Roger Federer: It’s Been A Dream Run, I Hope I Can Keep It Going Against Rafa
by Tom Gainey | January 22nd, 2014, 8:28 am
  • 47 Comments

The Roger Federer resurgence continued Wednesday night at the Australian Open as the 32-year-old ousted Andy Murray 63, 64, 67(6), 63.

The victory moves Federer into his 11th straight Australian Open semifinal where he’ll face rival Rafael Nadal Friday night.

Federer came out ablaze rolling Murray in the first set. The Scot picked it up in the second then finally broke Federer when the Swiss tried to serve for the match at 5-4 but all but choked.

Federer then blew two matchpoints in the tiebreak from 6-4 allowing Murray to take the set. But in the fourth Federer regained control to win his 10th match over the reigning Wimbledon champion and gain revenge for a 5-set semifinal loss a year ago.

“In the first two sets I thought he played great tennis,” Murray said. “When he was serving for the match I felt like I raised my level because I had to basically, and obviously prolonged the match a bit further.

“He served extremely well. As much as I would have liked to have returned better, he served very well. Didn’t allow me to do that.”

After his win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and now Murray, the new partnership with Stefan Edberg is working well as is the new larger racquet which has added some pop on his serve and groundstrokes.

Federer though will have his hands full against Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard leads Roger 22-10 in their rivalry and Rafa’s won eight of 10 in Grand Slam play.

Federer spoke to the press about his big win over Murray, his thoughts on Nadal and how he was high-fiving wife Mirka during Stanislas Wawrinka’s win over Novak Djokovic.

Q. Did you get worried when you lost the third set after all the opportunities you had or were you feeling tired, angry with yourself?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I mean, it’s like one of those things where it would have been nice to close it out, it being that solid match that you played, you know.

The thing was not only that I served for it, but I had 6 4, 5 2 in the breaker. Maybe could have won on one of the points and then probably would have gotten it home for sure. There’s so many things I could have maybe done better. Maybe got slightly passive.

You sit down and you’re still in the lead. You don’t know if momentum is still on your side or on his side now. Only the next few games will decide that. So it was important to get the lead straightaway again.

I could sense that, you know, he was struggling shortly after that. But then again, you don’t know how serious is it. Is he just doing it now and he’s going to be okay later when it matters.

I’ve been in these positions before. For me it was just a matter of staying calm and forgetting about it a little bit because, you know, the match was great until that point when I couldn’t get it done really.

Q. Formulating the game plan is one thing, but executing it is another. Are you impressed with how you’ve been able to execute the last couple games?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, no, I’ve been feeling really well. Physically I know that I can do it. And then because I’m feeling good physically, then I can really think about tactics I want to play, how aggressive or how passive do you want to play. I have all these opportunities now.

I’ve been hitting the ball really well for some time now, so it’s just nice that it all came together in a big match against Murray like this.

Q. If there had been the odd subtle change in your game, it seemed you were able to turn defense into attack, reaching balls you may not have been able to reach a while ago. Is that your back feeling good and the racquet as well?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, the racquet’s not going to do the running for you. But I know what you mean (smiling).

I definitely think that’s what I used to do so well, you know, the transition game from defense to offense. I definitely sensed that today, you know, I am back physically. I’m explosive out there. I can get to balls. I’m not afraid to go for balls.

Of course, you know, last year at times you couldn’t do it, but important is that I can do it now. I’m looking forward to the next match.

It was a great game on many levels today, not just physically. Also just mentally it was tough. Then I really played some good tennis. I was very happy.

Q. How did you see the ball that you went in for? Murray had a long debate with the umpire about whether the ball was up.
ROGER FEDERER: A long debate is a bit extreme, exaggeration.

Q. For him it was pretty long.
ROGER FEDERER: Really? I’ve seen worse.

Honestly, I don’t know. I thought I probably got it, especially the way it bounced on the other side. It felt like I got under it. At that point I might even have my eyes closed. It’s like it’s so extreme that I really don’t know.

They showed it twice I thought on the replay. It looked good. I just told the umpire, How can they show this and create this controversial moment potentially? It’s not really what you want to do.

I hope it was played the right way. If it wasn’t, I’m sorry. But it’s an umpire’s call. I’ve been burnt by these calls before. I can’t remember the score, but clearly it was a big one. I think I ended up breaking him in the game.

