Federer Survives Upset Bid While Nadal, Tsonga And Murray Do Not
by Staff | June 12th, 2014, 10:09 pm

On a very upsetting Thursday which saw three Top 10 players fall, Roger Federer opened his 2014 grass season with a tough 3-set win over unheralded Joao Sousa 6-7(8), 6-4, 6-2 in the second round at Halle.

“A little bit of struggle on the return maybe for a set and a half,” admitted the 6-time champ Federer. “And after that I think I started to return better, make more returns off the first serve, had more variations as well on the second serve return.

“It was slightly frustrating at times clearly, but nevertheless I served well and kept on doing my thing. So, it was important to stay calm and actually I think it gives me more confidence winning this way than maybe just 6-4, 6-4 and you don’t quite know what is going on. Like this I had to stay calm, fight through the match and find a way and then the last set and a half were much better. So, I’m actually pretty happy now.”

While Federer got through, many of his rivals did not.

Fresh off a ninth French Open title, Rafael Nadal suffered his third straight defeat on the green grass losing in just 58 minutes to Dustin Brown 6-4, 6-1.

And then at Queen’s, defending champion Andy Murray’s 19-match grass win streak came to a crashing end at the racquet of Radek Stepanek 7-6(10), 6-2.

“I have only got myself to blame that I lost the first set,” said Murray. “I don’t know how many set points I had, but quite a lot of them were on my serve. “On this surface especially you shouldn’t really be losing sets like that. For me, that’s what’s disappointing really about the match. Then, unfortunately, got broken in the first game of the second set. I couldn’t quite get it back.”

Murray was playing just his second match under the new guidance of Amelie Mauresmo. Welcome to coaching, Amelie!

Somewhat shaken Murray now must turn his attention to a Wimbledon title defense.

“I’m going to take a couple of days off now, because since the Monday before the French Open I have played every single day bar one up to now. So I will take a couple of days off,” Murray said. “Then on Sunday I’ll be back here for the charity match (Rally For Bally). Then I will start practicing Sunday evening and start getting ready.”

Former finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also dropped out losing to Australian Marinko Matosevic 6-2, 6-4 while Stan Wawrinka and Tomas Berdych were among the victors.

“I’m really happy with the match, the performance and the way I’m playing,” said Wawrinka after beating former champion Sam Querrey 6-2, 6-2. “I’m serving really big. I did what I’m doing on the practice court. That’s means I’m playing well. That’s the most important thing. I need to keep doing that, keep working out in practice to be ready for all the matches.”

On tap Friday in the quarterfinals, Federer faces Lu in Halle while at Queen’s Grigor Dimitrov meets Alexandr Dolgoplov and Feliciano Lopez takes on Tomas Berdych.

CENTRE COURT start 12:30 pm
[7] K Anderson (RSA) vs [15] R Stepanek (CZE)
[10] F Lopez (ESP) vs [2] T Berdych (CZE)
[4] G Dimitrov (BUL) vs [8] A Dolgopolov (UKR)
[1] [WC] S Wawrinka (SUI) vs M Matosevic (AUS)
[8] C Fleming (GBR) / M Matkowski (POL) vs [3] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB)

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46 Comments for Federer Survives Upset Bid While Nadal, Tsonga And Murray Do Not

TennisVagabond.com Says:

Exciting to see Wawrinka sounding confident on grass. Would be great to see him in the 2nd week.

TennisVagabond.com Says:

Exciting to see Wawrinka sounding confident on grass. Would be great to see him in the 2nd week.

Dan Martin Says:

I have my Halle and Queen’s Club quarterfinal predictions up http://tennisabides.com – I also have some stuff on 10 and Under Tennis

skeezer Says:

Just saw the highlights here of DB TOYING with Rafa on Grass. So funny, Rafa looked like a fish out of water….in Mallorca lol.
Loved DB’s celebration after winning points, trumping Rafa’s often fist pumping antics……. talk about in your face…lol!

Michael Says:

Andy’s defeat at the hands of Stepanek was not totally unexpected. Stepanek is a very dangerous player particularly on fast courts. At 36, I am amazed by his skills, variety, movement and quality of his serves. I am still wondering as to why this player with all the requisite skills under his best to become a Top class player failed to make it to the big stage ? But that is how the Sport is, unable to discern.

