Australian OpenGrand SlamsRoger Federer

Brilliant Federer Sees Off Nishikori at Australian Open

Whoop! A Huge win here for the undisputed King of Tennis as he took out Kei Nishikori in a swashbuckling 5 set win, coming through 6-7(4) 6-4 6-1 4-6 6-3 to book his spot in the Quarter Final.

The Swiss, in just his fourth competitive match of the year after six months out, showed off his magnificent shot-making and brilliant athleticism (kudos Pierre Paganini) to overcome the disappointment of dropping the first and fourth sets to come through in three hours and twenty-four minutes.

The result means it’s his second win over Top 10 players in succession and he’s now into the last eight where he’ll face surprise Quarter Finalist Mischa Zverev who stunned Andy Murray in 4 sets.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Nishikori Melbourne 2017

Federer won the toss and elected to serve. Nishikori came out all guns blazing, finding some stunning returns to break before he consolidated for 2-0.

Roger didn’t know what had hit him as Nishikori continued making the Swiss’s serve look timid as he broke for 4-0 and soon moved into a 5-1 lead.

A love hold then saw Roger finally find some momentum and he was able to recoup one break before again holding to love and immediately putting pressure back onto Nishikori.

The Japanese number 5 does not have a big serve, and Roger took advantage, recovering the second break to restore parity and forcing the set into a tie-break.

It looked like the Swiss’s momentum would give him the first set but Nishikori regrouped, and despite trading early mini-break it was he who came out on top to take it 7-4.

Into set 2 and a love hold from Roger for 1-1 showed he was finally getting into the groove on serve. That put more pressure on the Nishikori serve, and in game seven Roger broke through and held to love for 5-3. He went on to take the set 6-4 and now looked in control.

The Swiss then went up an early break for 2-1 in the third and was able to reel off the next four games as Nishikori looked despondent. 6-1, two sets to 1.

I thought Roger was going to run away with things here as his tennis was astounding and in set four, game four it looked for all the world he’d break after a lengthy deuce game. However, Nishikori dug in to hold and then rallied, taking advantage of some loos Federer play to break in game five and send the match into a fifth.

Serving first at the start of the fifth Roger needed to send a message and he produced some high quality serving to lead 1-0. Here he firmly got back control, breaking for 2-0 and soon moved into a 4-1 lead. Nishikori continued to struggle on serve and required an injury timeout for a back issue, but he held on to ensure Roger had to serve things out, which he did in style, holding to love to move into the Quarters.

Match Stats

Match Statistics R. Federer K. Nishikori
Aces 24 5
Double Faults 6 5
First Serve % in 100/148 (68%) 107/164 (65%)
Win % on 1st Serve 80/100 (80%) 73/107 (68%)
Win % on 2nd Serve 23/48 (48%) 24/57 (42%)
Net Points Won 29/44 (66%) 19/30 (63%)
Break Points Won 7/18 (39%) 3/10 (30%)
Receiving Points Won 67/164 (41%) 45/148 (30%)
Winners 83 42
Unforced Errors 47 32
Total Points Won 170 142
Distance Covered (M) 2832.2 2917.3
Distance Covered/pt. (M) 9.1 9.3
SABR 0 0


Thoughts on the Match

Federer Aus 4th Round 2017

Yeah, I think I’m playing better and better. Today over a long period of time, I had to be refocused and playing good tennis. If I gave Kei too many opportunities, he was going to take them. I served exceptionally well tonight, which was key against Nishikori. I’m very pleased there. Rhythm from the baseline is there now. I don’t get surprised any more from the power or the pace. Also the spin’s not the first round like it was against a left-hander. I explained that at length. Maybe that also was more difficult because of that, to find the rhythm. But I’m in the tournament now and you know how the balls and the court surface reacts to my shots and for my opponents what can happen. I’m not getting surprised so much anymore, which is only helpful for the next round.

BOOM! A very impressive performance here from Roger who was able to serve well, move well and play well from the baseline for five sets which is very pleasing to see.

After Nishikori had got off to a great start, Roger didn’t let it rattle him and managed to respond instantly after dropping the first set tiebreak. Once he got that rhythm on serve, he was able to play more on the front foot, and although Nishikori is always going to keep you honest from the baseline, he’s going to give chances on his serve and Roger took full advantage.

