Perfect Federer Rolls Back The Clock, Rolls Djokovic In Shanghai, Boosts No. 1 Hopes
by Sean Randall | October 11th, 2014, 12:27 pm
  • 89 Comments

Find me a better 90 minutes of tennis from Roger Federer the last few years than what we saw today from the Swiss! Earlier, the 33-year-old Federer turned back time in an emphatic 6-4, 6-4 triumph over top seed Novak Djokovic to reach the Shanghai title match.

“It was a great match, I agree,” said Federer who had to save five matchpoints in his Wednesday opener. “I think I played very well. There was nothing in the game today that wasn’t working. I think it was a high-level match. I’m unbelievably happy with the way it went.

“I look forward to the big occasions,” he said. “Doesn’t matter where it is in the world because there’s always a lot on the line, it’s a good story. It was the same again tonight.”

What struck me was not at how at ease Federer was at the net, or how well he served, but rather how often it seemed Federer was just standing in the center of the court, pushing Djokovic from side to side, dictating play. I didn’t think he could do that to someone like Novak.

“I think I did not play too bad,” said Djokovic. “It’s just that he played everything he wanted to play. He played the perfect match. I think he’s going to tell you how he felt, but that’s how I felt he played. He played an amazing match.”

Federer broke early in both sets and apart from some harrowing moments late in the second, it was all Federer on this day. The win ends Djokovic dominance in China – he had won 28 straight in the country – and it puts Federer in position to win his 81st career title, 23rd Masters event and first in Shanghai.

He also leads Djokovic 3-2 this year. Think about that for a second, six years older Federer has the head-to-head lead over the World No. 1. That’s remarkable.

And Djokovic, who could have all but wrapped up the No. 1 ranking this weekend, now has Federer right in his rearview and gaining ground rapidly for that top spot.

As I said earlier this week, the new baby could force Djokovic out of Paris or London or even both (it’s possible this could end up being Djokovic’s last match of the season)! And with 3,000 points (not including Davis Cup) still available for Federer’s taking, Djokovic’s lead is no longer safe, however Gilles Simon can offer some help tomorrow.

Simon is back in form after taking out Feliciano Lopez 6-2, 7-6 to reach his second career Masters final.

“I just know that I can do it,” said Simon who lost to Andy Murray in the 2008 Madrid Masters final. “When I’m playing good, I can play at [his] level. This I’m not worried about. The question is whether I will be able to do it tomorrow. I just know now more about the top guys, about how it’s going to be tomorrow. It’s not new anymore. I just hope it will help me to play a great match.”

Simon is an extremely tricky player. He doesn’t necessarily have a big shot, but he hits with length and really absorbs pace about as well as anyone. And he’s beaten Federer twice before, though Roger leads 4-2.

So I’ll go with the hot guy here. Too much at stake for Federer to let this chance slip while Simon has to feel some satisfaction reaching this far.

“I’m not going to come into the match and play terrible,” said Federer. “It just won’t happen – not in the finals, not against Simon. That’s the confidence I have right now.”

Federer talked about his confidence at the start of the week. He wasn’t joking.

Tennis Channel will have the Federer-Simon final live at 4:30am ET. Set your alarms accordingly.

SUNDAY SHANGHAI SCHEDULE
STADIUM start 1:00 pm
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs [5] J Benneteau (FRA) / E Roger-Vasselin (FRA)

4:30 pm
[3] R Federer (SUI) vs G Simon (FRA)


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89 Comments for Perfect Federer Rolls Back The Clock, Rolls Djokovic In Shanghai, Boosts No. 1 Hopes

Brando GOAT Poster Says:

‘Find me a better 90 minutes of tennis from Roger Federer the last few years than what we saw today from the Swiss! ‘:

Yep, as I said in the other thread it’s the best he seemingly played since French Open 2011.

‘He also leads Djokovic 3-2 this year. Think about that for a second, six years older Federer has the head-to-head lead over the World No. 1. That’s remarkable.’:

Not too surprising that. Since the truth is:

Matchup wise Novak has always suited Fed’s game very well. Especially on the quick surfaces.


leo Says:

33 is the new 27!

