Federer Resumes Rivalry With Murray; Djokovic v. Berdych; Shanghai SF Picks And Pans
by Sean Randall | October 12th, 2012, 3:41 pm
  • 193 Comments

Even without Rafael Nadal, the top 4 seeds still made the semifinals at a major Masters event. That’s just how it is in men’s tennis these days, the top seeds, more often than not, get through. Lucky us. Fourth seeded Tomas Berdych joins the usual weekend cast of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray for an intriguing semifinal lineup Saturday in Shanghai.

Favorites Federer and Djokovic both breezed today, overwhelming Marin Cilic and Tommy Haas, respectively, as they continue in their big boy battle for the year-end No. 1 ranking.

“I’ve been winning a lot of matches, so it’s something that is always welcome when you want to have confidence, when you want to feel good about yourself on the court,” Djokovic said. “Winning matches is the ultimate goal for every athlete. My return games were exceptional. So it’s something that gave me a lot of confidence today.”

And Djokovic has been winning, as he says. He just won Beijing and if not for the wind maybe things would have gone differently in New York. Next is the powerful Berdych who just clipped JW Tsonga in an impressive 6-3, 7-6 victory.

Federer has been so-so in his first tournament since the US Open, but we know he can kick it up a notch when needed, and he’ll need to in the next round against Murray.

As for the matchups and my picks:

Novak Djokovic vs. Tomas Berdych
Has Berdych become the definition of a “second tier” type of player? A guy who will never win a Major, maybe beat a couple big names, but otherwise waste away in the No. 5-12 ranking region? It sure seems he was born to live that life because he’s living it.

The Czech does have the “next gear” that gets guys to the top, but he can’t consistently reach it, and that’s what’s hurt him, or what has kept him from his full potential.

Djokovic, as we saw last year, has reached the next level, though he’s come down off of it this season. Still, the Serb is a formidiable player, esecially on his favorite hardcourts. And he owns Berdych 9-1.

“It’s always a big challenge when you’re playing a top 10 player, especially when somebody who is an established one,” said Djokovic. “Tomas has been winning against top players on different surfaces in the last couple of years, so he knows how to play on a big stage and he knows how to play in big moments. It’s going to be tough. But I’ve been playing well, too. So I’ll try to look for my chances tomorrow from the baseline and see how it goes.”

While I think Tomas is a better player now than a year ago, and he could pull the upset here – he beat Federer at the US Open – I have to go with Novak in a close one. Experience and urgency with the No. 1 race wins out for Novak.
The pick: Djokovic in three

Roger Federer vs. Andy Murray
Will there be some revenge on the mind for Federer as he takes on the man who crushed him at the Olympics? I think so.

Murray, however, has won Shanghai the last two years beating Roger in the 2010 finale. Murray’s also been the better player of the two since Wimbledon, so in terms of recent results Murray gets the edge and he should be full of confidence.

But Federer knows this is a big statement match for the rest of the fall season, including and especially London. And after some spotty play thur far in Shanghai, albeit under a death threat alert, I think he’ll pick it up against Murray.

“I’m looking forward to the match,” said Federer. “It’s always great playing the best players. Those are the kind of matches you want to try to win because that can obviously then move the rankings by a little bit, even though it doesn’t matter so much if you stay within the Top 4. It’s going to be a tough match, [a] good one. From my side, I haven’t decided yet how I’m going to play.”

Murray does lead their series 9-8 but Federer has won three of the last four and five of their last seven on hardcourts. There are also reports Murray’s been battling a virus he picked up in Tokyo, so perhaps the Scot’s not at full strength and today he wasn’t as sharp as we’ve seen him in a three set win over Radek Stepanek.

Still, I think Murray could and perhaps should win this match. He’s the in-form player at the moment, he’s the two-time defending champion, he won his Slam/Gold so some of the pressure has to be off, and he picked apart Federer for the Olympic gold in their last meeting. But I like Roger here. Quick courts, the roof could be closed (big edge for Roger), there’s the No. 1 race and he’s out for revenge. Murray will have his day again, just not Saturday.
The pick: Federer in three.

For me, with just a month to go this time of year comes down to motivation and desire. After an already long season, who really needs and wants to win these matches? If the season ended today, Murray would be happy as a clam, I’m sure. Berdych too, perhaps. He’s had a good run. But Federer and Djokovic still have unfinished business with the No. 1 ranking still up for grabs. Neither player will want to let these points slip by.

Tennis Channel will have live coverage starting at 4:30am ET for you night owls in the U.S. They’ll probably replay the matches at a more decent hour Saturday afternoon.

SHANGHAI SATURDAY SCHEDULE

STADIUM Start 2:00 pm
Colin Fleming (GBR)/Ross Hutchins (GBR) v [7] Mahesh Bhupathi (IND)/ Rohan Bopanna (IND)

Not Before 4:30 PM
[4] Tomas Berdych (CZE) v [2] Novak Djokovic (SRB)

Not Before 8:00 PM
[1] Roger Federer (SUI) v [3] Andy Murray (GBR)


Also Check Out:
Nadal v Del Potro, Djokovic v Tsonga; Shanghai SF Picks And Pans
Roger Federer Confirms Shanghai Participation
Djokovic Edges Murray In Thriller At ATP Finals; Federer Meets Ferrer Thursday
Djokovic Battles Berdych, Murray Mania Resumes; Wimbledon QF Picks And Pans
Federer Returns In Shanghai Where The No. 1 Race Heats Up With Djokovic, Murray

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193 Comments for Federer Resumes Rivalry With Murray; Djokovic v. Berdych; Shanghai SF Picks And Pans

racquet Says:

Yay, Sean picked Fed.


Wog boy Says:

If Andy is going to play the way he is playing so far Roger is going to destroy him, regardless of not playing his best either.

With Nole and Berdych is different, they are both at their best, court is fast, suits both though more Berdych, Nole likes playing him, he can handle big hiters (Delpo USO), cool head and mental strenght will decide. Not calling this one.
Second set against Haas wasn’t easy to watch if you are Nole fan:)


steve-o Says:

Gaagh. I don’t give a crap about this “cold” business. Murray is always super-motivated to beat Federer, he would give his right arm for another win over Federer, ergo he will magically find the energy needed to play great tomorrow. I don’t know why anyone is the least bit worried about that.

If he were in a coma he would magically awaken, spring out of bed, and sprint to the courts, full of vim and vigor, just to joust with Federer.

Let’s also remember that Federer is six years older–I dunno why anyone thinks a 25-year-old will recover more slowly than a 31-year-old from the rigors of Masters play.

Murray’s never lost a match on this court. That’s huge in his favor.

Federer hasn’t consistently shown any kind of dominant form during this tournament so I have no idea how he will play tomorrow (and neither, apparently does he, by his own admission).

