charge and won sets 3 and 4. after winning sets 3 and 4 w/ aggressive tennis he reverted to baseline play for set 5 and lost it. it probably should have been a becker lendl final had Becker been less headstrong but Mecir got it for his only GS final.


Eric Says:

The thing about Tsonga is that his absolute best tennis is the best on tour right now, I suppose excepting Djokovic’s. But a match-up with Murray would be more likely to depend on how low they each sink into passivity than into how streaky one or the other is. (And they will both feel the pressure; after all, Tsonga has lost at the SF stage before too.)


tennisfansince76 Says:

i didn’t get up at 5 am west coast time but i see that Fed rolled over Youz. i guess his back must have improved. looking forward to the semi. i hop it is a scintillating match. good luck to Fed and Nole. hopefully they are both ready to go 100%.


Dave Says:

jane (part 2, July 3rd, 2012 at 9:43 pm): Like I said: Tignor’s writing style for a fictional novel and he does write some good articles but at times I find his tennis analysis fluffy and dubious in logic/facts.

After you read the following points, you can throw out Tignor’s thesis that Djokovic and Nadal each have have teams of friends and teammates who never seem to block their way (whether it’s out of fear, or friendship, or too much respect, or total lack of belief) and who they thrive against. Fact is, Federer probably thrives more from Nadal’s and Djokovic’s teams than Rafa and Novak do themselves.

Tignor misleadingly highlights that Nadal and Djokovic “thrive” against their Davis Cup teammates. But the fact is that Federer thrives even more against those same guys. Federer is 53-3 against seven of Nadal’s Davis Cup teammates (Ferrer, Verdasco, Ferrero, Feli Lopez, Almagro, Robredo, Granollers), losing only 3 matches to former No. 1 Ferrero — that’s a better winning rate than Nadal’s 63-10 against them. Federer is 7-0 against Tipsarevic and Troicki — that’s a better winning rate than Djokovic’s 17-3 against them.

Tignor misleadingly generalizes “in general, the players who struggle against, say, Federer, also struggle against Nadal and Djokovic; Ferrer’s career record against the Big 3 is 10-40, and he’s ranked No. 5 in the world.” Ferrer does not struggle against Nadal or Djokovic at the same level he struggles against Federer. Ferrer has 5 wins over Djokoovic, 4 wins over Nadal, 5 wins over Murray and But Ferrer is 0-13 against Federer.

This is not surprising because, next to Borg, Federer has the best winning record against top 10 players in ATP history, Federer played the most top 10 players in ATP history (230) compared to Borg’s 95 top 10 players. It’s reasonable to guess that Federer’s record against his own generation of top ten players is about as stellar as Federer’s record against Nadal-Djokovic’s generation of top ten players (once you take out Nadal and Djokovic from that group).
http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2012/05/Features/FedEx-Reliability-Versus-Top-10-Records.aspx

Tignor’s simplistic conclusions do not tell the whole story: “As for Federer, he has also dominated his fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka, to the tune of a 12-1 career record. But Federer’s ownership extends to the players, of all nations, that he has grown up playing. He’s 111-22 against eight guys (Roddick, Hewitt, Youzhny, Davydenko, Nalbandian, Ferrer, Malisse, and Fish) who are in the vicinity of 30 years old, Federer’s own age.” Federer’s record against these players is not surprising because he had figured out how to beat them since he hit his prime in late 2003 Tennis Masters Cup. However what’s interesting is when Federer lost to these players after hitting his prime:
- When did Wawrinka’s one win come? After 2007: in 2009
- When did Roddick’s 2 wins since 2003 come? After 2007: in 2008 and 2012
- When did Hewitt’s first win since 2003 come? After 2007: in 2010
- When did Mardy Fish’s one win come? After 2007: in 2008
- When did Davydenko’s first 2 wins come? After 2007: in 2009 and 2010
- Federer has not lost to Malisse, Ferrer and Youzhny since his prime. When did Malisse’s only win come? In 1999. Federer has 13-0 records against Ferrer and Youzhny, both of whom match up poorly against Federer.
- Only to mercurial talent David Nalbandian did Federer lose 3 matches between 2004 to 2007: 2005 Tennis Masters Cup/WTF (when Federer had a bum ankle recovering from ligament tears) and 2007 (when he hit a hot streak)

Tignor misleadingly compares Federer, mostly in his prime, against eight guys from his generation (Roddick, Hewitt, Youzhny, Davydenko, Nalbandian, Ferrer, Malisse, and Fish) — some of whom are not the best of Federer’s generation — against the best of the next generation (Nadal, Djokovic and Murray) when Federer mostly wasn’t in his prime. Tignor is comparing apples to oranges.