I think most impressive was his movement which has gotten better and better as the tournament has moved on. Today he was getting about the court supremely well, arriving at the ball on time and striking it very well off both wings, in particular, the backhand down the line which caused Nishikori a lot of problems.

Overall just a great match that had a bit of everything (backhand smash, clutch serving, backhand round the net post, great volleys, etc. etc.) and is why we all enjoy watching this guy play so much. Six months out and he’s back in a flash playing this sort of tennis. Jaw dropping stuff as Robbie Koenig might say.

Predictions vs. Mischa Zverev


Next up is the resurgent Mischa Zverev who caused a huge upset defeating Andy Murray in 4 sets. Zverev has been in great form since the tail end of last season, and on this quicker surface, he produced some top drawer attacking tennis that Murray couldn’t handle.

The last time Federer met the German was at the Gery Weber Open in 2013. I was in Halle for that match, and it was over in 39 minutes with a 6-0 6-0 scoreline. That was the injury riddled Zverev though who went onto slip outside the top 1000, packed in tennis and tried to get a pilot’s licence. Since his brother’s emergence on tour re-motivated him, he’s got fitter, uses a simple game plan that plays to his strengths and has had some great results off the back of it.

Going in Federer is the big favourite, but it will be a tricky match. Zverev will pressure the net and while there’s unlikely to be any long rallies Roger will have to take care of his service games and come up with some good passing shots. We saw Stakhovsky trouble him at Wimbledon with a similar-ish style, so I don’t think it’s a cakewalk. The good news is that he has already played a lefty in Melzer, so it’s some form of preparation for the out wide serve on the ad court.

Although today’s match was a five-setter, it wasn’t the longest or most physical encounter, so hopefully, Roger will hold up well. And that’s going to be interesting for the rest of the year to find out how he backs up this big win. I’ll pick Fed in 4.


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. How do,you write this up Im still trying to,process what happened . Another for the ages Go Fed thank you for this

    1. What a performance. The missed smash cost him the fourth set but other than that he played amazingly. Don’t forget Kei knocked out an in form Andy in the same situation 6 months ago, so this really was a monumental performance.
      As far as Mischa goes, he is very experienced, but he’s just had the win of his life so he’s gonna be hard pushed to match that level again. Also Andy has got a much more attackable second serve than Rog, and with the way he’s been serving I don’t think we need to worry. Also it’s not as if Andy couldn’t get a look at his service games, he broke him 5 times with 13 break points. Only worry is that he’s a lefty, though he has already beaten one so I feel ok about it 😉 z

      1. That game where Fed failed to break and ended up getting broken in the next game reminded me of the Wimbledon semi last year. Very impressive to cut his losses and run away with it in the fifth. Who says an old dog can’t learn new tricks 😛

    2. @katie no choice really gotta fit it in somehow 🙂

      @Tom yeah I forgot to mention that smash, was a poor game that one to drop serve, but fortunately he didn’t let it affect him in the fifth..

      1. Who is the favorite to win the tournament? If we follow ranking order, it should be Raonic. How has he been playing lately?

        Tried to see as much as highlights as possible, and seems that Fed is par to all the remaining guys.

        Nadal seems dangerous too, but most of his shots seem average and at times vulnerable.

      2. Re Raonic, he has been playing solid tennis in this tourney despite having the flu. He plays Bautista Agut nexr, so Milos will be a favourite in that match.

      3. @Vik you need a computer with copy and paste technology, most of them have it these days 😀

        Federer is bookies favourite now. I guess Nadal is right up there.Maybe Dimitrov best outside bet.

        Expecting RBA to challenge Raonic as he will make a lot of balls.

