Spaniards Nadal, Ferrer Reach Tennis Masters Semis; Federer v. Roddick Today
by Staff | November 15th, 2007, 10:14 am

Spaniards Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer comfortably advanced to the semifinals of the Shanghai Tennis Masters Cup on Thursday. The World No. 2 Nadal had his way with Novak Djokovic, posting a 6-4, 6-4 win, while Ferrer ripped Richard Gasquet 6-1, 6-1. ADHEREL

Playing in his first Masters Cup, Ferrer’s win earned his the top spot in the Gold Group with a 3-0 record and a date with the No. 2 player from the Red Group on Saturday. Nadal finished second at 2-1. He’ll face the No. 1 Red Group player.

Ferrer dominated the Frenchman, hitting 18 winners to five and won more than double the number of points (54 to 25) as he limited Gasquet to a winning percentage of just 33% on his first serve.

“Of course, I (am) not the favorite,” said Ferrer after the 59-minute mauling.”Rafa is No. 2 of the world, Djokovic is No. 3. But the tennis every week have a surprise, no?”

No? Yes? Ferrer is trying to become the first player to win in his Masters Cup debut since countryman Alex Corretja did so back in 1998.

Nadal earned his second consecutive Shanghai semifinal berth defeating the lackluster Djokovic.

“I play very, very good match – the best match here, and one of the best matches of the indoor season,” said Nadal. “I play very, very complete match.”

Added Djokovic,who never won a set at the event: “I wasn’t trying to play for anybody. I knew before the match I didn’t have any chances for the semifinals. But, of course, I always try to win whenever I get to the court.”

On Friday, the Roger Federer and Andy Roddick meet for a 16th time and Fernando Gonzalez will look to catch fire again against Nikolay Davydenko. Roddick’s already clinched a semifinal spot.

As for the semifinal scenarios, if Davydenko (who cannot qualify whatever happens) beats Gonzalez, then Federer goes through to the semifinals. If Gonzalez beats Davydenko and Federer beats Roddick, Federer gets the nod (3-way tie). For Gonzo to get in, he needs to beat Davydenko and hope that Roddick beats Roger.

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47 Comments for Spaniards Nadal, Ferrer Reach Tennis Masters Semis; Federer v. Roddick Today

张奔斗 Says:

It doesn’t bode well for Roger to begin the Masters Cup with a loss–has this ever happened before? Somethin’ is not right about Roger. I can’t put my finger on it, but the man is just not his old self. No injury, no mitigating personal circumstances; it seems he woke up one day and discovered that he had misplaced his shining armor–without which he is just an ordinary man, a mere mortal like the others. It does seem that all the bad things began with the Sampras practice sessions back in March. Rather than a “hex” as Sean Randall jokingly suggested, I suspect playing Sampras had some subtle psychological effect on Roger. Maybe he was disillusioned about tennis in some way, maybe beating his childhood idol hands-down sapped his motivation, maybe he saw where he would be in ten years’ time, or maybe he realized at that point that life was about nothing. I don’t know. What I do know is that the armor of an invincible knight is often paper thin–once it is pierced, once the confidence is shaken, it could crumple in no time. Roger now seems to be at the beginning of a potentially very dangerous slide. Everything depends on whether he could maintain his confidence.

DivineFed Says:

Fed was not one of those “perfect from the beginning” kind of people. He fought his way up. He will recover his dominance. He still does dominate the events he treasures.


I think it has nothing to do with confidence and everything to do with motivation. I don’t think he is as motivated to win the non-SLAMs as he used to be. For 3 years or more, he wanted to win virtually every time he stepped on the court. I think now he is focusing on the SLAMs. I also think he is starting to take some of these guys for granted. He gets ahead easily and then seems to fall asleep. Looks like he is thinking “well here we go again, I am beating Gonzalez for the 11th time” and he either gets overconfident or falls asleep. Anyone who has ever played knows how difficult it is to turn it back on once you have drifted asleep. But I think it is his motivation that we need to worry about, not his confidence…and if you listen to Borg’s comments after Wimbledon it was all about seeing how far Federer will go “if he maintains his motivation.” Something Borg clearly could not do. Anyway, I think he plays the most fantastic tennis I have ever seen and I hope he continues…but it would be silly to expect that he can continue like he has over the last 3 years…

sensationalsafin Says:

