Federer Gets First Clay Win; Djokovic Debuts in Serbia
by Staff | May 6th, 2010, 12:44 am

Swiss tennis star Roger Federer won his first clay match of the season Wednesday at the Estoril Open. Federer needed just 84 minutes to sweep aside Bjorn Phau 6-3, 6-4 in the second round. ADHEREL

“First matches are never easy,” said Federer who had a bye in the first round. “I didn’t get a chance to play on Centre Court, but I got off to a good start and didn’t have any hiccups on serve. After I won the first set, I began to relax.”

Federer is six weeks shy of break Pete Sampras’ all-time record of 286 weeks at No. 1 in the ATP Rankings. If Federer remains at No. 1 he will tie Sampras on 7 June and break the milestone the following week. However Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic could still end the French Open ahead of Federer.

Federer will now meet Arnaud Clement in the quarterfinals on Friday.

As for Djokovic, he’ll be in action Thursday at his own event, the Belgrade Serbian Open.

The World No. 2 will begin his title defense against Italian Fabio Fognini. The top-seeded Djokovic defeated Fognini in straight sets in their only previous meeting last October in Shanghai. Djokovic enters with a 20-6 match record on the season, including 7-2 on clay. Fognini snapped a five-match losing streak with his first round win here but he is 0-8 lifetime against Top 10 opponents.

And Munich tomorrow features four second round matches with top seed Marin, No. 4 Philipp Kohlschreiber, No. 5 Marcos Baghdatis and No. 6 Nicolas Almagro in action.

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31 Comments for Federer Gets First Clay Win; Djokovic Debuts in Serbia

I am first Says:


Elwin Says:


Anne Says:

“However Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic could still end the French Open ahead of Federer.”

Federer leads both by more than 3K points. Even if one (Rafa of Djoka) won both Madrid (1K) and French (2K), that does not seem like it would be enough points to eclipse Federer by early June. Please explain.

steve Says:

And always.

Rafa fan Says:


Cbeast Says:

Come on everyone !

Why is it so dead here today. Waiting for some interesting comments. And taking Polo’s advice by ignoring the stupid ones :).

TGiT Says:

I agree Anne.

Yeah they could take over if Fed loses early and can’t defend points.

This is the tilted view of the number one this site takes. When he is down he is kicked and when he is on top he is just moments from imploding and surely can’t survive.

I hope this site celebrates when Fed is the first person to have 300 weeks at number one.

Cbeast Says:


I agree it is very twisted they way some people analyze Fed considering all he has done :). And what hes yet to achieve, I hope !

Win the French Fed!

PS, lots of people are tilted when it comes to tennis. That’s why I smoke ;)

Cbeast Says:

Just watching the 2007 US Open Final again on my PC.

And it seems to me like Feds chilled out a lot since then (or the opposite). Hes ground strokes seem much more aggressive and less conservative than now.

Hope Fed wins many more Slams and at some point decides to just rip it in every tournament. Although if I had to choose I would still prefer him taking home the Slam trophy’s than the Atp 1000.

Wish I could rewind time by 3 yeas though lol.

Go Fed…. and good luck Nadal.

Cbeast Says:

Also forgive my Spelling …..trophies etc.
I did have surgery yesterday so I have an excuse :))

TGiT Says:

The calendar SLAM is priceless. The Masters will never carry the weight of a slam no matter how many you win. A Slam goes back to the beginning of pro tennis. It is a historical achievement that all participants both past and future have a chance to prove their worth. Master events are a neat marketing idea.

I would rather win the Super Bowl once than ten conference championships.

Cbeast Says:


Couldn’t of said it better myself.

Nice post

Rsutherland Says:

Yawn – ‘Slams are better than Masters” = “Federer is better than Nadal”.
Perhaps being utterly transparent is comforting somehow…
Come on guys, you can do better than that.

Huh Says:

Nice to see the jealousy and desperation of some anti-Feds. ;) It’d have been so much better for them to back and encourage Rafa instead of expressing their hatred towards Fed. But it’s not going to effect Fed or Rafa one bit, that’s for sure.

Whatever, but good job by Fed. Hope he keeps progreesin in Estoril. I also hope the swiftest recovery and regaining of fitness of JMDP, just love that guy. Without him, FO will certainly miss something, no doubt in my mind. But the show must go on, as they say.

Huh Says:

Fed looks in good mood in the photo on this blog start. Good for him.

TGiT Says:

Old photo for sure.

madmax Says:

Hello Huh! and to all federer fans. I have been watching a few of the federer videos from gototennis (along with the one that Tom Gainey produced here), but also, as the FO is upon us, very soon, here is a ‘must see’ for federer fans – now THIS is the aggressive federer that we all know and love.

It is 10 minutes and 54 seconds of pure, unadulterated bliss.


madmax Says:

Where’s the photo gone?

Any photo of Roger Federer is completely cool.

TGiT Says:

Thanks madmax!

I love that site too.

guy Says:

there is too much emphasis on slams in tennis. there are only four of them and you have to be fit/uninjured at exactly those points.
masters series give you more chances to prove your ability on a consistent basis.

it’s like hte difference between the olympics and the world championships in athletics. you can be the best runner for three years then get injured/out of form and never win olympic gold. people won’t care.

also the draws for top players in the slams are a joke most of the time, with the first 3 rounds usually being bygone conclusions and providing pretty boring viewing for the first week. so even though the draws are bigger, the slams aren’t necessarily harder to win.

the fields are of higher quality in the hardcourt masters events, with the cut off being stricter.

in fact indian wells might well be harder to win than a grandslam given it’s large draw and higher ranked entrants.

we need to move on from the old idea that slams are the only important thing.

