ATP Masters 1000Paris MastersRoger Federer

Big Serving Isner Takes Out Federer in Bercy

Well what a difference 24 hours makes huh πŸ™‚ yesterday evening we saw a Fed-masterclass to destroy Seppi but today he fell short, losing 7-6(3), 3-6, 7-6(5) to big serving John Isner in the Last 16.

Bit of a weird match from start to finish really with Fed looking flat early on, hitting back after taking some anti inflammatories but then coming up short in the third set tie break as Isner's serve proved the difference.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Isner Bercy Last 16 2015

Isner won the toss and elected to serve, holding to love to kick things off. At 2-2 the Swiss made deuce on Isner's serve but couldn't find a way through, he then had to save a break point on his own serve to level at 3-3. In the previous changeover he also argued with good friend Cedric Mourier about enforcing rules on challenges πŸ˜†

At 4-4 Fed held his first break point but Isner held and the set quickly progressed to a tie break. Fed was rock solid in the besters against Big John at the US Open but here he slipped down an early mini break as as Isner ran away with it 7-3.

Set 2 saw Federer call the doctor to take some tablets which was said to be for an ankle issue. Or it could be a forearm problem according to a few tweets I saw. Who knows really but Fed did look a little off colour. Anyway Isner fashioned 3 break points at the start of set 2 and how he didn't convert one of them I'll never know; it was horrendous actually and he should have put the match to bed right there.

Of course he didn't and Fed kicked on after the hold, breaking Isner to lead 5-2 and then closing out the set 6-3. Out of nowhere he was back in the match just by making a few more balls and raising his intensity just a touch likely aided by a shot of adrenaline after saving the break points.

Into set 3 and with Isner serving first Fed created plenty of chances in the American's first couple of service games including 3 break points at 2-2 where Roger missed a makeable pass. Both guys then exchanged holds with Roger coming out of a few tight 0-15, 15-30 spots before the set resulted in a deciding tie break.

Just like the first set breaker Isner ran away with it, moving to a 6-2 lead thanks to some sloppy play from Fed. For a brief moment a comeback looked on when Roger clawed his way back to 6-5 but Isner fired down a big first serve to close it out on the fourth time of asking.

Match Stats

J.Β Isner R.Β Federer
Aces 27 13
Double Faults 0 4
1st Serve % 68% 65%
1st Serve Points Won 58/71 (82%) 61/74 (82%)
2nd Serve Points Won 19/34 (56%) 19/39 (49%)
Break Points Saved 5/6 (83%) 6/6 (100%)
Service Games Played 16 17
1st Return Points Won 13/74 (18%) 13/71 (18%)
2nd Return Points Won 20/39 (51%) 15/34 (44%)
Break Points Won 0/6 (0%) 1/6 (17%)
Return Games Played 17 16
Winners 54 43
Unforced Errors 30 24
Net Points Won 25/38 13/17
Total Service Points Won 77/105 (73%) 80/113 (71%)
Total Return Points Won 33/113 (29%) 28/105 (27%)
Total Points Won 110/218 (50%) 108/218 (50%)
SABR 0/0 0/0



Thoughts on the Match

Federer Isner Bercy 2015

Like I said above bit of a weird match this one you feel Federer played pretty poorly but still had the better of the chances to win, creating 5 break points in the final set only to see the match slip away in the breaker despite not losing serve once.

One of the key things with Fed's success against big servers has been his sharpness / energy on the return which was lacking a bit today and he didn't look as dialled in. Perhaps there's a slight niggle which is what the anti-inflammatories were for but we don't really know how big an impact it had; all I can really say is you can tell he wasn't 100%.

As for Isner he had a pretty good serving day and I think he probably just about deserved the win. He still had to rely on Fed handing him some buffet points to get it done as he's not top tier but he came up with some good stuff in the breaker. Had he been big time then he would have broken Fed in game one of set 2 but instead got stretched to three and for that reason alone I can't see him giving Ferrer many problems tomorrow.

Next up for Fed is an Exho with Nieminen and then the World Tour Finals in London. The draw comes out next Thursday and Murray is assured the #2 ranking so the groups could be interesting. If previous years are anything to go by the courts could be setup for a grindfest but Fed played well last year before the back injury and if he's 100% fit going into it I think he can make the finals weekend.

