Roger Federer: Be Free In Your Head, Be Free In Your Shots, The Brave Will Be Rewarded
by Staff | January 29th, 2017, 10:12 am
  • 120 Comments

Roger Federer did it again. The Swiss maestro turned back time winning his 18th career Grand Slam title beating rival Rafael Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in the men’s singles final at the Australian Open Sunday night in Melbourne.

Federer was not thought of as a true contender to the title after missing six months due to injury. But Federer surprised everyone including himself in beating four Top 10 players and winning three five set matches culminating with a victory over Nadal, snapping a 6-match Slam losing streak to the Spaniard.

Federer stunned Nadal overcoming a 3-1 final set deficit breaking Nadal twice to win the last five games of the match and secure his fifth Australian Open title and his first their since 2010.

After the big win, an emotional Federer spoke to the press.

Q. Does it mean a lot to you to put some more distance between you and your greatest rivals with this title?
ROGER FEDERER: That’s the smallest part, to be honest. For me it’s all about the comeback, about an epic match with Rafa again. Doing it here in Australia, that I’m so thankful to Peter Carter and Tony Roche, and just people… I guess my popularity here, their support, that I can still do it at my age after not having won a slam for almost five years.

That’s what I see. The last problem is the slam count. Honestly, it doesn’t matter.

Q. Had you ever envisioned winning a Grand Slam on a challenge?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I guess I’ve been there before at some point. I can’t tell you which finals or — not a finals maybe, but some matches end this way. So we’ve seen it before.

I mean, you have to challenge it. If you’re Rafa, what other option do you have? Good would have been if he had gotten there, played the lob, and then challenged. Then it’s at least replay the point, isn’t it?

Of course, it’s slightly awkward to win this way. Nevertheless, emotions poured out of me. I was incredibly happy, as you can imagine. Then, of course, I was also seeing my entire support team, Mirka, everybody else going bananas. It was cool.

I knew from that point on, like, I actually did really win. That was a great feeling.

Q. Winning 18 would have been special regardless of where you had done it. Can you tell us how special it is doing it here in Australia.
ROGER FEDERER: Like you said, I think it would have been special regardless of where it was going to be. Look, this is a tournament I’ve not missed. I’ve not missed the French. I’ve missed the US Open last year. This is the one I guess that is my most consistent slam potentially.

It all started for me here. I played the quallies here in ’99, the juniors in ’98. Won my first match maybe against Michael Chang here back in 2000. I go way back. Always loved coming here, you know.

When you win down here, the journey home is not a problem. When you lose, it’s just brutal. That’s why I feel very fortunate tonight.

Q. After the semifinal you touched upon the fact that you might have tensed up a little in the final set. How were you able to focus coming from a break down?
ROGER FEDERER: I told myself to play free. That’s what we discussed with Ivan and Severin before the matches. You play the ball, you don’t play the opponent. Be free in your head, be free in your shots, go for it. The brave will be rewarded here. I didn’t want to go down just making shots, seeing forehands rain down on me from Rafa. I think it was the right decision at the right time.

I had opportunities early on in the fifth, as well, to get back on even terms. I could have been left disappointed there and accepted that fact. I kept on fighting. I kept on believing, like I did all match long today, that there was a possibility I could win this match.

I think that’s what made me play my best tennis at the very end the match, which was actually surprising to me. I went through a little bit of a lull in the fourth and the beginning of the fifth set.

Q. I assume it’s fair to say he’s your greatest rival. What does it mean to win this against him?
ROGER FEDERER: We go furthest back, you know. Novak also has been one of my biggest rivals. So have Roddick and Hewitt. I don’t like to leave anybody out, to be honest. But I’m sure I’ve left a couple out. They know who they are.

But Rafa definitely has been very particular in my career. I think he made me a better player. Him and a couple more players have done the most to do that to me because the way his game stacks up with me, it’s a tricky one. I’ve said that openly. It remains for me the ultimate challenge to play against him. So it’s definitely very special.

I said that also before the finals: if I were to win against Rafa, it would be super special and very sweet because I haven’t beaten him in a Grand Slam final for a long, long time now. Last time I guess was 2007 at Wimbledon in a five-setter. Now I was able to do it again.

We’re both on a comeback. Like I said on the court, it would have been nice for both of us to win, but there’s no draws in tennis. It’s brutal sometimes.

He should be happy. I would have been happy again to be in the finals, like I said on the court. I think this one will take more time to sink in. When I go back to Switzerland, I’ll think, Wow.

The magnitude of this match is going to feel different. I can’t compare this one to any other one except for maybe the French Open in ’09. I waited for the French Open, I tried, I fought. I tried again and failed. Eventually I made it. This feels similar, yeah.

Q. Millions of people across the world saw this match. This tournament has been so wonderful with you, Rafa, Venus, Serena. Do you see this as a kind of celebration of spirit? In some uncertain times now, an event like this can help people and pick people’s spirits up.
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I don’t know to what extent. At the end of the day, it remains sports. But sports is a powerful tool. Makes a lot of people happy. They forget about their sorrows sometimes. Not always, though, clearly.

But I feel like finals of this magnitude, big Masters 1000s, World Tour Finals, you name it, they are supposed to be a celebration of tennis. That’s why I think it’s so nice again, to have Rod Laver out on the podium. For us, I was expecting Ashley-Cooper. But Rocket’s okay, too, I guess.

It is, at the end, regardless of the outcome of the match, it’s like a Super Bowl, whatever it is, it is tennis that is at front and center.

I’m happy we were represented that well tonight with Rafa. He’s always great. That’s why I hope he’s still going to be in the game for a long time and represent the way he does.

Q. This is your first Grand Slam with Ivan Ljubicic coaching you. What does it mean to you?
ROGER FEDERER: It’s obviously special for the entire team. It was his first Grand Slam final as a player or as a coach. Obviously he was nervous all day. I tried to calm him down (smiling). The same thing with my physio, too. I think I can sense that this is not something that he’s seen so many times. Where Severin, he was totally relaxed about it.

It’s beautiful for all of us. I know how happy they are because they are more than just a coach or a physio or whatever. They’re all my friends. So we spent a lot of time, you know, talking about am I going to get back to 100%, and if I did, what would it require to win a Grand Slam.

Now we made it. We’re going to be partying like rock stars tonight. I can tell you that.

Q. The medical timeout, there were some quite adverse comments about that.
ROGER FEDERER: What is ‘adverse comments’?

Q. Critical comments. I think Pat Cash said it was legalized cheating. Can you tell us what was going on there, what the reason was.
ROGER FEDERER: Look, I mean, I explained myself a couple of days ago after the Stan match. Yeah, my leg has been hurting me since the Rubin match. I was happy that I was able to navigate through the pain. For some reason against Stan I had it from the start on both sides of the groin.

After he took a medical timeout, I thought I could also take one for a change and see if actually something like a massage during the match is actually going to help me. It did a little bit potentially. I’m not sure.

