Federer Seeks First Rome Title Sunday v Djokovic; Who’s The Pick?
by Sean Randall | May 16th, 2015, 5:25 pm
  • 200 Comments

For the third time this year the two top in the world, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, meet in a big match final. This time it’s for the red clay title in Rome, the last major tune-up before the French Open.

Djokovic was the first to reach the final, earning his ninth straight victory over David Ferrer 6-4, 6-4. It was Novak’s 21st straight win in a row, 25th consecutively at the Masters level. And after three straight three-set matches leading up to the semifinals, Djokovic put together one of his best efforts today in a pretty straightforward win.

“He’s a great competitor [and] he always makes you play an extra ball,” said Djokovic of Ferrer. “I did face a couple of break points, especially in the second set where maybe I was a little bit fortunate. I just found the way to dig my way through and [I] just played well enough to break him in both sets when it was most needed.”

Federer was on in the evening against his good buddy Stan Wawrinka who did him a great service by knocking out Rafael Nadal last night. And after Stan grabbed an early break, he did the right thing basically giving in to his hero as Federer ran away with the match 6-4, 6-2.

“I think Stan played well for the first set but the second set once he went a break down he was not serving as big as usual,” said Federer, who will now meet Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s final, afterwards. “Maybe that was tactics but I was definitely able to take advantage.

“He’s also figuring things out as we go into the French Open and the win over Rafa was very good for his confidence. His game is there.

“I was very happy with how I played and how I imposed my game. I was really rock solid.”

Wawrinka had beaten Federer twice on clay before including at the Monte Carlo final last year, but had nothing for Federer after the early lead. And I mean nothing.

“Today was not a great match,” Wawrinka said. “I did not play well. I started well but generally I felt a bit flat. I was not there today unfortunately. When you are not 100 per cent against Roger it can be really fast. He served well and it went really quick.”

No Stan, you weren’t there today. But you did your job well clearing the way for Roger.

So the final is set.

Novak Djokovic v Roger Federer
In this their 39th meeting, Federer leads 20-18 with the two splitting their prior 2015 meetings in the Dubai (Federer) and Indian Wells (Djokovic) finals. This is of course on clay, a quicker clay Roger says, but still on the dirt at a place where Federer has never won in 14 previous tries while Djokovic can claim three titles including one last year over Rafa.

Though it may come as a surprise that Federer also leads Djokovic on the clay, winning four of seven with their most recent encounter going Federer’s way at Monte Carlo last year when Novak hurt his wrist. Before that Djokovic has won their last two and has two wins over Roger in Rome coming in 2009 and 2012. And that’s how I see it going tomorrow.

But I give Federer a real shot. The courts in Rome do play quick (albeit they are also in some disrepair), and Roger does give Djokovic a ton of problems when they play – he’s won at least a set in nine straight meetings against Novak. And Fed’s been playing well.

“Novak is not Rafa Nadal on clay,” Federer said. “I’ve done fairly well in the past against him. But we played here twice before and I lost both times. It’s up to me to put in a good performance.

Roger will have to continue to do what he’s been doing this week (he hasn’t lost a set!) – serve well and hit his backhand and attack. And Djokovic, as even he admits, hasn’t been as sharp as we have seen. So Roger’s got a very good chance to finally get this title, so there’s some added motivation.

“I feel very casual, I just like winning a title. OK, it’s Rome, it’s one I’ve never won, you may think it’s special,” Federer said. “But it’s not for me. It’s weird to explain, it’s just the way it is.”

The match will probably come down to a few break points and the player who best takes care of his second serve will win. I give that very slight edge to Djokovic who’s just been so solid, and I don’t think he’ll want to lose any momentum with the big prize just ahead.
The pick: Djokovic in three

Tennis Channel has the final live at 10am ET.

SUNDAY ROME SCHEDULE
CENTRALE start 11:00
WTA DOUBLES FINAL – [1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) vs [3] T. Babos (HUN) / K. Mladenovic (FRA)
Not Before 1:30 pm
WTA SINGLES FINAL – [3] M. Sharapova (RUS) vs [10] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP)
Not Before 4:00 pm
ATP SINGLES FINAL – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [2] R. Federer (SUI)

PIETRANGELI start 2:30 pm
ATP DOUBLES FINAL – P. Cuevas (URU) / D. Marrero (ESP) vs [5] M. Granollers (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP)


You Might Like:
Novak Djokovic v Andy Murray In The French Open Final, Who’s The Pick?
Poll: Who’s Your Early 2016 Australian Open Favorite? Can Anyone Beat Novak Djokovic?
Tsonga v Simon In Metz; Raonic Seeks First Title In A Year In Russia; Bencic Continues To Blossom
Rafael Nadal v Stan Wawrinka In the French Open Final, Who’s The Pick?
Poll: Rafael Nadal Or Novak Djokovic, Who’s Your Early Favorite To Win The French Open?

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get the FREE TX daily newsletter

200 Comments for Federer Seeks First Rome Title Sunday v Djokovic; Who’s The Pick?

Zozza Says:

Djokovic will win


Šuškica Says:

““Novak is not Rafa Nadal on clay,” Federer said. “I’ve done fairly well in the past against him.” – Once again, the ballerina proves just how ‘humble’ she is.


Sidney Says:

Both players will be gunning for MS1000 title number 24. Obviously, Roger always confident going into a match. Always been his mantra, a good one for younger players to follow.

Novak in 2 tight sets. But Roger at 33 still has what it takes to win big matches, especially best of 3 ones.

Go Novak!


Matador Says:

“Novak is not Rafa Nadal on clay,” Federer said

But he is right: one has 9RG titles and counting and the other is unnoticed in Paris.


Daniel Says:

Last year he was 1 set away from MC, it would be a shame in 2 straight years getting to finalist the only 2 tourneys he never won, without facing Nadal and lose.

But Novak is on a tear, although Roger has a chance I think Novak will win.

If Novak indeed win, basically he has half a hand in RG trophy, he is super confident now, won last 6 big titles he contested and could have 7 tomorrow.

Also, if he wins Masters #24 tomorrow, hard to not see him finish the year with 25 or 26, meaning next year he will pass Nadal’s 27 (can’t see Nadal winning the last 4 faster courts, maybe Canada).


Markus Says:

“Novak is not Rafa Nadal on clay.” True.
“I’ve done fairly well in the past against him.” True.

I have no problems when anybody states facts.


Humble Rafa Says:

I have no problems when anybody states facts.

Goat ownership will be such a simple matter with people like you. You are scholar and a gentleman.


Šuškica Says:

“Novak is not Rafa Nadal on clay,” Federer said. “I’ve done fairly well in the past against him.”

Its clearly a put down. Or are you too blind to see that? Novak would never say in a press conference that Roger is no Rafa on clay (suggesting clear inferiority on this surface). They’re all quite competent across all surfaces (No1e, Rafa & Roger).

