Write Off Roger Federer At Your Own Peril; Tonight’s Djokovic-Del Potro Pick
by Sean Randall | September 6th, 2012, 3:56 pm
  • 164 Comments

Is this now the end for Roger Federer? Last night Federer was bashed, beaten and bruised by the burly Tomas Berdych who rudely dismissed the 5-time US Open champion 7-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.

The scoreline read four sets but it never really even felt that close and the Czech kept the Swiss from a first title in New York since 2008.

While Federer was spraying forehands and missing serves, Berdych kept pounding groundstrokes and blasting his own serves. The weight of Berdych’s ball really penetrated the court leaving Federer overpowered at times.

“I just didn’t come up with the goods tonight. It was unfortunate,” Federer said.

“He probably created more than I did, and that’s why he ended up winning tonight. The power is not really the issue here. I don’t think that was a problem for me. The problem was elsewhere.”

The defeat was Federer’s first since turning 31 (he won Cincinnati) and the earliest loss he’s suffered at the US Open or the other hardcourt Slam, the Australian Open, since all the way back in 2003. So is there more to come? Probably, but it’s not the end.

First, let’s give Federer his due. After 52 straight Slams he’s bound to have an off day that’s what happened last night. An off day. Afterward, Federer seemed genuinely ticked off at how he played.

“I’m disappointed,” he said. “I really expect myself to play better tonight. Especially at night I have had such a great record. I don’t know. I felt good. Such an amazing summer I had. I really thought I was going to come out and play a solid match. I didn’t do that tonight. Obviously there is a bit of a letdown now.

“Obviously I wish I could have played better,” he added. “So many moments I thought, Man, it’s just not happening for me. It was just a very disappointing match for me.”

The problem for Federer is time, and time waits for no man, not even Federer. Roger will be 32 a year from now and as I’ve said before in the Slams he’ll need help to win them. At Wimbledon, Nadal got bounced early and the roof closed in the final, both events that aided Roger to the title.

This week he had a great, perhaps too great, of an early draw, then maybe lost some of that momentum when Mardy Fish withdrew leaving him under match prepared for a guy like Berdych. Yet the stars seemed aligned again but it didn’t happen. Berdych did.

Let’s remember, though, Berdych is a guy that when he gets hot can take the racquet out of your hand. He’s done it before to Federer and he’s beaten Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic in big matches. He still has his “choke” moments (see the Winston Salem final against Isner), but every now and then this bird finds a nut and he gets it right. So for Federer, losing to Bedych should not be like losing to a Lukas Rosol or a lesser player. There’s no need for all out panic.

And another positive is the fact the indoor season is just around the corner and that’s been Federer’s private playground in recent years. And after this loss I’m sure he’ll be motivated to return to form and contend for the top ranking.

So this will be a tough weekend/month for Federer fans but it’s been worse and Roger’s rebounded. And no player ever has had the ability to shrug off tough losses like Federer.

I admit I’ve written him off before, but I’ve learned my lesson. Nine titles since turning 30 suggests he’s still a force. One loss to a hot player won’t change that.

As for tonight…

Novak Djokovic v. Juan Martin Del Potro
The last two former US Open champions left in the draw meet for the final spot in the semifinals tonight. Djokovic leads 5-2 and apart from a poor performance at the Olympics this summer, Djokovic has had his way with the big Argentine and I fully expect that to continue in their quarterfinal.

Del Potro look pretty good yesterday amid tough, emotional conditions against the retiring Andy Roddick. You have to tip your hat to to way Delpo played, but that said, Djokovic is a completely different animal than Roddick.

Djokovic’s loves the hardcourts and he loves the US Open. So I expect a much better performance out of him tonight than the one he gave on the grass at the Olympics.

However, Del Potro is hitting a high note of late and he’s pulled out big wins on Ashe before, so he won’t be intimidated by the stakes or the moment. And in that Cincinnati match it seemed like the wrist was a factor whereas this week Delpo’s been healthy.

But Djokovic just matches up too well with Delpo. He can handle Delpo’s power with his defense off both sides, and once you get the big guy moving like Novak will, that’s when you can really hurt him. And that’s what I think will happen.
The pick: Djokovic in three

ESPN2 has continuing coverage all day – right now Ferrer is taking down Djokovic’s countryman Tipsarevic.


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164 Comments for Write Off Roger Federer At Your Own Peril; Tonight’s Djokovic-Del Potro Pick

Colin Says:

The title of the article has it the wrong way round. It should read “Award Federer a tournament win in advance, at the peril of your own credentials.”


Mike Says:

What about Kevin James


Brando Says:

I think sean will, unfortunately, be proven right.

Think novak is going to beat JMDP in straight sets- pretty easily.

Delpo ABSOLUTELY NEEDS TO win the first set in order to stand any chance at all in this one.

Losing a set 6-2 to harrison, being pushed really hard by roddick- for me that doesn’t bode well for his chances in facing nole.


alison Says:

Brando unfortunatly i agree with you,as i dont think Delpo can match Noles stamina over a possible 5 sets anyway,and i dont think Tipsy or Ferrer have enough of a game to trouble Nole in the next round either,as both seem to be killing each other out there ATM,although Tipsy has the upper hand so far.


Kimberly Says:

Sean Randall says: Let’s remember, though, Berdych is a guy that when he gets hot can take the racquet out of your hand. He’s done it before to Federer and he’s beaten Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych in big matches

Sean, please enlighten us when the last time Berdych has beaten Rafael Nadal in a big match?