As regards Rafa, well I think he was in two minds to take part in this tournament and finally he did take a call not to disappoint the Halle authorities as even last year, he failed to turn up. It seems he just went through the rituals and after losing the first set, gave it up. This is not to take anything away from the victory of Brown who truly deserves it.

skeezer Says:

^so you’re saying Rafa “tanked”? I thought he was the “ultimate fighter”?

Michael Says:

The scoreline suggests so. I didn’t see the match. But Rafa was reluctant to participate in this tournament after his French Open triumph. Mentally, he was not prepared for another tournament within days of his victory. But, he took a call at his pleasure to participate in Halle and paid the price. Dustin is a good player. But he is not such a great player like Novak or Andy or Roger to outclass Rafa. Rafa was not just mentally into this match. It is plain and clear.

skeezer Says:

^i don’t know, I saw some shots and serves and returns and lobs and volleys from DB that were just too good, regardless of Rafa’s mental feeling, my imo. DB just took it to him flat out.

Michael Says:

Yes we should never undermine the victory of Dustin Brown who is a very good player particularly on fast courts. If Rafa tanked this match, it is his problem. I am not justifying anyway his loss. He lost to Brown fair and square. There are no two opinions about it. If you opt to play, you can never cite your injury or offer any other lame excuse for your loss. What I said was not an excuse but just a perception which gained ground that Rafa was not interested to participate in Halle. However, now nothing is going to change this loss. Rafa is having a horrible time on grass courts right from 2012 and his bad stretch continues. This is surprising considering that he made five finals over there and was considered impregnable.

metan Says:

What Skeezer said is true, Brown played fantastic, Rafa tried to break him, but he couldn’t make it especially at first set and the second set he made an effort to try again but still fail and then he just gave up completely. Imo. Based on Rafa performance before 2012, it was incredible, and since then he is decline, his body can’t hold any more. His body is like 35 yo. So I think Rafa must play wisely, remember he has no points to defend in grass but he has tons of point in hard court. So this is a blessing , he can rest.

nadalista Says:

Let’s see: The thread is about Federer, Rafa, Murray, Tsonga but does @skeezer want to talk about his idol, Fed? No! He wants to talk about….Rafa!

Don’t blame him, after all, Rafa is the star, the GOAT.


Michael Says:


I have not taken anything away from Brown’s magnificent victory. He truly deserves it. But the bone of contention was whether Rafa was interested or disinterested in participating in Halle ? Did he participate in the tournament due to compulsion not to displease the tournament authorities ? Well, you can justifiably accuse me of merely halluncinating without any premise but I was merely making an assumption based on some conviction. Nevertheless, it is not a good start for Rafa and he might have to pull up his socks if he is to make an impression at Wimbledon.

madmax Says:

Andy will be fine after Queens and ready for Wimbledon after rest and a good break over the next 2 Days or so. I think that his practice will go well just before Wimby and he will certainly go deep. I don’t think this has anything to do with new coach. I Think Andy has the natural talent to go on his own. Reaching the SF at RG will surely have had an impact on his tiredness. So I don’t read anything into his early loss at Queens at all.

Also, I Think he made his Wimbledon, with the help of Lendl previously, and he will remember those skills that Lendl taught him, but he has that natural ability anyway so whatever Mauresmo brings, Andy has that natural talent, and it will show on the Court, with or without out. My feelings on that. The crowd support, the atmosphere ALWAYS does something to players on the day, and I Believe that Wimbledon is where he feels at home, for obvious reasons.

Rafa is just tired. It’s obvious! So again, an early loss, I don’t read anything more into it.

Federer is a God on Grass. I refuse now to worry or show my anxiety in tighter moments, but it does not serve me well as a fan! I just have to Believe that his experience, durability, finesse and Craft will show on the day, every day, for the two weeks he will be in the tournament. I Think it is great that he is getting as much practice as he can over the next week in Halle, in both singles and doubles for technique and trying shots out. I hope he gets himself enough rest Before Wimby starts. A week inbetween should be enough – with Stefan Edberg in his corner, how could it be anything other than peRFect?

Go Roger!

queen Says:

Skeezer u comment more about nadal than fed how is that???