The events he treasures? 4 events a year he will dominate? Considering they’re the slams that’s not such a bad thing but still, considering his uprising competition, he might not be able to. I don’t understand why Federer gets the nod. If Federer and Gonzo manage to tie in sets, assuming they tie in W/L, then shouldn’t Gonzo go through? In a two-way tie the H2H is the thing to look at and Gonzo beat Federer. Everyone’s saying something different but the way I see it, Gonzo has the edge.

cms Says:

Fed’s current record is 3-2
Gonzo’s current record is 2-3

If both Gonzo and Fed win, let’s say worst case Fed in 3 and Gonzo in 2, the record would be:

Fed 5-3
Gonzo 4-3

The difference is Fed taking a set from Gonzo in the loss. If Gonzo had been able to take a set from Roddick yesterday, it would be a different story. A tie would go to Gonzo.

grendel Says:

Gasquet! Oh, dear, what a lame performance. What is it about the French, they produce a whole string of phenomenonally talented – and fun – players who just seem to dissolve at the least sign of adversity. Happened before, too – think of Leconte, and their current supremo Forget was another underachieving genius. So why are the Spanish all so tough? Apart from Feliciano Lopez, of course – he’s an honorary frenchman. And naturally a fun player.

Ferrer’s terrific success – and who’s to say he won’t go all the way? – casts yet more light on Nalbandian’s late run. When Nalbandian was thrashing Nadal and beating up on Fed, he had a bit of a struggle with Ferrer. That was supposed to be his one weaker moment. In retrospect, it looks like it was yet another feather in his shining cap, defeating Ferrer where everybody else is struggling with him!

Sean Randall Says:

Roddick has a great chance with nothing to lose against Roger. If he’s ever going to get another win, this might be it.

That said Andy might look ahead to the semifinals and play his cards based on future opponents. If the numbers work out – and I don’t know if they do – if he wins he’ll play Nadal if he loses he’ll play Ferrer. If you’re Roddick, you’d rather play Ferrer.

I think that if Gonzalez wins, Federer will need to win and I think he will win to reach the SF. If Gonzalez loses then the Roddick/Federer winner will play Nadal, and who wants that?

Dr. Death Says:

The most important point for tennis is that the drama has returned to the game. Now I am sorry I did not go to Shanghai for this tournament.

Let us enjoy the combat provided and think about next year. ’08 ought to be the most exciting tennis season in a long time.

jane Says:

Dr. Death – alright, there you go! Nobody knows who to predict; isn’t this just great?

John (1) Says:

If my calculations are correct, the most interesting scenario is:

Davydenko wins and Roger loses.

Roger makes the semis with a 1-2 record. Andy 3-0.

Roger then plays Ferrer and wins. Andy plays Nadal and wins.

Roger then plays Andy in the final and wins.

Thus, Andy’s W-L is 4-1, Roger’s is 3-2. Head to head there 1-1.

Roger gets the trophy.

sensationalsafin Says:

That is very interesting. Does that mean the Masters Cup is unfair in that sense?

angel Says:

I think you people need to get a life!!!!!!!!!
Federer will win the whole thing you can bet on that

Giner Says:

Come on. Stop blowing things out of proportion about Roger. Nalbandian was on fire. It wasn’t just Fed that lost to him, Nadal and Djokovic got pwned as well, so you can’t say Fed is off, unless you say the three of them were off.

As for Gonzalez… can’t you give the guy some credit? He played amazingly. Even still, it was close. Federer had a 2nd set tie break, so there wasn’t much in it, so you can’t say he has lost his confidence, to lose a tight match like that. If Gonzo routed him, you’d have a point, but that was close to a straight sets victory for Fed.

JCF Says:

Fed doesn’t go an entire season undefeated, no one can. He eventually will take a loss, and what he does, people say his career is going downhill and he’s past his prime. Come on, what do you expect from him? To go undefeated in a season?

I predict next year, he will go to Kooyong and lose early. Then he will in the AO. His finals opponent will be someone unexpected. Not Rafa, Djoko, Roddick, Gonzo, or Davy. It might be someone like Tommy Haas, or Nalbandian.