      4. In my opinion Fed would be the favourite against anyone but Nadal. If Nadal gets knocked out……

      5. Honestly, I think Raonic is the only one capable to currently beat Roger. With Wawrinka in 2nd distant, and Nadal 3rd…

  2. The thank you is for you both, Jonathan and RF just huge. Can just imagine the Melzer match being dissected closely by the Zverevs & we should be preparing for another stunning # Fedfunmatch

    1. Maybe but Melzer is more of a baseliner. I think Zverev will just look to play what he’s played all week, it will be tricky for Fed, not many players play like Mischa, but at least Fed has played across generations with the Henman’s etc of this world

      1. Fed has played lefty serve and volley players like Michael Llodra and Feliciano Lopez many a times and has perfect winning records against them. Also played the older Zverev twice. So he should not be in a non familiar zone. The only difference I noticed in Mischa is his variation of pace and that flat forehand without any real follow through which is very difficult to pick up sometimes. Moreover, Fed himself has many old school ingredients. So no worry. Lightning does not strike twice at the same place!

  3. What a match, exceed my expectations and my poor nerves. I have to thank everyone in chatroom today, our group chant of FOCUS and HOLD are insane 🙂 Good thing Roger manage to keep calm and focus during the 1st set which helped him a lot. If he panic and started going crazy, Kei would have won in 3. Next match is tricky but good thing he has played Melzer. Now he needs keep Zverev from coming in and rushing him.

      1. A bit sad for Evans, he played well but not enough to beat Tsonga. I hope he will get some sponsors after this tourney.

      2. Oh Roger Federer’s Magic,
        He wears a magic hat
        And if you write him off as done
        He’ll prove you wrong like that!
        He serves them to the left,
        He serves them to the right,
        And if he wins the Aussie slam
        We’ll sing this song all night!

        Hahaha, looking forward to signing to the song. 😀 😀 😀

  4. For those who missed the commentator’s remark about Federer in the 5th set: “Federer invents shots the way Shakespeare invented words.” Love that quote!

    1. Haha nice. I just googled Shakespeare’s invented words and it says around 1700,. I think Fed has work to do, needs to start hitting the odd ball left handed to catch up.

  5. Amazing match, vintage offensive style tennis from Fed, really enjoyed it despite dropping the two sets. One of my favourite moments was when he saved that crucial break point making a ridiculous drop half volley off a ‘second serve’ serve and volley! It was early in the 2nd set I believe. Just brilliant shotmaking and clutch serving which he will need to maintain against Zverez.

    As much confidence I have in Roger now, Mischa looks to be very very tricky. It could definitely turn to be another Stakhovsky Wimbledon style match which means it very well be down to a few crucial breaks of serve. Fed in 4 for me as well, but I won’t be surprised if Mischa can push it to 5.

    1. Maybe, but if Fed holds his serve, and keeps being offensive when Mischa serves, it would be tough for Mischa. Fed’s key here is: 1 – Hold serve and go to net
      2 – Return agressively Mischa’s serve to keep him as far from the net as possible
      3 – Play simple!!! We all know what happened the start of the 1st set…

      1. Yeah might have drained him ermotionally. But who knows. Could be same for Fed, let out a big roar but didn’t look like a big emotional thing for him tbh, more just come on!

  6. Amazing match, vintage Federer is certainly back.Backhand was clicking really well tonight, forehand was misfiring a bit in the early stages but Fed pulled it really well after the first set loss.83 winners and 68% of first serves is truly remarkable.I think Fed has a clear route to finals from here on, beating Nishikori in 5 sets has given him a ton of confidence and Zverev should not be much of a problem.Stan could do some damage if they meet in semis but the way he played today(like a top 4 player),
    Fed’s the clear winner.
    I think Fed might be in top 5 before the french open.He could be back in top 10 if reaches the final.Anyways great post Jon, Keep it up!!
    *Hope rafa plays well too, and we might see both again in finals.

    1. Do not want a Fedal final.. I picked Muzz to lose to Rog in QF and Rog to beat Stan in SF but reality is I only really hoped Tog cld make 2nd week. Hopefully he will not let Zverev continue giant killing and can at least now make SF. Mischa ain’t easy… shades of 2013 Wimby come to mind but Fed is fully fit and as J says, today’s win will give him confidence.. Allez all the way!!

