Federer Still Flawless, Blows Out Wawrinka To Reach First US Open Final Since 2009; Dominant Djokovic Awaits
by Staff | September 12th, 2015, 1:05 am
  • 114 Comments

The men’s US Open final will feature the top two players in the world. For the third time this summer, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic will meet, this clash for the final Grand Slam of the season, the US Open title.

Both guys had no trouble and no resistance at all today in lopsided wins in Friday semifinals. What were supposed to be good matches on paper, just weren’t.

First, Djokovic lost just three total games crushing Marin Cilic 6-0, 6-1, 6-2 to reach his sixth US Open final. The Serb who had struggled against two Spaniards leading in, was in total control on the Croat who was limited by an apparent ankle injury.

“Obviously it felt great to be able to perform as well as I did today at this stage of a tournament,” said Djokovic who is now 14-0 against Cilic. “Knowing that Marin carried that (ankle) injury for last couple of matches. I didn’t allow that fact to distract me too much.

“I just wanted to concentrate on what I needed to do on the court and come out with the right intensity, make him move, get as many returns back in play. All in all, it was from my side a very solid match and I take that as a confidence booster for the final.”

Cilic had won 12 straight matches at the US Open, but the defending champion offered nothing today.

“I’m not 100%, obviously. And even the last match against Jo I wasn’t feeling 100%,” Cilic said. “You know, the foot was causing me obviously some trouble with the movement, but, you know, Novak was able to expose me much more today. Even coming before the match and thinking, you know, if I’m going to play or not, I decide to play, as it’s a Grand Slam tournament, it’s deep in the tournament. You know, I decide to go on the court and give my best. You know, if it would be some other tournament, doesn’t matter which one, I would probably pull out and not, you know, get myself in the position to aggravate it much more.”

Djokovic is 26-1 on the year in Slams and has reached the finals now at every event since Doha, and all four Slams for the first time in a year. But he hasn’t won the US Open since 2011.

“I came here with a wish and a mission, as well, to reach the finals and fight for the trophy,” Djokovic said. “So I got myself in that position. It’s already a great result. But I want to get that final step on Sunday and get my hands on that trophy.”

Five-time tournament champion Federer figured to have a much tougher task against Stan Wawrinka who destroyed Kevin Anderson. But after close first set in which both players held multiple break chances with only Federer converting, Federer ran away with the match 6-4, 6-3, 6-1.

“I’m serving very well, playing positive tennis,” Federer said after reaching his seventh US Open final. “I am going for my shots and I’d love [everything] to work just one more time this year.”

Federer utilized his SABR twice early in the match, breaking Wawrinka in the third game. And he never lost serve as he once again was on the attack whenever possible.

“I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to play this aggressive against Stan, because he does – when he’s on, he presents a very different challenge to all the players I have played thus far in this tournament. But now that I have been able to do it also against Stan definitely gives me confidence that maybe I can also do it against Novak this way.”

The win streak for Federer is now at 11, winning all 28 sets since his 34th birthday. Wawrinka falls to 0-12 against his countryman on hardcourts, 3-17 overall.

“He’s moving really well, for sure,” Wawrinka said. “As I said before playing him, I saw him in Cincinnati, I think he’s quite fast on the court. He’s reading well the game, and so he’s trying really to stay on the line, not to go back; stay really aggressive. He’s serving really well, also. He’s serving better than I’ve ever seen him serve.

“For me tonight he’s getting more angles. It’s more tough to really serve and to make something from.”

Federer and Djokovic have meet 41 times before with Federer winning 21. The two have split their last two meetings this summer, and Federer leads 3-2 at the US Open where he’s 5-1 in finals and Djokovic just 1-4.

“Novak it’s been more straightforward, my opinion,” Federer said of the matchup. “That’s what I like about the rivalry. I think we both can – I don’t know how it is for him, but I feel like he doesn’t need to adjust his game as much, either. I think it’s just a straight shootout.”

Federer hasn’t won the US Open since 2008 and he’s lost to Djokovic the last two times he’s played him in New York.

“I think there is a lot of positives for me to take away from that match or all of Wimbledon, Cincinnati, as well, that match with Novak there, and then now how I have played here thus far,” Federer said. “I think it’s an interesting three months to look back on and take the good and the bad and compress all of those into one thing and hopefully come up with a the perfect game plan against Novak Sunday.”

The final will be played Sunday at 4pm. It’s No. 1 vs No. 2!


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114 Comments for Federer Still Flawless, Blows Out Wawrinka To Reach First US Open Final Since 2009; Dominant Djokovic Awaits

skeezer Says:

The finals; let the Trash Talking commence.


gannu Says:

hope never refuses to die…

hope u can get your 18th feddy bear


skeezer Says:

Trash talk point #1
Rafa is fantasizing; I was important once upon a time. I played these guys and won way back when, you know, in the weak era.


gannu Says:

skeez madmax daniel other fed fans

hope our man wins…3yrs is a bit too long a gap :-)


courbon Says:

Trash Talk point #2
if Fed wins: He is truly amazing, beating Novak in his peak years…
if Novak wins: Well, Novak is capitalising on the weak era, beating 34 year old guy is not a big deal…


Margot Says:

^ Lol Courbon. How true!


jane Says:

Courbon, 😂 I think you have nailed it, as they say.


Margot Says:

And brilliant quote from Kevin Mitchell in the Guardian, which lol, should please fans of both players:
The greatest player of ALL time plays the greatest player of THIS time.


nits Says:

That’s fitting GOAT all time vs GOAT this decade


nits Says:

What about Penneta vs Vinci


sienna Says:

at the moment Federer is greatest of this time.Its time to capitalize on Cincin massacre. To re-enforce momentum shift. Like he did with Murphy take the matchup and the guy to the cleaner.


Giles Says:

Fed running around like a rabbit at the ripe old age of 34. What’s he on? Do tell fed!!


cheat nadal Says:

There is a result of Wimbledon, so I want Roger to win the victory here.

But 5 sets of final is severe on Roger.

