Federer’s Looking A Whole Lot Better-er Entering March Madness!
by Sean Randall | March 1st, 2014, 5:00 pm
  • 70 Comments

It wasn’t vintage Roger Federer like yesterday, but against Tomas Berdych you often don’t have to be at 100% peak performance. And that’s what happened today in the final as Federer rallied to brush away Berdych 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 for his sixth title at his second home of Dubai.

Much like Friday, Federer again found himself in a hole early to Berdych who was, for the most part, simply overpowering Federer. Tomas took the first then leading 3-2 with a break in the second appeared to be in control and speeding to victory. That’s when Berdych mentally caved, something we’ve seen before from the Czech.

Federer seized upon the slippage and from there ran away with the match.

Roger wasn’t anywhere near as sharp nor as aggressive as he was in that scintillating win over Novak Djokovic on Friday, but he was solid enough to let Berdych implode. And Tomas did just that.

“I was happy I was able to use momentum, win that second set, and then it was a tough opening period in the third, wasting the Love-40 game on Tomas’ first service game,” said Federer. “Then saving break points myself. Anything could have happened there.

“Things definitely went my way out here tonight, but I have had a lot tougher matches in the last one and a half years, so this is nice to get a lucky break again.”

Federer’s win was also his first since Halle and the biggest – this is Dubai afterall – since the summer of 2012 when he won Wimbledon and Cincinnati.

So for Federer fans, this is excellent news. Not only is he contending and winning titles, he’s beating his rivals like Andy Murray, JW Tsonga in Australia and now Djokovic and Berdych this week.

The win over Berdych is already Federer’s 4th top 10 win of the season and 7th in his last five events. Part of the rebirth, he says, is the new bigger racquet is feeling better.

“I’m just happy that now it’s clear, I don’t have to think of it, and I can just play tennis,” Federer said about the larger racquet. “It’s not in the back of my mind anymore, Is this racquet good or not? I was convinced in practice, but then you hope that the results are going to follow and they did.

“When you can play that way, you’re more free, you have an open mind. That’s when you are more successful. I’m very happy.”

As for Berdych, well, more of the same. He’s got the game, we know, but between the ears he just can’t seem to get the job done. Up a set and a break, on a quick court and with Federer playing so-so, he’s got to finish it off, but mentally he broke down again.

And guys like Federer know that and as we saw took advantage.

“I would say many things [went wrong],” said Berdych who had won 11 straight matches coming in. “The match started pretty well. I had really many chances, and then I basically just gave him the game and that’s it.

“It’s very disappointing for me the way I handled that situation. I was in the better shape and playing really well and made my chances, but unfortunately I didn’t execute it in the end.”

With the win Federer moves ahead of John McEnroe at 78 titles in the Open Era. Ivan Lendl is next on the list with 94 (Connors is No. 1 with 109).

Looking ahead this month, obviously Nadal looms large but with Juan Martin Del Potro injured, Murray still on the mend and Djokovic having issues, it’s impossible not to put Federer among the top picks for Indian Wells and Miami. He’ll have to start off a little quicker and avoid getting down early (or late like he was against Stepanek), but the signs and game are there and he’s healthy. So this has the makings to be quite a ride.

Welcome to March Madness everyone.


Also Check Out:
Stop the Madness
Noah Part of March Madness
Federer Rules; Replay on Deck
Lessons from March Madness
Bernard Tomic: Once The Federers, Nadals, Djokovics Are Gone, I’ll Have A Chance To Dominate

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70 Comments for Federer’s Looking A Whole Lot Better-er Entering March Madness!

Steve27 Says:

IW perhaps, Miami, no freaking way!


Brando Says:

His win over Berdych and especially Novak was more impressive than winning the title. His confidence should be at a peak in 18


Brando Says:

His win over Berdych and especially Novak was more impressive than winning the title. His confidence should be at a peak now post 2012. Lets see what unfolds in US swing.


James Says:

He has a chance at Indian Wells which he has won a few times before. It won’t be easy for him though. I can think of 3-4 players who I think can beat him there.


pigoonse Says:

Now cometh the hour, now cometh the other Swiss Man. Can Magnus Norman continue the winning spell for his charge into IW and beyond?

