Federer, Nadal Dominate, Move Closer To QF US Open Showdown; Serena v Sloane Sunday
by Sean Randall | September 1st, 2013, 1:52 am

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal moved one step closer to a quarterfinal showdown Wednesday night at the US Open. During the day Nadal ripped Ivan Dodig 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 to win his 18th straight match on hardcourts this year, 22nd since losing to Roger Federer at 2012 Indian Wells.

In three matches thus far Rafa hasn’t been broken in 37 service games. It’s true that he’s played a bunch of hacks but it’s still an impressive run.

“[My serve] is working, but I am not serving at 130 miles per hour every time,” said the 2010 champ Nadal. “So it’s working because I am playing well from the baseline. It’s working because I am serving with the right percentage. It’s working for the first three matches. We’ll see if I am able to keep working.”

In the evening, Federer crushed lefty Adrian Mannarino 6-1, 6-0, 6-3 in a total mismatch. Like Nadal, Federer also hasn;t played anyone worth a lick so far, so it’s hard to read into the Swiss’s game.

But maybe that changes in the next round when he meets what could be the first of two Spaniards in Tommy Robrebo. The 31-year-old Robredo needed five sets to put away British qualifier Dan Evans.

“I think he’s a very good player,” Federer said of Robredo. “Mentally and physically really tough. I think he showed that in Paris this year. I think he won three five setters in a row. He’s done very well for many, many years until he got some injuries and stuff. He’s also a player I’ve known since a long time. He came through the juniors with me. He’s only a year younger than I am. I know his game well. He knows mine really well. We have played I think over 10 times on the tour. I think he’s got a great forehand, so I have to be wary of that always against him.”

Robredo isn’t what he use to be (then again neither is Roger), but he will finally provide Federer with some opposition before Nadal. So that should help.

Elsewhere, American John Isner lost again to Phil Kohlschreiber. It was the same round a year ago when the German edged the giant in five sets, but this time it only went four. Isner actually broke Phil in the fourth but couldn’t serve it out, eventually losing in a breaker.

Isner then admitted that he actually got tired from trying to rev the crowd up. What was that John???>

“I felt like I wore myself out getting charged up out there,” Isner said. “It’s hard to explain, but I used too much energy doing that.

“But really, I didn’t have much left. If I could have held on, not gotten broken there at the end of the fourth set, I would have liked my chances in the fifth. But in that tiebreaker I was pretty gassed.”

What isn’t hard to explain is that John overplays then all but gets a TKO in the Slams. Has anyone played more this summer than Isner?

And has anyone admitted to tiring from trying to charge the crowd up? The job is to win, not to entertain. I guess you got some Gael Monfils envy?

Isner’s countryman Jack Sock also lost, succumbing to Janko Tipsarevic 3-6, 7-6(1), 6-1, 6-2. Like Isner, the 20-year-old Sock seemed all but gassed after losing that second set breaker. And it’s a good win/draw for Janko who’s had a horrid season to date.

Meanwhile, David Ferrer had no trouble with his tank on a hot day in New York, ousting Mikhail Kukushkin in four sets. The draw it starting to set up for Ferrer to return to the semifinals. Unless… Richard Gasquet and Milos Roanic both won setting up a fourth round encounter. Might one of them beat Ferrer?

The losses by Isner and Sock leave just Tim Smyczek as the lone American left in the draw. That’s what American tennis has become, Tim Smyczek!

In the women’s event, No. 2 Victoria Azarenka overcame a set hole to Alize Cornet to win 6-7, 6-3, 6-2. Azarenka has history of issues in the heat, but today she showed some resilience in an impressive comeback performance.

“I’m glad that I could turn things around in the second and third set,” Azarenka said. “There was more me playing, more finding the rhythm. I felt much better in the third set than in the first set, which is, you know, going, you know, past the two hour mark. It’s pretty good, so I’m happy with that.”

American Alison Riske upset the slumping Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-0. I don’t know what Petra’s eating but I don’t want it. The former Wimbledon champion who admitted to having a fever during the match made it to one fourth round at a Grand Slam this year! Then again she also had a fever when she lost at Wimbledon. Trend?