    2. Cheers Marouf.

      Stan is looking good, he often finds an extra gear when he had a tough match early. Although has he got some strapping on the knee I heard? Saw his snap with the acupuncture stuff too…

      Final is miles away though for both Fed and Rafs So not thinking about that. Just media hype to get people talking

      1. Why not? Fed has a pretty good chance vs Nadal. Nadal isn’t playing like he was to be honest. His shots are more vulnerable…

    1. Different matches. Stylistically, Berdych. Mentally, Nishikori. If you had to pick just one though, probably go for Nishikori, first 5 set win over a top 5 player since ?

      1. Really had to think about that one – probably it’s a misleading stat since fed has played so few five setters against the top guys (usually, he’s one of them 😛 so 4 really) – is it actually Nadal in Wimbledon 2007?! His five-set wins are rare (Cilic, Simon, Tsonga, Benneteau, DelPo, Simon, Roddick, DelPo, Haas, Berdych, Andreev, Tipsarevic, Nadal) – were any of those guys top five at the time of his win?

  7. Agree completely, Jonathan. What a delightful performance from the goat! When the 4th set ended, it brought back my dreadful Wimbledon SF memory against milos. My nerves eased when Roger held the serve. From there onwards, I just knew that this is a Roger as we know him 🙂 .
    On mischa match, the man has no FH or power. Yes, he could hussle Roger but that will be all. I will be very surprised to see more than 4 sets.
    Allez Roger!

    1. Hm I never got shades of Wimbledon, Fed was running on fumes that day and a semi dodgy knee. Today felt different when it went 5. Not different in that he was obviously going to win or whateve,r but that it he was going to be competitive till the end whatever happpened.

      True about Zverev but he’s using the court well, is confident and knows his game. I like it, something different.

      1. I think comparing H2H Milos vs Roger in 2016 is unfair.
        Brisbane – Fed had the flu
        WM – He was returning from knee injury, he had a 5 set match just before vs Cilic…

        Remember that if Roger was so close on both matches in 2016, not at his best condition, I can see Roger being better vs Raonic.

        Zverev is an interesting guy, but I think his game won’t defeat Rog.

  8. Hi everyone, a little bit off topic here but anyone knows when is the last time the top and second seed fail to go beyond the 4th round of the Australia Open?

    1. You’re asking about the AO. It was 2002 when Hewitt and Kuerten both knocked out at first round. Thomas Johansson seeded 16th won it, close enough to Fed’s seed 😉

    2. last time at #AusOpen  was 2002 – Hewitt & Kuerten both out R1, 6th seed Henman highest seed to make R4 (where he lost), Johansson won ( thanks to GBtennis for info)

    3. great match! Far more impressive than the Berdych win. I rate Kei v highly, and his volley has massively improved. Real threat, so was trying to be realistic. Fed was superb, didn’t drop his head once, even after that awful game at 2-2 in 4th after so nearly breaking Kei.. tbh I think we all expected him to be broken!! To get thru a 5th unscathed and still bouncing at the end says a lot ( yes J, kudos to Pierre). I expect a tough battle v Mischa. Nothing is a given this AO! V open with these courts but boy has it made tennis exciting! Well done AO! Fed in 3/4 with at least 1 TB..

      1. Nishikori starting to gain a reputation for the MTOs now…Got Djoker’s style of play, hope he’s not following in the same dirty tactics.

  9. Great win by the greatest ever. Could have won in 4, but at the end a win is all that matters. With Murray losing his match, 18 looks not a distant dream anymore. Still 3 wins to go before we can start celebrating. At this point Fed looks to be the favorite to win it, but then Murray was the favorite this time yesterday. Last time djoker and Murray were out before quarters in a slam was 2007 AO and Fed won it?.

    1. Actually, I’m a bit disappointed he doesn’t get to play Murray: I’d have been interested to see the result.

      1. I feel the same. Although Sir Andy lost in such a dreadful manner, it is so much better for him to lose to the 50th ranked player. If Andy lost to Roger, he could lose not only the GS chance but also his newly built confidence, which could be much more damaging to the rest of his season.

      2. I think Fed would have been toast had he played Murray after coming off a 5 setter. I know Kei’s match wasn’t long but body is getting tested after a long time out of the game, we know how Fed/Andy matches turn out…

    2. 18 is miles off for me. Not looking past quarters yet.