And then today after probably — well, I felt my quad midway through the second set already, and the groin started to hurt midway through the third set. I just told myself, The rules are there that you can use them. I also think we shouldn’t be using these rules or abusing the system. I think I’ve led the way for 20 years.

So I think to be critical there is exaggerating. I’m the last guy to call a medical timeout. So I don’t know what he’s talking about.

Q. We know you’ve been asked about retirement for about 10 years now.
ROGER FEDERER: Seven.

Q. Your comment on the court where you said, If I’m back next year, it does invite some comment on that. How much should we read into what you said there?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, this is all about, you know, knowing that I have only so much tennis left in me. If I do get injured, you know, maybe if I miss next year. Who knows what happens.

So it was just a way… You never know when your next Grand Slam is going to be, if ever. You never know if you’re going to have an opportunity at this stage, I felt I could thank so many people at once. It’s a live audience. It’s a moment for me to be appreciative of them.

Yeah, I mean, look, I’ve had a tough year last year. Three five-setters are not going to help. I just meant it the way I meant it. There wasn’t something planned behind it, that this is my last Australian Open. I hope can I come back, of course. That’s my hope right now.

Q. You touched on it before briefly. How does Roger Federer at your age celebrate tonight?
ROGER FEDERER: I’m a bit more experienced about it. You know, I just don’t show up and look for something. We’ve organized a party. The good thing is always to have enough people around to make a party. I have a lot of friends over here now. Made a lot of friends also locally. Then also a lot of people have just been on this trip for some time now. So we’re going to be about, I don’t know, 20, 30, 40 people depending. It’s better to party in a big bunch than all alone with one glass of champagne. I’m sure it’s going to be good fun.

I liked the days when we had the day finals, like 2004, so it wouldn’t would be almost 2:00. I still have doping to do. I have a bit of pressure to get that done.


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120 Comments for Roger Federer: Be Free In Your Head, Be Free In Your Shots, The Brave Will Be Rewarded

FedExpress Says:

Can somebody pinch me? Really 18th GS?


skeezer Says:

Yes…..18! Re-watching it now, what a match, what a way to win your 18th! GOAT.


SG1 Says:

I think that with this victory federer has put together rest who the GOAT is. Good on him. Well deserved champion. Kind of sounded from trophy presentation that this may very well be his last season.


Willow Says:

SG1 Got that impression too, even though he does say how much he still loves tennis ….


lakie Says:

Congrats Fedfans! Fed has comprehensively settled the GOAT debate!


Willow Says:

Wonder how all this effects the rankings ? ….


Daniel Says:

Willow, Nadal, 6, Fed 10, Stan 3


Markus Says:

Who’s #4, Daniel?


Daniel Says:

Raonic drops from 3 to 4, because he was defending semis from last year, and Wawa gain points.


steve-o Says:

Like the man said, I’m running out of words. Anyway, what he did was beyond words.

One of the greatest wins of his career, without a doubt. At age 35, to defeat a player five years younger whose game is designed to beat his, coming back from a break down in the fifth–it’s a breakthrough and an incredible achievement.

He always had the tennis, the difference this time was the belief and decision to stay aggressive and grasp victory with his own hands.

I’m really happy.


Daniel Says:

Very curious to see Fed’s schedule after this. He should focus on fast costs only.

If I were him at his age: Dubai, IW (skip Miami), play only Madrid on clay (altitude), maybe RG (for a proper farewell there) depending on how he feels, Halle, Wimby, Maybe Canada, Cincy, USO, Shangai, Basel, Paris (depending on his Basel result, can skip it) and WTF. 13 tourneys which can be cut to 10-11. Play only on courts who favor his game. He doesn’t need to be exchange on slow courts like Miami and clay.

No point of playing just for playing, have to go where he actually have a shot at winning. This way he’ll always have 3 weeks rest between some tourneys.

My two cents.


Markus Says:

Thanks, Daniel. I would like to see Raonic win a slam but he seems to have gotten stuck. The one who looks very promising is Zverev, the younger. I hope he continues with his upward trajectory. Berdych is on the way down, especially with that kind of showing against Federer. Tsonga? No. Nishikori? Needs a hell of a lot of luck to get pass those big guys. Kyrgios is a basket case, just like Tomic. Are there any likable Australian tennis players?


Daniel Says:

Miami two slow, Monte Carl and Rome are the slowest clay and if he hasn’t won there, won’t happen now. Focus on grass, where he has a great shot if help and with this renewed on the rise BH and more aggressive returns. He can manage his schedule and avoid playing chief rivals in slow courts, play ore on his terms.


jane Says:

unbelievable that fed won after all these years. and against rafa no less.
i think the conditions were ideal for him.
congrats to his fans.


madmax Says:

Fed fans – do you honestly believe that this is Fed’s last season? No way.

Listen to his interviews – read them – the whole reason that he took those 6 months off was to ‘EXTEND HIS CAREER’. It would make no sense whatsoever to jack it all in, when he is riding the crest of a wave.

At least another 2 years. He has also said that barring injury, he would want to play until he is 40 and why not?!

For more reasons than any, I am so pleased this has shut John McEnroe up – for a while anyway.


Van orten Says:

The reduced schedule to focus only on hc and grass and avoid some slow court tournaments like mi, mc, Rome, Paris would make sense . He can even do it for two or three more season , provided he keeps that kind of form and stays healthy. I like the idea him playing his main rivals on best suited conditions. He will have enough rest and we witnessed in today’s victory , that to rest is not the worst idea out there .

This has not been the last hurray for both Rafa and fed yet


madmax Says:

Fed fans, this is what he said TWO MONTHS AGO ABOUT HIS PLANS:

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/roger-federer-talks-about-injury-comeback-retirement-plans-1591765

“The goal is to be as stronger as ever in December before coming back better than what people expect. My dream is to keep winning Grand Slam events and comeback at the top of the rankings, but when they ask me if I will play in 2018, I reply that I hope it’s the case, but first of all I have to play five tournaments in a row and without physical issues, because the most important thing is to be in good shape for more than one tournament,” Federer said, as quoted by Tennis World.

“If after three matches you do not manage to give more, then it’s time to ask yourself some questions. I can say I stopped for six months to play for many more years.

I WILL REPEAT: I CAN SAY I STOPPED FOR SIX MONTHS TO PLAY FOR MANY MORE YEARS!

Relax people.


the_mind_reels Says:

What an amazing tournament and win today. I’m still in disbelief. Very best to Nadal and his fans for the rest of his season. He’s got a lot to look forward to with this kind of renewed form.

I agree with others that Federer does definitely seem interested in continuing to play, despite the comment he made on the podium. He’s always said that he plays for love of the game, and if this isn’t proof that he is still able to achieve at the highest level of the sport (and clearly enjoy it), I don’t know what it is! He’s just being honest to acknowledge that every healthy stretch of a season is a gift at 35 years old.