“Yeah, that’s a life,” remarked Kvitova. “It’s not only in the tennis. These challenges, is not always happening. It’s something I hope that can help me and make me a little bit stronger.”

Riske’s countryman Christina McHale served for the match against former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic before faltering; while another No. 1, 2009 US Open finalist Caroline Wozniacki lost to Italian qualifier Camila Giorgi 4-6 6-4 6-3. But the Dane is in love with Rory McIlroy, so who cares?

“Just when the ball came, just hit the ball in the corners,” explained Giorgi of her tactics.

The loss also means we’ll have an Italian, maybe two in the quarters unless Simona Halep can spoil it, which I think she can and will.

Looking ahead to tomorrow, the men’s third rounders are straight forward with Novak Djokovic, my tournament pick Andy Murray and the rest of the favorites winning I think, including Lleyton Hewitt.

As for the women, the big showdown is between Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens. Sloane beat Serena at the Aussie when Serena was hampered by a back/ankle injury. The current World No. 1 is beatable and Sloane has really played well since that harrowing first round escape, but it’s hard to see Serena losing again. Though, like a car crash wouldn’t it be intriguing to watch?

CBS will have live coverage during the day before making the hand off to the Tennis Channel at night.

Arthur Ashe Stadium 11:00 am Start Time
Bob Bryan (USA)[1] vs. Daniel Nestor (CAN)
Mike Bryan (USA)[1] Vasek Pospisil (CAN)
Not Before: 1.00pm
Andy Murray (GBR)[3] vs. Florian Mayer (GER)
Serena Williams (USA)[1] vs. Sloane Stephens (USA)[15]
Arthur Ashe Stadium 7:00 pm Start Time
Novak Djokovic (SRB)[1] vs. Joao Sousa (POR)
Jelena Jankovic (SRB)[9] vs. Na Li (CHN)[5]

Louis Armstrong Stadium 11:00 am Start Time
Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI)[9] vs. Marcos Baghdatis (CYP)
Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP)[18] vs. Angelique Kerber (GER)[8]
Tommy Haas (GER)[12] vs. Mikhail Youzhny (RUS)[21]
Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)[3] vs. Ekaterina Makarova (RUS)[24]

You Might Like:
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Sloane Stephens: I Think My Match With Serena Will Be “Epic”
Sloane Stephens: Serena’s Twitter Fans Hate Me!
Serena Williams: I’m A Big Sloane Stephens Fan, I’ll Always Be Rooting For Her
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94 Comments for Federer, Nadal Dominate, Move Closer To QF US Open Showdown; Serena v Sloane Sunday

Giles Says:

Vamos Rafa!!

Josh39485 Says:

No-one is stopping this QF match now… bring it on. But please let it be a day match! I’m in the UK and do not have the strength to stay up till 2am to watch a night match!

James Says:

@Josh, sorry mate, but highly doubt a Fedal QF will be a day match. Those New Yorkers love the night. Hopefully another Fedal classic this Monday.

hypnotoedtennis Says:

Actually, the men’s quarterfinals are on Thursday.


Giles Says:

@James. QF on Wednesday.

Josh39485 Says:

@James Oh well, I’ll stick to dreaming about it then. People will post highlights on Youtube in the morning anyway. I think they play on Wednesday or Thursday according to the schedule.

James Says:

@Giles, I stand corrected. Thanks.
@Josh, I hope you can catch it live should the much anticipated Fedal QF take place on Wednesday.

Gordon Says:

A match that will be exciting will be the opener at Ashe, as the Bryan Brothers try for something no doubles team has done in the open era – a calendar grand slam. Their opponents are probably the toughest team they will face en route to their milestone.

Daniel Nestor is the only person with more tour match wins than either of the Bryan’s, and he is paired with Canadian countryman Vasek Pospisil, with whom he has formed a formidable Davis Cup doubles team.

The Bryan brothers are seeking their 5th GS title in a row; Nestor-Pospisil are looking to tune up for the Davis Cup semi-final match against Serbia on Sept. 13. It should be a good match.