Tignor misleadingly portrays: “This is an age of respect among the men on the ATP tour, and Rafa, Roger, and Nole have played their parts in fostering that attitude. Rafa, Roger, and Nole have played their parts in fostering that attitude. Each of them, in their roles on the ATP player council, has been a leader off the court as well.” Lol. Roger, Rafa and Nole do not play equal roles on the ATP Player Council. As council president for two terms, Federer’s role is the most visible, followed by Nadal as council vice president for less than two terms, followed by Djokovic as council member for one term. Council politics can work two ways — if a player doesn’t like the work Federer does as council president it could motivate him to try harder against Federer.


Seventeen Says:

the winners and unforced error counts are very biased. I believe they rate ue at Garros sooner then at wimbly.
and what about hawkeye overturns or fault use of HE does that count for an unforced error?
As long as the player has more winners then unforved errors that would be the tjing to look for. Comparing Winners ue on different matches. I dont see any value.

Did hear a good suggestion on BBC to take in stats on dropshots. But how do you call the fake dropshot of Fed he uses that one quit a lot.


jane Says:

What a forehand – but Murray with the match on his racquet.


jane Says:

Yay! What a well fought match from Ferrer, but so glad Andy is through.


Andrew Miller Says:

There we have it, Murray through to the semis. Quite a fight by Ferrer.


racquet Says:

Yes! What a match.


Eric Says:

Too bad for Ferrer, but credit to Murray; he was certainly the more solid player after going down 3-4, 15-40 there. Great play in the breaker, especially. These are going to be CRACKING semifinals — we are quite lucky!


Eric Says:

(Well, they might be, anyway.)


dari Says:

LOVE IT, MURRAYYY!!!!!

that was excellent from both guys congrats to David for playing fantastic grass tennis this whole tournament!

ANDY!!!! came through on some big moments when je had to, that’s gotta feel good, keep going!


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Well. All hail the new Big Four! Long may they reign.

Just kidding Rafa fans, sorry it had to be Rafa knocked out of this final foursome, but getting Tsonga in there as a substitute adds a little spice to the Wimbledon jambalaya. Would have preferred two new faces, but I’ll take it.

Two cracker semis coming up!


Brando Says:

YES ANDY- WELL DONE!

Standing ovation also to ferrer: what a fighter!


Brando Says:

@TV:

LOL, none taken.

It’s funny how the best match today, and imo, the tourny so far was between the world no.4 and 5.

No matter what, at the biggest stages (QTR, SF, F) you want the best players- regardless of whether you support or like them or not. It makes for a spectacle.

Unfortunately rafa could not make it this time, BUT ALI is more than an able substitute.

And im happy he’s made it- good compensation for his tough RG loss, imo.


Lou_tennisfan Says:

So it’s Djokovic/Federer for the first sf and then Murray/Tsonga.

But wts interesting is to see the wimbledon stats for Djoker/Fed and see who is playing better:

What does Wimbledon Stats say : Novak Djokovic vs. Roger Federer? http://bit.ly/MUE43F


Kimberly Says:

Tennis Vagabond—-Your not just kidding or why say it. But thats ok. Us Rafa fans can console ourselves that our guy has a grand slam and two masters already, what about your “big four” other than Djokovic, who is the clear favorite. Anyone else even been to a GS final in the past 12 months. Sigh.


Brando Says:

@Kimberly:

LOL, LOVE your post! :-)

Rafa will be back- us fans are not concerned or worried about that.

Let’s just stick to the 4 still in the tourny, and let’s have their respective fans also concerning themselves with that.


tennisfansince76 Says:

tough loss for daveed but Murray really stepped it up after almost going down 2 sets.he played aggressive first strike tennis to win it. he will have to do the same to win the semi’s and finals. this is Murray’s 4th straight semi at wimby but no Nadal this time. big chance!


jane Says:

tfs76 – yes Murray has a huge chance to get to the finals. I think he will do it!