However, I fully agree that Tomas Berdych has beaten Tomas Berdych in big matches.


Skeezer Says:

@K
“However, I fully agree that Tomas Berdych has beaten Tomas Berdych in big matches.”
Lol ;)

——-

It’s JMac/Adam Sandler vs Courier/Kevan James


Michael Says:

All of us who watched the match know what happened. Of course Berdych played well, but Roger had all the momentum in the 4th set. His forehand deserted him, and that’s what did him in. That’s worse for Fed than some players because he likes to run around his backhand so much, which we mortals were taught never to do, but his positioning is so good he can score from it usually. In the critical service break at 4-4 in the 4th set, Roger hit several routine forehands that just seemed to drift long. This happens to Fed now and again, we’ve all seen it. Everything else looked just fine, especially his trademark footwork. He’ll be at or near the top for a few more years I suspect.


Thangs Says:

@Kimberly
LOL..on Berdych beating Berdych.

Since Fed is out of USO, I thought there won’t be any main article for 2 days..


Alok Says:

JMDP has had to play some very tough opponents, and is suffering with a bad wrist. that said, it’s going to be a huge task for him to beat djokovic who not only got an easy draw, but also a retirement from the only tough opponent he’s had to face so far.


Michael Says:

This is Murray’s golden opportunity, but he’s only played well in spots in this tournament. This would seem to be a cakewalk for Djokovic. But not much has gone according to the script on the men’s side. Serena is predictably bludgeoning everyone to death and the Scream Queens are heading for a showdown in the women’s bracket. But both my brackets got busted to pieces long ago.


Huh Says:

The title of the article has it the wrong way round. It should read “Award Federer a tournament win in advance, at the peril of your own credentials.”

Colin, seriously, doesn’t make much sense…


Thangs Says:

Tipsy can give good fight to Nole than Ferrer.


l Says:

Interesting… Berdych has beaten Tomas Berdych?


madmax Says:

Let’s remember, though, Berdych is a guy that when he gets hot can take the racquet out of your hand. He’s done it before to Federer and he’s beaten Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych in big matches

Sean,this doesn’t make sense. How can a player beat himself? You mean Novak, right?


mat4 Says:

So few commentaries about the dog fight between David and Janko. They both show a lot of determination and courage.


Mila Says:

Goooooo Jankoooooooooooo!


Mila Says:

Ajdeeeeee jankoooooo!

Take the spirit out of Spaniard!

4:1
0:30


Colin Says:

What’s the problem, Huh? It may not be the most elegant of sentences, but I think it’s clear enough. The article title says, in effect, be careful about writing off Federer, as you may end up with egg on your face.
I’m saying that for some time just as much egg-on-faces has been earned by people (including supposed experts) saying that Federer – or Nadal or Serena – is absolutely certain to win this or that.


Mila Says:

That was a bad fall by Janko…


Mila Says:

Which is the post for commenting on QF matches? Because on this one folks are still lamenting on Roger’s loss.


Mila Says:

Great return by Ferrer!

4-2
2 BPs


racquet Says:

It has been an incredible match – Tipsy playing lights out tennis.


Mila Says:

Ferrer breaks.

4-3 Tipsarevic, 5th set.


mat4 Says:

David broke back. Two wrong decisions by Janko, and the break is gone.


racquet Says:

That fall rattled him, I’m sure it contributed to the poor decisions.


Kimberly Says:

interesting game coming up, as cahill said


Mila Says:

Is it just me but Janko is the better player of the two. Ferrer is more consistent in retrieving the ball, but tennis-wise janko is much better player.

And I say this after watching 4.5 sets.


racquet Says:

I think Ferrer is going to prevail, just a hunch.


Mila Says:

Wow, Janko cannot play more than 4 hrs.

Pulled muscle it seems.


Mila Says:

What a fighter this tatooed Serbian dude!!!
Two BPs saved.

5-4 Janko!


mat4 Says:

It is difficult not to root for both…


Mila Says:

I bet janko wishes Ferrer put Cilic’s head on just for the next game…


Mila Says:

@mat4

I find it very easy to root just for Janko.


Mila Says:

One of the most unlucky netcords for Ferrer here…


Mila Says:

Ferrer just barked three times in Janko’s face. Love it!!!


mat4 Says:

Janka is playing with the energy of despair…


mat4 Says:

Will there be a tie-breaker?


Mila Says:

6-5 Janko!!!

And he decided not to bark back to Ferrer’s face.


andrea Says:

wow. what a match! i don’t have a favorite so whoever makes it is ok in my books.


Mila Says:

Ferrer’s retrieving skills are amazing!


Kimberly Says:

What a match’


dari Says:

I’ve only really seen the last there sets, but some tremendous shots, defense and of course, drama.
Best men’s match probably


Mila Says:

Loser of this match will be crushed…


Kimberly Says:

Nervous and I don’t even care who wins!


dari Says:

Cheering for David


Mila Says:

Great 5th set tiebreak. No player made errors really.
Just better clutch play from Ferrer.

Sincere congrats to David!!!

Janko will be crushed by this…


dari Says:

This is the right result after that questionable MTO by Janko. Both gave so much, but very happy for Daveed!


racquet Says:

Vamos David! Poor Tipsy, he has more powerful shots but Ferrer is stronger mentally. That match was a credit to tennis.


mat4 Says:

dari, your remark was a bit displaced.


dari Says:

How so mat4?