JCF Says:

“I don’t understand why Federer gets the nod. If Federer and Gonzo manage to tie in sets, assuming they tie in W/L, then shouldn’t Gonzo go through? In a two-way tie the H2H is the thing to look at and Gonzo beat Federer. Everyone’s saying something different but the way I see it, Gonzo has the edge.”

That will be decided by games won/games lost percentage if I’m not mistaken.

JCF Says:

“Roddick has a great chance with nothing to lose against Roger. If he’s ever going to get another win, this might be it.

That said Andy might look ahead to the semifinals and play his cards based on future opponents. If the numbers work out – and I don’t know if they do – if he wins he’ll play Nadal if he loses he’ll play Ferrer. If you’re Roddick, you’d rather play Ferrer.

I think that if Gonzalez wins, Federer will need to win and I think he will win to reach the SF. If Gonzalez loses then the Roddick/Federer winner will play Nadal, and who wants that? ”

The way Ferrer is playing right now, I don’t think you’re giving him enough credit. Maybe he’s hotter than Rafa at the moment? I know one thing, these guys are probably relieved they don’t have to face Nalbandian. He will cool during the off season though.

sensationalsafin Says:

The funny thing is that everyone’s saying how Roddick has a great chance to beat Federer and he has no pressure. By saying that this is Roddick’s best chance is putting pressure on him already.

jane Says:

Exactly sensationalsafin, the pressure paradox again. Who has more pressure? The guy losing all the time or the guy winning all the time? Maybe they’re just different kinds of pressure. Roddick has pressure all the time, imo, though especially in the US, where he’s been the main tennis hope since the great Agassi/Sampras era.

Jame’s Martin posted something about Roddick at ESPN that says it well (even if he is a bit presumptuous about “hardware”):

“Looking back on the first half of his career, he’s had to swallow a bitter pill that at least two Wimbledon titles and a U.S. Open championship would have been his if not for Federer. Sure, many other players would have more hardware in their trophy cases, too, but no one has made you feel that sense of frustration and missed opportunities more than Roddick.

The guy’s taken tons of heat, too. I can’t recall a player so highly ranked who’s been so roundly criticized. You’ve heard the arguments: the technique on his volleys is flawed, his backhand is rubbish. One alarming stat, I will say, is that Roddick’s return of serve in 2007. He has won only 18 percent of his return games, which ranks him 54th on tour. It’s all the more surprising when you consider that the return was his coach Connors’ best shot.

But that’s Roddick — a flawed, but great, champion who doesn’t always make it easy on himself.”

We’ll see how much pressure either of those guys feel tomorrow; I just hope it’s a good, competitive match.

sensationalsafin Says:

I think it’ll be a three setter no matter what the outcome. Even though Federer owns Roddick he also owns Gonzalez and managed to lose. But then again Roddick has blown some great opportunities against Federer too, so it’s hard to predict this one. But I do think it’ll be a three setter, idk why.

Tejuz Says:

Well.. Since Fed-Roddick match is being played after the Gonzo-Davy match, it might just help Fed.

If Gonzo loses the match in straight sets, Fed will go through even if he loses in staright sets because he will be tied with Davy in sets and their H2H record will help him through

If Gonzo loses the match in 3 sets, Fed loses in straight sets Fed will still go through because of better win percentage on sets

So basically, Davy just doesnt have any chance …

And Gonzo has a chance only if he wins and Fed loses. because there is no way they are going to be tied at sets-a-piece in a 2-way tie

Rest of the scenario favours Fed to reach the semi finals.

The question would be if it be a repeat of last years semi finals against Nadal? or will he face Ferrer.

And anyway.. i dont see Roddick beating Fed in straight sets … Fed can easily hold his own service games against Roddick and it will be tie-breakers that will decide.

zola Says:

I think this is a great chance for Roddick. He should use it. I am going for the upset and say Roddick will win.

Gonzo has to win Davydenko. it will be ridiculus if he loses. Kolya is not even present on the court.

