Federer, Nadal Survive, Set Up Friday Night Cincinnati Showdown; Djokovic, Murray Roll
by Sean Randall | August 15th, 2013, 11:16 pm
  • 185 Comments

Last weekend we witnessed the resumption of the best rivalry in tennis at the moment, that being Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Friday night we’ll take a walk down memory lane with what use to be the best show in the sport as Nadal takes on rival Roger Federer for the 31st time, their first in the Great Midwest.

But it very nearly didn’t happen. And arguably shouldn’t have happened.

Earlier in the day Tommy Haas led a faltering Federer 6-1, 4-2. Federer look out of it, Darren Cahill on ESPN2 was hinting Roger might be injured. That before the German, who’s been known to combust, did combust.

Haas fell apart at just the right time and the wily Federer took advantage winning five of the last six games to steal the second set.

The 35-year-old Haas regroup a little in the third but eventually succumbed to his good friend 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 in a stunning turnaround.

“I think I had too many of those small hiccups that kept on adding up, because overall I wasn’t playing terrible. I was just missing by a margin or putting myself in a tough spot,” said Federer who was playing terrible at the start. “Then on top of that, Tommy took advantage of it, played well when he had to… I was just hanging on, and I’m happy I did because it paid off. At the end, I’m very happy I was able to turn a match around like this.

“Those are the matches I knew just kind of what I need right now,” said Federer, a 5-time Cincinnati champion. “Every minute more in a match court is a good thing right now. It gives me a lot of opportunity in the next match to do better.”

In the evening, Nadal held up his end against Grigor Dimitrov knocking off a spirited Baby Federer 6-2, 5-7, 6-2.

Rafa had a break lead in the second, but couldn’t hold on like Haas. But unlike Tommy he took care on business in the final set.

Nadal leads Roger 20-10 with two wins this year at Indian Wells and Rome, both relatively easy. Since the start of 2011 Rafa’s won six of eight on overall on outdoor hardcourts he’s ahead of the Swiss 6-2.

Based on form this year – Nadal is 12-0 on hardcourts whereas Federer’s been struggling on all surfaces (remember ONE top ten win this year!) – I think it’s going to be another straight sets victory for the Spaniard.

“I saw a little bit of the Darcis match at Wimbledon,” Federer said looking ahead to Nadal. “But the rest of the year for him has been unbelievable, how he came back and how successful he’s played, almost always achieving finals really,” said Federer.

“If I play him tomorrow, it’s clearly going to be a difficult match because he comes in with a lot of confidence again.”

Even when Roger was at his best he had trouble beating Nadal. Now, at 32, well off his peak and with just one single Top 10 win this year (Tsonga in Australia), he’s asked to replicate level? I don’t see it.

“Always play against Roger is a special feeling,” Nadal said. “We have a great history behind us in our confrontations, so it’s another quarterfinals. It’s a special one because you’re playing against a very special player. Our matches were very special always.”

To have any chance Roger will have to serve well and serve big because I just don’t think Roger has the speed nor the strength anymore to chase down Rafa’s shots to the corner and respond with any weight or interest. Off the ground, unless Roger comes up with something very special (maybe a super racquet!), it’s going to be one-way traffic for Rafa.

Roger’s best hope? His friend Rafa gives him a belated birthday gift. And really, I didn’t think Nadal would play Cincinnati after his Montreal win. To his credit he has and has played well. Might he be content?

Also on a very busy Thursday, Novak Djokovic dominated David Goffin 6-2, 6-0. He’ll next meet American giant John Isner who was a straight set winner over Canadian Open finalist Milos Raonic.

Djokovic, a 4-time runner-up in Cincinnati, needs the title to complete the Masters set – winning all nine. “I have an extra motivation and an opportunity to make history in this tournament, so I’m very inspired to play well day after day,” Djokovic said.

Isner’s a tough cookie on any surface, but I think if he can avoid suffering another bad patch in a tiebreak then Novak should pull through.

“It’s going to be a very difficult match for both of us,” said Djokovic about Isner’s serve. “I need to return well tomorrow and try to get as many balls into play.”

My early tournament pick Andy Murray also cruised hammering Julien Bennteau 6-2, 6-2. A 2-time Cincinnati champ, Murray now faces Tomas Berdych, a 6-3, 6-0 victor over Tommy Robredo. In this US Open semi rematch, Berdych leads 5-4 but Murray has won the last three on hardcourts. I’ll go with the Scot here again.

In the first quarterfinal of the day, it’s Juan Martin Del Potro against Dimtry Tursunov. Delpo needed three sets to turn away lefty Feliciano Lopez while Tursunov also beat a Spaniard, No. 3 David Ferrer, 6-2, 6-4 in one of the hard-hitting Russian’s best wins in a while.

“He’s playing well, is very dangerous and plays really fast from the baseline,” said Del Potro about Tursunov. “I have to serve better than today and play harder than him.”

If Delpo’s fit and recovered (wrist, back, knee?) after the Lopez match he should take out Dimitry.

In the women’s field tomorrow, 2012 champ Li Na is already into the semifinals after her quarterfinal opponent, Agnieszka Radwanksa, withdrew to attend her grandfather’s funeral this Saturday.

Former champion Jelena Jankovic, who won an ugly affair over Sloane Stephens, meets Roberta Vinci. Victoria Azarenka clashes with Caroline Wozniacki in a battle of former No. 1 and Simona Halep will test Serena Williams, who like Nadal and Djokovic, has never won in Cincinnati.