      I guess Sandy Murray would have been the better quarter final for assessing Fed but unlikely to see anything but a 4 or 5 setter in that and a physical one at that. So not great.

    1. I think it is hard on this surface, skids throught the serve, it even helped Kei’s serve tbh be more effective. Should help RBA too against Raonic.

  10. By the Gods of Tennis, never would have imagined what was in store for Fed fans yesterday.

    This man named Federer is truly something to Behold. A unique creation indeed. May he soar to greater heights. Thanks for letting us know he is not finished yet.

  11. I loved the way Roger celebrated the win!! The man’s here to do something not just enjoy his return on the tour.
    I admire his passion , what an emotional win, for the first time I feel positive about Federer’s body post a 5 setter infact it should work his favour really, get some rest Rog, you have 48 hours :”)
    Talking about the tournament its already been a success given how early he’s playing 70%-75% of his level (in my opinion).
    Big Congrats to Mischa he deserved it !!! Should be an interesting match between the two. But I’ed be surprise if he doesnt get through in 3-4 sets.
    I mentioned a few posts ago that Roger Federer will make his 13 th semifinal appearance at the AO this year. Maybe it was an ephiphany 🙂 .
    Allez Rog!

  12. Well, I got one thing right, at least: as soon as Roger missed managing to break in that very long game in the 4th set I predicted he’d drop his serve – and sure enough …

    Delighted he won, but hoping it won’t have taken too much out of him. It’s a lot to ask effectively to come back into a BO5 tournament after 6 months out – I can understand better why Rafa dropped the AO that year after he’d been injured.

  13. What a match to have missed watching !!!

    Brilliant Federer, Brilliant Jonathan, Brilliant write-up.

    Having not seen the match ( saw highlights ) but having followed it live, I have just but one comment to make.

    Any other 35 year- old would have let go the first set after being love-4 down, hoping to conserve energy for the next three sets, so to speak.

    But not our Fed, he fights back to get to 5 all.

    And that’s because Fed is not any other 35-year old.

  14. When I’m old and grey and will sit my grandchildren on my knee and tell stories about the time I used to stay

    up all night to watch a magical Swiss tennis player.

      1. Hey, didn’t know you’re also a poet, Sue.
        Who doesn’t become a poet when you feel absolute joy seeing Fed’s game?

  15. Roger has finally earned a big B++ from me for the tournament. After a six month break, to play the way he played and to win back to back against at top 10 and a top 5 opponents speaks volumes. Plus, the 5 set win must feel REAL good all things considering. He could have won the 1st set, he could have won in 4 but he WON in 5 which against Nishikori (15-5 5 set record) going in vs Roger (24-20 5 set record) going in must feel GREAT. Plus, I didn’t see any signs of him slowing down and he finished in style.

    I like it. People have blamed me for being harsh or grading Roger tough, but despite all that he has earned a BIG B++ overall for the tournament which should easily translate into an A with a win over Mischa Zverev. I think that Roger has more than answered the bell but I also think that this now IS becoming a bit of an OPPORTUNITY and Roger MUST take advantage. Now, if he makes the Semis and then loses to Wawrinka/ Tsonga I’ll be OK with it. I said from the get go that making Quarters/Semis would show me that he’s back on the ATP.

    Mind you, but in 2016 (which many consider to be Roger’s worst season on tour), you must remember that played in only 2 Grand Slam events and despite all the injuries, he DID make the Semis in Australia only to lose in 4 against World Number 1 Novak Djokovic (also won the title) and he did lose in 5 against Raonic also ion the Semis of Wimbledon. And he could have won that also.

    So, Roger has a standard now which makes me even more happy to see him be back so quickly after 6 month layoff and already making Quarters and now with a REAL good chance to makes semis – which would also make him stay at Number 17 and not slip to Number 30 or Number 23 which would have not looked good.

    And if he makes the Semis, why not push? I do see Wawrinka as a tough out considering that he is a US Open 2016 Champ and also an AO 2014 Champ. I also see that Nadal/Raonic/Dimitrov as potential finalists so it’s not all great. They must be smelling blood also but after a tough DRAW for Roger, finally I am happy that he’ll get a bit of a break with now having to face Mischa Zverev while Wawrinka has to play Tsonga which is the tougher opponent.