Kimberly Says:

mat4, i think dari remark is fine and can make for interesting conversation. This is an open forum, if she chooses to question a player who appears to be possibly taking MTOs for cramping, which is against the rules, that makes for discussion.

Rafa MTOs and bathroom breaks discussed ad nausiem on this site. I remember when Fognini or Montanes took one in the french for cramping it was questioned and discussed. I can promise you if Rafa had taken it there would be no less than 10 comments on this site on the topic, immediately.


dari Says:

Wog Boy, I spy Jelena with my own eyes


mat4 Says:

dari, Kimberly:

For two reasons: it was clear in the replay that Janko wasn’t stretching, neither in the moment when he injured himself, neither later, in the chair, when the trainer helped him. It is certainly not the behaviour of someone who has cramps.

Then, it was my impression that he was limping when walking until the end of the match, and that he was indeed injured.


Evan Says:

To be honest, that MTO reminded me of how Djokovic used to use so many en route to beating several top players like Roddick in high-stakes, close matches. We know how Roddick felt about Djoker’s MTO’s. Now I LOVE Tipsarevic, but that was a little cheap, and it worked, considering after BOTH MTO’s in the match he went on to win many, many points in a row. After the MTO before the fifth set started, he surged to 3-0. Then when he was about to get broken by a momentous Ferrer, he decided to MTO again… and Ferrer never even got another point in that game.

That was a pretty nasty fall though. Oddly enough he didn’t seem phased by that or any other physical problem the entire match. In the tiebreak, it just looked like Ferrer had more legs than Tipsy did, and was able to get back a couple of wicked backhands to win the match.


xmike Says:

for people who wonder if they will ever watch tennis again after their current top 4 player favourite retires, well, now you have your answer: ferrer-tipsarevic had me glued in front of the tv for more than 4 hours, it was surely one of the best 5 matches i’ve seen in a very long time!!

and because you are not so emotionally involved with one player you can actually appreciate the tennis more; once again, what a fabulous match, congratulations to both players (before the 5th set tiebreaker, when the audience gave them a standing ovation even the tv commentators said they were standing up in their booth also).

lets just hope ferrer can recover fully for the semi


mat4 Says:

I watched only the fifth set of this match, so my comments are not in relation with the first four, nor that first MTO.

I have the impression that we didn’t see the same match. It is quite normal to use the help of a trainer when you need it. What should have Janko done? Surrender the match? Waited to be broken before getting a treatment? This match was decided by a handful of points, and every little detail was important. Consider also what was a stake for both, the importance of that match: a GS semi.

Once again, watching the replay you have the impression that Janko wasn’t faking an injury, nor that he had cramps.

Finally, I understand that, as fans, we have sometimes heated discussions about our favs, but to include them in an chat about a thrilling match played by other players is pointless.


dari Says:

My opinion will not taint the quality of the match, mat4. He was doing a bit of kicking and shaking of the leg a bit before and had a tremendous recovery. The timing alone bothered me, but luckily for all of us it did not bother David and we were treated to great tennis through the end of the match!
Hats off to their physical and mental fight


mat4 Says:

@ dari:

My second posts wasn’t in relation with your comment. I also thought initially that he was cramping, and I was surprised when he called the trainer. But if the rules allow it, so be it. But I don’t think he was faking, and that the pain was genuine. Mercer and Bradnam, commenting for Eurosport, had a similar opinion.


dari Says:

I didn’t think it was in relation, mat4.

to janko’s credit, whatever the cause, he stayed on court for wrapping when the trainer offered to take him off court amd got back out there quick.

The end


mat4 Says:

Finally, a few word about the tennis we have watched:

you don’t play finesse against Ferrer. To beat him, a player has to have a lot of power, and needs to finish a lot of attacks at the net, otherwise David will manage to slice unreachable balls back.

Janko was slow to go to the net, although he has a very decent volley. A few (critical) times, he slammed short returns or desperate gets right to David’s forehand – instead of playing crosscourt to the backhand – was inevitably passed, and that proved to be fateful.


mat4 Says:

Nole-DelPo is excellent so far. They both look terrifying.


mat4 Says:

Ominous, to quote Tignor.


Polo Says:

I thoroughly enjoyed the Ferrer-Tipsarevic match as compared with the 1 1/2 set Federer-Berdych that I saw last night. I was glad I did not watch the rest. It was pure torture watching Federer play like that. Berdych deserved that win. I think I will stop watching Federer play from now on because he will probably have more matches like that. He is 31 after all.


jane Says:

mat4, ominous indeed – I mean Delpo, now. Typically Delpo starts slowly.


mat4 Says:

jane:

Nole has a clear plan to beat DelPo, but he has to make a first serve…


mat4 Says:

Good serving helps…


mat4 Says:

Unbelievable!

Bradnam: “The most fantastic rally”


jane Says:

He was a wall in those two rallies.


mat4 Says:

Poor DelPo. He is serving 76% of his first serve, fights beautifully, has the right game plan, and he is always under pressure.


Brando Says:

Delpo just doesn’t have the MOVEMENT to beat the top guys- when they are on form!

Novak’s game plan is pretty clear- just move delpo left, right, left right- winner.

To me also, delpo seems to lack a bit of self belief- at least that’s what i’m seeing regarding his body language.

He has the look of ‘damn i know i got to maintain my absolute best level- and that’s just to stay in the rallies. I don’t think i could last this’!