SIDEBAR: Looking ahead to the Davis Cup, a year ago no one would have given Canada a chance to make the 2013 finals. Now Pospisil has improved his game as a singles player, and Raonic looks as though he is ready to step up to a new level. Throw in that Tipsarevic is not having his best year and the suspension of Troicki, and pundits may think twice before dropping a fortune on Serbia to breeze to a victory. I know I did not mention Djokovic, but if Pospisil and Raonic win their doubles match and their singles matches against Tipsy, it will not matter if Nole wins both his singles matches. It will be interesting.

Slice Tennis Says:

Rafa is playing awesone tennis at the moment. But still as a Rafa fan my joy is not complete. There are not many anti-Rafa posts here and hence not much activity.

Ben and Skeezer,
Please come back and post your usual stuff. Its too boring without you guys.

Dan Martin Says:

My predictions are up for today as well as some other pieces – http://tennisabides.com

Peter Says:

Playing “hacks” and those “not worth a lick” – kind of vitriolic, don’t you think, Sean? Someone kick your dog recently or something?

the DA Says:

Whew, after a tricky first set Andy is finally cruising. He looks completely spent out there, must be really humid Hope he wraps it up quickly.

the DA Says:

Andy closes it out in style 76 62 62. Berdy was through with scary ease, but then again it was Benneteau. The Wawa/Baggy match was a real treat. I hope Berdy and Wawa at least push each other to the limit.

Now for the Serena/Sloane thunderdome showdown.

Polo Says:

Funny but I could not remember if I liked Hewitt when he was playing at his prime when he won his slams and became number one.

courbon Says:

@ DA: Andy is in the good form.I guess the real test will be Bedrych in QF.

the DA Says:

@courbon – He was better in sets 2 & 3 but there’s still much room for improvement, especially the 1st serve. Let’s see how Wawa does before saying Berdy will be waiting ;) Their H2H is 6-5 in Wawa’s favor. I think I know who most Andy fans would prefer him to meet.

courbon Says:

@ DA: I’m affarid Bedrych will beat Wawa.Even so, I think Murray gets Bedrych this time.
Anyway, so far Andy looks more solid then Novak.We will see, we will se…

courbon Says:

I don’t know why last 10 years people start using ‘extra big words’ in daily vocabulary:
Like most football ( or rugby ) players say: I will give my 110% procent…No man, there is not possible to give 110%!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Same like a ‘Big Mouth’ Sloane Stephens said: I think, mine and Venus match will be EPIC…EPIC? So far its not even decent match let alone epic!!There is maybe 1 match a year that can be called epic-2008 Wimbledonn final, 2012 AO final and similar… lots of big words.

Or some boy band boy says : Me, as a artist… bla, bla….Artist?????You are not even decent musician let alone artist you little s***t!!!!!!!!
David Bowie is artist, Prince is artist..not you, you punk! Ahh….
I think I will stop now.I vented my anger and I can cool down now.Buy.

the DA Says:

@ courbon – I don’t know, Those two can be flakier than a patch of eczema. Much will depend on conditions.

And I think you’re giving Novak a hard time. He’s just playing himself into the tournament. He hasn’t dropped a set, Andy has.

Polo Says:

No women’s match could be considered epic since they only play 2 out of 3 sets. It could not be long enough to fit the definition of an epic. Only men’s matches can reach that level. And to think that some people are thinking of shortening men’s matches to 3 setters!

the DA Says:

^ I don’t know. That match between Schiavone & Kutznesova at AO was pretty epic.

courbon Says:

@ Da: You are probably right about me being to hard on Novak…
@ Polo: I guess so.But its not even about how many sets…I remember watching Clisters vs Higgins at Wimbledon -I think 8 years ago ( or something like that )-and it was nail biting match.Not epic but very good match-full of upsets,and suspens-you just did not know who will win.I just watchiong a bit Serena vs Sl;oane-its Ok but far from great match.
You probably need 3 sets for EPIC definition as you rightly pointed out.