The court is so fast and the ball flies, so it’s easy for Federer to make mistakes and it’s hard for him to control the ball. To beat Murray he has got to be hitting his spots with absolute precision, so he can open the court, come forward, and finish the points.

Otherwise he’s just going to get passed and counterattacked all the time. The difference between victory and defeat is measured in millimeters.

As a Federer fan I think and hope he can win. However, to be perfectly frank, I have not seen much evidence during this tournament that suggests that he will produce the needed level of tennis tomorrow–although I hope to be surprised.


Brando Says:

Pick andy and novak to win. Fed seems somewhat rusty still at the moment. Could easily , though , end up being a federer- berdych. Could be 2 very tense affairs.


Daniel Says:

Murray can be the third player to have 10 wins over Roger, after Djokovic and Nadal! Will see, this number will be cross, but maybe can take a little longer.

Don’t think anybody else will pass this benchmark, the only one close is Nalbandian with 8 wins.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

When I was a kid, I first started watching with Lendl, Edberg, Becker and Mac. You’d have to wait months between the really great matches, between these players or Wilander. They weren’t that much better, consistently, than the field.
Now we have blockbuster matches every week. These semis in the masters and slams and WTF, are the norm- so we can expect a minimum of 40 or so epic matches a year.
That’s an embarrassment of riches.


Michael Says:

Somehow watching the matches at Shanghai, I get a feeling that we could not witness quality matches as most of the players were playing well below par. Even Roger, Murray were not in the best of form and the exception could be Novak. Players like Dolgopolov, Cilic, Tipsaveric, Verdasco etc. were playing such poor and erratic Tennis which made matches look lacklustre. I think the inform player at the moment is Berdych followed by Novak and in their semi-final bout, I ofcourse expect Novak to sail through only by a cliff hanger. On the other end, you have Roger Vs Murray. This could be 50:50 and with the roof likely to be closed and the courts in Shanghai playing a bit faster, Roger might be holding the edge but it would only be very minimal considering that he is playing sub-par Tennis. But the advantage for him is that Murray too is not in the best of form and so this could be a very close match and difficult to pick a winner. The picks of Sean makes sense but I only hope that the much heralded Sean jinx does not inflict the players.


Dave Says:

Berdych is due for a win over Djokovic. Berdych won the first set in their last three best-of-three-set matches that went beyond one set (since 2011 Dubai). Berdych played Davis Cup on clay after US Open so it’s possible he is beginning to spike in form after six hardcourt matches in Tokyo and Shanghai. Yes, Djokovic has been winning alot of matches, as he says. But as I said before, most of Djokovic’s victories came against mostly puffballs from easy draws in Beijing (No. 123 Michael Berrer, No. 50 Carlos Berlocq, No. 37 Jurgen Melzer, No. 29 Florian Mayer, No 7 Tsonga) and again in Shanghai (No. 60 Dimitrov, No. 37 Lopez, No. 21 Haas). Beijing had the weaker field than Tokyo. Berdych is his first real test in Shanghai, though Tomas is no Murray in quality.

It’s quite possible Federer will wake up and beat Murray in straight sets. Most Swiss newspapers see it as a revenge match for Roger over the Olympics. So far Federer hasn’t been at his best, but it’s more a matter of mental consistency than deep rust. It’s understandable. He wasted his time playing Davis Cup on clay after US Open (while his rivals Djokovic and Murray skipped Davis Cup this year) and surely has been emotionally sapped by the death threat situation since September 25 as well as many months of protracted negotiations with the grand slams over prize money for players (he’s not just negotiating with the four slams, ITF and ATP, but also with the different agendas and needs of individual players). The 300 week milestone didn’t make things easier. It’s probably easier for Federer to focus on a match against Murray than against his buddies Wawrinka and Cilic. Murray has had a three setter in Shanghai (Stepanek) and two in Tokyou (Wawrinka, Raonic). We’ll see.


Margot Says:

Come on Andole! Yay! :)


alison Says:

Dave i completely agree,i dont want to sound like im taking a pop at Novak,but i have to say its getting irritating to see how easy these draws have been,still i suppose you can only be expected to beat whomever is stood in front of you,and thats how good he is on this surface,however i dont complain if Rafa gets an easy draw on Clay,so i suppose its double standards,would still love to see Novak really tested,thought Thomas would do that but everything looks too easy for Novak so far,sorry Novak fans.


racquet Says:

Nole was coasting at 5-1 and then Berdy fought back, broke and even had a BP to get back on serve. But Nole toughed it out and took the 1st set 6-3. Think this will be straight sets – Berdy just too flighty.


Kimmi Says:

nole too good on this surface. he wins this tournament imo.

returning big bombs from berdych with interest.


alison Says:

Berdych suffers too much from brain cramp,straight sets win for Nole,looking forward to the next match,and hopefully more of a contest,this ones rather unenspiring IMO.


alison Says:

Kimmi completely agree,cant even see Nole loosing a set.


Kimmi Says:

second serve point won berdych 28%. not good


alison Says:

Roll on the next match.


Kimmi Says:

robin soderling wife just had a baby. congrats to soda pop. he is probably not coming back now.


alison Says:

Aww so sweet congrats Robin and Jenny,Kimmi girl or boy do we know?


alison Says:

Berdychs attitude is terrible sometimes,too much whining.


Kimmi Says:

I didn’t hear it alison. i don’t think robbie koenig gave the sex of a child..

40-0 three match points.

game set match.

congrats to nole. the guy to beat at the moment.


Kimmi Says:

nole signed some chinese characters. what did it mean?


jane Says:

Hi Kimmi, are you still in Calgary?

Excellent job Nole! Perhaps his most straightforward win over Berd in a couple years in that there was no 7-5 or 7-6 set and/or no set lost. Phew!

Clearly I am biased being Nole’s fan, but I find Melzer, Florian Mayer, Tsonga, Dimitrov, F-Lo, Haas and Berd to all be quality players. Not saying his draws were super tough or anything, but I wouldn’t call these players puffballs either. Nole’s pretty good on this surface after all :)

http://www.atpworldtour.com/Reliability-Zone/Reliability-Hard-Career-List.aspx

Anyhow, glad he is through in straight sets!!

Hoping Andy makes the finals too now. Fingers crossed.


alison Says:

Congrats Nole and fans,Jane,Wogboy,Mat4,Courbon,will he face Roger or Andy,although i get the feeling they will both be playing for the runner up trophy spot.


Wog boy Says:

Kimmi,

It is a girl:)


jane Says:

His name Kimmi.


Wog boy Says:

alison,

Thanks, Andy has to up his game in order to win and I hope he can do it:)


alison Says:

Jane its not Noles fault,you can only do your best to beat whomever is stood in front of you.


Kimmi Says:

wog boy – thanks for that.

jane – yes, still in calgary till end of december. But I am in toronto this weekend, just for a short break. no wonder i was able to watch these late night matches.


alison Says:

Wogboy Your welcome,enjoy the final,whatever the outcome.


