Nadal, Djokovic Three Sets From French Semifinal; Is The End Nigh For Federer?
by Sean Randall | June 4th, 2013
  • 210 Comments

As I’ve said before, Father Time is untied and undefeated. He’s got a perfect record. Not even the great Roger Federer is going to beat him. And we saw evidence of that today when JW Tsonga simply overmatched and overpowered the once great Federer during a 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 win that, at times, seemed more like funeral than a Grand Slam quarterfinal.

Tsonga played well – I’ve seen him play better – but Federer just doesn’t have it (right now) against the very best in the sport. At least not on a consistent basis.

If he gets a great draw like he did this week, Roger can still work some magic, but his days of dominating are officially in the past. And the days of him even beating guys like Tsonga, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray in best-of-5 set matches are slowly coming to a close as well.

Federer lost in straights to Djokovic at the French last year. He lost in straights to Murray in the Olympic gold medal match. Then lost in four to Tomas Berdych at the US Open. And this year lost in five to Andy Murray in the US Open semis.

They are not bad losses by any means, but Roger’s just not beating them anymore. It’s now June and Federer has a grand total of one top ten win thus far, that being Tsonga in five at the Australian. Otherwise, the guy has become a second level player who needs a good draw to go far. And that’s how he even got to the quarterfinals: playing two qualifiers and a guy who just won a 5-setter.

let’s be honest, that’s where we are with Roger. It was coming – it happens to everyone – I just didn’t think it would hit this fast.

That said, there’s still life in Roger and I’m not here to shovel dirt on him. He can and will still surprise from time to time and maybe, if he makes some changes – equipment, workout, practice – and make some luck there’s a chance he’ll still improve upon 17.

But today, what I saw was Tsonga beating your standard journeyman. That simple. Nothing more, nothing less. That’s the reality.

As for tomorrow, I think both matches are pretty straight forward.

Novak Djokovic v. Tommy Haas
Like Tommy Robredo, I think this Tommy’s time clock is also about to expire. The 35-year-old Haas has had a fantastic week reaching his first French Open quarter. He toughed out that epic against John Isner on Saturday, and Monday squashed a lackluster Mikhail Youzhny in the fourth round.

Today, though, he’ll play an ultra-determined Novak Djokovic. Not only is Novak eying a first French Open title, which would give him a career Slam, he also wants to do it for his former coach, Jelena Gencic, who passed over the weekend and avenge his loss to Haas in Miami.

I’ve said since Indian Wells that Djokovic isn’t the same, lethal player he was a few years ago. But I think he’s now got some extra inspiration that’s going to factor in, not just against Haas but down the road this week.

Haas is playing great, and all credit to him, but does he really think he’s going to walk away with a French Open title beating Djokovic then Nadal then maybe Tsonga or Ferrer? Nope.

So this week Novak purely needs this win more. We saw it with Grigor Dimitrov who beat Novak in Madrid. Djokovic easily tore him apart on Sunday. I think Djokovic gains similar revenge tomorrow against Haas.
The pick: Djokovic in three

Rafael Nadal v. Stan Wawrinka
While Djokovic plies his trade on Lenglen, 7-time champion Rafael Nadal will be holding court on Chatrier against Stan Wawrinka. The important stat line in this one is that in nine career meetings against Nadal, Stan hasn’t won a single set (0-19, 0-9 in matches). Now the “Other Swiss” is asked to win three on Rafa’s favorite surface and on his favorite stage. And that after playing a five-setter.

Good luck.

Like Djokovic, Rafa’s hasn’t quite been on song this week. He should improvement Monday though I believe he’s vulnerable. However, I just don’t think mentally and physically, especially after that 5-set win over Richard Gasquet, Stan can deliver the knock out punch. Had Stan not had a thigh issue and not just played an emotional 5-setter, I might give him a better chance.

Stan’s a great player but more often than not in these types of matches he comes up just a wee bit short. We saw that in Australia when he lost 12-10 in the fifth to Djokovic. And he’s lost in five on several other occasions in Slam play. Rafa also took care of him in the Madrid final last month, and I think that’s what’s going to happen again tomorrow.

Rafa’s going to tested here, but in the end his record will shine through.
The pick: Nadal in four

ESPN and Tennis Channel once again have the tag team coverage.

WEDNESDAY FRENCH OPEN SCHEDULE

Court Philippe Chatrier 2:00 PM Start Time
Jelena Jankovic (SRB)[18] v. Maria Sharapova (RUS)[2]
Rafael Nadal (ESP)[3] v. Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI)[9]

Court Suzanne Lenglen 2:00 PM Start Time
Maria Kirilenko (RUS)[12] v. Victoria Azarenka (BLR)[3]
Novak Djokovic (SRB)[1] v. Tommy Haas (GER)[12]


Also Check Out:
French Open TV Schedule – Men’s Semifinals And Weekend
Henin, Sharapova Face Serbian Challenge at French Open
Federer, Del Potro Advance to Basel Semifinals; Ferrer Dominates In Valencia
Rafael Nadal Was Not Happy With His Tennis 5 Days Ago, Now He Is; Novak Next
No Joke, Robin Soderling Overpowers Roger Federer at French Open, Snapping Semifinal Streak

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210 Comments for Nadal, Djokovic Three Sets From French Semifinal; Is The End Nigh For Federer?

Steve 27 Says:

The only player who can win a major past 31 was Agassi. But Andre is a special case.


Steve 27 Says:

I mean the last 35 years.


contador Says:

No, the end is not nigh for Federer; there is just no prophecy on the matter, I have learned. He is especially dangerous when you think you have figured him out.

Agree with Sean’s predictions except: Nadal in 3 straight sets over UnderStan -d; and I give Nole 4 sets to get the job done – ajde Nole!


jane Says:

Sean, really really hope you’re right about Nole vs. Tommy. If Nole is going to have that meet up with Rafa in the semis, a straight set win over Tommy would at least help a little bit.


Daniel Says:

Federer already won a Slam after 30. Don’t know what huge difference 31 makes in this case.
He already proved another longevity feat whichnis winnafter 30, let’s see if your guy can do it Steve 27.
Right now Federer is coleader in RG wins with 58, if Djoko beats Nadal in the semis he will have more wins in RG than Nadal (who has 56 now with 1 more coming tomorrow). If Nadal wins e toruney he will be leader alone with 59, unless he gets a walkover.
Federer will finish his Careers with most of the Slam records regarding lingevity, most quarters he only needs 2 more, most semis 33, most finals, the consecutive records of finals, semis and quarters and if he plays a few more years he will have more Slam played, more consecutive Slams played and e list goes on.


Daniel Says:

Federer already won a Slam after 30. Don’t know what huge difference 31 makes in this case.
He already proved another longevity feat whichnis winnafter 30, let’s see if your guy can do it Steve 27.
Right now Federer is coleader in RG wins with 58, if Djoko beats Nadal in the semis he will have more wins in RG than Nadal (who has 56 now with 1 more coming tomorrow). If Nadal wins e toruney he will be leader alone with 59, unless he gets a walkover.
Federer will finish his Careers with most of the Slam records regarding lingevity, most quarters he only needs 2 more, most semis 33, most finals, the consecutive records of finals, semis and quarters and if he plays a few more years he will have more Slam played, more consecutive Slams played and e list goes on.