Polo Says:

One thing I appreciate about this year’s US Open is the live streaming on the internet. I can choose from several ongoing matches which one to watch. There is no commercial interruption and best of all, I don’t have to listen to Mary Carillo or any of those irritating CBS/ESPN commentators’s incessant yapping. I connect my computer to my large screen tv. HAPPY!

courbon Says:

Who is Mary Carillo?

courbon Says:

@ Da: It was great match.Maybe even Epic.But they are rear.You can not call match epic before was played…

simba Says:

Great. Nadal will complete the Federer Slams on Wed. The remaining question is how many games he allowed Federer to get. I am thinking no more than twelve. Nadal will run up the h2h score to 22-10.

James Says:

No such thing as Federer Slam(s). Rafa still needs to beat Kohlschreiber before meeting Federer or Robredo in the QFs. One match at a time.

andrea Says:

nice win for serena. sloane’s gotta be disappointed with the second set breadstick.

giorgi really whacks the ball. lots of power for a little twerp.

i don’t know if i want fed to meet nadal. i think fed’s playing well, better than he has in weeks, but a possible 5 setter against nadal? i can’t see it….

the DA Says:

@ courbon – What was that you were worried about earlier? ;)

gonzalowski Says:

With yesterday’s victory, Nadal has become 10th male player in historical hc record (wins-defeats) !!!!!.
And a new record for him: he is the first male player to reach september without any losing any hc matches from year’ starting (Djoko and Mc reached twenty-something of August, Djoko in 2011)

the DA Says:

I wonder how Sousa got as far as the 3rd round?

Brando Says:

@the DA:

Walk over’s maybe?


TBH i’m not paying attention to Novak’s matches at all until the SF.

Just look at his opponent’s: glorified exhibition opponent’s:

– RD 1: World no. 112

– RD 2: World no.2 87 (opponent had set points v Novak)

– RD 3: World no. 95 (opponent broke his serve)

LMAO: he’s playing hitting session level opponent’s and he’s taking them to the cleaner’s like he should!

Look who he may have in the pre- SF stage:

– RD 4: World no. 109 or 43

– QF: World no. 66 or 24


So unless he faces Youzhny he’ll face NO ONE from inside the world top 40 on the way to a GS SF!

Sure he’s spending hardly any time on court, beating opponents easily: but as he should!

Their really isn’t a acceptable alternative to not doing so when faced with such MEEK opponent’s!

For example, pre losing to ISNER at Cincy he beat GOFFIN 6 2 6 0.

Just underlines that he’s always great at whuping those he should but against the big boys that matters little.

He could be under cooked and not battle hardened with such a walkover draw.

When was the last time someone got to the GS SF without facing ANYONE inside the top 42?

Beat’s me as to knowing when!

mat4 Says:

Hi, everybody. Hope you’re well.

Steve 27 Says:

DA, I wonder the same with Mannarino

mat4 Says:

Just wondering… I was absent a few months, and it seems to me that there have been some changes.

the DA Says:

@ mat4 – Yes, Jane was bullied and departed (sadly). There has been an influx of new fans since you’ve been gone and more conflicts than ever. Wog Boy and Skeezer said they’d had enough and would take a break.

Oh, and Andy won Wimbledon ;)

mat4 Says:

I am very sad to read that. Jane was one of the nicest posters here, and I am sure we will miss her. I like Wog Boy too, and Skeezer is one of the most knowledgeable posters on this blog.

Unfortunately, yes, Andy has won Wimbledon, in convincing fashion. And unfortunately, I have watched that horrible final. Anyway, he deserved it well. He was very composed and played cleverly. I also watched him against Verdasco, when he played some brilliant tennis.

the DA Says:

I hope we can lure Jane back. She was one of the most positive posters here. Hopefully WB and Skeezer will reappear soon. Nice of you to take my gentle rib in good spirits.

Brando Says:

^^^^^’I hope we can lure Jane back’: aw come on DA, there is NO need to lure anyone back! You know the reality of the situation yourself deep down: as soon as Nole starts to win they’ll be back from whatever hole they have exiled themselves to. Period. Take that for granted. That’s what glory fans do when their favs stock goes down and rivals go up. Period. Rather sad and somewhat pathetic but hey: that’s how the cookie crumbles with some. Hence why I respect the likes of Courbon: still around irrespective of the results. That’s what real fans do: stick through the rough and smooth. Forget the rest: you know they’ll be back to gloat when their fav does well once again so don’t miss them as they’ll be back eventually.

