Federer Destroys Nadal at Tennis Masters Cup; Ferrer Rips Roddick
by Staff | November 17th, 2007, 10:47 am

The much-anticipated showdown between the game’s two best players, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, turned out to be the most lopsided result in their rivalry. Federer destroyed Nadal 6-4, 6-1 to advance to the finals of the Shanghai Masters Cup, where the surprising finalist David Ferrer, a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Andy Roddick, will be waiting. ADHEREL

“I was really pleased with my performance for the last one and a half sets. Before that it was tough. Rafa had a bit of the upper hand,” Federer said afterward. “But after that, I got in the zone and played incredibly. For me it was a great comeback. I was really pleased with my serving performance today. It was key to beating Rafa tonight.”

Federer edged Nadal with one break in the first set, before blowing the match open with a 13-point run to open set two. Nadal, who had won eight of 13 career meetings against Federer, never recovered.

Federer continued to serve well dropping just 11 points total on serve behind an 81% first serve pct, 11 aces putting. Federer never faced a break point.

“For me to beat him on hard court indoors is a great result,” said Fed, who has won his last four non-clay meetings against Rafa. “And the way I played today, I wish I could play every time like this against him. But it’s not that easy.”

Federer opened the Masters with a stunning loss to Gonzalez, but has not surrendered a single set since in three comfortable straight set wins.
In the final Federer will face Nadal’s countryman, Ferrer, who had little trouble with Roddick then the Swiss did a day earlier.
“Today I played very good,” said Ferrer, now 3-2 against Roddick. “Maybe the key was I return very well all the match. It is my first final in Shanghai and I’m very happy for that. Now I want to enjoy this moment. I am playing with a lot of confidence. I am playing very well. But I don’t think I am the favorite player to win the tournament.”

Ferrer broke Roddick for 2-1 and again for 4-1. Roddick afterward called the trainer to treat a sore lower back.

“I played a bad first set,” said Roddick, who lost his last four sets in the Masters. “The second set I thought I actually hit the ball pretty well. That’s about as well as I’ve hit a ball and lost in a set in a while.”

Playing in his first Tennis Masters Cup, Ferrer enters the final undefeated as he tries to become the first player since countryman Alex Corretja in 1998 to win the Masters in his debut. But Ferrer is 0-7 against Federer, winning just one of 15 sets against the 12-time Slam champion. Sunday, Ferrer will have to win three.

“David has been the best player of the tournament,” Federer added. “He’s been beating unbelievable players along the way. I’ve had my fair share of experiences with guys who beat the best beating me also in the end. I tried to stop that trend this week. With hopefully the great record (7-0) against him, I can use that to beat him tomorrow. But I’ve practiced with him actually before the tournament started. We had a great practice session where I thought he was already playing very well.”

The best-of-five set final begins at 4pm local time (5am ET).

In the doubles, in their final event together Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor advanced to the finals following a 6-5, 6-7(8), 10-5 win over Paul Hanley and Kevin Ullyett. In the final they will play US Open champions Simon Aspelin and Julian Knowle, who advanced to their first final since Flushing Meadows with a 6-4, 6-4 win over veteran duo Martin Damm and Leander Paes.

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26 Comments for Federer Destroys Nadal at Tennis Masters Cup; Ferrer Rips Roddick

jane Says:

This is what I thought would happen: Federer v. Ferrer. It will be an interesting final, with one guy serving so great and the other returning fabulously. But since it’s best of five, and since Federer has such a strong record against Ferrer, it will likely be Federer to take the title. I would be surprised if the tournament doesn’t end that way, but there have been a lot of upsets lately, so who knows? Ferrer certainly has the stamina to battle it out to 5, but I don’t know if he has the game to win it all?

naresh Says:

the way Fed served was unbelievable ! his ground strokes in the 1st set were a little suspect, but his serve kept him in that set. i thought it was really champion like for him to get that break for the 1st set, awesome ! after that his confidence level just hit the roof, that made Rafa go for winners & he just kept on hitting errors . its gonna be a fun final. Ferrer’s playing great too, i love the way he punches his forehand for some slammin’ winners. but i think he’s not mentally there yet, to beat Fed.

it’s Fed for me in 4 sets !

Christopher Says:

Roddick looked whipped. Ferrer played fabulous. Ferrer just may be the best returner in tennis right now. He is still not at the Agassi level but VERY good.

I don’t think Ferrer can really do anything to hurt Federer. The title is really on Federer’s strings. He dictates. Ferrer’s only chance tomorrow is to hope Federer’s level comes down and he makes a bunch of unforced errors. All things being even, Ferrer doesn’t have the fire power to beat Federer as their past record would indicate. I agree with the poster above. Ferrer may take a set. Federer in 4.

jane Says:

“”Ferrer doesn’t have the fire power to beat Federer as their past record would indicate.”