Soon we will see if that AO win was a fluke or what.


didi Says:

Berdych is a jerk… gave him the match-really?… so Roger didn’t have to play to win… I have never liked this arrogant ass.


Polo Says:

I hope these Swiss-Swede collaborations continue to prosper.


skeezer Says:

Kudos to Fed. Grinded out 3, 3 setters to hoist the Title. The man is grand!

Why do I have a feeling though Nole is going to be on fire at IW? Look out field, picking Nole as the sleeper.


Michael Says:

Great win for Roger in a very competitive field to beat Novak and then an in-form Berdych is exceptional stuff. Although he didn’t anywhere play his best tennis that he is known to produce, yet he took advantage of the opportunities that were presented to him by a fickle minded Berdych. Watching Roger play is just a poetry in motion and this is what his 6th Dubai title. I hope that he can this forward and do well in the American swing.


Humble Rafa Says:

Swiss-Swede collaborations
==
Swiss-Swede collaborations = cheese pizza.

When one talks, the other falls asleep. I am glad I have a “man” coaching me, not some kid who looks 16.


Jose Felciano Says:

calm, cool, collected is back…..respect


Giles Says:

skeezer says “Grinded out 3 3 setters to hoist the Title. .”
On the next thread he says ” So happy to get a welcome break from Grindo-matic tennis ….”. Hmmm. Make up your mind, Sounds a bit contradictory to me. Did he or did he not play Grindo-matic tennis??


madmax Says:

Giles,

Can you stop picking on Skeezer please? Every comment he makes, which is not directed at you, you jump on like a sack of potatoes. Enough.

Try to be the new person you said you were going to be, and if you don’t have anything encouraging to say about the match, then run along elsewhere.

Your comments just degrade wonderful matches that Fed played against all of his opponents during Dubai. From start to finish.

The best match for me was against Novak. That was a match fit for a final, and more. It really was simply sublime.

We are proud to see Roger fight through his mental difficulties Giles, at crunch moments, no less. God he has been slated for that time and time again, and no doubt, this will continue.

But to see him win is so very sweet for us, when there are fans like you that hound him and stalk him with nothing but criticism and hatred for him.


Slice Tennis Says:

Giles,
LMAO.
Leave that old lady alone.
Let her celebrate this win by “her man”.
We don’t know when (or whether) he will win his next title.
LOL.


madmax Says:

Good morning Slice T.

Looks like it’s you and me here today!

I guess we can say that about all players, can’t we? When will they win their next title?

It’s very encouraging though don’t you think?


RZ Says:

Great win for Roger! Glad to see his first 2 months of 2014 already much better than his 2013, with a final, semi, and title. nice start to the year.


nadalista Says:

RT @DavidLawTennis: “Saw new side to Dimitrov this week. Won three straight 3-setters & 5/5 tie-breaks vs. Gulbis, Murray, Anderson. GrindTime not ShowTime.”

Hahaha, grind baby grind, if you wanna be in the winner’s circle like your idol, Rafael Nadal!

#GrindTime


Giles Says:

Hey @ madmax. Are you skeezer’s spokesman?


Hippy Chic Says:

Maybe Rafa isnt as effortlessly talented as Grigor and especially Roger,but some of us happen to enjoy the way he plays,all purely subjective,but i think he has alot of style to his game, and and i love the way his feet dance around especially on clay,and i think hes actually playing more agressive attacking tennis and going for his shots more,and finishing points of more quickly these days,and as Tennis Vagabond pointed out on another thread,his passing shots are incredible,IW last year against Delpo the shoy making was awesome,his style of tennis might be unconventional and not to everyones taste,but to say he just grinds is unfair IMO,and the guy has won 13 GS and 62 titles overall so he must be doing something right,to add to that the commies said he was top of the list as the best returner last year,all in all not bad for a grinder(sigh).


madmax Says:

Giles Says:
Hey @ madmax. Are you skeezer’s spokesman?

March 2nd, 2014 at 8:13 am

Hey Giles.

No. It’s just that you follow him everywhere. Like you have a crazy crush on him or something? He can’t breathe or move without you popping up saying something negative. Give the guy a break.


Giles Says:

madmax. You’ve got it the wrong way round. He stalks me!!!


Tennis Fan Says:

Nice to see Fed kickin a** at 32 :)

… more to come.