If at some point later this year, next, or after that it stops making sense — for his body, his family, etc. — I think he’ll be the first to know that it’s time to hang it up. Not the pundits, McEnroe (<– totally agree, @madmax!), or anyone else :) And at this point, I think he knows he can hang it up with a head held very, very high.


madmax Says:

Nice post the_mind_reels –

Tennis.X’rs. Here are some tweets from athletes around the world for both Rafa and Roger.

You will be pleased, no tweets from Trump! So it’s safe! :-)

http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/tennis/federer-nadal-australian-open-live-9713847


RZ Says:

Willow here are the new top 10 rankings

1. Murray
2. Djokovic
3. Wawrinka
4. Raonic
5. Nishikori
6. Nadal
7. Cilic
8. Thiem
9. Monfils
10. Federer


RZ Says:

Once again congrats to Elina on winning the ATP bracket. She won by a sizeable margin! In tennis terms (best of 5), her winning score would have been something like 64 62 61.


madmax Says:

http://uk.reuters.com/article/tennis-open-stats-idUKL4N1FJ06Q

Incredible stats – Daniel, can you provide your usual summary?


FedExpress Says:

This match and tournament as a whole was a perfect example that one (me included) should never doubt and question Fed’s mental strength and bottle. He showed plenty of it despite the many setbacks. Terrific play under pressure. Could have thrown in the towel. Think it’s the first time he came from a break down in the deciding 5th set to win the match?


gonzalowski Says:

congrats to Fed and his fans, what a champ!

Rafa was very kind on the defeat, and he was enjoying the moment anyway, good for him


Daniel Says:

Madmax,

I noticed he made a lot of aces end of 4th set and fifth. I think 10 aces were in those last 7 games ge served.

He indeed played more freely and the serve improved. Hos return was awesome, even some Nadal’s forst serve to his BH he was taking the ball on the raise. Apart from the usual left serve to his BH on the add side he had no problem returning. Whoh os odd considering the surface, Nadal shoudl had more free points. Have to check his serve speed, either he was a bit lowe or Fed indeed return great.

Winners and UE were neutralize. Only strange path was that 0-4 down second set when he made 10 FG UE out of nowhere, maube was when he get a bit the leg and messes his timing.

But what strike the most is that he won all five sets agaisnt Kei, Stan and Nadal with comandong lead in final set. Yeah, Nadal was 3-1 but was down 15-30 and never looked in control after. He eas vloser to lose to Dimi also, one point of those BP’s and Dimi would serve 5-3. This is the most impressive considering Fed’s five set record and agaisnt Nadal no less. It was unbelievale true grit resting aside any “mental weakness” talk ever again.

Basically was what Fed said at Stan oj coirt interview. “Maybe I played him too many tikes on clay and it affected how I play other places”.

And the two finals outside clay he lsot to Nadal was on five (Wimby 08′ and AO 09′) and today it would have been on five also. Meaning Nadal doesn’t have a easy tike beating Fed outside clay.

HxH still keeps the 2-1 ratio for Nadal (23-12) but almost tied on HC, 9-8 Nadal, and outside clay 10-9 Federer.

Federer detractor are out of fumes now. There is basically bothing to go after anymore. The “Nadal issue” os not solved but with last 2 wins on fast courts shows that their match up had a particularity. Clay at their peaks, where Nadal was clearly the better player. Let’s see what next, because Fed aint play on slow courts are before, so he probably will Play Nadal on his prefered surfaces.

Hope they get another Fedal Slam chapter in US Open, only one msising!!


madmax Says:

Thanks Daniel!

That’s me done for tonight now!

:-)


J-Kath Says:

Pat Cash’s comments -?????

Anybody else read them? – don’t feel like posting the link.


Willow Says:

J-Kath what did he say ? ….


Chrisford1 Says:

Congratulations to Roger and Rafa. Esp Roger. Just when you thought the two were gracefully fading away to irrelevancy, you see them as quite capable of showing the Big 4 still has life left in it. Djokovic and Murray both crash out early and the game is on. Fedal or Stan if he feels it or a red hot Cilic or Delpo type.

Even from 2011, the start of Djokovic’s domination, and Murray’s advancement to a capable all surface threat, the 3rd most successful player is Rafa. Then Stan, then Fed. Not any “young gun”.

Now Rafa is “feeling it again”.
All 4 are going to be at Indian Wells, along with Stan.


J-Kath Says:

Basically he accused Fed of “legal cheating” due to “extended” bathroom break prior to 5th set …e.g. breaking Rafa’s current winning form in the process. There is one other thread somewhat similar. I was quite shocked it was Pat Cash who evidently started it —was he a commentator? (I didn’t get the sound during the match only the action).


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Typical Fed: padding his grand slam stats in a weak era!


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Just kidding.

How is THAT for a topper on the greatest career ever? He beat his bane. Everything about it was against the script: he was supposed to be irrelevant before the 6 month layoff; then, it was his first tournament back; then, it was Rafa, who has really owned him at Slams; then, it was a 5th set, and he’s supposed to be too old for 5th sets, and not mentally tough enough for them, and ESPECIALLY not mentally tough enough for Rafa; then he went down a break.

Then he made history. The fifth set was glorious tennis, glorious sporting drama, and glorious human drama. The mental toughness they showed was just sublime. Federer won with heart and grit. As in the last set against Stan, he looked like he just simply refused to lose.

Awesome!


Tennis Vagabond Says:

And has the script for 2017 ever been upended! It was supposed to be the Andy/Novak show with cameos from Stan and Milos. Now, not only are those two showing some vulnerability, but Rafa and Rog have shown this resurgence, AND we can throw in Dmitrov and Misha Zverev as legitimate 2017 headliners. And Del Potro will be in the mix too.

RZ, of that top ten you showed, I feel confident those 3 I mention, Dmitrov, Zverev and Del Potro, will be there within a few months. So who drops out? Cilic? Nishikori? Thiem? Monfils is actually producing results more consistently in the last year than he has in his whole career. He’s not a slam threat, but he seems to be settling comfortably in top ten.

ATP’s gone from Novak Town to Wild West (after a brief stop in Murrayville).


SG1 Says:

I was noticing how close to the baseline Federer was playing thereby preventing the ball from getting over his shoulders. Great adjustment (…if you have the talent to pull it off which Federer clearly does, even at 35). And he kept the sets uncomplicated and out of tie-breaks and 7-5 sets which kept it a relatively short 5 set match. The guy is a tennis genius! Even at 35, he has new tricks up his sleeve. I always thought the SABR thing was kind of gimmicky but standing on the baseline on taking it early…not at all. Taking a cue from Agassi and robbing his opponent of time. Perhaps this strategy could work against Novak as well. They way he played today, I could see him going out with a 2 slam season which would be pretty damned sweet.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Haha, let’s not get greedy SG1!


Tennis Vagabond Says:

The Grand Slam championships record.