Dave Says:

Andre Agassi was great, but he never had to face guys this good when he won those late majors. I don’t see Arnaud Clement and Rainier Schuttler at the other end of tennis court for Federer in the finals of majors.


Anna Says:

I think I’ll reserve judgement on Roger till after Wimbledon. Grass is to Roger what clay is to Rafa, that being the case, let’s see if he can’t bring it.

I’d love to see Tommy give Novak a run for his money. Everyone thinks Nole has a lock on this tournament because he wants it so much. My experience has been just the opposite. Those things I’ve wanted the most have been the most illusive.

Vamos Rafa!!


the DA Says:

I think Federer is still capable of a surprise run here and there. I don’t think he’ll ponder stepping away until the QF streak finally gets broken (despite stating his intent to compete at Rio 2016).

However, if he starts losing to players he doesn’t consider worthy of beating him – particularly at the slams – then I think he couldn’t bear it. It took a while for him to grudgingly accept his losses to Nole and Andy, and he seems to have finally accepted those by Berdy and Tsonga. Just my $0.02


contador Says:

jane, I like the 4 sets as an intentional stratagem :D

Gives your opponent next in line hope. hehehe


jane Says:

Anna, I don’t know what “everyone” you mean, but as far as I can tell, most people think Nole has a shot, and fair enough, but most seem to feel that Rafa is more of a “lock” than anyone at Roland Garros, and also rightly so.


jane Says:

contador – whatever works!


jamie Says:

Now watch Sean pick Nole for the SF and jinx him.


Wog boy Says:

jane,

Spot on, vast majority of Nole fans and TX posters said numerous time tha Rafa is favorite to win FO, so I don’t know where did she (Anna) get that one from? Nole himself said so.


contador Says:

jane, I see a score kinda like the one with Kohlschreiber. Let Tommy show what he’s got the first set and then be done with him.

Stan will hardly know what hit him – pow, out in 3 sets.

It is Margarhita and guacamole time, sorry lol…


Wog boy Says:

“Stan will hardly know what hit him – pow, out in 3 sets.”

I like this one … and agree.


Anna Says:

Jane – Definitely the majority of the writers are predicting Rafa for the win, but Darren Cahill (commentator)has a gut feeling Nole’s going to win pretty much because “he wants it so badly”. Many others on the boards are voicing the same opinion. Definitely not everybody, but when I heard Darren’s opinion it felt like everybody, as I respect what he has to say. He also felt that Novak’s win at MC this year could carry over to the semis should they play. Unfortunately I have no gut feeling whatsoever. I just live on hope like most of us.


mat4 Says:

@jane:

I also think that Rafa is the absolute favourite to win this tournament, with Tsonga and Ferrer with some hope to make a surprise: Ferrer finally played well against Rafa in the last two tournaments, and Jo could make some magic.

As for Novak, I don’t see him in the final, and if he could make it, it would certainly be after a long, exhausting match and he would be an easy prey for Tsonga.

He simply doesn’t play well, and with those heavy balls, he doesn’t hurt his opponents neither with his FH neither with his BH.

The only way for him to win is to play against a weary Wawrinka who has made a surprise against Rafa in a tough 5-setter, and perhaps against Ferrer in the final.


contador Says:

Straight out of a comic book, Wog boy – Rafa vs Stan

But Wawrinka and Gasquet were the best match so far – Stan just has to be toast, imo.


Steve 27 Says:

Daniel, Why are you so sensitive?
I’m just putting things in context and data for everyone.
Indeed, it is commendable win in your 30s, like winning as a teenager. I do not have a crystal ball to predict the future, but I assure you that Rafa will have more chances to win majors until at least age 29. Then comes the decline of all tennis player when you turn 30, is the law of life. Cheer up a bit, this is a game after all.


The Great Davy Says:

I win another slam before the Greasiest of all time. Mark my work.

You here it hear first.


jane Says:

mat4, Ferrer won one set in the last 2 matches versus Rafa but he was also bageled in one of them. Not sure he can spring a surprise. I am for sure not counting out Nole entirely, but his form hasn’t been entirely convincing, and he’s had an up-and-down season. Of course I’d love more than anything for him to get this missing trophy!!! So idemo Nole!

Anna, I have been watching streaming for the most part, so I haven’t heard any American commentary (assuming Cahill was on ESPN when you saw him). Most people I’ve listened to or read have picked Nadal for the win.


jane Says:

^ sorry he won one set in *each of their last two matches.


contador Says:

Well, lets pretend you were about to be thrown in a small sea of sharks and the only thing to save you was picking the FO winner right now – who would you pick?


contador Says:

I would not pick Ferrer or Haas. Let’s see…


Wog boy Says:

contador,

I am not going to pick that one, since I am going to be eaten by sharks, certanly, anyway.

It can turn around that two best matches of AO and FO were/are Wawrinka matches. One against Nole at AO and Gasquet at FO, and yet Wawrinka didn’t or will not have much of it.


mat4 Says:

Hi, conty.

Nadal or Wawa? Tsonga? Ferrer?


jane Says:

contador, I would scream out “Noleeeeeeee” before the great white ate me. And then at least I’d die happy. ;)


mat4 Says:

On ESPN, Cahill, Drysdale and Evert picked Novak to win the FO.

Drysdale won last year, and leads this year too.


contador Says:

maty4, Wog boy -

Eaten by sharks it will be for me too! one quick chomp.

I can’t pick anybody!


contador Says:

My thoughts …I will not say.
My lips are sealed;
my fingers they shall
not type the letters!


mat4 Says:

It is difficult, indeed.

I haven’t watch Ferrer, but it seems he plays well.

Tsonga was good today, but nothing special.

Jo has more power than Ferrer, but David is more consistent and defends better. The key of their match could be the serve/return battle and the IO FH. If Ferrer manages to make Jo run and rally, he has a chance.

Haas… I just don’t see him beating Novak, who played an excellent fourth set against Kohly, who himself played quite well. The key to beat Novak is to overpower him, starting with the serve, and Tommy just isn’t that kind of player.

Wawrinka, IF he plays the way he did against Gasquet, can beat anybody, anywhere: big serve, big BH, big FH, a lot of raw power… But he usually doesn’t play this way. I think he would have been the favourite against Novak, but, against Rafa… But if the ball doesn’t rebound too high, he could make a surprise. Although, I rather see him losing miserably.

Of course, with the last four players the mental aspect is crucial.