Unfortunately for delpo, until his movement improves or he greatly increases his stamina- the top 4 shall continue to use this tactic against him and win.

Novak’s got this match now- bar the lull at the start of the 2nd set, he’s just done what needs to be done against delpo!


jane Says:

Delpo is good at net, funny he does;t come in more?

Nole’s returns have put a lot of pressure, for sure, mat4. That last serve when Nole broke looked like an ace.


Kimmi Says:

how is delpo still in this set? djokovic has given him so much pressure, i am surprised he is still hanging on!!

I see a straights set win for djokovic


mat4 Says:

What a point…


mat4 Says:

How did Nole did that? Set!


Kimberly Says:

what a set of tennis!!!! Djokovic outrageous!!!!


Polo Says:

What a great set! Djokovic looks extremely tough to beat.


jane Says:

J-Mac tends to be easy with the praise of course, but he’s saying it’s been one of “the all time sets of tennis.” Really cool seeing Nole’s defence and Delpo’s power; Nole’s return and Delpo’s service bombs. A study in contrasts, and not a lot of grinding though there were a few long points. Nerve-wracking but enjoyable.


skeezer Says:

Would like to point out watching the 2 mens matches today we don’t have to have a Rafa or Fed in the tourney to make it “special”. These 4 guys proved that today. Awesome Tennis, and “Special” stuff.


mat4 Says:

I thought that Ferrer and Tipsarevic played a good set of tennis… but how shall we call this?


skeezer Says:

To add, Djoker playin like this Murray is in Deep trouble with his chances….


Kimmi Says:

i think everybody else should give the title to djokovic. he is back to last year form imo.


Brando Says:

That’s the match- delpo has NEVER won from 0-2 down!

Feel sorry for delpo- more than ANYONE (completely IMHO) he’s the one to challenge the top 3 since on the internal aspects he has everything- rock solid mind, and a big warrior’s heart.

Then the game is there- big serve (although he needs to use the advatnage of his height moreso than he does), booming FH, reliable BH.

BUT, his weaknesses are glaring and get routinely exposed by the top 3. The following:

1- His movement: Unfortunately, due to his size his change of direction is very poor compared to the others in the top 10- let alone 4.

2- Lack of ‘invention’: there really is a lack of variety in delpo’s game- it’s always Plan A. That’s it! As fed, rafa and nole have shown with their success- plan A doesn’t always work, nor is it good enough at times. You have change your game accordingly. Delpo’s is pretty much the same as it is in 2009!

That’s the PROBLEM really, people are waiting for delpo to find his 2009 level- BUT HE ACTUALLY HAS, it’s just the game has MOVED ON and raised it’s level. Not so for delpo.

It’s a shame really- like the guy and his game alot!


Tennisfan Says:

This is one of those matches the commentators try to build up to more than what it is. There is actually quite a bit of sloppy tenns going on in the match. That last point neither player can hit a decnt volley. They just give the ball back to each other on consecutive easy giveaways. Delpo kept putting his first serve in, getting a reasonably hittable ball back thats an easy win to the open court and he puts it directly back to Djok or hits a centre court shot that lets joke back into each point. Pathetic. Djokovic is horrible at the net … and Delpos even worse. I guess if you like watching two players hit the ball baseline to baseline for five hours … you found your match. For me, theres probably a good rerun on to see.


Tennisfan Says:

J-mac is also sort of nute? … hes even more annoying as an announcer as he was as a player


Polo Says:

@Tennisfan: Yes, I have found my match. If a match is that sloppy and pathetic to you, how come you are you so attentive to notice every detail that went on?


Brando Says:

POSITVES for novak’s opponent’s remaining in this tourny:

1- his 1st serve in level has dropped, somewhat, in the last match and this one. Room for hope.

2- IF you have good movement, then you can hang with him- PROVIDED you some arsenal yourself- delpo, to a degree, has shown that tonight!

THAT’S IT!

NEGATIVES for novak’s opponents:

1- He’s ONLY LOST 2 POINTS- WHEN HIS 1ST SERVE WAS IN (pre TB)- that is WORRYING!

2- His return is looking crazy good atm- how many aces were converted to deep returns on delpo’s serve? ALOT!

3- He’s got the ‘EYE OF THE TIGER’ look! He senses that the trophy is there for taking- now that fed is out, and that has given him a boost. NO DOUBT.

4- He’s just PLAIN BETTER THAN EVERYONE LEFT IN TOURNY! :)

ONLY MUZZA with his olympic level serve can take the title imo- NOTHING LESS or NO ONE can do so!


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Novak was just too good. It was great tennis by Del Po. Today he played lot better than his title match at 2009, but could not get it done.

Novak is probably showing the world the best HC tennis ever played. It’s mighty and fantastic to watch.


skeezer Says:

Congrats Nole. This match proves his form this USO. He will be holding the title Monday.

Delpo, class act and just outhit tonight. He’ll get better…


Polo Says:

Did you enjoy the match, Tennisfan? Ok, you can keep quiet.


skeezer Says:

“Today he played lot better than his title match at 2009″

Idiotic statement.


jane Says:

Delpo played a hell of a second set in particular. His serves and forehands were massive. But in the end, Nole succeeded – kudos Nole!!! Keep up the great work Delpo.


Brando Says:

@NK:

‘Novak is probably showing the world the best HC tennis ever played.’

REALLY?

