Federer Escapes Mayer In Ugly Hamburg Win; Serena Now 26-0 On Clay This Year
by Staff | July 19th, 2013, 9:35 pm
  • 84 Comments

Roger Federer is clearly still working out the kinks of his larger racquet, or so many of his fans would hope. Today the Swiss looked horrific at times – both from the net and from the backcourt – in an ugly 7-6(4), 3-6, 7-5 victory of German Florian Mayer in the quarterfinals at the Hamburg Open.

After a strong opening set, Federer’s play plummeted and never really recovered. The third set alone featured five breaks of serve with Federer earning the decisive and most important one.

“It was extremely difficult,” said Federer. “I started really well. I thought we were both hitting the ball well in the first set and not giving each other that many chances. It went down to the wire. I’m happy I played a good tie-break. I should have been up early with a break in the second set; he got me there. It was a bit of a rollercoaster till the very end of the match. Just had to tough it out.

“The conditions were cold and heavy, the clay was heavy,” said Federer who at one point put on a vest to combat the cool conditions. “So, it was different than we had expected at the beginning of the day when we thought we would play at 5:15pm. I have to say that I really enjoyed the match. It was a tough match and Florian fought hard.”

The late start was in due part because of the lengthy quarterfinals played earlier in the day.

Third-seeded Nicolas Almagro needed three sets to shove off Juan Monaco 4-6, 6-0, 6-3. Then in a 3-hour plus marathon, Federico Delbonis saved two matchpoints in a win over Fernando Verdasco.

Federer now meets the newbie semifinalist Delbonis who may not only be in awe of the Swiss but might also be overwhelmed by the stage.

“These kinds of matches are incredible and amazing,” said the 22-year-old Delbonis. “There were so many changes. There were chances for him, chances for me, before I could get the victory.”

Almagro will face the red hot Fabio Fognini who squeezed Tommy Haas for his eighth straight match win.

“I’m really feeling confident,” said Fognini. “I played another solid match. Against Tommy it’s never easy, but I’m happy because it’s my second semifinal at a 500 this year. My game is working really well at the moment, so physically and mentally I’m feeling really good.”

On the WTA circuit, Serena Williams remains the center of attention. The 31-year-old World No. 1 today ran her perfect 2013 clay record to 26-0 after destroying Spaniard Lourdes Dominguez Lino 6-1, 6-1 in the quarterfinals at Gstaad.

“My opponent today was playing really well, so I had to be patient and stay out there as long as I could,” Williams said. “I’m getting more used to the clay again. It feels a little better now. I want to play two more matches and win on the last day, but I have a really tough opponent coming up.”

Serena now meets Klara Zakopalova after the third-seeded Czech raced past Dutch qualifier Richel Hogenkamp. And Zakopalova has a clay win over Serena at 2009 Marbella.

“Well, she’s the best player in the world,” Zakopalova said. “I played against her four or five times before, so I know how she plays, but she’s even more experienced now, and she has won so many Grand Slams, so she’s really the best. She’s playing so well and really deserves to be No. 1.

“I know some things, though. I have to move her as much as I can. My serve has to be more solid than it has been. I’ll just give my 100%. I have nothing to lose. Playing these matches is like a reward for all the hard work you do – to play against the World No.1 at such a nice tournament is like a present.”

In the other semifinal it’s former Top 10 Flavia Pennetta against Johanna Larsson.


Also Check Out:
Federer, Serena Breeze On The European Clay; Fognini v Haas Friday In Hamburg
Federer Flames Out In Hamburg Semi, Fueling Further Retirement Talk
Djokovic out for No. 2 Ranking; Nadal out for Blood in Hamburg
Ferrer Faces Phenom Zverev In Hamburg SFs, Can The 17-Year-Old Continue Fairy Tale Run?
ATP d Hamburg in Landmark Jury Trial

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84 Comments for Federer Escapes Mayer In Ugly Hamburg Win; Serena Now 26-0 On Clay This Year

Colin Says:

This tournament is turning out quite nicely for Federer, and he will very probably win it. Had the opposition been a bit stronger, he’d likely have lost by now, but he’s getting a good workout with the new racquet, whether or not it’s pretty viewing.

I can’t help feeling a bit sorry for the other players though, who suddenly found him in their midst!


Humble Rafa Says:

The Arrogant One better beat these midgets and win the title. Otherwise his confidence, I mean, ego will be hurt.


skeezer Says:

^YAWN


skeezer Says:

I think the conditions told the story. It wasn’t just Feds difficulty with Mayer…

Fognini over the hot Haas?
Almagro needing 3 over “who”?
Delbonis “who’? over the recent red hot Verdasco?


sienna Says:

Remember florian mayer is on equal turns with rafa considering their h2h.
Humble one should know this. He claims a spot in the alltimer status for himself on it.