I don’t know. We’ll have to check the replay time and time again.

Q. You have a new racquet, a new coach, a new level of fitness. Could you talk about how they all come together? It’s not a new Roger Federer, but is it energizing and invigorating for you.
ROGER FEDERER: It’s really a big pleasure for me being back in the semifinals. I think I’ve played semis here all the way since ’03 or ’04 maybe.

For me it’s an amazing result for me again to be in the semis. This one feels different because of the tougher times I’ve had in slams, Wimbledon, at the US Open. It’s nice to be back in the semis and defend my points from last year. Not that it matters at my age.

But it’s nice to play a nice tournament. Plus what I really love is another Swiss is in the semis as well. It’s the first time in history. So that’s a big deal. I was really happy for Stan last night, because he’s been putting in an amazing effort for the last years and didn’t always get compensated. That’s the big news for me.

I didn’t think about it all the time when I was playing, but it was definitely inspiring tennis by him last night.

For me, it’s as well a dream run, and I hope I can keep it up against Rafa.

Q. What would you say about the all Swiss final?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, the moment you start thinking about that we’re taking the same flight home. So, yeah, look, I’m worried about my match clearly, but I’ll definitely watch his first. Hopefully he can make it. Then he can put the pressure on me that way.

It’s a great problem to have. Geez, I mean, he played so well. Not just now against Novak, but he’s done it so well in this tournament. He won Chennai. Great season last year. He’s really also getting the respect he deserves in his country now and also on the tennis tour.

It’s nice seeing it turning around for him.

And for me, yeah, I hope I can make it to the finals. Clearly when you’re in the semis you start dreaming. There’s no doubt about that.

Q. When you’re watching Stan’s matches, are you just watching it quietly or do you find yourself occasionally coming out with a, C’mon?
ROGER FEDERER: How much can I say here? I don’t know. I’m not sitting there all quiet, no. At the end I was standing up, hands in the air like him. That’s what it was, you know.

When he wins big points, yeah, I guess you do fist pump. I high five with Mirka. So it was good fun last night. We watched the entire fifth set together. Before I was watching more by myself. It was amazing.

Q. Given Rafa has had a good record against you in recent years, especially in slams. Do you take any comfort in the fact that he is struggling a little bit with his left hand, which means he can’t serve quite as well as normal?
ROGER FEDERER: Then 210 bombs are coming my way again. Who knows. He’s been tough to play against, no doubt. I’m happy I get a chance to play him in a slam again. I don’t remember the last time we played.

The head to head record is in his favor. I’m looking forward to speaking to Stefan, because when we spoke together, you know, when he came to Dubai and we spoke about the game, we clearly spoke about playing Rafa, as well.

He thought he had some good ideas, so I’m looking forward to what he has to say. Clearly with Severin, he knows him inside out. I’m looking forward to hear what the boys have to say. We’ll prepare. I hope I can get a win. We’ll see.

Q. You said before that you’re physically back. Do you think you’re also mentally back? Tonight you had 17 breakpoints and you transformed only four. Why?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, the majority came in the fourth set, in the beginning. I think I was 1 1 and 1 1 in the first two sets.

Look, yeah, it was a great match. I’m happy. I don’t care about the breakpoints. I really don’t.

Q. After losing the third set, did you think he had the form to take you to five?
ROGER FEDERER: No, but you never know. I mean, when you go deep, past the three hour mark, past three and a half hours I don’t know how long we played you just don’t know. It’s a bit of the unknown sometimes. You go through phases where you feel better or worse.

I don’t know if he’s not feeling so well with his back or if he’s not feeling so well because he physically couldn’t train as much as he wanted to. It’s that unknown factor which is stressful. It’s difficult to handle. Plus I kept missing opportunities.

But I tried to stay calm. I’ve been in these positions before. I think I did well at the end. Would have been nice to get the early break and then hopefully serve and go up 3 Love on the first change of ends. That was a bit of a pity.

But I guess I know exactly what he’s going through, because that’s how I felt sometimes because you couldn’t work out sometimes. You get tired throughout the match. It’s just not a good feeling to have because you start doubting yourself and then things get tough.