Wow! Spain has invaded the Gold group. what a country. when was the last time a group had two countrymen as 1 and 2 in semis of master cup?

lulu Says:

so its the sets and games played that will decide if federer or gonzalez goes through
it sure would be cruel destiny if federer beats roddick (which is the more predictable outcome) and still manages to go thru where gonzolo his defeater losses
to be hoenst leading up to the race, i was hoping baghdatis gets the nod over gasquet, as the frenchman nearly always disappoints in the big match, thou the inform player Shanghai misses is DAVID NALBANDIAN
it woud have been amazing had he managed to play, I was thinking he might, with roddick pulling out for a reason or two.
Nadal playing well, but Ferrer is impressiv, i want to see how he fairs with Federer if the 2 play

Tejuz Says:

Well.. i just check the ATP site and it says clearly that..

Fed will be into the semifinals if he wins his match.. regardless of the outcome of the other match.

Gonzo can only reach semi if he wins and Fed loses.. otherwise he is out and Fed is in..

So.. all odds favour Fed.

grendel Says:

I don’t hope it’s a “good, competitive match”, Jane. I enjoy watching Federer when he is in dominant mode, particularly against aggressive, in your face power players. Horses for courses, you know. There are different types of match to enjoy, including competitive ones. Plus there’s the fact that Roddick is an incredibly irritating player, although not nearly as irritating and tiresome to watch as Nadal, of course. And at least Roddick on and off court is the same character – you can’t say that for Nadal, it’s almost like there’s two people.

However, it seems those days of Fed dominance are over, and the likelihood is, you will get your wish, Jane. Roddick might even win. Good grief, what is the world coming to!

grendel Says:

So, Gonzo is out. Fed doesn’t seem to think clearly where Nadal is concerned, but if he is sensible, he will see he has plenty of motivation to beat Roddick – and thereby avoid playing Ferrer, much more dangerous than Nadal at the moment.

Correction to above: I shouldn’t have said “aggressive, in your face power players”, just “aggressive, in your face” players. Ivanesevic and Safin, for instance, are power players, and not in your face, and I love them. Jimmy Connors and Nadal are not power players, but very definitely in your face – and I can’t stand them

Christopher Says:


I smell a rat. I believe Roddick dumped two sets in a row to avoid playing Nadal in the Semi-finals and forcing Federer to have to play him. As we all know, Federer has had a bad history against Nadal. Roddick knows his serve can neutralize Ferrer’s game. Yes, Ferrer is playing out of his mind at the moment. Ferrer did have the win of his life against Nadal but it probably won’t happen again. Nadal does everything better than Ferrer. His is bigger and stronger and faster. Given the choice, Federer and Roddick both know Nadal has the game and mentality to win it all. It was in Roddicks best interest to be the second seed and thus avoid playing Nadal and forcing Federer to play him. It is now a much easier road for Roddick to make the finals and potentially win the whole thing and not have to see Federer again. Nadal very well may take Fed out in the semis. These kinds of tatics have happened before. Lendl dumped matches in the past to avoid playing Borg. This whole round robin system has holes in it. They ATP needs to check into it and fix it.

grendel Says:

Oh ye of little faith – including me but not, let it be said, Seth the Great – normal service is resumed. Federer toyed with Roddick today, and you even saw him grinning after a lucky netcord. Fed obviously sees the danger in Roddick, because he generally produces his best form. At one point Roddick yelled (in response to a long whistle) “I’ll get Federer, I promise!” – I think it was that. The likeable thing about Roddick is he is often funny when he is angry.

Christopher, I highly doubt it. Roddick was absolutely livid today, and he wasn’t playacting. You’re right about Fed vis-a-vis Nadal, though. Sky Sports showed the last few games of last year’s semi, and once again we saw Fed being drawn into Nadal’s web. In a lot of the rallies, you had the feeling Nadal was in control, and Fed won through only by desperate and highly skilful defence, actually wearing Nadal down. You very rarely saw big out right winners, especially inside out forehands, of the kind Nalbandian and Ferrer recently dished out to Nadal. Why is this? Surely, one of life’s deeper mysteries. At the end, Fed went into a very rare victory contortion – of the sort Nadal goes in for – and you could see it was all about the release of pressure. Talk about taking the lid off a boiling saucepan! And in the chair, Fed looked wrung out.

So tomorrow, we go through it all again, hour after hour after hour of endlessly long rallies, with Fed looking more and more bemused, but still – sort of – winning…..