“I wasn’t happy with the way I served today – there were a lot of breaks – but I was really happy with my returns today,” Jankovic said after her 3-6, 7-5, 7-5 win over Sloane. “I’m not sure why we had trouble serving today. Maybe it was the wind, my toss was all over the place, and I wasn’t too happy with my game overall, but I’m happy with the way I fought. She’s an up-and-coming player with a bright future, so I’m happy to win.”

ESPN2 has live coverage starting at 11am.

FRIDAY CINCINNATI SCHEDULE
CENTER COURT start 11:00 am
[Q] D Tursunov (RUS) vs [7] J del Potro (ARG) – ATP
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs J Isner (USA) – ATP
Not Before 3:00 PM
[1] S Williams (USA) or M Barthel (GER) vs [11] S Stosur (AUS) or S Halep (ROU) – WTA
Not Before 7:00 PM
[5] R Federer (SUI) vs [4] R Nadal (ESP) – ATP
Not Before 8:30 PM
[10] C Wozniacki (DEN) vs [2] V Azarenka (BLR) – WTA

GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) vs [2] M Granollers (ESP) / M Lopez (ESP) – ATP
Not Before 1:00 PM
[12] R Vinci (ITA) vs [14] J Jankovic (SRB) – WTA
Not Before 3:00 PM
[6] T Berdych (CZE) vs [2] A Murray (GBR) – ATP
Not Before 7:00 PM
J Goerges (GER) / B Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) vs [6] A Groenefeld (GER) / K Peschke (CZE) – WTA


Also Check Out:
Roddick Bounced; Remaining Favs Federer, Murray, Nadal in Cincinnati Action Today
Exhausted Murray Out Of Rain-Soaked Toronto, Remaining Players Face Challenging Weekend
Roger Federer: The Loss To Rafa Was Still A Good Step In The Right Direction
Novak Djokovic: I Didn’t Have Any Shoulder Pain, I Have No Concerns
Federer Faces Russian Challenge in Andreev Today at US Open

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185 Comments for Federer, Nadal Survive, Set Up Friday Night Cincinnati Showdown; Djokovic, Murray Roll

pogi Says:

who’s your pick SEAN?


Michael Says:

I would say Roger was just lucky to scrape through against Haas who convincingly won the first set and was leading in the second set as well. Roger took advantage of a small lapse in concentration from Haas and thereafter slowly put his foot on the pedal. But, to say it quite frankly, with this kind of form, I do not see Roger beating Rafa. To beat him, Roger should have many things going for him like his first serve percentage, shots, angles, and to top it all, Nadal playing below par. I do not see that happening and therefore it should be most probably a straight set win for Rafa once again over Roger with one tight set. I hope Roger keeps the match competitive unlike on earlier occasions quite recently.


Steve 27 Says:

Michael, Tommy is always generous with his buddy Roger.


Michael Says:

Steve, Roger has beaten Haas and there it ends. We can only say he was somewhat lucky helped by Haas lapse in concentration. But Roger may need even more luck against Rafa to make it competitive.


Steve 27 Says:

Rafa knows what pro-Fed journalists/writers want to hear and he delights them. The journalists have kept asking and Rafa keeps answering the same. The journalists get every time very excited (billions of times!) about that. Isn’t it funny?


Eric Says:

I tuned in when Haas was serving at 5-1 (actually, I had to squint to make sure the score was right!). So I missed whatever it was that got Tommy up two breaks on Roger — but the Roger I saw was great from that point on. He easily could have broken back in that game (still a break down, of course). Missed the first game of the second set, but, again, the rest of that set was competitive. It’s not as if Haas just randomly fell apart – Roger had been pushing him closer and closer on every service game. That double fault hurt him big time, but for sure Tommy had looked less convincing than Roger in the second set. That said, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a better effort from him, or from practically anyone else not currently in the top four.

Actually, I am interested in what others think – it seemed to me like Roger was playing with a new, shall we say, intensity? Trying to put more pace than ever on the ball, often enough? I hate psychologizing narratives, but it looked like he’d had enough of losing for now… It was a compelling match, actually – interesting to see two cunning old guys trying to figure each other out yet again. Lots of dramatic points, but also intellectual points. And they were both serving great from what I saw, which is encouraging to the Roger-fans.

Of course, his tactics against Haas will not serve him as well tomorrow. Haas gave him too many easy high shots (or were they just all terrible lobs?); Federer put ‘em away for winners. And that floating, sliced bh we saw from Roger will not give Rafa too many problems. But all the same, a tiny flame of hope burns in my heart… is Rafa the favorite? Yes, the HEAVY favorite. That’s just a clear fact. But Roger might at least make a show of it, and perhaps surprise us a bit — if he doesn’t lose 6-1, 6-2, anyway.


Alex Says:

Agree with other posters, I just dont see Federer standing a chance here. Ill be happy if its competetive.


roy Says:

strange people don’t see federer with a chance.
on fast courts if federer serves well he can keep any match close.
though nadal has a very good record and is a better player all round, federer’s serve has evened out many of their matches and given federer decent chances to win in quite a few losses.
he is also a delusional player who believes he is godlike and what that does is help him even if his confidence is lower than normal.
this mentality really is of benefit in a game which demands confidence in pressure moments.
not to mention he has a very good record here which will help him to block out the rest of the year.

so i definitely give federer a chance to win. if he can hold serve to the end of sets anything can happen.


metan Says:

Ticket for Friday sold out, LOL.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

I thought it would take a miracle for Roger to beat Nadal at the begining of the tournament. I was hoping Nadal would take it easy and take it easy in his 2nd match. Looks like he is in a dangerous zone and is willing to compete this tournament.