Let me know what you made of the loss in the comments…


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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    1. hadn’t able to watch it,you summed up very good I guess…To win against big server, Roger should have won one of tie-breakers…After last night performance kind hoping he could reach SF, not the case turned out to be..

      Hope he feels healthy for WTF and finish it in high note… Just one 1000 masters doesn’t justify consistency of this year, title in WTF would be better after 2 runners up in slams…

    2. Bummer indeed. But then, it’s been a bit of a weird day. I mean, when was the last time Novak lost his serve as many times as he did in the 2nd set? Disappointed to hear Fed wasn’t playing well – watching the scores (on the occasions when I *was*), it was clear he was getting into Isner’s service games but couldn’t make it count – so not surprised to hear there was indications that something wasn’t right. Can’t really care about the tournament, though. I just hope Fed’s recovered fully from whatever it is in time for WTF.

    3. Agreed Nambi Fed has had a pretty good year but only bagged one M1000. Not many of them play to his strengths though, most are quite slow hard courts or clay.

    1. I wasn’t able to watch the match,I just came home and I thought the match would be over but saw that it was 6-3 Isner leading in tiebreak. I was shocked ,such a bad time to come home but going by the report Fed may not be 100%.I twice watched fed-seppi highlights after watching the match on TV because I loved it .I had not seen a match so entertaining and dominating,so today I was clearly surprised Fed lost.I am not going to watch this match’s highlights,just hoping Fed remains healthy and plays a good WTF. One of the rarer times I feel the draw is good and then this happens…

    2. Highlights for the Isner match will be dull, it was a boring one. No real exciting points other than one where Isner came up with some good defensive stuff.

  1. I was actually surprised that he played Paris this year. At least he had no points to defend. He usually plays really well in London so here’s hoping. SICK of these slow courts. I hope he is feeling okay. SO sick of Djoko in the winner’s circle–praying almost anyone takes him out!

    1. So was I: I was sure he would pull out after Basel. Perhaps Stan will do the business instead – and perhaps pigs will grow wings πŸ™‚ C’mon, Andy! I imagine he’s got the YE No. 2, whether he wants it or not.

      To judge by the stats, though, it looks fair that Isner won.

    2. Thank you Emily for that. It appears most people on this blog don’t get what Emily,I,and only a few others seem to get so let me spell it out once again:
      Roger should desist from playing Shanghai and Paris Masters again. They are a waste of time, he never does well in either, and he clearly doesn’t like them.In fact people, think about it – the Paris Masters is possibly Roger’s worse tournament year on year! And he was very lucky to win Shanghai last year. And Roger can now play whatever tournaments he wishes whether contracted or not. So what is the solution? Simple. Play Tokyo 500, skip Shanghai , then play either Stockholm or Vienna ( Vienna better as this a 500 pointer ), then Basle of course, SKIP PARIS MASTERS, and then well-rested for Year-End. He will PROBABLY get more points doing this than sticking to what clearly is not working AND!! potentially win FOUR tournaments along the way! It’s a no- brainer.
      Roger will probably play until the end of 2018 before calling it a day ( he hinted as much after Basle final). This of course is injury and illness dependant. I would like to see Roger making smarter decisions tournament-wise for these three years as despite his undisputed genuis, no one – and I mean no one – can withstand Father Time…

      1. Quite frankly,Federer would never do that.You are saying Federer to play tokio and skip Shanghai. Although he has a bad record in Shanghai but still he is world number 2 or 3 (I don’t care its the same) and so he is a favourite in every tournament.Playing a small tournament and skipping a big tournament will hint that he is no longer a force and is trying to avoid joker and others.It wil clearly come on his ego and that’s the basic reason he won’t do that.I mean it sounds crazy that a world no. 2 will travel all the way to China and play tokio but skip a masters 1000.For an example a smarter decision is not playing Montreal but it is not like you play Washington and not Montreal just because Fed has a bad history.Everyone would have called it a masterstroke,GOAT in decision making etc if Fed would have won paris .Everything has two sides and Fed was looking perfectly healthy against seppI and he said in one of the interviews that he was raring to play so to skip a 1000 masters just because he has a bad history is something I can’t understand.I respect your opinion but I don’t agree with it?