张奔斗 Says:


I doubt it. I think beating Roger at this point may very well mean a lot more to Roddick than avoiding Nadal. Roddick has been living in Roger’s shadow for God knows how long, and had multiple Wimbledon dreams shattered and other Slam chances ruined by Roger over and over again–all heartbreaking memories that are certain to haunt him for the rest of his life. I’m sure if Roddick had only one day to live and could get only one wish fulfilled, it would be to beat Roger. Roddick would never throw a match against Roger if he could win it. Since he didn’t win it, the only explanation is he couldn’t.

Christopher Says:


I still can’t get passed the fact that while Roddick has a losing streak against Federer he always plays him tough. He takes sets off of Federer. Last year Federer was clearly playing better than this year, yet Roddick still had him at match point. This year Federer is not playing as well and Roddick comes in 2-0 playing very well and then suddenly loses 2-4 to Fed. Maybe I’m imaginaing a conspiracy but it just seems strange.

By the way, I wish Nalbadian was playing in this event. I’m sure if he did, he would be in the winners circle on Sunday. What a dissapointment Djokovic has been. I know he’s tired but they all are. Ferrer has played just as much tennis and he’s been terrific. I don’t trust Daveydenko. Too many strange things surrounding him at the moment. I hope Roddick didn’t dump sets because tennis, at the moment, doesn’t need any more black eyes. The sport is too great and has too much history to be stained like this.

jane Says:


“although not nearly as irritating and tiresome to watch as Nadal, of course.”

I disagree, of course. I think Rafa is great fun to watch; he’s so quick, so determined, so inexorable – and did I mention talented? I disagree with those who call Rafa a “grinder”; sure he plays great defense, but he’s great offensively as well, and talented all over the court. On the other hand, I find him one of the hardest players to watch lose, for some reason. He just deflates. Other players lose better than him.

Today Roger dominated Roddick; he served v.well and, as always, read Andy’s serves well. I don’t think there was any conspiracies.

jane Says:

gendel –

Could you qualify this? “Roddick is an incredibly irritating player”

I find him irritating in some ways, mostly on the court; he seems unable to come back from behind. Once someone gets in front of him, it seems to me, he’s like a deer caught in the headlights. Stunned. He can be great, like when he played Safin and Ancic at the AO, but often, he just looks stunned. He’s whipsmart off the court, but he’s not tactically great on the court.

I think I agree that Ferrer will be more of a test, at the moment, for Roger, but do you think Ferrer can beat him? Just curious.

jane Says:

One more thing:

Horses for courses, you know. There are different types of match to enjoy

I have no idea what “horses for courses” means; have never heard the expression.

But sure, to each his own; maybe some people like watching one player dominate another, a rout, in other words. Maybe that’s because they like watching the shot-making, tactical brilliance of one player, or watching one player “toy” with another as you put it re: Roger/Andy.

I don’t – even when my favorites are playing, I like to see heated competitive matches. The drama I like to see is not solely in the brilliance of a player, but in the drama of competition. I don’t like to see someone get slaughtered, no matter how brilliantly the other person played.

This saying I do know – different strokes for different folks.

John (1) Says:

re: “I have no idea what “horses for courses” means”

In horse racing, some horses race best on dirt, some race best on turf.

It’s similar to Nadal plays best on clay, Roger plays best on hard courts.

jane Says:

Thanks for the clarification John (1), but still not sure how this would apply to today’s Roger v. Andy match; both horses should race well on this course/surface.

Roger,clearly, just races better.

John (1) Says:

jane, I over simplified “horses for courses”. It also means that certain horses run well at a certain track. It may be more than just dirt or turf. It may be the kind of dirt, how deep, number of turns on the track, whether the turns are tight or long, how close the fans are to the track, noisy or not, etc..

jane Says:

Either way, Roger’s just better. Maybe Andy’s service percentage is more consistent (haven’t check stats) but today Roger’s serve was fantastic and he had minimal UFEs. Whatever the course, he was the better horse.