Brando Says:

yes agree with tf76- this is not only a massive chance but THE CHANCE for andy imo.

He’ll only have to face ONE of the big 3- how often is he ever going to get that oppurtunity going forward? not often i imagine.

one match at a time though for now….


Maso Says:

Interesting stats, Lou! They’re almost exactly the same on both sides, except for some minor differences here and there. Novak’s hit a bit more winners and has a slightly better BP conversion %, Roger’s had a couple more aces and a bit more success at the net but other than that, the stats are incredibly close! Hoping Friday’s semi will reflect this.


Eric Says:

How great would it be for Murray to (finally) win his first slam at Wimbledon? Agassi style!


mat4 Says:

Happy for jane and all the other fans of Andy Murray, but I rooted for Ferrer and very sad for him. He had a good chance, he let it pass…


mat4 Says:

@Kimberly:

About tourneytopia: could we try to guess the losers, no the winners? Seems that I am better at it.


Andrew Miller Says:

Murray definitely has a shot at the finals. He will have to play tough vs. Tsonga to make it. I love Tsonga but I am pulling for Murray. I think he’s put in the work. Tsonga is a shot maker and streaky – if Murray can play through that he should make it through. Tall task.


Mark Says:

I think Murray will beat Tsonga but will fail in the final. Let’s see.


tennisfansince76 Says:

i don’t want all of you Muzza fans getting too excited! Tsonga is a very good grass court player (let’s not forget last years 2 set down comeback against fed). i could see him winning it all.


Daniel Says:

Kimberly says: “Tennis Vagabond—-Your not just kidding or why say it. But thats ok. Us Rafa fans can console ourselves that our guy has a grand slam and two masters already, what about your “big four” other than Djokovic, who is the clear favorite. Anyone else even been to a GS final in the past 12 months. Sigh.”

Ok, have to add a quick jab.
But even without having a Slam finalin the last 12 months Fed (1 Master Cup, 3 Masters) will be #2 next week regardless of what happen here. He must be pretty consistant to do so? Hum!


Brando Says:

@Daniel:

Have to add a quick slap.

Fed got to no. 2 in week 1 since a certain someone exited early.

Sure fed’s been consistent and good for him too, BUT let’s stick to fed and not get other involved, since there’s plenty that can be argued both ways.

it’s an old, long, boring tale is that one.

Let’s just look forward to federer v djokovic and see how federer does there, it will be interesting to see for sure.


Mark Says:

@Kimberley. You must remind everyone that Rafa won his 7TH French Open!!


Daniel Says:

Well, if Murray wins this Wimbledon it will be a huge achievement. Beating either Djoko or Fed in the final, the 2 players that have denied him Grand Slam victories before. I think is going to be even bigger than Fed winning a 7th and returning to #1. No,…Fed win will be bigger history wise.


jane Says:

Daniel, yes but Murray winning Wimbledon would be huge historically too in the sense that Fred Perry was the last home winner in 1936, so 76 years for this nation. Long time. :)


Brando Says:

80% first serves for the match by andy- WOW!

IF he can do that for the next 2 matches, then he’ll be happy man at the end of both of them!

GO ANDY!


Daniel Says:

Yes Brando, but the rank will only changed next Monday. So far, todday, Nadal is the number 2 player in the world and this second week will count in the records books. What would Fed give to get an extra week in RG 2010 when he lost to Soderling? It cost him a tie record with Sampras in the # 1 position. A record Fed mostly deserves.

And that’s why I wish for him to get it this year, even without winning a Slam.
Right now, if he is not to winning, Murray winning will be more interesting (for Fed fans) and to add spice in the season. Nole fans will not recognise that, but if Djoko defend his title, the #1 race will pretty much be settle. It will be hard for anyone to take it form him, only if he loses in first week in US Open.


jane Says:

That’s a great percentage Brando – is that winning on them, or 80% in. If it’s the latter, wow!


jane Says:

The “what if scenarios” are available for the brackets. alison has won the WTA TX pool no matter what happens now. And there are a few possible winners for the ATP TX pool, including grandma joan. :) Best I can do is second, but I am good with that. contador with some excellent chances to win, can’t remember who else, maybe dari too has a shot.


jane Says:

And the mind reels, of course. ;)


Brando Says:

@Daniel:

Well that’s fed and his fans problem. As problem’s go, a rather nice one.