Q. You mentioned age in a previous answer. Do you think people get too obsessed with your age and they don’t look at the player?
ROGER FEDERER: Not sure. You know, I don’t read everybody’s articles, honestly. I actually don’t read much at all so I don’t know exactly what’s being said. I just sense it when I’m being asked questions time and time again.

The whole retirement question started like in ’09. Here we are five years down the road and I’m getting asked less. So that’s a good thing.

Then I think it’s okay to talk about age because, yeah, I’m not 22. But most of the guys now are between 26, 7, 8 now and have a lot of miles in their body now. So I’m not the only guy.

Yeah, things don’t get easier. But at the same time they might become more enjoyable. Maybe I can play with less pressure. Maybe I just love it. I still love competition. Still feel maybe there’s something big around the corner.

You know, I’m just trying to find out and see if that’s the case. I do feel it is. But only time will tell if it’s possible or not.

Q. As somebody who has been an ambassador for the game for a long time and also on the Player Council, what do you think of the tournament not penalizing David Ferrer for shoving a linesperson during his quarterfinal?
ROGER FEDERER: I didn’t see it. Speak to him. Give him a timeout (smiling). No, I mean, who cares? It happens, you know.

Q. You mentioned about Murray. He thought you played particularly well in the first two sets. Are there one or two points you can identify in his performance that gave you the clue that he wasn’t fully recovered from the back operation?
ROGER FEDERER: I think in the beginning he played well. Physically he was fine. It seemed like, at least. Maybe at the end of the third only did I sense maybe for a second, but the problem was the scoreline was so difficult right then that you cannot focus on the guy’s body or how he’s feeling.

You’re playing point for point. Unfortunately I didn’t serve well when I had to. I sensed he might be struggling on some serves, but then again he did better when I thought he would struggle. It was one of those things.

Once the ball was in play he played quite aggressive. He actually played well. Then right off the bat in the fourth set I realized, you know, he’s not that fast maybe. Things are getting a bit difficult for him now. Not knowing if it was actually back or just fatigue because, like I said, maybe he couldn’t work out as much as he wanted to.

You started feeling that as the match went past three hours, all that. That’s when I started to feel it the most. In that Love 40 game at 1 0 in the fourth. That’s why it was so more disappointing not to take the opportunity there, because you don’t know if it’s like, Oh, maybe one game, then he’s like back to normal. You’re like, God, I can’t believe I missed that opportunity.

But he did struggle more or less throughout the fourth. But he was dangerous, you know.


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47 Comments for Roger Federer: It’s Been A Dream Run, I Hope I Can Keep It Going Against Rafa

madmax Says:

Q. Did you get worried when you lost the third set after all the opportunities you had or were you feeling tired, angry with yourself?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I mean, it’s like one of those things where it would have been nice to close it out, it being that solid match that you played, you know.

The thing was not only that I served for it, but I had 6 4, 5 2 in the breaker. Maybe could have won on one of the points and then probably would have gotten it home for sure. There’s so many things I could have maybe done better. Maybe got slightly passive.

You sit down and you’re still in the lead. You don’t know if momentum is still on your side or on his side now. Only the next few games will decide that. So it was important to get the lead straightaway again.

Yes!

Fed knows what he is doing, squandering those break points! He knows, so we should stop stressing out about Fed’s break points that he loses, because it is his fans that stress out about this, and not him!

Wow!

What a match!

Great interview too.


gannu Says:

Hope he wins madmax… atleast I need to chill
and relax…fed surely looks more confident more
relaxed…


Brando Says:

Really digging the respect and humility Fed shows towards Rafa when he talks about him. Kudos to him for that. Fed seems to be the deserved winner according to all and he’ll certainly give Rafa a run for his money. I’ll say more later but right now because of Rafa’s blister and Fed’s good form I gave Fed the edge in this one.


Giles Says:

Vamos Champ!
Stay Healthy!
#GoAwayBlister


Vidzy Says:

All those who think Federer will win this match are fools and seems they have learnt nothing . Nadal will moonball on Federer’s backhand like he did to Dimitrov and it gets tiring. He will frustrate Federer and will pass him on net which unfortuntely Murray and Tsonga couldnt do . Federer will lose this match in 4 sets. Wawrinka has a better chance against Rafa if he can take down Birdshhiit tomorrow.