I don’t know the context of the comment – “I’m not going to come into the match and play terrible – It just won’t happen – not in the finals, not against Simon” But that worries me… I feel Roger plays his best when he goes into a match not expecting to play too well. I feel this just puts pressure on himself…. hoping I am wrong!!

May the forces be with you, Rog!


sienna Says:

not at all worried. Fed is always full of confidence. even when he has back spasms.
ever since he was 0-2 against Simon, Nadal fanatics had a crush onze the french guy.

Fed has slipped up enough in finals this year. second master title is comming our way.


Gordon Says:

Simon last beat Fed in 2008. It was twice that year that Fed lost to the Frenchman, but although he is playing well I do not expect anything other than a straight set win for the Swiss.


the DA Says:

“I’m not going to come into the match and play terrible,” said Federer. “It just won’t happen – not in the finals, not against Simon. That’s the confidence I have right now.”

Hmm, let’s hope this semi-hubristic quote doesn’t come back to haunt him. Simon is one of the few players who has made life difficult for Roger. Maybe it’s the endorphin rush of the win.


van orten Says:

With Wimby and maybe Toronto or iw under his belt fed would already be almost certain the new number 1 .. he was so close this year and ironically still is in contention…u keep on hating but there is a reason he is the most popular player on this planet…juhuuuuu la la la juhhuuuu a la la la


skeezer Says:

Giles,
Quit posting irrevelant stuff. The guys not even competing atm. Can’t play, can’t beat ANYBODY, let alone the GOAT.
—-
@the DA
Yeag, agreed. Its obvious Fed is brimming with confidence now, which is a good thing. But no need to give the upcoming opponet added fuel to beat you. Fed, just win baby.
Seen Simon beat Fed before. Tacticly, he is a very smart player….


Polo Says:

Much as I want to celebrate Roger’s win over Novak, I really would refrain from counting the chickens before they hatch. The tournament is not over yet. Simon has beaten Federer when Fed was younger. In spite of Roger’s great performance last night, he is still 33 years old.


Andrea Says:

Go Roger!


gannu Says:

well I agree confidence is good… but feddy bear is this over confidence and are u underestimating Simon… yesterday feddy bear served lights out… 47 second service game against the best returner in the world! and his serve is something that lets him down and inconsistent between matches these days… lets see… hope he wins and also captures no 1…aleast that will be some consolation for not having won a Gslam the past two years….

feddy bear I have booked semis and finals tickets for Barclays world tour… if you are playing novak in the final for the world no1 position, man I will die of an heart attack at O2 ;-)


Polo Says:

Gannu, I hope you have a heart attack!


leo Says:

Agreed, Polo, skeezer, the Da…. not done yet. So hope he’s not counting his chickens… let’s not forget Monte Carlo just this year. Simon can play lights out and it seems he is in good form. Rog better be in good form tomorrow.


Steve 27 Says:

Leo mayer is the man to blame!


Michael Says:

Well if Roger plays even 75% of what he did against Novak, he can easily win the match in straight sets against Simon.


Steve 27 Says:

Michael, you have to watch AO 2011 and RG 2013. Simon is always a tough customer for the swiss.
Fed in 3 sets


Polo Says:

Agree Leo. Only one point separates the agony from the ecstasy. And that ecstasy is not even in the bag yet. I can’t fully celebrate just yet. I hope Federer completes it or that ecstasy will harshly revert back into agony.


Michael Says:

Steve 27,

I do agree that merely a splendid performance against Novak is not going to guarantee victory for Roger against Simon. Simon has troubled him in the past and is a very dangerous customer and so the match is not decided yet. But if Roger can show even 75% of the form he exhibited against Novak, I think he can take down Simon. That is my feeling.


Perfect fan Says:

I total agree with what Leo had said @ 12:39 pm, 11th Oct above.

