Miami Draw Men’s Preview: Federer Leads Way But Del Potro Awaits In 3rd RD, Nadal Seeks First Title
by Sean Randall | March 20th, 2017, 8:38 pm

What a week for Roger Federer, winning his fifth Indian Wells title slapping around good pal Stan Wawrinka in a 6-4, 7-5 victory Sunday.

And now Federer and the tour shifts to the other coast. Miami offers a change in court conditions, change in climate but will it change the outcome? Can Federer, who has already won the two biggest events of the season thus far, do it again?

His odds definitely improved when the Top 2 in the world, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, both withdrew with elbow injuries. The two had combined to win eight of the last ten Miami Opens. So that’s a big blow to the tournament but good news for the field. And without them, it means Stan Wawrinka is the top seed at a Masters for a first time.

So let’s go to the draw.

Stan Wawrinka Quarter
Stan Wawrinka had never done that well at Indian Wells, but he turned it around last week reaching his first semifinal and then final there. It’s similar for Stan in Miami, only worse because he’s never even made the quarterfinals! And I’m not sure he does it this time, though his draw is good. I just think he’ll peter out somewhere before then. Wawrinka has a good opener then things get tricky with the big-serving Feliciano Lopez followed by either John Isner or Alex Zverev in the fourth. Isner’s been struggling so I like Zverev to punch through and then stun Stan to reach the quarters. And there he gets a rematch with Nick Kyrgios. If he’s healthy, which he should be, Kyrgios gets through Ivo Karlovic, David Goffin and then beats Zverev again to earn his second straight trip to the Miami semifinals.
The Pick: Nick Kyrgios

Roger Federer Quarter
It’s been 11 years since Federer last made the final, beating Ivan Ljubicic for his second and most recent Miami title. Since then he’s only made the semifinals twice. But now he’s got the momentum, got the bigger racquet, but does he have the motivation and the draw? I can’t speak for the motivation, but I can his draw. It’s not quite the Quarter of Death, but it’s tricky. Very tricky because Federer could face Juan Martin del Potro in the third round. Wow, the big Argentine just seems to be snakebit with draws the last year or so. It’s a tough match, one that could either way, but I think Federer gets through, then keeps it going against Roberto Bautista Agut to reach the quarterfinals where his runs ends at the hands of Dominic Thiem. The Austrian, though, could have some trouble early with Borna Coric in his opener before wins over Mannarino and Tomas Berdych. In the heavy, humid conditions, I like Thiem to outslug Roger, who at that point might be a little gassed.
The Pick: Dominic Thiem

Rafael Nadal Quarter
Three of Rafael Nadal’s last five losses in Miami have been to either Andy Murray or Novak Djokovic. With them not in the draw, Rafa, a 4-time finalist, has to be pleased. But to advance he’ll have to get through a slew of 1-handed backhands. There’s Dudi Sela in the opener, then Phil Kohlschreiber followed by Grigor Dimitrov. It’ll be hot, humid and sticky. Those are good Rafa conditions that’ll help. Milos Raonic returns from a hamstring layoff and if he’s healthy I think he’ll serve his way past Mischa Zverev and the red-hot Jack Sock, but not Rafa.
The Pick: Rafael Nadal

Kei Nishikori Quarter
Of the top players, 2016 finalist Kei Nishikori has the best draw of the bunch. OK, Kevin Anderson in his first match is dangerous and so too is Fernando Verdasco, but he’s got Gilles Simon and in the quarters I’ll take Pablo Cuevas. It’s an open section there with Marin Cilic, Lucas Pouille, Joao Sousa and Cuevas. I think Cuevas continues his recent run, enjoys the South American crowd support and comes through to the quarterfinals where he gets picked apart by Nishikori.
The Pick: Kei Nishikori

Dominic Thiem d Nick Kyrgios: Slower courts help Thiem.
Rafael Nadal d Kei Nishikori: Rafa too strong for Kei.

Rafael Nadal d Dominic Thiem: Rafa is due. No Djokovic, no Murray and with Federer out, Rafa finally wins Miami!