Steve 27 Says:

Exactly Brando, they are expecting something. But they know this US Open is for Rafa. 22 is coming

Tennis for Life Says:

Yes. 22 is coming for both fed and nole(if he gets to finals).
Fed will get to 22 for sure.

Michael Says:

I have not seen any other serve as consistently as Rafa. He always has a 65-70% first serve percentage on his side of the board. This is one of his strengths in his repertoire. The one time I saw him serve very badly was against Novak at the Miami Masters 2011. He just registered a first serve percentage of 25% but still it went to a tie break where Novak won. Rafa has no flashy serve, but it is well placed, has varied pace coupled with vicious spin which is an effective combo to unsettle his opponents. I have seen many players struggle against Rafa’s second serve more than his first serve. Especially in this US Open we are seeing reminscence of his 2010 form when it comes to his serving record. If you ask me if Roger has any chance against Rafa. Well, I would say he has a slender chance if he plays like he did in Montreal and Nadal’s level comes down a little bit. Other than that, I cannot see how Roger can beat Rafa in such a kind of form he is in at the moment ? To put in percentage terms, I would say 70:30 edge to Rafa against Roger.

Michael Says:

I cannot judge Novak’s form so far since he is yet to meet a worthy opponent. He has had it very easy and this easy run will continue until the semis where I presume he might meet Berdych more than Andy. I think Novak would prefer Berdych over Andy since he is much more confident against the former than the latter.

mat4 Says:

I was posting for years, when Novak wasn’t winning.

And his results, from what I have read, are still very good: I really can’t remember when he lost in the first or second round of a tournament, against somebody ranked below the 100th place.

metan Says:

Michael, thanks for your nice words at 12.58 am. Rafa is playing fantastic tennis at this moment, hope he would be able to maintain his level into each match.

Roger is also doing pretty well, and I was watching his second round match. Awesome , compared to his previous matches. So let’s see what’s going to happen.

metan Says:

Hi Mat4, I am glad that you are posting again. how is your dad??

Nole is not bad actually over all, but if we compared to 2011 formed little bit below par, no.
Did you watch his last match??.

Margot Says:

Nice to see Andy coming through that one in straights :) Peter Fleming was so complimentary as well, likening to my other tennis hero, the one and only Johnny Mac. YAHOO!

Michael Says:


Yes. A duel between Roger Vs Rafa is always enthralling and exciting for their respective fan clubs. Their engrossing rivalry always brings something different to the table every time they meet. Although, Nadal wins most of their duels, the uncertainity never ceases to wane and the crowds surge to watch their contests. Their rivalry has acquired iconic status and is considered divine and fetish. It brings spiritual salvation for those who consider Tennis as their Religion. If Tennis is a Religion, Roger and Rafa are Gods. By the way, I am an atheist and I do not believe in a God. But that is a different matter. It is just a metaphor to demonstrate their greatness.

nadalista Says:

“Nobody remembers the losses. People remember the victories,” Nadal said, shaking his head as he leaned back in a black leather chair.

Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/tennis/news/20130624/wimbledon-day-1.ap/#ixzz2diOeaaW9

Wrong, Rafa. Those who hate you have each every one of your losses tattooed on their brains. Your fans, otoh, are like you: we prefer to focus on the positive side of life!


Tennis for Life Says:

Great post.
These days unfortunately for the Rafa haters their favorite players are not winning anything significantly. So obviously they are desperate to nit pick on Rafa’s losses which are far and few.

mat4 Says:


Thank you for the welcome.

My dad died. We fought against his cancer for four years, but the outcome was unavoidable. But he died still able to walk despite the pain, before illness destroys the last drop of decency and pride in a human being.

mat4 Says:

Yes, I watch the USO. I also managed to watch a few matches from Wimbledon, but I was at my father’s house where there is no internet connection.

Nole changed his racquet this year, and his game lacks the steadiness and constancy he had two years ago. He improved his first serve, but can misfire heavily (he served poorly last night). His second serve lacks kick. But his main problem was his forehand, and I was happy to see how he was hitting it in the last match. This new racquet gives more speed and power, but you have to hit the ball differently.

