Roger Federer v Novak Djokovic (Again) In The Indian Wells Final, Who’s The Pick?
by Sean Randall | March 21st, 2015, 7:11 pm
  • 265 Comments

For the second straight year Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic collide in the first Masters event of the season at Indian Wells.

After a rather unsettling Friday, things returned to norm on Saturday for the men’s semifinals. Djokovic got things started blowing out a hapless Andy Murray 6-2, 6-3 for his sixth straight win over the Scot.

Djokovic looked so comfortable out there in his footing and movement while Murray was having all sorts of issues, especially with that serve of his. If he’s to get back in the win column against any of the top guys, he’ll need to get that serve right.

“I wasn’t feeling sluggish,” Murray said afterward. “He didn’t make any errors. I didn’t serve so well today compared to how I served for the rest of the tournament. That would have been the difference between the matches that I played so far at this tournament and today is that I didn’t serve as well. I felt like this week I was playing a high level of tennis. Just today didn’t start as well as I would have liked.”

Murray falls to 17-8 against Djokovic and remains winless against the Big 3 since back surgery. But Miami is his second home where he’s won twice, so he can quickly get things turned around.

Djokovic moves on to his fifth Indian Wells final where he’ll face Federer once again after the Swiss expelled Milos Raonic 7-5, 6-4, slicing up the Canadian with an array of spins and power. Milos did well to hang in there, blasting that big serve of his, but I like how Federer’s moving, and Roger still hasn’t dropped serve in the event.

Still, with the Nadal win it was a very positive, productive event for Raonic.

“I felt good. I felt energetic. I felt like I had the right attitude put forward, and I was going to give it my all,” said Raonic. “I thought a few points here and there made a difference. I tried to put everything out there that I could, and the outcome was as is.”

So the final is set, chapter 38.

Roger Federer v Novak Djokovic
Djokovic won that final set breaker a year ago but Federer has since taken 3 of 4 including Dubai two weeks ago. However, that was on a much quicker court than what they play on at Indian Wells, which Raonic calls a “clay court”.

Roger does lead 20-17 and really he’s been the only guy who’s been troubling Djokovic on a regular basis the last few years. Maybe that’s because of Roger’s versatility and because, well, he’s Roger and he can change things up whenever and however he so chooses.

Djokovic, though, knows that.

“We all know that Roger, with all his records, we know the experience that he has. He’s not expected to play nothing less than his best in these stages of the tournament,” Djokovic said. “He’s been proving that. He won so many titles. He loves the big occasions, and I’m sure he’s gonna come out wanting to win, being aggressive.”

Federer will have to serve like has been, only better because Novak is at the other end of the serving spectrum than Raonic. And Roger will have to attack off the forehand, going for his shots when he gets them.

For Djokovic, dictate play off the ground, especially with the backhand down-the-line. And put in a high number of first serves.

“I think it’s very exciting for both of us, and also for fans, to see a rematch of the great final from last year,” said Federer. “I’m looking forward to it, and I hope I can keep up my good play.

“I think last year’s final was great. I think we both played very well… He’s tough, as we know. He barely misses. He moves great. He makes you go for the extra shot. [He’s] one of the great hard court players we have seen in tennis.”

So far this week, I have to give the edge to Novak. He’s just looked like the better player, both against Isner the other night and then today against Murray. And I think history repeats itself from last year.
The pick: Djokovic in three

The women’s final kicks things off at 2pm with World No. 3 Simona Halep against the surprising 2010 Indian Wells winner Jelena Jankovic – talk about a bracket buster with both Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova in the field!

Both players have had their struggles this week. Halep, who lost her cousin to a suicide at the start of the event, has had some shaky matches as has Jankovic who has played four three set matches.

“She’s a tough player, tough opponent,” Halep said. “I’ve played many matches against her and every one was really difficult. I know I’ll have to run a lot, hit the balls strong and be aggressive. I will have to stay focused for every ball, too, because she’s going to be fighting until the end.

“But I feel ready to play against her. I can win this title, but I expect a very tough match.”

And I like Halep here. She’s got the momentum and desire and she’s beaten the Serb in their last three.

ESPN2 has full TV coverage of both finals starting at 2pm. Enjoy the madness.



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265 Comments for Roger Federer v Novak Djokovic (Again) In The Indian Wells Final, Who’s The Pick?

jane Says:

just read this tweet, quote from roger:

Howard Bryant ‏@hbryant42 4m4 minutes ago
Ultimate compliment to Novak from Fed, and scold to the field: “Sometimes I wonder if everybody’s willing to improve as much as Novak did.”


autoFilter Says:

^Roger’s sounding awfully philosophical in his old age. Philosopherer… But, yeah, that’s rad, and Novak is an inspiration.

So I know this surface favors Novak, and the court is basically his at this point. And I think Djokovic in 3 is definitely the safest pick, but honestly the only scoreline between these two that would totally astound me at this point would be a double bagel in either direction.


jane Says:

yes, autofilter, i agree that scoreline would be astounding! O_O i hope it’s a good, well-contested match. with novak winning. ;)


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Gonna be a cracker. Both looked awesome in the semis, Rog being very well tested, but Novak looking like he has a higher gear or two still to reach.


Gordon Says:

Yo Jane,

As I post this, PospiSock are up a break in the second set, having taken the first; it’s looking good.

No matter, here’s a great interview with the lads after they beat down the Bryan Brothers the other day, giving up 11 points in 10 service games against the best doubles team in the world –

http://www.asapsports.com/show_interview.php?id=107709


jane Says:

i see they’ve lost their second set break gordon, but still hoping they’ll pull through! it’s the current wimbledon champs versus the current australian champs, which makes for a good final. thanks for that link; will have a read.


jane Says:

nice! popsicle and sock take the title!! that nafta team. ; )


mat4 Says:

In fact, Federer AND Djokovic are the two players that have improved the most among the top 10 in the last three, four years.

It was a different process in their cases. Roger understood that he couldn’t play, especially at his age, from the baseline the way he did before and win. So he reshaped his game from a strategic point of view with Annacone, and improved it with Edberg. He lost a year because of his back problems (2013), and needed some time to find a comfortable, well suited racquet.

His serve, now, is not an island lost in the sea, but he integrated it in an offensive game, where he doesn’t give rhythm, where his slice has found a place again (not to counterattack any more, but in the heart of his own attack), and his progress at the net is obvious: he is a reference by himself now — he had the touch, but now his volleying is very incisive.

I noted that his ratio of dominance was never so high — not even in 2005 and 2006, and in an age of Nadal, Djokovic, and other good players (we tend to underestimate most of them), that fact is telling.

Novak also lost two years in his search for improvements: the unfortunate experiment with Todd Martin, with a suboptimal change of racquet… But he has found (Pilic found it, in fact) a winning combination: he has Becker to show what, and Vajda to think out how. And he has improved his serve, his forehand, his return (it started to be obvious against Raonic in Paris). The process isn’t finished yet, but he’s making a step at the time, and I fully expect him to play better next year.

What we see from them — a difference with Andy, or Rafa — is the ability to modify their technique at an advanced age. Rafa never get comfortable with his new serve, and returns to his old, bad habits when he is tired or stressed. Andy has the same problem with his FH — a shot that can be extremely damaging, but he just makes to many errors with it when he is tired (Australia, today). That’s probably the difference.

It is not a big difference, not something the stats will reveal — I checked, in many ways. But we can see it, because it is so obvious.


skeezer Says:

mat4,
Insightful. Agree. Well done post.


Daniel Says:

mat4, agree but Andy and Nadal also improved.

I think the main problem with Nadal and Andy is because they rely on defense more. For example, Nadal in 2013 specially NA summer HC was a complete different player, serve more speed, returning inside court, way more aggressive, but seems he just can’t, don’t like to play that way all the time and his old self is enough for most players.

Yesterday was a clear case, he was far back and even on returns. Is like he prefer to be more passive but put more balls back in play, which was always his MO. And nowadays he is not as confident as in the past to go for his killer shot. Inside out FH or DTL FH. Last time he was really dictating was RG final last year when he realize he needed to play his game to beat Djoko. That was the more aggressive he played and no wonder it was his last big title. Maybe for him will be a work in progress, or maybe he will never play like that again. Remain to be seen.

But is clear now, that Fed and Djoko are running the show since RG 2014. They virtually won all big titles every since, with exception, Canada Masters where Tsonga had his swan song against Federer. But even so, one of them were in the final. And US Open they were both semifinalist.


jane Says:

mat4, nice to read your thoughts as always. i hope novak can continue to improve on his volleying. it’s awesome to see the serve working well now. such a … relief!


jane Says:

rafa added way more forehands down-the-line last year during the french open. it also appears nadal’s tinkering with his serve again too?

andy definitely improved his forehand and his first serve is generally more consistent. but his second obviously needs work (the commentator today said it’s not so much even speed but placement), and he should volley more.


contemperory Says:

Mat4,

Despite all these improvements in the game, how do you explain Roger’s loss to Seppi at the AO? Such a consistent player was not supposed to loose.


chris ford1 Says:

mat4 – good thoughts. I would put in a legit mention of Rafa and (Uncle Toni)realizing at the end of 2011 that Djoker was killing them and they had to retool. No more high bounce high RPM shots to Noles backhand, flatten the shots, hit em to Noles feet and 5-6 other adjustments.
Rafa has the desire, but he is cursed with falling back to what his rituals and OCD had him doing so well for so many years.
Still, Rafa won some big ones over Nole beginning in the FO Finalin 2012 changing tactics and style of play.