Is it Novak’s victory again?


roy Says:

federer fans are in a high state of physical arousal right now and redecorating their bedroom altars. i just hope for their sake he can maintain these nothing-to-lose margins.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Hope im not regarded as a Rafa fan getting in the way,as it doesnt seem like theres any left anymore,anyway not had much time to post lately,no horse in the race,so just hope for a great final,and hope you all enjoy it?i will pull for Roger as i think it will be amazing story at his age no disrespect to bag another GS,and i think hes played the best tennis of the two this fortnight from what i can gather although i havent seen much of the open to be honest,although i have doubts as to whether he can stay with Novak over five sets,Novaks having an amazing year,and i think its looking like he will win 3 GS in a year for the second time though,my blogging will be significantly less as ive alot going on in the real world at the moment,and i will be away this weekend so wont see the final,love to you all cheers ;)….


Jeez Says:

Breakthrough In WTA ???

Domination(won last 4 Majors) of current world no:1 @33yrs 11 months 16days

broken by 1st time semifinalist(in singles, but 5time doubles champion) Roberta Vinci younger @ 32yrs 6months 24 days!!!

to meet fellow Italian Flavia Penneta(2011 AUS doubles)@ young 33yrs 6 months 19 days

1st All ITALIA FINAL

PHEW !!!

WTA is sure getting more COMPETITIVE these days!!

Not to be undone ATP has no:2 @ 34 yrs 1 month 3 days into his 6th US Open final(after 6yrs,on 11 match winning streak,28 sets unbroken ) to face no:1 Djokovic(4th slam final of the yr)for 6th final of 2015,3rd Slam(3/8 in 2yrs) @ 28yrs 3months 20days(28<30 surely youngestof the lot>

PICK your POISON ??

MONOPOLY vs DUOPOLY

;)


mat4 Says:

Anyway, while Roger’s status is out of the question, right now we can say that we had a final with two top 5 ever, and, who knows, in a few years it would perhaps be clear that we had a final with the top two ever.

Novak needs a few great years to attain that status, and it will also change Federer’s status profoundly, and we will have to reassess his results in the last five years — when he was playing against the no 2 and 3 (!?) at their peak, when himself was past your prime.

But we will also have to reassess both Novak’s and Rafa’s results — just take any of the three from the equation, and the other two have 5 to 7 slams more.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Hi Mat4….


J-Kath Says:

Loads of comments on TX threads re.Fed’s so-called “sneak attack” and remarks made by the rather unpopular Boris B.

We’ve all seen players throw the ball in the air to serve and then stop the serve because:

-somebody blinding them by trying to take a picture;
-audience late arrivals
-and/or deliberate attempts by opposing fans to disrupt the service.

Roger says he makes his move once the toss has been made – usually on a 2nd serve. His opponent will indubitably see the move “out of the corner of his eye” before he actually hits the ball – Yes?

I believe this is intended to adversely alter the effectiveness of the server. I believe the Server should thus have the right to catch his ball and re-start in the same way that he would if/when faced by audience disruption…which we’ve all witnessed.

I’m not a fan of BB – never was – but in my view the sneak attack should only be allowed if the server has the right to re-toss and complete the serve as many times as there is a sneak attack.

Otherwise, it’s not cricket, is it? Ha hah.


Nitin Says:

I had posted this on my Facebook on August 21st after one of the Cincinnati Matches – Watching Federer play I believe he is going to hit a purple patch again. Earlier, I used to hope he would win – now unless he gets injured again I believe he will win more grand slams. Also, Djokovic is bound to lose focus sooner or later and if Roger Federer is still playing till then I think he will be unstoppable. I havent seen a stronger back hand than this from RF in his entire career – the bigger racquet is starting to sit comfortably and his talent is undeniable. Now its a question of age & luck – I believe and I think he believes as well.


Gypsy Gal Says:

All irelevant now now,but i was pulling for Stan to meet Novak in the final,he seems to be the player that gives Novak the most trouble in GS these days,having said that Roger does very well and has pushed Novak to the absolute brink in recent years on this surface….


mat4 Says:

Yesterday was just a demo of their unearthly level — despite Cilic’s comments (somebody commented that he was friend with Djokovic — LOL) — they both played so fast, strategically so sound, that their opponents were out of their comfort zone from the get go. Stan didn’t have an occasion for a clear shot the whole match, Marin was never on the ball. Everything Novak and Fed throw at them was fast and low.


madmax Says:

roy Says:
federer fans are in a high state of physical arousal right now and redecorating their bedroom altars. i just hope for their sake he can maintain these nothing-to-lose margins.

September 12th, 2015 at 4:17 am

Feel sorry for you Roy.

We are just enjoying the tennis from Roger after the train you and others have been on since 2008.

Loving the journey Roy, whatever happens tomorrow.

J-Kath,

It’s an interesting point you make. You should read TV and skeezer’s viewpoints on the match thread and really, have a look at the ATP rule book.

Roger is within the rules and unless otherwise deemed, will continue to be so.


madmax Says:

Jeez posted this on the match thread; I think it’s worth posting here too.

Q. How would you characterize your rivalry with Novak? It’s going to be your 42nd match against each other. How would you describe the rivalry? Do you think he’s made you better? You’ve made him better? Is there one particular match, good reasons or bad reasons, a loss that sticks out for you from all of the matches you played?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I see more of a generation of, you know, Hewitt, Nalbandian, Agassi, Henman, guys I had trouble with at the beginning. I felt they made me better a player. Same with my generation coming up, Ferrero, Safin, Roddick, Hewitt. I was trying to hang on with them and trying to be that next wave of players making it to the top, and everyone made it to world No. 1 before me. I think that was very motivational for me. Made me a better player. I definitely think Rafa had a big effect, as well. Had to adjust and change so many things playing against him, preparing against him, thinking about it when I was practicing. He’s probably been the guy who challenged me the most with that.

Novak it’s been more straightforward,my opinion. That’s what I like about the rivalry. I think we both can — I don’t know how it is for him, but I feel like he doesn’t need to adjust his game as much, either. I think it’s just a straight shootout, and I think that’s the cool thing about our rivalry. It’s very athletic. We both can handle each other’s — whatever we present to one another, and I think our matches, it’s very even. That’s it, I think. I don’t need to add more here.