Your meant to be a fed fan, a player who’s won what 9 HC slams (all time record), and you think he has already been surpassed.

I am surprised, to say the least.


mat4 Says:

Nole still has problems with his serve. He has improved his speed and placement: he served as fast as 132 mph, something unimaginable for him some times ago, but he made only 57% of first serves. He will need a few months to improve that. Watching him carefully, I think he has changed a bit his motion, but I need somebody more “nolegeable” to confirm.

He has equaled Lendl’s record of 10 GS semi in a row. Only RF is in front of him.

He played well. His forehand look better than ever, the backhand down the line worked beautifully, and his return of serve was demoralizing. My take is that he has good chances to make the final, although you can’t underestimate David Ferrer.


mat4 Says:

Novak could be a worthy successor to Roger if he manages improve for a few years more.


jane Says:

One thing Delpo possibly didn’t do enough of today was come to net, but he tried; I think Nole’s returns kept him on the backfoot.


Wog boy Says:

Delpo is scary good !


Wog boy Says:

But Novak is even better:)


jane Says:

mat4, “noleageable” – good one. ;)


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Brando,

You don’t brand Roger’s tennis into any one surface. For me Rafa probably showed the best clay tennis and Novak the HC tennis. When it comes to all court tennis, Roger is the king. Everyone knows that. Why people want to hear than a million times after so many millions in the world are convinced about it. I’m surprised that people still want to keep hearing Roger is great. How many times do u repeat that.

why can’t we start giving credit to Novak’s and Nadal’s and Murray’s. Roger has set the benchmark in tennis and I doubt any of the current generation would catch up to him. That does not mean you can never call them great.

It’s enough of Roger. There are other players too who are giving us some great tennis. Let’s appreciate them too.


Brando Says:

My take on the tourny going forward:

First and foremost, credit has to be given where it is due- and novak deserves praise for playing THE best tennis so far in this tourny. Hands down.

But let’s call a spade a spade: he’s got this tourny in the bag- as he is EASILY the best player left in this tourny. Look at the challengers:

1- Ferrer: He’s suffering from blisters, NEVER reached a GS final before, and just went 5 (probably should have lost) against tipsy. Novak shall cream him in the 3.

2- Berdych: LOL, the perennial choker, is all of a sudden going to bring novak down in a GS final. Sure. Should novak somehow get him in the final- cue the biggest thumping in a GS final since RG 2008.

The ONLY guy in with a shot is contender no. 3: murray.

Muzza ONLY stands a chance IF he sorts out his serve. And sorts it out pronto. He looked good against raonic, but as novak did against delpo, he just took advantage of a tall guy who’s movement just isn’t anywhere near his level.

Against cilic, quite frankly, he just benefited from marin’s epic mental breakdown. Cilic should have been 2-0, and he just collapsed mentally when he realised he let murray off the hook in the 2nd.

Andy, to his credit, even mentioned this in the press.

In summary, UNLESS andy gives a brilliant performance v berdych in the SF- i think it’s very safe to say that this title is novak’s.

And in all honesty, take fed and rafa out of the game, and the simple truth is that nole is a country mile ahead of the competition- much better than the rest.

IT’S HIS TO LOSE- AND HE KNOWS IT!


jane Says:

Loved that the crowd gave a standing ovation after the second set, I think it was before the tiebreak.


Brando Says:

@NK:

Like i said, i am surprised that you jumped to that conclusion considering you are a fed fan.

There is nothing wrong with novak’s HC game, but to say this is the best ever- quite frankly after a match in which, as nole himself mentioned, he beat a big guy by exposing his movement- seems a bit too easy to me.

I think you are somewhat jumping the gun there with such a conclusion.

Can nole end up being the best ever on HC? WHY NOT- records are meant to be broken.

But already? what’s the point of saying x,y, or z is the best on such a such surface IF he gets surpassed in a matter of a very short period, and by a level that really isn’t even hitting that great a height.

IMHO, the tennis novak is playing in this tourny is pretty similar to rafa in USO 2010.

First few rounds, thumping easy opposition. Later rounds, game and confidence is high- level is good enough to overcome the challenge of so called better players.

And rafa isn’t anywhere near novak on a HC!

LOL, give fed some credit- he did play some brilliant HC court tennis in his time, even thumped nole in cincy! Was that only a week or 2 ago……….


jane Says:

A couple of interesting facts:

“There was a sense of order in the procession to the quarterfinals. Seven of top eight seeds got through, the first time in the Open era it happened at the U.S. Open.”

“The second set alone [of Nole/JMDP] required 84 minutes (the second-longest of the year)”


skeezer Says:

Brando,

If you talk to NK with the foundation that he/she is NOT a Fed fan, then you can see things clearer ;). In other words, the person is not a Fed fan at heart. Don’t care what he/she says about being a Fedfan, my imo, he/she is not. Read he/she posts carefully… ;) and you’ll see the light…


Brando Says:

@Skeezer:

LOL, noted.

DEFINITELY jumping to conclusions, IMHO.

Records are meant to be broken- should a player break them, then rightfully we can make statements about it.

UNTIL THEN, the present record holder needs to be respected accordingly.

As should simple arithmetic:

9 HC GS> 4 HC GS!

END OF TOPIC!


Cruise Says:

LOL! I am a djokovic fan and even I think nole still has a long way to be considered the greatest hardcourt player of all time.

Nirmal kumar must be a rafa fan trying to use djokovic to sell federer short!


lazlo Says:

Sick,sick defense by Novak in the match.