Anna Says:

Jane – Those picks came right after the Rome final when Rafa had his groove on. After his first 3 matches at RG the headlines were “What’s wrong with Rafa?” I could see them (sportscasters)all racing to retract their vote for Rafa. Lol. I think Nole is in with more than a shot. Andy M. says it will come down to the conditions on match day and I agree. Have to get through tomorrow first though.


kanpurite Says:

WoW : “And this year lost in five to Andy Murray in the US Open semis”


Bada Bing Says:

I don’t see a 35 year-old guy taking three sets off Novak but I guess it is possible.


Bada Bing Says:

Does anyone have the link for the ESPN picks mat is talking about @ 9:02 pm ?


jane Says:

Actually, I didn’t before Bada Bing, but I just googled and lo and behold; here it is. :)

http://espn.go.com/sports/tennis/picks


contador Says:

Wow. I have been looking at pictures of Tsonga. He really does look slimmer and fitter than ever. Pretty convinced, barring a major brain cramp, that he will take down Ferrer on Thursday.

Tommy is a real specimen as well, but then, so is Djokovic.

Wawrinka? I just have doubts that he will be recovered enough from the Gas-K match to do much – even if he was at full gas, I would hesitate to give him a set v Rafa. Didn’t Stanley come into this tournament with a leg injury, supposedly. sheesh, I still fall for a good injury line every time.


jane Says:

The time spent on court for tomorrow’s semi-finalists seems to back up your thoughts on UnderStan, contador:

Nole 8:05
Haas 10:12
Nadal 10:25
Wawa 11:30


contador Says:

jane, you did not do a bracket this time but, I fell for UnderStan’s injury leg thing and picked Jerzy to beat him.

Stan has arguably had the toughest draw and I am surprised he Stan is still Standing! hahahaha Margarhita doing the talking, here.


jane Says:

Under-Stan is still Stan-ding, hahaha. ;) Not for long. Pow coming…


Wog boy Says:

One of differences between AO and FO, apart from AO having better facilites and crowd, that all matches from QF onward are played on Rod Laver Arena, both men and women. I guess Frenchies don’t have money to put lights, right mat4?..

BTW, what is the number of people that went through the gates at FO last year. AO is around 700.000, methinks.


contador Says:

jane did you see the tweet from Jeremy Chardy’s gf, Alize Lim to Maria Sharapova on tennis.com?


jane Says:

No conty; is it juicy?


skeezer Says:

Sean

Agree with Fed making changes. But can he at 31/32? For the most part, if Fed lost, he would still be able to put up a epic battle. Very few GS matches where Fed lost he lost in straight sets. Now? As a fan I cringe when he is pushed to a 5 setter. Its not that he may or may not win that 5 setter, but its obvious the toll it takes in the next Rd. His recoup powers have waned for sure ( another one; Delpo semi at Oly then Murray in the final. He just wasn’t there, and all credit to Murray of course. )


jane Says:

Ha, just saw it. Sharpie not so sharp on that one. Lim zinged her! ;)


contador Says:

Oh it is just typical clueless Masha doesn’t know who Jeremy Chardy or Benoit Paire are – lol and they are both ranked above Grigor ;)

Alize Lim defending her man.

Very cute picture of Jeremy and Alize Lim ( I did not know who Alize Lim was)

Btw, I go by ggb2013 on tennis.com – but rarely post there, mostly read.


jane Says:

I don’t post there, but I read it frequently. Seems to be quite a few Nole fans over there, which is kinda nice to read!


Wog boy Says:

contador,

She is nice looking girl, Alize.


Seth Says:

Novak has Nadal’s number. And he’ll punch the Dirt Master’s ticket home on Friday. It’s a simple match-up problem for Nadal, regardless of surface. Djokovic is simply too good, even on clay, to have the match-up tilted against him. Djokovic in four for Friday’s semi.


contador Says:

yeah, I like it there. More anonymous. I kind of think of Tennis.com as a huge city, like London or New York compared to tennis-x as more like a small city, Boise ;) Each has their advantages and disadvantages.


contador Says:

Very pretty, I thought, Wog boy – sort of looks like Ana I.


jane Says:

contador, great analogies. Having just been in London, I definitely see what you mean. An it’s very international, which is the feeling I get at Tennis.com too. But sometimes smaller cities are nice too. It’s that “Cheers”, “where everybody knows your name” thing.


sheila Says:

i’m a big Federer fan & it is hard to watch him get beaten by the likes of berdych, Tsonga, etc., but that’s life. my amateur viewer prediction: nadal will win French open, halle & Wimbledon. us open also a possibility. I think he ends #1 & Federer will drop to #5. Federer is losing a shit load of points because he hasn’t defended any of them from 2012. I hope i’m wrong and roger somehow pulls the win at Wimbledon. I feel how roger plays at Wimbledon will really give a better indiction insofar as his decline continues. i’m not a nadal fan so im routing for djokovic. as a Federer fan it breaks my heart to see him losing more consistently to the other top ten players besides murray, djokovic & nadal. as said, that’s tennis life.


contador Says:

I think I have exceeded my posting limit for the day here, jane!!

lucky you on vacation in London!

Can you tell I am excited? Nole is going to win tomorrow – I feel it!

ajde Nole!


skeezer Says:

@shiela,

No need to mourn. The likes of Nadal, Djoker, Murray will have there “declining” period. Nobody escapes. The question is, When they do , what mark will they leave in Tennis? Federer’s mark is secure, and as time goes by you’ll see how special the Guy really is/was in Tennis.

#alltimerecords
#greatestsportsmenintennis


jane Says:

AJDE indeed! I, too, have posted way too much today. Night.


contador Says:

It is not at all sad for me – Federer retiring. And I consider myself a huge Fedtard, so called. I have been ready for him to wave good bye since 2009 but he just keeps chugging along. Federer is incredible – so glad I got to watch him play tennis live at Indian Wells and experience the man walking out on court. There really is a special aura around him – win or lose. He simply radiates greatness. :)


Michael Says:

What else is there to explain ? Nature shows no mercy not even to the Great Roger. Is he done ? I am not sure, but what is apparent is Roger’s class is still good enough to beat players except the top 5. Against the top players, he struggles of late and that is evident in his losses to even players with lesser reputation like Berdych, Tsonga etc., against whom in the past he had it very easy. What I am disturbed is not why Roger lost, it is the way in which he lost where he was outclassed on Court by Tsonga. Tsonga played well, but he was also aided by an erratic Roger who was spraying the balls on all corners of the court. I think the time has come for Roger to decide one way or other. He has to think about whether he should continue for a few more years to atleast snatch one more major waiting for the right opportunity or call it quits escaping unbruised with his head held high. If he thinks about continuing, he should be prepared for many such bruises in the hope of a favourable outcome sometime.


Michael Says:

Well, regarding today’s matches. Novak Vs Haas – This is one where Novak is a clear favourite, but beware Haas is in fine nick and may provide a shocker which I hope doesn’t happen as we are all eagery waiting for that blockbuster Semifinal clash between Novak and Rafa. Regarding the other match, Wawrinka at his best can take one set off Rafa. That is it.