Djokovic spoke about Federer earlier in the year:

“He’s so good and so consistent,” Djokovic said Friday. “We all know how good he is. He’s the greatest ever. There’s not enough praises for what he does.

“It’s now the fifth time that I’ve been in the finals, and I’ve never won this title, so I guess I have to wait for Roger to retire, then try to do something after,” Djokovic said – I love Novak’s humour at Cincinnati final.

Roger speaking of Novak: I think Novak played well not only today, but this week, this year, last year, the year before that…

“I really hope you can win here some day,” Federer told him on court during the trophy presentations. “He deserves it.

Despite what people say or think, there is a lot of praise from both players, for each other. I know that Roger has also said that Novak IS the man to beat. Roger has his confidence, that is for certain, but he pays deference to Novak’s fantastic ability as one of the greats.

Should be a great match!


J-Kath Says:

Yes, Madmax – I’m sure he is just within the rules – but I think what I was also saying is that his opponents can’t be blamed if they claim their serve was disrupted and thus were not given the opportunity to complete their serve.


Calmdownplease Says:

Straight sets to the Serb……


Giles Says:

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2015-09-06/20598.php
Read Pronin’s retort to my question. This is downright cheating I feel! Just because it’s fed doing it it is being shoved under the carpet. I can just imagine the criticisms if perchance it was Rafa!!!


mat4 Says:

Hi, GG. Hope you’re well.

Some stats:

both Stan and Marin were under 50% of first serves. Wawrinka made 30 (155 p.) UE, Marin 37 (122 p.). It shows how uncomfortable they felt on the court. About Marin excuse (the ankle): in the previous matches, he lost the same way: Novak put some pressure on his serve, moved him from left to right, and used the fact that Marin plays pretty flat to force errors from him. Even with a better ankle, the result would most probably be very similar, especially since Novak won 40% of the first serve returns.

Novak made 13 UE, Fed 17, about the same percentage. Novak played very deep or very low, and Fed did the same. When Stan tried to attack cleanly the second serve by retiring one more yard back, Fed reacted immediately, went to the net after those second serves and won them all. In their match, Cilic was never in command, and reacted only in most of the rallies.

Finally, the head decided of the outcome of the matches. Federer and Djokovic were at the top of their games, while Wawrinka and Cilic were too nervous. Both Federer and Djokovic used optimally the speed of the court fully, since their opponents are not great movers. On the other side, neither Stan, neither Marin, had an effective plan against their opponents versatility.

Djokovic and Federer both served well. After the first set, Stan had only one BP. Marin was late for the return most of the time, unable to read Novak’s serve. Had the result not been so lopsided, I doubt he would have been able to break in the third set.


madmax Says:

J-Kath Says:
Yes, Madmax – I’m sure he is just within the rules – but I think what I was also saying is that his opponents can’t be blamed if they claim their serve was disrupted and thus were not given the opportunity to complete their serve.

September 12th, 2015 at 5:51 am

J-Kath,

It’s only you complaining about it and Boris! :)

Don’t think any of his opponents have yet, but am sure they will at some point.

Isn’t this just an evolution of Fed’s game and people getting sour about the fact that, for now, it is working?

I think MTOs require more analysis than SABR, don’t you?


madmax Says:

Anyways, who is your pick for tomorrow?

I will always root for Roger, but I feel that Novak will be the man to beat on the day!


J-Kath Says:

I’ve always believed in freedom of speech – not usually called a complaint.

I always believe in fairness – if Fed’s “evolution” is intended to stop his opponent from the right to complete his serve then the opponent has the right to repeat his serve until such time as he is allowed to complete it.

PS: Bullying does not impress me, either.


mat4 Says:

About the “sabr”: every obvious, fast movement by the player returning is seen by the server and disturbs him, and basically, this is equivalent to aiming at the player on the net. It’s legal, but it’s unfair.

BB knows very well what he says, and yes, knowing well the players from the eighties, a JMac or a Connors, a Becker or a Lendl would have deliberately aimed at Federer. Even Edberg, who wasn’t what many of you think he was.

Also: stop that BS about Boris. He was a great champion, and he shows that he is a very competent coach. Most of you have never watched him play — he was a very brave, exciting, spectacular player, who gave a lot to tennis. He also was a complete player. With a better work ethic, his results could have been much better. Just look at his H2H against other top players.


sienna Says:

madmax. Novak will be the man to beat. And it will be done by Federer.
He played injured Cilic who had nothing left. Federer has plated the toughest players and came through unscaled.

I predict Federer blowout win to te enforce Cincin massacre.
Federer has turned the year around. He will outscore Djokovic 2000 to 3000 points. Setting himself for a last climb to the top at Wimbly 2016.
wel have seen it before and he pull it off again 4 years later.


Margot Says:

@Kath 4.51 a.m.
That’s a very interesting point and not one I had considered before.
Lol not cricket? The home of sledging…;)


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Boris was an exceptional player and seems to be a great coach. But he’s an idiot if he thinks any player will double fault as a strategy to stop Fed. You can aim at someone at the net, if you are inside the court, 30 feet away. If you are serving, and someone is at the opposite box, he’s over 60 feet away. Remember when Sampras tried to smack Agassi during their ill-fated charity match with Rafa and Roger? As totally unexpected as that was, Agassi still could dodge it easily.

If a baseball player is willing to get beaned with a baseball to get to first base, any player in tennis is willing to take a shot from 60 feet away, that they will almost certainly be able to duck or deflect, for a double fault.

So please, Boris, send Novak head hunting Sunday.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

And the tough guy talk is embarrassing. “Back in my day…” what? What would happen back in my day? You’d cross the net and deck him?

Or you’d glare at him menacingly on changeovers? Because I watched tennis very closely during the Becker era, and I can’t recall him actually punching anyone during a match.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

BTW, it is quite common for players to side-step during a serve to give a very different target to what the server expects.

Would Boris also recommend wedgies in the locker room for those players?


sienna Says:

Im telling it to you guys straight. You havent caught me on 1 falsehood. I always said fed will dominate the fast hc. When everyone set goal on Wimbly I kept referring Te US open as best chance.