Giles Says:

http://alturl.com/cuoit
Twitter freaks out over Fed’s sweater vest. Hilarious!
#Grandpa


Paradox Says:

Ha Ha, Skeezer the Boozer seems like totally ignorent about tennis.He does not even recognise Juan Monaco who is fairly well known in tennis circles.


metan Says:

Is that new fashion style??? Hahaha!


moam Says:

The great Fed will work through this adjustment period. Just a matter of time.


moam Says:

One of the most exciting players to watch is Fabio Fognini. His straight set defeat of Haas yesterday in the quarters was dominant. This guy has incredible skills and can casually disrupt the best player’s games when he is fully engaged in a match.
http://martinstake128.wordpress.com/2012/09/25/fabio-fognini-a-perplexing-study-in-nonchalance/


James Says:

Was anyone shocked that Fognini won in straight sets against Haas? Always thought Fognini is one of the good clay court players. Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t Fabio also beat Tommy in straight sets in Stuttgart too?


harry Says:

Twitter world goes crazy with Fed’s sweater :-)

http://tinyurl.com/ktzcokl


Jatin Says:

Delbonis game just looks like rafa with powerful serve.
Great test for roger as he usually struggles with lefties.


metan Says:

I am not watching just look at the score, it seems tight match for Roger . First set won by Delbonis.


Jatin Says:

Roger is playing really well with this racket but delbonds is playing equally good


James Says:

I don’t think Roger’s playing so good. In this form, he’s gonna struggle even more against top 10 players. Forget Rafa, can’t see him beating Fognini playing like this. I hope he goes through this one too. He needs more match practice with his new racquet.


Pitchaboy Says:

Atrocious playing. Time to retire when some grace and dignity left. No racquet will save him from Novak or Murray.


Josh39485 Says:

It’s not atrocious playing at all. He’s actually played reasonably well – just that he doesn’t seem to have got complete control over the racket and the other guy is hitting with a lot of power.


Pitchaboy Says:

When the other guy bothering you is a qualifier and this is happening on a daily basis, perhaps……..


Josh39485 Says:

Point taken, although it was evident that his game would begin to disintegrate on the clay first. Are there any hard court tournaments this week/last week he could have entered instead?


Green900 Says:

What the f***?

Federer out again early!


Polo Says:

Federer is giving away souvenir match wins to all the other players. Before long, everybody will have a nice story to tell his grandkids how he once beat the best tennis player in the world.


Josh39485 Says:

@Green900 I wouldn’t exactly call the Semifinals being out “early”, but a disappointing loss nonetheless. He needs to keep playing, keep getting more comfortable with that stick in his hand.


James Says:

Roger is out. Loses in straight sets 7-6, 7-6. Delbonis was the better player today. Roger just couldn’t put much pressure on Delbonis and allowed him to play his best. It doesn’t matter if your opponent is ranked 10 or 100 in the world, you can’t allow them to play their best and you nowhere near your best and still hope to be victorious. It just doesn’t happen. If it does, very rarely so.


Pitchaboy Says:

Embarrassing.


Jatin Says:

So proud of roger . He played great ,just fell short.
No worries. Time to make adjustment with new racket.

Delbonds played like a champion.


Green900 Says:

Josh39485

I know it’s not exactly early, but in a ATP 500 tournament without any other top ten player in the draw he lost! That is early given the situation


James Says:

“Delbonis game just looks like rafa with powerful serve.”

@ Jatin, sorry, mate, but Delbonis’ game is nowhere close to Rafa’s. Delbonis doesn’t move as good on clay as other clay court players like Ferrer, Fognini do. Even if Roger beat him 6-1, 6-0, I still wouldn’t say he’s gonna beat Nadal on clay now. Just because I’m good against x player doesn’t mean I’m gonna be equally good against y player. Simply because they’re gonna play me differently. Same with these players.


Josh39485 Says:

@Jatin I would not say he was great – he played reasonably well, but was far too conservative at times. In fact, I could swear he hit a few moonballs and presented Delbonis with some hitting gifts.


Josh39485 Says:

@James Begs the question, why did he choose to warm up with his new racquet on clay, considering the clay season is over and the Rogers Cup is on a hard court?


James Says:

@ Pitchaboy, considering he’s trying out a new more powerful racquet, I wouldn’t say it’s embarrassing. If he keeps on playing with this new racquet, expect him to lose a few more matches like this. But once he gets it right, he’ll be good again even against the Novaks and Murrays.


Pitchaboy Says:

He is going into the hard court season with ego battered and confidence shattered. I have fourth round tickets for USO. Chances I get to see him looks remote.


Pitchaboy Says:

Sorry James, at the highest professional levels, no turning back the clock.


Polo Says:

Semifinals with a new racquet, that’s not so bad.


