ATP 500Dubai Duty Free Tennis ChampionshipsRoger Federer

Berdych Derails Federer in Dubai

Hey guys, well what an absolute disaster that was huh? I alluded in my previous post after the win against Davydenko that if Roger lost this one to Berdych I’d be seriously pissed off and having slept on it little has changed.

This is one of those matches that cuts deep, usually losses have little meaning in the grander scheme of things but this one is different; Roger had 3 match points (1 on his own serve) and after failing to take them faded into oblivion. He was back into lost little boy on court mode aka Roger 2.0 during the third set and never for a minute looked like winning it.

If anything he looked like he wanted to get off court ASAP and that’s never fun to watch. He said afterwards in his interview that he has a lot of regrets from this match and I think that also sums up how the fans feel. Both Roger and his fans needed a win here after the the Rotterdam loss to Benneteau but it just wasn’t to be.

Federer Crashes to Berdych
If ever there was a picture to sum up a match.

Match Analysis

In terms of the match I’m not going to go into a massive amount of detail as we all know it should have been done in straights. But let’s take a look at the key milestones:

It actually started pretty well for Roger, he had to dig deep in his opening few service games after netting a few easy volleys but he started to play a lot better and broke to take a 5-3 lead. He served it out strongly even hitting a second serve ace to take it which was very impressive.

The second set was extremely up and down, Roger wasted a break point in the first game with a really poor return of serve, something which was lacking all night that definitely didn’t help his cause.

At 2-3 down, Roger dropped serve after a forehand error. Berdych held to move 5-2 in front and it looked certain to be heading to a decider.

Then, almost out of nowhere Roger hit back, winning 3 games on the trot to level up at 5-5 and then had another break point chance to serve for the match but Berdych served his way out of trouble to take a 6-5 lead before Roger took it into a tie break.

At this point I was sure he’d get the job done in straights, after breaking back it was like he was about to find top gear or GodMode when it mattered most.

The tie break started well too with Fed immediately securing a mini break, Berdych hit back to take a 4-2 lead but then Roger won 4 points on the spin to lead 6-4 and have a match point on his own serve.

What followed was where the match was lost, Roger got into the rally but drifted long with a very poor backhand slice. It was criminal to give up the point so feebly and gave Berdych a route back into the match which he took taking the tie break 10-8.

After that the body language of Federer changed completely, it’s as though he believed that was his only chance to win the match and he faded badly in the third set, falling 3-1 behind and having to dig deep just to say in the match. He had a couple of inroads to break back but just wasn’t ruthless enough when it mattered and Berdych served out the match to love.

Horrible feeling. Bad losses hurt but even more so against Berdshit who has a likeability rating of zero, it’s almost personal when Roger plays him so to lose when the finish line was in sight makes it sting that little bit more.

What Happens Next?

Onto Indian Wells

If I’d posted this last night I’d probably feel like giving Federer a ton of shit for clowning up two tournaments in a row but he probably deserves better than that considering his achievements.

All I know is that he is very difficult to weigh up at the moment and it’s impossible to know where his priorities are. He’s looking a little unmotivated right now to me, there’s tension in the arm and poor body language when he isn’t playing great but whether that’s a sign of things to come I don’t really know.

The match last night was close and turned on it’s head due to 1 or 2 points, Fed did great to break back in the second set and come up with some genius shots, served an ace at 5-4 in the breaker which was Roger 3.0 all over but then to waste those match points completely rattled him and whenever that happens matches never end well.

The US Open match against Berdych was similar after he won the third set before crashing and burning in the third. Maybe it’s just the fact Berdych is a really tough matchup that cost him today, just some small margins and a lack of clutchness when it really mattered.

The fact Berdych can hit a really heavy inside out forehand to the Federer defensive backhand slice that he really struggles to recover from once that pattern of play develops doesn’t help either so it’s probably a combination of those two factors: bad matchup and not quite mentally with it.

I’ve read on Twitter, some other blogs and on the forums that Roger is done, he’s not bothered about the sport anymore, his family matters more now, he should retire etc etc but I think it’s a bit too early to tell all of those things, if he goes title less in 2012 then maybe fans can start to talk about all that but right now it’s too early.

I definitely agree that he’s lacked the cutting edge since the Australian Open but judging him on two Masters 500 tournaments could be a little harsh, they were bad losses but it’s not really anything we haven’t seen before.

In terms of what next then I’d say he’s not had a ton of practice and is likely a little low on confidence right now so he has to sort those things out if he’s to compete. Fed usually has all the answers to these things so I think it’d be wrong to doubt him now. It is after all only March.

I said to you guys that the US Open is where I make my judgement about Federer this year and that’s still the case today. Next up is Indian Wells where again he’s defending champion, it’s the first 1000 tournament of the year too so it could be interesting. If Roger takes the form from his past 2 tournaments into California then it’s probably going to be a similar story to yesterdays match and another tough loss but this is a different tournament in a different continent so we just have to see what happens.

And although I won’t be watching the final, expect Djokovic to make Berdych look like a mug in straight sets πŸ˜€


Editor of Perfect Tennis and a big fan of Roger Federer, I've spent countless hours watching and analysing his matches. Alongside playing the sport, I also enjoy writing about the tour, rackets, strings, and the technicalities of the game. Whether it's breaking down the latest tournament results or discussing the latest gear innovations, I'm always eager to share my insights with fellow tennis enthusiasts.