Federer is dominating after Garros 21-1 with several blow out wins over top 5 players. Top dog.


madmax Says:

J-Kath Says:
I’ve always believed in freedom of speech – not usually called a complaint.

I always believe in fairness – if Fed’s “evolution” is intended to stop his opponent from the right to complete his serve then the opponent has the right to repeat his serve until such time as he is allowed to complete it.

PS: Bullying does not impress me, either.

September 12th, 2015 at 7:15 am

Nor me J-Kath.

We differ in opinion, that is all. I stand by what I say and until the umpire calls Roger out, that is fine by me.

Who is your pick for tomorrow?


Armend V Says:

We need to appreciate the fact that we are blessed to be witnessing the era in which most probably three best players ever played the game.
Will enjoy the final. Hope Federer does carry the form in order to make it a great display of shotmaking. I am not a fan of either, but will root for Fed to get to 18, the man truly deserves it for his perseverance in the last 3-4 years despite the fact that he could have left tennis and still be considered the GOAT.


calmdownplease Says:

`federer fans are in a high state of physical arousal right now and redecorating their bedroom altars. i just hope for their sake he can maintain these nothing-to-lose margins…`

hahaha!
He can get a good one in from time to time,
Sorry but its Novak in 3 for me.
At best, 4.


calmdownplease Says:

Also, this talk of Ashe and the wind or lack of
I feel really mostly benefits Novak
I remember the creepy `Fed/Novak` hybrid fans whining & bleating that Novak would have won against Andy without the wind.
If only it were like an Indoor court Andy wouldn’t have stood a chance
Maybe, maybe not. Both like clinical conditions for their (aggressive mode) tennis, but I am pretty sure out of the 2 of them, if it’s windy Novak would have the most issues with it.
At most it’s a 50/50 thing.


calmdownplease Says:

*Both Roger and Novak
not Andy of course…


madmax Says:

Mat4,

I am not a fan of Boris and I am not talking about his tennis. It is more HIS portrayal of himself and other players, in the media.

When he started working with Novak in 2013, there were many here who thought it was a bad choice of partnership, when Novak was losing some matches – was difficult to see how their relationship would blossom. But it has, so the partnership is working. That is not the issue though here.

Boris is an attention seeker. You only have to listen to him on BBC during Wimbledon.

What he has said in public is asinine and he has said a fair few ridiculous things over the years. Quite frankly, when he openly admits to coaching Novak through his own “communication” tactics, then sorry. This is what needs closer scrutiny, NOT SABR.

The way HE conducts himself in front of the media. He is a fine one to talk about disrespecting others and players.

In a long interview with Becker on Radio Five Live, the former Wimbledon champion spoke of the “intimate” nature of the relationship with Djokovic, He said that sometimes his charge needed “assurance” if things were going badly and he was able to provide it from the players’ box.

The code of conduct for Grand Slams states: “Players shall not receive coaching during a match (including the warm-up).

“Communications of any kind, audible or visible, between a player and a coach may be construed as coaching.”

So, before Boris starts to criticise others, he is in no way one to cast aspersions on Federer’s game.

By all means his tennis may have been great, but in terms of his conduct, vocally and otherwise, for me, leaves a lot to be desired.

He is sore because of SABR. So what? It brings a whole different dimension to Roger’s game. Until the umpire OR the ATP say it is illegal, then no problem.

Stan has even commented that he has been using this new tactic in his game; am sure others will follow suit.

Mat4, your comments are always informative and insightful and I enjoy reading them, but Boris is not someone who I respect for his comments.


mat4 Says:

TV:

I watched tennis in those years too, and I remember well Connors threatening McEnroe on JMac’s side, a few players threatening the umpires, Lendl aiming deliberately time and time again at opponents at the net… What would have happen is that after a “sabr”, Connors/Lendl would have aimed at Federer’s head/body whenever they could, Sampras/Becker would have served a first body serve, e.g.

Then, go to a court and serve: you’ll notice that the player returning changes a bit his position when the server has tossed his ball and his racquet hand motion has already started — the returning player is outside his visual field. When Roger’s runs forward for a “sabr”, he has to start half a second sooner, before the server starts the motion with the racquet. It’s not the same.


madmax Says:

“But then tennis’s code of conduct has numerous grey areas that are only vaguely policed”.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/novakdjokovic/11705023/Wimbledon-2015-Novak-Djokovic-hits-back-in-cheat-storm-provoked-by-Boris-Becker.html

I am actually interested why people are getting so upset by SABR, when there are so many other things that have gone unopposed for so long in tennis.

Novak answered the accusations reasonably well I thought, (regarding Becker’s “cheating”).

May be it just reaches a point whereby it’s the umpire who isn’t doing the job properly, may be they should say something about SABR, but they choose not to because it doesn’t break any rules. Fed has brought it up on the radar now!

Yet, when there are clear breaches of rule breaking, like on court coaching, or taking too much extra time between points, they still rarely say or do anything and why is that?

You can bet that Nadal will consistently take longer than 20 seconds between points at tournaments – the theoretical limit at a grand-slam event. Few umpires, however, have the cojones to hit him with a time violation, and one of the few who has pushed him on this point – Carlos Bernardes – has not officiated any of his matches since Feb 22 at Nadal’s own request.

Is that fair? Has anyone had authority to ask for an umpire NOT to officiate a match before? Where are the rules on that?

I hope Roger keeps using SABR, if it means it helps him to win. It’s pretty genius actually.

Problem is, he plays the Number 1 player in the world tomorrow so nerves will be abound I feel.


skeezer Says:

I think bouncing the ball 209 times betore a serve is unfair, although legal. Trying to concentrate on when a player is actually going to start a service motion is quite distracting.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

I’m not sure I follow your point, Mat4.

Yes, players used to yell at each other. I don’t think that ever made connors or jmac change tactics (“Oh, I just don’t want to get yelled at again!”)

Do you think Novak should threaten Federer? Or actually punch him?

Again, I hope Novak follows Boris’ advice and goes for Fed’s head on serve.

All this conversation is whingey. If the ATP decides to ban pre-serve movement, so be it, but this idea that Fed”s SABR movement is somehow different from side to side positioning, or Rafa and Stan suddenly dropping back to receive during the service motion is really looking for a distinction without a difference.