And i think nole fans, in the MAJORITY, will be happy if andy wins. Not just fed fans.

and IF nole remians no.1 after wimby-USO it shall ONLY be as he is the best in the world- as he currently is.

He took it off rafa by winning the big events, the slams and beating rafa- didn’t wait for favours of others. a GENUINE no.1.

i don’t think anyone can cry for injustice IF nole is still no.1 after wimby!


Brando Says:

@Jane:

don’t know. it’s in this article. I really like what andy says about ferrer in this short 3 minute post match interview:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/tennis/18699531


Kimberly Says:

Daniel, Oh I really don’t want to go there, but if nadal decide to drop in hamburg and a few other 500s and 250s and actually try to win he could have number 2 back quick. But don’t worry he won’t he is only targeting big events.


jane Says:

Brando, thanks for the link – I checked at Wimbledon’s site and Andy got 61% first serves in but won on 80% of them.

And in response to your other post – Holy crap, from a fan’s perspective, what Nole had to do to get his number was enormous! Last year in itself was historic, and he needed it. He beat Fed at IW and earned number 2 with that win, and then he secured number 1 by beating Rafa at Wimbledon (actually got it with the win over Tsonga though, but he put some space between him and Rafa by getting the title). So yeah, Nole had to climb the Mount Everest of tennis to get to number 1. I am proud of him, that he’s held it this long, and if he can go longer, awesome. Either way, his 2012, so far, in my estimation has been pretty great. I’d have loved to see him get one win on clay maybe, but he reached the FO final for the first time, so all things considered, he has done well.


jane Says:

Thanks for your replies Dave – lots of research!


Kimberly Says:

My point is if federer does not win Fridays match and Sunday’s he will be number 2 but as a fan I would prefer nadal’s results over the past twelve months (although the wtf title is a nice one) even with the appalling 2nd round exit. But I would take 1 GS win and 3 second round exits over 4 semis. Just my humble opinion. Don’t know how the players see it.


Lefty Says:

Good day for British tennis, Murray through!!! With a good matchup for the semis – I would say easier than his match today.

Also, we have another brit in the semis of the doubles JONATHAN MARRAY. Better still his partner is Danish, which is now my adopted homeland ;-)


Daniel Says:

So is Fed, the player who detains the most masters 1000 toruneys in the last 12 months and 4 semis in Slams, losing in consistancy only to the actual #1 player. Plus he played the same amount of 250 as Nadal, without winning them, as Nadal.

The problem here is either you go there or don´t. Because any half line can make a mess:)

I for example don´t like the exchanges so much, prefer reading them, but this one I couldn´t let go.

Oh


Andrew Miller Says:

Tsonga could summon greatness and knock off Murray in the semifinal. Depends – is Tsonga emotionally drained after the Fish and Kohly matches? Or is his tank full and always inspired? Tsonga is as dangerous as they come on grass. Rosol might have captured lightning in a bottle for his Nadal match, but Tsonga has “pulled a Rosol” on many occasions.

I think Murray can beat Tsonga in the semis. But if Tsonga plays anything like he’s capable of playing, this will be a “battle royale”

Speaking of royale, the royal couple was indeed pulling for Murray and Federer and I think they both met the occasion. I would think they’d see it as “time well spent” !


racquet Says:

@brando

80%? Wow. That’s the significant improvement I noticed today: Andy’s clutch serving. Last year he would’ve caved. The only negative is that he still tends to start passively.

That stat also says something about Ferrer’s phenomenal performance and returning. If Andy serves anywhere near that percentage vs Tsonga, he’s winning it no problem. Tsonga’s return game isn’t anywhere near as good.


Daniel Says:

Agree with you too Kimberly, Fed would probably prefer the Slam too.