James Says:

Only because Rafa has mentally moved onto Wimbledon. Halle doesn’t need him anymore. He got flushed out there.

Polo Says:

Wasn’t it only very recently when people were discounting Nadal’s chances of winning a major?

skeezer Says:

You know I love him ;). Seriously, congrats on RG, #9 and greatest of all time! On Clay.

skeezer Says:

I am picking him to win Wimby. He will crush everyone till the final and then win the title in 4 sets. The fitth star on the left behind the borealis told me. Book it.

Daniel Says:

NAdal probably have to play to not lose money. He signed a 3 year contract and last year did not show up. You won’t win money for appearance fee if you signed a contract to play and after 2 years you don’t show up.

A win is a win, but as Michael said he was not totally mentally there. Of course he would prefer to win to have more match and get his feet on grass.

In 12 days he will be playing Wimbledon with new grass again, which is always dangerous. Last time he played on a dusted grass was in 2011, so he is rusty. But even so, Wimbledon is best of 5 and some one will have to win 3 sets. Grass is easier to get on a row and od it. Tsonga was able to do that against Fed once. Al, you need is one break of serve and that’s it. Pretty much all top 100 can hold serve comfortably. Very rare we see more than 2 or 3 Breaks per set on grass.

Next Wimbledon will he as huge as you get:

1 – Will Nadal be able to return to week 2 and tie Borg for a third channel Slam and increase his tally to 15 (almost ending GOAT debate as he sure will pass Roger’s if winning Wimby)?!

2 -Will Djoko regroup, win another major and possibly get back to number 1? I sense he needs this Slams desperately to put himself together after crushing defeats in Slams. Could be a great shot for him depending on his mental state as all his 3 main rivals can loses earlier: Nadal is struggling with grass; Fed can get a hot opponent and no one knows which form he will be on the day; Murray is not back to the level he was a year ago even with good French showing. Novak is the most consistent of the 4 with no before QF exit in a year. After US Open 13′ he has more points, won more titles but not the ones that matter (AO or RG). This is the time to show up.

3 – Will Federer have his last hurrah and win another WImby to have 8 surpass Sampras and increase his GS tally to 18 (a number very predicted he would end his career with back when he had 10-11)? This an settle the GOAT debate as well, because it will be another Slams Nadal won’t win and Fed will. This will almost count as 2, because it will be 12 more Nadal will have to reach to tie Federer. And also it will be his fourth straight year without winning Wimbledon, and he ain’t getting any younger or any better on grass courts.

4 – Will Murray be able to defend his title and get back to top form and top of the rankings after his surgery last year?

Polo Says:

Those losses by Nadal and Murray don’t mean a thing towards what’s coming, Wimbledon. They both played relatively poorly in the tournaments preceding the French and look what happened.

Humble Rafa Says:

queen Says:
Skeezer u comment more about nadal than fed how is that???



jonathan Says:

A rise in disparaging remarks towards one’s favourite’s rival is a good indicator of that rival’s recent success.

As far as Murray, Novak or Roger “outclassing” Nadal, it hasn’t happened in over two years, yet his slam count continues to rise faster than any other player.

jonathan Says:

In fact, Nadal is 6-0 in slams over that period vs Roger, Novak and Andy combined!

metan Says:

Michael, point taken. Hope Rafa can impress us @ wimby.

Btw, DB just got dusty by philipp kohls. What a day.?

madmax Says:

queen Says:
Skeezer u comment more about nadal than fed how is that???

June 13th, 2014 at 8:07 am


how come you only ever comment on skeezer who comments on mostly giles or roy’s or whoever else disparages Federer?

comment on the king of fed bashers. There are plenty here. Only the blind can’t see.

Giles Says:

Hey madmax. When was the last time I disparaged fed? Please show my post.

Colin Says:

How about Jamie Murray and John Peers beating the Bryan Brothers? Not for the first time, Jamie gets bragging rights over Andy!

Davy Says:

Disappointing not to see Nadal get a couple of games under his belt, but not really a surprise given the timing of this event, and the fact that his opponent played out of his skin. It was a useful reminder of how boring serve and volley tennis can be – virtually no points, just bam! bam! and another game over. I felt Nadal served pretty well, which is one small positive sign. Movement seemed a bit slow, and I suspect by the second set Nadal had decided not to risk injury given the appalling state of the court. Halle should be called a mud court tournament, not grass, and if Nadal’s team have any sense they’ll get him out of this contract so that next year he can play on a decent court at Queens instead.

madmax Says:

Giles Says:
Hey madmax. When was the last time I disparaged fed? Please show my post.