Margot Says:

Well played Nole and wee David :) Should be a cracking semi :)
@ mat4, saw Tipsy at 02. To get him to approach the net ever, you would’ve had to put a fire cracker somewhere very painful……;)


Nirmal Kumar Says:

There is nothing wrong with novak’s HC game, but to say this is the best ever- quite frankly after a match in which, as nole himself mentioned, he beat a big guy by exposing his movement- seems a bit too easy to me.

Ok, then how come Roger could not do that easy stuff against Del Po in 2009 final. Why Roger could not do the same against Berd in his Qrts match, considering Berd is a big guy like Del Po. Unless you are an extremely good counter puncher, you cannot move around the big guys simply because of the heaviness of their shots.

I never said Novak is better than Roger considering their records. But the quality of tennis Novak playing at HC (not just USO) is probably of the highest quality. Novak has beaten Rafa in a HC slam which Roger has not done yet.

Safin at his best was considered one of the greatest player in tennis but his records do not do justice. But having seen Safin closely if anyone tells me his quality is not as good as Roger I can only laugh at them. That’s how I feel now when people think of Novak. He might not have reached the records of Roger, but his consistency and the quality of tennis he has played in HC for past 3 years is really of the highest quality. I don’t really care about his GS count when I have to make this statement.

I still remember people calling Roger as Greatest tennis player at 2004 USO, when he probably had won 3 GS.


Brando Says:

@NK: whatever float’s your boat I guess.


harry Says:

I thought Nole’s match with DelPo would show his “real” current level; and to say it is impressive is an understatement. Rest of the semi-finalists beware ;) Forewarned is not always farearmed…

@mat4 — have you bought yourself a fine cognac for the weekend?

@Margot — i might agree with your pessimism after all ;) time to buy a decent scotch?


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Brando.yep. at the end it’s only a personal opinion from a very humble fan.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

LOL! I am a djokovic fan and even I think nole still has a long way to be considered the greatest hard court player of all time.

Cruise, you misunderstood my statement. I don’t consider Novak the greatest HC player, that title is for Roger, Sampras, Lendl, Agassi. Novak is still behind them. I meant the quality of tennis he is playing is probably of highest quality, which is expected. Every generation is supposed to be better than the previous generation. That does not make them inferior. Novak is a natural progression of Roger in HC, just like Roger took over from Sampras and Lendl.

The guys record at HC is phenomenal and considering the kind of competition you got to face in HC’s.


harry Says:

@Nirmal Kumar –

“But having seen Safin closely if anyone tells me his quality is not as good as Roger I can only laugh at them. ”

Seriously? Please dont clarify — it would be disrespectful to Safin or Fed or both…


Mike R Says:

It’s just a loss. It was an amazing year for Federer, to be this consistent and to still be relevant at 31 is amazing. He’s an intelligent guy on and off the court. Along with his sheer talent, that’s why we’re still looking at an epic career that has more to come.


harry Says:

@jane –

“One thing Delpo possibly didn’t do enough of today was come to net, but he tried;”

I think it is very difficult to go to the net against Nole; if you compared the number of net approaches for Fed in Wimby against Murray and Nole, the former was at least twice (or more, if i remember) as much as the latter. And Muzz is great at passing…


blah Says:

If Safin actually cared about tennis, federer would still be chasing sampras’ slam number. At his best the guy was a monster.


blah Says:

The thing people dont think about is that federer is one of the rarer cases where he lived up to his incredible potential. With athletes in any sport there are players with enormous talent that never reach it because of circumstance, injuries, or in the case of Safin, not caring/lack of work ethic. There are players like hewitt who arent as talented compared to the federers of the world but scraps through and gets to the top because of tenacity. Federer has talent and an incredible will to win but if safin had hewitts work ethic/love for the game, it is not outrageous to say that the record books of the last decade would look very different.


harry Says:

@blah –
You have done exactly what I was thought a clarification would do — (a) being disrespectful towards Fed’s achievements in your first post (3:15 am) and (b) question Safin’s work ethic in your second post (3:33 am).


Huh Says:

I agree with you blah that Safin at his absolute best will not be dominated by fed, they’ll spilt their wins. but that said, I still think

fed at best> safin at best

so fed would still’ve won more than safin, though the H2H would be still in favour of Fed..


Margot Says:

@harry
Lol, don’t drink spirits and, if Andy loses, consuming a bucket of Scotch would make me feel even worse, if possible :)
Joining in the Safin love here. Fabulous player and, wasn’t it injury rather than playboy life style, that made him take competing less seriously than he might?
Weird parents too, though.


Huh Says:

i meant to say that fed would still’ve won more than safin, though their H2H woulda been a lot more closer.


Huh Says:

BTW to burst the bubble of NK and likes, in USO 2009 Delpo didn’t lose a set until finals and gave a few beatdowns to many decent players enroute final. And Delpo, despite being nervous, still won in the final of USO 09, or he coulda swung even more freely! Comparing this match he played vs Nole in this USO, it’s not even the top-5 match of Delpo, let alone a lot better than that USO 09 final, which was probably his best match ever besides semi of that same USO 09, haha!