Sorry you don’t enjoy the tactic. Sounds like most of the tennis world does. I didn;t like Rafa attacking Fed’s backhand, but what can you do? His backhand was his weak spot against Rafa. If players don’t like their second serve, maybe they should improve their second serves.

In the meantime, Fed will probably continue to use SABR… and continue to win the sportsmanship ward named for his coach. Fed has won that award ten times, as voted by his peers. Edberg won it five times. The Becker and Novak duo have zero between them. So that sums up what the tour think about sportsmanship.


Thomas Says:

I honestly don’t understand what all the brouhaha about the SABR is about. First of all, it’s within the rules. Second of all, if you have a problem with it either:

A: Do it yourself. I am sure it’s a very easy shot to hit, no?
B: Improve your second serve, or aim at his body deliberately.

It’s an easy fix.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Thomas, you make me look foolish by saying what I’m trying to say in much much fewer words!


J-Kath Says:

Madmax

My pick for tomorrow? – difficult – a cop-out is to say he who is on best form- but the decider for me is that Nole brings such passion and determination that my best guess is Nole.


mat4 Says:

madmax:

They are all attention seekers, even Edberg in his own manner. Boris is the only one to say bluntly what he thinks, something that was quite normal a few years ago. Pete Sampras did it too, as a young man, e.g.

Then, don’t forget that he’s the product of a different culture: although the Anglo-Saxons have managed to impose their rules of conduct (mostly by controlling European medias with fake money, and by imposing treaties after WWII where American cultural domination was a condition sine qua non), most of continental Europeans do believe that they are artificial and odd.

Just look at your fav, Federer: although most of his worshippers think all he does is “classy” and use double standards with him, they do not perceive that he is from a culture where telling the truth is the norm. He had to change his ways to be the corporate doll he is now. Same with Djokovic. They manage both to be acceptable because they are nice persons anyway, and they can remain earnest while in peace with themselves.

Then, enough with double standards. Serena Williams can do and say whatever she wants, it’s OK. Roddick can lie in front of the camera, it’s also OK. Murray can provoke Djokovic in the middle of a match (in the AO final), it’s also OK, it was Novak’s fault. Nadal, who comes from a culture where winning is everything, can be the king of gamesmanship for years — but no, it’s OK, he’s such a nice boy, every mother would like him as a son-in-law.

Let’s be more tolerant with different cultures, different ways. “Politically correct” is not the same thing everywhere. And in many countries, with many peoples, “politically correct” means simply disingenuous, and is equalled with hypocrisy.


Ben Pronin Says:

Murray also moves up during returns. He usually starts really far back then moves up to the baseline. I don’t think that’s any different from what Federer does.

What’s funny is that Federer is basically disrespecting his opponent’s second serve by saying “look how easy it is to return”. Improve your second serve or deal with the consequences. Djokovic disrespects second serves too when he blasts them for winners.

Not only is what Becker said dumb but it also makes it look as though Djokovic was rattled by the shot. Why would you wanna show that kind of weakness to your rival?

And finally, the horribly named sabr isn’t a new shot. It was employed by net rushers regularly before the baseline era took over and players developed a phobia of the net. I’d put a lot of money that we could find some highlights of old Becker himself hitting at least a similar shot.


Ben Pronin Says:

What did Roddick lie about? What did Murray do to Novak?


mat4 Says:

@TV, skeezer:

Here you are twisting my words. I DID write that sabr is WITHIN the rules. I also think that taking 30 seconds to serve, aiming at an opponent at the net, bouncing the ball 26 times (it’s Novak record, although Cilic bounce the ball more), all of this is DISRUPTING, and done on purpose, GAMESMANSHIP.

(And I am content that Novak takes now less time to serve, that he bounces the ball less, and proud that he applauds opponents’ good shots, that he is ready to give them the point when the umpire makes an error. I wouldn’t like anything less than that.)

But here, let’s make a point: when Fed does something disrupting for his opponent, it’s “tactics”, and when somebody else does it, it’s “gamesmanship”.

Did I make myself clear?

Skeez, your last post was a sabs. tststststs… you own me a beer. Budweiser, but the Czech one, it’s much better.


Ben Pronin Says:

Kath, if the server doesn’t begin his motion and catches his toss then it’s OK. I think it’s basically you can toss the ball and catch it as long as that was it, just a toss, no movement especially the racket. We see it when it’s windy or sunny and a player tosses and stops so that they can retoss. So if a player tosses the ball and sees Federer move he can stop and try again as long as he hasn’t started his service motion.


Eric Says:

J-Kath, do you even know the basic rules of tennis? You don’t need a “reason” to catch your toss and try again on service. It’s not like there is a court inquiry. If you don’t hit the ball with the racquet, you haven’t served yet and that’s that. So, yes, of course if Djokovic is “bothered” by Roger moving forward, he can stop the serve and toss again.

The fuss over “SABR” is very silly. It’s not like a completely new thing to do in tennis, it’s just a slightly more aggressive version of what many players used to to do quite often, and still do before many serves– reposition themselves. mat4, it’s not unfair at all. I can’t believe you think this. It’s certainly no less sporting than body serves.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Mat, I think Novak has one of the most appealing on-court personas. I really like his applauding and smiling at opponents shots, and I love his own dramatics. He’s fun, as a character, though I was never a fan of his tennis as much.

Though Novak is not my fave, I certainly love his highlight reel shots. Are you telling me you don’t enjoy watching the SABR? Come on, its fun and exciting! Isn’t that what sports is about?


Ben Pronin Says:

Body serves! Man I hate those. Brilliant serve when hit well though. Definitely underused but it’s something Nadal added against Djokovic and it definitely helped.

I don’t see how the sabr can be considered gamesmanship. When did different shots become gamesmanship?


mat4 Says:

@Ben:

Fed starts before the service motion. I checked on five of his “sabr”.

The tennis codex of behaviour has changed in the last 15 years. Rios asked once Agassi if his shot was good, and Andre replied that he should ask the umpire. Rios insisted, but Andre didn’t give a damn. Today it’s different.