June 13th, 2014 at 12:55 pm

Not going there giles. Doesn’t need to be supported. Anyone interested (and there can’t be many!), can count ’em.

Davy agreed. However, no bad thing. All players need R&R after FO. Especially the winner. Wimbledon will be a different tournament altogether. Just wish he would stop with the injury talk all the time though. Each time I read an interview now, there is talk of it.

Take a leaf out of Del Potro’s book, I would suggest.

contador Says:

About Rafa’s slam count rising the fastest – can’t argue with that one, @jonathana.

Who else in the ATP, apart from Rafa Nadal, can count on at least one GS per year? And he gets the same GS every year except the one year he won AO. Thanks to Stan, Kei, and Nole (and Gulbis) the clay court season was not a complete bore-fest.

My concern right now is about Novak Djokovic. Hope he is in good health.

contador Says:

Oh no. Any one who reads tennis-x knows how I support Gulbis but …does EG really need to tell the world about his gambling?


I’ll just say it first – He really does talk too much.

RZ Says:

@Colin – it’s exciting to see how well Jamie Murray is doing with John Peers as his partner. Hopefully the two of them will keep playing well together.

Humble Rafa Says:

Relaxing Humble. Lesser mortals are playing.


Okiegal Says:


I watched Borg and Connors play a Wimbledon Finals last night on the classic sports channel here in the states. I can’t believe how boring it is watching that type of tennis……and Borg was my fav back in the day. The match was lifeless and almost in slow motion. I could never watch that brand of tennis again after watching the tennis of today……..just saying.

Okiegal Says:

Why wouldn’t there be talk of health issues among the players at interviews. The top 5 are the top 5 for a reason. They go deeper into the tourneys week after week and are going to have some health problems from time to time. My gosh, these players are not super human. BTW, Rafa isn’t the only player who talks about health issues. You can thank the interviewers for that. Those questions about Rafa’s health prompts bylines on Tennis X regarding back, knees etc and then here we go, the Rafa bashing begins…..just saying.

Michael Says:

Okiegal @ 4.34 PM,

25 years from now, when you have the opportunity to rewatch Novak Vs Rafa match, you would find that too pretty slow by comparison to the then prevailing standards. That is the magic of technological innovations and improvements which is occuring in a massive way.

Okiegal Says:


All of that technological stuff that actual tennis players talk about…….it’s way over my head!! How can it possibly be changed anymore? I really don’t understand strings and things…..lol

Margot Says:


Andy’s thoughts on his loss, Amelie as coach and fantasy football!

Okiegal Says:

Who is gonna win….Fed or Kei? That could be a very good match.

metan Says:

Kei will win. My $$$$$ is for Kei today.

Michael Says:


I remember in the Borg/Jimmy/Mcenroe era how many commentators were opining that the game had become more atheletic, stamina consuming and fast than the earlier Laver/Rosewall/Lew Hoad era. That is how the game is evolving over years where the only certainity is change. You now wonder how Technology can grow any more thereby implying that it has pretty much saturated ? But, Technological innovations are a never ending journey and the quest and fervour for it will only keep growing by the day. I am pretty sure 25 years from now, the game of Tennis would have vastly changed than it is today with much superior racquet technology, court speed, nature of balls and enhanced atheleticism of players.

Giles Says:

@metan. Be very careful who you root for on this site. You will soon have the fedfans saying you are a hater! Lol

Margot Says:

Just seen Gorgeous Grig make Beefy Boy look rather slow and….just a bit too beefy tbh. GG is such a graceful, elegant mover on grass. His ROS seems very much better these days too.
Go GG!

the DA Says:

Go Grisha. So happy he won. Stan just didn’t seem as comfortable on the grass. Weird because you’d think his game would suit it. His loss ensures Roger gets the #4 seeding at Wimby.

metan Says:

@Giles, don’t worry who can stand the king of grass, even my prince i Kei s knocked out now, hehehe. Jinx!

Okiegal Says:

Halle……an F & F final!

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