It’s a pity for Roger. I thought he was getting his intensity during the Haas match. He got better on the ground from the second set once he had held his serve. Against any other player we could have given him a change. But against Nadal, it would be too difficult.

Hope he does not end in the same fate at USO too.


Legend Says:

Fedal #31
I dont have any hopes of any decent match between these two here.
Most probably it will be an one sided pasting on this fast hardcourt.

This is Federer on his most favorite masters (5 time champion) verses the Rafa on his least favorite tournament (best result: SF), who shuts down his season post June.

The GOAT of fast surfaces, the defending champion takes on the one dimensional clay courter who gets beaten by rank outsiders on fast hard courts.

Another point to note is that Rafa lost in straights to someone ranked 135 just 7 weeks back on a fast court.

My only hope is to see Rafa take atleast a couple of games per set.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Good article and great summary of two rivalries at different stages. I’d like to hold out hope for Roger, since he demolished Rafa here last year, but… I am a long time ROger fan, and for the first time I get the feeling he’s done. Rafa is in 2010 like form right now. THis could be ugly. (Was it Cincinnati two years ago that Rafa demolished Rog?)


Michael Says:

I do not believe in miracles. But I do believe in huge upsets in Tennis. This is where Roger is in with a whiff of a chance to beat Rafa. But it depends on the mindset with which Roger takes this match. He has to forget the past and concentrate on the present. One of the biggest ask in Tennis is to beat Rafa on any court and I hope Roger will stand up to the occasion and keep himself counted. I do not mind him getting beaten but atleast he must make a match out of it. If he extends Rafa to three, I will be more than happy even if he loses.


James Says:

@TV, Rafa did not play Cincinnati last year. Remember he was out for seven months post Wimbledon last year? It was Djokovic that Federer demolished in the finals last year.

@Legend, how Rafa of you! You know Rafa had said it was going to be a big challenge for him to play against Raonic in the Rogers Cup final last week.
Re Fedal match today, I hope it’s competitive. Roger won this tournament 5 times, so he the favorite, no? Nadal even in his best days couldn’t go beyond the semi finals, so he the underdog, no? A quarter final win here would be very good for Rafa, point wise. If he somehow can make it to the finals, he’s gonna have a good shot at ending the year #1.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Thanks James, I completelt bungled my hard court history: It was Indian Wells where Roger demolished Rafa, and Miami where Rafa picked apart ROger.


BrooklynAce Says:

Sad that no one has mentioned how awesome Dimitrov looked last night. All 3 sets were right and the score doesn’t reflect that. Dimitrov could easily have won if it weren’t for some costly errors, and if he just works on that consistency and improving his backhand, I believe he’s going to be world number 1 in a few years.


James Says:

No worries @TV, Roger did beat Rafa at IW last year and went on to win the title.
If he beats Rafa today, I see him winning the Cincy title once again. I hope that doesn’t happen though. Rafa has played well so far and won’t do him good if he loses today to Roger just a week before the big one at Flushing Meadows.


BrooklynAce Says:

tight, not right*


skeezer Says:

This particular match is a matter of confidence, and Fed doesn’t have it. Rafa does. End of story.
Fed needs more match play and more wins. He still doesn’t look like a guy who has all the confidence yet that he needs to be in top flight.
And the Bull? Like TV said, looks like the ’10 Rafa right now. Rafa in 2.


Polo Says:

Tennis Vagabond says: “…I am a long time Roger fan, and for the first time I get the feeling he’s done…”

You are not alone.


josh Says:

Rafa is going to win this. Roger has no chance.


Casa de Rafa Says:

The question is…. How many games will Fed manage to get?


Ben Pronin Says:

Agree with you guys. When he lost those clay tournaments it was the first time I actually imagined he might retire soon. But I really would rather he keep playing and losing than not playing at all.


grendel Says:

@Brooklyn 9.12

I though Dimitrov looked really impressive, Brooklyn, though I don’t know about awesome. What really struck me was not so much his game, with which we are familiar, as his attitude. You had a strong feeling he was there to win, and you often don’t get that feeling with him. Yeah, I think in a couple of years or so, he could well be right up there.

Nadal, I thought, was oddly constrained. I actually enjoyed his game last night.


hawkeye Says:

Rafa is of course the favourite here given current form of both players.

However, as Roger showed at IW last year on a much slower court, he can beat Rafa on any given night.

If Rafa checks out the way he did against Baby Fed in the second set last night, gets tight and starts hitting short balls, Fed can take advantage (like he did against Haas) and Rafa might not be so lucky to turn it around.

So, it’s just like Rafa says, “Tomorrow will be another match against a great player, probably the best in history, and if I am not 100 percent ready to fight every ball and to make the right decisions in the right moments, I will not have chances to win.”

#Vamos


Ben Pronin Says:

Seriously, what happened to tennistalk?


Giles Says:

Vamos Rafa!!


hawkeye Says:

tennistalk’s loss is tennis-x’s gain.

#DealWithIt
#Humb1e


Ben Pronin Says:

That doesn’t answer my question at all.


SG1 Says:

Can’t say Roger has no chance. With his game, he always has a chance. He’ll have to get his big shots off first and hope he can hit enough winners to keep Rafa at bay. And he obviously has to serve big and hit his spots.

I agree that that it seems unlikely that he’ll win this encounter. But, he needs something to build on going into the USO. I suspect he’ll play better than anyone expects him to. I’m not saying he wins but I think it’ll be close.


hawkeye Says:

Sorry Ben. I thought it was a rhetorical question!