Queen Says:

Wow Fed and his team got ideas how to beat Rafa…ha ha ha it did not happen for so long for him you would think he learns something new now. I mean Fed if you have not figured it out by now I do not think it is going to happen for you. The moment Rafa starts smacking that ball Fed goes back to his own ways. I don’t think he knows how to adjust…just saying.


van orten Says:

i am really glad that i have to go to work on friday morning because we all know whats going to happen.
maybe the stars align this time .. nobody can deny that fed would deserve one more win at gs level vs his nemesis. but who am i to write some wishful thinking like that. i love u roger


gannu Says:

haha van orten..u are just a replica of me and my love towards feddy bear…I will also rather go to the office…yes wishful thinking but I feel he needs this one win and this gslam to go out with glory …Hope and pray… love u to death roger….best wishes from a die hard fan of urs…


skeezer Says:

Federer – Fantastic!

Great run Mr. Federer. Tsonga, Murray. Proves you’re still a force to be reckoned with, even against the young ones. Win or Lose against Rafa, your still the best!

#AllTimeRecordGSSemis


SG1 Says:

Federer played well and took it to Andy as he has done in the past when he has beaten him. It’s 11-10 Murray now. One rivalry almost squared up.

I think Fed’s building confidence right now and I suspect that Rafa’s may be ebbing a little bit. This may be the moment in time where Federer can get the better of Rafa. He’ll need to serve very well and avoid “Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory” as Humble mentioned in regards to capitalizing on break points.

I think the new racket and the aggressive mind set are paying off for Federer right now. The semi-final should be a humdinger!


Gordo Says:

Even if he loses in straight sets to Rafa, Roger Federer has proven he still belongs. I imagine he will wind up in the “Who’s got the Funk” section on the left side of this site’s home page; and that’s worth the equivalent of a grand slam, no? 😝


SG1 Says:

I think Andy Murray should take a lot of positives away from this match (or as many as you can take from a loss). He didn’t back down and he fought the entire way. Also, he didn’t seem to be struggling physically which will give him some confidence to grind out in future matches.


John Says:

As long as Birdsh!t doesnt win the AO im happy.

That would be a nightmare.


Humble Rafa Says:

Win or Lose against Rafa, your still the best!

You may want to rephrase that. Let me help.

You lose to Rafa, we assume you are the best!


Giles Says:

Andy has at least another 3-4 months to go to get back to some semblance of his performance at Wimbledon last year. A back operation is no small matter be it major or minor. He hasn’t had any match practice to speak of. So, in a nutshell his defeat today wasn’t entirely unexpected. As for Tsonga, isn’t he carrying some sort of injury? He’s a mental midget anyway IMO.


Patson Says:

Fed will win this match , hands down.

I looked at that blister and NO WAY Nadal can take down Fed. Reason ? Simple, he served crap against Dimitrov apparently because of that blister. He says it hurts when he serves. Federer is playing the best tennis and Nadal needs to be in prime condition to beat him which he isn’t. Federer in 3 straight sets I say.

Federer wins Australian Open 2014.


Gordo Says:

Sometimes you play with pain. Rafa has proved he can do just that. Of course the second he has a less than positive result he invariably points out his injury as the cause.

After all that’s gone down at this tournament I find it surprising that there are some who persist in stating unequivocally who is going to win the matches yet to be played.

Yes Nadal’s blister is an issue, as is the slower ball travel at night as is the faster court as is Fed 2.2. I think even Rafa’s supporters will agree it should be an exciting match.

The only prediction I am willing to make is that it will not be over in 3 sets, no matter who wins. Can’t wait for it. And may it be the best man on the day winning.

If Fed loses I suggest he take up pillow fighting as part of his training regimen, for that girl on Poker Stars has a 1-1 record against Rafa. 😜


Giles Says:

Regarding Rafa’s blister, he did not at a y point say it hurts when he serves.He said “With the tape I can lose the racquet when at serving”.
Vamos Rafa!


Giles Says:

Rafa’s blister will hopefully be much better come Friday. There is even talk he might play without the bandage should that happen.