Yep, I agree with naresh and Christopher.

This is very much a “David vs. Goliath” scenerio. Only this time, the big guy will win it (maybe he won’t behead poor Ferrer, but I can’t see the little guy taking more than a set). If David came through with a win, like the story I allude to, it would be all but Biblical in proportion, what with Federer playing in monster-form.

This time the guy with one more syllable in his surname will be master, again.

Ryan Says:

I think fed is coming to a point where he only takes a match seriously when he feels he is being challenged.Once he does that then there is no stopping him from blowing his opponent off the court.Sometimes guys who he underestimates ends up beating him.But that is just temporary.They’ll never be able to beat him on a consistent basis except probably nadal on clay.Even then the “king of clay” got bageled in his own surface.If the guy’s lucky at the most twice…..canas paid the price for doing that by getting bageled and thrashed in the next match.So did djok by being beaten in straight sets in the US open final.The next could be nalbandian.Ferrer will end up being beaten in straight sets tomorrow……thats guaranteed.Fed will be on guard and he’s not going to repeat the same mistakes he has made in the past.Many underestimate fed’s talent and think he is vulnerable just coz he loses in a few matches…….When Fed’s tired of winning he loses for a change but that doesnt really mean shit.

Dr. Death Says:

I believe Ryan has said it all. End of conversation; we know what the 2008 tennis season is going to look like.

These first serve stats are just unbelievable! I find it inspirational to watch Federer serve – positioning placement first and power second. Back to the practice court this morning for me to work on placement yet again.

naresh Says:

hey we all know that Fed at his best is the real king, but like everyone else he’s human too and he will definitely have his ups and downs, like he had this year..9 losses. in the end its about consistency and Fed’s been slightly less consistent this year, than the last year. For Nadal { in his own words } this has been his best year . Same goes for Djokovic, while Ferrer & Nalbandian have been late bloomers. all these guys show amazing skill when they’re in form and we can keep debating about who’s better & who’s more talented, but the fact of the matter is that, if anyone of these guys is playing slightly below par, they’ll lose. we saw that with Djokovic at this tournament, Fed & Nadal at madrid & paris. there u go..top 3 players in the world going down, cause they were slightly below par ! consistently playing at about your best level, thats the key . whoever does that will be on top next year.

i’ll go with Mr Federer for 2008 !

grendel Says:

I found Roddick’s play unintelligible – I mean in the second set, he was blown away in the first, not much he could do about that. But he came back strongly in the second and was, at the very least, holding his own in long baseline rallies, even controlling them. After his serve, this is his strength. So what does he do? After controlling a rally, he gets a rush of blood and charges to the net, as if expecting to find a box of chocies or something, and of course instantly gets passed. This he did again and again. Look, even Federer, who understands net play as well as anyone, is very circumspect about approaching the net. You’ve got to earn the right to do so, or you’re going to get punished. Alright, the odd surprise gamble can be a good tactic. But there was nothing surprising about Roddick’s forlorn and frantic rushes forward.

The stats on Fed’s first serve for last 2 matches have been extraordinary. Being a worrier by nature, I can’t help feeling: surely it is not possible to keep this up, or even to reproduce it on important occasions. If he could serve like this on clay, given his other attributes, even Nadal’s going to pause and scratch his head a bit. What was Sampras’ average stats? Surely there is something freakish about Fed’s serving at the moment….

jane Says:

Re Roddick: “he gets a rush of blood and charges to the net, as if expecting to find a box of chocies or something, and of course instantly gets passed. This he did again and again.”

This is well put; Roddick, who did the same thing against a flying Roger Federer at the AO, should forget about net play at the moment and should work on building a stronger return game. He has bad instincts at the net in general, although occasionally can produce some good stuff (like in Montreal against Baggy), but he needs a better return, no doubt.

Fed had the tougher opponent today, and still he rolled on through, with his smoking first serves. Rafa knows Fed’s serve is dangerous; if he could serve like this and attack more on clay, there’s a v.good chance Federer could win the French next year. It does depend, as naresh correctly points out, how others are playing as well. Nalbandian, Djokovic and Gasquet, not to mention Ferrer, are all in with a shot at Roland Garros if they’re playing well. Rafa will have his work cut out for him to hold onto that title, I think. Maybe I’ll be wrong, but Rafa himself recently suggested that the top-rankings will be shaken up next year (http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/sports/2007-11/13/content_6250265.htm). With the way Federer is playing in the last two matches, it doesn’t look like he’ll lose #1 in 2008. But in tennis anything can happen, no?