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  1. Yes, it was a really really tough loss, exactly for (all) the reasons you described. It wasn’t all bad in my opinion, not at all in fact (there was for instance that unbelievable shot where even Berdy had a ‘wooo expression’ on his face), but he wasn’t there at the most crucial moments… And that made him having much regrets (do you have a link for the presser afterwards btw? haven’t found it myself yet) and all of us feel crap too…

    People saying Fed is unmotivated or not motivated enough are not reading up. In one of his recent interviews he almost literally says ‘the motivation is definitely still there’. And I truly believe that is the case. For me, I’m taking into account that he has called this a ‘transitation year’ and I am trying to see that as such. He has longevity as a goal, adjusted his schedule, skips tournaments (and left the possibility open to add tourneys too), plans to spend more time with his family (which might do him good mentally, you’ve seen what happened in Rotterdam when they weren’t there) and practice a lot. This year will tell him whether or not that’s a good choice.

  2. Just realised I’m 1st to comment this time! πŸ˜‰
    Oh and I sincerely hope Novak crushes Berdy…

    1. You were! Sid has lost his crown, although I think the time difference screwed him over πŸ˜‰

      He still came up with some awesome shots but they count for very little when you come out on the losing side of things. Not clutch enough. Just one of those days but definitely not a good match for him or us.

      Not got a link to his presser, wasn’t on the Dubai website when I looked. Will be live later today I think. I’ll tweet you it if I see it.

      Still early in the year I think to make too many rash judgements. See what happens when it’s half way through the season.


      1. Yeah, I know, they count for little when you come out of the losing side of things. But it just makes me aware (again and again) how spoiled we are most of the time and how no one can make the shots he makes, if you see what I mean… But it still hurts, you’re absolutely right about that…

      2. I lost the crown? No! I, in an act of magnanimity, have relinquished the crown so someone else can win πŸ™‚

        I agree that we haven’t seen the best 2013 Roger yet. He could be playing possum.

  3. Great article, Jonathan. Federer is still chipping far too many backhand returns, Berdych just ate them up! Berdych has worked hard to fix his mentality, Djokovic and Murray have worked hard to fix their forehands, it’s time Federer worked on his return of serve!

    Some great shots by Federer: slick backhand approach shots, outrageous volleys. Still a treat.

    1. Cheers man.

      Yeah his return of serve was poor. Looks like he’s lacking confidence on it really. Retreating back on quite a few of them, slicing more often than not. Berdych hits too heavy a ball so always on top when he gets a half court return to put away. I’d like to see him go for broke a little bit on the return, especially when he has multiple break points.

      Still early in the season though, plenty time to sort it out.


  4. Its disheartening to watch Roger after having match point. This has happen before and it should not be the end of his career. I think its a bit harsh on him saying that he should retire after 2 losses, c’mon aren’t we a bit too demanding expecting him to win everything and all the time. How many times we reminded ourselves that Roger is already 32, broke a lot of records and anything he gets now is gravy. He gave us so much in tennis, time for us to cut him some slack here. Roger has said it before he has created a monster hence us fans are becoming ‘little monsters’ too – still having high standards! We have to remember he did not have a lot of practice session. He has a lot of off-court activities ie his foundation, ATP Players Council etc. No doubt, nothing I hate more than to watch Berdych beat him again hence continues to be his bogeyman. I hope he regroup after IW – get some rest, spend time with family and work on his tennis. I hope he comes back strong for clay and grass season. I still have faith in Roger and will support him in every match – good, bad or ugly.

    1. Great response, Dippy! I am beyond disgusted with supposed “Fans” of Roger and even more upset with Ru-an’s blog as well. Let’s be real & call them “fair weather fans” because that’s exactly what that means. If Roger wins, boy, they are all there boasting their dedication to being his “fan”. When he loses, they say “perhaps time to retire!” or “Roger 2.0 is back”. Really? It’s bad enough that the press/commentators go there each time there’s a couple losses & that hurts his real “fans” and surely Roger & his team. He knows they are saying that and expecting him to always win. We all are in pain to see him lose for whatever reason. He is human. Keep in mind as you said that he has not had a lot of practice and this will always be a problem in this “transition year” especially. He does have a chronic back issue that as you get older becomes more & more so and does require more rest. This back problem was the reason he didn’t have to serve in the Swiss Army so could be congenital or from an accident going a long way back. I know of what I speak because I have a broken back from my teens which I still deal with each day, having good days and bad days, but ultimately had to quit my tennis team. It does get in your head sometimes and you get off your game. Bottom line, you either are a “fan” through good and bad times including losses that could have been wins (think of how he feels) but either be a true & loyal fan or support another young tennis player in his prime but don’t expect there ever to be another Roger Federer.
      A FedFan forever!

  5. Feel the same way … Not watching the final , tough loss, totally Roger 2.0 Like in 2010 when he start losing all those close matches

    1. Hey man,

      Yeah man was a tough one. I didn’t watch the final either but as expected Berdych got owned and proven to be a ment midget. Unreal how Roger can’t exploit this guy. Must have serious doubts against him or something.

  6. Hi Jonathann
    I liked your post, pissed of but reasonable nevertheless. What I find really depressing is fans saying he should retire. People who say he should retire because he lost, really should visit a therapist and stop projecting their own fustrations into Roger’s career… What the hell happened to what everybody was saying after last year’s Wimby “the circle is complete Roger needs not to achieve anything else, bla, bla”… This isn’t exactly the first time he has suffered a tough loss in his career, and he always bounced back. It’s early in the season and maybe he’s planning to peak for the Spring-Summer stretch, who knows? It’s not like the guy is losing in 1st rounds and stuff… Of course a loss like this is never good fun, but it’s not the end of the world… Can we please let Roger do his thing and just enjoy his tennis?
    If someone thinks he is done, well then maybe it’s time to start picking another guy to support, because one thing is sure, it won’t get easier from here.


    1. Cheers Vasco.

      Yeah fans are fickle. Write him off at the earliest chance. Weird really, they love him when he wins and laugh at the opponents he beats and claim he’s the GOAT and when he loses they are calling him out saying he’s done. Clowns.

      I don’t mind fans having some doubts or worrying these losses will happen more often but the way everyone jumps to conclusions is ridiculous.