At 17, a year ago, we thought both Novak and Rafa had a shot at breaking it. 1 year ago, Novak held 3 slams and was on his way to a 4th, and there didn’t appear to be anyone who could do more than hold him to 2 or 3 Slams a year.

Then Novak went 0/3.

Then, if Rafa had won this, at 17-15, I think he would have had a strong (if not probable) shot.

Now, at 18-14-12, I think Fed’s record is out of reach for Rafa and Novak. Which means, no one currently on the scene over the age of 24 has any chance of breaking it.

Which means, the soonest it will fall, would be in 9 years or so (if, for example, Zverev or Coric turn out to be among the GOATS).

So, Fed is going to get to retire knowing his greatest record is out of reach of his rivals, and will get to enjoy quite a few years as a fan before it becomes threatened again.

No sportsman expects their records to last forever; but to last a good while after your retirement must surely be satisfying.


Markus Says:

I don’t want to think of anything else right now. I just got the best feeling out of watching a tennis match in a long time and I don’t want any other thoughts to interrup that feeling for just a little while longer.


andrea fehsenfeld Says:

i loved how roger used a high. looping backband to throw nadal off his game on more than one occasion. very interesting tactic. and it worked.

roller coaster. it had to be a five setter. congrats to both!


skeezer Says:

@SG1
Re; Fed BH.
That was on song last night. Most FH to BH exchange Fed handled extremely well and came back with muster. Surprising, where was that on other GS finals? BH returns he jumped on with resolve, no chippy chip chip. He had to have the answer to the Rafa FH to Fed BH, and had to serve big. He did, he conquered, he overcame. Just wish he hit ou on those returns earlier in his career.

@TV
You nailed it.


Michael Says:

The speciality was the manner Roger won against his nemesis in five sets being a break down in the fifth. Major No.18 wouldn’t be so special had it been against Dmitrov for instance. That this has come against Rafa in a major tournament when he is over 35 is what which makes it more treasured and the way he fought showing his mental toughness which was seriously doubted especially against Rafa.

So with this win, Roger has felled many mangoes in one stone and has conquered the demons. There was so much at stake and if he had lost against Rafa, his critics and detractors would not have shown any quarter of Mercy upon him despite being aged over 35 and would have been too glad and eager to pull him down and his greatness. With this splendid performance, Roger has numbed them and he can now play the sport on his own terms without exaction of further demands and in peace. The only thing left for him to prove is beating Rafa at Rolland Garros but that is most unlikely to happen and that wouldn’t in any way undermine his legacy.

To do this at 35 in five sets being a break down against his nemesis after a long layoff is incredible and honestly even Roger wouldn’t have expected this in his wildest dream. But that is how the gates of opportunity open up and the worthy grab it converting those challenges.


Michael Says:

Now the million dollar question is when will Roger hang his boots by calling it a day. Many feel that this is the right time to bid adieu with glory. But I would say Tennis needs Roger and he should play atleast in limited tournaments going forward in the next few years. The next generation of tennis players are not living up to potential and Tennis is in an existential crisis and needs both Roger and Rafa to continue for a few more years. The well wishers and Sponsors of the sport would be praying for it. Without Roger and Rafa there will a very big void difficult to replace at this point in time. So for the well being of the sport, Roger should continue playing atleast for a few years till his body allows him. He owes this to the sport which has taken him to towering heights.


Angel Says:

Basel 2018 in Roger Federer Arena. That will be his last tournament


Daniel Says:

Just realize this was Fed’s 89 title, he is just 3 shy of tying Lendl at 92. Than only Connors 109. But that seems out of reach. 20 more for the all time record.

I can see him having a 3-4 year titles (possible). Basel and Halle he is always favorite. Than Cincy and the others big ones on fast, but that will depend on a lot of factors. He can tie Lendl or Surpass him this year.


skeezer Says:

Why should Fed retire? If any fan whos followed Feds career watched this match they would know that was one of the best matches he has ever played, @35. Imho he stays away from Clay for the most part, prepares hard for Wimby and USO(if its fast), and limit his court work to fast courts, he’ll be fine.
Novak has his work cut out for him this year, as a healthy Fed and Rafa can be a potential big threat, along with Murray? Buaaaahhhhh.


Chrisford1 Says:

If you listen to the Legends talking tennis, thing that stands out is they rarely talk “Slam Count”. It’s about the great matches and the great other memories they carry. Who they liked playing, who they hated playing. About comebacks, and dealing with adversities.

While Fed fans are talking Slam Count, Roger in his post match interview said it was the smallest thing about his victory. Paraphrasing: “It’s all about working hard and coming back successfully and making a big event Final, against Rafa of all possibilities, and beating him. That’s what matters. The slam count is the smallest thing about it.”

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-30/federer-says-18th-slam-smallest-part-of-open-triumph/8222024

If that is a change in attitude, I like it. I still remember long ago Roger showing up to play Roddick in a cream and gold lame suit complete with cream and gold tennis bags and a jacket with “15″ sown on it by Nike people in presumption that Fed would of course win, and somehow Slam Count would be thought of as the most important thing at the ceremony and after.
It wasn’t. It was all about the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. What it must have been like to be Andy Roddick…


Mridul Says:

Guys wasn’t pete seeded no 17 th when he won his last slam at the 2002 us open. Is this mere coincidence or what that federer was also seeded 17 th at the australian open this year


madmax Says:

J-Kath,

Yeah, I read it. Find it distasteful actually. Hopefully Sean opens a thread on hhat – and we can let rip. But for now, this is celebration time. I woke up this morning, thinking I was in a dream.


skeezer Says:

“What it must have been like to be Andy Roddick…”
Better to be Roddick than CF1.


skeezer Says:

@madmax
Thanks for that. No doubt on the love they have, very cool 👍❤️


Chrisford1 Says:

My, the cats will be well fed and allowed to stay indoors at night for months now, Skeezer!
Honestly, a lot of guys would jump at the chance to be in Roddick’s shoes. Worth 34 million, money coming in everyday, wife a Holywood hottie.
But not that Wimbledon afternoon when the last point was played.


RZ Says:

andrea fehsenfeld – I noticed that too about the loopy shots.


courbon Says:

Congats to Fed Fans on this incredible win.Great match, great champions-what can you want more from GS final?
Bask in the glory-you desrve it.


Nadalbuttpicker Says:

My ideal scenario would be for Roger to beat Nadal at RG, then Djoker at Wimbledon and USO (all finals), thereby effectively revenging all his outstanding major finals losses (except del Potro), and then retire with the calendar slam.

Yeah right – no way, but it’d be pretty amazing.