Nadal’s been playing well and it just “feels” like he deserves a title after close calls in Melbourne and Acapulco. And I think had he won that Federer match last week at Indian Wells, maybe he takes the title in the desert. So why not in Miami?

And as I said, I like his draw, though I don’t love it. Kohlschreiber can be problematic. Dimitrov can, too. And Nishikori will really make Rafa work. So I don’t think it will be easy.

I also have to wonder how motivated Federer will be. Miami has become an event Roger skips — he’s only played once in last four years — and now after winning Indian Wells one would think withdrawing has to be on the table again. That is unless he thinks he can make a real run at No. 1.

And if Del Potro does beat Federer, he could ride the crowd, get hot and win the title. Wawrinka, Nishikori, Thiem and maybe Kyrgios are others who could come away with the title.

But really, this is yet another wide open event. And it also marks the end of the hard courts until July!

Matches begin on Wednesday.

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48 Comments for Miami Draw Men’s Preview: Federer Leads Way But Del Potro Awaits In 3rd RD, Nadal Seeks First Title

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Its definitely a different story without Novak and Andy. Suddenly, a Fed or Rafa championship seems like a very plausible outcome. The draws just don’t seem quite as dramatic with two huge champs gone.

Feel bad for JMDP, he’s been having terrible luck. But his seeding is only moving up, and he’ll be able to avoid these early round tests soon.

Thiem certainly has a shot, but I like Fed’s chances. Then, unless Kyrgios makes it through (which would be a hot streak from Nick the likes of which we’ve NEVER seen), Fed gets Stan and Rafa, each of whom he’s going to feel pretty good about right now. This could be the first time in years that Fed would be favoured against Rafa if they make it that far.

That said, Kyrgios could be a scary contender if he keeps it up.

Tennis Lover Says:

Dear Rafans, There are three pivotal reasons why Rafa’s decline seems to me permanent and he is unlikely to win another Grand Slam along with his recent failure against Federer:

1. His serve has tactically and powerwise become weak
2. His court positioning at a times has proved to be confusing, hurried and flustered and it affected his timing on the forehand and eventually made that wing more error prone which did not happen in his prime.
3. Most importantly, he has lost his valuable yet insane retrieving skill of the past by some quite margin, his retrieving skill had alone won him countless matches against Federer, Djokovic and other major opponents in Grand slams. We all know, game wise he had this enviable stylistic advantage over Federer which helped him to defeat Federer many times. But his stylistic advantage over Federer without his insane retrieving skill is just like Usain Bolt’s ferocious sprinting in one leg which is not enough to pass the ultimate hurdle.

Champion of Nadal’s Calibre deserve a fitting swan song at his fortress in Roland Garros but taking too much strain on the body to win the matches in his early career has made his body functioning half of its full power. People once predicted that it will happen and it is happening now. It won’t stop unless he and his team finds way to counter this problem knowing the limitations he has in his game now. Otherwise I do not see him winning any grand slam again and possibly ending his career at the end of 2018.

DC Says:

@TL – i still feel he has a chance at the FO. He played a very exhausting match against Dimitrov at AO and won.
He almost won against Federer at the AO. Fed didn’t crumble in the last set like he usually has done a few times in the past, else the trophy would have been with Nadal.

And yes, players have figured out a plan to counter his strategy, and now everyone at least theoretically knows how to beat Nadal.

Fed is having a great time. No one has a strategy to beat Fed now, so it will be interesting to see how Nole fares against him.

Tennis Lover Says:

But, DC why Fed was able to unleash so many backhand winners in that Australian open final? there were half of those backhand winners which prime Nadal would have retrieved and forced Federer to play one more directing his forehand further into Federer’s Backhand corner. Fed has played amazing with his backhand at first 4 sets in Australian open final 2009, even though Fed was wrecking backhand at corners Nadal was there to retrieve it and direct the ball further into Federer’s backhand corner and forcing Fed to play one more aggressive backhand which Fed could not sustain doing. This was completely absent in Australian open final 2015. It went to fifth set basically because Fed was a little bit more error prone in his forehand side and Nadal played a surprisingly rejuvenated match at the 2nd, 4th and first half of fifth set. But, I say it clearly without his insane retrieving skill his stylistic advantage over Federer will come down to a touching distance which means any match from now on will give Federer an equal opportunity to play a good match and win against Nadal.Previously, Nadal has frustrated all his major opponents again and again with insanely unbelievable retrieving skill. Watch his clay match from 2005- 2008, it was all about ferocious forehand combined with beastly retrieving ability. In those time of his career, it was impossible to get the ball past him which is why Fed could not win many matches against him at that time. His insane retrieving skill and forehand won him Australian open 2009 semi final against Verdasco and Final against Federer. The only exception was 2010 wimbledon and 2010 US open where all his elements of game has clicked so he won those two tournament with comparative ease barring one or two tough matches. Again, he always was great and unmatched retriever in the clay and most feared opponent so I won’t talk about his RG trophy from 2010-2014. But, I guess you have seen 2013 US open final between him and Djokovic it was Rafa’s supernatural retrieving skill along with his Forehand DTL that won him US open 2013.

skeezer Says:

Re; 2009. Fed didn’t have his bigger racquet then. Thus raqcuet allows him to hit with more authority on th BH side. Don’t disagree Rafa has lost sone retrieving skills. But others are learning to flatten the ball out against him….

Tennis Lover Says:

Skeezer, Yes bigger racket has helped and also it is great to see even at the age of 35 Maestro keep finding new tricks in his wilson wand to bemuse and enthrall us all. I am positive about his result this year. I believe, realistically he can wimbledon this year if he maintains his scheduling wisely, stay health and retain his new aggressive mindset. However, in one area I want Fed to improve a little bit it is to cut down his unforced errors from his forehand side because a dangerous and in form opponent can take advantage of it any time.

DC Says:

I just cant see how anybody can beat Federer at this point.
The strategy of going to Feds backhand isn’t working and no one has figured out what else to do.
Fed is also creating better angles than ever, both off the forehand and backhand wing. His second serve has improved and hes got a few new tricks up his sleeve.
Apart from Wimby and USO, hes also got a good shot at FO provided he gets lucky with his Draw (i.e he avoids Wawa and Nadal somehow). He beaten Nole in the 2011 FO semi final when Nole was in his best ever form. Fed then broke Noles 41 match winning streak. WHat a match that was and Feds quailty of play was absolutely breathtaking. ( similar to how he is playing now).

Aced out Says:

Federer started toying with the bigger racket three years ago in January of 2014 and has had that bigger racket frame since then. Yes the larger frame has helped but not as much as his renewed commitment to hitting, NOT SLICING, the ball early and on the rise which he could do since his teenage days but he never committed to it earlier on and some initial shanks just made him step back and start slicing. By the way, I am picking all this up from this article, which I happen to agree with completely; so check it out for yourself ….

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Sorry TL, I agree with your premise – that Rafa has lost some margin on his best weapon, his speed – but I disagree with your conclusion.

The fact is, this ‘unbeatable’ Fed was down a break to Rafa in the 5th set of the last slam final. It took an absolutely Herculean effort for Fed to win that. And the difference was that Fed did not give up mentally, as he did in their ’09 (?) finals there. One iota less from Federer, and Rafa would be a Grand Slam champion right now. That’s a fact. So to say he has no chance to ever win one again is silly. But for a miraculous performance from Fed, Rafa WOULD be the last slam champ.

And for all the Fed fans out there thinking Fed will never lose again, give your head a shake. You are setting yourself up for heartbreak. He is 35. He’s had a couple AMAZING tournaments. How will people beat him? His level of play will drop. Sorry to introduce reality back in the discussion, but players, great players, go through ‘unbeatable’ periods. Then they drop back to earth.

Miles Says:

Tennis Vagabond – point taken. But the reality argument cuts both ways. Nadal hasn’t won a major in 3 years – he’s unlikey to again. Federer really should have won the AO in no more than 4 sets – he let Nadal off the hook quite a few times and in the final set Nadal’s serve was under constant threat.

Can Nadal win at Roland Garros? Yes. Is he likely to? I don’t think he is. Much like Federer at RG – he could win, but doubt he will. It’s Stan’s to lose, I reckon.