      2. I mean it sounds crazy that a world no. 2 will travel all the way to Asia (not china) and play tokio but skip a masters 1000.

    3. I would be surprised if Fed plays Vienna and Basel next year. It would be an awful lot of travel between his matches and a nightmare for the schedulers πŸ˜†

      Federer can only skip 3 Masters 1000 events in a year. So he can’t just ditch tournaments willy nilly.

      “skipping a big tournament will hint that he is no longer a force and is trying to avoid joker and others.It wil clearly come on his ego and that’s the basic reason he won’t do that.I mean it sounds crazy that a world no. 2 will travel all the way to China and play tokio but skip a masters 1000”

      I agree with Pranshul. Maybe Fed could ditch Paris but why? It’s close to home, there’s a week before the WTF and it’s the same surface. As for Shanghai – there’s not much else in the calendar around that time. You may as well play it.

      If Fed decided to just skip events that weren’t going great for him, then he might not have won the French Open in 2009 πŸ™‚

      1. Love your blog Jonathan but cannot agree with any of the points you make. How could travelling from Austria to Switzerland be a travel nightmare?? Am I missing something here? And I certainly would not have advocated Roger miss the French Open in 2009 because he had’nt won it before then? I really think you are missing the point here Jonathan: Roger is heading towards 35 now and to continue with effectively the same schedule for next three years and expect to get different results than he has achieved before as in the likes of Shanghai and Paris Masters is a sign of you know what! ( madness ).And I am only suggesting small changes ( but subtle ones ) in his scheduling. And one final point, do you really think there would be major controversy if Roger only decided to play four or five Masters a year for next three years?

      2. I was fooling around, Vienna and Basel are held during the same week. So I’m not sure that would be smarter scheduling from Federer. It’s a novel idea of course, but I doubt one that he’ll be exploring.

        And yes there would be controversy if Fed only played 4 Masters 1000 events. They are mandatory, he can skip 3 due to meeting requirements. So he has to play 6 events assuming no injuries.

  2. Fed played a lackluster second tiebreak. That exhibition jump was not necessary hence ball in the net. For fans like me watching a screen it is easy to say he should have done this or that because I am not the one on court but that play was not necessary. Very frustrating being a fan sometimes. I guess for Justin Gimelstob Isner did what he couldn’t. Boring match anyway and this is not a sour grapes thing.

      1. Darn you, John. Why couldn’t you have played like this yesterday? Ferrer’s broken him at least twice already. Typical!

      2. Well said! Quite frankly Fed doesn’t need Paris. In fact none of them do! Why it is a Masters with those facilities is beyond me… It’s just awful! Court is a pile of sludge and Novak will win or even maybe Nadal….

  3. I hereby officially apologize to Jonathan for all the times I told him not to go to tournaments anymore.

    I miss Fed in 3rd round then to catch him up buy QF tickets, so he does what?? Loses to Isner πŸ™ πŸ™ πŸ™

      1. Seems like you didn’t understand me Slamdunk πŸ™‚

        I am moaning the most here. I had night session tickets for today, but he was scheduled in the day session, then I bought the QF tickets yesterday, before I knew he would lose. I don’t know about you, but getting Murray and Ferrer instead of Federer is pretty depressing…

      2. I am very sorry for your disappointment Alex, we are all gutted for you! Going forward though, try and pick a tournament where there is a real chance of Roger winning, or going deep. We all hope it works out for you next time!

      3. Whichever way it was Emily, I’m disappointed for you πŸ™ And yes, Murray/Ferrer is definitely one I won’t bother to watch. The Murray/Gasquet match seemed never-ending. I just wish they would leave clay courts as the ‘slow courts’ and speed all the others up. Can’t be great for players having to grind out these matches.

  4. Hope he does not have any issues physically. Something is wrong given that a goon like Isner has better stats at net than Roger. Mirka should have stayed home like she did in Basel.

  5. Time to rest and get ready for WTF… We need another trophy there to make it 7 just like Wimby, Cincy, Basel and Dubai


  6. Let’s put it this way: Roger broke Isner. Isner didn’t break Roger. Roger won more games. Period. (and shit!)

      1. Yes… (sigh!) That’s just me trying to find some consolation. But I can stand much better this type if defeat than the losses at Wimbledon or US Open, and that’s not because those are majors. No: it’s because Roger stood good chances in those finals and choked. And that pissed me off big time.