DELPO TOP-5 MATCHES

1.USO 09 Title match

2.USO 09 Semi

3.FO 09 semi

4.vs Rafa at Miami 09(his breakthrough match)

5. vs Fed at WTF 09(here he played slightly better than even USO 09, but only thing is the match wasn’t as important as a slam)


Huh Says:

And BTW, this match was not where Nole was playing his best tennis either, he actually needn’t to! one set of great tennis from both, that sums up this match.

nevertheless, well done nole. actually you’re looking scary! :(


Huh Says:

Totaly agree with skeezer about this NK, he’s anything but a fed fan…


Michael Says:

According to Sean, Roger needed the roof on to win Wimbledon. But, did he beat Novak with the roof on in the semis ? I am not sure. Moreover, with the roof off both Roger and Murray split the sets and surely from Set two Roger was seen as the better player. I am happy that he has not written off Roger after this loss. Atlast some kind of sanity prevailed on the Fed critics. Roger is not a machine and he is going to lose more often than before considering his age. But, still I see him winning majors, may be another two at the most.


Nims Says:

harry,

I’m not sure if you have watched Safin from 99. If you have watched him at his later stages around 06, yeah you might not have seen the guys best.

I have never seen a guy who could hit the tennis ball on both the sides with such effortless ease and with tremendous power like Safin. He had a booming serve and was fantastic at net. The guy had everything, a prototype of a perfect tennis player which eventually Roger had become. For me, he played as good a tennis as Roger played at his best. Ofcourse stats don’t justify his talent.

If you put Roger against Safin, I would give edge to Roger because of his variety. Roger could do more on his FH than just power and has the greatest BH slice. But that does not make Safin a much inferior player. He had more power than Roger but slightly less versatile.

You don’t have to agree on this, but just my take on Safin.


Nims Says:

Michael @5:12,

you exactly made the same statement I wanted to make when I read the title of this article. I’m happy people have confidence in Roger now. If few things go his way, he would be GS contender at least till end of next year. I see him as a thread at USO 13, if he keeps his motivation.

Key for Roger now is the motivation not the competition. He has shown last 1` year that he can take care of these guys, but will he have the same energy like 10 and 11 to bounce back after his tough USO loss is a question mark now.

I just wish this loss helps him to go crazy in the indoor season like he did last 2 years. He is plenty good and playing some scary tennis still.

It was just a bad luck he had to play a lefty in 3rd round and have a walkout in 4th round and play an inform Berd in quarters. That’s horrible schedule for any player.


madmax Says:

yeah, this argument about the roof. Where has that come from. Let’s reverse it shall we? So Murray was winning at wimbledon BECAUSE of no roof, when he won the set? ummm..

Federer won because he was better. It is as simple as that. That isn’t to say that Murray isn’t go to win one day.

And didn’t Murray win against Wawinka at Wimbledon in the fifth set BECAUSE OF THE ROOF? Oh, I forgot, the roof only applies to Roger. No one else.


blah Says:

harry, the truth hurts breh, but you’re welcome to remain ignorant.


Kimberly Says:

Haven’t seem Sienna around here.


Giles Says:

^ I huffed and I puffed and I blew her away. Good riddance! Hahaha


alison Says:

Some people do that dissapear like a rat up a drainpipe the minute things get a little bit tough for their favorites,only to return when things become all hunky dory again,not true fans of the game,more like hero worshipping fan fanatics,the real fans do the exact opposite hang around for their favorites win or loose,a certain poster said to me some months ago,that this forum wouldnt be worth posting on the more Rafa looses,funnily enough i dont see him posting much at the moment either hmm.


Steve 27 Says:

. Roger Federer was thoroughly outplayed on DecoTurf II by sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych in a one-sided quarterfinal, despite plenty of rest, avid crowd support and a comfortable climate. His forehands lacked direction, his game lacked energy. Federer was cooked after dropping the first set tiebreaker.

Roger Federer will never win another U.S. Open


mat4 Says:

@harry:

If Nole wins, I’ll have a large glass of plum brandy, a specialty from his own country.


mat4 Says:

Alison wrote:

“Some people do that dissapear like a rat up a drainpipe the minute things get a little bit tough for their favorites,only to return when things become all hunky dory again,not true fans of the game,more like hero worshipping fan fanatics”

That would be me…


mat4 Says:

Reading comments about Marat Safin:

If I could chose between 17 GS + Mirka and 2 GS + all the delights of life… it would be a tough, tough decision to make.


Wog boy Says:

mat4,

Where did you get plum brandy from?


Brando Says:

@giles,Alison: AWESOME POSTS! When a player is down and out, and his fans still stick around and face the music, I.e. Others knocking their fav, JUST because they love the game and can also handle a loss of their fav- to me it separates the actual supporters who are genuine from the glory supporters. Credit to them for taking both the good and bad of their fav!


skeezer Says:

This sucks. Fed is out and have read Mat4 and Plum Brandy.


mat4 Says:

The samples I still have are from the region of Uzice, in western Serbia.


Wog boy Says:

mat4,

In that case you cannot go wrong, I might send you more samples from central part (Šumadija) so you can compare.
But lets not talk about that until sunday evening. It is far to early.


mat4 Says:

Anyway, I won’t be able to chat until Monday. I will be traveling all weekend, not Supersaturday for me, hopefully I shall be able to watch the final.


Wog boy Says:

mat4,

Have a safe trip.


Sienna Says:

I havent gone away and already commented about the match. But for some reason the moderator is not allowing the comments because someon has probably been offended.
Sorry for that. If you feel offended thenyou should try to become a little stronger within yourself.
Get some self belief etc.

Roger did not deserve to win this slam because the absolute focus, concentration and will to win was not there.