  7. I just want to know what happened on Roger. I want him to declare his problem a little bit more.
    Has he got a serious back problem? When I see him stretching hard, I feel quite worried.
    Or lack of practice as he went to South Africa for a week for his foundation?
    Or he has got a lapse of concentration in those important moments?
    Or did he lose his confidence when playing top guys?

    He just has to think about those problems very carefully and fix them as soon as possible. And of course, as most RF fans do, I am looking forward to his better performance in Indian Wells. Hope he fix those problems.

    1. Hey Pollux,

      Tough to say. Doesn’t look injured. Just looks a little mentally frail. As though his mind is elsewhere or he’s just not feeling confident. Looked a little nervous when serving it out.

      Too early to say its a recurring problem though.

  8. Hi Jonathan, I’ve been following your blogs for a while and they’re really awesome. In regards to the loss, as a fan it was really painful and disappointing. This is one of those matches that I feel he should have won. I’m still sad about it :(. But I think you hit the nail right on the head in that he maybe has low confidence especially when he takes on guys like Berdych, Delpo and Tsonga. Sometimes it’s almost as if when the opponent fights back you can see him starting to give up and it’s really sad to watch. But there were still moments of brilliance from the GOAT!

    That been said, I still believe for Indian Wells, hopefully he can get his first title then take a break to practice and once again become the servebot that he is πŸ™‚

    Ps Berdych really is truly Berdshit, the guy is not likeable at all.

    1. Hey,

      Thanks πŸ™‚

      Yeah I’m still a little annoyed with this one.

      Hopefully Indian Wells turns out different. Much slower court so different type of tactics / gameplan required so we’ll see.


  9. Totally agree with you as usual. I also think there’s a bit of a lack of motivation at the moment and I felt it even as Roger first walked on court. There was just something in his step or in his eyes that struck me in a very odd way. He had some fantastic moments out there but I agree, that mentally he just didn’t get it done. I think Berdych is a bad match up and looks like most of us “love to hate him” (by his own fault) so it does sting a bit more than other losses. I tend to think though that this is just part of the ebb and flow of this part of Roger’s career and every time we’re on the down side we wonder a bit if it’s going to swing back up. I still think it will but like you said it’s too soon to tell especially when we haven’t really seen a whole lot of his play. Looks like he’ll have an opportunity to work on turning the tide after IW and who knows, maybe it’ll start there in the Cali desert. Gotta keep believing!

    1. Hey Wendy,

      Yeah he had some awesome moments I thought. He actually played well but just 1 or 2 moments cost him. Bad matchup but Roger should be dispatching someone like Berdshit. The guy is a known choker yet Fed runs scared against him these days. Weird.

      Not sure what to expect if be plays Berdshit again. Could be awkward.

  10. what the hell happened! is that eluding 77th never going to come! i had so many expectations going into that match after the JesusFed against nikolay, and the way the first set went i was sure roger had the game in the bag- i knew the 2nd set would be tough and to an extent thought it would go to a breaker (which it did) but i wasn’t troubled because if fed had maintained his game level, he would still have a peRFect tie-breaker record so far in 2013. And i feel like roger is always mentally on the back foot when he plays berdshit, i don’t why but it’s always as if roger goes into the match expecting to be overshadowed by the czech pole (as if that’s even a possibility)! anyway i’m trying to be positive here. i’m not superstitious, but did the change of clothes from the AO polo to the Rotterdam polo in the beginning play a part πŸ˜‰ ?!!

  11. Well that was a painful loss. Since 2010 Berdych has the upper hand against Federer. It’s simply a bad matchup. I think that’s the reason he should play Davis Cup, because a best of five set win against Berdych in DC would have helped his confidence.

  12. I may sound like the devils advocate but, is Roger going through some sort of family problem? Mirka missing a tournament. Then Roger exclusively mentioning the importance of family. I hope to God that’s not true. Just speaking my thoughts out loud.

    It can’t be a lack of motivation. Roger’s never had that problem. If it were physical, we would’ve known by now. There is something more at work here.

    Or is it just mental? Not wanting to lose to someone, puts the fear of losing inside you. As a tennis player, I know that. Then, you over think it, and actually end up not playing how you would usually pay and everything else just falls apart. The same issues Roger faces against Nadal. I ended up watching a couple of points during the tiebreaker and yes, Roger did play them very feebly. There was one point at 8-8 I think where they seemed to be going through a hitting drill like two lower level players at a club and Roger made a forehand cross court with no conviction that sailed long. To me, that summed up Roger’s mental make up during that phase.

    I have lowered my expectations for Indian Wells to a semi final run. A trophy would be very welcome though!

    1. Agree with Sid.
      Def something in his head. No back problems this time. The way he was moving around said the back should be fine really. I just think Berdy is his worst possible match-up. He said several times ‘some players make you play better and some make you play worse’. I think Berdy falls into the 2nd category, obviously…
      Don’t think either it is about motivation. At all. He stated on several occasions that he always questions himself whether or not he is still hungry enough and the answer so far is always ‘yes’. There were just other mental issues, I think… He couldn’t get over things that weren’t going right (not like him), he had a problem with the whole issue when he didn’t hear the net sound (and argued with the ump) and I’m sure the worst was, not converting the MPs. Maybe he does also feel the pressure still, sometimes, of always always having the press on your back and esp now with his ‘new’ schedule… It’s up and down and I have lowered my expectations too… It’s really no disgrace to go out in the semis, I think. It’s just a shame it had to happen against Berdy and that there were the 3 MPs…

      Onwards and hopefully upwards from here for the rest of the year, I’d say πŸ™‚

      1. Yeah back injury isn’t anything I don’t think. He did wear the undershirt once but didn’t look hampered to me. Was physically bossing Berdych for large parts.

    2. We have nothing to go on, all speculation.

      I’d say definitely low on confidence though after Rotterdam and now this. Probably the main issue.