Joe W Says:

Sean I do recall you posting that we would start to see more un-roger like performances from Roger in the near future. Well the future is now. It’s hard to accept. But I’ve been at peace since he broke the slam record, won a FO title and had a terrific resurgence in 2011-2012. Although he says that he still loves the game, the tour, and the lifestyle, I just can’t imagine that falling out if the top ten and the affect it sill have on his head-to-head record with the current top 10 Will be acceptable. He has slipped physically but it’s his concentration that is affecting him the most. That being said, I can still see him pulling one more rabbit out of his hat before be retires. Most of the posters on this blog had written him off after losing to Nadal in the 2009 AO. And I still think that pysically he is in better shape than Aggasi was at 31. The problem is he is facing a much tougher field of biathletes than Agaasi did. And he’s not as tough mentally.


courbon Says:

@ Jane: Visit Portobello road at Notting Hill.I lived there for years, is quite cool.
@ Wog Boy: I’m glad you liked it!I was thinking moving out of Europe but It’s too late now.Well, if whole world goes destroyed and only Australia ssurvives, you’ll be still buggered-the best player in the world then will be Tomic and then Matosevic at number2 and Hewwit at number 3.Then I can see Tomic suprassing Feds record and having maybe 20 slams!Now, tell me-what kind of world would be that?


Margot Says:

In “On The Beach” Nevil Shute predicted Australia would be the last place standing, but the radioactive dust would get there in the end.
Moving on..;)


Wog boy Says:

Margot and courbon,

Thank you for your optimistic posts, if I have to choose then I will take radioactive dust instead of Tomic and 20 GS possibillity;)

BTW, I have to find that book.


Rsutherland Says:

Oh yoohoo Nadal revilers who accuse him of false ‘humility”… Take a gander then please shut up about Nadal being disingenuous in his respect for Federer; http://www.tennistalk.com/en/news/20130605/Nadal_says_numbers_show_he_still_trails_Federer.

You know, I get why there are preferences regarding style, speed of slowness of play, tics (although too often inaccurately described).. whatever.
What I do not get is going after any of these players (Nadal’s in particular) character.

I doubt any of you have any idea what it is like to be in their shoes much less their souls.
Some of you high and mighty tennis know-it-alls must think you have some special status because come on here regurgitate statistics (…17…). But how do you think you have some accurate basis to make disparaging remarks regarding what is in their intentions.

Oh I know I write some smack about one particularly disingenuous little gnat on here… but never the players.

Now 2 issues that I believe may warrant response from you ‘elite’ tennis-xer’s about overachievement.

1st a question: (posed by my brother who coaches track).
Does anyone on here think Federer would be even greater than he is had he done more upper body muscular development? Ferrer is also 31 – remember – and he has not slowed down, has he? He looks like he ‘works out’.
I am sure Federer has an amazing cardiovascular system and all other aspects of fitness.
But I cannot believe having a more muscular body could be a hinderance in any way – flexibility, coordination etc (look at the gymnasts).

With that technique he has not really needed to be muscular to be the most successful tennis player ever…I get that. But could have been EVEN better?

And 2nd a comment (sacrilege as a Nadal fan): Does anyone here think it is remotely possible for a Ferrer win?
I know it would be great for Tsonga as well – as the Frenchman with all the entertaining histrionics and all. But Ferrer probably has less years and less opportunity ahead. A win would mean so much to the guy…who HAS overachieved.

Defeating Nadal or Djokovic in a final at FO is probably too good to be true…but Ferrer is this Nadal fan’s choice for vain hope.


Margot Says:

@Wog Boy
Glad to be of service…;) Book published yoinks ago when, I guess cold war was at its height.
Go Nole BWTW :)


Giles Says:

Go Haas!


madmax Says:

Sad it may be that he will have losses Sean, but please stop with the ‘is this the end’…if it is, so what? Look at what he has achieved. No need to be sad. Greg garber wrote something yesterday, here is part of it.

This was Federer’s first three-sets-to-love defeat to a player ranked outside the top five in nine years, when he fell to Gustavo Kuerten here in the 2004 third round.
Afterward, Federer was asked how difficult it was to face the media after a decimating defeat like that.

“Well,” he said, “there’s more fun things to do than this. So might as well get it out of the way with.”

And so he did, classy all the way.

“I thought he played great today,” Federer said of Tsonga. “He was in all areas better than me today. That’s why the result was pretty clean, no doubt about it. I was impressed by the way he played.”

Asked if his back was sound, Federer said, emphatically, that he had no physical issues.

Federer looked so good, carving up qualifiers in the first two rounds, that you began to wonder if he had another deep run at Roland Garros in him.

And then the reality of the aging process revealed itself in the fourth round when he labored to beat Gilles Simon in five sets. There was a moment when Federer caught the front of his right shoe in the red clay and took a tumble early in the second set that he looked, well, old. Federer later admitted he lost his confidence after that fall and temporarily checked out of the match.

Federer took the court for the quarterfinals against another Frenchman, Tsonga, a player three years his junior. Tsonga is a staggering talent, but he has never won a Grand Slam singles title; he was Novak Djokovic’s first major finals victim, at the Australian Open in 2008.

On this day, Federer was never able to assert himself. He was actually up a break in the first set 4-3, 40-15 and slowly wilted. Maybe it was — despite his denial — an ailing back that limited his effectiveness. The groundstrokes, particularly his forehand, were dodgy, and compared to Tsonga at least, he seemed a step slow. His overheads sometimes bordered on atrocious. Federer never really found the fire that won him a record 17 major championships.

In the end, it was almost a little sad.

[+] Enlarge
Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will be under the close eyes of a Parisian crown hankering for him to win two more matches.
After he was broken for the sixth time, Federer walked slowly to the net, where Tsonga consoled him with a handshake and a pat on the back. Even his typical, spinning post-victory seemed a bit subdued.
And when Federer waked off Court Philippe Chatrier, head down, the crowd warmly applauded him. He looked a little startled, as if interrupted in thought, smiled (was it a grimace?) and applauded Tsonga’s effort with a slow, 360-degree twirl of his own. And then he was gone.

In his postmatch news conference, Tsonga said he and his coach, Roger Rasheed, discussed Rafael Nadal’s clay victories over Federer to learn how to force Federer “to play the wrong way.” He did not elaborate.

“Here at Roland Garros, in France, on a big court with a lot of people, middle of the afternoon, and I just beat Roger Federer,” Tsonga said. “I’m sure nobody expect that from me in the past, to be there on this court against Federer and have a good win. So for me it’s just maybe one of the best victories. That’s it.

“The tournament is not finished, and I hope I will have some more.”

As we grow older, recovery becomes more difficult. In retrospect, it seems likely that the Simon match, even though it went one minute under three hours, compromised Federer’s chances. The fact remains: Since winning 16 of 27 Grand Slams singles titles from 2003-10, Federer has been to only two major finals of the 13 contested since.

Thirty minutes after it ended, Federer said he was already looking forward to playing next week on the grass in Halle, Germany.