Christopher Says:


I agree with you. Andy Roddick has a difficult time playing from behind. I think of the top players Roddick plays the poorest defense. It seems that great defensive players are the ones that have the best chance of beating Federer. That’s why Roddick has a tough time against Federer. Roddick tries to over power Federer with his serve and forehand. Federer can block Roddicks serves back and then the rallies are on where Federer takes control. Great defensive players can sometimes (ie Nadal, Canas, Nalbandian) extract errors from Federer by retrieving so many of his great ground strokes. I don’t think anyone can over power Federer. He returns to well and his defensive capabilities are as good as any player out there. Roddick’s game just does not match up well with Federer’s (IMO).

jane Says:

You’d think that Connor’s could help Roddick defensively; not maybe with foot speed, although against Gasquet – when he was winning – Roddick was actually quick on the grass, but with his returns. If he could become a better returner, get up into even the top 20 return games in match stats, I think it could make all the difference for Roddick.

Today, Fed’s serve was too good, AND he cut down on UFEs. But you’re right that against a more rounded player, Fed’s errors creep up.

You also make a good point about how a power game matches up well with Federer’s, although it seemed Gonzo overpowered Fed the other day. But in general, defensive players do well against Roger. Rafa is an exception, imo, (Safin too) because I think he plays aggressively against Roger in addition to playing great defense; Rafa plays smart offensively as well, like hitting behind Roger, coming in occasionally, mixing things up. Djokovic has played aggressively against Roger too, pulling him around the court (not just side to side, but front to back too), dictating play. So I think it depends.

In any case, as Rafa himself noted, if Roger plays against Rafa like he did against Andy today, Rafa’s chances aren’t great.

As far as Andy goes, I hope he gets the Davis Cup, because I don’t think he’s going to win Wimbledon, one of his of other “career dreams”. Even if Roger loses, there are a number of other possible winners on the grass, including Rafa, Djok, Gasquet, Nalbandian, etc. Andy’s chances there, imo, are over. UNLESS he somehow comes up with a solid return game.

grendel Says:

Jane, probably “horses for courses” wasn’t the most apt expression in this situation. But the point is, people do get enjoyment from different modes of tennis. Generally, I would prefer to see competitive tennis – Gasquet’s performance against Ferrer was woeful. I happen to enjoy Federer in dominant mode, when he’s hitting freely. I don’t mind the lack of competition then, even relish it, let us be honest. Naturally, many, perhaps most, won’t feel like that. You can’t argue your way out of that one, Jane, although you always have a good go. You just have to accept people are different.

As for Nadal, he has seemed to be taking on sainthood among some posters, and since I have never liked him much, I was just having a little go. Don’t always expect cold logic. I think Nadal IS a grinder – but also very much more, and of course he is hugely talented. Just not my cup of tea. My younger son loathes Federer (and, God help us, loves Nadal); he says he has tried to like him, because it’s slightly disturbing to find himself so at odds with his dad, but then says he just can’t. I tell him so long as he just shuts up about Nadal, I don’t mind. It’s the way the cookie crumbles, not much you can do about it.

zara Says:

So the great Fed WON and has silenced all of you. He won outright to get to the semis now he is headed fr the final and will win that too amen.

Christopher Says:


Roddick’s best grand slam hope is at Wimbledon. His window of opporturity is closing. You are right. Other players have equaled Roddick or passed him up. They are only getting better. For Roddick to suceed at Wimbledon he has to hope Federer gets beat by someone else and simutaneously he needs a great draw with couple of breaks along the way. This would be similar to Goran Ivanisevic’s suprise win at Wimbledon a few years ago. It can happen but it isn’t likely.

Gonzo beat Federer with a combination of great defense and explosive offense the other day. He retrieved a lot of balls.. His sliced back hand has improved over the last couple of years. It keeps him in so many more points than in the past. Gonzo used to be a hit and miss player. He has learned to be more patient. His rise in the rankings reflect that.

That all being said, if Federer serves well no one is going to beat him on any fast court because they can’t break him. Federer always can snatch a break or two a set against any serve. In Paris, Federer did not serve well against Nalbadian. That isn’t taking anything away from Nalbandian. He played out of his mind. I just think, if Federer served better he would have edged out Nalbandian in the end (IMO).

I predict another Federer/Roddick encounter on Sunday.

jane Says:

“You just have to accept people are different.”

Accept it? I love it, and always argued against homogeneity in fact. What a boring world, and blog, this would be if everyone agreed or liked/loved/hated the same player, players, or the sames styles of match or play.