  13. If you keep losing matches against the players who are outside top 5 (Berdych and Del Potro and struggling against Tsonga), it is in no time, you’re out of top 5. Guess, Roger will end up winning not more than one or two titles (Halle and if lucky another one) before end of the year and surely out of Top 5 in the world. Looks like Roger has a longer title drought than Nadal who was sidelined for 7 months from Tennis.

    1. We will see what kind of title drought Nadal will go through once he has turned 31 πŸ™‚ Particularly, after he wins a Slam, and takes back No.1 in the process for another record.

      Speaking of droughts, well, isn’t Nadal going through a non-Clay title drought since late 2010? So much for someone who is “considered” by his fan to be greater than the GOAT πŸ™‚

      And his keeps accumulating clay titles in the meantime, beating up on the likes of D Schwartzman and M Alund. Who are these guys? Some folks from the Professional Bowling League?

      I’m not being sarcastic here. Just stating facts. I have already mentioned that Roger is supposed to have a sub-par 2013 with a return to good form in 2014.

    2. And, sidelined from tennis because of his own playing style. The price he pays for showing no mercy to his own body.

  14. Hey all typical That F*****g Berdcrap has lost in straight sets to Djoker. That flippin one hit wonder. Why does he bother the king of poo has just proved again that he cant do it in finals especially against Nole. More players should start hitting the ball at him. Cos he truley deserves it. Then we can all see his whinning,classless antics that give the biggest title of king of berdshit. Winner of this prestigious title hands down for record 28 years!!! And thats alot of S**t over the years.

    1. Man, you really are upset! I’m going to up your dose. Take the Roger-Nadal fourth set tie breaker. Watch it once after lunch and right before you go to bed. Don’t forget to take some water with it πŸ™‚

      But really, it was expected that he will crash to Djoker. His serve means nothing to Djoker, the best returner in the game. His heavy ground strokes to the forehand win are no problem for a full western grip. Djoker’s double handed backhand is more than enough to protect that wing. It’s about styles in the end.

      Roger had it. Sadly, he blew it. Time to think positive move on.

      1. Thanks Sid. πŸ™‚ If it was any other player i wouldnt of minded much. I think i need to apologize to Jonathan for my outburst and rants!!
        You r right Sid, i need to get positive again and move on. πŸ˜€ cheers!!

    2. Yeah Djoker showing Berdman up for the pussy he is. Fed shouldn’t be losing to him. Bad news. Djoker is unbelievably clutch though these days. Fed needs to take a leaf out of his book when it comes to that.

  15. It’s a tough loss but if any of you have read my comments on Ru-an’s blog then you know I think he’ll be better at IW and after the long break and that the break could be just what he needs. He can still play elite tennis and he’s just lacking some confidence at the moment.

    On a side note, I really think he needs to throw out the slice/chip return on the 2nd serve. I know he can hit over it time and time again, and even the play to step back to get more time was a good play.

    1. Hey man,

      Yeah I saw your comments, I like your perspective, hope you’re right.

      I’m not a fan of retreating on the second serve to give himself more time though. Almost instantly behind in the point and gives his opponent so many more angles to work with. I prefer either attacking slice or really go for broke. US 2009 MP against Djokovic is a great example, was confident and just went for it. Boom winner. Granted Djoker serve is more attackable than Berdych’s must still possible I think.

  16. Well after now sleeping on it and reading this post my perspective has changed a whole lot as I’ve had time to process and relate this to previous losses like these in Fed’s career.

    First of all I think this was on of those matches where Roger had a lot of chances, including three match points where he made some pretty inexcusable errors and after he lost the tiebreak it was very obvious that Roger was losing this match.

    I don’t think this was a motivation thing, nor do I think Roger is lacking motivation. As long as he is playing, I will believe that his love for the game is enough motivation for him to succeed despite all the setbacks and Djokovics around. This loss was a confidence thing. Roger had the match on his racquet once again and after Berdych came back, he zoned him in as he has and made Roger doubt his game. That in contribution to the matchup and concentration is what cost him the match.

    Tomas has now won 5 of the last 8 meetings with Federer, so we need to recognise what a burden he will now be on all our lives and now when ever they meet, the outcome purely depends on Roger’s mentality. I have noticed two things after thinking about this loss:
    1. Most times when Roger loses an important match he felt he should have won i.e. US Open 2012 and Wimbledon 2011, the loss bears on his mind when he goes into the next meeting. He lost to Tsonga in Canada following Wimbledon and now he lost to Berdych following NY. This is what I feel happened. As soon as those match points went, he tends to go back in his shell and is afraid to take the risks needed to get the win. Now what I am going to choose to believe as should other true fans which I believe most of the people are on this blog is that this will be the match that wakes Federer up. After NY, Roger said he needed to go back to the “Drawing board” i don’t think he has done that yet. But now he has to go to America with Annacone and finally put pen to the drawing board and figure out what he wants in this transition year, obviously slams but he needs to find out how to maintain focus and retain the confidence out there in those match point moments. I think this match is going to pull the rug from underneath and after Indian Wells, Fed will hit the practice courts and regroup to prove to us he’s not done yet.
    2. Also another thing i’ve noticed since Roger stopped winning every slam. He either alternates from having a great first half or second half of the year. I figure since most of us have predicted NY glory for one more time that Roger’s streak will happen towards the end of the season, possibly starting form Wimbledon. I’d rather Fed succeed at the bigger tournaments towards the end of the year than sort of mope around at the 500s. Roger 3.0 will appear at the Masters and the slams, no doubt about it. Those are what it’s all about now and sure this loss stings (Berdshit getting demolished by Novak, no surprises. Or should we call him Birdcap, since he wears his dumb hat at night? idiot) but if Federer has taught us anything, it’s that he ALWAYS rebounds from a tough loss and gives us the victory at somewhere we never thought would happen. This is the mentality Roger is going to have and this is the mentality all of us should have. I definitely agree he is somewhat of an enigma right now but it’s only the beginning of the season and all this talk of retirement is trash.