“For me, this is already pretty much past now,” he said. “I have no choice but to move on. I have so many more things than to worry about right other than just this.

“This is obviously a crushing loss and disappointed about it, but now I look forward to other things. I love the grass-court season, especially since it’s been 10 years since my first Wimbledon victory.”

Federer has said he would like to play as long as his game remains relevant at the elite level. That would probably mean hanging around through the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Based on the career trajectories of the great players before him who lingered past their prime (Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi), it’s not impossible to imagine, going forward, Grand Slam losses in the third and fourth rounds — and, sometimes, in the first.

How will he cope with this defeat?

“I don’t need anything special or anybody special,” he said. “I’m old enough, you know. I’m a big guy. I’m no longer a baby.”


gannu Says:

This year undoubtedly has been “so far” the worst since 2003…”So far”…and if this continues it will the worst since 2003…I guess the issue is federer’s state CANT be looked on an absolute basis considering his stature and achievements in the sport…On an absolute basis everyone can easily justify his existence if he goes “winless” by arguing that he reaches QF of every Gslam..is in the top 4 or top 10 even age of 31…doesnt lose to lower ranked players etc…But the issue is he will and has to be judged by his past standards and for a proud achiever like him, not winning imp tournaments is a sign of decline…Thats why it better to quit the game gracefully and at the top…This world itself is very fickle minded…not being philosophic here…point here is that if at the age of 40 if Fed decides to retire and if he is ranked some 30th in the world having won nothing for years…his retirement would have no meaning or impact in anyway as the current generation would be already flocking to the stars or the top 4 playing at that time…The worst thing for a champion like Federer is to retire at a time when he is rendered completely irrelevant by the world…That will be more painful for die hard fans like me to see that happening…Federer is still delusional..he still doesnt admit ever in any of his interviews that he isnt the same as he was and says he is improving (which clearly is not the case)…Thats just ignorance or delusion at its best…Agreed new generation has caught up but the gap in performance is a function of federer being really sub-par for consistent periods of time which he somehow never admits….

Asusual heart broken after the loss and my weekend is ruined as i wanted him…Lets hope wimbledon doesnt add to my misery!!


gonzalowski Says:

Rafa is a lucky man, the day with better weather of all tourney will be Friday… It will for sure help his mind today, I hope he won’t have big troubles with Stan.
Haas put in a lot of trouble to 2009 Fed at RG, is it true? And this was peak Fed.. so it could be a hard match to Djoko.
Federer is the Goat and a true gentleman, It’s not an easy combination, I bet.

Courbon, just curiosity, what do you play at your group?


madmax Says:

Rsutherland Says:
Oh yoohoo Nadal revilers who accuse him of false ‘humility”… Take a gander then please shut up about Nadal being disingenuous in his respect for Federer; http://www.tennistalk.com/en/news/20130605/Nadal_says_numbers_show_he_still_trails_Federer

Rsutherland, it’s interesting what you say about this, but anyone here who has been on TT will know that it is very much a pro rafa site and even some of the posters here, post on there under different pseudos, so for TT to post something like this doesn’t really cut it with me.

We know that Roger is the greatest for so many different reasons.

We also know that Rafa is the greatest on clay.

We don’t all think like you do.


madmax Says:

Gannu,

Will you chill please? Come on man. This is Roger. He cannot go on for ever. Enjoy watching him now, or don’t watch him at all.

Grass season coming and that means Wimbledon and Pimms. And Federer!

Take care now.


Michael Says:

Jimmy Connors played until 42. He just didn’t worry about the losses and played on. He had thick skin. Whenever he was able to achieve something of substance, the Media praised him sky high and wondered as to how it is possible for this man at such a ripe old age when Tennis is a young man’s sport ?? For all his failures, he is still considered as one of the Greats and therefore Roger not performing from hereon is not going to diminish his stature in any way. But he has to take call sooner than later according to me simply because Roger is not Jimmy and he has much higher stakes and expectations. Now what is the decision Roger will take ? No one knows. Right now he is still No.3 in the World at 31 and this is thanks mainly to his 2012 performance.


Ben Pronin Says:

I think the issue for Federer has been that he has been peaking too soon at the majors. Looking back at the last 4 majors:

Wimbledon: early scares, but pulled through and played his best tennis in the last few rounds, especially the semi and final where he won.

US Open, Australian Open, Roland Garros: started out hot, beating up on lesser guys easily regardless of their status as up and comers, threatening players, or qualifiers. Then in the quarters and semis, was more or less running on fumes and ended up losing.

I don’t think it’s physical. It could just be some preparation adjustments he needs to make. But he has 1 semi and 1 quarter so far. As of now, that’s as good as his conqueror, Tsonga. Too soon to say that everyone has eclipsed him.


Wog boy Says:

JJ wins first set against Sharapova 6:0 !!


Ben Pronin Says:

What the hell????


skeezer Says:

“Take a gander then please shut up about Nadal being disingenuous in his respect for Federer”

Who ever said this?

#rafafanlookingup


Ben Pronin Says:

She needs 2 tries but Sharapova takes the second set. Women’s tennis is crazy.


Ben Pronin Says:

Sharapova is straight up yelling in my ear. It’s not even shrieking, she’s just yelling.


Ben Pronin Says:

Outside of the yelling, the quality is pretty good in this match.


Ben Pronin Says:

Sharapova pulls through despite getting bageled in the first set. Gotta be devastating for Jankovic but that’s an impressive comeback either way.


Wog boy Says:

What did she (Sharapova) mean when she said that she “loves parks a nature in Paris because there is no parks in Florida and California”, I have not been in neither of those places but it doesn’t make sense to me, I mean that Florida and California don’t have parks and nature? Maybe I misunderstood it?


nadalista Says:

May the best players move on to the semis……….


mat4 Says:

It has begun! … and doesn`t look good from the onset.


The Great Davy Says:

I dont like Haas. 35 years and still tennis? No life.


Daniel Says:

Both Nadal and Djoko already up a break. this is good. Hope they both win by the same score, spend same amount of time on court for nothing to bend in favor of any of them on Friday. The best is for them to arrive there on equal terms for the most anticipated match of the clay season.


contador Says:

What do you mean doesn’t look good, mat4?

Novak appears relaxed, confident, has a break of serve. 2 set points …


contador Says:

1st set = ajde Nole!


Ben Pronin Says:

Very solid first set from Novak. Showing the difference in age and stature so far. But if he dips Haas still has a chance. But I’m loving how he’s hitting his forehand so far. Blistering.


jane Says:

Nice and focused: good tennis from Nole. Set one finished efficiently, in half and hour. Great serving from Nole.


Daniel Says:

Wow, Djoko match is going fast.

Nadal just broke Wawa in a long game


mat4 Says:

The court seems so fast.


Ben Pronin Says:

Wawrinka doesn’t really stand a chance against Nadal but he’s going to fight long and hard. So the scoreline won’t match the match time.