For Nole and Fed, this is taking it to a new level. Such a delight.
People worried Federer was done can now see the guy playing better tennis than anyone his age ever has, including Agassi. So good, that the all time Great Djokovic, still improving and in the peak years – has to fight a Federer playing consistently, as good or better than he did in 2009.
Djokovic seems to be in another time of transforming. Of all the pieces he has been working on since Nole 2.0 falling into place. This Djokovic version playing a game different than the gladiator attrition wars Nole 2.0 and Rafa fought. A game that he hopes will have him where Fed is now when he is 34.

And Nadal? Who knows. That he has piled up the records he has with all his times away from Tour is remarkable and outstanding. All his comebacks to #2 or to the top. No one should say Nadal is in the rear view mirror until he has two bad clay seasons..


mat4 Says:

@jane, Daniel:

Rafa improved his serve in 2009 already, and he continued to work on it until the USO 2010, when all pieces were at their places. But IW 2011 marked a change there, a change that I don’t fully understand. He also improved his BH CC and his FH DTL in 2013 (the “banana”).

His main problem is his very unique, peculiar technique, where you can “improve” shots, not really change them. And I also believe that Toni, while very apt at motivating his nephew, is not a good coach. I am also quite disappointed by the way they handled the cooperation with Oscar Borras, the lies about the “grip change”.

@contemporary:

I did it already a few times: he’s 33. He needs more time to recuperate. Bad days happens more often. It is normal. He has already played almost 1300 matches on Tour. Anyway, the answer is so obvious that I consider the question to be a provocation, and I won’t answer to you any more.


Okiegal Says:

What, mat4 is the story about Oscar Borras and the grip change?? Haven’t heard this one. If it happened long ago I may have forgotten about it. Just wondering….


jane Says:

okie i didn’t have a clue either so i googled it. lots of information out there, but here is one link

http://tpatennis.net/the-truth-behind-nadals-improved-serve-it-wasnt-just-a-grip-change/

mat4 maybe knows more??


mat4 Says:

CF1:

There are here a few things that deserves mention. Yes, Rafa worked on his game. Anyway, he wasn’t loosing by a big margin — the edge was quite slim for any of the players, so he worked on two shots, those I mentioned in the post above, it was enough to make a difference. In the meantime Novak improved his game too, and is again the better player probably on any surface.

Then, let’s review their encounters: at the top of their games and their mutual respect and friendship, Rafa lost seven matches in a row.

Suddenly, he changed. He avoided Novak on hard, waited for the clay season. He was lucky: Novak lost his grandfather just before their match in MC. And at that moment, Rafa turned the psychological tide, especially since Novak didn’t understand that there was a psychological warfare ongoing. It has allowed Rafa not only to win the FO 2012, but in 2013 and 2014 too.

I won’t repeat it here, but my opinion about Rafa’s and uncle Toni gamesmanship on and off the court is well known, and that’s the way they managed to dominate first Federer, and try to do the same to Novak right now. It worked, I have to admit.


contemperory Says:

Mat4:

Excuse me? My intention was not to provocate but to know your opinion. If you felt otherwise, it may have had something to do with my choice of words, I apologize.

Nevertheless, when you say “I won’t answer you anymore” – when did I ask any other question to you?

My intentions are never to hurt anyone. If you feel irritated, looks like people are to be careful when talking to you.

And , answer is so obvious? It is not. In one place you say he is improved, consistent and in another place you say he needs more time to recover. Playing 1300 matches is one thing but no answer is obvious here. Come on , don’t take things to heart.


mat4 Says:

@Okiegal, jane:

You have footage on YT. In fact, Oscar Borras was behind Rafa’s big serve improvements. He worked two hours with Rafa, showed him what to change, how to do it, what specific exercises to do, and asked for public recognition, not money.

Rafa and Toni refused to acknowledge his help.


mat4 Says:

Anyway:

I will continue/try to avoid in the future to write about Rafa and Andy. I have a good relationship with a lot of Rafa’s and Andy’s fan, so it’s not worth it.

That’s the reason I haven’t commented Andy’s behaviour at the AO (toward Valleverdu, who certainly didn’t deserve it, and his last press conference). I also tried to be very “nice” toward Rafa when I mentioned him, but, alas, I was too often provoked, although my comments, recently, were quite neutral.

If and when I have something nice to write, I shall do it. Otherwise, I’ll comment only about the players I like, Djokovic, Federer, Nishikori, Wawrinka…

I am sorry I posted those remarks about Rafa, but like I said, my opinion about him and uncle Toni is well known here.


Okiegal Says:

I do remember this……I’ve watched the you tube video before, had forgotten about it after all. Apparently Rafa could not continue this type of serve because it caused a problem with the abductor muscle or the shoulder or both…..can’t remember for sure??? Your post at 12:41……last paragraph. Am I understanding that you’re saying that Rafa’s success over Roger and Novak are due to gamesmanship, really??


mat4 Says:

@Okiegal:

Watch his match against Raonic, the way Rafa serves, compare it with USO 2010 and USO 2009, and the abductor muscle, or shoulder, or both… and other fairy tales… In fact, the new serve was much easier and less damaging for the shoulder. Just try it yourself. In fact, Rafa has not fully reverted to his old motion, and it was the toss and the timing that were initially the problems (watch the IW 2011 final).

Second question: no comments. Check the archives here if you want.


Okiegal Says:

You don’t think he had the injury then, a fairy tale??


Okiegal Says:

mat4 I don’t play tennis….I couldn’t figure out the mechanics of service motion at all. He said that serve was problematic for him….I took his word for it. Maybe I shouldn’t have. I know one thing, his ball toss doesn’t go very high, in relation to other servers. Some of the women toss it very high. I have always wondered why some do and some don’t.


mat4 Says:

@Okiegal:

It is a question of habits. Lendl tossed the ball very high, just like Berdych. It could be related to the Czech coaching school.

The abductor is a muscle of the hip.

Please read Rafa’s book.


Okiegal Says:

Oh, I’ve got Rafa’s book…..just read it once. I’m surprised you read it, not liking him and all. I had to special order it. Of course, there’s a lot I don’t remember about it, but some of the things have stuck with me. I’ll read it again. I had a mini stroke in 2008 so I can’t remember if the the book was pre stroke or post stroke. But I know one thing the stroke did……short term memory is gone!! I will read it again.


Michael Says:

Everybody expected Novak to take Andy down, but nobody expected such a tame result. I do not think we need to take this rivalry with seriousness anymore as the gap between Novak and Andy is becoming too big to be bridged. Andy is just clueless against Novak when he is at his explosive best as it happened yesterday. I was just very much impressed with the way Novak was controlling his shots from both the wings, drops, lobs etc. It was a complete package that he was offering on court helped to an extent by Andy’s poor serving. That back hand down the line shot of Novak is lethal and the kind of insane angles he creates with his shots is just mind boggling. He is the player to beat here and Roger will have his hands full in the finals against him. Simultaneously, he is also the only player who inspires confidence he can beat him surprising him with his variety. Nevertheless, I go with Sean’s pick and it would be Novak to lift the title, but Roger will fancy his chances and many times in the past he has stumped his critics with his masterful exhibition. All that I can say is that a very interesting match is in offing and it should provide the excitement that was lacking in both the semis as well as the quarters except for Rafa Vs Raonic.


Hippy Chick Says:

Mat4/Okiegal so far Rafas book is the only one ive ever read about a tennis player or tennis related,hubby bought it for me a few years back,i didnt really want it but read it anyway otherwise he wouldve wasted his money,i found it quite boring to be honest,but each to their own i suppose,i know some people have alot of interest in players and how they got where they are,and the struggles they have had,that side is not something that paticulaly interests me,but as i say each to their own….


Hippy Chick Says:

Mat4 @12.41am your entitled to your opinion,i will just agree to disagree with what you said though,some of your post was fair and some of it unfair,but thats just my opinion….


mat4 Says:

@Okiegal:

I don’t dislike Rafa. I try to write what I see. Sometimes it’s positive, sometimes it is not. In fact, I am even very worried for this boy.

My posts are submitted to a kind of “selective reading”. When I write that Nishikori is potentially better than Novak from the baseline, nobody notices it. But when I assert that Rafa could be 20% better with a good coach, I am the target of uncountable attacks. The same things happens when I write about doping (I try to be balanced, to quote facts, opinions of professional tennis players, etc., I even source it), nobody notices when I mention Novak, Roger, Berdych, but I am under crossfire if I mention Rafa or Andy. There are other examples: draw fixing, stats, etc.

I wrote a lot of interesting posts about Rafa, who has a captivating and obsessive personality. Most of them have been attacked, and I was labeled a “Rafa hater”, just because I am not an “adept”, a “worshipper”. I did the same about Novak: their injuries, their MTO revealed the same psychological phenomenon. Their similarities and their rivalry almost destroyed both of them, BTW.