    I’m sorry this is so long but I needed to get it off my chest since I think a tonne of fans whoa aren’t really fans are once again over-reacting and are basically telling Roger that if he can’t win every tournament he enters then he should quit. We gotta stick by our man, he looks at us for the inspiration he sometimes may not have and when we start to get all negative then he will too. It’s been too many times that Roger has slumped in form and then strikes back with champion tennis out of nowhere. Now that Murray is a slam champion, Djokovic is riding an unbeaten 18 match win streak and Nadal is slowly improving, it will be harder for Federer to hit the board running but knowing him, there’s a lot in store for us this season, I just know it and I will hang in there for that 77th+ title and possibly 18th slam.

    P.s serves Berdshit/Berdcap for getting blown off the court by Novak, that’s what you get when you wear a hat in the night and then celebrate winning against the GOAT with your team like you won the whole thing. Honestly, who likes this guy? Purely annoying that this is the dude that zones in Roger. And Roger’s chip return of serve on the second-NEEDS TO GO! I think he’s lacking confidence, Indian Wells-different surface, Annacone is back, different country, different mindset. He must stay positive and remained focus, if so, I see good things this week. I think break after IW will be crucial in deciding the season.

    1. Sorry, one more thing. Roger is talking about how Wimbledon is his best chance. Could Roger possible be putting his eggs in the one basket of SW19? I mean he already knows that slow hard courts and clay means Djokovic and Nadal domination. I agree with that but if Roger wants to win at Wimbledon, he is going to have to get some wins over Djokovic, Murray and even Nadal prior to that. If he doesn’t win a title before Wimbledon, its’ going to be very very tough for him because a Roger without confidence=Roger 2.0. And Roger 2.0 doesn’t win slams or beats the other three.

    2. Alysha, this is a well thought out comment and it went well with my Sushi πŸ™‚ I read everything, all of it. I particularly liked the part where you said, “It’s about time Roger hangs up his shoes and lets Djokovic take over the mantle of alpha dog. He needs to understand that he is well beyond his use by date”. No, I’m kidding. You never said that πŸ™‚

      I’ll respond more later.

    3. Thanks Alysha, for putting your thoughts on paper and write it up so well. You’ve formed many of my thoughts, that I couldn’t put on paper this time… Great stuff. Thanks!

      1. No problem. Just wanted to remind some people that this has happened before and that it looks to be Wimbledon and everything after where Roger’s season actually begins. Just a feeling. This loss hurt when it first happened, can’t imagine what Fed feels but enough of that now, gotta regroup. Fed has another chance to defend a tournament, here’s hoping this match is the one that pulls him out of the shell he has been living in for the last three weeks,.

    4. Hi Alysha… That was very imformative, thought provoking and a very uplifting read. It kind of reminded me of Tennis ( Rocky film) post. Like yourself i was really upset. I didnt watxh the match live but i was checking the scores on the Federer web page. What got me angry and upset more was the fact the web page put the wrong scores on and had Fed in 3rd set 4 – 2 up. So i was thinking he was winning only to find out when they refreshed the page the scores were 5 – 2 to. Berdych. Thats when i flipped and thought WTF ( World Tour Finals, NOT ). But anyway again very good read, on par with Jonathans!! πŸ˜€

  17. Well well well, after demolishing Ferrer, Nadal says he’s going to Indian Wells. This could be interesting…
    I’ve watched quite a few of his matches, and he’s hitting the ball pretty clean. However, it’s not good enough to beat the big boys just yet I feel. I really believed he wanted to focus on clay this year but boy was I wrong, must want the match practice or him and Toni feel he’s ready to take on the big three. Very intriguing IW coming up. Roger can take advantage if he draws Nadal in his half πŸ™‚

    1. Indeed, the demolition of Ferrer was expected. Almost looks back to me. But Indian Wells will be the test.

      Not looking forward to Fed vs. Dull if it happens at IW again :P. Usually when Fed is playing poor, he’s playing immense.

      1. Ferrer will be kicking himself. This was probably the only chance he was going to get to ebat Rafa on clay. No weapons to hurt the big guys whatsoever.

        Hmm you may be right there, can’t imagine what a loss to an “injured” Nadal would do for him and the rest of the season. Scary just thinking about it. But I’ll chose to believe that Nadal isn’t read for hard courts yet and gets taken out by someone before he even meets Djokovic, Murray or Fed. What ever the outcome, looks to be a good week of tennis.

      2. Yeah Ferrer can’t vulture these noddy tournaments when one of the big boys turns up. Nadal was always going to own his ass.

    2. It must’ve given Dopal immense pleasure to take food away from the table of his compatriots, and snatch that Sombrero from David Ferrer, and add another title to his coveted Clay trophy closet. Now, Martin Alund has to do something else for those mortgage payments. And, don’t be surprised if Guillermo Vilas gets back to competing in ATP250 clay events.

    3. Draw for Indian Wells: They will put Nadal with Ferrer (QF), and Djokovic (SF). Roger will have to go through Murray (SF). Hopefully Roger can avoid catching Berd Flu this time.

      Or combination two: Nadal goes through Murray and Djokovic for the final. Roger takes on Ferrer.

      The first one seems more likely. We shall see.

  18. I think its clear now that Berdych is one of the players that don’t feat the GOAT. But I still don’t understand why he is such a problem for Roger. I watched Berdshit’s match at Melbourne this year and even though it was only the 1st round, it was hard to believe that this was the player that had beaten Federer at two of his most successful Grand Slams. It seems Roger really needs his first serve to be on fire when he plays Berdych, I remember Cincy 2011, that was a horrible match, Berdych was hitting return winners off nearly every second serve Roger gave him.