Given Novak’s form since 2011, the number of clay court tightles he’s been winning, its quite clear that he’s just as competent on clay as any other surface. After all, this will be his 4th Rome crown and another painful reminder for Roger why he is increasingly but a mere shadow of a great.

Its called being humble, something RF is not. He exudes arrogance with the comments he makes. Don’t be in denial people. Try to be objective and see the validity in the point I’m trying to drive home.


Jack Lewis Says:

I don’t always watch tennis, but when I do, I really care who is the best at faking being humble. Stay thirsty….


django Says:

It’s a strange thing to say. If Novak wins he should say….Roger is no Rafael on clay. Then hear the howls.


ckr Says:

That comment was unnecessary from RF. Why would you want to give extra motivation to the opponent? Rafa is really good at these kind of being really humble & diplomatic before the game.

Anyway – RF is playing really well. ND not so much. Having said that, ND’s B game is enough beat RF on clay.


Rishi Says:

Friends….before you jump the gun, please read the full presser of what Federer stated with regards to that comment:

http://www.tennisworldusa.org/Roger-Federer-Novak-Djokovic-is-Not-Rafael-Nadal-on-Clay-articolo23953.html

I am not here to say that Roger is a saint. It is unfortunate that the media always chooses to explicitly state only a portion of a statement to create news, and Roger is prone to make many such.


Wog Boy Says:

Oo yes, he goes one better and sheepishly reminds Nole of 2011 FO, and guess who beat Nole in 2011 FO, master of mind games, “the one whose name shall not be spoken”.

It him who is favorite in the final, fast court, hot weather and most importantly, compromised Nole’s movement due to awful court conditions, the part of the game that affects Nole more than The other one.


Šuškica Says:

Exactly.. always some backhanded compliment. Indeed reminding everyone who stopped that streak.


Šuškica Says:

On jeste, i zuevek će ostati, jedno veliko, ljubomorno i besno pričko-prežalo.

Here’s hoping for a 6:3 – 6:1 finish for No1e.


skeezer Says:

Fed stated the facts. One can take it as that, one can’t. The ones that can’t are just jeoulous he’s right. The best way too handle it is just beat Fed. End of story.


kriket Says:

Šuškica, it’s okay, you can stop proving your point, I think everyone here got it, not that anyone really cares.
You give Novak’s supporters a bad name by being such a hothead.
When you’re new to a forum, it’s usually better to listen for a while before posting repeatedly to prove the same point again and again. Not that you have much of a point.

Show some respect for RF even if you don’t like him. Novak surely respects him, so there’s a hint.

In short: ne brukaj se.


Šuškica Says:

Hvala na savetu kriketu. Pokušaću da se obuzdam malo bolje.


Wog Boy Says:

kriket,

It is none of your business to tell the other poster how to post, as long as you don’t “brukas” yourself leave the rest to “brukaju” themselves, what gives you right to patronize others.


van orten Says:

I like the quote . And I would not have any problems with Djoker saying something similar. No need for controversy here at all


Šuškica Mala Says:

Wog Boy – Appreciate you coming to my defence. Though no need as my commitment to kriket that I’d be more mindful of my posts, was of course sarcastic. More than happy to speak my mind – and the truth. Besides, I make it a point to step on krikets, whenever I can.


danica Says:

“Federer is correct about Djokovic not being Rafa; Djokovic is far better than Rafa right now.”
This came from a big Rafa fan, Ricky Dimon. And he is right.

Nole in three sets.


Zozza Says:

Yes I agree Djokovic is much better than Rafa now
But Rafa has 9 Paris slams
Djokovic has ZERO

This might be Djokovic ‘s last chance & only chance to beat Rafa at the French open … Purely for one obvious reason
Rafa is in decline !!!

Enough said
I hope Federer wins tonight


jane Says:

obviously novak is not rafa on clay; no one is! the closest is borg. but fed points this out from a very unique perspective since he has such a difficult time versus rafa in general. he hasn’t beat rafa in over 3 years.

i am not sure of nole’s chances tomorrow, maybe 50-50 if the court is playing faster this year and his movement is impeded. plus fed seems to be in good form in taking out berdych – though i didn’t see that match.

for nole, i don’t think the outcome of this match matters too much. the streak is not a big deal like it was in 2011. he has now had 4 streaks of over 20 match wins, so “meh.” plus he already has 3 rome titles. i am not too concerned. his confidence or momentum will not likely be affected by a loss in the finals tomorrow. he lost to fed in the dubai finals, and then he won the next 3 masters in a row.

one thing i do hope, however, is that no one gets hurt!


danica Says:

“he lost to fed in the dubai finals, and then he won the next 3 masters in a row.”

How about we go one step higher? He loses tomorrow in Rome finals, but then wins next 3 grand slams? :) (Wishful thinking, but we can dream right? :)) )


jane Says:

ha ha danica; sure, we can dream. ;D


Yolita Says:

“Novak is not Rafa Nadal on clay”

That’s very true, and probsbly comforting for Roger. But also true, and maybe less conforting: Novak is no Stan Wawrinka, either. :D

Let’s hope we have a good final, nobody gets hurt on those awful courts… And may the better player win.


ertorque Says:

Jane:…..but fed points this out from a very unique perspective since he has such a difficult time versus rafa in general. he hasn’t beat rafa in over 3 years.

Yes, what Fed was implying through “Novak is no Rafa on clay” is that he thinks he has a better chance again Novak than Rafael on clay. WHich is not difficult to swallow given his H2H against Novak compared with against Rafael. Yep no controversy here IMO.


skeezer Says:

“This came from a big Rafa fan, Ricky Dimon.”
Who is this? Someone who placats Rafafanatics for hits? I am a big fan, and my name is skeezer.

Nole should beat Fed tomorrow, he’s the dominant current #1 in his prme against an old man of Tennis. I just hope Fed keeps this form for Wimby. Nole in 2.


chris ford1 Says:

Da stats!
20-18 H2H
Currently tied, 23 Masters each.
Fed trying to get 1 of two Masters he never won.
Novak on a path to surpass Fed in Masters won and go at Rafa’s record. As well as to try and equal or beat their shared record of 5 Masters in 1 year.
Fed is no Rafa. Since 2007, when the Weak Era ended, Fed has beaten Rafa just 4 times. At only 2 places. Once after Nole and Rafa crippled themselves in the 2009 Madrid semi, and 3 times at the place that spooks Nadal – the indoor O2 Arena.
He has better luck against Djoker since the Weak Era ended – but Djokovic leads there after 2007.

As for 2011, Djoker is not one to rub stuff in, but a certain confidence he belonged at the top were learned with his victories over Fed at the USO and AO.


Lapinroyal Says:

I hope to see the wagging finger tmwr… But most of all, I hope that the final gonna be good! ^_^


Jimmy Says:

Djoker is ready to pass Roger’s masters title count, imagine the crap Roger will talk if Rafa gets near his 17 slams.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

We have such a poor Top 10 today, the 34 year old, not playing his best tennis is already in the finals. I can’t imagine what Roger would have done now if he is at 23 yr old. It would have been ridiculous.