So, no, I am not a Rafa hater, I have nothing per se against Murray, nor Ernest Gulbis or Milos Raonic. But I still try to post meaningful posts, the way most of us did a few years ago.


Margot Says:

Unfortunately I agree with you Michael. Andy seemed stumped yesterday. Of course he’s never gonna beat Nole with a serve % like that but…..the first set was dire. I also think, whatever Andy may say, that damn back op continues to have repercussions mentally and physically.
Back to the drawing board for Andy.
I also agree with Fed, Nole has made marked improvements to his game eg that serve, once such a liability is now a real weapon.
As for the “old man” his particular brand of attacking tennis is still thrilling to watch! How the heck does he do it?


mat4 Says:

@Alison:

Did you watch the repeat of Friends? jane is right: better Two men and a half…


sienna Says:

all these comments are nice but the guys running the show should be lucky that Cilic thusfar has been unable to reproduce his US open level.
that guy is the only hard hitting bigeen gun to have defending skills to stay with djokovic Federer Nadal and of course blow them of the court at will.

I hope he gets back to that level to really set a new required level for Djokovic. now Djokovic can from his comdortzone get better.
we need to see him from a real thread.


mat4 Says:

@Margot:

It is not the serve %, but he avoid/can’t bend the way he did. No kick, less punch. He used to serve at 210/215 easily, he doesn’t now. It is probably psychological, but we can’t know. He could be just listening at advices by his doctors.

Then, it is all linked together: you can’t rely on your serve, suddenly the whole game is affected.

I just hope that he will be able to resolve this situation, and that there is not a long term back problem hampering him.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

I would have picked Roger if he need not play for 3 consecutive days. With schedule playing havoc against Roger, it’s going to be a deciding factor in the match. If he wins, it would be huge, but I doubt it.

Tennis wise, he had been the complete player in the tournament so far. Most part of his game has been pretty good in the last two matches.

Novak looks very good, except playing some amateur volleys at the net. There is a considerable level of improvement he can make at his volleying skills. Also with the terribly slow court, he would have enough chances to make good returns and also with the ball bouncing high, a good amount of passing shots he can hit.

With the schedule being so kind to him, he definitely has a much bigger chance in the finals.


Margot Says:

@mat4
Cheers for that. I too hope it’s not a chronic problem. At the moment he looks quite a way off the player he was pre op.


mat4 Says:

@Margot:

You are a bit too harsh toward him. First, you can notice that he is reworking his FH, just like Novak. Just watch the initial position of the legs and the racquet. There are in fact two motions, and it seems to me that here too, we are witnessing a work in progress — sometimes it just goes the wrong way, just like yesterday (about 10 UE from the FH).

The tactical sense is still here, but yesterday the quality of the balls seemed to change with the temperature. In the second set, I felt that the players controlled the balls much better. But Andy was unfortunate to make a few UE, and his late charge, when he played quite well, didn’t give results. The result is much worse than the game itself.

I see a lot of positives, the serve excepted. I believe that Andy works on the right things now, and that it will bear results soon.


mike Says:

@mat

very nice view but :

“his progress at the net is obvious: he is a reference by himself now — he had the touch, but now his volleying is very incisive.”

lack of recollection ? His first Wimb win had been an incredible sublime volleying dispatch

Thanx to correct this last verb use… I’m sure it’s not right

greetings from CHwitzerland


Okiegal Says:

@mat4

The countless records Rafa has attained from the start of his career until now and you don’t think he has a good coach?? Something has to be working for him, wouldn’t you think? Regarding doping, it’s never mentioned with anyone else in mind except Rafa, to my knowledge. Now, the ones who have been called out, they’ve been discussed. We had a big discussion last week about draw fixing. I think for the most part, the general consensus was that it would be hard to do……with all of the people that take part. If you say anything negative about Federer, you will get repercussions……apparently you haven’t been that hard on him. Who is your favorite??


Okiegal Says:

@Margot…..Now remember, his surgery was not major, just a little minor thing!! I haven’t forgotten those endless discussions about his operation. I will agree with you, he hasn’t been the same since.


Giles Says:

Mat4. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you really are a piece of work aren’t you. Always having a dig at Rafa and Toni. What is your bloody problem with them? Did they steal your muffins? Joker has plenty of skeletons in the cupboard which hopefully will surface one day but I’m not holding my breath on that one unless Dr Igor reveals all. That’s right, Dr Igor, the man who was instrumental in turning his career around. Joker got rid of him very fast after he served his purpose and I would love to know what plot was hatched between them. My guess is Dr Igor was paid a large sum of money to keep Schtum!!


Margot Says:

@mat4
Thanks for being so positive. I’ll try. I get he’s a “work in progress” but it would be nice to see some actual progress!
@Ok
Lol, back operations? Pah! Phooey! Nothing to ’em for professional sports players. Doesn’t effect them at all. After all they’re just automatons. ;)


mat4 Says:

@Okiegal:

You are relatively new here, so you just don’t know. Concerning doping, I wrote about all the top players, from Djokovic to DelPotro. There still is a site about doping in tennis, and I advise you to read a few posts carefully there. You’ll be probably interested by this one:

http://tennishasasteroidproblem.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/curious-case-of-rafael-nadal.html

It is an old article, and recently some new testimonies have surfaced.

But, in the case of doping, I am not an expert. I have doubts, nothing more.

But about draw fixing, it HAS BEEN PROVEN, beyond any doubts. Vox populi, “general consensus” (by whom?) means nothing here. I gave links to relevant articles and documents, but nobody took the time to read them. The only one that did some research himself was Wilfried, although he focused on numbers, not players themselves.

Then the Borras affair. Why don’t you comment it? The trial is still ongoing, you know. The man just wanted acknowledgement. Why a story of “grip change”? Why that lie?

You just act like many others. Cherry-pick parts of my posts, words out of context (BTW, I have already answered many times about uncle Toni abilities, won’t repeat it now), and avoid anything that could be annoying, bothersome.


mat4 Says:

@Margot:

Against Baghdatis, Novak’s FH was devastating. In the next round, in similar conditions, he couldn’t find the court. It just happens when a player changes his game.

On the other side, I believe that Andy has a more serious problem in his relations with his coaches. But it just could be bad luck here.


sienna Says:

oliegal
just read about your stroke.

I understand things better. So sorry to upset you didnt mean to make things to complicated or difficult. have a good one.


wilfried Says:

@Mat4
Love reading your posts, here as well as on the other blog. Your comments are insightful, and at times beautifully written.
I hope you won’t let the attacks or the selective reading get to you, and keep writing your opinion.


mat4 Says:

@wilfried:

Thanks! Didn’t know that you were reading in French, too. I think that my posts there are much better, because I can nuance them finely.

Some of the posters there are very knowledgeable, and they help me to understand new things about tennis. JBSport1 is a professional stringer, so I learn a lot from him every time, e.g. There are others too.


wilfried Says:

I live in Belgium and speak French at work, though my native language is Dutch.
Agree with you. There are some very knowledgeable posters on that blog. My knowledge of tennis is rather limited,as I only play at a modest level.
I’m an auditor in professional life by the way.


mat4 Says:

It is a cooperative blog, and posters show much more respect and tolerance toward each others. I guess my next article will soon be published there. Now, I guess I should write one about Rafa’s psychology, his psychosomatic injuries and his battles against Roger and Novak… to make things clear once and for all.


wilfried Says:

One of the many things I appreciate in your comments is your general culture. I know from reading your posts in the past that you have a comprehensive knowledge of psychology and mythology which adds “piment” to your posts. You are also a very good observer of the subtil changes in the game of the top players.
I’m looking forward to your new post.
Thanks for it.


Jeez Says:

Presumedly yet another Seam JINX!!

Trying to keep up his Wrong Picks


KatH Says:

@ Mat4
I think I know why you may believe that Andy has “a serious problem with his coaches” For what its worth:
…he had a good relationship with Lendl
…has a good relationship with Mauresmo
…values and helps and is loyal to his many friends.

However, two of his team (with whom he had good relationships) did not gel with Amelie and eventually ended up working with Berdych.

The first occasion when Andy and Tomas met competitively Berdych appeared to deliberately gloat when passing Andy following the first set which Berdych won. Thereafter it all became heated to the extent that the previously sweet Kim joined the altercation with some choice un-lady-like language (and I rather felt she had good cause).

Ah yes “what fun at oor hoose” as Andy himself might say.


Markus Says:

@mat4:
Thank you for your posts. They are very analytical, well-researched and insightful. What I like best is that you delineate the facts from the allegations from which you derive your analyses and opinions.


skeezer Says:

“Dig on my Rafa”….”my guess is..”
You’re just making mat4’s posts more and more relevant lol.
@mat4
What is the Borras affair? Link? Tx 👍


mat4 Says:

@Skeezer:

I gave a link above.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IikkA1QJYyk

And here is another one, about the trial.

http://www.rafaholics.com/2012/03/no-compromise-between-rafa-nadal-and.html

Here is a “google.translated” quote from that text:


Borrás, which has an academy in the Alicante town of Torrellano, filed a lawsuit settlement in which he requested that Rafa Nadal acknowledged the influence of the two-hour class that received the October 26, 2009 in Manacor, available in ‘ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GljqJv84tTI ‘, in improving its service, which allowed him, according to him, win the U.S. Open in 2010.