    1. I think the problem stems down to how flat and big he hits the ball like Tsonga. He can’t really defend so well off the BH side when the ball is being hit with such power. Also more than anything, it’s turned into a mental thing now. Roger almost forgets who he is when he plays Berdych and when Tomas gets the better of him in the rallies, Roger doesn’t know how to recover. The damaging thing about this match is that this is going to further diminish his confidence along with the Rotterdam loss, gonna be tough for him to recover in such a short amount of time for Indian Wells but who knows.

    2. Berdych is his nemesis now. Along with Nadal. Both in his head.

      Berdych is such a choker though, unreal that Fed gets phased by him. Dunno what caused it.

      @Alysha yeah agreed on the match up side of things too. Doesn’t help his cause either.

  19. Classic berdbitch getting destroyed in the next round after beating Feds. Horrible loss, it’s always devastating when he falls apart in the final set. On the plus side overall I thought Feds played quite well in Dubai (not counting first and last set of the tourny) The backhand side I thought has been phenomenal (apart from a few wayward slices in the berd match) and that should give him confidence if he comes up against the big boys in Indy wells especially nadal. I don’t think this loss is catastrophic at this stage, it was very close after all. My favorite federer trait is his ability to bounce back when people start to doubt him and I have no doubts he will do just that. Allez!

    1. I know, typical. Berdych is so mentally weak it’s unreal that Fed clowns up against him.

      I thought Fed played well too, his game was at a sweet level until he messed up match points. Did a lot right up until that point. Hard to be too critical I guess when 1 or 2 moments cost him, but ruins all the good work so he kinda has to kick himself.


  20. I’ve actually been watching a few of Roger’s matches at the AO and now caught up all the way to Granollers in Dubai and I’m not sure if it’s just me that has noticed it but it seems that Roger has slightly changed his service motion. In that sense I mean he does not arch his back as much and it seems to be all arm? Hmm that’s not a good sign for the back I guess? I don’t know if it’s something though, looked to be serving moderately at Dubai but the df count is rising this year, more than usual. Tough to weigh up Roger right now, I don’t care if he doesn’t win Indian Wells, just as long as he tries his best and maintains focus, baby steps to get back to 2012 mentality.

    1. You could be right. The oomph is certainly missing. I don’t think he is going to overdo it for an ATP500. And I feel he will be sub par at Indian Wells too. The two month break after that should fix him.

      Is is just me or does anyone else think the South American exhibition matches, six of them, were a bad idea? He made over USD 8 million though πŸ™‚

      1. Doubtful. I haven’t noticed any sort of change.

        He served well against Dayvdenko and pretty well against Berdych in places. South American tour is irrelevant now I think. 4 months ago.

  21. Yeah, You saw what I said on Twitter…. Write Roger off only after he starts loosing before QF in Majors and isn’t competitive with the top 10 consistently. Like I’ve been saying for the past month: Roger Needs Momentum! This match was the first time since 2011 US open that Roger gave in and went back to his weak mental game… Last year, when he lost, the player he lost to outplayed him… But in this match, Roger outplayed Berdych for the first set and a half. Hopefully Fed’ll be able to end his title drought soon!

    Base on his performance, I’d say Semis at Indian Wells…. Not gonna end #1 this year :(… You can’t deny that Djokovic is DOMINANT! But if anyone is to end his 18 match winning streak, it would be Federer(remember 2011 Roland Garros ;)…)

  22. “Outside of the ring, or inside of it, ain’t nothing wrong with going down. It’s staying down that’s wrong”. That’s what the great Muhammad Ali once said.

    Our champion will be back. If he won’t, he will forever remain a champion in our hearts.

  23. I’m off to Indian Wells in a few days. Interesting that Nadal has decided to play. I do think Roger is having back issues that are impacting his game but mostly his confidence especially with his serve. He’s trying to compensate. You can tell by the expression on his face and his walk.
    Indian Wells will be interesting. What about Murray? He’s been off since AO. The last 2 years, he’s done poorly at IW.
    I think Roger does better with Annacone around. Let’s hope for the best. The draw should be out on Tuesday.

    1. Hey Sue,

      Cool, wish I was making the trip.

      Hard to say the back thing, he was physically looking great in Dubai, no trouble against Berdych just lost it mentally.

      Murray will probably do well, should be in good shape. Not over tennised.

    2. Hi Jonathan, Yes. IW is a great tournament. Especially since the women are there and a lot of players play doubles too. Really well organized. And the sun is shining!

      1. Indian Wells in my opinion, is the best tournament after Slams. I actually rank it above the French and US Opens πŸ™‚

  24. It’s a tough one to judge. Haven’t had a lot of time to watch him over the last couple of tournaments, but it definitely feels like there’s something missing. Although, it’s not the first time he’s gone through this sort of patch at this time of the year, so maybe we shouldn’t read too much into it. The thing I’m most concerned about is the amount of ranking points he has to defend. It makes you realise just how well he was playing at the same time last year. I’ll be curious to see how he plays at Indian Wells, hopefully it will be an improvement on what we’ve seen so far this season. The break in the season for him is probably coming at just the right time, he may just need time to figure a few things out in his game. We’ve been spoiled with how well he’s played over the last 12 months, maybe he’s just going through a bad patch and it’ll take a bit of time for him to find his way out of it. Here’s hoping that’s all it is anyway.

    1. Hey BS,

      Yeah something lacked in Dubai + Rotterdam but nothing to get stupidly worried about yet. If it becomes a recurring theme and happens in slams then alarm bells can start to ring but not yet.

      2 months off could be a good, plenty of time to train. Go go GOAT!

      1. Hey Jonathan,

        Saw Fed-Davy match live in Dubai. Great atmosphere. Hung on to see the final and saw the Fed-Berd match on TV, thankfully though as it would have been terrible to be in the stadium and see Fed lose a match where he had 3 MPs and one of them on his serve.