I don’t think anyone is saying that Federer is now unbeatable – I’ll be surprised if he makes the quarters in Miami, as he’s struggled there for years – but Roger’s fans are understandably excited about what has been happening.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Haha, Miles, I’m a huge Fed fan, but there have been several posts here just saying Fed is now unbeatable. Just look at DC’s above!

We’ll learn a lot about clay form before RG, but right now, I would pick Rafa over anyone. If Novak comes back to full strength, I’d pick him over Rafa (and Stan over Novak) and Rafa over anyone else. If Rog plays like he did in that IW against Rafa, he’ll win any match on any surface, but you just can’t count on a performance like that.

DC Says:

@TV , what i am saying is no-one has a strategy to beat Fed now.
Attacking his backhand is no longer working .

That doesn’t mean Fed won’t loose. He can loose if he drops the quality of his game or his opponent is having the day of his life at work

Daniel Says:

This Miami can give us a reality check, or not. It will work as a transition from slow HC to clay next.
Curious to see DelPo match third round. The thing is everybody in the draw is too inconsistant this days: Stan, Kyrgios, Thiem, Kei, Raonic (??? after injry) are all inconsistant. Nadal is consistent in Miami, but I would´t put my money on him winning on HC. He seems to have a HC bug lately. That leaves Federer, and we don´t know how his motivation will be or if he just wants to keep winning. Maybe he is a hungry as ever. Nothing better than win for these competiotrs and a champion of his claiber knows it. Until somebody beats him, I think he is the favorite here.

Tennis Lover Says:

I still believe Roger will have a mediocre clay season, great wimbledon if his forms and health remain intact and surprisingly cold US open swing considering he will raise the bar of expectation but slightly underperform there. But, that is what it is. At 35, he can not and will not have brash and consistent result like he had in 2004-2007 period. For Rafa, A lot of things need to happen in his favour to turn the tide. He should learn from his pal Fed to retool and reinvent his game. If he can do that La Decima can happen for him. I won’t mind that Since I think realistically it is impossible for Rafa to pass Roger in slam tally. Moreover, we all know his history of injuries and weird performances in the wake of bad forms

skeezer Says:

Fed will run out of gas @ Miami imho.

steve-o Says:

Federer’s not unbeatable. And indeed he has been beaten this year, just not by the top players (how quickly everyone forgot what happened in Dubai. Winning a Masters immediately afterwards will do that for you!)

Quite sensibly, he’s not getting too carried away by his results. No plans to play 18 tournaments a year like he did in the old days.

He said he’d play fewer tournaments. That probably means he will play a slimmed-down schedule, and take more wild cards (in case he loses early and needs more match play) if he feels like playing a bit more.

OTOH, he could win something pretty close to the number of titles he did in earlier years, even though he plays fewer tournaments–his win percentage may well increase, given his super-aggressive style of play. And that also means he will have a good shot at the #1 ranking.

I agree with DC that there isn’t anyone who can counter Federer’s current style of play. The other top guys are all baseliners who need lots of time on the ball, either to defend or to wind up their big groundies.

Federer’s style is designed to rob them of that time, taking the ball earlier (especially on the backhand), flattening out the ball, and coming forward. Long rallies are minimized, he creates more opportunities to come to net, and most of the burden is placed on his hand-eye coordination, precision footwork, and timing–attributes which improve with age and in which he is supreme–rather than footspeed, which declines.

It’s hard for the current generation of players to devise a counter to Federer’s style. Nadal is not going to become a master of short-point, first-strike tennis, and Wawrinka is not going to develop a compact, Davydenko-like backhand.

It’ll take a few years for younger players to develop the kinds of attacking skills Federer has; and it’ll be hard for them to equal Federer in that department since his game is so complete.

Of course Federer will have a couple more off-days at his age, and that means an occasional match will slip through his fingers, but he can still consistently perform at a very high level.

lakie Says:

I think Fed will not win Miami but he will definitely do well this year, may even get year end #1 if Djok and Andy continue their downward spiral. Knowing how much you have to win to be #1, Fed’s focus would be on slams and he is going to conserve his energy for that. If he does become # 1, that would be a bonus.