The question would be, will Roger kill himself in the final or take it easy for the FO. I would consider later. I don’t think he expected to be this far. He should be happy with his results already.


kjb Says:

@chris ford1

Fed also beat Rafa at Indian Wells in 2013.

Your constant spouting off about weak era is hilarious. The weak era is now. Grandpa Fed just made another masters final and is looking better than anyone not named Novak. He is the only player in the world that has challanged the world #1 at all in the past year on the regular, and he is as old as the hills. Also, to say that Rafa and Novak were crippled for a year following the Madrid final is flat out silly. They played for 6 hours at the Aussie a few years back and were also 3 years older than the Madrid final and they were fine.

Fed is on the gravy train now, has been for 5 years. Ranked #2 in the world, backhand is looking better everyday, the racquet change is paying dividends, he is still making top 10ers look pedestrian out there. A deep run at the French wouldn’t surprise me at all.

Give yer bucket a shake man.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

There are too much stupidity around with the conditions tomorrow. Conditions remain the same for both, so it should not favour one than another. I would expect an older player to be affected by warm climate and court conditions, contrary to that I hear concerns about younger player is being affected. It’s a shame we have a No 1 player who requires perfect conditions to excel. It shows the quality of player.


Margot Says:

Yolita @11.16. Lol!
For once I’m agreeing with Sean, its been a while ;), Nole in 3.


FedExpress Says:

And if fed wins the ” nole was injured, not focused, had his eye on the FO” crap will start cause it is against humans nature that a nearly 34 years old player beats a player who is in his prime


Sirius Says:

The difficulties Novak has had to face…. Court structures, Windy, Hot and Humid conditions, Slippery grass under roof, Crowd support/hostility, dryness of red clay, slipperyness of blue clay….

^ Stuffs I’ve read here since I joined this forum back in 2013


Jimmy Says:

Don’t forget rigged draws sponsored by Nike.


sienna Says:

Chrissy Ford can pinpoint the end of weakera. It happens to be exactly at the moment Fed was diagnosed for mono.
Causing him to loose 2/3 slams.
so fed not getting mono provably would have made the weak era last 2 years longer to 2010.

Wait after AO open 2010 Fed had lung infection. that seriously threatened his career and made his stamina and endurance fall therefore he could not performe at his own extremely high top level.
So That could count 2010 another weak era, because Fed would have taken wimbly and US open.
So without two non tennis related but serious career threatening illness the weak era still would have lingered on. Who is to say… Probably Chrissy Ford.


danica Says:

Skeezer,

Ricky Dimon is a tennis blogger and sports writer. Very sharp and with a great sense of humor. You can google him. He is a huge Rafa fan but is very objective and unbiased in his writings.


Vic Says:

Guys, you are comparing players who are half a (tennis) generation apart. Djoke is 6 years younger to Fed, Nadal is 5 years younger. The age advantage is huge, and has been material especially once fed reached 28/29 (which is when everyone inevitably declines – look at Nadal, look at Sampras, or anyone else).

Fed winning against either of these two now should be a surprise. His losing to either of these two should be expected.


mat4 Says:

From the results — I’ve watched just a few matches from this tournament (glad for Goffin, BTW, although he was lucky that Murray retired) I guess that Fed plays well. He had a good draw, though, but he schooled Berdych, and faced a Wawrinka after a emotively draining victory over Rafa. I thought that Fed would win nonetheless, but not so easily.

Novak has been playing in rough patches: he tends to become passive when he leads, waiting for the opponent to surrender. It costed him a few lost sets, since he didn’t see his opponents raise to the occasion. With his recent results, he definitely put a target on his back, and everybody plays him without anything to lose — matches against Almagro, Bellucci were excellent because of that. (While Nishikori is finally caught by his ranking. For the second time in a row since the USO last year, he loses the plot once he has a chance of winning. He was inexistent in the third set once again.)

In my view, I guess that the match depends on the serve/return combo. Usually Novak is a bit more consistent from the baseline, but Fed won’t play from the baseline. Against Novak, Fed’s slice is a good weapon. I feel that the result of the rallies will be 50/50. That’s why the serve and return will be so important: Fed has a great serve, but often loses the plot on the return. On the other side, Novak looked tired against Ferrer, and it is most visible on the return, when he doesn’t put back in play as many balls in play as usual. So, go figure. It could be very tight, and the outcome will mostly depend on inspiration and form.

I hope it will be a good match, that nobody gets injured, and let’s the better No1e… sorry, man win!


mat4 Says:

About the prime thing and the player of 33 (not 34 yet)…

Federer plays as well as he ever did. He is not as consistent, though: recuperation and rest, ability to be always focused, are his main problems. Another problem is playing best of five matches, when years can show.

He has adapted to his slight loss of speed, and Novak was a good match-up for him.

So he could win. He also could lose in two, if Novak serves and return well. The more balls in puts in play and the more it is dangerous for Fed, who is not consistent the way he used to be. The result of their last two matches shows that the key stat was Novak’s conversion of BP: he converted 0 out of 7 in Dubai, where Fed served tremendously well.

That’s why the court here matters and plays in Fed favour: it’s faster that usual, and you can’t slide the usual way. It’s good for an offensive player.

So, let’s just wait and see. If the Novak that played against Almagro shows up, Novak is the clear favourite. But he could play the way he did against Ferrer or Nishikori, and then, the odds are even.


sienna Says:

Ricky Dimon unbiased!

LMFAO


sienna Says:

As far as the match goes. Feds point of view probably is best to not put in a half hearthed attempt to win It. Just go for it but when Djoker faces a stiff opposition do not get into aan long battle.

Federer can beat him but he needs to fire his single bullit at the right time.
so better to let it go and save till another sunday afternoon….


KatH Says:

Yes, the Court condition does matter, especially to Novak who is the best slider in the business – if he continues to have niggling worries about the clay surface, it could affect his confidence and level. Fed’s movement is less reliant on “sliding” and will be less affected.

Hence, I think Fed. will win (although I would prefer Nole).


sienna Says:

single silver bullit. because only silver will do the trick.


Michael Says:

Considering the form in the tournament, Roger will stand a chance. He is playing really well varying his play and at his age, it is indeed an incredible achievement to reach a Clay final which is not his favoured Surface. At the other end, you have Novak who is still not at his best and yet has managed to reach the final based on the confidence level that he enjoys this year where he literally remains unbeaten in Master series tournaments and also has won the Australian Open. It will be fourth in a row for Novak if he manages to do that and I am not sure if anybody has managed it before which is a unique achievement by itself. That said, this match according to me is going to be very tight with Novak squeaking through some how in the end. The key would be Roger’s first serve percentage according to me. If he manages a decent 65% first serve percentage, then he can give a run for money. Novak has always encountered problems facing one handed back hand players and Roger by his subtle variation, terric angles and drop shots always has troubled Novak in the past and may be the case this time as well. So it is going to be a very interesting match with a slight edge to Novak – but not by much.


ingrid Says:

This is What Roger had to say:
“”Novak Djokovic is not Rafael Nadal on clay. I am talking about the results Nadal has had on this surface over the last decade or so. Djokovic to me looks like the player who arrived to the French Open in 2011 without losing a single match. Very impressing from him to win so many trophies, especially because people tend to forget he had to win also tough matches to get there, there is a whole path to the final and it hasn’t always been easy for Novak”.