According to Alicante coach, was the uncle and Nadal coach, Toni Nadal, who “had agreed with Mr. Borrás that acudiera that day to train the serve or service” because “he was concerned with their service and wanted to improve it , giving it greater speed and efficiency, “reads the request for conciliation, with 18 points.

The coach considered “entitled to recognition” that he was “the turning point for Rafa Nadal saw his serious defects when out”, something that could be seen for him in the first tournament after class, Paris-Bercy 2009 and increased 170-175 km / h to 195-200 km / h on the break.”


Giles Says:

On the contrary, trying to make his nonsensical posts sound like someone who is and has been seriously traumatised by something in his pathetic life. The man is a crank!


mat4 Says:

@KatH:

No, it is not really this, although the way he parted ways with his team was a bit… ugly.

But it is just an impression, so I won’t write about it here, especially since I am not good enough in English to make my thoughts, impression, clues clear enough. I would have also to watch a few sequences of Andy from 2007 (before Maclagan), 2010 (before Lendl) and compare with his game now to be sure.


mat4 Says:

@Skeezer:

My comment is awaiting moderation. I gave a quotation with a link.


mat4 Says:

@Mike:

Federer almost “hammers” his volleys now, he adds a bit of power whenever he doesn’t have to dig the ball.


Hippy Chick Says:

Mat4 no i cant stand that programme,a bunch of self congratulatory stars whom all get paid way too much,i liked Two and A Half men but only when Charlie Sheen was in it,as i cant stand Ashton Kutcher,my all time favorite would be Only Fools and Horses or Faulty Towers,im not really a lover of the American sitcom the exception to the rule would be Cheers or Taxi….

Anyway enjoy the final,your posts are well thought out and you do research them well no doubt even if i dont always agree with what your saying,and you do read up on the players and what goes on away from the tennis courts,i must admit that all that background stuff the books,the endorsements,the foundations etc,which ive been crucified for a number of times are things alot of posters have a deep interest in, are not things that i choose to fawn over yet it somehow gets lost on people….


Wimbledon Says:

Should be a close match with a slight edge to Federer due to the sunny and windy weather. Novak may not be able to handle the hot conditions if the match goes longer. But on the other hand Roger is looking more and more to keep the points shorter. Should be a cracker.


mat4 Says:

@Giles:

Had you read the information on Igor Cetojevic’s site, you would have known that he simply is not that kind of doctor.

His influence on Novak was huge: nutrition, yoga, meditation, balanced way of life, aggression control…

I suspected, for my part, an influence from his fitness coach, Gebhard Phil-Gritsch. But I checked numbers (distance run in a set, a match), looked at his build (Novak is very light; he even lost weight since his beginnings), his power (nothing unusual there too; he doesn’t have Roger’s shoulders and natural strength, and his improvements are tied with the improvements of his racquet), etc. and didn’t find anything suspect.

I compared his “new found stamina” with the matches he played before 2011 to see if there were changes — not since 2009 certainly. I compared his stats from 2011-2013 with the stats since the inception of the blood passport too.

Then, Novak never looked like “cycling”. No ups and downs, he plays all the mandatory tournaments, his form is similar most of the time, he still has problem with breathing in hot and humid conditions…

So… Just stop guessing. Give a fact, but a real one.

BTW, I don’t eat muffins.

But, since we are there, can you answer to the following questions:

– why did Rafa stopped playing tournaments the year he bulked up?

– How is he so muscular when he doesn’t lift weights? and is naturally very lean?

– What is the true nature of his knee ailments?

Etc, etc, etc.


El_Flaco Says:

Okiegal Says:
mat4 I don’t play tennis….I couldn’t figure out the mechanics of service motion at all. He said that serve was problematic for him….I took his word for it. Maybe I shouldn’t have. I know one thing, his ball toss doesn’t go very high, in relation to other servers. Some of the women toss it very high. I have always wondered why some do and some don’t.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Having a high ball toss starts at a young age when the body doesn’t have the muscles to accelerate the racket fast enough to hit the ball off a normal toss.

Something that is lacking in coaching is getting that ball toss lower as the player develops physically.

A high ball toss is a disadvantage because the ball travels further which means any slight variation in the toss will be magnified. Also the ball accelerates downwards because of gravity so the player with a high toss is hitting a faster moving target.

Ultimately this means that the player with a high toss won’t have a serve that is as consistent as it could be with a lower toss. The player will serve at a lower percentage of 1st serves and not be as accurate. There can be an increased number of double faults too.


mat4 Says:

@Alison:

Was just joking. I liked OFAH very much too. Big fan.

Anyway, I enjoy your posts and I am always glad to read them. Even when we disagree.


Giles Says:

Mat4. I said earlier you are a crank. You seriously need some expert medical help. You are obsessed with topics on doping and I am beginning to wonder why. Was there or is there some family member that has traumatised you? Are you under professional care? Does joker take drugs ? I know he uses the EGG which is not in the spirit of the sport albeit legal and I think it is time WADA made this illegal. He has won many a tournament with the aid of this piece of equipment and it is due time it stopped.


mat4 Says:

@El_Flaco:

Thanks for the explanation.


Hippy Chick Says:

Mat4 i know you were its all cool and thanks,i did mean what i said though,in that the off court kitsch isnt something i care to make a big deal about,i think of them as players,but not really as people that much,if that makes sense?….


Hippy Chick Says:

Mat4 you like my posts well thanks,and glad somebody does,as i seem to turn into this raving lunatic most of the time lol….


mat4 Says:

@contemperory:

I own you an apology. I overreacted. Sorry.


Hippy Chick Says:

Mat4 your hot a hater but your not a fan either,but i am curious to know why you would actually be interested in reading Rafas biography,did you like it,hate it,find it interesting,boring,just curious??


Hippy Chick Says:

Giles thanks nice picture….


mat4 Says:

Rafa is a fighter, probably the greatest I have watched, and I was very interested by his personality, the contrast between his humility off the court and his behaviour on the court. I wanted to read his assessments of other players, too. The book is highly interesting, when you know what to read.

I won’t write about my conclusions in English, I shall definitely write an article for lesasdutennis about Rafa, in French, with my conclusions about Rafa’s childhood and uncle Toni’s behaviour toward him when I find time, since I shall have to source everything I assert, and it is not always easy.

But the treatment was harsh, and Rafa’s problems with self-belief have their roots there.


Hippy Chick Says:

Mat4 you found it interesting which is fair enough,that side of things seems quite important to you and other posters here,hubby bought it for me as a Christmas present i didnt actually want it,been a Rafa fan i think he thought i would love it?, dont get me wrong as i knew exactly what to expect from the book,but im just different in that the background stuff aint of that much interest to me,each to their own i suppose,anyway its the first and last book i will ever read on tennis….


Hippy Chick Says:

I suppose been a fan doesnt necassarily follow you choose to follow everything they do,just me….


courbon Says:

Mat 4: Great posts.Personally I don’t believe in draw fixing ( who proved it? ) and doping suspicions are….just suspicions to me.Other stuff, is joy to read and learn.


Hippy Chick Says:

Courbon nice to see you here too ;)….


Okiegal Says:

@El_Flaco 12:08….

Thank you so much for the explanation of the ball toss. I appreciate you taking the time for feedback on the matter!


mat4 Says:

I just did what I said I wouldn’t do. I won’t write a single word about Rafa any more. Just wasting my time.


Hippy Chick Says:

Mat4 was that aimed at me?


mat4 Says:

@Alison:

Of course not. I wrote it in a post above.

There are a few rafans I respect very much and I don’t want to argue with them about such things. You are one of them.

I was also touched by Brando’s behaviour last time — and I would like to maintain a good relation with him too.

But while I didn’t really lost my temper even when I read personnal attacks in a few posts, I overreacted and repeated myself.


Hippy Chick Says:

Mat4 thanks but i had to ask,as i repeated myself in some of my above posts?….


Margot Says:

@ El Flaco
What about Berdych. I’ve seen him at Queens and his ball toss is up in the clouds. Soderlings was as well. Explains why they don’t/didn’t do so well in windy conditions.
@mat4
Re: Uncle Toni. I think he is a bully and I feel sorry for Rafa.


courbon Says:

Hi Hippy, not much around these days…trying to develop my bussines, so very busy.Still watching and playing tennis at least.


mat4 Says:

@Margot: We agree more and more…


Hippy Chick Says:

Courbon i never had the desire to actually play tennis even at school,although i always loved to watch it right from been a little girl,i loved Netball and had ambitions of playing profesionally from a young age,i never followed my dream sadly,still love to watch it though….


Hippy Chick Says:

And glad your buisness is going well too,the old dears are still keeping me busy….


Okiegal Says:

@mat4…….I really don’t have anything to add about this trial you are referring to. Didn’t know there was one. I do remember the hoopla surrounding the “new” serve, but mainly remembered what he later said about the problem he had after the USO. Whether or not he’s being truthful, I’ve no clue. Regarding the links you have posted on the doping, I’ve read most of them out there, all the comments too. I’ve also read the Curious Case of Rafa Nadal and steroids. I know that sweating buckets, balding, joint problems and a bulked up body are supposed to be the symptoms of PEDS.I’ve read about the silent bans and Dr. Fuentes too. He may be guilty, they may all be. I don’t know. I hope you don’t think I’m attacking you as some poster said. I didn’t intend to. I guess as Chick said, we can agree to disagree!