        Back to the issue: I’m always a bit skeptical about playing back-to-back tournaments. We have seen lately the importance of good rest/sleep/whatever. Roger mentioned that time and again, and no matter what one says, age *does* count, more and more as years flow.
        But anyway, our guy is a pro, he should know how to manage his schedule and how to make fit it properly with his mental and physical condition. I’m just hoping for a decent performance in the finals. Getting to the semi-final would be good.

      2. Completely agree with you Rui. And you have hit the nail on the head: age! Roger is very smart but probably needs to be even smarter schedule-wise as he gets older.One final point to everyone here: did anyone REALLY think Roger was going to win the Paris Masters?

  7. Well – rats. Isner has really come a long way – moving much more fluidly than he has at times in the past, & has got very effective at net – some wicked angles there. Saw someone comment that Isner actually came to net more often than Fed, and I see here that it was over twice as much. Surprising. As you say, Roger just really wasn’t at his best – and while he also wasn’t terrible, it wasn’t enough. If you had a “personal performance history” scale, Isner definitely played higher on his than Fed did on his.

    If there’s an injury, though, I’m almost glad he’s out so as to be able to heal it before WTF. I know he’s saying “it’s nothing” – right after “I was feeling it in Basel already” – but that’s what he always says. Especially with the exho coming in between – for some reason I was thinking that was going to be after WTFs.

    Would have been nice to see him go farther, but – not this time.

    1. I disagree about him being good at net. Virtually every volley he had to make was off a loopy nice height pass from Fed. You can put them away in your sleep.

      I think his best attribute is that he puts in a ton of effort. Got him across the line against Fed.

      1. Yes but that kills him for next match as we saw! V Gd result for Stan but as with everything else the schedule sucks in Paris. Barely any real rest before he plays Novak. Nadal clearly gassed towards the end, will never win Paris. Tbh Muzz cld win unless he starts thinking DC….

  8. I liked your ‘reaction to Feds loss to Jizzner in Paris’ on twitter – “Don’t care, don’t care any more.” πŸ˜†

    According to the Times’ Barry Flatman, “Federer called trainer because of pain in arm. Took anti-inflammatories & felt no pain in final set as he lost out to the John Isner serve”.

    Yep, John played well and it just wasn’t Roger’s day πŸ™

      1. Haha yeah I’ve checked him out, so funny!
        Maybe you should do the same as a super Fed fan πŸ˜†

  9. A sloppy match, frustrating to watch. Apart from his ridiculous serve, Isner is an ungainly albatross out there. It baffled me how Roger would lose baseline rallies against Isner, who was also all over Roger’s second serve. It often looked that Roger had no weapons out there – he allowed Isner into so many of his service points. Indeed he made the American look better than he is, and his passing shots were frequently ineffectual. A quite awful comedown after the previous round. Prediction: Djokovic will not win the tournament. Despite the win he really struggled against Simon. His level so far has been significantly less than his best. Murray looks much more dangerous at this point.

      1. Djokovic played some quite awful points – even games – in his match against Simon, who might have taken a set or even better if he himself had been able to serve. Boring to watch. Endless baseline rallies, waiting to see who would miss. Surprisingly, it was often Djokovic. If he plays like that against Murray in the latter’s present form the Scot could easily turn the tables. What is also noticeable on these appallingly slow courts is that the serve is not a weapon unless it is being delivered by the new breed of NBA-type player – Isner, Anderson or Karlovic. Everyone else risks being broken, and often. It’s looking increasingly like the women’s game.

    1. You don’t need to play your absolute best though till the final. He’s still getting the Wins; all that matters. He’s won 2 Wimbledon titles in the last 2 years when looking ropey for 2 weeks but coming good on the Sunday.