TennisTalk was sponsored by Unibet and I think they realized that the people posting there were not Unibet “customers” and that they no longer wanted to pay the writers. In addition, more recently there was no moderation and they saw the resultant grotesque sexually offensive content posted by trolls (some who post innocently on T-X) as a poor reflection on unibet and no longer wanted to be associated with it.


courbon Says:

It always makes me nervous when Isner plays Novak…


hawkeye Says:

^^^ Especially when Izzy has home court advantage, no?


courbon Says:

‘ hawkeye: I remember last time they played, Isner won.he had , something like 25 aces?That 1s one set of no playing but just serving bombs!If his serve is clicking, almost impossible to break him…


courbon Says:

and Novak just lost tie breaker…bloody Isner, it plays crap all year and then now is getting good….


the DA Says:

Nole seems a bit listless out there. One DF in the TB is enough for Isner to take the first set. I wonder how much RG and Wimbledon has affected him? I still think he can turn this around.


courbon Says:

@ DA: I’v been saying for months that Novak is in a slump.His game is bellow level and he is not playing like a number 1…Rafa is.( and Andy I guess ).Novak needs break-forget about rankings, go back training and change a game, to be able to battle new Rafa and new Andy game.


hawkeye Says:

Yeah, Izzy/Raonic/Karlovic et al tennis is not fun to watch IMO.

They are occasional skill player stoppers.


Nativenewyorker Says:

@Brooklynace

Regarding your post @ 9:12 am, the point is to win the match. Dimitrov may have played well at times but not consistently enough to beat Rafa. I thought this match highlighted the issue with Dimitrov. He was up and down and all over the place. He was able to take advantage of Rafa’s errors late in that second set. But when it counted, Rafa was the one who came up with the goods.

We all know how talented Dimitrov is and his potential. But to realize it he will have to work on fitness, mental strength and consistency.

Rafa was complimentary to Dimitrov, both before and after the match.


Polo Says:

Don’t forget to add last year’s US Open to Djokovic’s string of slam disappointments. Those losses may have chipped away some of his confidence. He certainly does not have that formidable demeanor of 2011.


courbon Says:

@ Hawkey: You are right there.Raonic is very boring-Tomic and Dimitrov much more fun of new kids on the block…


nadalista Says:

RT @SI_BTBaseline: “Nadal on “Baby Fed”: “Yeah, the game is similar, but for the moment, what we can compare is the style [rather] than the level of tennis.”

Zing!


the DA Says:

There you go. Nole breaks.


courbon Says:

@ Polo: Well, he kind of bounced back with the win in AO.But, overall this year he is not doing well.Only Monaco and AO ( yes, and Dubai )-not good enough fro number 1.Rafa benefited from injury break ( he probably practised new game in last two months of his injury break ), Andy benefited from RG break-I think Novak would benefit from 2 months break.But he will not do it,because is chasing his rankings…whats the point of number1 ranking if you don’t win Grand Slams?


courbon Says:

@Da: Thanks god…


the DA Says:

@ courbon – It’s a good omen but he’s still gesticulating and muttering to himself a little too much. (I thought that was Andy’s domain ;) )


Van Orten Says:

Fed 5 Cincinnati Titels..Rafa 0 cincy titles…this Match is Going to be played to late in feds career..maybe not…


courbon Says:

@ DA: When he is talking to his racket-I know he will loose… Andy is much better these days.I like his dry sense of humor…still miserable Scot, but I like him.


the DA Says:

@ courbon – Agreed ;)

Had to switch over to Murray/Berdy only to see Andy serve 4 aces to start. Keep that up Muzza!


courbon Says:

and Novak is…


jf Says:

Nole out. You guys are right, he’s out of sorts.. All credit to Isner though.


salleh_ahmed Says:

hahahahahah

djoker is out


courbon Says:

OUT!


courbon Says:

@jf: Absolutelly right-all credit to Isner.


the DA Says:

Oh what a shame it ended with an error. Commiserations Nole fans, he was not himself today. credit to Isner for not choking.


jf Says:

How great would it be (for us Nadal fans) to see Nadal go all the way in Cincy too! I know it’s premature but you gotta like the chances..


Daniel Says:

What’s up with this DF Djoko is hitting in crucial moments of the match. He was serving 40-15 and lost the game and match.
This is setting up to be a Nadal year. Everything is going his way, apart from Wimbledon shocker. Will see how his match with Fed turns out. But Djoko is in some crisis. Another wat goes by and he can’t win the ulimate Fast court of the circuit.

Very weird and not go at all to his US Open run. All the other major contenders for US Open are playing for the title this tourney, DelPo, Murray, Fed, Nadal and Berdych. One of them together with Djoko will lift US Open. Can’t see bobody else and Berdych and DelPo are a dark horses to me.


Brando Says:

What the @@@@!

On the train, bored out of my skull: I know, let’s check the routine scores on ATP.

Delpo wins 3, sounds about right. What about nole, he was next on court right?

BOOM: he’s out!

A colossal surprise!

Sorry for the loss Courbon: I just do not know what to say about it or Novak!


salleh_ahmed Says:

i wouldnt be surprised if fed wins it now


Giles Says:

First set to Berdy!