I believe that, at the top of his game, he still is the best player on hard. But he is without big weapons, e.g. a great serve to give free points when one is nervous, and since he has to play an aggressive and risky game, the beginning of his match in the semi could be crucial.

In the final of the AO his serve was outstanding, in the final of Wimbledon that same serve was awful. But that’s life. You win some, you lose some. Overall, the only match where I was disappointed by his game was the Wimby final.

mat4 Says:

But this year clearly showed that, with such a level of competition where tiny details decide the outcome, you can’t play every tournament and be ready for the most important moments.

Kimberly Says:

nice to see you Mat4. Welcome back and enjoy the tennis.

Kimberly Says:

cant think of a better place to Jump back into tennis watching than the USO!

Michael Says:


Please accept my heartfelt condolences. It is indeed tragic to learn about his terminal illness which eventually took away his precious life. No amount of consolation can blunt your anguish.

Polo Says:

Mat4, my condolences on the the loss of your father. It is hard to lose a loved one but even harder to see them suffer. You did well in taking care of him in his last days. That may have eased his pain a bit. Love always helps lessen any pain.

mat4 Says:

Thank you all.

It was all “dans l’ordre des choses”, in the order of things, and although my main consolation is that death is not the real end, but nonetheless I am very grateful for your posts.

mat4 Says:

Just hope I didn`t sound awkward. I am deeply moved.

Brando Says:

@Mat4: As others have extended also, my condolences regarding the passing away of your father. Time waits for no man, but I’m sure you are glad to have had the time you did with your father. Hope you and your family are well. My earlier post was not in reference to you: I mentioned elsewhere that I knew you were away from here due to more important issues. Hopes all is well for you, and I’m glad your back. Stick around.

Rumble Says:


You posted all those ranking numbers of players that Nole has faced and will face.

in the 2002 USO, Sampras NEVER faced ANY top 5 player on the way to the title. That’s much more significant luck than not facing a top 10 player upto the semis.

Imagine how many slams Fed could still win if he had that kind of luck (not facing a top 5 in any of the seven matches). He has never had that kind of luck, in any slam so far.

Brando Says:

@Rumble: I get your point. Same could be said for the likes of Rafa, Nole, Muzza re the big IF…..

Polo Says:

Brando, Rumble: It just means that it does not really matter who you beat when winning slams. In the end, it is still the victory that matters most.

It is unfair to count any victory as being less significant because you beat an “easy” player.
It is just like how some people dismiss Krajicek’s 1996 Wimbledon title because he beat a lowly MaliVai Washington. Nobody mentions that Krajicek beat Sampras along the way.

Brando Says:

@Polo: I agree. It doesn’t matter who you beat as long as you win. The record books and your fans will not care about such a thing ONLY haters will. Who cares about them? NO ONE. You beat whoever is across the net to you. Period.

Andrew Miller Says:

Sean Randall’s line on American Tennis was classic – U.S. tennis has become Tim indeed. I like Tim a lot, but this is truly the worst year in U.S. tennis’ history for the ATP side of the ledger.

Italian tennis indeed looks better by comparison. And Isner’s envy of Monfils is truly weird. Unfortunately it’s becoming increasingly likely that despite their excellent games, Isner and Querrey can’t and won’t carry U.S. tennis on the men’s side. The post-Roddick era has been a bust.

There is some hope en route, but it will take a lot of work to turn “potential top 50 players” into “actual top 50 players”. A lot and it’s no gimme.

WTA side of things looks great, the U.S. should have some viable players – tons of them. They can and do, so the post-Williams world won’t be as rocky as this cliffdive that the U.S. men are on currently.

This from someone like me who sees something worthwhile in the new crop of U.S. players – if they can hit on the rise I think they will make it to top 50. If not I think that the U.S. men’s tennis future is bleak through at least next year.

skeezer Says:

re: Dad

Nativenewyorker Says:

@Andrew Miller,

I like your comment about Isner’s envy of Monfils. I thought that was quite interesting, to say the least. Monfils always gets the crowd behind him because he’s entertaining to watch, personable and fun on the court. It’s nice to see him back. I hope that he can stay injury free.