  10. Playing one of the big servers is always a potential banana skin and Feds just wasn’t 100%. TBF Big John kept his focus and his nerve; only two points separated them, and Feds didn’t actually get broken on his serve. Had Djokovic got dealt the Isner card, the way he played today – broken 5 times I think – then he would have been heading for the exit. If G Simon had a better serve himself, he would have been out anyway. πŸ™

    Anti-inflammatories for his arm? Well I’m relieved that it wasn’t his back anyway. He’ll be able to rest before the WTF a bit and that should stand him in good stead there. If I had the choice, I’d much rather he picked up a 7th WTF. Sad that he lost of course, but there could be a silver lining. Thanks for the recap Jonathan – at least we can’t blame you for this one. πŸ˜†

  11. Just saw Anderson choke his way out of the second-set tie-break and the likely win against Nadal. As so many players do against Nadal, when they have him on the ropes. Anderson is brainless and gutless under pressure; another serve machine whose game unravels in the clutch. Pathetic to watch. Nadal makes timid weaklings of such players, when he himself is struggling. Djokovic seems to be the only player who doesn’t fear the Spaniard.

    1. I hope Kelsey Anderson doesn’t read that one πŸ˜†

      But I agree, Anderchoke is his nickname for a reason. Seems a decent guy though, he has a pretty good ground game too.

  12. Think its better for Roger to rest up for WTF, it not a bad loss since he performance at Bercy has always been patchy. I think he should just skip Bercy next time, it just a waste of time with indoor clay like slowness. I will personally help Jon to bulldoze that place and build a nice indoor court. Till then…

  13. Why is Murray guaranteed #2…because Fed lost today?

    Not much else to say. Gimelstob has helped Isner with the mental side of the game and his net play.

    Strange that Fed is nursing an injury after not much match play. Over did training sessions?

    1. Well he has just played Basel – and Nadal in the final: that’s enough to give a painful arm/back or whatever to anyone! Plus, he has played a lot of matches this year. Djokovic W/L 75-5, Federer 59/10, Nadal 58-18, Murray 67/11, Wawrinka 52/15 – OK 10 or so less matches than the main guys, but let’s not forget that he is 4-6 years older than all of them.

      One thing I find annoying is the commentators saying ‘he’s playing better than ever’ – in some ways of course he is, more experience, backhand more solid, brilliant volleying etc., but one thing he lacks (and which they never mention) is stamina over a long match time, and indeed over a season. As Navratilova said, as you age, you get more ‘bad days’.

    2. I’m wondering if something’s actually been “off” since Shanghai. Someone quoted (in French) him as saying that he’d go back home, have a few days’ break and then start training again. It sounded odd to me that he would take a break, assuming that he’d had a holiday just before he went to China, so I did wonder whether something was niggling.

  14. Didn’t see the match but this is a type of lost I don’t mind at all. Because I rather have Roger peak for WTF London instead of Paris. Also, with this early exit he has more time to rest to recover his slight possible injury while at the same time manage his schedule alongside with his Nieminen exhibition better. Federer is 34 now and I rather not have a heavy workload have an effect of his play during the important tournaments. He won Basel beating Nadal is a good enough practice for him. So I think losing early in Shanghai and Paris isn’t a bad thing at all.

    Besides, Isner having a good serving day can beat ANYONE. Think of this loss as a Indian Wells 2012/Cincinnati 2013 moment for Djokovic. I don’t care what anyone says, Isner’s 2nd kick serve is a MONSTER in these slow, indoor conditions. So this type of lose is sort of a anomaly; if Federer lost to the likes of a good baseline player, then that is a type of loss we should worry. Federer lost to another big server; Raonic in these same conditions and tournament last year too so it’s not a huge surprise. At least this match was much more closer than the previous one.

    1. You make very good points but one thing I disagree with you on: why be happy playing Paris and consistently losing year after year? For points – what points? For ego? Roger does not have to prove himself to ANYONE. Roger can beat Isner, Raonic, Murray, Nadal etc. – even the Joker – at MOST of the other tournaments during the year, but at Paris Masters ( and maybe Miami and Shanghai ) he is really up against it…

      1. I do think he likely to skip Paris master in 16 unless he haven’t done well in Basel…

        I think its fair to play Shanghai especially for Asian fans regardless his less success rate…Also its likely he going to have long break after US-Open.

  15. Anybody saw that Nishikori serve where his racquet slipped out? Was Gasquet giving the point for hindrance or distraction? πŸ™‚

    1. I saw a clip of the racket flying. Apparently, Kei was spraying something on his hands before that. Wonder if he will make the WTF?

      1. Poor guy, just recovered from the right shoulder injury then left side of the stomach this time…made of Japan, hah. Anyway though, according to the Japanese press, he stopped for precaution in order to make WTF.