We saw that, recently, Berdych refused to shake hands with Almagro, when the Spaniard aimed at him at the net. Nadal shot Djokovic in the head, instead of trying to pass him and Novak was mad after that.

So, there are some unwritten rules in tennis. I’ve nothing against a more gladiatorial concept — tennis players are, indeed, a kind of modern gladiators. Vae victis! But let’s all accept this.

About Murray and Djokovic: in 2011, Murray was without a coach, so he trained for two weeks, before the AO, with Novak under the supervision of Vajda. He made it to the final. Then, in his slump after that, Novak played doubles with him to dig him out of the hole, and was very supportive. He even wanted him to be his best man.

Fast forward. In the AO final, Murray, one of the most productive injury faker among the top players — just ask Haas, accused Novak of faking fatigue in front of Novak. He was addressing his box, but he did it loudly enough for Djokovic to hear. The result was that he lost 12 of the next 13 games. After that, his press conference was shameful: insinuations, and more insinuations, hidden accusations against “a friend”. Perhaps it’s something “politically correct”, but, for me, I prefer Roger when he said: “I feel I should be doing the other press conference”. At least, he spoke his mind.

About the infamous incident at the USO between Roddick and Djokovic: Roddick’s press conference was shameful, and it wasn’t funny at all. Novak’s reaction was very measured. Let’s remember his words: “It’s not nice to say…” etc. Indeed it’s not nice. If Novak’s MTO’s are gamesmanship, and Roddick’s reaction is OK, then Novak’s comments after his victory were OK too. No double standards.

Roddick later first declared that he assaulted Djokovic in the locker room, then that he would have done so if Miljan Amanovic wasn’t there. Miljan Amanovic declared, on his side, that nothing happened. Knowing Roddick tendency to distort things to make a good point, I rather believe Miljan Amanovic.


Humble Rafa Says:

nits Says:
That’s fitting GOAT all time vs GOAT this decade

As a goat owner, I can tell you that you have no understood the concept of goat.


madmax Says:

As Macdonald’s logo states, “I’m lovin’ it!”


madmax Says:

This is intelligent talking people. Really brightening up my Saturday afternoon!

Yes, without question, Novak’s demeanour on court and cheering his opponent’s shots, etc. during the match, his gracious manner at the net at the end of each match, win or lose, is the best.


mat4 Says:

@TV:

I don’t care about the SABR. When I watched the match, I didn’t think it was something special.

All of this started with the comments about Boris Becker. I think he’s entitled to say what he wants, and that’s OK for me.

Then, I was sucked into this arguing because of double standards.


mat4 Says:

@Ben:

The body serve brought Rafa a gold olympic medal. He used it in the third set of the semi with great success.


Tennisfan Says:

You guys sound bitter bitching about a completely legal tactic. What’s wrong with bringing back something similar to chip and charge? I like the variety it has brought and let’s see what tactic players will develop to win against it


skeezer Says:

mat4,
You caught me, my bad take on trying to be sarcastic ;). You’re right, we can all take this subject and run with it in many directions. But for me, Long live the SABR! Live long and prosper.
We all have another day to ponder tactics, possibilities, gamesmenships, stats, what ifs and more Beer👍(budweiser? Yuck…you shall be bought Anchor Steam!)
Maybe Nole will come up with a new strategy himself, how about TFTTB?


Ben Pronin Says:

Mat4, I agree with most of what you said regarding Murray except the whole best man thing. That was just media bs.

As for Berdych and Novak getting mad, well, I don’t agree with them. It’s being a baby. You know this is part of the game. Murray went at Federer in 2012 Wimbledon and it rattled him. Well, hit a better approach that doesn’t allow your opponent 2 hours to setup the shot. It’s not great sportsmanship but it is within the rules.

Federer starting before the service motion is well within the rules. Like I said, Murray moves forward, too. Nadal moves back. Djokovic stands up. Everyone does something. It’s not like Federer is waving and shouting to distract his opponent. I just don’t see how adjusting your return position is gamesmanship. He sees a serve he can attack and moves in. What’s wrong with that?


Margot Says:

@mat4
I really wouldn’t go trawling through the archives if I were you because, as you well know, Andy fans could do it right back and what’s the point?
Blog wars are simply tedious for everyone, except the protagonists I suppose.


Markus Says:

Earlier somebody (too lazy to scroll back) mentioned about Djokovic having a great on-court persona. Most of the time, that’s true but I have seen him turn into Mr. Hyde quite often when he loses a point or a game or a set; eyes glaring like a mad dog, barking at his box, etc. etc. They don’t last very long because he always calms himself down and goes all serious and focused but it happens a lot to go unnoticed.


madmax Says:

Markus,

I said that Novak’s on court demeanour is excellent, AT THE NET. He always congratulates his opponents, win or lose.

On court, during a match, we have seen all our favourites, lose it once in a while, some more than others. No need to go there.


madmax Says:

Mat4, you are entitled to say what you want. You make the choice whether to enter into a discussion or not. And that is all this is. A discussion.

How boring the world would be if we all agreed on everything.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Markus, we all have different tastes. I don’t mind Novak’s occasional burst. I would if they happened routinely, but they don’t. When people moan and cry and shout all the time, I don’t enjoy it. But other fans do, it would be boring if only certain types of players appealed to all fans.


sienna Says:

breaking out of shirt after victory ia considered decent behaviour?
Maybe for Hulk Hogan but not in tennis.

applauding shot opponent only when you have upperhand is not considered good sportmanship.

djokovic the poser.


Ben Pronin Says:

Good link sneeze. See Federer says the same thing. Other players he’s faced returned in different ways to take advantage of his own serve. It’s not like Federer is physically attacking someone. It’s no different than attacking someone’s backhand or hitting a drop shot against someone slow or someone who’s too far back. And the fact that it rattles the opponent doesn’t make it gamesmanship. Federer himself has been rattled by Djokovic’s returns. Nadal, too. This is dumbest controversy ever. It really is the players being butt hurt that this guy can half volley their second serves.


J-Kath Says:

This would be such a dead thread today if I hadn’t given you a topic – so I’ll accept all your thanks – the only pity is some of the guys can’t comment without getting personal…and I don’t mean Madmax.