Van Persie Says:

“For the Church of Novak”

Skeezer, just enjoy the 18 GS ….Oh, I see it, a victory against Novak would have been much sweeter for you ;)
Do not forget, Fed beat Rafa, and not Nole :)


Margot Says:

Fed won, I’d say, because of the improvement he’s made on his back hand which made it no longer vulnerable to Rafa’s attack. Also yes, he was taking the ball very early with a kind of wristy snap, I think Stan mentioned this, so taking time away.
And playing close to the baseline as much as he could. Great tactics.
But how on earth did Rafa lose? I thought it was done and dusted in the 5th, but no. I actually thought Rafa’s body serve was excellent, continually jamming Fed. Work done there too. But I also noticed he was way behind that old baseline far too often too. Nullified that forehand somewhat.
As for Cash, for goodness sake, what’s he on? They all take toilet breaks at key moments, MTOs, challenge points that are clearly in, to give themselves breathing space etc etc.


FedExpress Says:

Reading some comments under swiss press articles. Gosh, some arent so unthankful and jealous. Saying stuff like he should reitre now, won’t win ANOTHER GS (wtf did he do yesterday?!?!), should have retired 2010 when he was on his high point (then how would he have had won the Wim in 2012, got back to NO 1, reached another 4 GS finals, winning one further GS, let alone the battles he had vs Nole/Murray). Some dream to even reach GS semis, he achieved more from 2010 upwards than Monfils, Tsonga, Gasquet, Berdych etc. will ever achieve.

He won a GS and people already saying he won’t another. WTF. I am so angry.


madmax Says:

FedExpress, chill.

Margot. Great post. This MTO, and talking about breaking Rafa’s rhythm? Hardly. Rafa was in full flow and 2:0 up in the fifth, going for the win. His flow was great.

Sour grapes from wannabe Cash, who neverwillbe.

Hey Michael – no. He won’t retire. Always feel, that when he does decide that, it will be at Wimbledon somehow. First trophy won – it holds special memories for him. :-)


J-Kath Says:

Wonder where All the “big” boys will be playing next. Maybe Dubai we’ll see Fed, Nadal, Djokovic, Andy and Stan, plus, plus.


Willow Says:

Gosh there are some bitter people here ….


Van Persie Says:

J-K,

About Djoko: he will play Davis Cup this weekend, against Russia. Then he’s free until IW. He skips Dubay this year. Personally I am glad about this decision, would like him to concentrate on clay court season.


Willow Says:

IMO Novak and Andy both need a rest, they played such alot of tennis last year, and maybe were running on fumes, im only second guessing but this couldve contributed to their early exits at the AO, Roger and Rafa both arrived at the AO fresh because of injuries last year, which as it turned out was a blessing, sorry Federer fans for hyjacking your thread there a moment ….


tfouto Says:

No problem Willow, when your fav tennis player reach 18 grand slams, we will also hyjack your thread.

Cheers


Betterer Says:

CF1:

I want to know your opinion now on Federer’s supposed stats-padding in ‘Weak era’. Is current era considered weak too now that Fed has won? Or did he do the impossible and actually win a slam against all the odds in a super strong era?


steve-o Says:

Many of those urging retirement are simply expressing their fear that Federer isn’t done, that he might beat their favorites in performances of similar, if not even greater, quality, and dominate the game again. The guy tops himself with a career-defining performance at age 35, the last thing he’s going to do is retire.

Not too many people can overcome their own limitations. They remain prisoners of their own fixed preconceptions. Federer’s one of that rare breed that can. He believed that he had the tennis skills to devise and execute a strategy to beat Nadal. He refused to believe that there was no solution to the seemingly insoluble riddle, and he was right.

For the first time in a Grand Slam he played totally freely against Nadal, going for his shots and fluidly executing his new game plan, instead of trying to go back to his usual style which doesn’t work against Nadal. Nadal was never the obstacle, the obstacle was Federer’s own rigidity and stubbornness in clinging to a game plan that didn’t work.

I think this victory is a huge breakthrough for him, and will lead to more good things, assuming he can stay healthy.


Willow Says:

tfouto sorry didnt mean any disrespect, no need for the sarcasm though, it was just a reply to J-Kath and her wondering when the other big boys will next be playing next, and as there is no thread for that as yet i just replied ….


Willow Says:

And i havent trash talked about Federer, ive been very gracious in defeat, he was the worthy winner, and i believe he could actually be a favorite for W again, as his game is really suited to grass, along with Andy, what more can i say, short of writing it in blood ….


Markus Says:

madmax, I showed the video clip to my wife and she said, “Is this what what we’ll watch the rest of the week?” because I have been replaying the last two games of the match over and over. She is a big Nadal fan. While we were were watching the match live, she was so mad at me each time I cursed Federer when he missed a shot. She would say, “Stop! I know what you are doing. You are trying to jinx Nadal.” It worked. Hahaha!


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Why is there no write up for the final, Tennis-X?

Did Sean think he thought nothing?


skeezer Says:

steve-o
You are so spot on. Would watch match after match and wonder why Fed was using the same tactics over and over and lose against Rafa. Thought the same thing he had the tools, but seemed stubborn and stuck to a strategy that wasn’t going to work. But he did it now. He adapted, conquered and won his 18th against his biggest rival in Tennis.


skeezer Says:

TV,
Sean picked Rafa in 4, so there is your answer 😬


nikita Says:

steve-o & skeezer: I have been a long time Fed fan and have suffered with Fed’s losses against Nadal to the point of getting angry at Fed for not coming up with a different game plan.
So, here is the question I like to have your feedback: why Fed did not implement a different game plan against Rafa anytime sooner? Stubborn, arrogant? I need to put this question to rest!!


tfouto Says:

mentality. confidence. Confidence to stick to your game. Confidence that you can dominate the other player. When you are not confident enought, the other dominates you. That is also true to game plan. not using your own. Trying to adapt to other player, is a form of being dominated.


pitchaboy Says:

This tactic of Fed is unlikely to work in slower courts. However, it is certainly worth trying. His BH and ROS were awesome. As to why he did not try it is possibly the coaching. Ivan likely felt you beat Rafa not by chip and charge or serve and volley but by stronger ROS which denies early court control for Rafa, serving well to boost your confidence and on the BH, cut down on slicing, cover it less and attack with cross court shots which pulls Rafa into his forehand corner and leaves him vulnerable for a DTL shot. The pace of the court helped RF implement this strategy to great effect.


Margot Says:

Interesting SG1 and Steve-o that Fed changed his back hand/tactics now when that back hand has been Rafa’s not- so-secret weapon for so many years. I’m wondering if the time off gave him some very valuable re-evaluation time and also he’s now seeing the end of his tennis career. Now or never really.


J-Kath Says:

V.P.

Thanks for that – actually I was very surprised. I think Nole will enjoy the comraderie. Also good that he’s planning an orderly season.

Willow – Apologies for leading you astray – was seriously interested in the potential for good competitive matches sooner rather than later and am too much under the weather to check a pile of websites. PS: Not only have I got a cold, mixed with a flu, back ache and the very worst – have totally lost my voice…when I try to answer the phone people think I’ve an intruder in the house and am in deadly peril!