MMT Says:

Great win for Federer, specifically because he wasn’t at his best and still won. I know Berdych gets a bad rap, but I think his assessment is fairly accurate. You go up a set and a break and the match is yours to lose…unfortunately did.

Dimwit rig made some big strides this week, beating a hot Gulbis, the champion Murray, and Kevin Anderson playing his second final in succession – and all 3 in 3 sets to boot. If I’m not mistaken he also came from behind in all three.

I don’t expect much from him in IW due to fatigue, but Miami is probably his best shot at a first Masters 1000.


nadalista Says:

RT @rogerfederer: “Thanks for the sweet tweets and encouragements #trophyshot #isthatasailingboat #itis #weneedwind #ilostit #sorry pic.twitter.com/vTrxvs7So3″

RT @AmyFetherolf: “Fed needs a hashtag intervention.”

LOL!

Who knows, maybe he’s a vamoshead in disguise. Best intervention: he should post (and hashtag)on Roger-x blog…….and get banned! That should cure him…….


madmax Says:

Then rise above it Giles.

Let’s have some decent tennis chat with all these continual numbers being thrown at fed fans.

What do you think about how Roger played yesterday? I thought the Novak SF was the better match by far.


Hippy Chic Says:

IMO The Roger/Novak match was the best match,and shouldve been the final,it was a bit hit and miss against Berdych,i agree with what Brando said at the top of the thread,in that him beating two of the top players back to back,was actually more pleasing than winning the title itself.


Giles Says:

@madmax. Here is my unbiased opinion. As you know I am neither a fan of your man or joker. When joker won the first set my first thought was to switch off the TV sayi g to myself “It’s all over” and then to my surprise, joker seemed to lose focus or whatever and your man was there to take full advantage thereof. So kudos to him for fighting on. As for the Berdych match I felt he was the better player but couldn’t quite capitalise in key moments. A bit of a scrappy match to be honest. So, having said that the joker match was the better of the two.


Hippy Chic Says:

Congrats to Man City on beating Sunderland 3-1,to win the Capital one cup,i know its not tennis,but i figured if Kimberly can talk about the heat,then why cant i mention football?


moam Says:

Possibly, Federer has found himself again. Clearly, he is no longer entangled in the slump that had stalled his remarkable career.
I think he is headed toward winning another slam. Without doubt, it’s possible. Now I think it’s far more probable.
http://martinstake128.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/the-slump/


Giles Says:

Many miracles have to take place for that to happen. JMO


skeezer Says:

nadalista,
LOL tweet from Fed. Thx.


sheila Says:

i am a total federer fan, but lets not get ahead of ourselves in predicting federer will win another slam. of course, i hope he can, but the mens field is really top notch & nadal is almost impossible to beat in whatever tournament. djokovic & murray are not in full flight as of yet so to predict federer will definitely win another major is, imho, jumping ahead. i am hoping with the larger racquet head & edberg coaching advice that fed can pull off the impossible by winning another slam, but to do that nadal, djokovic & murray would probably have to be ousted first. don’t forget tsonga & berdych have beaten federer in majors before. nothing is ever certain.


Okiegal Says:

I read this thread yesterday and I started to comment to Skeezer about his statement regarding Roger grinding out a three setter……then the grind a matic type tennis comment on another thread……decided not to…..read the thread over again today and Giles questioned him about it…..you can always count on Giles!!! LOL

Regarding “grinding” tennis, you better be able to grind it out, because that is the game of tennis today……and I think Roger does it as good as anyone. I love the game like it is today. I think it’s more exciting…….just my preference.


Giles Says:

@Okiegal. “You can always count on Giles!!! LOL”
Meaning??


Hippy Chic Says:

Okiegal completely agree,read my post @8.31am,and you will see what im getting at lol :))..


SG1 Says:

Great win for Roger! Well done. Being healthy always makes a huge difference.


Okiegal Says:

@Chic

I get you, girl!! It’s a long sighhhhh from me too!

I’m watching a rodeo being held in Texas called Th American. It includes the top ranked performers of today and retired champions of long ago. I just saw a lady 70 years old compete in the barrel racing event. This lady has to get on a horse to do this! Amazing! What I’m getting here is this…….and some people on this forum thinks Fed is old??? I don’t think so! Obviously, age is only a number!!