Wog boy Says:

“Berdych is due for a win over Djokovic.”

Wishful thinking:)

I couldn’t resist:)


Kimmi Says:

jane – oh, his name in chinese! cool! with the travelling, they get to learn so many languages. I think nole is good at learning them too. good for him.


jane Says:

I hope you are enjoying your “down” time in TO Kimmi and that Calgary isn’t too cold… yet. :) Not sure if you got that my previous post at 6:12 was to you. But I am assuming Nole wrote his name as he’s been trying to write it in Chinese, and he attempted it at Bejing. He said it’s too long to fit on the camera lens though or somethign like that.


jane Says:

Yesterday Muzz wrote happy birthday to Kim, his girl, on the lens. These guys are getting creative.

Anyhow, it’s after 3 am, and need to catch some zzzz’s maybe i’ll be able to catch some of the next match, which I don’t think is on for a while.


Wog boy Says:

It is really hard to like Berdych and he doesn’t make it any easier. Apart of being wrong complaining, umpire was more than right in all decisions, he was receiving coaching throughout the second set all the time. It was so obvious.


Giles Says:

C’mon Andy!!!!!


Kimmi Says:

jane – I got that post was for me. missed muzza chinese “happy birthday”. good for him too.


jane Says:

Kimmi, Andy wrote in English, but thought it was creative as not just a signature. :) Too tired… maybe will try to watch next match but off to sleep now. Enjoy!


courbon Says:

@Allison, Wog Boy, Jane
Hi guys, I’m back.I was reading your post over last couple of months but I baned myself from writting, because there was so many idiots at one point (on this blog ), that I had to keep it cool and not swear…It looks like everything is back to normal,so let me realise the pressure:Novak is playing great!!!!!And because I lived 20 years in London (until this August) let me take this ocassion to show my happines over Andys success.I know, its bit paradoxal that I’m happy for Noles probably main rival for the future, but I’m glad for him…And Allison, thank you for all messages directed at Noles fans (including me ) over last couple of months.Wog Boy, get of Sliwowitz, you will loose your head…Jane, hi-every time I feel cold here in south west France,(12c at the moment ) I remember you living in Canada and I stop moaning…Talk to you all later.Regards,


Wog boy Says:

jane,

I will watch it for you, Asian leg is paradise for us in Aussieland. Shanghai and Sydney (East Coast) are in the same time zone:)


Margot Says:

Well played Nole :)
Andy’s turn next….eek. Think it’ll be Fed but I travel hopefully.


jane Says:

Thanks Wog Boy and cheers courbon – all the best. Now I am going to sleep zzzzzzzzzzz…….


steve-o Says:

@alison: or maybe Djokovic is just that good.

As jane said, the lowest-ranked player he lost to this year was Isner (#11) so he is a tough man to beat esp. on hard courts.


steve-o Says:

And come on Roger!!!!


Wog boy Says:

Courbon,

No way, Šljivovica is a God’s gift to human race:)

As the matter of fact I already had few, and I am about to eat , Shepherd’s pie, (Anglo-saxon meal, I love it), my wife was good enough to make few of them (I am back in the books) since I am staying to watch Andy/Roger and the rest of family are off to bed. Pie will come handy with Carlsberg and Andy’s win, God willing.
Živeli brate:)


Wog boy Says:

“I am back in the GOOD books” should say.


alison Says:

Courbon nice to see you posting again,and congrats to your fav on reaching another final,believe me i too came really close to calling it a day,as the comments were becoming downright spitefull,and unintentionally i also upset Steve O although i didnt mean to,but thanks to two lovely guys called Wogboy and Harry i had a change of heart,and like you say things seem to have calmed down for now,nice to be back to talking tennis again,rather than trading insults,i know how busy you are,but please try not to stay away too long,this forum needs fair minded posters like yourself.


alison Says:

Steve O yes of course hes that good,i never said that he wasnt,hes an amazing player whos worked hard for his success,nothing wrong with been tested though,is all that im saying,sorry.


alison Says:

For all Fed fans out there,thers a programme on sky sports 2 at 3.00pm BST,called sporting greats,a documentary about Roger Federer.


courbon Says:

@Aison;Thank you for a kind words as always…I will be posting again.You support Nadal, don’t you?(probably stupid questions-what girl does not support Nadal?)
@Wog Boy-I know, its great stuff but for some reason I never got use to it…I became real Frenchi and I pretty much only drink wine.And I keep reading that red wine is good for you so I keep drinking…Shepperds Pie?Its good!!I know that general opinion is that English food is c..p, but actually there is some great dishes and great cheeses from England (Devon,Somerset)
Ziveli and enjoy the match


alison Says:

Courbon your welcome, Rafas my fav,although not for that reason lol honestly,and to be honest theres far better looking players out there that i cant stand,Murrays my second fav,my late mother was half scottish aswell.


Wog boy Says:

curbon,

Before you go, do you know that Jamie Oliver sent his team to Belgrade and declared “Dva Jelena” in Skadarlija as the best restaurant in Belgrade. You can google it:)


alison Says:

Courbon Noles pretty cute too.


Colin Says:

Michael, regarding your comments on Nole vs Berdych, how does someone “sail through” via a “cliff hanger”? Isn’t that a contradiction in terms?


Dave Says:

Hi Alison. You’re right that Djokovic is excellent on hardcourts, though he is not as great as Rafa is on clay (which is unparalleled in the open era).

Before Shanghai started, Federer’s match winning percentage on hardcourts within 2012 (91.1%, 31-3, 4 titles) is marginally better than Djokovic’s (90.9%, 40-4, 4 titles). Over the past 52-weeks, Federer’s 93.9% (46-3, 7 titles) is better than Djokovic’s 86.8% (46-8, 4 titles)
http://www.atpworldtour.com/Reliability-Zone/Reliability-Hard-Current-List.aspx

Yes, a player can only beat whoever is infront of him. But it would be nice to see Djokovic get a tougher draw and tested by someone other than Michael Berrer. Berdych was a disappointment, giving Djokovic too much of a lead, not seizing his chances and whining about things out of his hands. There was no pop and weight to his shots for most of the first set. Nothing like how Berdych played Fed at the US Open. Wawrinka, who took a set off both Federer and Murray recently, might have given Djokovic a tougher fight.

Well, I hope Federer shows up against Murray. Might as well have three Federer-Djokovic finals (Shanghai, Paris, WTF) to decide the year-end No.1.

Hope you enjoy your day with a big smile :)


Wog boy Says:

Here we go…. Here we go….


racquet Says:

Wow, great start by Andy as he breaks. Nice aggression early on.


gannu Says:

come on feddy bear…pls dont be sloppy…wow what a play by my gOD to save the break point


gannu Says:

this match is already turning fiercely competitive


racquet Says:

Fiercely competitive is preferable.


gannu Says:

wat the horrendous fcuk is that… have never seen feddy bear serve that badly!!!!