IMO, roger brings out his best when he seems to be the underdog and people/critics question his abilities before a match. He came out all guns blazing and of course with a plan to dismantle nole….whom he took completely by surprise. Most of the time during this match, I found nole awed by fed’s precision and net play. He couldn’t find enough time to even breathe, such was the pace of the match, especially during fed’s service games. And very rightly so, nole was in no way playing bad….he made some “out of the planet” return n passing shots….and I remember, after one such scintillating passing short, he stared right into fed’s eyes with ferocious intensity….as if to say, “remember, whom you are trying to toy with….I m the no. 1 player, be aware”. That was an incredible moment of the match.

But coming to the point, there is a reason why fed is ’3-5′ so far in the finals this year. In those 5 losses, there were defeats to Hewitt, Stan and Tsonga. The problem is, he was the heavy favourite going to those matches and that puts a lot of pressure….he never started those matches in a manner he did against novak the other night. Rather his underdog opponents did that to him. So, he has to take this match against Simon, pretty seriously.

Simon can be very irritating to top players….his lean weak physique sometimes fool the eyes….but he is an excellent grinder and his baseline play can sometimes take the wind off your attacking shots….exactly the way he did to berdych the other day whose attacking game is very much similar to Federer. IMO, fed has to stick to his net play and high 1st percentage serves. I won’t be surprised at all if this match goes to the wire. Plus, Federer is a bit shaky this year in the finals….the hangover may haunt him again.

But I wish fed goes for a blow out….and take on simon right from the word go….that will give him hell of a confidence going to the European indoor swing….and a chance to grab hold of the YEN1.

Go Roger :)


Margot Says:

@Perfect Fan
What an excellent post and some very perceptive points. The pace of that match was indeed ferocious.
I’m loving Simon’s revival of form and his pleasure at being on court.
Hoping for a well contested match and expecting Fed to win.


Perfect fan Says:

Thanx margot :)

I mus say, simon’s game at times get into fed’s head which makes fed commit more UEs….compared to novak, this has to be a more tactical one from fed’s perspective, mixing up shots, but at the same time….starting from where he finished last night against nole, i.e., to stay aggressive.

There’s nothing more pleasing to the eyes than to see your fav enjoying and expressing himself on court. :)


Giles Says:

Hey skeezer. Even though Rafa is not playing ATM my link is hardly irrelevant. In fact it is very relevant vis-a-vis all this cult fawning taking place. You types need reminding as to who is Fed’s Master. Just accept it and move on!
Vamos Rafa!
Allez Simon!


gannu Says:

Poor start… so much for the talk


Sirius Says:

Alright, Fed’s losing tonight. Congrats to simon for the 1st MS title


van orten Says:

never been as calm as today. 100% convinced fed wins.


Vinod Says:

come on FED


Hippy Chick Says:

Put me down as one of those Rafa fans that doesnt hate Federer,and also one of those fans that believes on any given day,when at his best can beat anybody Nole,Rafa,Andy anybody doesnt matter,and i also said that he matches up well with Nole,and that their matches are often pretty close….


van orten Says:

this match is so much on feds racquet…


van orten Says:

ouch


madmax Says:

simon is a great player; federer had better play lightts out tonight!

The DA, I agree with you.

the DA Says:
“I’m not going to come into the match and play terrible,” said Federer. “It just won’t happen – not in the finals, not against Simon. That’s the confidence I have right now.”

Hmm, let’s hope this semi-hubristic quote doesn’t come back to haunt him. Simon is one of the few players who has made life difficult for Roger. Maybe it’s the endorphin rush of the win.

October 11th, 2014 at 5:30 pm

Pure adrenalin rush and to be expected, being on such a high after a fantastic match against the world no. 1. Kudos to Nole and to Fed.


madmax Says:

Sirius Says:
Alright, Fed’s losing tonight. Congrats to simon for the 1st MS title

October 12th, 2014 at 4:45 am

May be so,

But Fed has played the best he has played in a long, long time and no one expected the win against Novak yesterday. Got to mean something.


Sirius Says:

Typical french choke job. On serve now


van orten Says:

order restored


van orten Says:

why take your first chance to seal the set when playing a tie break is much more fun…


Vinod Says:

2 set points gone


madmax Says:

Ah,

Let fed play how he wants to play! :)


madmax Says:

First set in the bag Vinod!