About how long I have been associated with this forum is three yrs. I read it for a yr and started posting and was moderated for almost a year……so three years total. But all is good with me. You’re very knowledgeable about the game and seem to do in-depth study on the players you are interested in. Even though we don’t see eye to eye on every issue, I will continue to read your posts…. :) Have a great day!!


Okiegal Says:

@Sienna……My stroke didn’t impair me in any way with the exception of short term memory. It didn’t affect my ability to comprehend what I read. We may not always get our points across, probably b/c of the language barrier from various countries. I’m not senile as of yet, keeping my fingers crossed that I never will be!! I’m not upset, it’s all good and you have a nice day too!! :)


Giles Says:

Honestly Rafans. How can you guys even communicate and fraternise with this Rafa hater in the name of mat4. You really amaze me.


Hippy Chick Says:

Okie my hubby had a stroke when he was 28 years old,trying to work 24 hours a day,glad you came through it all ok ;)….


Okiegal Says:

@Margot…..I hadn’t thought about the high toss in windy conditions…..that would cause a problem for sure. The commentators are always saying that Rafa has the advantage on windy days…..is that why? Or did Uncle T. slip him into Oklahoma during tornado season and made him practice in the windy conditions? Lol. Seriously, I guess Uncle T does seem like a bully, especially after reading the book. Rafa undoubtedly loves him to the moon and back. Think how much time they have spent together.
His career has definitely been a family affair.


Hippy Chick Says:

Delpo is a big built chap,and coincidentally has spent alot of time off the tour with one injury or another,we have seen pictures but whos to say this is not a cover,and hes actually serving a silent ban?anyway i would be dissapointed if a player any player were doping,but not entirely surprised as its the world we live in unfortunatly,anyway i have suspected them all at one time or another even my favorites,and sometimes the ones you least suspect can be the ones that are the most guilty….


sienna Says:

olie
just messing with you. obviously you interact quit comfortable.
have a good one tonight.

in 3sets finals between fed and djok first set means nothing.


KatH Says:

Again to Mat 4
Part of what you say are Rafa’s problems which originate in Rafa’s childhood etc.

What affect do you think Andy Murray’s problems from childhood affect him now — suggestions have been made that he was a coward because he hid under the desk as the multiple killer roamed the school – he was about 8 years old at the time?

Asking as you seem to be something of a researcher…as for myself I can’t help wonder what affect this had on the character of Andy and the other surviving school-mates.

I’ve wanted to share this question for a while – so please take this as a compliment that I am asking you. I think about it a lot.


Okiegal Says:

@Chick……Oh my, that is young for a stroke. I have a-fib…..that’s the culprit that caused mine!

Your post @ 2:51…..I too would be very disappointed too. The term silent ban is a mystery to me. Some are a secret and some are not???


Okiegal Says:

@KatH…….I had never heard this story until a few months ago. I’ll bet he had nightmares for awhile. This is a very sad story.


skeezer Says:

Giles,
What is up with your childish schoolyard comments towards mat4? Frankly I am surprised you have not been moderated. Its like trying to continue to yank the toilet chain but it won’t flush. Must be frustrating.
First you call a poster a crank, who has backed up his comments with facts & resources, then you call him a rafa hater which he has posted several times he is not. Whos the hater? Give it a rest and spend your time searching for Rafa tweets. After all, there is the *scroll* feature on you computer if you can’t handle these topics.


chris ford1 Says:

On Andy and Dunblane killings – sadly, the world has seen enough violence that what it does to kids that survive death and trauma near them is fairly well understood. The key is children and most adults are resilient and move on. It has to be that way or homo erectus would have gone extinct being a blubbering group on a mournathon too sad to live life after 4 were pounced on and consumed by a pack of hyenas.

Many studies have been done on victims that survived a catastrophe, a squad of soldiers wiping out 3/4ths of a village, the thousand survivors of a small Japanese city of 9,000 firebombed and utterly destroyed. Or those that lived through a long war with legit fear of likely death and hardship and destruction.

A few mentally and emotionally weak never can become full people again, but very few as most in the group can and do get on with the business of living. But as they move on they do have attitudes changed forever and many for the positive. That they have to work and love and strive in things important, to the max. Life can be short and capricious.

Besides Andy, you also have Djokovic, who was in 2 wars as a child. A few people he knew died, others known had their homes or businesses or other livelihoods destroyed. Nole huddled in a bomb shelter as bombs dropped from NATO planes many times. The tennis courts he 1st learned to play on on a remote mountain were near a military comms facility – and before he married he posted pictures of himself and fiancee next to the craters and pocks of high velocity bomb shrapnel on a still standing wall of the destroyed court.
His most vivid childhood memory is the family running to a shelter, hearing the air split open, looking up and tripping on his back as a triangular shape of F-117 was a few hundred feet right above him bomb bays open, and firing 2 missiles in a red flare that turned the night into day. Missiles that blasted into the other side of his Belgrade neighborhood.
Then dealing after war with nationwide economic hardship continuing, and knowing the rest of the world saw Serbia as the bad guys.
In recounting his experiences, he says it made him largely pacifist, committed to helping others, being driven to succeed, and prove as a Serb he could move past the wars and get along with former enemies.
Andy has mentioned that he also abhors violence..


Hippy Chick Says:

Alot of everyday people go through tragedies or wars,my late father did national service during WW2,i work with a Philipino girl from Tacloban where the flooding was two years ago,many of the old people in the care home where i work lived through the war,many everyday ordinary people have lived through war or tragedy,its not exclusive to rich people,lets not forget them either?….


Okiegal Says:

@Sienna……

You still say…….first set means nothing….that made me chuckle. You have a good evening too!! :)


Giles Says:

Since when have you become that crank’s keeper skeezer? Mind your own business and don’t stick your snout where it’s not wanted. Havnt you got cats and dogs to feed and clean up after. Pathetic little man!! Shoo!!


skeezer Says:

Mat4,
Thanks for all that info. That was really interesting. Very impressed with Borras as a Teacher. He knows his stuff(trophy position is key), has all the componets of the serve dialed in. A very keen eye on Rafa’s serve. I do wonder more than ever about the qualifications of Unc Toni and why he did not see this glaring flaw. Maybe he is more of a mental Coach or maybe he just is unqualified in the Service game? Borras and the 3 part proceess to change his serve., really good stuff.


jane Says:

“many everyday ordinary people have lived through war or tragedy,its not exclusive to rich people,lets not forget them either?….”

this is very true hippy. but to be fair, the conversation here is how it might’ve affected tennis players. in particular andy.

i think both andy and nole can let self-doubt creep into their games at times; perhaps it’s links to trauma.

and why is rafa the way he is? i don’t know enough, but i have heard his coaching situation was not always optimal when he was young.

sometimes these hardships also toughen player’s resolves, and/or make them fight harder.

there are probably many interesting psychological nuances involved in each case that affected things.

remember that andy was a little boy hiding under a desk basically “alone”. his family knew this man too. awful! it was very personal.

nole’s was more communal violence, and we can see why he holds family and country so dear as a result of it.

we should appreciate these athletes all the more because of what they’ve been through. it’s amazing what they’ve achieved. <3


KatH Says:

@Chris Ford 1

Yes to what you’ve said. But Andy Murray has been called a coward for hiding under the desk – and I sometimes think this may be a deep set cause for his up and down career – too much to say his Jekyll & Hyde but hopefully you’ll get what gives some concern.


Giles Says:

LMAO. All these nut heads on here suddenly very interested in Rafa and Toni. Concentrate on your fave’s or have they become too boring to follow. Rafa has won FOURTEEEN GS’s with Toni as his coach and you guys are directing criticism towards Toni’s abilities? Insane!


Okiegal Says:

@Giles 2:38……I guess the same way you go back and forth with Skeezer……no difference, he can’t stand Rafa either…….


Giles Says:

Okie. I do not hold conversations with skeezer, it’s more sniping at each other. Plenty of difference!!!


Hippy Chick Says:

Jane yeah fair enough,about Rafa if you read his book if you havent already?, that will tell you all you need to know about his coaching situation when he was young i read it a while ago but ive forgotton about it as it didnt really stick in my mind,it was the one and only time ive ever read about a tennis players life story,and probably the reason why most people on this forum know much more about that side of things than i do….


Hippy Chick Says:

^Also on your link @12.38am March 22nd on the Rafa serve,there was also a link on Rafas book if your interested?^….


jane Says:

hippy perhaps this summer i will read it. i have read agassi’s, j-mac’s, martina’s (about diet), and parts of nole’s “serve to win” but that’s all. i’d like to read andy, nole’s and rafa’s books. not sure if fed has one, but probably there’s something out there in the world. :)


kjb Says:

Argh….When is this Womens final going to end. This is some of the worst tennis I have ever seen.