James Says:

@ Josh39485, he did hit some moonballs. I don’t know why he chose two clay tournaments before Montreal. My guess is 1. He needed match practice with the new racquet 2. Hamburg is 500 tourney, no hardcourt 500 tourney atm 3. Needed to gain some confidence going into the hardcourt swing, and he’s had great success at Humburg in the past 4. Gstaad is in Switzerland, they’ve always wanted to see more of him there 5. Rafa did the same playing Vina Del Mar, Acapulco on clay and followed it with a win at Indian Wells on hardcourts.


Pitchaboy Says:

It is sad to watch the real great ones lose it. For those of you that follow cricket, Fed’s parallel is Tendulkar. Father Time is unforgiving.


Jatin Says:

@Josh39485
He is making adjustments with his new racket.
His backhand has improved a lot and his slices seems more effective.
Time for him to make few more adjustments.
The only thing i didn’t liked in today’s match is his Forehands.
I think new racket has affected his forehands.


James Says:

Agreed, Pitchaboy, but Roger at 32 is still moving good (better than a lot of younger players) and playing good. Just not as good as he was during 2004-2009. I don’t think he is done yet. Let’s see if by the time he is in Montreal he plays better or not.


Jatin Says:

@James

I get ya but their forehands looks similar . Anyway.
Where is rafa these days ??
Knee problems ?


Giles Says:

“Delbonis “who”? over the red hot Verdasco”. Hmmm, now you know!
Didn’t this guy Delbonis give Rafa a hard time when they met in the SA swing?


James Says:

@ Jatin, I’ve personally used two different racquets in my club level amateur tennis. More power means less accuracy. Even when he starts feeling comfortable with the new racquet he’s gonna make more UEs than he did with the earlier racquet. But yes his single BH shots would have more pace now than before.


Pitchaboy Says:

1. His main problem is his first serve. He misses more and these days are becoming much easier to read. Not getting as many cheap points as he used to.
2. Even in his prime, on days his serve misfired(very few those days), the rest of his game would unravel.


James Says:

“I get ya but their forehands looks similar .
Anyway.
Where is rafa these days ??
Knee problems ?”

Not really. No one generates as much topsin with their forehand as Rafa does. Also Rafa moves and defends much better than Delbonis can. The only similarity I see is that they’re both lefties.

Rafa is in Manacor preparing for the North American hardcourts swing. He’s been practising on hardcourts, so I think his knee is okay. Is confirmed to play both Montreal and Cincinnati before the US Open.


Jatin Says:

@james

the story of the whole year……I also feel the same as KRS (or his friend)…there is definitely some issue with his back….In many of the tournaments I have seen him wearing a body warmer under his t shirt and in the last match he even wore a sweater to keep his back warm :( and this is the main reason for his service game always under threat. and also the reason for his shanks/unforced errors….I dont remember when I last saw Roger use the kick serve to a great extent in a match…..His serve lacks the sting may be because he is unable to bend his back properly to serve….Obviously if your movement is not good then you will mistime your shots….I feel he should take care of his back and sort the issues out…..Or else I am sad to say that this type of results will keep on coming….I hope Roger proves me wrong and give many more moments of joy to his fans !!


James Says:

@ Pitchaboy, Tendulkar has been very average in last 2 years or so. Roger won Wimbledon last year and briefly held the #1 spot too. He hasn’t been that awful this year either. He’s still one of the best top 10-15 players even this year.


Jatin Says:

I may be wrong but what I could feel is that its not racquet which is the major issue, but its his movement


Pitchaboy Says:

Yep James. Tendulkar should have hung it up after World Cup victory. He is now embarrassing his fans. If Fed is knocked out early in USO, he should get out. Once upon a time I would pay to watch these two great men make their respective sport look so simple.


Humble Rafa Says:

Wow. A new low.


James Says:

Yes, Pitchaboy, a champion like Tendulkar deserved that kind of send off, after a World cup victory. At his peak, he intimidated bowlers. Now every bowler’s happy to bowl to him, you might just get lucky you know.
I’d still pay to watch Fed and Tendulkar just because they’re legends in their chosen sport. However, no expectation whatsoever from Sachin anymore. Roger’s slowly getting there too. But unlike Tendulkar, I hope Federer will know when he’s no longer good enough to compete against the best players in the world.


Jatin Says:

@humblerafa

Please go to your hut back .


Pitchaboy Says:

Now watching another great one past his prime and hoping he does it: Tiger Woods


Pitchaboy Says:

Humblerafa is quite an entertaining guy.


James Says:

Right now Nadal seems to be on the hate list of many fans, mostly Fed fans and Novak fans. But I think even most of those fans will feel sad when Rafa also falls to the Father time and is getting beat regularly by players he’d have demolished in his prime. Always a sad sight when champions fall like ordinary players.