        Strange he’s never beaten Gasquet, lost all 6 times?

    2. Gasquet was first given the point, then he went to talk with the umpire about it, and Gasquet offered it to be replayed off the second serve πŸ™‚

  16. Huge blow Alex! We are all sorry for that.

    But to be honest, this loss may be a blessing after a long tiring season and before the WTF. GSs and WTF are Roger’s priorities now. A good 10 day rest might be helpful.

    Isner played exceptionally well except the 1st game of the 2nd set. I thought he would lose after squandering those chances but he held firm. Served aces/unreturnables in almost every BPs faced. Also, he returned very well creating many chances although couldn’t break Fed. But that helped a lot in his own service games. Quick holds from Fed would have put a lot of pressure on Isner and could have changed the complexion of the match.

  17. Fed biting his lip nervously before going into the entrance tunnel did not look good in hindsight (don’t think I’ve ever seen that before), but after the Seppi match why worry?
    Add some Mourier and something troublesome on the arm, the foot , the flu , the fever -Twitter was abuzz with speculation and I was wondering if a bit of naughty Nadal had jumped onto Fed in Basel when the trainer turned up and handed out the pills.
    Pissed off Fed still didn’t do too badly, rests up and hangs out in Helsinki with Jarkko and prepares for WTF. We have enjoyed the highs of a great milestone win and the Seppi match which we can savour. Shitty part is Alex missing out on seeing Fed live and that Isner probably won’t go on to win it, spoiler that he is.

    Jonathan hope you are going to the O2 and Alex scalps his Paris tickets and gets there too. Onwards and upwards and please keep healthy Mr Federer.

      1. And last year’s showing was enough to put me off. Wondering whether to get a ticket or not. Can’t say I’m bothered.

        BTW, I’m actually sitting here at the moment cleaning the Nishikori/Ferrer match from last year’s off my hard drive. Looks like quite a decent match – probably the only one pre-SFs? Ironically, I had the opportunity of a cheap ticket for that one, and turned it down, because it was supposed to be Raonic and I just couldn’t face watching him twice in one year πŸ™‚

  18. Well if he has any issue physically it’s better he loses and gets more rest than risking the body further. He wasn’t going to win this anyway. Agree with a few here he should look at his schedule and consider skipping Shanghai and Paris. Shanghai I know perhaps it’s more about sponsors and the huge number of fans there. He’s too nice to disappoint the Chinese fans who only get to see him once a year.

    1. Agreed April. The problem for Roger is he has to now become a little selfish and be very selective where he plays.I understand the ‘power’ that China probably exerts ( play Beijing in lieu? ) but hope Roger does not capitulate for financial or egotistical reasons.

    2. Maybe Fed should go back to playing Futures Paul? πŸ˜†

      I think Fed schedules smart enough already. He might skip Paris next year but can you honestly say scheduling has cost him any matches this year? Madrid only one I can think of.

      1. The point Jonathan is not just the scheduling but which tournaments he plays and this will become more and more significant as he ages ( as I am sure you well know! )

    1. Thanks Wanda. It is always fun to watch Roger performing his magic. I got sidetracked by a couple of other Top Tens too. Ah, memories!

    1. Well, he just broke Isner at love on set 3. I don’t think Isner will recover from such a sentimental mishap…

  19. See? Isner is out. Wouldn’t it be great if Ferrer won the whole damn thing? I do not want Djoko OR Murray! Would take Stan, though.

  20. Ditto, Emily. Saw some of Gasquet, he played great tennis. As usual, after someone plays awesome tennis and beats Fed, next round they’re out and quite often injured.

  21. Stan can’t win today. He is playing an opponent who has mastered the shank then hitting the line and with a net-cord thrown in for good measure.

    1. Well, waddya know – Stan took the first set – just after I thought he had choked the tie-break away. Nadal better call an MTO.

      1. Jesus, how did Wawrinka win the FO with a head like his. Mental pigmy. Can’t play to win when in front. As a club player I would have been embarrassed to miss those crucial shots at the net when he served for it. Even the commentators are baffled. Oh well – Nadal in 3 – as usual.

      2. What! Nadal succumbs – after a 5-2 lead in the second set tie-break! Stan obviously doesn’t like to be a front runner. And he also avoids the Kevin Anderson Award.