Tennis lover Says:

Novak will not French Open 2015


mat4 Says:

@TL:

You probably meant:

“Novak will not LOSE AT the French Open 2015″

or

“Novak will not MISS the French Open 2015″

or

“Novak will not BE RIVALLED French Open 2015″…


Giles Says:

Or Novak will not win the French Open 2015!!!


madmax Says:

Šuškica Says:
““Novak is not Rafa Nadal on clay,” Federer said. “I’ve done fairly well in the past against him.” – Once again, the ballerina proves just how ‘humble’ she is.

May 16th, 2015 at 6:08 pm

It’s not a big deal Suskica, Novak isnt Rafa. No one is. Roger is right. And he has done well against him in the past.

Right again too.

Having said that, these two always play close matches. Novak is number one though and the best player in the world. Roger knows that too so am sure he will relish the challenge.


sienna Says:

the djokovic fanbase are starting to get agitated and more aggressive.
overwhelming favorite for a must win slam tourney. His last shot? No but he is running out of chances. maybe next year or 2017 but that is stretching.

In fairness he needs to get it this year but Nadal is a wounded animal. Here is for aan good draw like quarter Rafole matchup.

My money would go to a wounded animal.


Giles Says:

Joker gonna get spanked today, no?


jalep Says:

KatH

Agree with what you’re saying about who might have…”niggling worries about clay surface” and who may be less affected and why. We saw that when there was the blue clay in Madrid. Federer in general will not have confidence issues at all.

And yet I’m guessing Nole might lose a set but will sort it out and win.


the DA Says:

hehe…those quotes are so Roger, open to be interpreted as anodyne or imbued with provocation. It’s the subtle art of mind games and he has perfected it. I’ve seen it countless times and it’s all legitimate. This rivalry runs deep – as a few others do – and it was clearly demonstrated by the finger wagging in 2011. I hope that both are at the top of their game today and give us another classic battle to add to the collection.

Interesting side note: I saw this morning that Nole has never defended a clay title. So he has a chance to achieve another milestone today. Extra incentive.


Tennis lover Says:

@ mat4, the player who wins Australian open usually faces steep challenge in FO. Considering history and tradition it’ll be tough ask for Novak to clinch French title even though he’s the favourite and best player right now by some distance. About, Rafa law of average will catch him up he’ll be eliminated early probably from 3rd Round to Quarter. One can’t simply win everything even though we seemingly forget the truth.


skeezer Says:

Fun reads here. Hope its a great battle. When both are in top form its a great show. Best of luck to both.
@danica,
Thanks for the info.
@mat4
Great analogies. Yes, as you get older, recovering from matches gets harder and harder. And recovering from a change of direction gets slower and slower. Fed has seemingly done extremely well handling these considering his age. The later is probably being covered up by his offensive style of play nowadays.


Dan Martin Says:

I have my picks up (and more stuff) at http://tennisabides.com I think the best thing for Nole might be a loss as carrying a winning streak into RG did not work in 2011, but on paper I think Nole should win today. Is the match the same as the paper?


KatH Says:

@ Dan Martin
I also go to tennisabides.com – I see they pick Roger to win Rome….but, their prediction for the Women was a bit of a miss….


Gordon Says:

Sean – the first lesson you need to learn is if you are going to takes partial quote so that it reads out of context, remember that there is an army of trolls just waiting to pounce on anything that may rile them up.


madmax Says:

Sienna,

Stop using Fed’s mono as an excuse. There is no place for that here. There is a reason and he would not have used it in the context you just did.

Chris Ford1

Weak era really is old news. Your news constantly repeats old news. You should read what is out there, even here on so called weak era. You have said it 3 or 4 times here and its’s just your distorted opinion.

Fed was dominant during that time, winning 3 slams a year for 3 years and making finals too during that time. He was ridiculous. And still is, at his age, to be making finals; showing the younger players how it is meant to be done. He works hard and still is; you don’t hear the excused coming from him. Whilst he still has the game and the passion to play, bring it on Fed.

Ingrid, it’s good to know that you write the whole picture and not just a sentence that was distorted by some nole fans.

Fed was hugely complimentary about Novak and how he has fought some excellent players to get where he is today.

Awesome fed. Just awesome.

He was also awesome about Rafa too. Love the guy.

Since 2007, when the Weak Era ended, Fed has beaten Rafa just 4 times. At only 2 places. Once after Nole and Rafa crippled themselves in the 2009 Madrid semi, and 3 times at the place that spooks Nadal – the indoor O2 Arena.

ChrisFord1, you keep coming out with the excuses. Remember Fed has reached some finals and rounds because Rafa was knocked out; if Rafa wasn’t there to play, your argument doesn’t really hold any foundation.

Yes, the indoor arena, where Rafa just can’t cut the mustard there.


skeezer Says:

@Gordan,
Re; 10:56 post
Clickbait.


kriket Says:

Here we go. It’s on! :)


madmax Says:

Come on Federer!


madmax Says:

And then, come on Nole!


Daniel Says:

Djoko’s drop shots are working. Good match so far and Fed seems to be serving great, saved a 0-30 game last time and bo BP’s so far affer 5 games.


Daniel Says:

Now payback drop shot from Fed;-)


Daniel Says:

Fed serving at 74% first serve and Djoko 64%. High percentage by both.


Daniel Says:

Djoko losing only 1 poiint out of 13 on First serve. This match seems will not have many breaks. Probably 1 tiebreak.


lapinroyal Says:

Trending drop-shot… Message to Rafa who is better not playing that far from the baseline…


Daniel Says:

Djoko had lost 3 points on serve till 4-4, now DF amd missed another first serve. 0-30.


Daniel Says:

Djoko’s lots of second serves, Fed had BP
But he hold in the end with some great inside out FH’s.


Margot Says:

Very close, but first blood and first set, Nole.


kriket Says:

Đoko made the same return as at that USO 2011. match point.
I wonder if Fed feels insulted by it this time :)


van orten Says:

Typical way to lose the Set by fed


Daniel Says:

Djoko with an amazing return to set set point and than they played a great point until Fed missed a BH. First set Djoko who will start serving second again.
Think he is gonna do it in 2 unless Fed gets an early break to boost his confidence.

Novak is servinvg great apart from the game he DF and missed a few first serves.


van orten Says:

You djoker Fans are too arrogant. I do not understand why you expect him to win all the time


Giles Says:

The 2 clowns in Joker’s box never fail to amuse me – MV and BB. Their bellies are growing by the minute. Lol


Giles Says:

Lol. You just realised they are arrogant? This sh!t has been going on for a year and a half now. Somebody should shut them up for sure.