SG1 Says:

Federer will eventually come back to earth…true. But it may only be in 2018. I think Federer is thriving on his new found success and this is driving him to run up the score so to speak. I don’t know if Roger will or won’t win another slam. Nobody does. What is clear is that Roger’s best tennis can win him a slam these days. I don’t think that was true a couple of years ago. And the fact that Djokovic and Murray are both injured certainly doesn’t hurt matters for him. He owns Wawa. He owns Dimitrov. He’s learned how to play Rafa. I think it’s going to be someone like a Zverev with a massive all court game that will stop Roger. And of course his health which has to remain good.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

SG1, I agree, I think Fed is as stoked as his fans. Motivation won’t be an issue at Miami.

I didn’t really think through the possibility of Novak and Murray remaining injured or at least hampered. You’re right. Even if he drops a level, Fed could win some big titles with a diminished Novak and Murray. Even if Rafa found his way back to dominate him… well, Fed still racked up titles from ’06 to ’09, and this Rafa is not going to make so many finals.

Now you’re turning me into one of the runaway dreamers.

montecarlo Says:

Tennis Lover you are funny and delusioned. Last Grand Slam I checked, Rafa was in the final and he was also a break up in the fifth set. I see that as a very winnable position. AO has been Rafa’s weakest slam. If he did so well there I see no reason why he can’t go one better at other slams. You keep dreaming about his permanent decline and he will keep ruining your dreams like he has been doing all these years.

Daniel Says:

Yeah montecarlo,

He is super ruinning dreams of non decline this last 3 year: not winning a single HC title since Doha 2014, no Slam win in last 11 Slams, out of top 5 for most part of this stretch and on top of that, losing last 3 matches to Federer as it never happened in their super hyped HxH.

He declined, he is not the player he once was and with his physical game, will never be again, but that doesn´t mean he can´t get another big win.

rognadfan Says:

On thing everyone seems to miss is the huge difference in Fed’s approach to returning the serves. His return is clearly a lot more offensive now. And against Nadal he reaped the benefits in both AO and IW (I think even more in IW than in AO). In every return, he is trying to put substantially more on the ball than he was doing in the past, leading to a shorter, low pace ball from Nadal which he then rips crosscourt. And those backhands would’ve been unretirevable even during Nadal’s prime years too. But during those years, Feds approach to returning was basically ‘slice it back and start the point’ on >80% of the balls. Against Nadal, he used to hit the inside out BH return to Nadal’s BH but they used to be mostly with less power allowing Nadal (on Deuce court, on ad-court it used to be just ‘try to get the ball back somehow’) to hit a deeper shot on Fed’s BH. Then the usual FH to BH sh**t followed.
This time around, He mixes it up so well (i.e, return both to BH and FH of Nadal and usually has something on it (may be the bigger racket has helped finally). With other players also, he is keeping this aggressive return mindset, as a result he is breaking them a lot.

This said, obviously his BH on overall has become a more aggressive shot, flattening them out dtl or cc every chance he gets.
But to me, his return (against Nadal particularly) has helped him begin many points at a more advantageous state. And the stats show it. He’s been able to break Nadal almost at will. Ok that’s clearly an exaggeration. But it surely doesn’t sound too crazy to think that way at the moment? Does it?

Tennis Vagabond Says:

The ATP has an article about the prestigiosity of the Indian Wells-Miami double: “Federer Chasing Elusive Sunshine Double In Miami”

Every year, you hear this talk after Indian Wells. Can they get the rare double?

Except, in 26 years, the double has been done 11 times. Ie. almost half the time. So, its not exactly rare.

Now, how many times has the Australian Open-Indian Wells-Miami triple been done? I know Novak and Fed have each done it. Once each? Who else?

Daniel Says:


Actually, Djoko made the triplet 3 times: 2011, 2015 and 2016.

Federer once, 2006, and may do it again now.