    So, let’s enjoy this win, rest for a day and take it one step at a time. Hopefully Roger will recover well. So far, as far as I remember in recent times, Roger has not backed a 5 set win with a win in the following match so if he wins in the quarters it will already feel better. He’s already at 25-20 Career 5 set record which is respectable and with the fact that it was against a Top 5 opponent and just the way he finished gives me great hope moving forward. Now let’s see how far he’ll go with it. 🙂

    1. On your last point, Vily, this time is definitively different. Have you thought about why Roger leaped in air at the end of the match. Of course, Roger was pleased. However, my read of that is that Roger was trying to tell others that ‘I am live and kicking, certainly NOT old and grey!’ 🙂 . Even Mischa delivers the ‘best’ of all his career; that will still not be enough to grap a single set. TBH, I could not figure out why Andy played so badly as if he did not have any sleep last night. I will bet that Roger will pass Mischa. I just cannot believe how bad his FH is, beating Roger with that? keep dreaming!

  16. Roger needs to keep Zverev back and keep serving the way he has been all tournament. Luckily Zverev plays quick points whereas Murray grinds so for Roger fatigue shouldn’t be a problem.

  17. I feel ilke the court is playing faster than last year. What do you guys think? Any expert opinions out there you’ve read about?

  18. Rewatching Muzz match … didn’t realise he served for 1st set leading 5-3… serve off throughout, kept rallying with that zverev FH.. why… really Shld hv taken him out…

  19. So.. the pics of Fed’s crazy happy jumpy face are all over the interwebs.

    LOVE IT!

    But what do you think guys? What gives?

    I mean, I’ve never seen him so happy in a semi-final much less a 4th round win! HE WAS SOOOOO GIDDY! This for an unflappably calm and cool and collected GQ man of the year!

      1. Yes he has good contact to very much of his emotional life – if to concentrate, go for possible balls, and to release joy – and also sometimes the opposite.

  20. Its not easy to watch the first set.. I was on my way home and I saw the 4-0 lead from nishikori my heart stop and im stressing out!! Can’t focus while driving… Maybe I can’t handle the tress like that anymore … Crazy match indeed… 🙂

  21. What really impressed me was how high quality the match was for this year. Both players had to play very, very well.

    It’s always hard to manage expectations, but truly 1/4 final was the best I could really hope for going in, so whatever happens it’s been a great comeback tournament for Fed. If he can defend his ranking points and get to the semi, well, it will just be even better.

  22. thanks for this write-up and thoughts. i can’t get cable tv so i rely on youtube. so you are filling in the blanks for me. the match with kei was fast-paced so it did really highlight roger’s good movement.
    mischa–he might have a let down. i saw him quoted stating that it was like he was in a coma and didn’t know how he came up with a lot of the shots he made. i think roger has gotten better at this type of play himself since stakhovsky and wimbledon. so not too worried as i think roger can make the adjustment.

  23. Topsy-turvy Fed Math

    Fed beats Berdych World No 10

    Fed beats Nishikori World no 5

    And only then Fed gets to play World No. 50 Zverev

    Do the math

  24. In a way that’s the benefit of being lower ranked than higher ranked. You get to play tougher opponents earlier and then get a mini break. Hopefully Roger can take of business tomorrow and also not look too far ahead. Like I said getting into the semis would be more than succesful but beating Wawrinka who is the current US Open Champ as well as the 2014 Australian Open Champ will not be an easy task. It’s certainly doable but I don’t expect it. Like I said – that and anything after that would be pure bonus. I’m not even remotely thinking about the title right now. RF is only in the quarters now. One match at a time. ?

    1. Hope he hasn’t got OVERexcited, though. Wouldn’t want it to affect his next match.

      I think it was one of the Radio 5 commentators who compared him maybe to a schoolboy on the first day of term, or something? Can’t remember the details now.

    2. And yes, also tougher opponents early on haven’t necessarily got into the groove yet, so might be easier to take out. Andy for one had had very little competition, from what I gather.