Okiegal Says:

Calling an 8 yr old child a coward?? You’ve got to be kidding me?? Pathetic…..that could have messed with his mind……


Hippy Chick Says:

Jane as i said earlier to Mat4,it seems that side of things is quite important to many people on this forum,however its not a side i follow that much,i watch them play and thats pretty much it for me,probably the reason why most people on this forum are more knowledgeable about the game and players than i am,it will probably be the first and last time i will read a book on tennis,i expect people will think i suck as a fan when/if they read this??….

BTW Roger has a book called Roger Federer Quest For Perfection,but its not a Autobiography Madmax told me about it….


jane Says:

hippy, there are many ways to be a fan, as we see on here. don’t worry about it! i just like the sport as a whole, so i find behind-the-scene stories fascinating, in terms of player psychology, sociology, history, all of it. it’s kind of like thinking about how the human condition impacts athletes, esp tennis. to each his/her own.

now the match…finally.

congrats to halep.


Margot Says:

KatH, I’ve never seen/heard/read Andy called a “coward” regarding the Dunblane massacre. Where on earth have you heard that? I look at a lot of tennis sites and NEVER seen it.
In fact, outside UK, not that many have heard of the massacre anyway.
The BBC did a documentary about Andy winning Wimbledon and Sue Barker, ex tennis player did win RG, asked him about it and he started to cry. It was incredibly moving. His family imagined the boys were dead. Hideous.
Yes, the women’s final was indeedy “interminable” and alas, not great quality either. But at least I had Bartoli commentating and she is such good value and so delightfully bubbly!


Markus Says:

It’s a mean world that would call a child a coward for hiding under a desk trying to survive an attack of an insane killer shooting everybody in sight. What did they want him to do? Tackle a grown-up killer wielding a gun and shooting everyone? I’m happy Andy grew up to be a fine and accomplished man. He may not win as much as people think he should but what he has achieved so far is something to applaud him for, not something to scoff at. Andy is not bad. He is in the top 10 in the world in the profession he chose. How many of us can say we are in the top ten in whatever field we are in?


Jeez Says:

Finally!!!


Hippy Chick Says:

Markus very true,i love your posts….


Markus Says:

KatH, I hope you are right that nobody called Andy a coward regarding the Dublane massacre. I hate to think that there would be people who would be too mean to a child to say that. I can’t go back to look for who mentioned that in this blog but I would hate to think somebody would even think of mentioning it without checking on its veracity.


Markus Says:

Oops! My last post was for Margot who said that she has neither heard nor read about the “coward” incident. It must be Kath who put it here.


jatin Says:

Hey tennis fans.
Its about time.
Roger vs Novak finally ! :)


jane Says:

margot, i agree: i had never heard that before either. and i have read a number of articles on andy too. it would seem really stupid to call a child experiencing a school shooting “cowardly”. absolutely awful and horrible, and ugh. i don’t even want to talk about it.

ajde nole! off to watch / cower.


Hippy Chick Says:

Giles i agree,theres nothing wrong with Uncle.T who must be doing something right,he holds the record for Masters titles,and theres only one player in History with more GS,Rafas done fine from where im standing….


Hippy Chick Says:

Markus its not something i ever heard anyone say….


Markus Says:

Hippy Chick, Margot: This is also the first time I’ve heard of it. I hope it wasn’t just concocted because that’s mean and unforgiveable.

Now this Djokovic-Federer match better be good to remove that bitter and nasty taste in my mouth.


mat4 Says:

Very good and very tense match so far.


van orten Says:

intense match from nole ..but not really from fed at the .moment..way too many errors way too many


mat4 Says:

For Fed, the serve is the key. We just have seen the avg height of the rebound — it helps primarily Novak.

But there remains a lot to play.


Hippy Chick Says:

Im hoping this match doesnt go the way of the Novak/Andy match,come on Roger raise your level or this will be over pretty quickly….


van orten Says:

Well there is still hope..as he practically gifted with four unforced errors the break To djoker.nole pretty solid though


Okiegal Says:

@Giles 4:27

OK, whatever you say, snipe away!! I’ll continue to converse with anyone whoever makes a comment about something I might want to question, whether they be a lover or a hater of Rafa. I’m all grown up and mature enough to handle anything that might come my way regarding Rafa……..I’ll end with that! :)


jane Says:

giles, people can be interested in the SPORT of tennis, i.e., in many players beyond their “fave” and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that and nor should they be told to stop discussing them. that’s precisely what these forums are for.

———————-
on another note, my hands were sweating during that last service game.i seriously do NOT know how these players handle the pressure sometimes. wow.


van orten Says:

I hope nole can finally beat rafa in paros..it really does not hurt anymore seeing fed lose to him..fed has nothing to prove anymore with 33 and 17 grand slams.

Nole though still can do it..he will not reach seventeen slams but he can beat rafa on clay a feat roger was denied too many times..but nole is on his way to suffer the same destiny


Okiegal Says:

I think this match will be over in a hurry!
Roger has his party shorts on! Will he party tonight?


Tennis Fan Says:

Slow courts help Djookovics games because slow reaction time is less important.


Giles Says:

Okie. Ok you do what you want big girl. Whatever floats your boat. Me? I like to choose carefully.


van orten Says:

I mean beat Nadal in Paris ..but that’s another day another time…so still some good tennis possible today..


Hippy Chick Says:

Van Orton it sounds like your just more interested in the failure of Nadal rather than anything else….


Giles Says:

stay out of it Joker’s Canuck fan. And don’t talk to me as if you’re my mother! Geez!!


Giles Says:

van orten. Carry on obsessing, it won’t do you any good.


van orten Says:

What amazes is the fact how roger is able to bring everyone on their feet with crazy points..he is the greatest shotmaker of all time …noone can deny that…nole is better defensive player better retriever better whatever…but bringing ecstasy to the crowd ??? Well who’s better than roger …nole ?? Rafa ?? murrayyy ???
That is what most fans of nole and rafa must hurt ..the fact that fed is a little bit more special when it comes down to electrify the crowds..simply the best..


van orten Says:

Yeah Giles look who’s talking..truth hurts ..


jane Says:

i was having a conversation WITH those people, giles, so i’ll say what i want to whom i want. indeed it was you who butted into a perfectly congenial conversation between a number of tennis fans. newsflash, you’re actually not “the boss” around here. that’d be the moderators.


van orten Says:

Failure Nadal ??? After 9 titles in Paris ..yeah what a failure it would be for him not winning this year..actually it would make him more likeable..but that is something Nadal fans do not want to hear..why is that ??


jane Says:

von orten, lately nole’s lobs have brought me to my feet. he’s hit awesome ones versus isner (yep, he successfully lobbed isner!), andy and now fed today. loving that shot. but yes, of course, roger hits some very elegant winners.


Hippy Chick Says:

Van Orton all runs end sooner or later,i dont recall Rafa fans saying otherwise,not all fans are arrogant enough that they automatically expect their favorites to win everything all the time,he lost in 2009 when everybody expected him to win,but then again sh*t happens and who knew eh?….


Okiegal Says:

@Jane…..Your “fav” is a beast out there today. The commentators are saying right now how Fed is rushing it too much. I thought the same thing……as I said the other day patience is paramount against the Joker!!


mat4 Says:

Stressing…


Okiegal Says:

@Giles 5:56

You referred to me as big girl…..yeah, I admit it, I do need to lose some weight!! Lol


Okiegal Says:

Novak getting tight!


Okiegal Says:

Uh oh!


mat4 Says:

Roger is the better player in that second set.


Hippy Chick Says:

Okie me too,11 stone when your 5 foot 3 is quite heavy,its thyroid trouble with me unfortunatly….


Okiegal Says:

@Giles…..I wouldn’t dare get into a boat…..lol


jatin Says:

Some amazing shot making by roger.
5-4
Its not over until its over


mat4 Says:

It’s never over until it’s over. It’s tennis…


Wimbledon Says:

Sun comes out shining and we all know what happens next.


Okiegal Says:

@Chick…..I’m 5’4″…..extra weight doesn’t look too good on a short frame, but I’m comfortable in my skin……however loose it may be!! Lol

This match is gonna be a cracker after all…..the crowd really against Joker and cheering for the mighty Fed. He better get a hold of himself and not let the crowd into the match….me thinks!! Novak lets the crowd get to him too much.


jatin Says:

5-5.
Tense times. Roger must hold


mat4 Says:

Very important hold for Novak.


van orten Says:

uhhh fed letting djoker off the hook in that one …tense


Markus Says:

Hippy Chick, the image is starting to get into focus.


Okiegal Says:

Tiebreaker on the way???


mat4 Says:

Perhaps. But Novak still has to hold once more.


van orten Says:

Easy hold now for fed ..How will nole serve now ..


Giles Says:

Okie. Don’t put yourself down. I’m sure you are a beautiful woman adored by your better half. Surely that’s all that matters? You get in a boat girl. Lol


mat4 Says:

And now, time when pure luck decides…


jatin Says:

I hope history would not repeat itself again. THe memories of last year’final tiebreaker is still clear in my mind :(


van orten Says:

.fed had his chance now nole will mini break as always..??!!;)


jatin Says:

3-1.. novak leads.