But me, as a fan, right now, with the opportunities there is looming for Fed. Having to beat only one of Djoko-Nadal, and or getting the Number 1 ranking spoils if Murray or Tsonga wins this Wimby (with Djoko having to defend, Canada title, Cincy final and US Open title).

I will take Hiena Fed Slamless #1 any day:)


Brando Says:

@Jane:

Agree with your post- novak is a DESERVING and SOLID no.1.

hope he stays no.1 after wimby, as imo, he’s the best in the world at this moment.


jane Says:

Andrew, Tsonga can catch lighting for sure. At Wimbledon last year, Nole’s hardest fought match might’ve been the semi versus Tsonga. His best set was the second set in the final, but in the semi Tsonga had loads of confidence from beating Fed, served huge, hit monster forehands, and came to net a lot as well.

He is very unpredictable though, and he can come out very flat. Murray is definitely the better returner.

Plus, Murray beat him last year in the Queens final and has a 5-1 record over him, so I like Andy’s chances in that one.


Brando Says:

@racquet:

yes, i noticed that too- muzza is serving superbly atm.

i just want him to be abit more aggressive- that’s the ONLY aspect of his game that still concerns me at this moment.

Yes, his FH- at times- looks too weak, but he has to live with it. He’s not going to change it before the tourny ends.

BUT the agressive part is something he could address NOW, and if does so i think it shall benefit him.

He especially needs to use his backhand more agressively as it is a real weapon- certainly the DTL on this side when he plays it.

other than that, im very pleased with his game :-)


Brando Says:

@Jane:

but andy did have a tough match at queens (3 sets) and a 4 setter against jo in 2010 in wimby.

i think this SF will be tougher than the ferrer one. BOTH will be nervous for sure.


Andrew Miller Says:

Jane – I definitely like Murray to beat the dangerous Tsonga and think he can do it!

The comment about Tsonga being able to come out flat and then play spectacularly is something Murray will need to anticipate and play through. I think he can do this – stay strong, consistently.

One thing from today’s match that Murray can draw some strength from: his groundstrokes getting better as the match went along. The 1st set Murray’s forehand and backhand, especially backhand, were off. He wasn’t able to do any dictating and was missing, especially with Ferrer going up 5-2; it happened in the tiebreak as well, even when Murray’s game recovered.

Tsonga’s different than Ferrer – Ferrer is dogged and consistent, whereas Tsonga (I think) is unpredictable – he can dominate at a moment’s notice and hit a “hot streak” (rather than Ferrer’s “always playing close to hot, for hours on end”).

Did you like how Murray’s groundstrokes rebounded after the 1st set tiebreak? To me, some SPECIAL stuff from Murray! He’s showing some very good “in the moment” decision making and a real understanding of tempo. Murray seems like he’s improved on the subtle stuff, no?

I wish him some good karma. I am pulling for him in the Semis and even the finals. I would like him to win it all.


racquet Says:

I remember that match against Jo @ Wimbledon vividly. Similar start to this one today. very tight first 2 sets. Jo took the 1st set TB and looked like taking the 2nd set TB when he made the mistake of leaving a Murray return which dropped in. After taking the 2nd TB Andy coasted through the rest of the match.


jane Says:

Andrew, yeah, I think it was an excellent test for Andy today and it was nice to see him stay focused and come through it. Ferrer fought valiantly. If Andy makes the finals, he will want to start strong from the get-go. In his past finals, he’s often been rusty, nervous, etc at the beginning. So that will be key for him. With Tsonga, Andy will just have to ride the wave if he hits a hot streak, and wait for his chances. I don’t think Andy will have a problem. It could be straight sets. But predictions are especially difficult where Tsonga is concerned. He really took it to Nole at RG and Fed here last year.

Should be exciting semifinals.


Kimberly Says:

How nice to be a child. Roddick, Fish, Nadal? ColinO7 comes in my room and says he so happy he feels like crying, Tennys Sandgren an american challenger he has been following, ranking like 300 beat Benjamin Becker in a first round challenger. Lol.


andrea Says:

fed and novak never having played on grass is an interesting wrinkle. always rooting for roger. want him to secure the #1 ranking again. that would be so sweet.

but the match will be tougher than youzhny that’s for sure!