  22. The **** was wrong with Stan? I watched four games, starting 3-3 in the second, and he massively choked when serving for the match at 5-4. What the heck was he thinking? Two put away short balls gone horrendously wrong. Easiest of volley, miscued. I have no answer to how that happened. Then two routing backhands, hit a mile out.

    At 5-5, I switched off in utter disgust. Only to find out later that he won it, eventually.

    I’ve gotta watch that second tie break now.

    1. What the hell happened? I switched off at the same time and went to bed being sure Stan would lose.
      Stan the Man in the end! Is it worth watching replay?

      1. Yeah, worth watching what happened after 5-5 in the second set, especially the tie break.

  23. All day there has been crazy matches in Paris. Must be something in the water or in the coffee.

    I don’t remember a day with so much drama…and no Fed.

    1. Weird tournament . So many up and down matches – and that includes Fed. It looks like a lottery out there. Nadal must be seriously pissed. He seems to be running and hitting the ball as well as ever but he can’t bring home the wins. Against some players he tightens up now. Djokovic seems to be the only player who wins week in and week out – even when he is playing poorly, by his standards. Confidence. Fed used to be like that once.

      1. Back in his prime winning years Federer said something along the lines of, ‘Even if I’m playing poorly, I always know I’m going to get the win in the end.’ That’s where Djokovic is now. But it doesn’t last forever, and the clock is ticking for Djokovic too…

      2. Ah, who knows? For sure we are a lot of people tired to se Djoko win. And if Andy wins this time, it’s a little less bad. So – I choose the most healthy for me – don’t really care. Leave my trust on change. Some day.

      3. Oh sorry – it’s done itself automatically. But my website isn’t working, so I haven’t put it on…Now I just deleted it manually – see what happens!

      4. The browser is Safari… and it just did it again (but now I wiped it out, will try to remember) – naughty browser!

  24. Djoker saves a set point in first set tiebreak and then a couple in 2nd set tiebreak,then comes stan who saves 3 set points in first set,then saves again in 2nd set tiebreak and wins.
    If Fed could have saved just one in one of the tiebreaks..??

  25. Only chance Berdy has had…. And he blows it. Novak also looking knackered…..picking Muzz to win it as the most rested…

    1. Novak *is* looking knackered – perhaps he’s human after all? πŸ˜† Whilst acknowledging Jonathan’s comment re Djokovic able to find that extra gear in a final, should they meet, I feel Muzz definitely has a chance, so long as that first serve is clicking reasonably well. It’s been a bit in and out through the tournament but he has played more aggressively and is looking pretty determined. But (even though he’s probably exhausted after his efforts against Nadal), maybe Stan will do the job.

  26. So Murray is through to the final but is given a thorough gym workout by Ferrer. The Spaniard is everywhere on the court and scarcely misses a ball. Who would have thought that he is a smoker? I would bet he is also full to the gills of every kind of performance enhancing pharmaceutical. Just watching him makes my eyes tired. His is the typically robotic baseline game that I would pay good money not to watch. For a change, I wanted Murray to win – and get it over as soon as possible. Despite playing a mixture of inspired and yet also erratic tennis, he eventually obliged – in his usual irritable fashion..

    1. I agree with this one. David Ferrer is without a doubt, the ugliest player to watch in men’s tennis right now. The only two Spaniards I can stand: Almagro, and by a distance, Feliciano Lopez.

  27. Has taken me quite some time to get over the Isner loss and no doubt Stan helped !!!

    I was telling a few friends that Fed won Basel despite not playing well in the final, whereas Rafa lost despite playing well. They thought I was off the rocker, till I explained that our expectations of Fed are so high that we expect him to steamroll opponents whereas Rafa is making progress from reaching Stygian depths that he seems to be playing much better.

    On the flip side, I thought that Fed was the better player against Isner having created more chances, getting the lone break and not losing serve. Two three points made the difference against an inspired Isner.

    So on to WTF. The trend seems to be good. Shanghai, Basel, Paris, London – Down, Up, Down and so…

    1. Murli, thanks for sharing. I’m always looking for your posts, RF win/lose, and get delighted, all the more when even a small poem comes up! πŸ™‚

  28. Hoping for a Stan win here. Don’t want Djokovic, sick to death of the guy…can’t help it. Don’t want Murray, the win will give him the #2 ranking for the year. Want Fed for that.