Christopher Says:


Let’s face, 4 years ago Roddick lived on his huge serve. At that time, no one was returning it. His forehand is a weapon when his serve is working. Roddick’s foot speed looks slow to me compared to the other top players in the top 10. Everyone forgets his net game is just average. His return game is OK but not stellar. His two handed back hand is average at best for top level players. It looks stiff to me. Now, 4 years later, many of the top players can return Andy’s serve so then what does he have to rely on?

Once Ferrer returned Andy’s serve, Ferrer has the better more consistant ground game. Roddick knows that so he rushes the net in desperation to try and end the point quickly. Roddick is no McEnroe or Edberg at the net. Good night Nelly.

I think we have seen the last of Roddick in grand slam finals. Too many top players can pick up on his serve now. Enough said!

Andy Roddick 2003 U.S Open champion and #1 in the world at that time. Remember When!

andrea Says:

Ferrer’s first serves look like they have more punch than when i watched him at the US Open – maybe it was fatigue but when he played novak in the semis the difference in serving power between the two was night and day.

i hope ferrer gives federer some stuff to chew on. today’s match with nadal wasn’t very competitive (based on some of their other clashes).

grendel Says:

But the point is, the net rushing desperation was often premature. It’s not as if he was out of the point, a lot of the time. His attitude was defeatist. So it depends on his mood. He’s inconsistent and unpredictable. But when he is in a fighting mood, he can be quite a surprise. Picking volleys off his ankles and so on. Yes, it’s true, I’ve seen it. I think he gets confused. But when the head is clear and he’s feeling good about himself, he can play a good game. He’s on the way down, perhaps. But I wouldn’t write him off.

Tejuz Says:

well.. This is the second time this year that he has thrashed Nadal in consecutiove sets.. the first one was the last 2 sets in Hamburg. The match looked quite similar.

Winning 20 of the 21 points between end of 1st set and start of 2nd set(including 14 points in a row in second). Nadal just cudnt do anything and looked so helpless. He Looked pretty similarly helpless in both his matches against nalbandian.

Fed, even though has lost some matches this year.. he hasnt lost them as badly as how Nadal or Djokovic have lost. That really says, its very tough to beat Federer..

Tom Says:

Anyway, the author of the article said that Federer never faced a break-point, but it’s not true, he faced one mid-way through the first set, but Nadal couldn’t take advantage and crumbled soon after…..

jane Says:

grendel, your observations about Roddick seem accurate to me; maybe a lot of it is mental. He’s notoriously hyperactive. Sometimes he channels this well and other times – like those rushes you referred to – he doesn’t. He’s a frustrating player to cheer, because as you say, he can do some great stuff, even at the net, when he’s focused (think of that dive and volley against Baggy in Montreal) and the next match he seems to shoot himself in the foot (or whack it with his racket). I wouldn’t write him off either, especially with his tenacity and Jimmy behind him, but if he wants to win any tournaments in 2008 he should work with Connors on his return game. He’s 54th in the world on return games won and 61st in 1st return points; if he could even improve these stats into the top 30 it would make a difference. Maybe he wouldn’t get over-excited and rush into the net if he was getting more plays on the other guys serve. Anyhow. He is a puzzle, and definitely unpredictable. Maybe that’s why Fed is always ready because he knows he can smoke him or it might be very close, depending on how he handles things on any given day.

Samprazzz Says:

Hard courts is Nadal’s worst surface. I don’t put too much stock in Federer’s blowing out Nadal. Had Nadal beaten anybody good on hardcourt this year? He beat the head-case, Gasquet, and a Djokovic who was already eliminated and not motivated. Nadal was Nalbandian’s bitch twice in a row at Rome and Madrid. Now he’s gotten pummelled by Federer. Nadal is a whipping boy on hard courts.

Samprazzz Says:

Roddick is a spaz. He’s got the footwork of an elephant. He lumbers around the court like a bull in a china-shop. I don’t know how he stays on the tour, let alone get into the top-10.

Dude Says:

So fed won the last 3 matches in the tournament against possibly the 3 best players in the tourney after him, losing an average of about 2 and a half games per set. federer, when he is in the mood can really beat the living day lights out of a competitor. This is the same guy who bageled nadal at his peak on clay, double bagelled, probably the grittiest player ever, in a GS final and routinely out aces the biggest server of his generation. not to mention the way he outfoxes the slyest of players and out thinks every darn player out there. he is as complete as a tennis player could ever get.

Just when you think he is slipping he rebounded so comprehensively. All the good work done by canas, joker and nalbandian for the remaining poor souls that form the ATP, seems to have been undone. May the force be with the rest of ATP, they will need it coz yet again, nadal and clay seem to be the kryptonite that can stop superman.