Hippy Chick Says:

Markus when Kimberly does the bracket challenges for the GS,there is actually a picture of me under my real name of Alison Hodge from Norfolk Great Britain,im actually wearing a long Hippy type dress tie dye style with pink croc shoes,i wonder if it fits your image lol,you can take a look if you want….


Wimbledon Says:

Novak seems to be a little rattled, but Roger is not really taking advantage of that.


van orten Says:

well fed a bit unlucky a bit digging his own grave …


mat4 Says:

Unreal…


mat4 Says:

And Roger won the TB… Novak let his chances slip away in that second set.


Jeez Says:

DOUBLE FAULT !!!!


Hippy Chick Says:

Second set Fed game on….


courbon Says:

Two Double faults????????????????????Arghhhhh!!!!!!


Giles Says:

That’s what you call stealing a set!!! Lol


jane Says:

GULP…what’s with the double faults, nole? : /


Wimbledon Says:

Its amazing how well the old man plays at this stage of his career. He took out Novak in straights in Dubai and now has taken him to the third on a slow and bouncy court which heavily favors Novak.
Salute !!!!


van orten Says:

Nole absolutly braindarting ..wow 2 df in a row to set up set point for fed ..crazy .. I love that match up..incredible shot making by fed iN the second set..people goin gaga


van orten Says:

Nole back to his I m not failing mode and roger again sloppy


van orten Says:

It is impressive to see feds ability to just make the crowds go insane ..what a shotmaking experience again ..at a slow hard court …wimby and the US hard court swing can come..clay court season will be pure bonus..


Okiegal Says:

@Giles…..We love to go boating. Don’t have one any more….but my son does! One of those Carnival Cruise lines ought to stay afloat with me aboard!! Tee hee…..


van orten Says:

Fed is not 33 he cannot be.


mat4 Says:

I can’t watch this match any more. I’ll see the score later.


Jeez Says:

Federer breaks!!!!


courbon Says:

tense,tense,tense…..and more tense….


Jeez Says:

And Djoker breaks his racket!!


autoFilter Says:

This is exhausting to watch.


Giles Says:

Racquets are free that’s why. Wonder if he would do that if he had to buy them with his own money.


jane Says:

good lord. nole seems to have boarded a plane back to 2010 and his serve has deserted him on all key points. double faults, nerves. very different demeanour than in his match yesterday. it’s disappointing.


Tennis Fan Says:

It’s not disappointing … its called Roger Federer


jane Says:

fed’s definitely serving better than nole now. more confident.


van orten Says:

It is not Dissapointing .relax nole fans..the intensity is sky high and nole not cracking even though almost everyone is cheering for fed and fed producing insane points at times..nole is right there and a true number one..but roger is roger .. wow so happy to see him still play like that..better than ever


van orten Says:

And now he breaks after being down 15:40==but who cares anymore


courbon Says:

Novak just changed to 5th gear…


van orten Says:

No one rooting for nole except his box and the ten serbes in the stands ..hahaha but nole will not care..and he is right ..he is playing the best ever ..he understands


Tennis Fan Says:

Djokovic was all but dead and done and suddenly Roger stopped playing.


jane Says:

van orten, you’re right. should be a little easier on nole, but haven’t seen him hit this many doubles in a while. brought back haunting memories. and then just as i write fed’s serving better, he hits a double. sports -sheesh!


Markus Says:

What a dip in excitement. A superb match seemed destined to end not with a bang but with a whimper.


autoFilter Says:

Haha, Novak does NOT want to serve again.


courbon Says:

whatever happened, this match is great.Shotmaking is awesome ( on both sides )…


Jeez Says:

Its OVER!!


van orten Says:

Congrats nole and hats off to roger another mindblowing performance shotmaking and dramawise..nole just too solid..too many balls he can bring back at a court like that..and he is freaking 27 hahahahhahahaha ..


Tennis Fan Says:

For some reason Fed’s level just fell off when Djokovic was done and dusted. Rogers had it on his racket and let it go.


mat4 Says:

Of course, when I don’t watch, Novak wins.


courbon Says:

Van Orten, Skeezer, Daniel and all other decent Fed fans-Respect.
Jane, mat 4, Patson, Wog Boy ( where ever you are )
YESSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


autoFilter Says:

Congratulations, Novak and fans :)

Well, the highs were high… and the lows were low.


Markus Says:

Congratulations to Novak. Federer, in spite of this loss, adds more glory to his name. Congratulations all around.


van orten Says:

What a match..looking forward to hopefully lots of more matches of nole v fed..what a treat..nole is amazing..rogers legs went away in the end ..who could bother


courbon Says:

Tennis Fan-Are you serious?Novak had a tie break in his pocket and let it go.It is called- change of momentum and happens in tennis very often-just to explain you, in a case you started watching tennis this week…


jane Says:

crazy match. fed and nole have a wild rivalry, so exciting and close all the time, and torture too. lol.

congrats to nole for fighting back from the brink!
and hugs to the nole fans.
commies to fed’s fans. thanks autofilter.
nice words from roger in the presentation.

okay then – on to miami beach.


van orten Says:

Yeah from my side too congrats to Jane,courbon mat4 and the rest of the nole fans..a pleasure as always ..


Bob Lewis Says:

Novak did what he needed to win. It was a shaky performance, but he’s pretty good at catching himself and weathering the storms. Playing with fire is a dangerous and has cost him big matches at times, though.

After that second set, it’s impressive that he didn’t mentally slip away, and think about saving energy for Miami. The win solidifies his status as the best player in the world, and the toughest on the hard courts.


mat4 Says:

The first two sets were exceptional. Novak played the first one out of his mind, while Roger was the better player in the spectacular second set.

It seems now that the fourth game of the third set took a too heavy toll on Roger, since everything changed from that moment.

Luck had his part, nerves their part too.

Such match doesn’t deserve to have a loser, just winners.


Okiegal Says:

It was called Roger Federer….it’s now called Novak Djokovic!!

Congrats to all of the Novak fans! It was a nerve wracking match, but fun to watch. I was concerned that Novak was gonna let the crowd get under his skin, but calmed down and did the deed!

I send regrets to Fed fans, he made a match out of it when I thought all was lost…..We got to see 3 sets!!


jane Says:

nadal, 27 masters, fed 23, and nole 21: abundance!


Bob Lewis Says:

@ Van Orten “rogers legs went away in the end”

And that’s the main issue at the slams. It’s only going to get tougher for him to survive best of five matches over two weeks. Federer is gonna need some kind draws & some upsets.


chris ford1 Says:

It will not be an absolute classic given Nole’s mid-match choking or Fed wilting at the end..but MOST the time the quality and shots they were doing shows why they are two All-time Greats
The sidestuff is important. Since Shanghai last year, Federer is on a true senior statesman glory run. Don’t think any of the noted elders were this good at almost 34. Not Connors, Rosewall, Pancho, even Agassi.
And Nole ties Roger with 4 IW trophies, passes Boris Becker in number of them. Shows again he can start to play bad and not totally lose it, regroup and win.

Fed skips Miami, so the next time the 3 top guys meet it will be in Rafa’s Clay Bastion. That will sure be an interesting dynamic. Then the focus shifts to Nole-Rafa. Fed will be playing to do well, but I doubt he thinks he will get any trophies. All the while, I think Fed is thinking Wimbledon. And if Rafa loses in Paris, it will hurt Nadals confidence for Wimbledon…and if Nole wins, I don’t think he will come to Wmbledon with his usual hunger.


Markus Says:

It was still a great ending to a week of tennis. Men’s tennis, of course.


mat4 Says:

Yes, but even when he loses, he’s a pleasure to watch. So, who cares? I hope he will continue to play many years more.


jane Says:

b.t.w., sean was right, about both the ladies and men’s champions.


van orten Says:

Not really the case at wimby bob Lewis.I truely believe roger is still the man to beat there when playing like that.and his legs are pretty much enough for everyone else on tour except for nole on courts like today..and we all know who else when he is fit…but appreciate how tough to beat fed still is for nole..wimby 2014 was a toss up and what roger cost the match was the third set breaker. Not his legs..so it’s all about a little luck here and there still between those two At least in Wimbledon and I guess at us open too…don’t convince yourself that nole is unbeatable and that only luck can make roger win against him. That would be too easy…enjoy the win


Daiel Says:

Great match.

Congrats Djoko for another big title and closing in on Masters total at 21.

Fed was valiant and was able to yet again steal a set after Djoko made 2 DF in tiebreaker.

Third set Djoko clean his act and was the better player. Some nice rallies as usual in their match up.


skeezer Says:

Congrats Nole fans!
Such an entertaining nail biting match. These 2 really create the best Tennis when they are both on. Surprised Fed did not mix it up more, but he decided for the most part to go toe to toe from the BL. Only wish Fed was Noles age or close, not for excuse reasons, but would have loved to see them play ,any more competitive matches in the coming years.
Hope their form continues on to the Clay season where the Beast will be waiting.


jane Says:

thanks skeezer. fed did actually come to net 32 times (compared to nole’s 8!!) but he won 19 today. i think at dubai, on a faster court, that strategy was more effective.