The hardest one is Canada-Cincy-USO, as Canada and Cincy are played in only 1 week each insted of the 12 days for each IW/Miami. Only done twice: Roddick in 2003 and Nadal in 2010.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Thanks Daniel. Anyone besides Novak/Fed?

Incredible that Nadal accomplished that domination once on hardcourt. What a year that was for him. Makes it all the more incredible what Novak achieved, just as Rafa seemed to have finally shaken off Federer for #1 and looked completely unstoppable.

James Says:

Federer was SO good from the baseline (except against Nadal on clay) during his peak years (2004-07 – remember, he was 6-8 H2H against Nadal during those years, the real beatdown happened after that), that he never accepted the fact that he couldn’t compete well from the baseline once he was past his peak and older. And against pretty much the rest of the field, he could still beat them from the baseline (except Nadal starting in 2008 and Djokovic in more recent years). 2013 was a wake up call for him, so he finally changed his racket. Got some good results in 14/15, but still didn’t change his game enough. Finally 2016 gave him the opportunity and the realization that he had no more time left – and Ljubicic seems to have something to do with this new backhand too.

I think given that Djokovic is clearly off (and almost 30), Murray is, well Murray (and almost 30), Nadal is playing well again but his forehand doesn’t have that bite AND I think he is not in Federer’s head any more – if Fed stays healthy, I think he has a really good shot at Wimbledon, his favorite surface, and maybe even the USO. could easily not win either, but could possibly win both. Though unlikely he would win both (that would be outrageous – winning 3 majors at age 35/36 in a single year). Of the younger folks, I still can’t see anyone winning 7 best-of-5 matches in 2 weeks.

Interesting year, lets see.

Giles Says:

Can’t believe what I’m reading, especially James’ post. You guys are certainly getting carried away. Fed’s AO victory was due to Nadal’s fatigue after playing Grigor for 5 hrs less than 48 hrs before the final. He knew full well Rafa would be tired and naturally took full advantage. He was extremely lucky to score 18. So now good old James thinks he’s gonna win Wimby AND US Open? Pure delusion !! Lol

Reabirth Says:

Actually, Nadal won Canada-Cincy-USO in 2013, his best year on HC IMO.
But other than that, I think this clay court season might be the most decisive in Nadal’s career, Because :

1- He’s in his best form since 2014.
2- He is physically fit.
3 – Federer will certainly not be a threat on clay, and Murray-Djoko will not be at their best with confidence, mental, physical issues.

With all these elements, I think another failure at the FO, will sound the death knell of his career at the highest level.

Van Persie Says:

Yep Daniel, Djoko did the triplet 3 times and the double 4 times: 2011, 2014-2016. 2015 was more special: he did the triplet and won also Monte Carlo afterwards.

James Says:

Giles, read more carefully. I said he has a “really good shot” at winning Wimbledon, and “maybe” even the USO. Don’t state falsehoods like “James things he’s gonna win Wimby and USO”. I am not saying I think he will win these, I am saying he has a good chance. Stop your “alternative facts”.

Who on this forum thinks that Federer DOESN’T have a really good shot at Wimbledon this year?

And Nadal was not tired at IW, was he? Remember, Fed is 35, Nadal is 30, most have never considered that age advantage for Nadal while commenting.

With the new racket, Fed has had F, F, SF at Wimbledon the last 3 years. Lost in 5 sets to djoke in 2014, again to Djoke in 2015, and then in 5 to Raonic, a match he should have won but was not fit enough. Now that he is fit, AND his backhand is clearly better, AND djoke is clearly not playing well (and maybe injured) – doesn’t Fed have a “really good shot” at Wimbledon this year – where he has 7 titles, 10 finals?

I guess Giles just doesn’t get it.

skeezer Says:

“Fed’s AO victory was due to Nadal’s fatigue….”
True to form from the Rafanatics. He got fatigued from all the BH winners he was putting on em, truth.

Giles Says:

James. As usual he just got lucky not to mention the AO officials bending over backwards to help his cause. Comfortable schedules, speeding up the courts etc.
Let’s see how he fairs at the next slams. I predict ZERO!

Aced out Says:

Here’s another take on the draw ….