Markus Says:

Federer has always been confident that his game can beat just about everybody. Unfortunately, that group does not include Nadal. But earlier in his career he has to try to beat everyone, not just Nadal and it is probably difficult to suddenly switch from your accustomed style of play into another which is outside your norm. So, he adhered to his norm.

My guess with this change at the Australian is that he really would like to get a few, or even at least one win against Nadal in a major, so he focused more on Nadal rather that anybody else and decided to try this new super aggressive style of play. I really believe he thinks he can lose to anybody without tarnishing his reputation but another loss to Nadal in a major would be very bad note in his otherwise sterling career.


Margot Says:

And that’s an interesting post, Markus. Guess we’ll never know unless Fed writes his autobiography….


Markus Says:

Margot, that was just my speculation, but right or wrong, (and it does not really matter) I was just so happy that it went Federer’s way this time. I dread all the negative comments Federer would surely get had he lost. This was like a storybook and that it probably why some people talk about Federer retiring now. It sounds like a glorious ending.


nikita Says:

Hopefully in his autobiography he acknowledges that he changed few things a little bit too late, in my opinion, and in regards to Nadal. For example, changing the size of the racquet, using a coach other that in his own words “I have in my brain the game plan to beat every player in the circuit, so I don’t need a coach”, taking MTOs and bathroom breaks like the next mortal and perhaps some other things.
Nadal was, from his get-go into tennis, coached to defeat Federer. I did not know that Nadal is right-handed for everything except for playing tennis. How many times he defeated Fed by throwing all those high bouncing bombs to Federer’s BH.
It is really incredible that it took Fed 13 years, that is, since the 2004 Miami Open where Fed defeated Nadal in 5 grueling sets after being 2-0 behind, Nadal was barely 17 years old, to figure out a game plan like the one he executed almost to perfection at this last AO.

So, like my late father used to say about this Federed-Nadal history of win-loss lopsided margin in favor of Nadal, a big deal of arrogance from Fed is also to be blamed.


Markus Says:

Nikita: It’s only semantics but I don’t think arrogance is the proper term. But that’s your choice so I’ll leave it at that.

Should Federer have focused his career towards beating Nadal? Should he have abandoned his customary style of play that could beat just about everyone just so he could have been the boss of Nadal? Who’s to know? Maybe he would have beaten Nadal more often than he has lost to him. Or maybe not. Who’s to say? Maybe he would have beaten Nadal more often in slams but with a caveat that he would not have won as many major titles because those who he lost focus on would have been beaten him instead. Who’s to say? Maybe, maybe, maybe. We’ll never know. But now, with 18 major titles, I as a Federer fan would not have wanted anything changed. Maybe sounds interesting but it is not good enough, 18 is.


RZ Says:

@Margot and Markus – what was most striking to me in this final is that Fed did not fold mentally when he was behind in that 5th set. In the past, he had a tendency to do so when losing to Nadal in the later stages of matches.

I think his time off helped him play freely (like he said). It’s similar to when Kim Clijsters came back out of retirement and was a much calmer player.


Markus Says:

I looked up the Federer-Nadal head to head by surface. On grass, it is 2:1 Federer. On hardcourts it is 9:8 Nadal. They are really close when it comes to a surface outside of clay where the record is overwhelmingly Nadal’s at 13:2. We all know Nadal is the King of Clay. It suits his style of play much more than Federer. I don’t think there’s much that Federer can do to reverse that on clay. But on other surfaces, Federer is on par with Nadal. His game would probably have suffered had he decided to switch his style to focus on only one person…and it would have still been moot on clay against Nadal.


Daniel Says:

Also, the stuborn one this time was Nadal. He was just going to Fed´s BH with not much pop (maybe cortesy of him not being supoper confident lately), his shot lack depth. Also we can coutn in one hane how many DTL FH winners he had. He didn´t wnet for that shot, because in the bach of his mind it was: go to his BH, regardless of power of stroke and court. And the strange thing was that when he was moving Fed around, side to side was when he was more successfull (something that nobody does better agaisnt Fed than Djoko).

But the big difference was as pitchaboy said, the ROS and BH, he almsot didn~t chip and use fewer slices but when he used shot corss court making Nadal run to the side and to the front he was getting some errors or balls to go DTL. This tactis of playing inside the court won´t work everywhere. If they play on clay again, Fed would have to be better than yeasterday and Nadal off for Fed to win.


Daniel Says:

Markus, we thinnk the same. On clay only a supbar or “tired” Nadal *(Hamburgo 2007 and Madrid 09) would lose to Federer. His game is tailor made to ebat Fed on clay, almsot impossible to overcome.

also if we go by Slam finals outsid clay, they are 3-2 Federer (2-1 on grass and 1-1 on AO).

The rpbome was that Fed played Nadal 8 times on slow courts (5 RG and 3 AO before this years when it was slow HC). compared to 4 (3 grass and 1 this year on fast HC).
It is what many of us always said, their HxH are skewed towards they playing 65% of their matches on slow courts.

Out of 35 encoutner, only 12 matches were on fast courts: 3 Wimby, 1 Dubai, 1 Cinyc, 5 WTF, 1 Basel and 1 this AO, where the HxH on this courts are 8-4 for Federer.

Is not that Nadal wouldn´t beat Fed on g=fast courts nor Fed not beating Nadal on slow courts, as he did in maimi, IW, and 2 clay, but if they play half – hlaf, even if Nadal lead the HxH, it would have been more close.

Last 2 times they played were on fast HC and Fed won both, mybe if Fed can play Nadal only on fast he can make the HxH closer to 60-40% for Nadal instead of the ratio of 2-1 for Nadal.

They are now at 23-12, if Fed could win 4 of the next 5, it could be 24-16, exactly 60-40, every 10 matches, Nadal wins 6, whihc would be a more “fair” HxH to his legacy. He won’t never make it even or overcome, but maybe he has time to reach this figures I mention.


Nadalbuttpicker Says:

It was just great to see Roger finally beat the butt-picking, rodent-faced, bottle-placement obsessed, balding, PED using, screaming on every hit, whiny baby. I swear I screamed out “double-fault” loud enough to force Nadal to choke in that 5th set.


skeezer Says:

For those of us who play tennis, you know you cannot be shy in hitting your BH. Fed swung out, with authority this time aka Wawarinka style. Paid off. He actually hit winners from the BH side and was pushing Nadal back.
@Nikita
Arrogant? I would (did) call him stubborn. But to each their own. It seems to me back then he just thought his game was good enough like it is to beat all guys from the baseline like that. No change of style / tactics needed. Wrong. Thankfully he has gotten it in his head as of late he has the largest tool box of shotmaking in the game, so now he has accepted that and used it.