JustMe Says:

Sean: You’re a mean-spirited person when it comes to Andy Murray. Saying that he has a “supposed back problem” speaks volumes about you. Also, begrudgingly choosing him to win in four sets makes me wonder if you once played professional tennis and couldn’t make the grade. Or maybe you’re just an embittered Sassenach who resents that a Scot is England’s greatest hope. I’m sure Andy is losing no sleep over your opinion of him. For you to hold such hatred against a person you don’t know is borderline psychotic.

BTW, the correct spelling is “tendency” not “tendancy,” DUH!


Dave Says:

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and Switzerland’s King Zuriceneva III will be in the royal box on Friday. Federer will be pumped for another royal performance.


Matt Says:

What fantastic matchups for the Men’s Semifinals. :)


jane Says:

This is really sweet:

“After Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2, to move into his second consecutive Wimbledon semifinal, the charismatic Frenchman was signing autographs when he noticed a small girl clutching an oversized tennis ball, crying uncontrollably—presumably because she had originally been overlooked in her quest for his signature. Tsonga not only signed her ball, he reached into his bag and pulled out a wristband, gifting it to her. He wanted everybody to be as happy as he was at the conclusion of his match. “


Margot Says:

Hi all you Andy fans, our poor nerves are shredded, and our fingernails may be bitten down to the elbows…but I’m sure we are all pleased and proud with Andy’s performance.
Ferrer is such a tough fighter but Andy stayed calm, didn’t get negative and played the clutch moments superbly.
He became more aggressive as the match progressed and his strokes got better and so did his serve.
One match at a time. Come on :)


Kimberly Says:

Margot, as I no longer have a horse in this race (i would say dog in this fight but dogfighting is illegal and inhumane) I am almost inclined to root for Andy,

BUT, as I mentioned on the bracket site if Andy wins over Djokovic, “GrandmaJoan” my mother will win the bracket challenge and “sweetpatrick” will place second. Oh the shame! Grandma Joan knows nothing about tennis and only picked a bracket to make ColinO7 happy yet she has been religously checking tourneytopia and even looked at the what-if scenarios!

I don’t know if I can take it if she wins. And I’m not sure ColinO7 can take sweetpatrick putting a beatdown on him.


Lefty Says:

Sleep easy Margot.

From what I saw of the Tsonga match, Andy will be ok. He will have too much guile for JW.

His return of serve against Special K was poor and he will have to raise his level significantly to stretch Mr Murray.

I think I few more ear lashings (like he no doubt got during the rain delay) from Lendl will do the trick ;-)


trufan Says:

I am looking forward to the Wimbledon final on friday – Djoke-Fed. The other two are just vying for second place. Perhaps Murray will lose another final at last!


trufan Says:

Age beat Ferrer today. He looked tired and slow in the 4th set.

Fed has an uphill battle against someone 6 years younger. He definitely needs to win the first set to have any chance. If Fed wins, it will be in 3 – means he was on fire. If Djoke wins, it will be in 4. I doubt it will get to the 5th.


harry Says:

mat4 and tfs76 — thanks for your inputs on mecir!


mat4 Says:

Harry:

You’re welcome, although I don’t think I was of big help.

Anyway, your question reminded me of a player I like, and I asked myself who much has his use of a wooden racquet impacted his subsequent game and influenced his style of play and his strokes.

The technology shift, I believe — though I don’t have to be right — made and unmade champions in the ’80.


Nina Says:

Things are so exciting right now. The two world’s best players (with Rafa’s permission) are squaring off in one semifinal. Their macthes are tight, exciting, high quality tennis and both fandoms and players have no lost love for each other which makes this rivalry even more compelling.

On the other hand we have the hometown hero who is due for an awesome slam performance. He has the shots and variety to win his first slam, he plays really well on grass. And he’s hungry for it. Againts him, a natural grass player with a lethal serve, stunning attacking game and good volleys. Tsonga can trouble anyone on any given day, he’s look very solid so far. Murray is 5-1 I believe, but I wouldn’t underestimate Tsonga’s chances.

Most compelling final: Djoker-Muzza imo. Will it happen? I think Tsonga and Fed have something to say.


Courtside Says:

I would prefer Tsonga to win over Murray. He’s certainly paid his dues and France could use a GS winner.
Murray hasn’t done anything the last six months. Go Jo!