Haas likes a fast pace, and Djokovic can match that. So the match could go on faster despite a closer looking scoreline. Although the last few games have been somewhat long. We’ll see.


mat4 Says:

And slippery.

Novak serves well, moves well, but lacks intensity and focus.


Ben Pronin Says:

Haas running Djokovic ragged but the ball keeps coming back. If Djokovic wins the second set I think the third set will be a flurry of errors from Haas.


the DA Says:

Both Haas and Wawa are muttering and bad tempered. Wawa already issued a code violation. Level heads would work better against Rafa and Nole.


Okiegal Says:

I, for one, hopes Fed pulls a Connors and plays until he’s 40. Fed still has a lot of matches he can win. Why retire?? He certainly doesn’t need the money. He enjoys playing. The losses don’t seem to bother him as much as it does his fans. I heard him say in an interview that he has no plans to retire, he loves playing too much. Kudos to Roger!! I am getting older too. I’m for the “aged” unless they’re playing Rafa, of course. LOL


mat4 Says:

Tough match for Novak.


oggy Says:

Nole’s stats look crazy ATM, 39 winners to 9 UEs? How is Haas managing to hold on?


the DA Says:

Nole getting a little tight in the TB.


Humble Rafa Says:

I love the Swiss. They can be manipulated at will. They will bend at important moments.


the DA Says:

..but then steps on the gas and takes it! That was dicey. Plain sailing now methinks.


Ben Pronin Says:

Djokovic made it hard on himself but what a rally to earn set point. Leads 2 sets. He let Haas get away with a lot. I think Haas will still fight. I don’t know if he’ll believe he can win the match but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him take the next set. The flurry of errors might not come after all.


contador Says:

@Okiegal

I listen to Radio Roland Garros for commentary and prior to the Nole – Haas match, one of the commentators was saying that Tommy Haas says he feels he is physically 5 years younger than he is because of taking off so much time for injuries. I am watching Tommy and I have to agree. For 35, I think Haas is moving better than Federer. Fed is going on 32 and has more miles in his legs and body than the “rebuilt” Haas.

Perhaps if Federer takes more time off, sure his ranking would slip but he burns himself out after a five setter with Simon and can’t recover properly. Federer will likely adjust – certainly he knows his body well. I expect him to pace himself differently for grass court :)


mat4 Says:

The court seems fast and slippery. It allowed both Novak and Tommy to have excellent stats on serve.


Ben Pronin Says:

Anyone watching the Nadal-Wawrinka match? What’s going on in their games? Either they’re taking forever or the French Open site is that terrible.


Humble Rafa Says:

Either they’re taking forever or the French Open site is that terrible.

I am playing at my normal speed. 35 secs between points.


bada bing Says:

Great davy, haas trying to stay relevent, he, s the son in law to a billionaire


contador Says:

RRG calls both matches simultaneously and I live stream the more interesting match, which is definitely the Haas – Djokovic match – or at least it is the faster moving.

Djokovic appears playing casually and confidently – which could be ‘nerve-wracking’ if you are a nervous Nole fan. To me the #1 looks boss.

Nadal and Wawa is a snozefest. Stan has nothing.

Friday is the men’s final, really imo.

Nole has the 3rd set break…


Jimmy Says:

Stupid ESPN won’t show us Novak’s match, except for little excerpts, don’t want to watch Stan choke again.


Ben Pronin Says:

Doesn’t face a break point all day, but as soon as he’s in a position to coast he plays his worst service game of the day. Your World Number 1, everybody!


Jimmy Says:

Can’t believe how long they are letting Nadal take to serve.


contador Says:

Maybe too casual from Novak for my taste – just as soon have this over in 3 quick sets.


jane Says:

Ben, Nole’s played phenomaNOLE overall. So he took his foot off the pedal for a minute; no need to disparage his status. He’s been very focused methinks!


jane Says:

Nole and Haas both yelling, ha ha.


contador Says:

jane, I get the feeling that Nole is just getting more practice time. If he had to, he has other levels and gears to adjust.

Nole is a gentleman. I don’t know why people hate his polo. I think it looks great on him – very classy.


the DA Says:

Nole has the break in the bag, so does Rafa. Destiny awaits Friday.


jane Says:

Nole is definitely a gentle man. Did you read his letter to Jelena Gencic; absolutely lovely. Nole has had a great match today. The serving has been so excellent, and his focus has been there, too. Well done methinks.


contador Says:

Leo DiCaprio looking very cool.

Matchpoint


the DA Says:

BTW, the bits I saw of Rafa’s match concerned me. Rafa’s serve would’ve been murdered by Nole today. He’s getting through but seems to be playing at less then 80%.


mat4 Says:

I don`t know about the serve. If the clay remains so slippery and the balls so fast, Tsonga is the favourite for a final, and a good result in the final.


jane Says:

DA, didn’t see any of it, but checked scores. Looked like Rafa was cruising.


contador Says:

woops. No luck.

Nole to practice serving it out.

Oh man, commentators trying to say this was a difficult match for Nole? Not to my eyes.


skeezer Says:

“phenomaNOLE”

Good one jane;)

“Anyone watching the Nadal-Wawrinka match?”

NOPE. Like Wawa ever had a chance. I did watch the first game with Wawa serving. Wawa looked stiff, and already couldn’t handle Rafa’s FH>BH. Broke Wawa at Love. End of story. Haas and Nole much more entertaining and fun to watch.


RZ Says:

Here’s a nice take on the “Deeply impressive fade” of Fed. http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/49620864


contador Says:

Very casual indeed from Novak.

Maybe this will go to a tie break? lol


Thomas Says:

Wawrinka took a MTO at end of set 2. I think the thigh was still bothering him.


andrea Says:

poor stan….gotta be depressing facing nadal having never won a set. the streak continues….


RZ Says:

Haas isn’t quite ready to go home yet. Can he extend his run for another set?


jane Says:

Oh crap Nole. Loses focus too much when serving out sets/matches.


the DA Says:

Oops…that wasn’t supposed to happen.


contador Says:

arrrrgh! okay. time to get serious Nole.

Haas with the break.

Djokovic wants Nadal to finish first. Such a gentleman ;)


Jimmy Says:

They are seriously showing Rafa serving for this crappy match when the other is 5-5!


contador Says:

Rafa has 3 matchpoints, I hear.


skeezer Says:

RZ,

Thanks for that link and a good read. Fed has yet to lose to the “anonymous”. Another hidden achievement gem in his career. I suspect one day he will(lose), buy he stands tall in not losing to the Rosol’s of the world.


contador Says:

Seriously Nole? This match should be done before Rafa and UnderStan.


mat4 Says:

Shanks contest…


Ty Says:

This Haas is a fighter.


contador Says:

hahaha Oh Tommy faulting all over the place.

Okay now we serve for the match again – Nole Ole Ole Ajde Nole…..


Jimmy Says:

Novak is slipping and sliding on the clay.


Viz Says:

Rafa through with ease but I don’t think he’s going to be able to beat Novak from so far behind the baseline.