Isner’s comments after his loss to Kohls really put me off. His tiredness is on him. It has nothing to do with him using too much energy trying to rev up the crowd. They were behind him all the way in that match. What did he want them to do? Come out on the court and play for him?

Isner and Querrey are not going to get it done for this country. I thought that Ryan Harrison might be the one, but he’s really takes some big steps backwards and his current ranking of 97 reflects it. He has real potential but just seems lost on the court these days.

Maybe the next great men’s tennis player will appear in the next few years.

mat4 Says:


Glad you’re still here. Just have a kind of feeling that’s the turn for our boys to play a final.


It’s OK. Although I should be very sad if you stop posting, because it would certainly be definitive ;-)

Without joking: your post is OK, IMHO. What’s victory when you can’t brag about it? It’s just meaningless.

And in tennis, champions fade so quickly, and one ball can make the difference between victory and defeat, glory and oblivion. Enjoy while you can. If Novak wins the USO, I shall be unbearable.

In the end, I shall quote a great French author that, by mistake, was born in England, I mean, of course, Guillaume Tremblelance:

“Criez pas de merci,
Lachez les chiens de guerre!”

Kimberly Says:

NNY, I personally think Amercian tennis fans are being greedy, we have the number one female player, the number one mens doubles team (on the brink of winning the calendar year grand slam), we can’t have a pete and andre every year. Also we have great promise coming on the womens side. And I agree, if we are looking for a consistent top five player isner and querrey are not going to get it done.

The problem I see with the American game goes back to our culture in general, we reward and command BIG.

nothing about constructing a point.

So if you get someone like Serena Williams who is just to big and strong and athletic to boot then you get domination. But our players need to learn something from Azarenka and Djokovic who are not all about offense and big shots (although they have them for sure) but also defense, transition from defense to offense, point construction, court positioning etc.

mat4 Says:

Hi, Kimberly.

Just watching the Fed-Robredo match, that perfectly illustrate the need of sane strategy founded on a complete repertoire of shots.

Two willy veterans, but TR has lot less to lose and therefore shows more patience in important moments. Excellent match.

mat4 Says:

And I think that it would be more precise to say that the American culture rewards success first. And success, in juniors, means a big frame, a big serve and a big FH, especially when playing on HC.

It is interesting to notice that the golden age of American tennis was connected with the green clay courts, followed by the ascent of Nick Bolletierri’s academy.

mat4 Says:

One can not think that Roger let his chances to win the first two sets slip so easily, with poor shots selection and impatience in the crucial points.

Slice Tennis Says:

Poor Rafa. Looks like he will never ever beat Federer at USO. Federer is going to maintain his unbeaten record here.

metan Says:

Omg, the maestro is crumble.

metan Says:


I am so sorry to hear about your dad. But I believe, he is in heaven now.

metan Says:

Come on Rafa, close this first set.

mat4 Says:

Meanwhile, Tipsy lets his chances slip one after the other too.

mat4 Says:

A magnificent achievement from Robredo.

simba Says:

Roger, it is time for your retirement. You will never beat another Top-10 player. For the record, Robredo is seeded #19 and was never in USO QF; yet he crushed you.

mat4 Says:

I had a look at the stats to see if my impression was right, but there was no clear confirmation. Roger destroyed himself on his multiple break points, returning awfully.

Polo Says:

Agree, simba. Let’s start a petition for Roger to retire.

mat4 Says:

I watched the first few games of the RN-PK match, and it seemed to me that Rafa was holding his serve without problems, while Kolly was always under some kind of pressure (but Robredo was under pressure most of the time too when serving). I am surprised by the result of the set.

Slice Tennis Says:

Rafa doesnt play great when he serves first in a set. It doesnt go well with his game and strategy. Mat4 (who is one of the most knowledgeable tennis fans) has touched upon this point as well in the past.

mat4 Says:

Two things I would like to point:

1. Rafa has almost a free point serving on the Ad side: Kolly replies always CC, right on Rafa’s FH. It helps when you are serving 41% of first serves.