KatH Says:

Although appears quite close, Nole’s 1st set stats much better than Fed’s….


Daniel Says:

Wow, what a BH to save BP.
But Djoko’s FH on the run is killing Fed today


Daniel Says:

Djoko with an early break, this will go fast. Broke Fed last too times he served.

This will be an impressive win by Djoko back to back 2 sets pver Ferrer and Federer, which although are veterana have clay pedigree.


skeezer Says:

Great first set. Feds serve kept it closer than it could have been. Nole is playing the baseline better. And it is now rearing its head even more in the second. Nole’s BL game is sublime today.


skeezer Says:

Fed seems like he is starting to check out….no way he is beating Nole today.


Daniel Says:

Djoko is in the zone now. Wow!!


Daniel Says:

Great hold by Fed after some nice serving.


Zozza Says:

Very disappointing Federer after having Djokovic 0-30
He needed that first set more than Djokovic
Now he’s broken mentally


Daniel Says:

Djoko come out to play today, his best match, together with the Nadal win in MC.

Clear favoritr for RG with this perfirmance, only Nadal can take 3 sets of him and that right now is a big IF with what Nadal is going through.

This year is Nole’s year and a 2011 repeat or better.


Daniel Says:

Wow, what a FH!


Daniel Says:

Hold Fed, 4-2 Djoko serving. This is THE game for Fed. he has to break now otherwise no chance of coming back.

Hard to see Novak losing the way he is playing.


KatH Says:

Nole establishing who is BOSS especially in this 2nd set.


Daniel Says:

1 game away frim the title.

Impressive run on Masters final for Djoko. How many is it now, 12 or 13 straight? 24 Masters title. Probably will end the year with a positive HxH versus Federer, will be 19-20 now. Amd can also revert HxH with Nadal if they meet a few more times now that Nadal’s rankig is low in Djoko’s favorite part of the season. Alao if he keeps bagging titles the way he is he could finish the year close to 60 titlea.


Zozza Says:

Disappointing Federer after he failed to break in game nine but Djokovic is too good
He is playing like 2011 totally unstoppable
Like I said he will win everything this year


Daniel Says:

Well, Fed dis his part and hold his game. Djoko to serve for the title?


Purcell Says:

Please Novak, don’t even consider even the tiniest shirt rip or the million man hugs. Be polite in victory.


lapinroyal Says:

Nole closing in… Too bad! I dont think Nole is arrogant. He is just cocky. Boss and cocky shouldnt go together…
Nole serve for the match…


Daniel Says:

Nice agressive point by Fed. 15-15


lapinroyal Says:

the crow want a third set…


skeezer Says:

Congrats to Nole well played. Look forward to seeing both @FO.


lapinroyal Says:

Bravo to Nole very impressive! Roger will need to regroup for RG…


jalep Says:

Emphatic win. Congrats to all Nole fans! Hope he can carry this all the way to FO title!

What a performance by Nole!

Respect to Federer. Sorry to those fans hoping Federer could get a Rome title.


Margot Says:

Absolutely stunning from Nole in the 2nd set. Had Fed pinned right back where he didn’t want to be.
Many congrats Nole and his fans.
Comms to Fed and his.


KatH Says:

Fed’s second serve in second set was wot did it – 25% only.


Wog Boy Says:

Time for “Jameson”, stirred not shaken:)


lapinroyal Says:

Tennis God is messing with my prediction: Rome for Roger and FO for Nole… or May be Nole want it all! O_o


madmax Says:

What are the stats for Fed’s game compared to Nole’s? Seemed to be his second serve that let him down?

Hope he regroups quick and moves on without tweaking his game to much.

Some good shots from Fed, but Nole too hot!


Tom Says:

Wow, even I as a No1e fan didn’t expect him to swat away Roger like this. I’m happy, but it all comes down to Paris. He absolutely should win it. Will he? That all depends on the draw and if Rafa somehow finds his way. Still convinced had No1e played him in 2011 he would have beaten him. But Roger decided to ruin that party.


Wog Boy Says:

This women SINGS, bravo:) Roma has a style:)


lapinroyal Says:

TennisGod have to put Dolgo, Bellucci, Kyrgios, Tsonga, Nadal and Murray on Nole path in order to give Roger a chance unless Roger want to pull a 2011 semifinal match against Nole…


Tom Says:

Look at No1e go with that Italian. I knew he was studying but it flowed really well.


Daniel Says:

With Monte Carlo and Rome, which are the closest to RG, can’t see him not winning. This is the first time he wins both tourneys, entering RG undefeated on clay with victories over Nadal, Federer, Ferrer, Berdych, Key, all main players.

He is on another streak of 22 matches entering RG, and seems this is his time.

Now onto draw on Friday and Paris where history will be make once again. Hope Djoko wins his first RG, deserving his Career Slam. But also want some one to test him along the way.


jalep Says:

Just look at him, Lapinroyal. He might struggle with the Almagro’s and surprisingly great performances by Bellucci but when it gets down to the business end v fedal, here and in Monte Carlo, job done.

Who was that singer, Lapinroyal?

Such respect for Federer.

Nole molto contento. on his 4th title. Ciao, grazie.mille Roma!


lapinroyal Says:

@jalep
Dont know her. Look like a contralto wanna be… very stylist Roma… but they end it with Tina Turner, great lady but… Pfff


KatH Says:

@ Madmax

It was Fed’s 2nd serve in second set that did it – it was 25%…..


Margot Says:

@KatH
I rather think that % is largely due to Nole’s excellent ROS.


jalep Says:

I didn’t hear their Tina Turner…lol

Tennis Channel always cuts trophy ceremonies in Europe short, unless an American wins, I suppose.


jalep Says:

^ to Lapinroyal


courbon Says:

Wog Boy: I’m sipping Makers Mark-great burbon…Djoko will make me alcoholic if continues winning like this…
You can not love Italians-always with the style and very respectfull public..

Geat match, comis to Fed fans

Message to Giles:
1. Only person getting spanked today is you-buy your mum.
2.Unless you look like a Brad Pit, you should refrain commenting on other peoples look


Purcell Says:

Madmax: Sky stats show Fed’s UFE count was very high (and that was obvious when watching the match) but he had more winners that Djokovic. That’s tennis of course. Roger had very little rhythm but naturally dthat was to do with his opponent.


Wog Boy Says:

Margot, thanks.
Absolutely masterful performance.


Markus Says:

It’s becoming more clearly obvious that Federer can no longer win a full-filled tournament. I don’t how long he’ll want to continue. It may depend on how lucrative his endorsement deals remain in spite of not winning tournaments.


Wog Boy Says:

Hi Frenchie, good to see you here, N1le can’t make me alcoholic, I already am. I am out of plum brandy and second best is Jameson, I got hooke on Irish whiskey when I was in Ireland, going again this year;)
BTW, are by any chance going to Belgrade this northern summer?