Angel Says:

Giles you should just acept that Federer is the GOAT and stop whinning about every tittle Federer gets. Otherwise you’ll get piss very often…

Aced out Says:

This will go to Roger again. He is doing stuff he did back in 2006-07 and he seems well rested even after the IW finals. I wouldn’t count him out for this. This draw analysis feels the same as I

J-Kath Says:

News for Giles who has been missing me:

Jo-Wilfried has become a father. But the article didn’t bother mentioning whether the baby was a boy or a girl.

Not good news for Andy Murray: Shingles hang-over; bad elbow and now a virulent form of flu….

HJF Says:

Huge congrats to JWT and his significant other, boy or girl, im sure the little one will be beautiful, they both are ….

Markus Says:

It does not matter to me how or why Federer won the AO and Indian Wells. He won. I just look at the numbers: 18 majors, 25 Masters. Do I remember the names of all the players he beat to win those titles? Do I remember the circumstances surrounding each match on the way to the titles? No and I could not care less.

This goes as well with the other players, do their fans really care how and why they won? Any criticism directed towards anybody’s victory is nothing but sour grapes…and they only taste sour to the losers who can’t accept it.

About the rest of the year for Federer, I am realistic enough that he cannot win everything. I even think that he may not win another title for the rest of the year but that will not detract from how great this year have been. Any victory henceforth will just be another reason to admire him even more. He may not be the greatest to all those who follow tennis but he is to me and his many fans and, correct me if I am wrong, there are more of us than the others.

James Says:

How did Fed won the AO? Lets see the facts. He beat 4 top 10 players along the way – the first time this happened in a slam since 1982. Won 3 best-of-5 matches – the first time this happened in 15 years. He was seeded 17 (or 16, I forget) – so he didn’t have the luxury of a cushy draw. He faced Nadal in the final, his nemesis.

And BTW, he was 35+ in age, and hadn’t played a tournament in 6 months.

Yeah, this was just luck.

HJF Says:

Yeah you can only beat whomever is stood in front of you, whether thats Rafa, Novak, Andy, or my next door neighbour, the point is the guy played and won 18 frigin majors, and when push comes to shove thats all that matters in the end ….

Giles Says:

Angel. Your post is so classy, just like your idol with Pamela Anderson’s poster in his locker room. Lol

Jeez Says:

Everyone talking of BEST & WORST case scenarios of their FAVORITE as wells as their Disliked Players. I would like to play the PESSIMIST(Cynic). Winning AO might be pleasant Surprise to Federer Fans.But winning Indian Wells + FAVOURED to win Miami[Djokovic & Murray Withrawal] is too much of GLORY RUN for me.Is ATP Favoring Federer 4 one Last [MEGA/MAGA 4USA] HURRAH ?

P.S.: I believe Federer Deliberately lost to Donskoy in Dubai as Penance for

James Says:

I don’t think Fed is favored to win Miami. I don’t think he has a good chance at any of the clay tournaments either. But, assuming he stays healthy, he will play some tournaments with adequate breaks to stay match-fit until the grass season rolls around – which is his best chance to add to his slam total.

After that Cincy and USO favor his style of play. He has 7 titles at Cincy, 5 titles (7 finals) at USO, with a few semi as well. No reason he shouldn’t be within the top 5 favorites to win either of these two (again, if he stays healthy).

James Says:

I also feel that Fed is mostly looking to build match fitness and get some ranking points till the grass season arrives. He would love to be top 4 so that he doesn’t have to face another top 4 player until the semi. Given his records and stage of career, all that matters is if he gets any more slams. 17 was great already. 18 is phenomenal. 19 would be extraordinary.

steve-o Says:

@James: I don’t care whether he’s favored or not, and I don’t think he does, either. I think he just wants to keep playing well, while making sure he doesn’t burn out.

He feels good and he’s playing with no pressure. Why should he pass up RG? It is a Grand Slam, after all. He’s won it before.

He can just play Madrid. If he goes deep, he can skip Rome and go to RG, and if he loses early he can take a wild card into Rome to get more matches.

No pressure, no expectations.

Berghain Says:

Well, all Fed fans really.

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