      1. I think he knows the challenge, and also to stay grounded. He released some joy after 4. round, that’s fine, so the energy is capital. I’m excited and a bit nervous and look forward for tomorrow. Maybe Fed same thing, but in some other proportions…

  25. Fed’s face when he won the match told everything. So much meant to him. The match nearly killed me when he lost 4th set but was a sensational win in the end! Great to see not just his game’s back but also he’s fit for 5 setter! Totally A+ or AAA form me. So from now on, any outcome would be bonus. (oh really Wanda? Sure want him to win over Mischa and Stan and one more against whoever?!)

    Another cool post Jonathan, love the happy chappy tone of the writing 🙂

  26. Quickly scrolled through everyone’s comments in the first post regarding the Australian Open and comparing it to the expectations and hopes here and now. A week in tennis is quite something isn’t it? Poor Muzz, him and Novak are seemingly ying and yang in Melbourne. Most impressive thing was definitely not crashing out 6-2 in the fifth set. Fed’s serving + depth on the ball striking has been absolutely immense and of course with the draw being the way it is right now, it’s hard not to get ahead of oneself. Zverev is taking advantage of the fast courts, just hope Rog can keep his eye on the prize and keep pushing. Such a phenomenal effort to get this far already, don’t want it to end just yet!

  27. It is a great performance considering that Nishikori is a very good returner and a very very good baseliner. The first set was horrendous, don’t know how he got back in that set. After the third set, I thought the match was done and dusted but some silly points and Nishikori fighting back, got it.

    Was really pleased to see Roger serving first in that last set, I think Roger considers that as a huge advantage. It is very clear from the past that you shouldn’t take the succeeding matches easily after a five setter but I think Zverev should be an easy one.

    I saw the full match (Zverev vs Andy), to be quite honest, Zverev’s game was actually very weak. Just came into the net (did really well) for most of the points and from the baseline didn’t really have the power or the foot speed to worry Andy. I’m still shocked as Andy is a very smart player and a very good target practice guy (passing shots). Not taking the credit away from Zverev but I just don’t see Roger even losing a set to him.

    This is my prediction, I do not see Roger losing a set to Zverev and Roger must be upbeat facing Stan in the semis. I think it is all about Roger’s confidence over the opponent, if he is confident enough, he will definitely win. He loses his matches only if he has some doubts in his game and doesn’t come with a proper strategy (like against Djokovic and Nadal). Moreover, Stan is not a great returner and his serve can be vulnerable at times and Stan himself has said that Roger is his toughest opponent, so can’t see him winning against Roger (Remember this is a quicker court compared to the previous years)

    Looking at the other side of the draw, it looks a joke for Nadal. With the kind of form Rafa is in, Raonic and Dimitrov are going to be that much easier for him to dismantle. So, there are more than 60% chances of a Rafa-Roger final and the media isn’t over-hyping things here. I just don’t want Rafa beating Roger again, would prefer Roger to lose against anyone except Rafa.

    Do hope Raonic and Dimitrov can work the magic somehow (Although I don’t see that happening).

    1. Rafa??? His stats and play are average. These days, he is not an attacker, he is just a pusher… Raonic or even Dimitrov can beat him…

      1. To Jonathan:
        Yes, maybe pusher is a bit too harsh…

        To Jiten:
        In his prime, Rafa made his opponents play a lot of balls, but on crucial points, he was able to produce good winners. He had immense spin those days, and his shots weren’t easy to return. Even Fed can tell you that.