Wog boy Says:

Three double faults by Federer in a single game…wow!


racquet Says:

Andy’s returning has been phenomenal so far. Maybe that led Roger to go for too much on his serves? Uncharacteristic of him to have so many DFs.


Dory Says:

Did Roger Federer do three double faults in a row or I am seeing things?


the DA Says:

I’ve never seen Fed DF 3 times in a row.


Daniel Says:

No signa of Murray’s flu, playing great.

Fed too many DF, problems on serve.


racquet Says:

Now can Andy serve out the 1st set?


Daniel Says:

Murray is serving great: 2 aces this game alone closing the set.


racquet Says:

Yes, Andy 2.0 can. First set 6-4.


Dory Says:

But was it really 3 double faults in a row? Or I missed a point maybe? That’s just terrible!


racquet Says:

I don’t think I’ve seen Andy return this well…and aggressively.


Margot Says:

Gobsmacked is the word so far.
Andy’s ROS is Nole like today. Putting presure on Fed’s serve, it seems.
Come on Andy!


racquet Says:

How many Bps can you blow? Titanic 1st game.


the DA Says:

Huh? What’s Fed saying about the court?


racquet Says:

Is it raining?


racquet Says:

Hmm..closing the roof. Could be a momentum changer.


gannu Says:

i am tired of seeing my feddy baby losing…come on feddy bear pls win some big matches


racquet Says:

What a point!


Sienna Says:

Roger needs a bit of luck to close the roof!!!

CMON FED! get that serve going.

but if he is a real smart coocky he will let Murray have a go at Djoker.

Murray winning the tounrey that means Djokovic will only win 240 points instead of 400….

what a point


Margot Says:

Oh bum the roof!


Wog boy Says:

Margot,
They are not going to close roof!

It looks that Federer manage to disrupt Andy’s game by refusing to play after few drops of rain, pathetic.


the DA Says:

I’m going to stay tight lipped about that little forced pause. hope Murray let’s it slide and keeps his focus. Fed can’t buy a 1st serve in this set so it’s Andy’s to lose, imo.


racquet Says:

With all that tension it’s better to leave the roof open ;)


Wog boy Says:

I will not stay tight lipped, it was example of bad (week) umpiring. Federer was desperate to stop the game and he did it.


racquet Says:

Wow! Great return on the line to get the break.


Maso Says:

Murray’s killing Federer’s 2nd serves. He’s got the break in the 2nd set now, I have a hard time imagining Federer coming back now. Who knows, this is tennis. But Murray’s playing much better than Rog right now. Looks like the #1 ranking is slipping away =(


Daniel Says:

40-0 and Murray retirning superb won 5 straight points. Not Fed’s day. Hope Murray beats Djoko for the #1 race to still have some pop.


racquet Says:

heh…Andy could’ve had a BP there if he hadn’t challenged.


alison Says:

Dave Djokovic is excellent on Hardcourts,though he is not as great as Rafa on clay,(which is unparalled in the open era)Thankyou for that Dave you have just made my day lol,im enjoying my day with an even bigger smile now,hope your enjoying your day too.


racquet Says:

Fed holds and asks the question. Can Andy answer?


the DA Says:

Oh no. Can you believe it. @&% rain.


the DA Says:

It’s very ‘quiet’ on this blog today.


alison Says:

Wogboy dont even go there,your on a hiding to nothing,prepare yourself for the fallout lol.


racquet Says:

This couldn’t have happened at a worse time. Andy just needs to remember how he served out those two huge finals this summer.


Wog boy Says:

alison,

I am ducking for cover;)


alison Says:

Wogboy i would aswell if i were you lol sorry.


Brando Says:

@dave: thanks for the rafa on clay> nole on hardcourt comment. Nice to see you praise rafa. Good luck to you guy for the YE no.1 . He’s still got Basel, Paris and WTF- quite alot of tennis left, IMO.


Margot Says:

Hmm. Very unfortunate time to stop the set.
Wouldn’t have happened at Wimbles.
All Fed’s fans must’ve done a rain dance.


Brando Says:

Bad timing here for andy- but he’s matured so much this summer that I think he’ll handle the situation on hand


Margot Says:

Lol Wog boy @ 10.01
Living dangerously my friend :)


alison Says:

Margot carefull lol.


Wog boy Says:

alison,

No need to be sorry, I am used to it (ducking for cover), that is part of my life;)


alison Says:

Wogboy lol.


Margot Says:

Just 4 first serves Andy. Just…;)


Skeezer Says:

Murray playing well and should win. Fed serving like poop and should lose.
Fed did not look his sharpest at this tourney, and it is taking its toll against a rising star player is now legitimately in the big 4.

Margot no rain dance, why? He’s rained enough on everyones parade, no? You’re tiredness will soon be over, hang in there. The man is 31.

Congrats to Nole, a superb effort against a high quality player.


racquet Says:

They’re back. Warm-up.


Wog boy Says:

It is 1:15 am in Shanghai, Nole is probably already in the bed, and Andy and Roger are yet to finish their match.


racquet Says:

I think it’s only 10:20pm. They started at 8:00pm


Tennis Fan Says:

They’re running this match like a bunch of amateurs … why are they playing at this hour of the night … to give the Djok a chance of winning this thing. He already has a ridiculously easy draw. Fed has to get through everyone to win.

GO FED!


Skeezer Says:

Congrats to Murray and his Fans, great win!


Sean Randall Says:

That wasn’t even close. Murray dominates setting up a sweet US Open rematch.


Wog boy Says:

racquet,

You are wrong, check the Shanghai time:)


racquet Says:

And Andy takes it 6-4 6-4. Well done Andy. The thing that stood out to me was Andy’s RoS – blisteringly good and more consistently aggressive than I’ve seen. Third straight year into the final and improved his H2H with Fed to 10-8.


racquet Says:

@wog boy

It’s 10:30pm You can see from their website yourself:

http://en.shanghairolexmasters.com/index.aspx


alison Says:

Unusual from Federer people waiting to have autographs siged he walked past them all, have never seen him do that,not like him,eeek now ill be the one ducking for cover.


Colin Says:

Tennis Fan, something else that strikes me is how late some of the calls are.


Wog boy Says:

Congrats to Andy’s fans, you can relax now….have a drink….or valium:)


Skeezer Says:

True Sean, and the stats told the tale. Murray was dominate on his service games, a common thorn in his side in the “before” Lendl days. His return ws great, but Feds service game wasn’t nearly up to par. Great perfomance by Andy.


Margot Says:

Oh Andy, Andy Andy! How could I have doubted you? A very routine win in the end.
racquet, spot on. Andy ROS was quite superb today.


Wog boy Says:

raquet,

You are right, I mixed it up, it is 1:30am here where I am, sorry.


alison Says:

Congrats Murray and fans Margot,Raquet,Colin,Brando (as i know hes your second fav after Rafa),sorry Fed fans Skeezer,Dave,Madmax,Swiss Maestro,Ajet unusual to see someone out foxing Roger,go Andy now go get that title.