@ Margo – I do need a turd for one of them – make that 2 of them.


calmdownplease Says:

`accused Novak of faking fatigue in front of Novak. `

That doesn’t make sense (although I have the gist), although obviously Saint Novak has never done anything like throw an opponent off by playing possum..
Oh No, he’s a little Angel!
Give me a break!
Novak def appears to suffering fatigue now & then and then BANG hes back on!
Don’t hold it against Novak however.
I only held it against Andy at the AO as it was his fault for falling for it (or collapsing more like).
Andy has very rarely had time outs for injuries so its ridiculous to suggest that he is a most `productive injury faker`
Haas was just a bitter old whinger and that incident stood out for being rarity.
Name all of his TO for injuries if that’s the case.
I know you won’t find many because I’ve watched most of Andy’s matches for the last 4 years.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

I don’t think Boris is being stupid to say what he said about SABR. He is proving to be a smart coach for Novak, playing mind games with Roger.

He is trying to put doubt in Roger’s mind before the finals. As simple as that. Let’s see how Roger reacts during the match.


calmdownplease Says:

SABR is just a gimmick at the end of the day.
It will get a response tomorrow that’s for sure.
If Roger doesn’t win the first set I would say his chances slide to nil.
Win the first and I still think he will lose in 4.


calmdownplease Says:

Okay, before I’m swooped upon I’ll say that Roger has a punchers chance but Novak REALLY upped his game against Marin.


mat4 Says:

@madmax:

Yes, I agree, it’s just a discussion, and although I am sometimes very clumsy when writing in English, I am quite OK with it.

To make things clear, my personal opinion is the following: we like players for the tennis they play. Everything else is mostly irrelevant. They’re young, from different countries, they act differently on and off the court, they mature or not, but the main thing is and should be the game. God knows our favs are not perfect, and neither are we, but at least we can and should be tolerant.

I argued here many times, sometimes I wrote something intelligent, sometimes I wrote something stupid, but I always tried to respect other posters, and I always tried to be frank, to write what I think. I sometimes changed opinion, but I guess it’s also OK — men often change opinions.


Daniel Says:

Agreed cdp, Fed needs the first set. To settle himself and matbe he produces his best tennis. As was the casa agaisnt Wawa. When he saved all those BP’s he was getting more relaxed by the time.

Also if hebreaks first he better hold because otherwise will be Wimby deja vu. But ai expect both to be tense first set.


mat4 Says:

@Daniel:

Novak also needs the first set…


Vami Says:

I haven’t seen the whole thread so this may be already mentioned: Stan was aiming a few times yesterday at Roger after his Sabr attempts. McEnroe commented on that. He was asked if Stan had done it delibratelly and he said yes.


Markus Says:

My post about Djokovic going into a Mr. Hyde mode occasionally is an observation. They happen and I’m sure I’m not the only to notice them. But if you read my whole post, I said they happen briefly after which he settles down. Some people show emotional outburst by breaking racquets, Djokovic does so by glaring and mouthing off to his box. They are emotional outlets. My comment was not meant to denigrate Djokovic who in general has better on court behavior than others. Another thing about Djokovic, if he does something that people find objectionable, he stops doing them. I haven’t seen him rip his shirt anymore.


Markus Says:

When you want to win, you aim the ball to where it can’t be returned. If your opponent’s body (or head) happens to be there, so be it. The onus is on the other guy to thwart that shot.


jane Says:

very feisty discussion this morning. let’s hope the men’s final lives up to the liveliness here!

lots of “water under the bridge” stuff being rehashed, though, too.

“somebody commented that he was friend with Djokovic — LOL”

mat4 i believe i am guilty of saying novak is friendly with marin and goran. but i go only by what he said the other day, which is this:

” I know him very well. I have played with him many, many times. We are great friends. Great guy.”

i’ve also seen pictures of boris/novak and goran/cilic practicing together. so i don’t think they hate each other or anything??


madmax Says:

J-Kath Says:
This would be such a dead thread today if I hadn’t given you a topic – so I’ll accept all your thanks – the only pity is some of the guys can’t comment without getting personal…and I don’t mean Madmax.

J-Kath!

I think you should take all the credit for raking up some great discussion here. This should be dedicated to you, *applause*.

Some take it too seriously, we are all different. Hallelujah!

CDP, yep. That is all Federer’s shot is. A gimmick.

Mat4, it’s al good. :) Enjoy your beer and chill!


Markus Says:

The discussion is reminiscent of that prior to the last Wimbledon finals match. Until they finally played. Then it was obvious, no amount of hype can surmount the ability of a great young player against a great old player.


J-Kath Says:

Thanks Madmax –
the responsibility is enormous!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- hope everybody enjoying their beer/cocktails whatever -mine is Scotch with lots of ice – American style.


mat4 Says:

@Jane:

Won’t comment it here.


madmax Says:

It should be fun tomorrow.

Imagine if ALL of us, watched the match Live. In the same stadium. Sat side by side.

Just watching the finale of what has been a great tournament so far.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

madmax, I wish you posted more, you are truly enjoyable. I love your spirit of enthusiasm for the sport.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

In fact, this has been a fairly friendly thread, though the topic is beaten to death. Some bad blood brought up on players, but no flame wars and kindergarten insults at other posters.

Kudos to us!

I just can’t wait for the match. I’m so sorry I missed yesterday, I thought I was recording it. But this is the match I’ve been hoping to see from Day One. Not just because I am a Roger fan, but I love the Roger-Novak matches, and always have. I’ll be running around all day Sunday, but hopefully I’ll have a working recording to catch up with.


madmax Says:

TV!

Right back atcha!

We can sit next to each tomorrow; if only in spirit; wishing Roger to go SABR crazy! (he won’t get away with it half as much though with Novak – we all know that!).

Good luck to both players tomorrow.

It can’t come soon enough!


andrea Says:

after two lost wimby finals, i hope it goes fed’s way this time.


jane Says:

“no flame wars and kindergarten insults at other posters.
Kudos to us!”

*claps* thank goodness no trolling, just actual discussion of things, even if some points were contentious.