Navdeep Says:

Only and only Rafa can stop novak’s dominance. Come on Rafa show the world once again why is beating you at RG is the toughest task in the games history.


courbon Says:

Crocodile Dundee: I’m not big rakija drinking unless is very good.I just finish, soprisingly good-Orahovaca liquer that my dad broth me ( he stayed 2 months with me here ). Unfurtunatelly I will not go this year but definetelly next year, in september or October-I have not been for 5 years now…If timmings are right ( next year ) we should catch up in Zemun-’Riba’ restaurant and have a blast ( full blown glutony-cevapi, raznjici, vesalice, pecenje, Sopska salada, lepinje…..hmmmmm….I’m hungry now!)


courbon Says:

Lots of spelling mistakes, lots of burbon….I will sleep like a baby tonight.


the DA Says:

Impressive, clinical performance. Let the hype and hoopla run amok for RollyG. The next stat Nole has to go up against: 66-1. Can he make that 1 into a 2? Easier said than done. HAs he peaked? Lots of questions. The day of the draw is going to be peak mania from the fanbases. Can’t wait.


Šuškica Says:

Like I said.. I step on Krikets – so does No1e.

Ideeeeeeemooooooooooo legendooooo!!!!!!


Wog Boy Says:

Well, I am going this year, can’t go two years in a row, too expensive, need $10.000 only for airfare (family).

BTW, I booked B&B in Guča this year for festival, four days and nights, check out this link, it is Portugese trumpet band playing in Guča, mighty good, and all those people dancing on tables are western tourist, pay attention on the lady @1:02 and how she drinks plum brandy, poor thing:)

http://youtu.be/5wwzBRKF-bI

It is “Madness in Guča”


Giles Says:

^^^ I bet there are many that step on you with your idiotic comments!


Wog Boy Says:

^^for Courbon


the DA Says:

As we prepare for the build up to RG, consider this stat:

Nole – undefeated on clay
Andy – undefeated on clay
Rafa – no European clay titles
Roger – 1 ATP 250 clay title
Kei – 1 ATP 500 clay title

which goes to show how freaky 2015 has been.


courbon Says:

Wog Boy: For me is time the problem-not expensive like from Oz its just I never have a time…;Well, I’m sure we will catch up one day-world is small.
Is very funny video-ah, you can beat the trumpet trought the night…Guca is now a world class festival. Thanx for link.I have to visit next time.
I must go now-there is brass band playing in my village and everybody are waiting for me ( while I’m writing this ).Have a good day


Wog Boy Says:

Enjoy it…and don’t get smashed;)


Patson Says:

These days, it’s Novak who decides who’s going to win and who isn’t. IOW, if you’ve won a title, it’s most likely because Nole wasn’t playing that tournament. As arrogant as it may sound, it is the truth.

Congrats to all Nole fans!

Onto the French now … the ultimate prize of the clay season!


jane Says:

congrats to nole! hugs to nole fans – glad to see he’s fixed the nose! sheesh that was scary.

commiserations to fed and fans – seems fed, rafa and novak all have their white whale at the masters: rafa lost 4 miami finals, fed lost 4 roma finals and novak lost 4 cincy ones.

interesitng stats the da – i was thinking how strange that andy and novak have all the clay masters this year. that’s a first.


jane Says:

p.s. daniel thanks for the play-by-play commentary; i always love reading it after i’ve calmed down. :)


sienna Says:

yeah wellicht done Feddy boy.
come out to play game. trying to win set when didnot happen just fade away. it makes no sense to battle it out in set 2 / 3 for another 2 hours.

silver bullit locked and loaded straight to the peckers heart in 3 weeks time.


Ron Smith Says:

Nole!!! Sorry arrogant one…turns out he’s just as dangerous on clay noe as Rafa used to be…


the DA Says:

2015 clay-court records

Novak Djokovic 10-0
Andy Murray 10-0
Rafael Nadal 17-5
Roger Federer 9-3


chris ford1 Says:

It will all change sooner or later of course, but for now, it is the Year of the Djuggernaut. If it doesn’t change until the “later”, watch out.
Djoker and his team have been building the period Nole works into peak form to be at the French. Much of the time until now has been him winning on his B or A- game. Roger got the “almost A” game and had no chance.
There is no guarantee. Nole could run into servebot John Isner having one of those days, a crazy good Nishikori, And lose. Or the inspired Muzzasaurus clay monster of 2015. Or have to play “vintage” Nadal in a QF.
But yeah, Djokovic is now the unquestionable favorite.


jane Says:

nice comments from novak and fed

Djokovic: “If I get to play Roger, it’s the ultimate final that I can have… He always makes you play [at the] highest level if you want to win…This is something that makes me come out with the highest possible concentration and intensity and commitment.”

Federer: “I think we play very nice against each other, and it seems people like the way we play, as well. I don’t think we have to adjust our games very much against each other: We can just play our game, and then the better man wins… It’s really a pleasure playing against him every single time.”


sienna Says:

Master titles mean notting.
time just needs to be ready. last year fed won the smaller venues next time they meet it will be a big one. fed takes That one.


sienna Says:

navdeep
he will donotworry.

Garros winner has to go through Nadal and his dead body. because that will be what needs to happen in order to beat Nadal.

oog in am so hoping they meet in quarter the led down after That match will be huge. enough for a guy like nishikori or Ferrer to take advantage.


KatH Says:

Federer says was last minute decision to play Rome.
Federer says he “knows he can play better”.

@ Purcell
More winners than Djokovic? I have looked at the stats. but must have missed something??????


KatH Says:

The Good News for the UK is that the French Open is going to be broadcast here ON TV— no scratching around to see what you want to see – I hope.


Giles Says:

Talk is cheap. Bet they didn’t mean a single word of what they said. Schmoozing is the order of the day. Sheesh !


Giles Says:

The French Open has ALWAYS been broadcast in the UK by Eurosport.


KatH Says:

Sure Margot – Fed’s 2nd serve got belted by Novak – but I think the fact that Fed. was reduced to 2nd serve on so many occasions was in itself significant especially as he faulted (we both know Andy’s weakness? – which struck home – Andy improving Thank goodness).


Purcell Says:

KatH: it was on Sky. First set probably as I didn’t pay the to the heading. As you probably know, they do set one, set two then overall.


jane Says:

fed had a higher first serve percentage than novak in set 1 and was over 60 for the match.

i thought novak was finally dialled in on the return of serve today, which wasn’t as good throughout the rest of the tournament. he really raises his game versus roger, which is why their matches are a pleasure to watch.

also these guys have played almost 40 times. they get familiar with each other’s patterns, which is part of it.part of the issue was break points generated and converted. nole faced only 1 all match which he saved. roger’s return of serve wasn’t quite as sharp.


jane Says:

btw, triple K won a challenger event today.


Matador Says:

Hope Nadal and Djokovic in the final at RG, the final for 10 or 1.


KatH Says:

Purcell – my info. is from looking at the ATP Set scores which appear during the match – OKeydoke -not worth an argument.