Margot Says:

Cheers skeeze, a bit early in the day for a drink…oh well, if you’re twisting my arm…;)


racquet Says:

Commiserations to Fed fans. Roger was below his best today but at least he got what he came for: 300 weeks!


john Says:

MAN that sucks.
roger was well below the mark as far as his serve is concerned.
murray played a great match ,hope he will beat novak tomorrow as i don’t want novak to regain the world no 1 ranking anytime soon.
I love seeing roger federer and no 1 in the same line.
hope he will continue his great performance in basel,paris masters and wtf.


Skeezer Says:

To add the lines judges needed better glasses, some calls were horrendous in this tourney. Hawkeye saw a ball 4 inches out when a lines persen called it in. Thank goodness the player challenged.

@alison

When Fed walked off he did stop, clap and wave to the crowd in appreciation. Players at times do not sign, but most of the time do. Just showed he wasn’t a happy camper today. No harm no foul.

Who is picking tomorrows winner?

Wog boy: “uh, I got to go with Nole.”
margot: “Andy, Andy! Andy!”
Sean: “Fed…..wait….who’s playing?”


racquet Says:

@margot – the ROS was especially gratifying. I’m starting to – dare I say it – feel calmer during his matches. Somehow you feel a corner has been turned. But then again, he’ll throw in a Stepanek match just to jangle my nerves and make sure I don’t get TOO comfortable. hehe


alison Says:

Skeezer sorry my apologies no offence was meant,as you know im not like that.


Wog boy Says:

Well, at this moment Nole is 1750 points ahead of Roger (regardles of tomorrow’s result) , in the Race to London. Whether you like it or not he is getting there…..#1:) and don’t forget he played less number of tournaments than Roger !


racquet Says:

‘Who is picking tomorrows winner”

Well after seeing him today vs Berdy my head says Nole. But…if Andy serves really well, it’s 50-50.


Wog boy Says:

10:47am was for john.

Skeezer,

You might lean more towards Andy, his win might keep your man little bit longer at #1, though I think he already has full bag of records… He can leave some to others:)


Margot Says:

racquet @ 10.44. That’s me exactly too :) But in the clutch moment in the second set, gotta say Andy was a lot calmer than me…;)
Think it’ll be close tomorrow, hope it’s a gr8 match.
Come on Andole :)


racquet Says:

As long as Sean picks Nole, I’m good. :)


Alok Says:

Too bad but today was not Fed’s day.

Fed was shaky this entire tournament and it showed yesterday in the Cilic match. His ROS and footwork were poor, and his FH was pitiful. Just not in the stars for Fed to win this title. I’ve never seen him DF 3 times in a row. That’s another record for him. ;) Hope someone breaks it and makes it 4 DFs in one game. Prossibly Coria did that previously?

@skeezer, Yep, Fed’s rained on everyone else’s parade. As you said, the man’s 31. Let’s see how many will be playing at 31 and still be No. 1.


Wog boy Says:

One question for resonable Fedfans, by looking at Federer’s game and body language today, do you really believe he can play Basel, Paris and YEC even if #1 is still at stake?
I don’t think he can do it.


Brando Says:

Well done andy- lovely performance. Nice performance by Fed also on his return tourny- a bit ring rusty, but he’ll be fine sooner rather than later.


Brando Says:

Re Muzza v Nole:

THIS STAT on BBC said it all for me (by a user):

“ATP statistics show Murray is the best returner of the last 20 years”

WOW, clearly Muzza has a deadly ROS- and today proved it!

Add in the fact that he won 87% 1st SERVE POINTS- then quite literally, you have an extremely tough player to beat!

Nole’s playing extremely well, BUT andy has shown that IF there is a player out there who can beat a on song Nole- then recently, without a doubt, it’s HIM.

SHOULD (and i hope so) Andy’s serve clicks like it did today and the ROS are as sharp as ever- considering his track record at this masters and his ability to deal with nole’s game well- then the man from Dunblane could certainly get a deserved win.

Fed certainly wants him to win for sure- ALOT riding on the final now…………


racquet Says:

haha…just saw this tweet from the Shanghai Rolex Masters:

Chinese journalist 2 Andy Murray: I would like 2 ask u question in Chinese. “Thats Ok” said Andy straightfaced, “but I won’t understand it.”

Love the dry humor.


Alok Says:

@Wog Boy, 11:08am, I think he will play Basel, Paris and WTF, because he’ll be more match ready then.

He was rusty this week and it showed, but he still managed to fight off two very tough opponents in Stan and Cilic. Let’s not forget Murray had a W/O, while Fed had to play all of his matches late at night. Fed does not like night matches as it throws off his schedule. I’ve read an article which stated he likes to be in bed by 11:00 pm.


Tennislover Says:

A very good win for Murray. He is looking more authoritative on the court. It is almost as if he has much more confidence in his abilities than he ever had. The best hard court players – in their absolute prime – have reached the final yet again. I hope Murray is fit and healthy for the final so that we can have a more competitive match. Djoko is obviously the favorite but Murray has a chance if he can serve consistently well. Despite some brilliant points especially in the Murray match, the semi-finals were rather disappointing. Rooting for Murray all the way.

On another note, I am surprised Sean has not yet been thanked for his jinx. :)


jane Says:

Yay for Andy, nice win!! :) I didn’t see it but it sounds like his returning was great by reading the comments here.

Wog Boy, thanks for those numbers. A 1750 point lead in the race is awesome! And Nole has very little to defend at Paris, 180 points. I am glad he’s resting and not playing Basel (he’ll lose 180 points there), as he saves energy for the last 2 big events.


Wog boy Says:

Alok,

All we can do is wait and see, but IMO I don’t see it happening. It is not only physically but also motivation, somebody was talking about that on the other thread.

BTW, I remember at one AO Jim Courier was saying that every night Roger is watching his next (possible) oponent on TV in his hotel room until late.


Wog boy Says:

jane,

No probs, now it is my turn to go to bed (2:30am) I kept my word and watched the match for you too:)
Good night…Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


Sienna Says:

tennis is unrelentless At the end of the day you cannot hide the fact that you are playing a little less then opponent. It is no soccer where the lesser team can easiley beat or draw against the better side.

But Shanghai should take the rust out of Fed and he will be better prepaired for Murray at the indoor events.

When Murray beats Djoker then all is not lost and maybe for the better because now Djokovic runs 240 points more clear of Fed instead of 400 if he would have lost the final.


dari Says:

It was an odd matxh, but Andy came up with the goods, especially on the return, my goodness!
Well done to him, hope he can get three in a row here!
I am very curious if rafa and Andy will kind of trade roles once rafa comes back?