Daniel Says:

I had Djoko lising to DelPo in my bracket and Murray losing to Berdych today. Maybe I will be on a good track, as long as Fed do the impossible and ends Nadal run on HC this year. But if Nadal wins in Cincy the fastest outdoor HC of the circuit going 15-0 undefeated in HC, that wiuld be just the most bizarre situation of the last 10 years in tennis. Especially this is a tourney he never reach final. But with Djoko oit of a possible final and if Murray goes down as well. He will have to beat Fed (HxH and age proves he will be favorte even in this court), Berdy (his bunny) and Than DelPo or Isner. Only DelPo had a few wins. Very doable if Murray indeed goes out.


rafaeli Says:

It;s not a surprise. Novak and Isner have always had close matches.


the DA Says:

Andy having a bad day at the office just like Nole. Missing BPs and UFEs. Ugh.


courbon Says:

@ Brando: Thanks, but I’m not surprised .Novak is not good enough, this year.Ces’la vie…


the DA Says:

I was looking forward to a possible Rafa/Andy match – but not when he’s like this. Best if he goes out and sets up practice camp with Nole so they both can figure things out.


James Says:

Wow! Didn’t see this coming! I knew Isner could upset Novak like he did last year at Indian Wells but just didn’t expect it. Sorry @Courbon. Didn’t see the match. Did John play extremely well or did Novak play really awful? Or both?
And what is this? Muzza lost the first set to Birdych? Is this a day of upsets? I hope Rafa doesn’t bow out either. Btw Rafa said Cincy’s slower than Montreal. Nole also said Montreal was very fast.


Rick Says:

To Brando
WHAT SUPRISE? You are a plain silly! You even agreed with Sean that, Rafa would called it a good week, if he made the semi in Montreal. Lets just wish that, Sean doesn’t jinx Rafa tonight!


pigoonse Says:

Oh, woe. is. me. Dear Andy getting kicked to the curb again? Shoot! I pick him; he loses.


Rick Says:

If Nole wasn’t defeat today, I was expecting JMDP to beat Nole like he did at Indian Wells!


the DA Says:

So the No.2 and 1 seeds go out in the QFs. Berdy is just one of those bad match-ups for Andy. I’d rather he’d met Isner and Nole met Berdy ;) Anyway, I don’t think there’s much to read into this loss. It’s never a reliable indicator of how he does at the USO.

If Rafa goes through, like we all anticipate, he’ll probably trounce Berdy.


Teeg Says:

Interesting turn of events. If Rafa goes on to win the title (fingers crossed) he moves back to no.2, and just in time for the US Open.


James Says:

Murray bows out too! To Berdych!
Now if Rafa goes on to win the title, he’ll be seeded #2 at USO. He needs to beat Roger first.


Teeg Says:

So much for Nole’s “career golden masters”…


Brando Says:

WOW- i’m gobsmacked!

Truly don’t know what’s going on: damn I wish I saw these matches!

@Courbon: keep your head up C- a new tourny equals a new chance to improve. Nole is still HC king for my money.

But…………..

Right now I am worried for Rafa with all the results today:

Rafa- stay focused, try your darn hardest and take care of business!

VAMOS!


Josh39485 Says:

Oh WOW: Djokovic upset in 3 sets, Murray crashes out to Berdych… what’s next, Federer beating Nadal?


James Says:

Roger may be old and not in best form but he’s still Federer. Rafa needs to play his best and not give Roger too many chances. Vamos Rafa!


Rick Says:

All these guys are in the draw, like Berdych, JMDP and Rafa. All could beat Fed fairly easy Unlike the old days, when Fed was playing with guys like Roddick, Gonzalez, Ferrer, Blake or Bagdatis when he won some of those GS!


Josh39485 Says:

Alright then, I’ll offer up my support for Rog: C’mon Federer – if you’re looking for a confidence boost, please do all you can to win this match! You definitely have the ability, but please have the belief. Remember, if you can get through this toughest match, the title is yours (sort of)!


Rick Says:

If Fed is winning, we all have to give all credits to Sean with his curses! hehehehe


Giles Says:

VAMOS RAFA!!!


Josh39485 Says:

Who needs this more? That’s what it boils down to


pigoonse Says:

Anyone on this tennis site watch the Muzza v Badberd match?

Looks like we have to wait until USOpen to see the number one and two players – and many others more interesting than what is left in Cincinnati. (exception made for RF, of course)


Josh39485 Says:

@pigoonse Yeah, I saw it. Birdman just too good today, he usually takes has the upper hand against Murray outside of the Slams


Darla Says:

So # 1 and 2 play like crap and lose… wadda you know!


the DA Says:

“Looks like we have to wait until USOpen to see the number one and two players”

^ They’re different animals at slams. Best of 5 allows them to turn things around. Nole’s situation is of a little more concern because we’ve become so used to him being so consistent and winning (even from losing positions) – especially at Masters events.

Had to chuckle at some of the criticism that Andy’s getting on other forums. First he was criticized for only winning ‘mickey mouse’ tournaments and Masters but not slams. Now that he’s won slams he’s criticized for not winning Masters. I guess he’ll always be a conundrum.


Brando Says:

@the DA: completely agree. Especially about Andy: he’s set on GS. His performance in them and non slam events is completely different to one another post 2011. He was looking to get practise pre USO and he got it. He’ll be fine. Novak is also the same. At slams he’s always there at the end. The ONLY but with him though is we are so used to seeing him doing well tourny in tourny out that his situation is noticeable. He’s on HC what Rafa is on clay. Now imagine of Rafas results pre FO on clay were: SF, SF, QF, r16. Most folks would push the alarm bell. Well that’s exactly Novak’s result this year on HC MS. Still have him as fav at USO since he is Nole, but his form has been somewhat strange IMO. My 2 cents on this.