RZ Says:

Skeezer, you’re welcome.


contador Says:

I will start cheering for Tommy if Nole does not serve this out.


contador Says:

Yay. Nole!


RZ Says:

Too bad Tommy couldn’t take a set, but he had a great showing at Roland Garros. Hopefully he’ll improve upon his Wimbledon result from last year (first round loss to Gulbis in 5 sets)


Jimmy Says:

Game on! May the better player win Friday!


jane Says:

Ajde Nole!

He knows the task ahead of him is next to impossible, but he’s going to try his best. Good luck Nole! :)


mat4 Says:

Hopefully he had three match points so he managed to win that game and the match.

I don`t see him having any chance in the semi the way he played today, but I hope he will improve.


nadalista Says:

Final on Friday.


mat4 Says:

Semi on Friday. Thought you learned something from Rafa.

#onestepatatime


contador Says:

He signs the camera – dedicates the win to his coach Nice touch. Chapeau Nole.


WTF Says:

Did anyone seriously not expect Djok to reach the semis (based on results in Rome and Madrid)?

The argument was, he can beat Nadal… IF he can make it to the SF without being upset.

Now that he’s there, he’s going to be favorite against Nadal, and IMO, the first man since Laver to win the calendar grand slam.


Kimberly Says:

Well, now that the match everybody wants has come to pass I see it the remaining chances as this to win the tournament:
1. Nadal 40%
2. Djokovic 35%
3. Tsonga 20%
4. Ferrer 5%

Nadal will win if he gets by Djokovic. But that match is 50-50 at best. Nadal’s favorite status depended on him NOT playing Djokovic, on the fact that he was less vulnerable v. the field.

Tsonga best chance is to play Djoker in the final. I don’t think he can beat Rafa.

Ferrer i am giving 5% just because if the cards fell the right way anything can happen.


Jimmy Says:

Nadal is the favorite, but the match is Novak’s to win or lose, the level of his play will decide it, methinks.


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Both matches turned out pretty much the way i expected,Stan had nothing to trouble Rafa,the Nole/Tommy match was much closer,but one i believed Novak would still come through,i actually think Jo and Daveed are playing for the runner up spot,although i would give Jo a better chance against either Novak/Rafa as he has bigger weapons,i think the real final will be the semi on Friday,i will tape it as i wont see it,i have a feeling Sundays final will be a damp squib,although i hope not.


nadalista Says:

Final on Friday.

Exho on Sunday.

#Humble


nadalista Says:

@mat4, you sound kinda on edge. Chill, bro….

@G&T


WTF Says:

Anna Says:

“Jane – Definitely the majority of the writers are predicting Rafa for the win, but Darren Cahill (commentator)has a gut feeling Nole’s going to win pretty much because “he wants it so badly”.”

His word is not infallible.

In early 2008, he made a bold prediction. The first is that Nole will be the next #1 (after Federer). Completely wrote off Nadal, in spite of Nadal having won two RGs already and beating Federer both times. WRONG.

In early 2005, after Federer came off 04 winning 3 slams, he said Federer was more likely to win 4 slams that year than one or two, implying that 3 was what he was expected to win (but had a better chance of winning all 4 than only 2). He won two that year. This prediction was made at the AO where he proceded to lose to Safin, killing that prediction altogether.


jane Says:

Nole’s stats were strong today:

11 aces / 0 doubles
64% firsts in, winning 82%
won 79% of second serves – outrageous!
won 22/27 net points – fabulous!
5/12 bps converted – could be better but Tommy serves well
43% of receiving points – also could be better but see above
46 winners / 25 errors

All in all, those are nice numbers. I know they don’t tell the whole story but they tell part of it. I liked how mentally in the game he was too, but for a few blips.

Nole also punished Tommy when he came to net, holding him to 2/17 successful!


Okiegal Says:

@Contador 11:50 post

I think your comment is spot on. I guess if Rog gets down 2 sets in a 5 setter, maybe the fight just not there anymore, or the legs. But he is an amazing athlete and has stayed healthier than anyone else I can remember. He has great genes for sports…..is all I can say. Don’t want him to quit. Some Fed fans will probably say it’s because Rafa has the H2H against him……but not true for me….love to watch the guy, backhand is something else. Rafa likes Fed……what’s good enough for Rafa is good enough for me!!! LOL Vamos, Rafa and good look against Novak on Friday.


WTF Says:

jane Says:

“He knows the task ahead of him is next to impossible, but he’s going to try his best. Good luck Nole! :)”

ROFL. Do you genuinely believe the task is ‘next to impossible’, or is that just giving Rafa too much credit in an attempt to jinx him?

He’s beaten Rafa in straight sets at 3 clay masters 1000′s where he has been nigh on invincible for about a decade. He had opportunities to win in Paris as well last year. His chances are at worst 50/50.

If Nole’s odds at the bookmakers are paying more than Rafa’s, take it. He’s underpriced IMO.


jane Says:

WTF, yep, I genuinely believe it (well maybe a slight exaggeration – how about “is going to be very very difficult, no?”).

Rafa has had how many losses at Roland Garros in how many years? Yeah, it’s pretty freaking hard to beat Rafa on clay, let alone over 5 sets on Philip Chatrier. Who has dominated a slam more or for longer? It’s a gargantuan task imo.

Yes, Nole has 3 wins over Rafa but in 15 tries.

Yes, I realize in recent years they are 3-3 on clay.

But Nole lost the only 5 setter they played.

We’ll see. I am firmly cheering on Nole, as always. But I am not getting my hopes up too far.

Besides which, I tend to err on the side of pessimism. However, my support for Nole is unerring anyhow.


Ben Pronin Says:

Gonna have to agree with Jane. I want Djokovic to win but I don’t think “at worst it’s 50/50.” Maybe at best. Not only that, but in all of their best of 5 set matches on clay, Novak has managed 1 set. Including a Davis Cup match a few years ago.


Margot Says:

The final…oops sorry semi, we all wanted :)
Cheers Nole and Rafa for making it happen :)


Giles Says:

VAMOS RAFAAA!!


Steve 27 Says:

Rafa, you are Hist8ry!


tennisfansince76 Says:

@Wogboy i don’t know what Sharapova is talking about. there are plenty of parks and nature here in Ca. plus the Pacific ocean. i think that counts as nature. right?


Steve 27 Says:

20 is coming for El Bufon. He will tie the record of Roggy!


Viz Says:

OT, but still – another scheduling win from Roland Garros. Azarenka and Sharapova, who both played today, are on first, while Serena and Sara Errani, who’ve both had a day of rest, are on second…???


skeezer Says:

Nole has to pick his spots and be aggresive when it matters. Keeping the ball deep during the rallies amd wait for the short ball from Rafa. It will come. but can Nole execute?


courbon Says:

@ Gonzalowski: Hi there.Well, I compose everything and then I play pianos, organs and sing.Are you musician also?