Wog boy, i do not know if I am reasonable, but fed has had plenty of rest lately, I think he is just gonna play on. Skipping Basel or WTF are not really options, and I doubt he will want to skip Paris and arrive cold at the O2.


Alok Says:

@WB, I suppose if the opponent plays a late night match, or Fed plays late then that’s a possible reason he’ll be up late reviewing.

Yes, we’ll have to wait and see if Fed plays those tourneys. He is motivated to get the YE No. 1 ranking that’s for sure. However, he did say if he was going for it he would have played the Asian swing. Who knows what thoughts lurk in another’s mind? I for sure don’t. ;)


jane Says:

As someone said earlier, I guess that also makes Andy the 3rd player to have double digit wins over Fed now: Rafa, Nole and Andy. Not many have been able to do it, but these 4 meet so often that you just never know what’s going to happen.
Nole Rafa 33 times
Nole Muzz 15 times (about to be 16)
Nole Fed 28 times
Rafa Fed 28 times
Muzz Fed 18 times
Muzz Rafa 18 times
That’s 140 matches between members of the fab four. The only one who has a lead in all of his H2Hs in these meet ups is Rafa.


dari Says:

IS fed still ahead with nole? I know it is pretty close.
Well, no more points for me on the shanghai bracket. :(
Novak still in the better form, but Andy did a lot of things well today, not just on the return, but with that second serve, too.
Fed losses still a little bummer (especially when he swrved so poorly!), but Andy doing well takes off the sting. Now just one more win!


Brando Says:

‘The only one who has a lead in all of his H2Hs in these meet ups is Rafa.’

THAT’S MY BOY!

LOL!

To be very honest, as Jane mentioned, the fact that they meet so often, naturally they will / have 10 + wins against the others in the fab 4.

BUT, in a sense, I kind of feel that it is unfortunate for fed that is quite a fair amount older than the others- since those guys are in the peak now, fed is 31- so quite naturally fed will lose more than he would have, say if he was at the same age as them.

Rafa’s 26, nole and muzza 25- so their on a level playing field as far as age goes.

Fed is 5 years younger than rafa, and 6 years younger than nole or muzza- quite a significant thing IMHO!

Had fed been say 25 like nole and muzza- do we honestly see him getting beat in straight sets, comprehensively in a grass court final?

I DOUBT ANYONE DOES!

So, strictly IMHO, fed is in a disadvantageous position here, and IF he ends up with a losing h2h against all 3- we should RECOGNIZE the fact that his age had quite alot to do with it!


jane Says:

dari, in the rolling rankings, yes, as Fed still has his points from Basel, Paris and WTF last year. But in the year-to-date race to London, Wog Boy says Nole has a 1750 point lead over Fed after today’s match, win or lose tomorrow.


dari Says:

Oh, I meant head to head, Jane, and I looked it up! 16-12 I think. Can’t imagine these head ro heads will be in favor of fed as he continues playing- except that it woukd be absolutely hilarious if somehow fed evened things with rafa somehow!
I have no concern for year end no. 1- don’t think its eealistic for roger.
Anyway, hoping for a great match between Andy and jole tomorrow!


jane Says:

Nice tidbit I just read on Nole – he has now reached the finals of all the Majors and Masters, only the second active player, besides Fed, to do so.


jane Says:

dari, yeah I wasn’t sure which you meant, H2H or number 1.

In the H2Hs Fed leads Nole but is behind Rafa and Murray; Murray leads Fed but is behind Nole and Rafa; Nole leads Murray but is behind Fed and Rafa (he’s played them more than any other combination too at 61 times, no other player combos have met as much); and as mentioned Rafa leads all.

The most lopsided H2Hs of these fab four match ups are Fedal at 10-18 and Muzz v Rafa at 5-13, with 8 wins between in each case.


Giles Says:

At the end of the year isn’t it the rolling rankings that count?


Brando Says:

IMHO though, going forward, IF the fab four were to asked their preference of who they would like to face i think it would go like this:

1- Fed: Nole, Muzza, Rafa.
2- Nole: Rafa, Fed, Muzza.
3- Muzza: Fed, Nole, Rafa.
4- Rafa: Fed, Muzza, Nole.

I think that is a pretty accurate take on things- certainly as a rafa fan, I am sure that’s how my guy would list his preference.

The other 3, i think i am right on- cannot see it being far off from what it would be.


jane Says:

Yes Giles, but at the end of the year the race and rolling rankings are the same because there is nothing to roll anymore. ;) I mean all of last year’s points for the remaining events will have dropped off and been replaced by whoever won the points this year. Hopefully that makes sense. :)


Jannet Says:

@Brando I agree with your order of preference except the one from novak. I think he much rather faces murray who he still has a slight winning record against then then federer, who he has a losing redcord against.


jane Says:

Brando @ 12:30, seems reasonable to me.


Brando Says:

@Jannet:

I’m not too sure on that one Jannet. For the following reasons:

1- Andy is the same age as nole- 25- therefore physically and in terms of their career stages, IMHO, their virtually at the same point.

2- Andy’s game, at least to me, seems to matchup pretty well with nole’s. Andy can play the long rallies with nole, he can counteract nole’s strength- ROS- with a brilliant ROS of his own, and on top of it all: he can give nole different looks, pace on shots etc- something nole hates really, as he likes things to be free flowing at a set pace.

3- Since 2011 (start of nole’s peak) I think andy has troubled nole, at least IMHO, more than any other player really- certainly this year he’s done very well against nole.

Regardless of this- STILL federer is a tough opponent for nole, as he is for others including rafa.

ANY top 4 opponent is a difficult one really.


tennis coach Says:

For some on this website who think that Nole had a weak opponents and trying to find any excuse to put his game down, here is a comment by Hannah Wilks from tennis.com:

“Djokovic played some beautiful tennis at a time of year when most matches between top players are a weary stumble to the finish line. The first six games were, in fact, some of his finest tennis; Berdych wasn’t playing poorly by any measure, but could do nothing in the face of impeccable returning from Djokovic. Ghosting in behind a strong series of backhands for a winning volley”

Enough said!!!


Brando Says:

@Jane:

Thanks. What do you feel, as a nole fan, regarding Jannet’s take: nole possibly preferring muzza over fed going forward?

I can see why Jannet would think nole would prefer andy, but personally i think he’d prefer fed. Do you feel the same?


Giles Says:

Jane. Thanks.


Brando Says:

@Tennis Coach:

I don’ think anyone GENUINELY feels nole has easy draws or opponents. The opponent’s are very good players, no doubt about it.

It’s just nole is, I imagine in most tennis enthusiast’s viewpoint also, WAY AHEAD of the competition on hard courts- with ONLY a few players who can challenge him on this surface.

His draws are not easy- it’s just he makes them look EASY. Hence, why some people may get the impression that he get’s easy draws/ opponents.