He had to many destractions like commercial activity, too many interviews about all kind of issues. About Rafa or the players wishes. He should stay away from thos matters and focus purely on the slams. Otherwise he will have no chance.

The focus, passion and determination at Wimbly was at a much higher level then this tourney.
Their he just refused to let down. I didnot see that here.


jamie Says:

I write off Federer at all the slams except at Wimbledon.


harry Says:

@mat4, Wogboy — Plum brandy, eh? I havent had that; i have had plum wine from Japan (umeshu) though.

@Margot — nice choice of word “spirit” to make it sound off-putting ;) “scotch” sounds delectable — i can feel the smell, the color, the smoky flavor…

@Nims — Nice post; appreciate it. I didnt watch Safin from 99. But i largely agree with what I wrote on Safin… My first Safin match was his final against Pistol Pete (on one of Pete’s favorite GS finals) — which i believe was in 2000. Instantly liked Safin’s game, confidence, you name it — in fact, it is hard not to ;) It so happened that my first matches of Hewitt and Fed were also their first matches again Pete (US open 2001 and Wimby 2001)… And of course, I really liked Hewitt and Fed too ;) What riled me was the comparison… BTW, i also liked Guga ;)


jane Says:

harry, by the way, you made a great point last night about coming to net and possibly why Delpo didn’t do that more. I didn’t know that stat about Fed/Nole/Murray Wimbledon matches.


harry Says:

@Nims–
error in my post “i largely agree with what I wrote on Safin” –> “i largely agree with what you wrote on Safin”. Sorry, one of those things that happened when i moved words around…

@jane — thanks! I checked the exact stats afterwards — it looks like Fed came to the net around 66 times against Andy while he came to the net only around 22 times against Nole ;) But I think this factor of 3 was, i think, also exaggerated by the surface, though exploited very well by Fed: grass being a low bouncing surface, Fed had a good approach shot against Muzz, the backhand slice to Andy’s forehand. Whereas, the slice to Djoker’s forehand even on grass doesnt feel like such a safe approach shot. At least, that was my impression when I watched it…


harry Says:

^jane — too many “i think”s in one of those sentences. I should not write/type for a while ;)


jane Says:

harry, no problem. Clever “thinking” on the match analysis. ;)


harry Says:

@jane — thanks. I was about to type: “too many ‘i think’s … so clearly not thinking” but felt modesty is probably not a good strategy here ;)

BTW, whom will you support in case of a Nole v Andy final?


Leon Says:

Wog Boy,
What can you say about “Navip Slivovitz”, 8 y.o., produced and bottled by Navip Export Co, Beograd, 50% alc (purchased right in the manufacturer plant)? My daughter presented it to me after her visit to Serbia, and I was pretty satisfied.
Thanks in advance


Steve 27 Says:

What an awful crowd is the Arthur Ashe Stadium, When czech getting forehands down the line, when their massive power failures showed Swiss game, people would remain silent, almost celebrating Federer points and also celebrating Czech errors.
Instead, Tinman hits remained in silence from the people, showing their total lack of neutrality one expects in such tournaments.
Unlike Australia where he was booed with complete fairness, this time, Berdych showed his class and thanked the “support” from the public. He will not have much charisma, not many followers around the world, but the Czech behaved as a big one.


Steve 27 Says:

After 31 99.99 % of the tennis player are almost done respect a chasing grand slam. In the open era only two win a GS title after this age:
Ken Rosewall One of the best ever of all time, the best backhand ever and
Andre Agassi in 2003 with almost 33.
After Wimbledon 2013 Federer will NOT win any other Grand Slam. Is a fact!


Wog boy Says:

Leon,

What can I say, you are one very lucky man:)
I hope you enjoy(ed) it with due respect for such precious stuff.


skeezer Says:

“Navip Slivovitz”?


Leon Says:

Thanks, Wog boy, I’m delighted. Btw, glad for you wrt Novak’s nice run.
Skeezer, it’s plum brandy. Sliva is plum in many Slavic languages.


Wog boy Says:

Leon,

No probs.

Thanks for Novak, so far so good but still lot of work to do, so we will see.


Wog boy Says:

Leon,

BTW, did your doughter had a good time in Serbia, I am not going to ask you how she ended up going in Serbia:)


Leon Says:

Wog boy,
she really had, as far as I know.
She is an artist and that was an international plain air organised somewhere near Beograd by a local enthusiast. Sort of. Anyway, I don’t remember her regretting on that venture. Youth, you know…


Wog boy Says:

Leon,

Glad to hear that….and BTW, thanks for Beograd:)


Michael Says:

Nirmal@5.28 pm

Rightly said. The loss of rhythm played a huge role in Roger’s loss to Berdych.

As regards Roger’s future, he can be at peace because nobody can take away what he has already achieved in this sport. Anything he does from now on will be just bonus. He can be carefree. Such is the phenomenon of this player.


madmax Says:

Steve72, why do you go on about Federer not winning another slam again? May be he won’t, but really? After all the slams he has won, who cares? It would be great to see him win a few more, and being as I would put my house on it that you are no mind reader or miracle man who can see into the future, it is a safer bet that you are not, whereas Federer could win a few more.

Start with your own fears and work on the possibility that you could be here to share the joy of the fed fans should he win no. 18! if not, tthe joy of seeing him on court, playing another match.

I feel sorry for you that you have nothing except negative thoughts and feelings to share.

Who do you support and why?

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