Josh Says:

@Patson – “No way”? I think that’s too forward – if anything the consensus might be the other way round. As someone who would absolutely love Roger to win this title, or at least reach the final, it scares me when I see these two face off nowadays.
Regardless of what injury Rafa has, he has this uncanny ability to continue to win. Rafa’s serve has never been his biggest weapon. If his forehand and backhand happen to fire, that’s problem enough.
3 straight sets is the only way I can see Roger doing it – if he somehow does, and goes on to win the title, it would have to go down as possibly the single gratest achievement by anyone (and the greatest of his career) surely?


madmax Says:

Brando Says:
Really digging the respect and humility Fed shows towards Rafa when he talks about him. Kudos to him for that. Fed seems to be the deserved winner according to all and he’ll certainly give Rafa a run for his money. I’ll say more later but right now because of Rafa’s blister and Fed’s good form I gave Fed the edge in this one.

January 22nd, 2014 at 10:52 am

Brando. Hold your horses. No excuses. God, Rafa has played with tendinitus, stomach muscle injury, blisters – he still wins. Give your guy credit. Blisters? You telling me trainers don’t know what microtape is? or the “sore” jelly to ease the pain. We all know that he has played with blisters in matches all his life.

Giles, Andy, for the record, said “operation was a MINOR operation on his back”.

Like I said, he lacks match practice that is all. His physicality is superb. His training regime, join the desert rats Andy, he would hold up against any marine. Just match practice and he was NOT carrying an injury.

Neither was Tsgona. A mental midget? Seriously, you have to be joking. Remember USO, when he bulldozed Fed, when Fed was 5:2 up?

Tsonga is a force to be reckoned with against any player. He is a flamboyant, but beautiful shot maker and is a great tennis player.

I agree that Fed is playing cracking, scintillating tennis right now. He is just the man.

He will give it his all against Rafa on Friday. But Rafa will be the favourite. He always is against Roger. We all know that.

Vidzy Says:
All those who think Federer will win this match are fools and seems they have learnt nothing . Nadal will moonball on Federer’s backhand like he did to Dimitrov and it gets tiring. He will frustrate Federer and will pass him on net which unfortuntely Murray and Tsonga couldnt do . Federer will lose this match in 4 sets. Wawrinka has a better chance against Rafa if he can take down Birdshhiit tomorrow.

January 22nd, 2014 at 11:07 am

Vidzy, Rafa may well go to Fed’s backhand as he has done before, time and time again, but I would remind you of two things.

a) when he has done this in the past, Fed has run around his backhand – take you back to WTF 2010, semi finals.

b) He will be coming into the net more, that is for sure. Now obviously and clearly, Rafa will know this. He has been spotted sitting in the arena watching Fed’s matches on many occasions, touting the shots – or perhaps he just knows that however he plays, his shot making will never be as beautiful as Fed’s, so playing the spectator is a privilege for him.

These two guys have the utmost respect for each other. We shall see, and though Rafa will be favourite, he will of course, play it down, say, “Roger is the best of the history”, he is “playing great”, etc., which of course, he is.

I would never desert the Fed at all, and cannot wait for him to play. Will be another mark in the great rivalry of theirs. I will enjoy the match, come what may.


Giles Says:

“He has been spotted sitting in the arena watching Fed’s matches on many occasions, touting his shots”.
Madmax. Yes Rafa does watch Fed’s matches given the opportunity in full view of the camera. Has it occurred to you that maybe Rafa enjoys watching fed play? Why would Rafa want to tout his shots? That is a very stupid thing to say. I don’t think Rafa has anything to learn from fed. Rafa has done splendidly against your man. What is the h2h now? 22-10. Nuff said!!!


Brando Says:

@Madmax:

I do give my guy credit. The thing is:

It was clear- and Rafa admitted the obvious afterwards- that the blister gave him issues whilst serving. An obvious fact.

The guy served 3 DF in one mere game- he never does that in a match let alone a game! Also his serve speed dropped by 10%.

That said:

Rafa said beyond that it does not really bother him, and personally I think/hope by match time it shall be less of a bother for him.

Having seen Rafa play and just watched Fed’s highlights for me:

FED is the favorite. why? The following:

1. IMO, Rafa played poorly in that QF match. Way, way beyond what’s good enough to challenge for a title, let alone a slam. He say’s so himself: if he does not improve and especially his serve, Fed, Muzza, Berdych or whomever: he’s off home.