@Giles

Sometimes I don’t feel like responding to tacky, rude comments about Rafa…….if I wait long enough you always do it for me!! That’s the meaning! Lol


rafaeli Says:

Anyone who is describing the Dubai SF and Final as sublime or great is not very hard to please.


Translated Age Says:

Federer, who only won one title in 2013 and struggled with a back injury, admitted he was battling pain throughout the campaign.
“I went through that weeks and months, like every day I hoped there was going to be a little improvement,” he said.
“I only started to feel that improvement halfway through sort of the US Open maybe, so it was a long time. I was fighting it all the way from Indian Wells really.”

Read more at http://www.espn.co.uk/tennis/sport/story/288295.html#0T5hDMjoA7XLvJy6.99

As a fan of the best player of all time, I do wish Roger would choose his words more carefully. Time to move on already. Last year is done and dusted. No one wants to hear about injuries any more. Just play tennis and let your racquet do the talking for you like you did in Dubai.

Allez Champ!


Giles Says:

@ Okiegal. Are you saying I am predictable? :)
Please don’t make a habit of it, waiting long enough I mean.
If you can beat me to it by all means go ahead.


Giles Says:

“Being healthy makes a huge difference”.
Yep it sure does. Just ask the other players who have suffered injuries!!!


skeezer Says:

“Being healthy makes a huge difference”.
Ye, it sure does. But blaming a great portion of your losses to NOT being healthy is another matter.


Okiegal Says:

No, it’s not another matter…..it is what it is! Now that the truth is out about Roger’ s losses being due to injuries, suck it up Fed fans…just swallow the pill and move on!!

@Giles…..predictable……Yes I guess you could say that’s what I mean! It’s always interesting to see who is gonna get the last word, you or Skeezer!! Lol


Polo Says:

If Federer ever gets to another slam final and it is against Berdych, he will win another major title. Berdych may be everybody’s favorite finals opponent in any tournament. Anderson is an upcoming player in the Berdych mode.


Branco Says:

@Okiegal

I just don’t see where Federer is claiming he lost all those matches due to injury. He stated that being injured had a negative impact on his game during last season, which is a fact. You are the one stretching his statement to “if I wasn’t injured I would’ve won all matches”


Giles Says:

@Okiegal. Lol. The problem now is that @madmax keeps interfering! He feels he has to defend that “S” man!!


Giles Says:

Why does faderer’s back injuries have to be a “fact” and Rafa’s injuries “fiction”????


skeezer Says:

@Branco
Truth!


SG1 Says:

There may be some (or a lot of) injury faking going on out there. I have no idea to what extent it exists. What I do know is that both Fed and Rafa are hardcore competitive guys and they won’t fake an injury to duck a loss. I don’t believe it.

Roger made it abundantly clear last year that he had back problems but that they’re now under control. His results this year speak for themselves. Clearly, something was amiss. Same for Rafa. When he has come back from injury, he has often looked unbeatable for periods.

These guys live for the fight. There’s no faking going on. Rafa has a restricted amount of time left to try and catch Roger’s 17 slams. I don’t think he’s going to waste time tanking matches at this point.


SG1 Says:

I knew I shouldn’t have mentioned anything about Roger being healthy now. It would just open up a can of worms. Mea culpa.


Translated Age Says:

Well said SG1.

Anything else is just whinging and baiting from a select few sad fan(atic)s.


Okiegal Says:

@Branco

I don’t think I’m stretching the truth. Roger is the one that brought up his back causing him some problems. I’ll have to agree with Giles on this one, why is Rogers injury fact and Rafa’s is fiction?? I’m sure some Fed fans were disappointed that their idol played the injury card…..what goes around comes around.

@SG1 12:38

Agree 100% …….good post …….spot on!!


Branco Says:

@Giles

I didn’t state otherwise…


Okiegal Says:

@Branco

I for one thinks Fed would have won most of the matches he lost if his back had been in better shape…..don’t you?? His back is doing great now and he beat Joker and has a tournament win under his belt…..being in top form is the key to success!!

@Giles

Yes, I’ve noticed MM running interference for Skeezer…….they’re a tag team, I suppose…..whatever works for um’ is cool with me!!


Slice Tennis Says:

SG1,
“These guys live for the fight. There’s no faking going on. Rafa has a restricted amount of time left to try and catch Roger’s 17 slams. I don’t think he’s going to waste time tanking matches at this point.”