Eric Says:

guy — I agree that slams are far from everything. but you are seriously under-rating them:

(a) the comparison with the olympics doesn’t fly. slams occur 16 times more frequently.

(b) how are the draws a joke? the main difference is that for a top player to win, s/he has to play mediocre opponents for a week, and THEN play others of his or her skill level. how is that not harder to win?

(c) the field’s average quality is higher at masters series, because they are far smaller. but at a slam, you still have to play the other top players in the final rounds — in other words, your chance of going ‘deeper’ might be higher (because there are twice as many rounds) but that’s totally meaningless.

You are also overlooking the best-of-5 versus best-of-3. You have to be extremely consistent to win seven best-of-5 matches. Not so in a masters.

Nadal had to win 10 sets for his Rome victory. At the FO, he’ll have to win 21 – including 12 in the final four rounds, against opponents the same quality as he’d face in a masters. Your claim that slams are somehow easier to win is ludicrous and, simply, stupid.

TGiT Says:

Bravo Eric!

Ben Pronin Says:

Eric’s statement really goes to show how the Masters have gone down in significance due to the abolition of best of 5 set finals. Not to say Eric is wrong or anything like that, I agree with all his points. But years ago, you could always say that winning a Masters was a different kind of test since you had to go from 3 set matches to overcoming a high quality opponent in 5 sets. Nadal would have a Miami title if not for the 5 sets. Ljubicic would had a Madrid title if not for the 5 sets. And so on.

Daniel Says:

“in fact indian wells might well be harder to win than a grandslam given it’s large draw and higher ranked entrants.”

This must be a nomine for quote of the year in the tennis world. LOL, just priceless! :)

In fact, tennis-x should make a pool with the dumbest/craziest/funniest lines every written in this blog so we can vote in a monthly basis. That would be fun!

Sorry guy, but you should have read what you wrote before posting. It’s like saying Sharon Stone wasn’t sexy in ‘Basic Instinct’! :)

Eric Says:

I think they should definitely bring back 5 set finals. (And get rid of tie breaks in GS finals, but…)

What’s actually more interesting is that Federer, who is undeniably the best slam player ever, has a comparatively weak (!) record in the MS events and even hasn’t made it to the ATP finals / year end whatever they’re calling it now final since 2007. It’s interesting because it seems to imply that Federer is able to outlast opponents (which is the key to his slam success) but has become relatively middle of the pack for top-10 players in terms of shorter matches.

I wonder what the tennis rankings would look like under an ELO system…(wherein who you are playing and the result determine rating-point changes on a by-match basis, and the actual event doesn’t matter) Not saying it would be a better ranking system but it would be interesting to compare.

Ben Pronin Says:

Well Federer had a pretty bad back in the 08 Masters Cup but he narrowly lost in the semis of last year’s WTF to Davydenko, so I wouldn’t say he’s all that middle of the pack.

Eric Says:

According to wikipedia’s stats, Federer reached 2 MS finals in 2008 (which he both lost) and 2 in 2009, winning both. (In 2007 he reached 5, and in 2006 it was 6 finals.) Meanwhile Djokovic reached 8 in 2008-09 (winning ‘just’ 3) and Murray, 5 (winning 4). Even Davydenko reached 2, winning both. In other words Murray and Djokovic far outperformed Federer at MS events in 2008-2009. (Not to mention Nadal, who reached 9 and won 6.) So I’d say “relatively middle of the pack for the top 10” is fairly accurate.

tennisfansince76 Says:

“Cbeast Says:

Hope Fed wins many more Slams and at some point decides to just rip it in every tournament.

don’t hold your breath. when a player gets into their late twenties they have to pick their spots more.any players that have had totally dominant years have been in their early twenties.

madmax Says:


“when a player gets into their late twenties they have to pick their spots more”.

Roger doesn’t have any “spots!” He has a lovely complexion! :)


you cant compare olympics and world championships to slams.

Olympics EVERY 4 years, slams EVERY year, 4 of them.

Roger hasn’t done that badly in the WTF championships. Most recent, he reached semis, won all his round robin matches in great style.

which is more than can be said for others.

Ben Pronin Says:

“which is more than can be said for others.”

I have to say that last year’s YEC was incredible with 6/8 players going 2-1 in their RR matches.

Federer “picking his spots” is an interesting theory. It’s not like Federer chooses where and when he loses, but it seems like he’s content on waiting for lightening to strike. Excluding the slams, where he’s always prepped and ready to go, he never kills himself to win an event. But sometimes his game really comes together and it’s as if though there’s nothing that can stop him from winning an event. Madrid and Cincy last year, Federer wasn’t playing great even in the early rounds of those events, but eventually he hit his stride and played some of his best tennis, especially in Cincy against Murray and Djokovic. So it’s like he just waits it out and sees where his game takes him.

Thomas Says:

Ben, u mentioned Madrid and Cincy, do u think its a coincidence that both the events he found his form in were just before the slams?

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