    So, the best all round is Stanimal.

    Oh, and go Pospisock! They win on Sunday and they are off to London.

    1. Stan did well to get a set. The match against Nadal didn’t finish until, what, 1am, maybe later. He probably didn’t get to sleep until 2am poor guy. Hardly any time to recover – his legs just gave out I think. But I agree, also sick of Djokovic. πŸ™ Our last hope is Muzza – he’ll be the fresher, but…

      1. He was looking tired,but after he won 5 straight games I thought he would win it but then the joker guy won that third.its Djokers 14th consecutive final and if I am not wrong,he is reaching finals from Australian open.I too am sick of this Djoker and I will be rooting for Murray .But what he has done this year is inexplicable and hard to say but tremendous.

      2. I’d forgotten that. Why on earth were they playing so late? They were scheduled for 8.30 or so, but playing until 1 am?! No wonder he lost the 3rd set so badly.

      3. They were all long matches Alison. The Nadal/Stan match didn’t start until around 10.30 pm I think. Bad scheduling – slow court, long grinding matches – surely the tournament director should know this?

  29. I used to prefer Djokovic pre-2011 – before he discovered the magic “gluten-free” formula. In those days he would quite often lose. Since then he has taken android tennis to new levels – or depths. His game is essentially a more high-powered version of the Ferrer game. The grinder/counterpunchers are taking over the game. I would rather watch championship darts.

  30. Murray takes 11 minutes just to hold serve in one game. He has no chance. The Djokovic defence is unbelievable. I wonder how much better he would be if he doped? More “unbelievable”?

      1. Except Roger often wins those. Today one of the differences is that Djokovic is hitting the lines time and again while Murray misses them by centimetres. It is interesting how Djokovic often struggles against lowly ranked opponents earlier in tournaments but goes to another level in the finals. Clearly, another one of the benefits of going gluten-free – to “peak” at will.

      2. What is also apparent is that Murray doesn’t believe he can beat Djokovic. The intimidation factor is complete. It is therefore extraordinary that a 34-year old Federer is the only player currently capable of pushing Djokovic close or even beating him.

      3. Yes Roger wins those long games vs Andy. But Andy DID win once vs Djoko this year? So in Paris we might be right to hope for another winner than Djoko. Well never mind – I’m sure we might get some exciting tennis in a few days! No skyscrapers on court in London? Berdych the tallest?

  31. Thanks Wanda, Slamdunk & Muser

    The Fed video is awesome. Thanks for sharing Sue. One thing for sure, Fed’s become a better actor.

    Djokovic steamrolling Murray as we speak. Fed’s the one guy who can take the fight to Novak and win too. Murray is the worst World No 2 ever.

    But hats off to Novak this year. He plays boring but effective tennis. Sad state of affairs as far as the aesthetic part of the game goes.

    Fed the Beauty, Novak the Beast
    Novak so boring to say the least
    Fed so graceful and Fed so sleek
    Novak nothing but a fitness freak

    1. How *do* you do it Murli – a couple of lines – summed up perfectly. πŸ™‚

      Lucky escape as this final didn’t record (clashed with rugby), so I only caught last 3 games which clearly summed up the match as one (mercifully short) snorefest. Djokovic does what he has to do, but I’m thinking audiences won’t want to pay good money to watch this sort of final too often. πŸ™

      So Feds remains as Djokovic’s best challenger – pretty sad state of affairs really – an ‘old guy’ of 34 being you’re main challenge. I can see Djokovic continuing in this vein for another year maybe, before the mileage/matches played starts to affect him.

      1. Arh yea, but WHAT old man! And Ferrer is quite old too and still in top 8 – I think, racket, good training, experience may make you young longer. – It isn’t a week period? Djoko just knows to win the matches – but not the hearts (and please remember to vote for Roger in the ATP such)

      2. WHAT an old man indeed muser – nevertheless he has over 1240 matches in those legs, and that’s the only reason that the slams elude him. He’s still the only player to beat Djokovic twice this year as we know. Djokovic will never win hearts. And don’t worry, I’ve voted for Roger of course – three times… πŸ™‚

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