Markus Says:

It’s only against Djokovic where Federer’s age starts to show.


danica Says:

Jane,
thanks for those nice quotes from both players. Glad to see mutual respect. It was not always the case from the Fed’s side, but he now acknowledges that Novak is a great player.

I am happy Nole won but really, Roger amazes. At his age, he is #2 in the world and can still beat anyone on tour, including Novak. This match was closer than the score suggest.


Purcell Says:

Markus: it’s clearly obvious you’re stating the obvious and let’s face it, Roger will play for as long as he wants, it’s not for us to speculate or drive him into retirement.
Regarding his endorsements, he already has enough money to fund a small country, in fact, if he continues breeding he’ll probably have a small country of his own.
Personally, and selfishly I have to admit, I hope he continues as long as he’s able because the variety and complexity of his shots is beyond compare. I’ll stop there.


danica Says:

Someone brought up the Federer finger in the FO 2011. I am a Nole fan. But I never saw anything disrespectful in that gesture and keep wondering why it is that people perceive it that way. It was not pointing towards Novak, it was just ascertaining his own merit. He is certainly not the only one who did/does it.


danica Says:

Nadalista,

waves back at you ;)


jane Says:

say what you want about fed’s age, but he played some amazing tennis today. some great winners and still incredible defense.


Sidney Says:

Dominating performance by Novak. Too strong for Roger today.

24th Masters. Wow! I never thought Novak could overtake Roger’s Masters total. Great achievement!

Onwards to FO, where I see Novak as the top fav, with Nadal second fav, and Andy (gasp) 3rd fav.

See you all in a week at RG where history will be made!


Purcell Says:

KatH: I’m not proposing to argue.


jalep Says:

jane

Triple K was also given a WC to play in Nice. He will play fellow Aussie, Duckworth next.
Coric is in Nice too. Groth v Coric

In Geneva, Andrey Rublev beat Jarkko Nieminem and advances to the 2nd round to face Cilic…oh no.

From ATP: “Rublev is the 1st player age 17 or younger to win 5 or more matches in the same year at atp level tour events since Rafael Nadal in 2004.”


mat4 Says:

@jane:

jane, you have to know that a player can usually peak about 5 times a year. You can’t play at your best all year long.

To do that, you usually have an intense period of physical work that ends 15 to 10 days before the event, when the players are pushed to their limits. I was probably the case with Novak, since I am certain that Phil-Gritsch is a very knowledgeable coach. It also explains why Andy felt so tired, etc. Most of the top players do the same thing: Federer usually skips at least one tournament to prepare in higher altitude in Switzerland, and Rafa, who doesn’t like to work in such a manner, used to play a lot of tournament in that period, knowing that a week of rest after Rome, and the rhythm of a match every second day at RG will give him enough time to rest.

It explains why Novak looked a bit rusty, and why he seemed to be tired in a few matches, even in the semi.


Humble Rafa Says:

24th Masters. Wow! I never thought Novak could overtake Roger’s Masters total. Great achievement!

Wait, until the Arrogant One has two owners and all the ownership etiquette is gone.


Matador Says:

Curry vs Harden who win?


jane Says:

thanks for the explanation mat4.


jane Says:

jalep do you know much about chung, another up and comer? i think he was one of the runners up.


Gordon Says:

Marcus – either you don’t get it or you are just a troll.

Do you really question why the second best player in the world continues to play?

It’s because HE LOVES THE GAME.


jalep Says:

I have heard him from reading challenger news, jane. He’s still a teenager, close to 19. he’s in the top 100, has done well in challengers but not as many wins at atp tour level as Rublev. Rublev is the one that stands out to me the most ;) But I don’t think he can get past Cilic. Unlucky draw for him in Geneva.

Rublev is the FO junior champion 2014.


Wog Boy Says:

Nole and Roger playe 13 finals, Nole won 8 of them, plus one WO, you know which one.

Nole and Rafa played 22 finals, Nole won 12 of them, no WO.

This is 13th masters final in a row No1e won, he has got a nerve.

Romans made mistake last night playing old Serbian anthem, the one that mentions King, I didn’t mind it, I love originals and that one is original not present days version.


mat4 Says:

Just to add: Novak won 19 MS of the last 41. He won as much as Nadal, Federer and Murray together.

Unfortunately, his MS dominance doesn’t translate well to slams. He should have won probably 2 slams more. I believe that this is the “RG sindrom”. He peaks for the two tournaments he is less likely to win — RG and Wimbledon. Rafa was the better player at RG, while there are a lot of very dangerous players at Wimbledon, some of them clearly better than Novak.


Wog Boy Says:

Yes mat4, yet he won two Wimbledons in three tries and only one USO in four tries, one just don’t know.


Wog Boy Says:

I wonder if TX is Sean’s part time job? How long it takes for a new thread about Rome final?


mat4 Says:

@WB:

Indeed, it is the problem. He made 8 USO semi, 4 finals, and managed to win it only once…

But Borg never won it, BTW. There’s something in that tournament.

On another hand, everybody that rewinds Novak’s career will notice how unlucky he was: he started playing when Nadal — an early bloomer — and Federer were at their peak. Then, he had problems with sponsors, and he had to make a problematic change of racquet. He will need three years to find the right one. And there was that change of coach and of serve motion… another year lost.

Since 2011, he was more often unlucky than lucky: he had “the shot”, in 2011, but the rest is another story: FO 2012, USO 2012, FO 2013, FO 2014, USO 2014… fortune turn its back on him time and time again.

Luck has a big part in every sport, but I feel that Novak didn’t have his fair share at the slams. Perhaps it will change this year? Could it happen, finally?


mat4 Says:

There’s a good post from Tignor at tennis.com.

Is there a good Australian tennis blog? I liked “The next point”, and, in my opinion, Jesse Pentecost is probably the best tennis writer out there, but he doesn’t post that often now.


Wog Boy Says:

I really don’t know, I don’t go often on the other forums unless somebody gives me particular link or somebody posts a link here. At the end of the day I am just a fan, not as knowledgeable as you and few others on TX. If it is not tennis I follow rugby league, which is big here, sometimes football if it is big game.


Markus Says:

@Gordon

What does it matter to you what I am? Obviously I hurt your feeling with what I said and consequently failed to grasp the message. Just because one loves the game does not mean he’ll continue to have the drive to go on forever. Federer used to win almost everything. Now, he is #2 yet could not win any important tournament where there is a full field particularly when Djokovic is entered. I believe Roger is a human being and to keep losing with dwindling chances of winning a significant tournament, must eat up on his resolve, slowly maybe, but surely, regardless of how much he loves the game. He may love the game but there is also something called pride. There has to be another motivation to keep going. It’s human nature. There is absolutely nothing wrong with continuing to amass a fortune if product endorses continue to offer it.