Andrew Miller Says:

I’m putting my chips on Murray at this point – he’s been playing through rough patches within matches and that’s what’s needed to win a slam. I think any of the 4 semifinalists can win.

On the WTA side, frankly I’d like Radwanska to come through. That said, I think the tournament will belong to Serena Williams or Victoria Azarenka, who has proven to be way better than I ever thought possible. No offense to Kerber, who has a shot of knocking off Radwanska. I’d like Radwanska to win, but I think the favorite is definitely playing the other semifinal.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

I think the match against Youz was a bad setup for Roger. Youz played so badly, it would have given a false sense of satisfaction to Roger. Roger did not get any rhythm from this match. It was more like a practice session for him, not a typical Quarters match.

Roger typically gets his First serve percentage low against both Rafa and Novak, specially on GS. It’s more because of the pressure he faces on the returns, so he tries to go for the lines more than his normal instinctive serve. Many have been foolishly thinking that Roger’s serve breaks because of his back. But his serve breaks when it’s under pressure. He relies more on rhythm and placement which works fine when he is confident. When Roger loses confidence, then his serve is the first shot which shows it.

It’s a pity Roger has to face Novak consecutively with a poor winning record against him. It’s a huge positive for Novak, seeing Roger in the other side based on their last 4 months matchup.


Ray Says:

As a federer fan, [not like a-holes who pretend to be one] you always feel good going into a match with novak, as opposed to rafa. The reason being Federer’s game matches very well against novak’s. Federer at his best does everything better than novak at his best except 2nd serve return. This match, like the 26 others before this is on Federer’s racquet. There is a reason why novak needs to go 5 and save match points to beat federer on a fast grandslam court like the USopen even when federer is past his best.

The question then boils down to whether federer can bring his A game like he did at FO 2011 and USO 2011. the last 2 matches on clay have little bearing on this. As I always said, even though wimbledon has slowed down, it still is not red clay – i am sure rafa and his fans will vouch for that.

If Federer can bring that A game, he wins on friday, if he doesn’t novak takes it because novak will surely bring his A game as he should being smack dab in the prime of his career.

Either way, the loser of this match will be mr. Nadal. Fed wins – he has a shot @ 1more slam and no.1 widening his lead over nadal. If novak wins, he will have a shot @ equalling nadal’s wimbledon record and extending his lead as the 2nd best player of the last decade, outside clay!

Clay, as pete sampras would attest, is for dogs to cr@p!


Ray Says:

as always, records tumble when federer takes the court.

highest no. of GS semi-finals =32, in addition to slam finals = 23 and titles = 16.

he is 4 short of the qfs record that jimbo set.

federer achieved this in about 8 years lesser time than connors.

Federer also overtakes sampras for most wins @ wimbledon. next up becker with 71. he also has a higher win % than sampras!


Margot Says:

Lefty @5.50: Thanks for that :) BUT ITT couldn’t say anything to Andy during the rain break because Andy and David were in the same small locker room, two inches away from each other! They were in that particular one because the rain break was only expected to be a short.
Quite a difficult situation, Andy said in post match interview. Also, of course, they are friends off court, makes it more tricky.


harry Says:

mat4 —
“The technology shift … though I don’t have to be right…”

you are playing from behind the baseline! you should come to the net more :)


Mark Says:

@ Ray. And grass is for cows to graze on!


Margot Says:

@ Mark. And clay is for making pots..;)


Mark Says:

Come on Jo Willy kick the Brit’s butt like you did to Choc Boy last year!


Daniel Says:

Agree Nirmal,

Djoko retunr always makes Fed play aother point, and not just a return putting the ball back into play. Maybe his biggest asset agaisnt Fed is he is the player who better read his serve. Nadla also return a lot of Fed’s serve but he stays too far behind. Djoko is more instant. The moment you finish serving movement the ball is already back. FEd has to serve smart, and I noticed that his second serve on grass works way better, same with Nadal.


trufan Says:

Tsonga Murray – interesting match. Lets see who chokes first and chokes more. Though against Ferrer, I must say, Murray held it together. I think he really wants to get to the final (where he will finally choke his way to the third leg of the Murray slam).

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