SG1 Says:

I don’t think that 18 majors will be surpassed for many, many decades. Not in my lifetime anyway. One more major to pass Jack Nicklaus…;)


Daniel Says:

Agree SG1,

You need a combination of factors for it to happen: talent, drive, will, style, fitness, injury, age, motivation…

So far Federer won Slams in a spam of 15 years, from Wimby 2003 to AO 2017 – that is a spam of 55 majors where he won 18, 18/55 for a ratio of 33%, 1 out of every 3 majors he played in this spam he won. That is insane.

For somebody to have a remote chance to do it again, they will have to start winning majors at 21-22 tops. So anybody who passes that age and doesn’t win his first, another player would go by.

This number is staggering, I think will last decades also. Hope to still be here debating with you guy, and Fed as an old man in the royal boxes attending matches to watch some new player getting close to it, or maybe even delivering the trophy as Laver did.


Giles Says:

Typical trash talking fed fans. No calibre, just plain sh!te!


lyle nubbins Says:

Been watching Fed his whole career and never saw him crank the backhand like that, hardly any UE. Also his return of serve was unbelievable. Hats off to him, played great.


skeezer Says:

@Giles,
Read post above. Enjoy!


beastfed Says:

Well…some things never change – on hard courts, eastern and extreme eastern forehand grips win majors – lendl, Agassi, Sampras, fed, Connors, McEnroe, becker, Edberg, delly the moose (would have more from yacht boy, murphy and rafie if he didn’t have wrist surgeries).
Nola’s (yacht boy) serve is terrible now – that eastern service grip with the ugly pendulum looking motion is garbage. Murphy doesn’t play great offense and has no idea how to serve and volley and doesn’t get enough serves in. Rafie gets on silent bans (the juice) it seems and his body breaks down – let’s be honest – rafie doesn’t have a hard court game – he is only as good as he is because he is a lefty and might be on the juice.
Dimitrov is going to take the game over eventually simply because of Aristotle logic on how the anatomy is set up with the grips on hard courts – this high topspin over the net is a big myth on hard courts – the greats hit the ball 2-3 feet over the net hard and deep w/a lil spin usually.
The one hander is better than a 2 hander because of more power, less distance traveled and quicker recovery, and disguise (slice) and more natural to volley if you have a 1 hander, and a further out contact point w/eastern backhand grip which allows for less time for opponent a la fed hugging the baseline as he should. Rare exceptions are safin, murphy and yacht boy.
Fed wins in 3 or 4 if he is hitting his forehand better btw – wasn’t great on the forehand – but I was shocked on how well he hit his backhand! I feel like Rafa is very underrated on the backhand, but he also was hitting his backhand way better than usual. If fed hits his forehand better and rafa hits his backhand like usual, I’m calling straight sets with Rafa’s trash, low IQ hardcourt game (you don’t deserve to win playing 10 feet behind the baseline).
It is very important to have short backswings for quicker recovery, rafa has good short backswings, but nola has a big forehand backswing.


J-Kath Says:

Nadalbuttpicker:

Roger and Rafa are friends as well as close competitors. I hope you will re-consider your statement and show respect for both.


madmax Says:

Markus!

Markus Says:
madmax, I showed the video clip to my wife and she said, “Is this what what we’ll watch the rest of the week?” because I have been replaying the last two games of the match over and over. She is a big Nadal fan. While we were were watching the match live, she was so mad at me each time I cursed Federer when he missed a shot. She would say, “Stop! I know what you are doing. You are trying to jinx Nadal.” It worked. Hahaha!

January 30th, 2017 at 6:45 am

Your wife is very smart!

THERE HAS BEEN NO WRITE UP ABOUT FEDERER WINNING THIS HISTORIC, EPIC FINAL WITH HIS BEST FRIEND – SERIOUSLY! SEAN! WTH?

Come on Sean!

Allez! There is plenty to write about!


madmax Says:

Willow, YOU are ALWAYS gracious. Too gracious sometimes.

Giles, you are a disgrace as usual, but would not expect anything different from you. Completely bitter you are. That is for sure. Feel sorry for you because you are no tennis fan. Just a hater.


rognadfan Says:

Looks like this Nadalbuttpicker was fired by Nadal because he/she didn’t do a good job of picking his butt. Whatever the reason he/she is absolutely a pathetic hater!. It’s obvious that this person is not a tennis fan.

Nadal played on of the best matches he has played in almost 3 years but Roger played a better and more brave tennis that helped him get the win.


Daniel Says:

Fun News: FEDAL are back at #1 and #2 again, at ATP Race Rankings;-) I wonder how much longer will it last?!


Giles Says:

Madddmax. So you approve of the post on January 30th at 12 37 pm??? Now that’s a disgrace!!!


Dan Says:

Based on what happened this tournament, don’t count on the current men’s rankings to hold up very long. If Djokovic can’t find his level of the last 2 years (this is now 3 grand slams in a row that he is clearly not playing at the same level) he won’t be able to assert that #1 day in day out like he has for the last 2 years. The same with Murray. Yes, Murray took over #1 in the men’s rankings, but that is due to the slippage in play in Djoker, Fed and Nadal. Remember, to become #1 Murray only won one of the four slams last year which is low for a #1, and he didn’t beat Djoker, Fed, or Nadal in any of the majors to do it. He did beat Wawrinka in the French last year, but that is the only champ he beat over 4 Slams.

To me, the biggest wildcard now, is whether Djokovic can get back to close to his level of the last 2 years. He clearly still doesn’t have it right now. Has he lost his drive now that he’s reached the big goals and has a family to attend to?
Tune in, it’s going to be a VERY interesting year…

Unlike the last couple of years, this year has a lot of change in store.


Daniel Says:

Another detail, on HC finals the HxH is 4-2 Federer, if you add the three Wimby finals and it is 6-3 Federer for finals outside clay. This means when they are at the end of events outside clay, Fed gets the upper hand. And Fed has won last 3 finals they played outside clay.

Also, we thought that Dimi would be a good training for Nadal to play Fed, but actually the analysis could be that if Dimi was so close to beating Rafa in semis (one BP away from serving for the match), Fed could do a better, as was the case.


Daniel Says:

Agree Dan, with already this result it drops the ranking points because there won’t be Djoko or Murray making semis and beyond in all Slams. If nobody dominates the Masters, meaning no player winning more than 3 or 2 and Nadal back on clay, they all could be battling for the #1 rankings. By the time clay starts we’ll have a better view, after the first quarter of the season is gone and around 5000 pts distributed. Nadal won’t pay south america this year and read Djoko will skip Dubai.


Miles Says:

Daniel – the H2H argument is complex. Outside of clay, it appears to be very even, but those stats are skewed by 2013. Federer had a bad back most of that year and faced Rafa 4 times, losing each time (including at the O2).

Roger was his own worst enemy as he admitted after that year that he should have taken an extended break to allow his back to recover – instead he actually played extra tournaments! Rafa happily accepted the opportunities that were presented!

Imagine if Rafa had played on during those years when he had extended health breaks and had faced Roger on a number of times with his sore knees – would we have been surprised to see Roger win? Rafa was smart enough to get healthy and return to the circuit each time in much the same way Roger has now.