Josh39485 Says:

@Brando Agree with all of what you’ve said. I just feel that Novak is no longer in his “prime” and is thus becoming more prone to these kind of upsets outside the Slams (for instance, Federer in 2008 had a poor year overall, but still consistently made 3 GS finals and 1 SF)


grendel Says:

Just saw little bits of the quarters. Isner looked impressive, not only outrallying Djokovic on occasion, but doing some pretty delicate stuff at the net which demanded some slick movement from that great bulk. Don’t know how typical this was. Djokovic, on the other hand, was surprisingly slipshod fom time to time.

Then Berdych looked awesome. Not just the smooth rollsroyce stuff which can be so beguiling, but he was running around like someone half his size, retrieving one lob of Murray’s and giving it the treatment, a kind of crabbed and very effective smash (instead of just lobbing it back into play, which is what they usually do, why completely baffles me).He said afterwards that he was “patient”.

That’s got a nice quietly ominous feel about it. People like Berdych and Isner, nobody takes them quite seriously as contenders for top honours. I’m not so sure. Just because something hasn’t yet happened doesn’t mean it won’t.


Tennis x Hippy Chic Says:

Missed all the matches because of work,im quite skocked about the Novak/Isner result,as Johns, movement looks quite clumsy alot of the time,the Murray/Berdych match not so much,as Berd can trouble any of the top 4 on his day,and his ball striking is very smooth,so Nole will have to wait another year to try and win Cincy,although im sure he would much rather win another GS,likewise Murray both have bigger fish to fry there,Noles form has been shaky lately,but best of 5 is a different animal to best of 3,i very much doubt either will be losing that much sleep over these losses,match practice was what they needed and what they both got,JMO.


Green900 Says:

Any news when the federer-nadal match is supposed to start? I heard 7pm Cincinnati time.


queen Says:

Started!!! Watch ESPN2


queen Says:

Vamos Rafa!!! Time to break


Eric Says:

boom cha


Alex Says:

Just turned on and just seen Fed break,cant belive his playing so well. I thought he was completely out of form. Win or lose, I was wrong. Playing much better than I expected.


the DA Says:

Are we in an alternate universe? They’re both playing well at the same time. Federer marginally better. Serving for the set.


metan Says:

Skeezer,
Goat is back, you don’t believe me???? Awesome match!!!


nadalista Says:

The Gods must be crazy…….


Alex Says:

Must say, my heart is pounding!

Fed is playing the best I have seen in ages. Don’t wanna get my hopes up though, Nadal is capable of anything.It would be no surprise, if he came back and took the match.


Kimmi Says:

oh my goodness, i hope he can keep it up.


the DA Says:

Long way to go yet but looking good for Roger right now.


James Says:

C’mon Rafa! Take the 2nd set.


Eric Says:

Rafa isn’t playing quite as well as he did last week vs. Djokovic, but Federer still has a looong way to go before he is safely out of this match. I am surprised but not shocked to see Roger winning (for now). So far, he’s managed to keep it together on serve and is really playing to the surface with a lot of pace, like he did against Haas, but, actually, these guys are having much shorter rallies overall. If Federer does win – a big “if” – this should basically be his tournament after today’s results. Which is to say that it will be even more disappointing when he loses later on. But first he has to win another set, no mean feat.


Nadal Says:

Only if my knees weren’t hurt …..


metan Says:

Rafa come on, make all out war !


Alex Says:

Lets keep it civil please, lol. We are talking about 2 legends here.


the DA Says:

Roger seems to have a clear game plan. I haven’t seen him hitting over on his BH so much since…I don’t know when.


Alex Says:

By the way @Eric, in your post you said “it will be even more disappointing when he loses later on”.

Do you know something we don’t?

How can you make assumptions like that.


Eric Says:

Alex, I have secret access to the future; I thought everyone here knew that. No, I am just being pessimistic..


Alex Says:

lol, I thought so. Its satisfying to here you say it. Gives me a little more hope :).


jatin Says:

Roger at his serving best


Alex Says:

Yes Jatin, you just need to serve well to win sets off Nadal.

You have some serious knowledge of the game.


jatin Says:

@alex
I mean , it was a plus point. If his serve works well then his game just follows.
So its obvious that his all court game is blazing all guns right now.


Alex Says:

Nadal and Fed both getting Pumped, I think if it goes to a third Nadal is definitively the favorite IMO.

Match is very exciting at the moment.


Eric Says:

Agreed, Alex. Too bad Fed missed a bit of a chance at 0-30 there. OK, back to work. Good match. :)


jatin Says:

what a point by roger. SPEECHLESS


Nadal Says:

what a point by roger. SPEECHLESS

Yes, True. Roger is classy and he is the Goat !. Btw, my H2H with him is 20-10


Eric Says:

welp, that’s that, most likely


jatin Says:

gREAT 2ND SET but i think rafa will win this now.


the DA Says:

The shanks came at just the wrong time. Into a 3rd we go. Gotta like Rafa’s chances now. Just hope Roger can keep his level so that it’s not a blowout.


Alex Says:

Nadal wins the second!


Ben Pronin Says:

Why do people still troll for Rafa?


queen Says:

God I have no nails


nadalista Says:

Well, that’s gotta count for something, first set Rafa’s taken off Fed at Cincy, no?

Phew……..


James Says:

Yesss!!!!!! Now the 3rd and match. Vamos Rafa!


metan Says:

Ben,
Rafa is a beast on the court, worthy to troll, hehehe.
One and one, who’s the winner????


Nadal Says:

Watch out folks know…..I did whatever i could to let the GOAT have the match…..


metan Says:

See, who is in charge??