When the aus open comes around, it would have been 3yrs since superman has been beaten in a non-clay grandslam. indeed safin has been the only guy to have beaten fed in a non-clay gs since 04 aus open. just stunning!

naresh Says:

hey just saw the Fed-Ferrer match.. i dont think even Nalbandian in top form, would’ve been a match for Fed..he just looked sublime ! he just destroyed Ferrer 6-2 6-3 6-2 ! if he takes this form into 2008..sampras can kiss his grand slam record good bye, next year ! it’s just “disgusting” to see how he can make a player in top form, like Ferrer is, seem so dam ordinary !

Tejuz Says:

After this match Fed is the best player of this tournament not just because he won it.. but also because he just lost 2 sets and won 10 compared to 8-4 by Ferrer. Also the ones that he lost were a close 7-6 7-5 set.

After every loss .. Fed is questioned by critics.. the age of dominance is finally coming to an end. I like the way he has answered them everytime. After his losses to Safin and Nadal in 2 consecutive semi finals, After losing 4 consecutive finals to Nadal in 2006, After his loss to Canas and Volandri this year and again after his loss to Djokovic and Nalby this year.

Sure, Fed is not goin to go away anytime soon. He doesnt give away his matches easily like other top-10ers

John Walker Says:

Roger Federer…

Sometimes I find it a pity most people in the world miss seeing the Greatest Sportsman of All Time, in my opinion.

His Humanity, his love, and his genius, on and off the court he is fantastic.

His tennis makes me laugh, the way he handles himself makes me confused and idolized. How can a human being come so close to perfect?

Tejuz Says:

Since his start in 2002, Fed is an amazing 26-3 in the year end championships against top-8 opponents. He has beaten the like Agassi, Roddick, Safin, Nalbandian, Hewitt more than twice or thrice. Who else has such amazing record.

Nadal is 4-4, Djokovic is 0-3.. and most of the others are even or less wins than losses in this tournament(except for Ferrer who is 4-1).

i guess we will see sampras’ record getting snapped next year for sure.

Christopher Says:


Roger Federer is a magnificent tennis player and human being. We should all enjoy watching him play now. His combination of artistry and power is very rare in sports. We may not see the likes of a player like him any time soon. Enjoy it why it lasts, folks.

grendel Says:

Ferrer was obviously nervous at the start, even so he didn’t have the weapons to trouble Fed in this mood. It was a pity Nalbandian wasn’t – as it were – available, because he does have the tools, his victories (unlike those of Cannas) cannot be put down to Fed’s temporary loss of form. Even so, in this mood, even Nalbandian would have struggled (imo).

But I greatly enjoyed the match. This is hard to understand for those who insist on competition – and I can see how they will have hated it, fair enough. But for me, and obviously other posters, it was a chance to luxuriate in shotmaking from another planet, including serving of quite remarkable variation, which was a pleasure to watch. How often does one say that about serving? I enjoy Fed’s serve more than anyone’s since the great Ivanesevic. In this scenario, Ferrer was little more than a foil: he was skilful enough (after all, perhaps the fifth best player in the world) to draw from Federer a whole glorious array of what SensationalSafin calls ohmygod shots.

People have sneered at James Blake for the extravagant way he has praised Fed, implying there is something sycophantic. I disagree completely. Apart from the fact Blake is obviously a straight up and down fellow, he was simply being honest.

Sometimes, praise is appropriate.

sensationalsafin Says:

At this point I can’t really call them ohmygod shots, they’re just plain God shots. I would’ve liked it if it had been a 4 setter like I predicted, that would’ve atleast made it more exciting. But still, Federer never fails to impress. For the last few weeks I’ve been saying how he’s content with just winning when he can but can’t really stop the HOT players. Well, he just proved me miserably wrong. Not only did he beat a hot player, he crushed Ferrer. But I think the difference in this case was that Federe was also pretty hot. I mean he just took off into hyperspace during his match with Roddick and has yet to slow down. It really is a shame Nalbandian wasn’t here. Why? Because I would’ve loved to see Federer put him in his place. Although I agree that Nalbandian has the weapons to hurt Federer and I think THAT would’ve been the 4 setter I wanted. Well, the season is over. All we got to look foward to now is the exos and DAVIS CUP!! WOOOOOO!! I hope Safin plays :P

John (1) Says:

Random thoughts on a passing scene:

Just before entering the court, Rafa was in front of Roger. Rafa was doing his “jumping jacks”. Kind of a high jump in place. And then came the match and Rafa was totally destroyed.

This reminded me of a movie scene (maybe “Raiders of the Lost Ark”). There was a guy doing some incredible stuff with his sword, and then, I think it was Harrison Ford’s character (Indiana Jones) who took out his gun and shot him.

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