The same applies to 2008, the year of Roger’s mono – again, if the situation were reversed, would we have been surprised to see Roger victorious in their slam finals that year and into early 2009?

Looking at their meetings, it’s also interesting to note that between 2006-7, there was a sequence of 7 matches, out of which Roger won 5! It’s difficult not to think that Roger was working out a way to beat Rafa. Then 2008 happened and Rafa took full advantage (just as Roger would’ve done had the roles been reversed). He then got into Roger’s head and stayed there during the majors until yesterday!

That might sound like a lot of excuses, but Roger WAS hampered by mono – every athlete who catches it is. I’ve always believed that if Roger hadn’t caught mono, he would’ve lost RG that year – Rafa is the best clay courter of them all – but he would have taken both Wimbledon and Australian titles. We’ll never know – more’s the pity!


J-Kath Says:

Is Daniel and Dan the same person? I also talk to myself and answer myself as well.


Danica Says:

Hello guys,

I did not know which thread to use to sincerely congratulate all of Fed fans, so I’ll do it here. Really, really impressive feat from Roger. Well done and well deserved. Amazing. Congrats!! I am not particularly into the GOAT definitions and conversations, but if there is one candidate for me to pick, that would have to be Roger. Granted, he was that even before this title – his records and resume speak for themselves – now, he just cemented this legacy.

Sorry to the Rafans. I was rooting for him to win his 15th. And he was really close. I feel he got tired in the 5th set. He was a bit slower and his strokes lost precision. But the encouraging thing is that he played a great tournament and almost made it. If he is this good on a fast HC (the court was faster than last year), one has to wonder how good he will be come clay!

I was trying to stay awake through the match. Watched the first set, then fell asleep :(. I woke several times in regular intervals just to check the results but was wide awake in fifth at 3:3. Only last night did I see the complete match an saw that Rafa was a break up in the decider.

Like I said in one of my posts a few days ago, I hope the younger guys (will) learn from these two. There is much to be admired primarily where motivation, perseverance, love for the game, stubborn and hard work, never-die attitude… are concerned. One more time, congrats to both guys and their fans!


skeezer Says:

@Danica
Thank you much appreciated!


Nadalbuttpicker Says:

@rognadfan
Actually, I’ve been watching tennis since the mid 80s, so I am a fan…I’m just a fan of certain players and not others. This is true worth all sports – everybody has their players/teams they love and dislike.

Nadal is certainly one of the best players ever, but he always just rubbed me the wrong way (for the reasons I listed above). It was really great to see Roger finally get some revenge.


Danica Says:

Skeez,
No worries. ;) Any fan of tennis recognizes the accomplishment(s) Roger achieved. Scary! :))) I thought his backhand was working great.

I am really looking forward to this season. Interesting promises.


madmax Says:

Giles Says:
Madddmax. So you approve of the post on January 30th at 12 37 pm??? Now that’s a disgrace!!!

January 30th, 2017 at 4:13 pm

Giles, really, no one, NO ONE, should ever questions Fed’s validity for an MTO, and you know why? twice in 20 years. The best ever record on tour. He has certainly led the way. And we all know who has used the MTO more than anyone on tour. Don’t we?

Thanks for the emphasis on Mad Giles, You are correct. Especially now. Crazy Mad. Insane in fact. Keep pinching myself!


Margot Says:

It’s a great shame that NBP turned up because until then we’d been spared inflammatory insults and had been having an interesting discussion about the technicalities of the match.
Plus ca change.


Willow Says:

Nadalbuttpicker if you had any sense, you would be enjoying Federers victory and him winning his 18th GS, instead you ruin a perfectly good thread ….

Appreciate J-Kath, Margot, Rogernadfan calling H /S out on the comments ….

Giles Fed fans are not trash talking here , all accept for the one that is, they are just annalysing the match, they all said how well Rafa played ….


Willow Says:

Madmax i just didnt understand why the need for the sarcasm from tfouto, like H /S was looking to pick a quarrel for whatever reason hmm ? ….


Klaas Says:

To get back to the technical stuff:
Much here has been said about Federers technique but little about Nadals. The problem with Nadals forehand is that he hits it with so much spin, leaning back in the followthrough, that he loses some control and often ends up with a short ball. All players like Djokovic and now Federer have used this slight weakness by pouncing on the ball on the rise. The heavy spin is also the reason why he misses relatively often a seemingly easy ball.
On clay off course this spin works in his favour.


skeezer Says:

Klaas,
If you re watch the match(or highlights) its all about who can operate closest to the baseline that was getting the advantage. Fed made up his mind not to be driven back thus was attacking the ball and catching alot of them on the rise. It took time away from Rafa to give it a proper swing(FH side) and created errors and short balls. Rafa will get more time to swing on Clay so it should help negate this strategy.


nikita Says:

@ Markus & Daniel & skeezer

Thank you for your feedback and comments. Arrogance was a term my late father used when discussing the Fedal H2H record. And I agree with yo uguys, it might not be the right one…like skeezer said “stubborn” is a more adequate term.
Anyways, after reading your comments, it shows that other than clay, the H2H record is tied at 10 apiece at the moment.
It appears there is nothing Fed could have done to change their clay H2H record.
One of the things that always triggered a heated discussion while defending Fed as one of the GOAT if not the GOAT was his negative record against Nadal, meaning, such a negative record does count towards the 3 or 4 statistics that would proclaim a tennis player to be considered the GOAT.
Not trying to star a GOAT discussion here, this was only meant for me to understand why Fed did not play against Nadal more like he did at this last AO.
Another thing that does not have anything to do with tennis skills is the physical part of the game: Nadal is the closest to a Cyborg, having the upper edge against pretty much any other player in the circuit even at age 30.

Anyways, I am so happy Fed won #18…you guys cannot imagine. I could not watch the game live, I had to protect my heart!!!


Daniel Says:

I was watching highlits of Basel final in 2015 and Federer was alreayd employeng the same tactics, but he was a bit behind the baseline compared to this AO. THis time he didn´t fall back unless it was a defense point, but in all rallies he was planted on the baseline even making some great bounce shots (including that FH FTL winner in the longest rally). He refused to go behiond this time and drove his BH even more than Basel.

I believe he will deploy this tactics constantly, going to Nadal´s FH open court, from now on playing Nadal on HC. He knows he has to target the BH, wait for a shorter ball and pounce.

Nadal is only schedule to play Wimbledon on grass this year, no pre Wimby tourney as Queens or Halle, so even he is not that interested on grass anymore (he will just play because is a Slam, he knows he has almost 0 shot at it). So I don´t see them playing there anymore. But they will continue to meet on HC.

Fed is schedule now for Dubai (together with Murray and Wawa, Djoko and Nadal not playing there), than IW and Miami, but I bet he skips Miami, unless he loses really early in IW. His clay schedule is not up still.


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