        Reminded of US Open where Djoker went for broke at MP and pulled it off. Here Berdshit did nothing of that sort but was let off by Fed.

        Djoker & Delpo becoming quite popular too in Dubai. Fed of course is a local boy !!!

        Lest hope for better showing at Indian Wells


      2. Hey Murli,

        Cool stuff, he was in great form vs. Davydenko, really sounded like he was making such clean contact with the ball. Bet it was even better in the stadium!

        Think I’d have smashed up some stadium seats and pushed an old lady over if I’d been in the crowd for the Berdych match haha.

        Draw comes out tonight I think, hopefully Fed can make semis. I’m not expecting too much.


  25. Hi all… Whoever has read my last posts would know that i was seriously upset at this loss. But now that iv had time to recover my feelings have changed alot. Dippy said it nicely and i think Federer lost a match which he should of won,that Fed lost to the world no.6 in the semis and if he had lost to Jaziri in the first round it would of been more of a shock. Everybody knows i absolutely despise the Berdman, but he seems to play his best against Fed all the time now. So i give him the credit for despatching and hanging in their to beat him.
    All thoughs supposedely Fed fans who are writting him off already are not true fans. I was more angry at the Berdman than Fed. Alot of Fed fans are happy when he wins but as soon as he losses their true colours comes out. I for one have now mentally preoared myself for one or two more of losses at Federers career. But i still know Federer can still win tournys and i hope he is saving his best Tennis for the Grand Slams, where it is more important than a 3rd tier tournament. LONG LIVE FEDERER.

    1. True man, he was in good form really in terms of his level of tennis. Can’t complain with that, just not quite with it in the clutch.

      Berdych losses always sting more too. But I’m over it now.


  26. Ps. Federer has played over 1000 matches. Thats alot of Tennis and alot of hours, plus alot of wear n tear. Give the guy a break!! Literally!!

  27. PPS… In Federer defence he has been on tour a long time. He went pro “98. At the tail end of last couple of years on tour surely now Fed needs support the most. Afterall the critics,the media and the part time weather changing fans have been putting him down since Aust.Open 10 win. In fact cos Fed set the bar so high the negatives and the jargons of “its all down hill for Fed” happened in the 2008 season when Fed lost at couple of GS and his no.1 ranking to Nadal.
    Dispite these losses Federer has still alot of Tennis in him. Sure hes making errors and the consistentancy is not it once was. But thats the beauty of Fed still competing to a certain level and still winning matches at his age where his sharpness and footspeed might not be the same.
    The fact that nearly everytime he steps on court he is breaking records is testamony to his legacy. Nearly all the Tennis greats went through the same BS when they stopped winning like they used to the whole world would condemn and put them in the hall of fame prematurely.
    One thing i know as long as Fed plays the better it is for Tennis and people should appreiciate what actually Fed has done for the sport on and off it. So to all the doubters it is really easy to judge but when the day u have accomplished what Feds done. Then come come back with your analysis critique. You then see how hard it is just to win one matxh on the atp never mind the 17 GS Fed has won. πŸ˜€

  28. PPPS….One thing is for sure the fact that Federers dominance and Tennis ability was soo far ahead that it took 4/5 years for the rest to catch up.(the of 2003 to 2008ish).
    Therefore without Federer:- Nadal, Djokovic and Murray would definately NOT be the Tennis players they are today. Plus all of aforementioned are in their prime!! So when Federer losses to any of them their fans especially the Nadal and Djokovics they automatically think they are GOAT. And thats when the Fed fans and myself get annoyed and upset. If Fed was in his 2006 prime and playing now we all know Djokovic and Nadal would have much harder match and Fed would win 9/10 times. O:-)

    1. Well maybe against Djokovic. Even Prime Fed screwed up against Dull but that was more to his stubbornness than being outplayed. Should have won at least 1 French final but let Nadal get the edge and that cost him in previous meetings.

      1. Yes i agree that Fed should of at least won against Nadal at the French. But i suppose thats Feds fault cos its not that he has never beaten him on clay. Fed had good chances of winning but like u said the mental side of things always got the better of him. Also everybody agrees that on clay Feds always has been the 2nd best player. On hard courts and grass Feds been the superior player.

      2. Seraj, in one of your comments you mentioned about “Federer being well ahead of his time”. I couldn’t agree more. A majority of Nadal and Djokovic fans believe Roger won all those slams due to lack of competition. Nothing could be further from the truth. He had a game that was quite old school, but at the same time too effective during that times.

      3. Agreed, he’s the only guy ever that can compete in the present and the past. If he went back to a wood racket he’d still be immense, guaranteed.

    2. Dude, you are commenting at a rate faster than my brain can process. It’s like trying to piece together a severely chronologically mangled Tarantino movie. Slow down man, I can’t take it any more. [I’m just kidding!]


      1. Thanks Sid … Its tarrantinos films like Pulp fiction, Resovoir Dogs, Jackie Brown that has influenced my style of writting!! πŸ™‚ But sometimes i get confused which year, month, day match am writting and talking about Roger. I have soo much memories of Roger playing Tennis i am sometimes spoilt for choice.
        Anyway is the draw for Indian Wells tommorow 6/3/2013 ??? As i am looking forward to who Fed draws in his half. Personally Federers draw will be again dodgy and hard one. What a coincidence when Fed breaks away from IMG alot elite people no longer favour him. Hence their new boy to promote (Djokovic) gets these easy, safe passages to be in the finals of nearly all the tournaments. TBH it will be the same until i am proven wrong!?!
        The new media promotion is the Murray v Djokovic era. πŸ™

      2. “Stand with anybody that stands right, stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.” – Abraham Lincoln

        Roger always does what is right. Not what is convenient for him. And if there indeed are powers who will punish him for what he is doing, that’s alright. I have even more respect for Roger.