It was a very poor match from his side. 47 UE’s in 4 sets for Rafa- unheard of from him.

So unless he improves: he’s got no chance.

2. Blister Issue: Like I said it’s a real thing regarding his serve. Heck: Rafa fan no.1 on here Skeezer even said he thinks it is affecting his serving. It’s no excuse- just recognition of the obvious.

That said: I hope/ think by match time he’ll hopefully be fine, and comfortable serving with the blister. It’s more of a comfort/ ease of mind thing as opposed to (and thankfully so) something more serious.

3. Fed’s ridiculous form:

I truly was gobsmacked just watching the highlights of Fed’s match. He was unbelievably clinical, solid and playing like the Fed of years gone by.

His serve was immense, his strokes were powerful, penetrating, consistent, the FH had zip, the BH was consistently reliable and above all else:

his aggressive game at the net was spectacular.

Put simply:

He was playing as good as he possibly could play IMO. And it was a treat to watch to.

Bottom Line:

It does not matter who you root for: it’s obvious whose the man in form out the 2.

And it’s equally obvious which one of the 2 needs to improve GREATLY in order to stand a chance here.

Who cares about the h2h- FED is the GOAT, a 17 time slam winner and playing the better Tennis of the 2.

That’s more than enough to convince that he’s the favorite.

Personally- fav or no fav does not matter to me, but to dismiss Fed’s chances as some are doing here automatically due to the h2h regardless of how feel Fed is playing and how poorly Rafa is playing is:

Absolutely silly to me.

I’m a huge Rafa fan. I always back him and I always will. But reality matters moreso than anything else to me. And right now all I know is:

Rafa’s going to be playing a fired up, in form 17 GS Champion. He better pick up his level immensely if he is to stand a chance of winning and especially on his serve.

He knows this, he has said this and he’ll need to in order to win.


Giles Says:

@Brando. I trust Rafa to do everything he can to pull out the win!
Vamos Champ!


Brando Says:

@Giles:

Hi Giles. I agree with you. Ultimately: Rafa survived that match and lives to fight on another day. And no matter what: fight he will.

I hope/think Rafa shall address the blister issue prior to match time and beyond that hopefully he’ll play much than he did with Grigor since he absolutely needs to but ultimately:

I take comfort from the fact of knowing our Champ is a fighter more than anything else. He’ll do his outmost to be best prepared and perform his best.

Hopefully he shall play his best and I hope that is enough for him to win. If not: no matter, as we know Rafa would have fought the best he possibly could do so.

Vamos Champ!


Lou_tennisfan Says:

Look, yeah, it was a great match. I’m happy. I don’t care about the breakpoints. I really don’t.

I am a fed fan but still I think this is the reason of his downfall most of the times. If he doesn’t start caring about the BP, then I find it hard to believe that against Nadal, he has a chance who normally doesnt give you that many chances.


Hippy Chic Says:

Although Rafas my favorite player and i hope he wins,i would say Rogers definetly the one whos played the better tennis of the two men,i dont know what will happen in the semis,but i have to say i think he would have a better chance of adding to his 17 GS against Stan as he has a fantastic record against Stan i would say 70/30 in favour of Roger,but Tomas is mentally tougher against Roger and doesnt seem intimidated by him i would still give Roger the edge,but against Tomas i think it would be tougher for him 60/40 in favour of Roger,as Tomas has had Rogers number in the GS lately,this is assuming he beats Rafa and makes the final which as a Rafa fan i hope he doesnt(obviously),my two cents.


Vidzy Says:

@ Brando

LOL. Seems you recently started watching tennis. Nadal leads 7-2 over Federer on outdoor courts and Federer himself isnt playing that well as its being projected. Its just that he is playing better from june 2013-Dec 2013 stretch and serving better than 2013. If rafa committed 47 UE errors , Federer committed 42 as well. Not to forget his choke at 5-4 serving for the match and 2 match points in TB. If he cant closeout a match against Andy who wasn’t at his best how can you expect him to win over rafa.
Rafa may be playing average ut its good enough to best Fed. The bottomline is Average playing Rafa >>> Federer’s best.
Why ?? Federer’s Backhand may be better but the court isnt that fast to allow him to hit winners croasscourt . He finds Rafa’s forehand everytime he hits there and Rafa goes for forehand down the line. Rafa doesn’t need to serve his best against Federer. Its federer who needs to serve is very best to hold. The moment the rallies start taking place and they start to get longer, rafa has the clear edge. Rafa stand so far back down the court than Tsonga and Murray, anything short hit by Federer will get punished. If there is any chance of Federer winning this match it has to be in straight sets and not let rafa get into his mind. The moment the match goes 4 or 5 sets , BOOOM. Rafa will get that mental edge as he has over the years and Federer will start doubting himself and there goes the match for him.