James Says:

Well, golf is a lot less physical game than tennis, so I reckon Tiger can be on top a little longer.


Polo Says:

I like Humblerafa. Especially when he tries to humble the great one.


Giles Says:

HR is the best. Always puts a smile on my face!


Josh39485 Says:

@Pitchaboy Isn’t Tiger Woods still the World No. 1?


Michael Says:

Well now Roger has lost to a qualifier and I dont even remember his name. Is this a real sign of his downhill ? Ofcourse his opponent played really well, but still Roger must be highly disappointed with this loss. It must have truly shaken his confidence. May be it is time that Roger think seriously about the timing of his retirement. The sight of him losing to qualifiers is indeed terrible to watch.


Hawkeye Says:

Maybe he could try using a snowshoe.

#Delbonised


Pitchaboy Says:

Tiger is No. 1 but has no majors in four years. Kind of like Wozniacki was couple years ago.


Hawkeye Says:

1st loss to a player born in the 90′s.

Last two losses to players outside the top 100.

#Hmmm


Pitchaboy Says:

I believe if he gets knocked out early in USO, he seriously contemplates retirement.


TennisZod Says:

The once great Fade-rer.

#ItsNolesWorldBaby


Hawkeye Says:

Nole No. 2 in the Race to London.

#Ajde
#NotBad


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Pretty disappointing match from Roger. Left too many balls mid court for Delbinis to over power him. Let’s see how he goes about in his next tournament.


TennisZod Says:

Nole – the best of the golden generation.

#NoleDominance
#SerbianWarriorCelebration


Hawkeye Says:

Are they getting The Golden Girls in Serbia now TennisZod?

You are being too hard on Nole. Surely he is better than that now, no?

#Ajde


Humble Rafa Says:

Recycled from a few weeks ago. Can be used many times in the future without reducing its value

Roger Federer: I won’t panic. I will go back to work and come back stronger.


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

^Thats what great champions do,put it behind them,and move on,with a postitive attitude,every tournament is a new one,and another chance for success^.


Hawkeye Says:

Exactly. Sampras was seeded 17th when he won his last match, the final of the USO in 2012.

Credit to Fed for still fighting. Hope to see him in Montreal.

#Vamos


James Says:

Rafael Nadal – Career Golden Slam
Roger Federer – Career Silver Slam
Novak Djokovic – Career Bronze Slam

#TheOlympicSlamChamps


James Says:

^^ Oops! Mistake there. Novak is yet to win the French Open. No Career Bronze Slam for him yet.


Hawkeye Says:

Did Nole win a French Open?? Why didn’t anyone tell me???

#Embarassed
#Congrats
#Ajde


Kimberly Says:

hes playing next week too right?


TennisZod Says:

After Lukas Rosoling Nadal at Wimbledon last year,

Rafael Nadal: “I’m very, very disappointed [but] it’s not a tragedy, it’s only a tennis match.”

He repeated this line after Steve Darcising him this year at Wimbledon again. Will be used again after another early defeat at Wimby next year. Really it’s no tragedy.


TennisZod Says:

Worry not, amigos. Nole win French Open next year beating Rafa in the final. Then Rafa will be holding 0 Slam for the first time in 10 years. No clay slam = no slam for Rafa.


Hawkeye Says:

Yes in Gstaad. Fed will be happy that both Delbo and Stako are in the other half of the draw.


Hawkeye Says:

Nole will have zero slams when any one of Rafa, Muzz, Delpo or Dimitrov beat him at the AO.

#ajde


Hawkeye Says:

Or Berdych or Haas for that matter.

#Ajde


Brando Says:

Wow. Just don’t know what to say about this. Is it strange to be surprised about this and yet not all that too much either? Let’s see where Fed stands post USO series, since right now he seems at a crossroad regarding his career IMO.


Eric Says:

Not all that surprising after seeing him play yesterday.


jamie Says:

@TennisZod

Except for the AO, Djokovic will not win other slams until 2015. He won’t win the USO this year. In 2014 he will only win the AO. He will have to wait until 2015 to win outside the AO. Bottom line, just AO for Nole in 2012, 2013 and 2014. In 2015 he will win outside the AO again.


Hawkeye Says:

Djokovic was all but inconsolable. “All I can feel now is disappointment,” he said. “I wanted this title so much.”

Nole will be using that line again next year when The King of Clay picks up his 9th French.

GOAT? Come back and talk once Nole wins something other than the AO in a year other than 2011 and has a winning record against each of the other Top 4.

#Humb1e
#HI8TORY


M Says:

@Giles –

“Didn’t this guy Delbonis give Rafa a hard time when they met in the SA swing?”

Yep, he did. In Viña del Mar.

Good memory.

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