That didn’t come easy, did it?!

The way of the Fed!


Vinod Says:

@madmax ya it was little tough than expected but some how roger pulls through :)


van orten Says:

ohhhh poor simon needing a mto …


Hippy Chick Says:

Nice set of tennis,Giles will be dissapointed with the way he played when serving for the set,what mentall toughness from Roger,lets see if he can finish it now in two sets?


Sirius Says:

That drive volley. Love it


Vinod Says:

2 nd tie break ?


Vinod Says:

looks like 3 rd set :(


van orten Says:

two set points saved . tie break action


madmax Says:

Not so fast Vinod. Take it easy.


Hippy Chick Says:

Nice final,a proper contest,much better than the final last week,come on Federer lets close this out in two….


madmax Says:

Come on Fed!

Come on!


madmax Says:

Yesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

Rogerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr


Vinod Says:

first title in shangai ! great going


madmax Says:

Match tough!
Match tough!

Unbelievable mental strength from the Fed.

Simon. Always gives Fed a test. Never to be underestimated!

Well done Rogerrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!


van orten Says:

last 4 tournaments: f, w, sf,w
the man to beat on the hardcourts he ???
congrats fed…

just awesome form of late


madmax Says:

Vinod!

You see!

You got to hang tough with the Fed! He takes us to places no fan wanst to go, but what a player Vinod! What a player!


madmax Says:

Well deserved.

Beating Nole, can’t get better than that, only natural he should beat Simon, but in many ways, a better match and such a closely fought one too.

I think the Mayer game helped Roger in terms of mental toughness.

Thanks to Mayer for the title, I think!


Hippy Chick Says:

Well done Roger and fans Madmax,Skeezer,Polo,Sirius,Perfect Fan,Michael etc….


madmax Says:

Hippy, you are always so gracious. Thank you.


Vinod Says:

@madmax definitely :) its always a roller coaster with our man :) now we can relax and enjoy this win !


van orten Says:

thanks hippy chick ;-)


FedExpress Says:

Roger was so clutch under pressuer the whole tournament

against mayer: came back from break down in the first after saving SPs, saved 5 MPs in the third

against Benneteau: first set

against Nole: clutch play when he needed

against simon: came back from break down in the first, saved one SP in the Tb, saved 2 SPs in the 2nd Tiebreaker.

he is so cool under pressure


Hippy Chick Says:

Madmax,Van Orton your welcome,you guys and your favorite deserve it,you have stuck by him through thick and thin and are always here,some only appeared here when he started winning,otherwise were gone when the going got tough….


Giles Says:

HC. You behaved as though you were a fed fan. I have never seen you express as much fawning over Rafa when he wins as you have done here. What can I say!! You certainly deserve a box of Lindor from the fed fans.


Giles Says:

I would like to know what his diet consists of!! Is it all kosher??


jatin Says:

I am so happy fo your roger. You always claw back when your dictators write you off.
Such a great year he has had compared to last year.
2 masters win and 3 runner up trophies.
Wimby runner up and 2 semis in both Aussie and us open.
Dubai and Halle winner along with best win-lose percentage vs top 10 ( strong era players ??). He dominated them with grace and precision.
No 2 ranking and and a real shot at no. 1
And he is 33 years old. Unbelievable.


jatin Says:

Hippy chick
Nice to see you commenting here congratulating fed even though rafa is out ( I wish him luck for the rest of the season). I agree with madmax, you are one of the most gracious poster here( especially a rafa fan )..
You guys do a great job in keeping this blog running and thriving:)


Spellcheck Says:

@Jatin

You mean DETRACTORS not DICTATORS!!


Damien Says:

Here’s another interesting tidbit:
Fed has a possible 16 matches left to play this year. Guess how many wins he needs to get to 1000 match wins?
Regardless of how you feel about Gilles’ viewpoints on a few things, that guy has guts. We’ll played, this week to both finalists.