RZ Says:

John, LOL that’s how I feel, though I think Berdych would give Fed/Rafa a tougher final than Wawrinka.


tfouto Says:

As a huge fan of Federer i would say that i agree with Vidzy. Federer is playing amazing, amazing tennis, but if chokes against Murray when closing the game, i just cant see Federer winning Nadal. The mental part is the achilles part of Federer.

Saying that i hope Federer could win tough.


Patson Says:

Fed fans need not worry. This time, I think Federer is playing well enough to beat a Nadal who is slightly hampered by those blisters. Fed will play a great match. I’m predicting something similar to Madrid 2009. I actually think Nadal is the underdog for this match.


Humble Rafa Says:

Imagine you go to your favorite restaurant and order your favorite meal. Food looks delicious but your hands have blisters and you can’t use the fork properly.

How does it feel?

#firstworldproblems


skeezer Says:

Blisters? Apparently it not that. Bad? he WON!
Don’t expect it to be an issue, unless he loses. Then it will be an excuse, of course.
#vamosheadsunite


sheila Says:

i am a federer fan, not a nadal fan(although i have the utmost respect for nadal), however, there is a fine line btwn negative thoughts & realistic observation and, unfortunately, reality is telling me, nadal will once again win roger. nadals top spin to federers one handed backhand is simply a “crappy” matchup. unless nadal is so out of sorts, & federer is serving so incredible, i don’t see roger winning this. nadal will win his 14th major & will surpass federer’s 17 major wins. unless another tennis player steps up, nadal, at this point, is unbeatable. djokovic was the only one who might have beaten nadal.


Michael Says:

I would be more than happy if Roger makes it a competitive match tomorrow. It is all I want. I do not mind him losing. But he must not lose without a fight. I am sure in this form, Roger is definitely in with a chance to get the better off Rafa. It is all in his mind, he has to conquer the demons. I am sure if he can lift that baggage, he surely will be a different player against Rafa.


Eric Says:

Look, we’ve seen this reel before plenty of times: Fed looks like he’s “back” — everyone busts out the cliches (“clinical,” “sparkling,” the “great golden whip” or whatever…) — then he plays Rafa. If you think Fed is the favorite, you’re either a delusional fan or a Rafa-brainwashed parrot who repeats his every line about how tough the next match is gonna be. Sure, the blister is a bit worrisome, but Rafa beat Fed 2/3 matches even before he got a good serve in 2010. It’s a non-issue, an excuse lurking below the surface in case Roger actually pulls off a huge upset.

When was the last time Roger beat Rafa at a slam?

Oh right. 2007.


Patson Says:

I speak as a neutral since my man lost but this time, it’s different for Federer. You are seeing a physically hampered Nadal, and a confident Fed. Fed fans should be confident about their man. Federer will have a chance to break Nadal again and again. He’ll attack Nadal’s serve which won’t have that much pace because of the blister. There is NO WAY that blister is going to heal any time soon.

Fed’s got this AO.


rafaeli Says:

Playing the one handed backhander, Baby Fed, in the Qtrs was fortunate for Rafa. It was like a dress rehearsal for the SF. If only Fed could have played a left hander in the Qtrs. Oh wait……..there isn’t one that would prepare him for Rafa.


Margot Says:

For the record no operation on your back is “minor.” Typical of Andy to down play it. Heck, right up to the last minute his fans didn’t even know he needed one. Nor did we know that at every tournament since 2011 he has had to be tanked up with pain killers in order to compete.
All his fans are grateful and amazed tbh that he’s got so far so soon.


Hippy Chic Says:

Margot Andy himself said it wouldve been silly to think of winning the AO,he himself and us fans think its fantastic he got this far after very little match play,certainly no disgrace anyway.