Zozza Says:

Novak is the fittest player in tennis
Best double handed backhand
Good forehand
Good serve
Very hard to say he wont Roland garros in 2015

Only two things can stop him
Injury
Or Nadal finding his best form
Both highly unlikely

My prediction is coming true so far
Novak winning everything


Navdeep Says:

We should give credits were it’ due. I am a Rafa fan but have to say that Fed is just fantastic. At 34 he is #2 and for him making even the finals of a masters event at this age is the testallment of his greatness.


Markus Says:

I wish I can take back what I just posted. I see no reason why I have to explain to anybody my own opinion. Either they get it or they don’t. It’s their problem if they don’t and I couldn’t care less.


django Says:

Great match today. Federer and Djokovic seem to have both ‘matured’ in that they both respect each other.
After all, they will be seeing a lot of each other in the next decades at events. Good for them.


lapinroyal Says:

@MAT 8:02pm
Don’t forget Todd Martin in 2009-early 2010 who changes his serve from good to look-a-like Murray second serve. This hold back his game and confident (and cockiness… I find him less cocky with year actually) development for at least 18 months. After his return to Vajda, we (Rafa, Roger, et al) know the rest of the story…

Rafa, Roger and Delpotro should thank Todd for that… ^_^


Markus Says:

Djokovic and Federer are great players but in no way can that match be considered great. It was so one sided that it would not even pass for good.


Wog Boy Says:

@django,

I have a feeling that Nole, once his career is finished will not hang around tennis circuits apart of special occasions.


mat4 Says:

@lapin:

I didn’t forget. The consequence was the abysmal 2010… He then changes his racquet again (there is a link here for his “real” racquet, something far away from those sold by Head; that racquet will be improved by adding the new spaceship material in 2014, but while the torque is better, the overall feeling is the same), improves his FH (something he continues with Becker) and the machine is ready to go… in 2011.

Another stat: Novak has won 10 of the last 16 MS 1000.


chris ford1 Says:

Last big thing Djokovic lost was Shanghai. Since then he has won 7 big ones straight:
Paris, WTF, Australia, the gem of Indian Wells, Miami, MC, Rome.
While all eyes are focused on the French Open, even if he loses, he could still have an insane year after that. If he wins of course, then Wimbledon and talk of a Grand Slam if he gets fortunate again on grass…
But if he loses the French or Wimbledon and the odds are stacked against that on pure probability no matter how good he is, he still could set a record of 6 Masters won. If he somehow won all three remaining before Bercy…Djokovic would have non-calender ownership of simultaneous titles to 9 of 10 of the ATPs own biggest events (the Slams are independent). Insane…


jane Says:

django at 10:25 – totally agree. some beautiful tennis on display, from both novak and fed.


Michael Says:

Congratulations to Novak and what an amazing run this man is having this year something in reminiscence of his incredible 2011 run or even better so far, if I need to be honest. He is today shining like a colossus on the Tennis horizon and his sequence of Master Series Titles is the stuff of legend, not even possible for the likes of Roger and Rafa. I think Novak today is brimming with confidence and has this feel good factor where he positions himself as infallible and unbeatable. Going into Rolland Garros with such a mood will do him a World of good unless he becomes complacent and over confident. The biggest rival for Novak today is not the competition but consistency of good health. If he is energetic and fit, sky is the limit and he is definitely going to go places. This is because the competition is so much depleted today and stands in his favour. An ageing Roger, a fading Rafa, inconsistent Andy and then the young guns who simply doesn’t have it in them to challenge the creamy top with consistency.

Novak is definitely the favourite to annex the French Open title and what a year that would be if he manages it. For me, he is now in the Top 10 of all time Greats.


Michael Says:

As regards Roger, he is in that stage in his career where even securing a final place will be regarded as a tremendous achievement. He has this age factor behind him which is an advantage as well as disadvantage. Advantage in the sense that he has an excuse if he loses and conversely if he wins, he will be showered with all accolades and paid glowing tributes. So, he is obviously in a win-win situation. At 34, if he is No.2 in the World, just imagine his endurance and grit wherein he is shaming the professional circuit with his exploits. Disadvantage in the sense that he will never be feared the same player as he once was and the rival will take him easy and will always count upon their chances to win. Roger’s consistency is past gone and today he is a pale shadow of what he was earlier. At 33 (very near completion of 34) reaching a Clay Court Master Series final is not a joke and that he has managed it, is in itself a feat.

Regarding the finals, Roger was completely outplayed from the back of the court and his aggressive forays to the net bore him fruit initially but Novak measuring up to the situation exploited Roger’s weakness and lack of rhythm. Clocking 73% first serves and still losing the first set speaks for itself. Roger just couldn’t read Novak’s serve and his timing of return was awful spraying them all over the court. The match to put it in a nutshell was not of great quality and if one player outplays another player then the excitement and interest will certainly wane. The crowd didn’t get what they wanted and ie. a thriller and the result it seemed was predestined, inevitable and foregone.


mat4 Says:

@Michael:

I don’t agree about the quality of the match. Both players are very able on fast surfaces, but on this peculiar fast surface, the rebound was very high and very irregular, and it was an advantage for Novak who used it wisely. Nonetheless, Novak needed two exceptional return of first serve in a row to break, and was lucky on the first one.

Fed lost his focus in his first serve game in the second set, but it happens sometimes, and the pressure to excel on serve was very big. All in all, I don’t think he played a bad match. The only think he has to regret is not to have done more with his FH, and, of course, that he didn’t return good enough. He was a bit late on most of Novak’s serve — and watching Roger return against Berdych, when he won 40% of first serve returns and 50% of second serve returns, we here have to acknowleadge that Novak’s serve improved in terms of disguise and “readability”.


Margot Says:

@Sidney 4.49
I’m liking “gasp” Andy’s chances too. :) Should make semis at least, as he did last year, when he was seeded 4th? Can’t remember.
Needs to defend those points anyway.


Zozza Says:

Novak is in Federer’s class & in Nadal’s class
True champion
One of the best players of all time
He is good a player never to win the French open
This year on current form he should be crowned French open winner whether he plays Nadal or someone else doesn’t matter
He has proved to the tennis world that he is a great champion

This is from Nadal & Federer fan


Michael Says:

Mat4,

we here have to acknowleadge that Novak’s serve improved in terms of disguise and “readability

That sums up the match in my opinion. Roger was just not at ease in return of serve and was spraying the balls all over. It may be due to the fact that Novak was serving exceptionally well wherein the pace and bounce on the court synthesized with his overall serving abilities and made it even more deceptive, incisive and overall gave the cutting edge.

Novak at the other end was at ease with the return of Roger’s serve despite the fact that he was clocking a 73% first serve percentage. That was the key difference which decided the outcome of this match and in rallies of over 9 shots, Roger just couldn’t keep up with Novak and was edged out convincingly.


KatH Says:

Giles

In my TV area I cannot even get Scottish news never mind Eurosport – fortunately can get most ITV stations (previously where I lived I couldn’t get BBC2) – of course can get matches on Computer but picture a bit small.

Top story: Federer Books Final Four Berth At ATP Finals, Thiem Advances; Last SF Spot At Stake Friday