T Dawg Says:

Here’s the problem I have with Nola the New Orleans/Serbian product…Imagine him vs Hewitt, Roddick, Rafa, Safin, Sampras, Fed in their primes on fast hard courts…Nola could win but could never dominate – because he hits 25-35% of his balls from 5+ feet behind the baseline – it’s why he was the player that lost to Murphy the Pusher in both of Murphy’s majors wins in the finals.

Nola has that eastern service grip which limits his ability to get mph’s on the ball. If Federer can serve 72-73% 1st serves he has a great chance.
Nola is favored, but I don’t think he can dominate because Nola was born to push/counterpunch. Nola also has too big of a backswing on his forehand – Federer needs to work the forehand more than the backhand.

Bill Tilden would break down players by having his opponents strength breakdown 1st then everything else would. Fed needs to hit 75% to Nola’s forehand and serve a high % and work Yacht boys mental – since Nola is an overrated headcase. The forehand is an illusionary strenth of Nola’s. Nola’s strength are return of serve, quickness and backhand. Hit thru the chump Fed and work his mental. Call him Yacht boy!


Daniel Says:

Can’t wait for tomorrow. A lot at stake for both and possibly future for GOAT debate. If Fed wins 18th, basically he is uncatchable by Nadal or Djoko.

But if Djoko wins #10 and third this season, what if he wins 3 more next year (which would be totally possible)? Suddenly he is 29 and a halfwith 13th. Maybe he won’t need to reach 17, maybe 15 or 16 will be enough together with #1 weeks close to Roger, 5 or more YE#1, Masters records, positive HxH versus all his mains rivals (Fed, Nadal, Murray, Wawa…), Maybe 1 RG or 2 for a double career Slam. Sky is the limit.

But of course he has to catalyze his chances and most likely will have to win Slam over 30 as he will play this final and 5 more Slams (all 4 in 2016 plus AO 17) before turning 30 in RG 2017.

Amazing times we are experience in tennis, something I believe won’t be repeated in a long long time.


skeezer Says:

A lot at stake for..,,whom? For sure Nole. Fed has already made his 17 “stakes”. Nole is fighting for his place in the record books, but he still has a lot of chasing to do. Fed? …its all gravy baby, win or lose.


skeezer Says:

T Dawg,
After deciphering your post, I found your analysis spot on. Agree about hitting to his FH, but it better be fast, hard, and deep. Nole does take bigger backswings on the FH side, no doubt. Lets watch and see. For me Feds chances are not giving Nole chances to get in a baseline rhythm. Hope Fed mixes up his shots; short chip, slice, occasional drop shot, driving FH, and Solid serving games. If he decides to get into long nuetral rallies from the baseline with Nole, he’ll get creamed.


addicted Says:

So Federer’s reactions are good enough that he can pick up the serve on a half volley and return it well enough to win a point on the SABR but Becker things Fed’s reactions aren’t good enough to avoid a ball aimed at his body?

Further, Becker seems to think its so distracting that the server cannot get a decent second serve In but not distracting enough that the server can adjust their serve to aim at the moving and relatively tiny target that is Federer’s body.

The ability to think logically is truly dead.


T Dawg Says:

Thanks Skeezer,

Fed controls the points when he hits down the middle at the start of the point to take away Nola’s angles.

Don’t worry about Fed’s forehand being deep. The commentators are so dumb they think topspin is needed for the ball to land deep and ironically Fed sometimes messes up because of too much topspin on his forehand.

You see, when Fed hits down the middle 1st, the angles are taken away from Nola – but if Nola hits to Fed down the middle 1st, it won’t matter as much because Fed hits a flatter harder shot, where the angle is not as important at the beginning. The Eastern forehand will always be better on hard courts because of this.


Colin Says:

@ Mat4:
Murray is a constant faker? Nonsense. Have you turned into Virginia Wade or something?

Can’t remember who said it, but “tennis players are gladiators” is the most absurd thing I’ve heard for some time. Try telling that to a Rugby Union player who has concussion after half a dozen large guys piled on him in a ruck, and who very likely has wounds where someone stamped on him with sharp-edged nylon studs. Furthermore, the Rugby players don’t wear body armour – they have only minimal protection. And of course I never even mentioned boxers.


sienna Says:

Murray /Djokovic are not well loved in tennis world.
People care more for Federer and Nadal.

they are more open and hounest in their tennislife. Roger and Rafa might be opposites in many ways but they also are aan like in many ways.

Djokovic/Murray are somewhat posers/ faking it..
Fedsl are upright.


mat4 Says:

So, Virginia Wade, who has won 7 GS agrees with me? Thank you, didn’t know about that.

All modern sportsmen are gladiators, whatever the sport. They don’t die in the arena, but the concept of panem et circenses hasn’t change.


calmdownplease Says:

She won three so you’re wrong about that AND about Andy.
Also, on the other thread you said that Andy won the USO because once the wind had died down and it got to the fifth Novak’s match with Ferrer made him to tired to compete, aww!
Also BS, I’m afraid.
Oh and didn’t Novak also stop proceedings just before match point with a MTO?
YES HE DID!


calmdownplease Says:

Anyway good luck to Novak and his fans Today
I think he might get his tenth in some style!


Margot Says:

Yep, THAT Virginia Wade who said Andy was a “drama queen” and two ticks later he was having surgery on his back. Having played for a year on extreme pain killers.
Egg on face, foot in mouth, etc etc.


Margot Says:

Lol CDP the cavalry arrives! Yeeha!
“They fired their guns and the rebels kept a-coming.”
Now, where’s Kat…;)


calmdownplease Says:

Virginia Wade is the OLDEST looking 70 year old I have ever seen!
All that vinegar has turned her into the crypt keeper.
Well, it serves her nasty old ass right I say!


J-Kath Says:

Hello there Margot — was on the other thread – put a link to Anna Ermakova at Queen Charlotte Ball – you may already have seen it, if not if you have a minute (when you’re finished dealing with Virginia Wade and her highbrow snot) – have a wee look – think you’ll like it.

Top story: Federer, Djokovic Lead Heavily Favored European Team Laver Cup This Weekend