Polo Says:

I woke up, turned my computer on to watch the match on ESPN3, it said it has already been completed, went to tennis-x, read the congratulatory note from Hippy Chick. Smiled. Happy. It’s a good day.


jatin Says:

Spellcheck
I salute you sir. Yup. I mean that :)


Damien Says:

Gilea,
Lindor chocolate is much nicer than crow. Or buffalo chips


Gordon Says:

OKAY THEN – MATH TIME!

Here’s how the race to number 1 shapes up. After today’s Shanghai win the rankings look like this -

Djokovic 11,510 Fed 9,080

Now let’s subtract points that each man is defending until the end of the year -

Djokovic minus Paris (1000) and minus Barclays (1500) = 9010

Federer minus Basel (300) and minus Paris (360) and minus Barclays (400) = 7950

It’s a tall task, but if Fed wins Basel (+500) and Paris (+1000) he would have 9,450 points.

If Djokovic lost to Federer in the finals of Paris his added 600 points would give him 9,610

Meaning that whoever did better in London would win Barclays and the year end number 1 ranking. (At Barclays a player plays 3 round robin matches with a win being worth 200 points. A semi final win is worth 400 points and the champion gets 500 points)

Interestingly enough, in the above scenario, should both Fed and Nole perform identically at Barclays (same number of round robin wins and either both do not advance or both lose in the semis) Federer could still win the world number one by winning both his Davis Cup matches and if Switzerland wins the Davis Cup in France. That would bonus Federer an extra 225 points which would see him surpass Djokovic by 65 points overall.

A lot of “ifs” but the bottom line is that Federer still can do it himself, without Djokovic needing to be knocked out early in either Paris or at the ATP Finals. He just needs to be almost perfect, which is a very tall order.


Brando GOAT poster Says:

@Gordon: what is the maximum Fed can earn from Davis Cup? Basel (500), Paris (1,000) and WTF (1,500) are straightforward but DC is a complicated one.


Okiegal Says:

@Hippy Chick 6:44

I will have to disagree with you on this one……Van Orten was a fan who was bad mouthing Roger on every corner when Roger was losing consistently! I remember very well, because I called him out on it….along with others.

Congrats to Roger and his really loyal fans……age is only a number!!


van orten Says:

The thing with Roger nowadays is that he is only almost perfect not perfect anymore ;)
number 1 or another slam? We all take another slam..but the way it goes if he does well the next month he could be in a nice position in Melbourne to take it. If he wins there..but who cares really .. we all want him to win another slam and playing like that he can do it next year . I am convinced he still has it in him


van orten Says:

Okiegal I was never bad mouthing roger.. I suffer with him and in the heat of the moment I write things like what a mistake or why do you let him back in the match etc. Fed tends to lose matches sometimes being up and he makes things close but I never gave up on him or changed sides or wrote he should retire . I believe in him every match he plays. Just because I am a whiner at times it does not mean I bad mouth roger okiegal..get it ???? I am a true roger admirer and fan in good and in bad times. He will always be the best for me since we were born the same year..and share the same childhood tennis memories growing up ..Becker and edberg then Sampras being our hero..I know you write it because in several comments I used to write very bad about nadal and I apologized for it, made my peace with it after Wimbledon and since then I really tried to be more chilled and even realize what kind of a great player nadal is…so kinda shocked u wrote that


Michael Says:

Congratulations to Roger for his 23rd Master Series title and surprisingly his first in Shanghai which is hosting Roger’s favourite surface. He has added another feather in his illustrious cap by this win against Simon who is not a push over. As expected, it was a tough match with Simon not being intimidated by Roger’s tactics of chip and charge. For most part of the first set, it was Simon who was dictating play from the back of the court and the breakthrough for Roger came at 4-5 when Simon was serving for the set and nerves caught up with him and he double faulted and mishit a shot to lose his serve and then the tie break. In the second set too, Simon stood tough despite experiencing some physical discomfort. He indeed had a medical time out at the end of the first set. But he showed no signs of his discomfort in his play and he just stood strong like a rock matching Roger stroke for stroke. I am just amused as to how Simon is not a top 10 player with the kind of consistency he has in his shot making. His first serve too has lot of pace and variety and he just deceives his opponent by his boney apperance. Roger had lot of chances in the second set to break Simon, but somehow he couldn’t that vital break through which took the match to a tie break and there Roger dominated. With this win, Roger is posing a stiff challenge to Novak’s year end No.1 and with a little bit of help from Novak who is expecting a baby and might be diverted, he can well become Numero uno.


skeezer Says:

The guy is THE all time greatest.
Great tourney for the Maestro, thanks for still playing at the highest level @33 in the so called “strong era” of Tennis, LMAO.
Simon always is a tough out for Fed, knew it would be a challenge, and he rose to the occasion. Vamos! Stay healthy Champ!