Tommy Says:

Congrats to No1e and Roger for a great match as usual. Happy No1e won as a Djokovic fan but it’s so annoying watching the tennis snobs at Indian Wells and in Queens during the US Open just openly root against him. It only makes him angrier. Here’s hoping the clay season finally pays off for No1e! P.S. I hope he skips Madrid so the Spanish fans don’t get to boo him mercilessly like they usually do. Classless….


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Beautiful match, really enjoyed it. Watched it very much as a fed fan, and I can’t complain. Fed played great, I loved his mental toughness, again, but Novak was just better today. He played phenomenal tennis.
It would be easy to look at that and say, again, it’s Novak and the Rest. But I was just checking their head to head- these two have alternated winning each of their last NINE matches. That’s pretty tight right now.
Amazing match by Novak. Too bad Fed won’t be at Miami, I hope DP and Cilic can add some competitive value, or at least, hope for their seasons.


skeezer Says:

jane,
It was more of his slice from the baseline is where I thought he would mix it up. He pretty much hit out from thr BH side. He has the ability to hit that slice short and low (and deep and low)and Nole for the most part still gets confused with it. Nole continues to Serve super btw. He seved his way out of some tough spots.


jane Says:

oh gotcha! that’s true skeezer. nole’s serve? debatable. ha ha. it was great at the beginning and awful at some points. overall, i clearly can’t complain. he got his 50th title. very exciting. :) he also tied fed with 4 IWs. wow. kinda cool.


mat4 Says:

@Skeez:

I guess it was the quality of the balls. While they played a lot of rallies of great quality, both made a lot of strange UE (Fed a bit more) and had to play with less depth and more spin. The balls were just flying away, and to slice them was very risky at times.

Anyway, with his experience, Fed would have probably played more slices on Novak’s BH had it been possible.

The rebound was very high too. I saw that it was, in avg, 40 cm higher than in Dubai. So, who knows.

In those conditions, the quality of tennis was very high. I should add that I didn’t watch the last four games, and that I don’t know what happened in the end.


mat4 Says:

Another thing: that slice has to be angled and close to the lines, otherwise Novak can do the only thing that works against it: run around his BH and play an IO FH. I guess that the balls were difficult to control, and Fed didn’t want to press to much.

Novak served very well in the first set.


skeezer Says:

Have to take a moment to say it is great discussing the strategies and techniques of a match rather than the dumb vamoose and cheerleader crap. You can easily tell the tennis fan here vs. the worshipper. Play on😃

@mat4,
U didn’t miss anything those last 4 games, it slid away fast, Nole found his steadiness and Fed pretty much lost it after 2 all. Fed admitted afterwards about the pressure of serving well against Nole, especially having to serve a second serve. Of note I noticed he served too much out wide on the deuce side, and as a result, Nole befan anticipating it, and made Fed pay for it. Don’t know how many times Fed attempted to serve up the T but it was very few from my watch.
@jane
Its just an absolte joy to watch his serve nowadays, very good form and his toss FINALLY is way in front, allowing him to go after it more with authority. He had his moments, but the confidence in his serve nowadays is telling.


Okiegal Says:

@mat4……How in the world could you leave a match of that caliber? A nail biter for sure…..I could watch and relax. Loved watching #1 and #2 playing their guts out. Some awesome shot making!!


Bob Lewis Says:

I think Federer’s net attacks will pay off during the second half of the season, after French Open. It’s a positive thing that he continues to do that, so he gets comfortable up there. Unfortunately, he won’t get as many opportunities to do so on the clay courts. He should still try to shorten as many points as he can, even on clay. Interestingly, this looks to be the heaviest clay schedule of his career.


Bob Lewis Says:

@van Orten

It would be exciting to see Federer lift the Wimbledon trophy again. A second French trophy would be nice too, but I’m really hoping it’s Nole’s year in Paris.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Fed’s BH slice against Novak is just not as effective as it used to be, except on grass. Novak is so quick, he has time to react to the spin. On a surface playing so bouncy, Novak didn’t have much trouble picking it up.

I thought Fed’s return game was terrific- he was deep into a lot of Novak service games, and getting a lot of first serves back in his third set rally. But Novak is just dominant on Fed’s second serve. That is an enormous pressure.
Great level from Novak, but also very all-round. His return game was amazing, his service was strong, his passing game was working, he was choosing his kill shots very well. And how many points did he save with desperation lobs from terrible position? Almost Lendl like.


mat4 Says:

@Okiegal:

I just couldn’t watch any more, it was too tense. There were 23 BP, and they saved 16! And, to say the truth, I was expecting a shift, Roger just got his break back, he lead 30-0, looked better and better, so I switched off the sound of my stream and continued reading a text for peer review.


Okiegal Says:

@mat4……..CHICKEN!!! :)

As bad as a lot of Rafa’s matches have been, I’ve never left one. The Aussie Open 2014, was the worst, but I hung in there. You are what I call a fair weather fan! Lol


jane Says:

tv, thanks for acknowledging nole’s lobs! shot of tournament for me. :) he hit great ones in all of his last 3 matches.

and while i don’t really understand the technicalities like you all do, it seems to makes sense that with even slices bouncing up higher, they maybe wouldn’t do as much damage vs novak as at dubai or on grass. i assume fed would know this. b.t.w his backhand is so much more consistent now.


Okiegal Says:

I thought there were times during the match that Roger gave up on the point and just pulled the trigger, and it would be way wide, not even close. I don’t why he isn’t more patient. Maybe his legs leave him and he’s just to tired to keep after it. Jelena stated in her on court statement that she was the older player against someone much younger and she just had to give up…..so age is a factor, especially after 2 sets.


mat4 Says:

@Okiegal:

In fact, I had the impression I was jinxing Novak… I put my son to sleep, and Novak broke in the first set. I made a cup of coffee and he broke again in the second. I started watching, and suddenly, only Roger was playing…

Could I perhaps be right?


skeezer Says:

jane,
Don’t cut yourself short on knowledge of technique or strategy, you are a good observer 👍


mat4 Says:

@jane:

The slice forces the other player to generate his own pace. He can’t use the speed of the ball, he has to hit it very hard, and when the rebound is low, it is very difficult to do with the backhand. Usually, you just create enough pace for the opponent to counter-attack.

The short, well angled BH slice CC was Federer’s favourite pattern for years, especially since he was able to hit his running FH both CC and DTL.

Rafa, being lefty and playing with an huge amount of spin, was able to hit that ball very hard with his FH.


mat4 Says:

@Skeezer:

She likes to do it. I even suspected her to be Humble Rafa ;-)


metan Says:

Congrats to Nole and his fans, also for papa Fed. It was Nice match. 😄


mat4 Says:

Federer: 43 UE, 27 winners
Djokovic: 35 UE, 26 winners.

A lot of unforced errors, although the game was spectacular in most of the second set.


andrea Says:

that 2nd set breaker was bizarre. 2 double faults! otherwise, seemed like fed was on his heels for most of it.

the women’s match drove me crazy. someone hold their serve please…..


AbiertooCerrado Says:

Congrats to Novak! 50th title, very cool!

How Roger does his thing at age 33 is mindboggling and out of this world!


AbiertooCerrado Says:

I must say that the story about Andy’s nightmarish childhood experience is sad, and made me look at him a little differently. Man that’s tough!

A little more respect for Andy and what he’s accomplished so far, and wish him more success and more importantly peace of mind.


Margot Says:

AbiertooCerrado: thank you x


KatH Says:

@ Margot and Others

Just to finish on the Andy story. I saw it on a Yahoo site around the time of the Scottish Independence debate. Several English contributions said: “Pity you (AM) hadn’t been killed at the time.” “Nobody wants to listen to you – you were a coward, hiding under the desk as your friends were being killed.” etc. etc. along the same lines. It was also reported in a couple of Scottish nwsps. Because Andy came out with a YES decision at the last minute that old carrot of him hating the English was brought up again.

Anyways, that’s it. Looking forward to Miami – will be especially interesting to see how Rafa fares. Meanwhile well done Nole and to Roger.


Okiegal Says:

@KatH a 5:16

I’m glad you posted this……it backed up your story…..some weren’t aware these things were said regarding Andy. The statements are so pathetic. I can’t believe a person could utter such words concerning a young child. SICKO!!


KatH Says:

Thank you Okiegal. I often wonder if therein lies the source of Andy’s verbal self-abuse on Court.

Take care yourself.
K


Margot Says:

@KatH
That doesn’t surprise. There were all sorts of lunatics posting around that time. But to be honest it WAS very lunatic fringe stuff. It didn’t get into the mainstream.
I certainly didn’t notice and my Andy antennae is on alert all the time. ;)


Margot Says:

PS I think you’re making too much of it actually. For instance JK Rowling got death threats.


Okiegal Says:

@KatH

That ordeal would be considered a traumatic event for any child. I’m sure those memories are forever present.

Thanks for the well wishes and back at cha! :)


SG1 Says:

Solid performances from both guys. Given the player Federer was against and the speed of the surface, I don’t think anymore could be expected of him.

The match should have ended in the 2nd set tie-break but Novak felt the pressure and gagged a little. Like a great champion, he gathered himself and played a fantastic 3rd.

Wondering if Federer should play a truncated clay court season. One (maybe two) warm up events and onto Paris. I think the clay will just wear him out.


KatH Says:

Sorri Margot it did.

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