It’s similar in a way to rafa on clay or fed on grass: the opponent’s individually are recognized as quality players, BUT when they are across the net of a master on his fav surface- then all of a sudden they are regarded as easy opponents.


jane Says:

I don’t know Brando, to be honest. I feel like Nole would know what to expect versus Fed, insofar as they have played so many times: since the open era, I believe no two players have met in slams as much as Fed and Nole, so they know what to expect from each other. Meanwhile, I feel like Nole and Murray are both still evolving as players, and their rivalry is the newest of all, as they met the least amount of times. So I feel like I have to wait and see.

I am truly interested to see if Andy can turn around his rivalry with Rafa; it seems to me like he’s been close, but it might be mental? Not sure. That’s another rivalry that I am interested to watch in the next couple of years.


Brando Says:

@Jane:

Very true- re nole v fed, and both being so familar with one another’s game. They pretty much both know what to expect going in.

Re rafa v muzza: yes, it would be interesting to see what happens in their matches going forward. The mental aspect you touched on there, i think is to do with the aspect that maybe andy respects rafa a bit too much. He’s stated a lot of time now how rafa is his fav player, the impact rafa has had on his game etc- that maybe it hold’s him back a bit mentally?

It could be. Also another point Andy has mentioned is the POWER rafa has in his shots ( I imagine moreso than maybe fed or nole). I think also troubles Andy a bit.

BUT who knows going forward- except maybe on clay, as a rafa fan, I see matches against andy being very close affair going forward. Certainly matches to look forward to.

Andy’s a different proposition now for all players I imagine, post USO win.


Sienna Says:

The rafanatics are rightfully reliving memorys of there once hero/
It is sd that his career had to end this way. You saw the up in Murrays level today and shades of Novak of 2011.

Rafa has nothing on them I am affraid. Fed also looked bewildered and out of shape. Probably he was because he needs match fitness to raise his game in order to defeath Murray Djoker. He can do that but Rafa is impossible to ever cling this level on HC or grass again. He must hope that he still got what it takes on clay but Murray will be a threat next year for him to,

Rafa is over. He is still not training en he should have according to earlier comments of the Nadal team. But he knows that it is not possible for him to become #1 or a contender for titles with these guys around. Emotionely he has been put to rest.
Rafa stopped playing because he lost to many matches… I think he will not make a come back because he will losse even more.

Goodbuy Rafa warrior of clay.


skeezer Says:

Brando,

At this point Fed would rather play Rafa first. He whooped him last time and Rafa’s health is questionable.


Brando Says:

@Skeezer:

As a rafa fan- I would welcome that match on rafa’s comeback trail, lol.

I fancy rafa’s chances in that one- and i’ll leave at that!


Sienna Says:

I wish moderating was a bit faster then you already could get a view where my stand is on Rafa getting back to buss. It ained gonna happen and when he does The top 3 guys are having him for breackfast, lunch and dinner date with all the tapas you can eat.


alison Says:

Id just like to say sorry if people thought i was taking an unecassary pop at Nole,about the draws or his opponents, he is that good on this surface so its not his fault,and he can only beat whomever is stood in front of him pure and simple,all i was wanted was to see him in a competitive competitive match,but the way i came accross came out all wrong,anyway good luck to Nole and all his fans in the final,but Andy is my second favorite player so go Andy.


Giles Says:

Sienna. How about you? Would you like to have Rafa for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well?? I bet you would! #WishfulThinking


steve-o Says:

Congrats, alison, looks like your man will win it. He has a chance to win three in a row at one Masters tournament, which very few players have done.

I wasn’t upset by your posts, I just wanted to clarify my position re: Federer/Nadal, which required a lot of explanation.

*****

Miracle of miracles–Murray was healthy as a horse today! Seems like all the Murray experts who were indignantly lecturing me yesterday over the alleged severity of his sniffles and coughs were dead wrong yet again.

Oh no, he would never malinger! Oh no, he really REALLY must be feeling bad! Whatevs. Wankery. TTTH.

I knew he wasn’t sick. He’s never too sick to play Federer. The guy would resurrect from beyond the grave just so he could have one more crack at Federer.

Federer did a fair amount to beat himself. I don’t care how well the other guy is returning: 3 consecutive double faults is sheer sloppiness. He served like shit and Murray said as much (in so many words). I guess he was simply being honest when he said he hadn’t decided how to play–and evidently, he never did reach a decision, even up to the end of the match.

Well, he should be fine for the rest of the season. Now he’s got some matches, at least. Time to focus on Basel.


alison Says:

Steve O we will see,i dont know,the winner will win the looser will loose its as cut and dried as that,if your fit play if not dont,pure and simple,to be honest i get sick of arguing,so i will nod my head and agree with everything.


jane Says:

alison, no worries here. Enjoy the final.

I like this picture; Andy and Nole practiced at the beginning of the event: http://www.espn.co.uk/tennis/sport/story/174663.html


alison Says:

Steve O dont worry you well and truely put me in my place a couple of days ago,im sorry if i offended you,and im sorry i offended your favorite,and im sorry i got my wires crossed about the way that their careers developed,your a very clever and knowledgeable man,much more cleverer and knoweledgeable than i am,and im afraid im just some airhead Nadalite whose primary interest in players is for their looks or bodies so what do i know eh?however i get enough aggrivation in the real world without getting it on an internet forum so id rather not get into any more personal squables,so ill just leave it at that,sorry again.


alison Says:

Thanks Jane lovely photo,hope you enjoy the final too,whatever the outcome,i know you will,been as your a fan of both anyway lol,but Andys my second favorite player so go Andy.


jane Says:

alison, thanks. :) Well I always pull for Nole as he’s my top favourite, but I’ll never be too downhearted when he loses to Andy, as, like with you, he’s my second fave and has been for a long time too.


alison Says:

Jane my late mother was half scottish,so im also half scottish,probably why i have a soft spot for Murray,however i have no one in my family whos even remotely spanish that i know of,so i dont know why im so drawn to Rafa,still you dont know what skeletons you have hidden away in your closet i suppose lol.


jane Says:

alison, my husband’s maternal line are all Scots, on both sides (grandmother and father) and we’ve visited that lovely country too, so yeah I think I like that about Andy, although I like his variety on the court too!

On the other hand, I have no Serbian relations whatever, just like you with Spanish, so there is no pull for me in that regard. I just really “fell for” Nole when I watched him playing during IW/Miami in 2007, and that was it; I was hooked. I remember when he won his first masters at Miami, how he was taking off his shoes and shirt and everything, throwing them in the stands. I just thought, “who is this exuberant character with the smashing baseline game?” Funny how that works. It’s like love in some ways – no explaining it. :)


alison Says:

Jane wow you have scottish roots too,or rather your hubby does who knew lol?I cant explain what turned me onto Rafa 1st time i saw him i thought he looked like a bit of a rebel,the sleeveless shirts,pirate shirts,long hair,bandana,passionate and fiesty attitude,and like you was hooked,and like you cant explain why just happens eh.


alison Says:

^Pirate shorts not shirts duh^.


alison Says:

Jane have to say,Ive not been to Scotland but ive heard the scenery is breathtaking,however my late mother had a pen friend whom we visited the year Price Charles and Pricess Diana were married in British Columbia Canada,its a stunning country which i would love to visit again one day.


alison Says:

^DUH Princess and Prince,not Price and Pricess^.