@giles
Eat a chocolate ;)


Daniel Says:

Fed winning last 2 HC masters and final in Canada, can he keep it in Paris? His olinh with confidence now. Onto Basel!


Hippy Chick Says:

Jatin and Polo your welcome….
Giles it goes without saying how delighted i am with each and every title Rafa wins,and also how i despise each and every nasty comment that comes,ie the stuff on the appendix,and not to mention some of the stuff on one of the other threads,which belittle Rafas tennis achievements,which indeed if you go read it really got my hackles raised….


Hippy Chick Says:

^To add i will gladly give you my e.mail address though if you wish to send me those Lindor chocolates though^….


skezer Says:

Thanks for all the congrats(hc & ok included)! As for the rafafanatics, you again won’t see any congrats to Fed here, as usual.


skeezer Says:

Thanks for all the congrats(hc & ok included)! As for the rafafanatics, you again won’t see any congrats to Fed here, as usual.


Gordon Says:

Brando GOAT Poster – it’s fairly straightforward. If he plays and wins 1 Davis Cup match he gets 75 points. If he plays and wins a second match he gets an additional 75 points. That would give Switzerland 2 of 3 rubbers needed to win the best-of-5 tie. Which means if Switzerland wins 1 more rubber (match) – either Wawrinka winning one of the remaining two singles matches or – should he lose both – Switzerland winning the Saturday doubles match – Federer would get a bonus 75 points.

So the maximum would be 225 points.


Giles Says:

@skeezer. If ever your demeanour towards Rafa and his fans improve I will offer congrats in the future but until then you will have to suck it up!


Perfect fan Says:

Damien @ 7:36 am, thanx for that lovely piece of update. roger indeed is at 984 wins….16 short of that magical number ’1000′ :)

And interestingly he has 16-17 max. matches to play this season….provided, he sweeps the fall indoor swing, his championship match at london vl be his 999….and then he could get to that number in the DC, which could be his last match of the season if the swiss wins 3-0….if all of this happens it vl be a dream year to roger and all his fans and probably no one vl repent his slamless year.

But..but..but….this is jus a possibility and all of this could get flushed down the drain with a single loss. But thr is hope….as I think roger could win basel without much competition thr….nole could miss either paris or london or both for his baby….rafa’s schedule is still not clear and may miss most of it due to surgery. so, who knows…

Congrats anyway to roger for his self-belief to achieve even at the twilight of his career….so happy for him.

Thanx HC for ur wishes :)


Okiegal Says:

@Skeezer……u r welcome……Fed is playing great. I know his fans are busting their buttons right now, and rightfully so……possibly on the brink of regaining #1 spot again……that’s something too crow about!


Okiegal Says:

@van orten…….I stand corrected because I can’t prove it was you one way or the other, but I did think you were of his fans that dissed him. I apologize for accusing you. The next time I make an accusation about anyone, I’ll have something to back it up! Sorry!! Oh, congrats on your guy winning!!


van orten Says:

@ okiegal…apology absolutely accepted.
hoping for many more exciting tournaments To come with our favourite players..cheers


Okiegal Says:

@van orten……..I appreciate that very much!
I hope we get to see more great matches too!!


Michael Says:

Alison,

Thanks for your congratulatory post. I hope I can return the compliment when Rafa is once again on fire.


Hippy Chick Says:

Michael your very welcome,your just about the best and my most favorite poster on this forum….

Top story: Rafael Nadal Withdraws From China Events, Novak Djokovic In Prime Position For No. 1