Michael Says:

True Alison. Andy need sometime to recover especially after a back surgery which is really serious. Yet, he played really well. Even against Roger, I was impressed with the way he was offering dogged resistance despite being down by two sets. That showed his tenacity, grit and never say never die attitude which are the features of a great player.


Purcell Says:

Patson: if it’s something like Madrid, Roger will have to sit patiently in his chair whilst occasionally glancing at Nadal to make sure he goes to the net first. Then Roger will follow him.


madmax Says:

Margot Says:

For the record no operation on your back is “minor.” Typical of Andy to down play it. Heck, right up to the last minute his fans didn’t even know he needed one. Nor did we know that at every tournament since 2011 he has had to be tanked up with pain killers in order to compete.
All his fans are grateful and amazed tbh that he’s got so far so soon.

January 23rd, 2014 at 2:27 am

Come on Margot!

For someone who swears by reading the guardian and the BBC sport Margot, clearly you are not practising what you preach.

Very sorry for you Margot that Andy lost. And also sorry to tell you that you are wrong. Doesn’t surprise me though. Andy, “for the record” said his back injury was MINOR. You only need to read his comments, and as you fail to want to take his truth into account. You remain delusional. No surprise. For the record of course.

Strange how you always quote reading the guardian butthis time, fail to read their headline nor read their report?

And I am sorry Margot, but are you now a Professor of Medicine. Quote ! “No Operation on your back is minor”. Oh Really? Have you never had something which is minor, as opposed to major? Tut. Tut.

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2013/sep/19/andy-murray-surgery-back

“Andy Murray’s golden summer has ground to a halt and he will undergo MINOR surgery on a lingering back injury on Monday that could keep him out of tennis until the Australian Open in January”.

“Next week Andy is set to undergo MINOR back surgery in an effort to clear up a long-standing back problem,” a statement from Murray’s team said on Thursday. ”

Although the surgery will be “non-invasive”, according to a source, it would seem inadvisable to risk aggravating the injury.

MINOR AND NON-INVASIVE Margot, means exactly that. NOT SERIOUS!

No one is saying it wasn’t a brave call from him Margot, Clearly he had to have something done as it was hampering his play.

“British number one Andy Murray has tweeted a picture of himself in hospital with his thumbs up after MINOR surgery on his troublesome back”.

http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/tennis/24217149

And remember, Andy’s own words, “non-invasive”. No instruments entered his body. He mentioned ultra sound and laser treatment.

Get off your high horse Margot and believe Andy’s truth. You are the last one here to be believed.


Okiegal Says:

@madman

In defence of Margot on Andy’s “minor” surgery……any time a person goes under the knife and has to be anesthetized, is very serious. If he was put to sleep for his procedure, that made it major. There have been cases where people have never awakened after surgery. This is a side affect. I had to sign a paper before my operation stating that I was aware of this. Said all that to say this…all surgeries are serious, especially if he was anesthetized. Don’t know whether he was or not……just saying.


Okiegal Says:

^^^^Should say…….@Madmax…….sorry!


madmax Says:

Sure, Oki sure.

Madman is fine.

EVERY patient signs a form at a hospital, in case of a negligence claim. So there is no difference there.

He didn’t go under the knife! It was non-invasive!

Why is it that you don’t want to believe this, from his own words, his own team, his own guardian reporter, who will have been following his story.

MINOR,NON-INVASIVE. Just accept it for once.

EVERY player at a high level will experience soreness and it not unlikely they take painkillers, rafa has said this in the past, as has roger, novak, andy.

Stop making out that Andy has undergone some life threatening operation here, he isn’t a saint. He is a fantastic tennis player who had the guts to do something sooner rather than later, before it got out of control. This is what should be applauded.

And please. No need to defend Margot. She is well able to do this for herself, if you know her by her alter ego.


Okiegal Says:

@madmax

If he was wide awake during the procedure, fine, well and good!! That’s great. I was just saying if he was anesthetized, which I didn’t know whether he was or not, it’s not minor, but it was called surgery.

Regarding Margot, I will agree she can take care of herself…….a strong woman!! A nice characteristic.

Madman would really suit you for moniker, you seem so angry most of the time!! LOL

Cheerio Maxi pooh!

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