  29. I could have posted earlier like “Roger’s struggling, this is a bad sign” and all that. But I read again the article of Jonathan which is about his schedule, and that’s right.. there’s nothing that we can do but speculate about what’s happening in terms of his couple of SF exits in a tournament.

    Back to the schedule, I think (might get a lot of heat for this) Federer used the past 250 and 500 events to make it up for his practice time. No disrespect to the players participating in the tour but I think Fed is narrowing his priorities right now to the 1000 events and Wimbledon. If he feels it’s not worth put it all out to win the game, he will not have that killer instinct to finish games. Those tournaments in my opinion, Roger used to take out the remaining court rust during the off season, but then again I might be wrong.

    And like what everyone talked about before the start of the season Roger is not getting any younger, he has to take care of his body prioritizing longevity to keep up with the young talents at his age.

    1. Hey Ferdie,

      Hmm I dunno about the not taking it seriously. Fed is usually the kind of guy if he enters an event he will try win it. Obviously psychologically 1000’s and Slams are more important so maybe sub consciously he wasn’t at 3.0 level. Just seemed flat to me, not up for the fight. Hard to pick a reason why.

      Guess we will see if your theory is proven true at Indian Wells πŸ™‚


      1. We’ll see how it turns out in a few days.. I’m not really excited though, considering his SF finish this early. Maybe Djokovic will win this time at California. I’d love to see Federer in the final but I don’t want to get my hopes too high.. Another SF finish is what i think will be “realistic” for now.

  30. Is this draw a joke? Tell me somebody is just fooling around? Has anyone seen the draw? Roger has Benetteau and Isner in his quarter, both potentially capable of kicking him out. Then he gets Nadal in the Quarters. Followed by, most probably, hold your breath, Berd Flu, again!

    There is no way they could’ve paired Nadal with Roger. Are these draws done publicly or just randomly?

    If this draw was made behind closed doors, I’m utterly convinced someone very powerful doesn’t like Roger Federer at all.

    1. Hi Sid .. If thats the draw then, i knew it was going to b a tough draw. I mentioned about earlier on and i was proved right. They defo dont like Roger anymore, thats for sure. I think they r trying hard for making Murray No. 2 and potentially to no. 1. Am going to say it again what a joke of a draw!!!!!!

    2. Sid, that was one hell of a nickname for Berdych. Berd Flu LOL, funny but true. He is a disease in Roger’s game.. anyway is this also an IMG event?

    3. Sid my friend, i hate to say this but you are right!! This is more than a conspiracy, they defo want Fed to lose in early rounds. Something has really pissed the IMG group and the elite. When Fed played at those exibition matches in the South America tour, i think cos he did it without the big boys and they didnt get a slice of the $15 million dollers that he made. They are all angry, plus with alot of internal politics, the Tennis mafia are getting him back and therefore stitching and manipulating draws in revenge. Obviously this is me thinking aloud. But tell me how many other people would agree with me that something really devious is going on right now. Speculation, speculation but sometimes your gut feelings always turn out to be true!!

      1. To clarify even though this tourny may not be a IMG event. The people at the top are all inter connected somehow. What utter dirt politics!! They are all about greed and getting to the top, and Federer is a mere pawn in a elaborate game of Tennis/Chess. :'(

  31. FAO Jonathan. I been told by reliable source that Federer is projected to meet Nadal in the quarter finals in this years Indian wells Masters. But i dont know who Feds playing in the earlier rounds. Ok mate, i look forward to ur indepth look at the draw than my half a**e attempt. Lol . Serajul. πŸ˜‰

    1. should the seeded players win the draw would go like this for roger: istomin, beneteau, isner/wawrinka, nadal, berdych/ferrer, djokovic/murray.

      Needless to say, pretty crappy draw, though we’ll see if nadal is up to it…

  32. Someone tell me the f*ck made that draw?? Beneteau, wawrinka (who has never really trouble roger but he’s on form now), isner, nadull and berdych?? WHAT THE HELL?? did they try to stuff anyone having a random chance of beating fed in his draw?…

    1. Yeah Wawrinka could be a threat. He should have beaten Roger in Shanghai but didn’t believe he could. Could well have missed the boat with that one.

  33. Hi everybody. I really don’t care what draw Fed gets. Let’s face it guys, it’s always pretty much on Fed’s racquet and in his head. After watching the Berdshit match and other tough matches that Fed has had match points in, I’m still convinced that Fed has the ability to win every match he goes in to. It’s a question of his condition that day as to if he concientrates, and also his pace of play. We all know that between points he takes very little time. I think that that hurts him at times. He is a streak, or momentum player, and goes in and out of the “zone” at different times in almost every match. If he is playing a particulary tough opponant, that kind of rushing between points can hurt him if he makes a few mistakes on a service game. It’s the the quick give away of service breaks at times that hurt him against good servers like Delpo, Berdshit, Nadal, Djokovich, Tsonga, etc. In my lowly opinion, he needs to slow himself down between points, take a few moments to collect his thoughts, calm down, and then concientrate on a target or strategy. Fed is a very emotional guy who for the most part has been able to hold it in, but it has sometimes affected his play, and emotions and nerves for him equals loose unforced errors at critical times in a match. I think working with a guy like Dr. allen Stone, would be huge for him. Think about it, if Fed has the concientration of Nadal, would he have lost any or all of the matches that he had multiple match points in? Fed in my opinion is the most talented player to ever pick up a racquet, but we really can’t say that about his concientration in tough moments. It’s something that takes an outside person to discuss with him, he can’t see it himself because of his genius. He feels like he can spontaniously come up with anything he needs to. Most of the time he is right, he can. But not always, and not sometimes when you have match points on your serve, and can’t close it out. What do you think guys, did I nail it or not? He can win Indian wells, and more slams with great concientration!

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