Nithish Says:

hope nole wins against nadal


Giles Says:

skeezer the geezer. Self appointed coach to joker!! Hahaha
Nothing better to do?
#JackOfAllTrades


Giles Says:

VAM8S RAFA!
KING OF CLAY!!


Jimmy Says:

Rafa is not playing as well as last year but can Nole get off to a better start to the match, instead of spotting him a two set lead like last year.


jane Says:

I guess Leonardo DiCaprio left Chatrier during the match today to go watch Nole and Tommy:

‏@carole_bouchard
Breaking : Leonardo DiCaprio has moved to the Lenglen. He got german blood so maybe Haas appeal ? Or the Djoker appeal ? ;) #Leo

I didn’t see him. :/


skeezer Says:

gliescher,

lets revisit my “opinion” post match and see, no?

comprende?

somav!


Ben Pronin Says:

Leo looked bored anyway.


Giles Says:

skeezer the geezer. You are a silly little man if you think your opinion is unique. You are just repeating from some article or another.
#NoOriginality


rafaeli Says:

This is what Rafa can do to Nole

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHlNxhUL5U8


skeezer Says:

Gliescher,

Believe it or not, it was original opinion from me. I am sorry u don’t understand Tennis.

——–

Leonardo DiCaprio confirmed what everyone else already knew. A lot of Nadal matches are nadull.


Ben Pronin Says:

Rafaeli, what did Nadal do there?


rafaeli Says:

You have to go to the link.


Giles Says:

skeezer the geezer. That opinion did not originate from you. I have seen it repeated over and over again. So just give it a rest already. Not interested.


Giles Says:

I sincerely hope that joker behaves himself on Friday and doesn’t indulge in his usual unpleasant antics.


skeezer Says:

^show me.


Ben Pronin Says:

I checked the link. I saw Djokovic smashing the bench. Didn’t see Nadal do anything.


skeezer Says:

re: antics
i doubt Noke will be doing antics like butt picknig, taking too much time, etc.

btw a Rafa fan strategy is to make Nole smash his racket?
wow. Thats the rafa fan intelligence with strategy? rotfl.
How anout just cutting Nole’s strimgs when he’s not looking?

#duh
#doh


Steve 27 Says:

Good link, rafaeli, that was bufonesque!


rafaeli Says:

Well Nole smashing his seat was a consequence of what Rafa was doing to him – running him ragged. It’s for those who think Nole is sure fire against Rafa. That, surely wasn’t the case last year.


jane Says:

I get the impression that Nole gets frustrated with himself more than anyone or anything; and he was hitting too many errors that match. Hence the frustration. He’s like that always, if he’s making a lot of errors, not just versus Rafa.

But, whatever floats your boat.

I am not going to put down Rafa to make me feel better about Nole. I know Nole has a monumental task to try to win on Friday. All he can do is try his best, and I am sure he will.

Ajde Nole!


Giles Says:

skeezer the geezer is like a lost sheep on this forum without his fav in contention.
#Pining


Seth Says:

Gonna be a different story on Friday when Nadal keeps spinning those cross court forehands straight into Novak’s backhand wheelhouse. Novak in 4.


skeezer Says:

I am a Tennis fan first. I actually enjoy Noles game, which long time posters here know bery well. You types will blow away in the wind the second Rafa loses or doesn’t play. Reading you is like readin a childrens book with big letters and 10 pages.

#ringringschoolbell
#whatsagroundstroke?


rafaeli Says:

Nice explanation jane, how about this one

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHlNxhUL5U8


Giles Says:

Absolutely charming behaviour from the world No.1. NOT!


Giles Says:

skeezer the geezer. No, you are a Rafa hater first and second a band wagoner! Yep, that’s you!!
#ThatIsYourType


Wog boy Says:

Dodgy benches, they don’t make them anymore from soild material, good add for Perrier.

Ajde Nole, DOBAR …


jane Says:

Cheers Wog boy! :)


Wog boy Says:

Hi jane, I just want him to come out focused from the very begining and give his best shot and what ever happens happens. Rafa is favorite but if Nole is on top of his game he will win regardless of Rafa. If he drops his focus jus for a bit, Rafa will take it.


Wog boy Says:

@tennisfansince76,

Thanks,I thought so. It was just plain stupid comment from Sharapova.


jane Says:

Wog boy, agree: focus, play well, and let the clay fall where it may. All we can do is cheer. :)


mat4 Says:

jane, WB:

I manage to read somewhere that Novak thought the court on the Lenglen to be faster that the Chatrier, and, as I noticed, he said it was slippery too.

I don’t know what to think before that match. Novak seems to have the confidence needed before such a match, and, having watched most of their 35 matches, I just remember a few where he didn’t play well. He looks like he thinks he can beat Rafa anytime, anywhere, and that the matches he lost last year where just an anomaly.

But I feel that he makes to much errors right now, and on a big, slow court against a good defender it isn’t a good sign.

I don’t know what to think about the weather. Could it have any impact on the match? I rather believe that the heavy balls, difficult to redirect, are more important for a player like Djokovic. Unfortunately, they are made by Babolat, not Head. We have seen how they have been changed immediately when it has been realized that the 2011 make was too fast.

I am convinced that if Novak plays his best, he is the better player. But can he play his best? Can he find the consistency and precision needed to win against Rafa on the central court?


jane Says:

Yeah, mat4, he said that about Lenglen in his presser, that it was definitely faster. So that could affect the effectiveness of his serve. On the faster court today is was sublime. I suppose that’ll be muted on Chatrier? I don’t know if he can win. I mean he’s had 15 tries and he’s only beaten Rafa on clay 3 of those. So we have to be realistic. But I think it’s good that he has a positive attitude and is speaking with belief. It is the only way to be!


courbon Says:

Rafaeli and Giles: Yes, you are right-Novaks is no class, dodgy Balkan boy, who can not play tennis and Nadal will destroy him.
Happy?
Good,know . we established that, there is no reason for you to post until Friday evening , when you will be able to write million times VAMOS and jump up and down


Bada Bing Says:

Last year Novak got to the final at RG which was one step further than he ever got before. I believed that if Novak could ever beat Rafa at MC he could beat him (maybe) at RG. He did it. Now I give him a good shot but that’s as far as I will predict.


madmax Says:

Giles Says:
skeezer the geezer is like a lost sheep on this forum without his fav in contention.
#Pining

June 5th, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Giles, can you grow up please? Skeezer is an ardent Federer fan, we know that and he has repeatedly said what he thinks about both roger and rafa. As well as this, Skeezer and I think pretty well every other Federer fan on this forum has accepted that Roger isn’t playing as well as he used to, but is still in contention, apart from gannu. We don’t care Giles. We love him and his game, win or lose.

It’s people like you, nadalista who come on and rub every fed fan’s face in it. You are the one who is the lost sheep here. What are you going to do when Fed retires?

#PineIExpect – Getoveryourself#


Bada Bing Says:

Maxdmax,
I suppose he’ll go after Novak!


jane Says:

Bada Bing,
He already does! :)

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