    2. Have to disagree with you mate, if we were to compare the draw right now Rafa actually has quite a task ahead of him, Raonic has been playing playing like a 3rd seed at the moment and at the surface (undoubtedly the quickest we have seen for a while) his forehand and service is lethal, we saw what he did to Rafa in Brisbane (on a very similar surface I believe). Yes Rafa is getting better ans better but Ustill see that QF heading 4-5 sets. As far aa my money on whose gonna make it to the final is concerned : Grigor Dimitrov – the guy has impressed me this year (9-0) and his fighting spirit has been remarkable. I am not saying Rafa cant make it but It ll be hard, moreover his opponents fall in the 25-26 age group, which us even interesting.
      On the top of the draw section Federer has Mischa/Tsonga/Wawrinka in his section . Tbh i dont see federer having to many problems against Zverev , again Mischa will have to play out his skin and Roger has to have an average day simultaneously to lose. Federer has a clear advantage against Stan on these courts (he can take time away from him like he did in flushing meadows in ’15 ; Tsonga has caused him troubles but again I ed still fancy Roger to go all the way , if his confidence is high in the semis. Federer outlasted #5 27 yr old nishikori , so if these matches go all the way, his opponents cant typically be called youngsters too. And I dont expect Mischa s match to be a 3-4 hr marathon anyway.
      So Technically Rog has a better chance to make the finals than but only time will tell.
      I expect Federer to make semi’s for now and we ll see.
      My main concern over the AO is federer to stay injury free and healthy, because all of us have been treated with some delightful tennis. :”)

      1. Yes you are right, but I’m still convinced that Dimitrov and Raonic have a little advantage over Rafa.

      2. Mark my words Vik, i have good feeling for Dimitrov making his first GS final. I am surprised people are only talking Raonic and Nadal for finals.
        OTOH, Grigor should beat goffin in 3-4 sets.

  28. Is it just me is is Roger playing more attacking tennis than usually even for him?

    It just looked like – with Byrdy and Kei he as taking way more risks than I’m used to him seeing – especially in a major.

    I remember when he canceled the 2016 season he said on FB he wanted to come back and play aggressive Attacking tennis. That struck me.
    That he made that a point t to atticulate – that even then he knew that was his niche and his dictinctive mark to keep up, but maybe I underestimated how committed he’d become to raise the level.

    Just me?

    1. As I only started following the champion at start 2014, it is such a treat to watch this renaissance period of his, brave and seeming effortless style of performing, so inspiring to witness.

    2. He is playing more attacking tennis. I think it’s logical because Fed is 35, and the best way for him to win is to play points quickly. Otherwise, he will lose energy. That’s why we see more S&V, and why Roger invented the SABR. I think its a major factor why he is playing more attacking tennis.


    “I have not seen him play a backhand this good, as consistently as it has been the last three or four days.”

    I agree. Only been watching since 2012. I’ve never seen him wail on it so hard so consistently as he is right now.

  30. Also – if Fed reaches the final w Nadal, he has no chance right?

    And don’t give me “one match at a time”, just help me begin to protect myself now.

    1. Alb if we get there at all, yes considering their HTH on bug occasions ,Rafa will fancy his chances but then again Roger has nothing to lose given his recent return and ranking in tennis, a final loss would be missed opportunity a would hurt but it would still be a remarkable tournament , Yes I ed say Nadal in 4-5 sets, but these conditions look very fast mind you.
      But maybe we re going a little to far ahead , I dont see Fed making the finals yet, Stan is extremely dangerous at this stage of the tournament and Rafa has Raonic and (possibly) Dimitrov to take care of , i.e two players that are arguably playing some of their best tennis and no matter how much you hear about Rafa’s improving form, he was cleary more faster and more effective on the forehand in ’09 so he s got his work cut out.

    2. One of the radio commentators said something which reflected something I’ve been thinking over the last week: effectively that he seems to have dumped much of the mental “baggage” he’s been carrying around by having the break. I’m wondering whether that would extend to Nadal as well …

  31. Looks like Stan will knock off Tsonga for sure.

    And if Fed gets through Mischa Zverev, there is no guarantee of him reaching the finals having to face Stan who is quietly improving match after match especially in tie-breakers. So its better to take one match at a time.

    On the other hand ( the left one ), Nadal’s march to the final is far more assured based on the level of intensity which he is showing. I doubt whether Raonic, Dimitrov or Goffin can really stop him.

    Of course both Fed & Nadal can lose in the quarters itself and then most of us will lose interest in the Australian Open for sure.

  32. Hey all, I will be watching live scores at work, hope I can get my work done without having little heartattacks 🙂 🙂 Please Rogi, don’t make this one of your “fun”-matches. Beat Misha asap because a fully fit and rested Stan the Man will be waiting for us.

    And please….. lets not hope for a Fedal Final. Lets do that in about 5 years when Rafa has reached your age 🙂

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