Alex Says:

As I thought, Federer cant maintain the level of the first set. Nadal is playing super aggressive.


queen Says:

Order restored vamos!!!!!


gannu Says:

tired and frustrated its all over…when will this misery end? when will roger ever win over these top 10 guys? I am off…


jatin Says:

Expecting a MIRACLE


jatin Says:

@GANNU
its not over until its OVER


gannu Says:

yes jatin…that’s the only thing which can save roger!


jatin Says:

Nevertheless a great match


Alex Says:

I’m happy, Fed has showed some good form in this match(considering the lack of match practice), I think he will do well at the US.


jatin Says:

@alex
Yup but still i think fed can turn it around.


Alex Says:

Gongraz Nadal fans. I dont think this comes as a big surprise, was a good match.


Eric Says:

WEIRD end to that match. Did I really just see Roger defend against Rafa’s TRIPLE match point? And then a fourth? I think we ARE in an alternate universe, my friends. But then… so close to a bp. Ah, well. Good match!


jatin Says:

That let cord did the damage. Bad luck


nadalista Says:

Fed joins Novak in the “21 losses to Rafa penthouse”……

Vamos Rafa!


metan Says:

Thanks Alex,
Commisarians for all Roger fans ,,,skeezer, Michael, Ben, Alex, gannu, eric, madmax, Grendel, and many more. What a game , these two legends showed us. Awesome!!!

Vamos Rafa, have a good rest!!


Alex Says:

Nadal will be no1 at the end of the year, his fans must be ecstatic.


Rick Says:

Bad news for Fed, now his ranking will drop.


the DA Says:

Oh no, they showed Rafa’s last ball as out by a hair and Roger didn’t challenge. Anyway, fun match. Good to see a competitive one again after such a long time. Fed fans should be enouraged. Rafa fans, enjoy!


jatin Says:

If fed could continue this form then he has a good chance to take revenge on rafa in us open and could even win it.
He was unfortunate tonight.
Rafa played amazing though. Seems like a no 1 contender for U.S open.


jatin Says:

@the DA
was it ?
Oh god . Roger should have challenged that. Why he didn’t ???????
Now i am getting frustrated


Ben Pronin Says:

Pretty great match all things considered. Rafa is one lucky duck.


Teeg Says:

Roger threw everything at Rafa. He still has the heart of a champion. Sad loss for him, but great win for Rafa. Berdych will be tough but the mode Rafa is in, he will be tough for anybody.


Teeg Says:

Roger will have it even tougher if they face off in a best of 5 set match. Roger’s only chance is to beat Rafa quickly


Rick Says:

Berdych or JMDP will be seeded fifth for the US Open!


Teeg Says:

Am I the only one who thinks whether Roger is seeded 5-8 doesn’t really matter that much? The only player seeded 1-4 he shouldn’t want to face in the quarters would be Rafa. Sure he has recent hardcourt losses to Murrar and Novak, but he has a winning record against all but Rafa. He could still make a deep run, I think, as long as he doesn’t face Rafa too early. Ferrer is no match for Roger.


jatin Says:

The two most unfortuante moment in that match
1) 40-40. Fed had the shot but let cord by rafa ruined it for him.
2) match point – The ball was out but roger didn’t challenged.
Fed was really unlucky tonight. Feeling really sad right now.


Brando Says:

@Fed fan:

First of all: great match. Truly competitive and nervy affair.

And a huge prop to Roger: much improved performance in a long, long time and clearly he has to realize how much he improved today.

He can go to NY looking forward to the event for sure.

Yes, he goes to no. 7 in the ranking but TBH: no.5 or 7 has close to zero difference.

The positive’s surely outweigh the negatives for him today IMO!

I think he and his fans can take heart on how he pushed his greatest foe on the tennis court today!


James Says:

Very good match. Nice to see Federer playing good again. He’s a great champion and played like one today.
Rafa looks good to end the year ranked #1. But first gotta win the Cincy Masters. Vamos!


Alex Says:

Don’t be Jatin, Fed has done so much for us fans lets just be happy hes still out there playing for us at 32…:).

It was nice to see the beautiful shot making and the commentators were heaping on the praise!

Feds a legend, hes done it all, just enjoy. Most other fans don’t have the luxury of having there Fav play to such an age.


Brando Says:

VAMOS RAFA!

Did not play as well as Montreal, and TBH he has dipped a bit this week.

Also faced a on song, fired up, top draw- scratch that- GOAT on his favorite turf: he was in some real trouble today.

A tough match to have on your hand’s.

Yet: he held tough, fought through the match and found his groove as best as he could today.

BIG WIN.

Especially pleased that he ONLY lost 1 game on serve today as he was struggling a bit.

Heartening win considering the surprise Nole, Muzza losses.

He’s matched his best at Cincy and can look forward to having another match pre USO.

VAMOS RAFA!


the DA Says:

@ jatin – yes, it was out. Roger has a habit of choosing to challenge the wrong shots unfortunately. Maybe he didn’t want to challenge of MP – I don’t know.

@ Teeg – “but he has a winning record against all but Rafa”

No. There’s 2 players who have a winning H2H against Roger.


Eric Says:

I never expected Roger to win, but this is still very disappointing. He clearly played close to his best and it still wasn’t enough. A few sloppy moments, a bit of ill luck (though let’s not forget how many times Rafa caught a bit of bad luck too!), and boom, gone. Disheartening.


Alex Says:

Good Night all.

Now that Feds out I hope Nadal wins it and does become no1(I know he will). That way he can really ask Novak the question and make for a very interesting 2014.


James Says:

“No. There’s 2 players who have a winning H2H against Roger.”