2. After ten years at the top, the strategies to use against Fed and Rafa are clear and tested. Especially since both Fed and Rafa try to impose their own style of play.

Purcell Says:

Kohlschreiber needs to beware in set 2. The Spaniard will have something up his sleeve……..
Rog needs to come clean about his physical condition.Far be it from me to suggest retirement, it’s non of my business but I wouldn’t want him to do permanent damage going in to the future after he’s given so much to the sport. It’s too late for him to take an extended break to retool his game like Nadal.
Never seen him so drenched in sweat….ok it’s horribly humid.
Never seen him take so long between sets.
Never heard him yell ‘Can’t move’ at his box before.
Lost all power on shots compared to first matches etc etc

mat4 Says:

I don’t see what damage he could do to himself: he has won so much, and we all know his age. For my part, I would like to watch him many years more.

But it is for me obvious that his team is not good. They fail to understand that at 32, Roger’s game has to adapt to his age and to the new technology shift. A good coach would have long advised him to stand at least one step further when returning to give him more time, he would have consequently worked on a higher sliced backhand return, etc.

Than, I notice that under his present coach his game became streamlined, it remained tactically righ, but became fundamentally strategically very poor. Roger played ten times against Robredo, but he never, never tried to outhit him, to hit through: you simply can’t do it.

For years, Roger relied on counter strikes: he mixed, sliced, attracted the opponent in the court, then suddenly accelerated. That was the way he usually won against Novak (it was an efficient pattern, even), and against almost anybody: by mixing shots, lengths of shots, spin and speed.

And nobody can convinced me that Robredo, Haas, Tipsarevic, Ferrer, etc. can play extremely well and Roger can’t.

mat4 Says:

… long ago… tactically rich…

simba Says:

He lost all the power because he was a step too slow to get into position for a shot. He was in total denial if he think he would get better at 32. From now till the time he He would struggle with players 20-50. If he runs into a Top-10 opponent, he will get killed.

Slice Tennis Says:

Great post.

I loved this one…
“And nobody can convinced me that Robredo, Haas, Tipsarevic, Ferrer, etc. can play extremely well and Roger can’t.”

mat4 Says:


Thanks for the nice words.

Come on, let’s be serious: the man almost finished number 1 last year — I know a lot of them that would like to decline “so fast”.

It seems that he could have made a mistake with his schedule, this year: his body is used to play more, and his style requires from him — with the level of risk he takes — to be very sharp in every match.

But an intelligent coach — or somebody with more influence on Roger, I don’t know where the problem is — would have introduced a set of adjustments in his game.

E.g.: let’s just compare Roger’s and Tommy’s BH: Roger’s was better for most of his career. But Tommy stands 5 f. behind the baseline, so he has time to take a good position and to hit his backhand cleanly. Roger, on the other side, is much closer to the baseline, and shanks a lot of BHs. Everybody, now, plays 90% of the time on his BH. Go figure…

Then, being closer to the baseline, he doesn’t have enough time to run around his BH and his a FH. In this match, Robredo hit twice as many FH as Roger. It already became a pattern.

To finish, I would like somebody to explain to me what are the results of Paul Annacone’s work in the last three years.

mat4 Says:

Sorry, still didn’t finish…

In the last few years, new strings and frames give more power and more control. Even Djokovic is able to make quality volleys now, and we see more and more FH that fly faster than 90 mph.

But Roger reverted to his old racquet?!

madmax Says:

Purcell Says:
Kohlschreiber needs to beware in set 2. The Spaniard will have something up his sleeve……..
Rog needs to come clean about his physical condition.Far be it from me to suggest retirement, it’s non of my business but I wouldn’t want him to do permanent damage going in to the future after he’s given so much to the sport. It’s too late for him to take an extended break to retool his game like Nadal.
Never seen him so drenched in sweat….ok it’s horribly humid.
Never seen him take so long between sets.
Never heard him yell ‘Can’t move’ at his box before.
Lost all power on shots compared to first matches etc etc

Purcell, this is important. Where did Roger say ‘Can’t move’. I never saw that.


mat4 Says:


I didn’t see it either, but the commentators mentioned it.

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