Steve 27 Says:

Great sportsmanship by Federer! Classy!


Steve 27 Says:

He should lost against Wawrinka but everyknow is his buddy, today the result of the match does not say clearly the vast superiority of the Scots. the best possible final between the top two in the last three months.


My Cat Jeffrey Says:

steve-0

I saw Murray cough a few times today. I didn’t get the impression he was making it up. I think Murray gets ratty at least partly because he can see more than most other players. He is a very clever strategic player on court – quite different to the instinctive genius Federer – and he gets hugely frustrated when things don’t map out as planned. And then you never know what personal issues he has (with his game I mean). For instance, possibly he has been working on his fh and has high expectations of it – and then he hits a few not especially difficult forehands into the net. Result – rage.

Federer’s serve was certainly off today, but I don’t think you can blame that sudden spat of doublefaults entirely on his own sloppiness. Murray was absolutely lethal on Federer’s 2nd serve, and you have to imagine Federer was pretty unnerved. Very unaccustomed treatment. The pressure to put a bit more on the 2nd serve is likely to have occasioned at least one of the df’s. On another occasion, a worried Federer put in a 1st serve at three quarters pace, and Murray belted it for a winner. That too can’t have done too much for his confidence.


steve-o Says:

@alison: when people say things like “they’re all the same” and “Federer has natural talent so he doesn’t have to practice very hard,” I feel obligated to respond strongly, because they’re wrong and grossly distorted, but they have a lot of currency, and people constantly repeat them without even being conscious of what it is they’re saying.

My posts were not about being clever, nor was I seeking to “put anyone in their place.” It’s a matter of giving people their due and being fair.

There is so much bullshit and misunderstanding surrounding Federer, because people are threatened by greatness and because he makes what he does seem effortless and magical.

Federer is the rare man who can’t be bought. He’s not in it for fame or fortune or other such extraneous distractions. He’s not in it to compensate for some deficiency in his psyche. He plays solely for the pursuit of excellence in the game he loves.

People often feel threatened by someone like that, because deep down in their secret hearts they know they ARE partly in it for fame or fortune and those other mercenary reasons, that their commitment is not as great, and when someone comes along whose heart is pure, they feel a little ashamed of themselves.

There is a target on Federer’s back–not just because he’s a top tennis player but because just by being who he is, he forces people to acknowledge things they would rather not think about.

So there is often this complicated and ambivalent response to him–people love him for his gallant nature and graceful play but also he reminds them of certain aspects of themselves they’d rather not deal with.

And he draws a lot of acrimony from those people who are, for one reason or another, not too happy with themselves and who react badly when faced with that fact.

It’s easy to be dazzled by the sheer magnitude of what he’s accomplished, much harder to really appreciate him for who and what he is.

I neither seek nor want your apologies, because you didn’t offend me. But I would like it if you did not repeat those mindless things that are too often said.

That’s a much sterner expectation, I know. And one I’m almost certain to be disappointed in. Because people will continue to, in all innocence, mouth the same kinds of thoughtless things no matter what explanations I might give.

Thoughtlessness is much harder to battle against than malice. Because it is innocent and people are puzzled when their thoughtlessness is pointed out, and from their point of view they often have every right to be puzzled.

From their point of view there is no problem–and for me that’s precisely the problem, that they don’t see any problem.

We usually don’t worry too much about thoughtlessness because we’re often taught to be forgiving of others’ frailties. And sure, if you forget your keys or something, that’s OK, it’s not worth yelling about. Occasional thoughtlessness is a part of life.

But systematic thoughtlessness, to the point where people have a greatly distorted view of things–albeit unintentionally–then I feel I have to speak out.

I spend this much time and effort trying to explain myself to you because I think you are a reasonable and fair-minded person. I wasn’t trying to be mean or to offend. If I did offend you, I apologize.


tennis coach Says:

I agree Brando. Thanks.


Margot Says:

My Cat Jeffery @ 5.28
Excellent post, sums up Andy so well.
You are clearly a fan, hope u stick around.


the DA Says:

@ steve-o “There is so much bullshit and misunderstanding surrounding Federer”

Ditto with Murray.


courbon Says:

@Steve-O
Good post.You are right.I even think that my guy,Novak, is trying to play more and more like a Fed.He is improving a serve, going to the net more often…I think he knows that if he wants to stay around, he cant play power tennis as he and others (nadal,Andy)do, because of too much stress on body.So, there is no better recongnition of respect Novak will have for Fed…


sienna Says:

I havenot read all of the comments about talent v work ethos.

But talent also Feds only brings you so far.

The real difference is made in the mind. all the sacrifices and hours of work and making choices are.
Fed is 31and he can only get to this level if he puts in a lot of his time in training and prepairing. it is impossible for him to just reli on his talent to take him through to take semie or further. only ignorant people would think that. in order for his talent to work he needs to be on top shape. footwork , timing etc only can come out if he is 100% match fit.


alison Says:

Steve O Thats all i have ever tried to be is a fair minded poster,although im not perfect and i will defend my favorites if i think people are been unfair to them,but i do realize they are not perfect and neither is anyone else,and i will always say so if i dont agree with what they say or do etc,ive never had a problem accepting objective critisism,i wouldnt be here otherwise,but some of the comments the other day were downright sick and spitefull,and i probably took some of my frustration out on you and for that im sorry,so i think its fair to say its not just your favorite that has to stomach alot of negativity on this forum,but the only part of the post i found offensive was when i was called out as a Nadalite,and that i dont have a brain,i find that really patronizing,although i stand corrected on the rest of your post,thanks for the apology though.


Sienna Says:

STill Fed will be the favorite for Basel so it is wel withinh the realm of possibility that their h2h might be 10 all or even 10-11 for Fed when he returns to shape for WTF.

Djokovic is digging deep in these tourney maybe to deep to stay sharp for WTF. It all might just turn out to be a good weeknd for Fed.

Remember if Murray wins this final then the damage for Fed is less if he would have lost the Novak final himself. This way he does damage controle and his opponents are getting into reserves they need for Paris and esp WTF..


Alok Says:

Fed’s serve was off this entire torunament, and it wasn’t due to Murray’s defense. In other words, Fed just played like crap.

A server is in control of his serve by placement of the ball, e.g., placing the ball inside the serve box, not outside, which is what Fed did, when he DFed, 3 times in a row. That said, how could another player be the cause of the server double-faulting? I’ll agree that once the ball is served correctly, then the returner can put pressure on that serve by what he does with his ROS, but only then.

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