This is one the best posts I have read here.
Good one.


madmax Says:

rafaeli Says:
Anyone who is describing the Dubai SF and Final as sublime or great is not very hard to please.

March 3rd, 2014 at 9:23 am

Oh Really? And what do you mean by that? That we can’t celebrate our champ who has beaten 4 top ten players when posters like you have written him off?

Translated Age Says:
Federer, who only won one title in 2013 and struggled with a back injury, admitted he was battling pain throughout the campaign.
“I went through that weeks and months, like every day I hoped there was going to be a little improvement,” he said.
“I only started to feel that improvement halfway through sort of the US Open maybe, so it was a long time. I was fighting it all the way from Indian Wells really.”

Read more at http://www.espn.co.uk/tennis/sport/story/288295.html#0T5hDMjoA7XLvJy6.99

As a fan of the best player of all time, I do wish Roger would choose his words more carefully. Time to move on already. Last year is done and dusted. No one wants to hear about injuries any more. Just play tennis and let your racquet do the talking for you like you did in Dubai.

Allez Champ!

March 3rd, 2014 at 10:32 am

TA,

I think you are discussing the wrong champion. Federer doesn’t complain about his injuries, once in a blue moon, unlike the world number 1, who uses this as his mantra, more often than not.

Giles,

Skeezer can fight his own battles, he doesn’t need me to do them for him, I was trying to get you into a fair discussion about federer and whatyou thought about the match, but you would rather fight with Skeezer.

A massive, great, big, huge sigh from me.


Giles Says:

@madmax. I did give you my thoughts on the two matches Faderer played. What else do you want from me? Your “S” man is a provocateur and he will get what he deserves not just from me but from other Rafans who resent his nonsensical comments about Rafa. I told you before its tit for tat!


skeezer Says:

” I told you before its tit for tat!”
yes, you have always been the “tit” before the “tat”.


Translated Age Says:

madmax, Roger has been on about this for quite some time now. So that is one looong “blue moon” as you’ve put it.

I also didn’t think he showed his best side when he used his back as an excuse when he lost to Berdych at Wimbledon.

As a fan, I guess that I just don’t like hearing that side from him sorry. I’d rather that he would show more respect to his opponents on these occasions.


Giles Says:

The “S” man waving his party poppers and whistle. Pathetic!
23-10


Slice Tennis Says:

“Your “S” man is a provocateur and he will get what he deserves not just from me but from other Rafans who resent his nonsensical comments about Rafa.”

Not just Rafa fans…if you read through the recent posts you’ll find that some of the fed fans too couldn’t tolerate this nonsensical rants from this creature.
LMAO


Giles Says:

“creature”. LOL


Okiegal Says:

@Madmax

“As a fan of the best player of all time”…………Well, now that’s a matter of opinion!!!!


Okiegal Says:

I think it odd that Fed fans don’t want to talk about his injury, let’s sweep his under the rug, so to speak…..but when it comes to Rafa’s injuries, it’s the hot topic…..just saying…..


skeezer Says:

@Okiegal,
The reason why it becomes a hot topic is because;
Rafa_makes_ it_so…….he gives excuses for his wins and losses …like…more than any other player…..like historically and consistently so…just sayin…


Okiegal Says:

@Skeezer

I don’t need an explanation…..I’ve been on this forum long enough to know what non Rafa fans think about his injuries. I was more or less being a smart aleck about Roger and his injury because of how Rafa is treated about his. I just get annoyed with all the negative comments about him. I’m glad there’s conversation about Roger’s for a change……just saying!!


Giles Says:

@Okiegal. They don’t want to talk about his “injury” cos there ain’t no “injury”. Ole man just suffering the normal aches and pains associated with old age.
#Faker


Okiegal Says:

@Giles^^^^

Yes, I know how the old man feels, I have a few aches and pains myself! Lol


Translated Age Says:

Murray has a wonky back and you don’t see him blaming his back. He just goes about his business.

Fed’s been on about this for over six months now. The past is the past. Give it a rest and move on. You’re better than that!


John Says:

@Giles^^^^

Yes, I know how the old man feels, I have a few aches and pains myself! Lol

From sitting on the sofa?

Shouting Vamos; get real!

an get a job!

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