Still would like to hear why you find Roddick irritating and whether you really think Ferrer could beat Fed.

jane Says:


“Federer always can snatch a break or two a set against any serve.” Usually this is true, but Federer also seem to have an edge in tiebreaks; when he can’t break someone like Roddick or Dr. Ivo, then he whops them in the tiebreak.

Another match up between those two might be disappointing; if Fed beats Rafa (which I think is more likely on this surface), then I’d rather see him meet Ferrer. Even though he’s “owned” him in their last 7 meetings, maybe, just maybe, Ferrer could give Federer some toruble. Remember that Ferrer beat Nalbandian, if only just barely, at the US Open. So maybe he could beat Fed. That’s a HUGE maybe mind you. Likely Fed will take the title.

Christopher Says:


Good point about Federer in tiebreakers. It’s Federer’s ability to get the serve in play that makes the difference. Once that happens, he has the definite edge in the point.

jane Says:

Right, and I shouldn’t say he necessarily “whops” players in tiebreaks, but unless they get a quick lead (like Gonza the other day or Djok in both TBs in Montreal) and swing very freely, Federer usually edges through with the 2 required extra points. What was it last year? 10/8 against Andy in the second set. Then that’s all he needed.

The thing about Fed v. Nadal is that they’re both great offensive and defensive players in my opinion, but Federer has the better serve, which I think won it for him at Wimbledon (people will no doubt disagree), but which doesn’t seem to help him on clay. Rafa’s problem on hard courts is that his ground strokes aren’t deep enough and the top spin doesn’t work as effectively as on clay (with the exception of Indian Wells, in part because of the conditions). What ends up happening is Rafa ends up running around WAY too far behind the baseline. He needs to be more aggressive, to step in. And then maybe he’ll have a chance. But routinely on hard he hasn’t done this. He did in Dubai the time he beat Roger; he should watch that tape again.

grendel Says:

Well, Ferrer got pretty close to Fed in Hamburg, and he’s improved since then. He is now, surprisingly, a legitimate and aggressive hard court player. Maybe he has become one of those claycourters who, once they find their feet, actually become more at home on the faster surfaces. More important, his confidence must be sky high. So certainly, he’s in with a shout. Federer will have to play damn well to beat him. I think he has an excellent chance of beating Roddick, too, although that seems to be a minority view.

It’s a strange thing, likes and dislikes. I find Sharapova’s demeanour hugely unappealing, but her tennis (when on) extremely exciting – and underrated or patronised. Roddick’s in your face attitude – just like Sharapova’s is a big turn off for me, but that’s just personal – but I don’t like his tennis much either. Take Ivanesevic’s serve – I thought that was a thing of beauty, so fluid and gorgeous, I never tired of watching it. Roddick’s serve is not far off in effectiveness, but I just find it ugly, I’m not sure if I can say why. He is a very puzzling player. He has an excellent defence, and is sometimes able to turn defence into attack almost as startlingly as Nadal does. But then he can be so incredibly gauche, too. And consider his volleying; he rushes to the net at very ill -considered times (mediocre approaches) and there’s a certain element of hit and hope. Take Nadal, when he goes to the net, which is not often, he usually wins the point – he understands his limits very well it seems. At the other extreme, Nalbandian and Hewitt rarely go to the net but they are so extremely good when they do go you wonder why on earth they don’t do it more often. But back to Roddick: I usually like to see him beaten, but we all need players like that. Unless you just watch tennis for aesthetic or technical reasons, without emotions coming into it. If you want to see somebody beaten, the chances are he has a very big game and is, therefore, an adornment to the sport.

jane Says:

Well Ferrer beat Roddick in Cincy this year on hard courts; he obviously could do it again. In fact, I am inclined to think he will. I am thinking it will likely be a Fed/Ferrer final. I am not so sure Ferrer can beat Federer though. Maybe he has a shot, but I doubt it.

Re Roddick: “And consider his volleying; he rushes to the net at very ill -considered times (mediocre approaches) and there’s a certain element of hit and hope.” Yes, this is spot on – he’s not a smart player, more instinctual, and when behind, perhaps even desperate. I guess my hope for Roddick is connected to my hope for the underdog in most cases.

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