@the DA, Andy Roddick!;)


Rick Says:

HEY BRANDO, YOU SAID FED TO WIN TODAY? hehe


Giles Says:

VAMOS RAFA!!
Onto the semis!


the DA Says:

@ James – You (and Roddick) wish ;) Half right though. hehe

BTW, when told the last ball was out Roger just shrugged. He’s moved on and ready to prep for USO.


Teeg Says:

@DA

Is the other player Murray? Anyway, Roger would like his chances against even Murray as he has a better h2h record in the slams against him. IMO, Roger’s biggest obstacle remains Rafa. Good news, he looks rejuvenated, energised, and aside from a few wayward shots, he was trading blow for blow with Rafa. A disappointing loss, no doubt, but he showed why he is “Roger Federer” tonight.


Rick Says:

JMDP will be the dark horse both at Cincy and at the US Open!


James Says:

@the DA, I know hehe the guy’s some Scot that won the Olympic gold and currently holds couple of slams…


Rick Says:

If Fed runs into Tsonga, Gillies, Berdych or JMDP. These guys will beat him!


Brando Says:

@Alex: thanks re Rafa. Very sporting of you.


Teeg Says:

@Rick

Tsonga is out of the Open, and he won’t likely face Del Potro or Berdych till atleast the semis (if the advance that far).


Brando Says:

Re Muzza v Fed: what I really like about Andy there is he’s always been a tough match for Roger from the first one: just like Rafa. I remember way back when in Thailand when a really young Muzza pushed Fed strongly. Andy’s always been a tough nut for Roger to crack: just like Rafa. The good thing is his h2h- like Rafa- isn’t one where they have taken advantage of Roger’s age, but rather they established themselves as a tough foe for Roger from the outset: long ago too in all. I hope Roger keeps his lead on all others though: he’s age 32 now, so let’s not forgot that when looking at his h2h v others.


Rick Says:

Rafa beat Fed for those exhibitions, too!


Jatin Says:

@alex
I agree. I am proud of my hero . He gave everything. You can see the desire , the hunger, the motivation to keep on playing. He wanted it so bad but just feel short.
All the question marks are erased now. He can still challange the very best players.

Rafa is a clear world no 1 for me right now. This guy is unbelivable.

How about Fedal in U.S open final ?
That would be a treat to watch.

@ DA
That is the only thing which was unfortunate. Who knows what would have happened had fed challanged. But that’s sports.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

This is the best chance for Berd or Delpo to win a Masters event. If Rafa loses a set to Roger, it clearly means he is physically getting weary. He might be in a dilemma now, should he go all out to win this tournament or take it easy for USO.

He definitely needs a break. He knows his body best, but it would be wise for him to take some rest. But Berd is one player Rafa does not like to lose. It would be interesting.


courbon Says:

@ Brando & Hippy Chic: CONGRATULATIONS!Your guy is really great these days.I hope he wins Cincy and there is a little doubt he will not.I know you are all careful and reasonable, but right there is your favourite for US Open.


courbon Says:

@ Hippy Chic: To answer yours earlier question.Isner played very well and you had to be in your top form to beat him.Novak was not.
I will tell you my bold prediction-Novak will not win US Open or AO 214,That will be his rock bottom, he will then start from the beginning and come back to win RG or Wimbledon.Call me Jamie if you wish…:-)


Michael Says:

Metan,

Thanks. But I did like the way Roger fought till the end. I see hope for him only through that prism. Roger lost but kept his head high. No shame in losing to Rafa and that too fighting.


metan Says:

Michael,
Your welcome. that’s why it makes me wonder why some of his fans write him off quickly just because he encountered some minor issues . We can expect him as what he was in his great day. But for 32 yo. That’s cool.


Michael Says:

Metan,

Those years of Roger’s total domination is gone where he kept churning out major after major. That is definitely a let down for a player of Roger’s calibre. He pays the price for his greatness. Ofcourse age is a serious factor. But, considering who he is, people expect him to be immortal and evergreen. That will not be happening as nobody can fight against Nature. Ofcourse, even today Roger will deliver now and then, but he will be pretty inconsistent. I doubt if he will win another major. Age as well as competition is against him.


metan Says:

Well said Michael, but it will be great that all his fans keeps supporting him, till he said I am done.


madmax Says:

Sean,

could you comment plaese on your analysis of the match after this comment?

‘Based on form this year – Nadal is 12-0 on hardcourts whereas Federer’s been struggling on all surfaces (remember ONE top ten win this year!) – I think it’s going to be another straight sets victory for the Spaniard’.


Kimberly Says:

@courbon, in 2010 rafa lost to Murray easy in Montreal and baghdatis in cincy and was a rock star at the open, in 2011 rafa lost to dodig in Canada and verdasco in cincy and was a finalist. Last year murray pulled out of Canada and crashed out of cincy but he won the open. I wouldn’t get overly concerned about his performance at the open til he actually loses or gets pushed to five there.


Kimberly Says:

Meaning novaks^^^^^^^^


Tennis x Hippy Chic Says:

Kimberly i agree its the GS in which your season are measured upon,personally i didnt give a monkeys in 2010 when Rafa lost in Canada or Cincy,he won the USO which has way more meaning than either of those,so yeah chin up Courbon.


Michael Says:

Metan,

Roger had a glorious career. Now, he has to end it in a glorious fashion. He has to decide the right time as to when he should hang his boots. That decision if rightly made will enhance his quality as a Champion.

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ATP - Aug 18 WTA - Aug 18
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Rafael Nadal2 Simona Halep
3 Roger Federer3 Na Li
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6 Milos Raonic6 Maria Sharapova
7 Tomas Berdych7 Angelique Kerber
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