ATP Masters 1000Cincinnati MastersRoger Federer

Cincinnati Draw 2013 – Can Federer Defend his Title?

Hey guys, the draw for Cincinnati is out and there’s no respite for Roger as he’s landed in another tough draw where he’ll have probably have to face Nadal, Muray and Djokovic if he’s to successfully defend his title.

I guess on paper this is the toughest of draws possible but truth be told I’m not too bothered, he’s going to have to beat these guys if he’s to win a slam so getting to test out his game against them in a Masters 1000 is actually quite good as it will give a good indicator of his level and what needs to be done.

Out of all recent Federer’s recent losses we have had the injury excuse to fall back on when he’s been losing to lower ranked players so I’m interested to see what happens in Cincy, assuming the back is a-ok, what happens when he meets Dull on a fast hard court with a new racquet? It could be a juicy encounter and for once I’m actually looking forward to a Fedal match. To make it interesting 3 things have to happen – both guys have to make it to the Quarters and Fed must be physically 100%.

Federer’s Projected Opponents

  • Round 2: Kohlschreiber / Fish
  • Round 3: Haas / Anderson
  • Quarter Final: Nadal
  • Semi Final: Murray / Berdych
  • Final: Djokovic

Full .PDF draw available here.

So as you can see above it looks like Fed will open against Fish or Kohli, both guys are accomplished hard court players who can pose a threat. I’m not sure what to expect from Fish as he’s been out of the game for a while with a medical condition but he did play an epic with Federer here in Cincy last year so he is clearly a danger who knows how to play in America.

Then in the third round it could be his old buddy Tommy Haas who is still playing in rejuvenated fashion although he did look to have an injury in Montreal so there are question marks over him. Others in the mix include big serving Kevin Anderson who is a danger and Granollers who is one of those guys who can test anyone.

The Quarter Final is where it gets interesting though as he’s seeded to meet Nadal on hardcourts for the first time since their Indian Wells encounter where Fed struggled with a bad back and lost in straights.

Should Roger get past Nadal a meeting with Murray or Berdych looms, Murray lost early at the Rogers Cup but he usually does better in Cincinnati so I’d expect him to make it unless he’s on a really bad post Wimbledon lull.

The the final would most likely be against Djokovic who’s playing Nadal in Montreal tonight which could be another epic match, I’m personally thinking Djokovic schools Dull tonight after his loss at the French and yet again shows his dominance on hard courts. That could knock Nadal’s confidence before Cincy too which would be good news for Fed fans. As for the projected Cincy Final, then Federer and Djoker is a good match up so should Fed make it that far I’d fancy his chances.

Why I Quite Like the Draw

Fed 32nd Birthday

As usual Twitter erupted with worry after the draw came out because Roger has yet another tough draw on paper but I’m not really bothered. Firstly, it can all change as upsets happen and secondly because I have no expectations for Roger.

Wimbledon, Hamburg and Gstaad were all new lows, so whatever happens here has to be viewed as a rebuilding exercise. And why not eventually face off against the best? I liken it a little bit to a boxer who is recovering from a defeat, usually he fights a tune up bout against a well seasoned opponent, someone like Fish and then usually he goes toe to toe against the best. Which in this case is Nadal, Murray and Djokovic.

He may lose to anyone one of those guys, or he may not. He might not even have to play any of them if they lose early too. Either way it should be interesting and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens.

The main thing for me is that Roger is at the very least in better physical shape and is able to play freely without having his back prey on his mind. If that happens then we are moving in the right direction.

Has Roger been working out?
Has Roger been working out?

According to practice pictures Roger has continued using his prototype Wilson racquet which is another good sign and shows he is committed to the cause. After the tough Gstaad loss I’m just looking forward to seeing Fed step on court at an event that’s been a very happy hunting ground for him over his career. And to answer my original question – can Roger defend his title? It will be difficult but anything is possible. Allez!

Some Information from Zurich

TUpdate thanks to Duong in the comments who made me aware of this interview with a Riccardo Maiga who trained with Fed in Switzerland, some interesting comments:

How did the opportunity to play with Roger Federer arise?

Right now I am in Zurich, where I’m playing the swiss league for my club, the Grasshopper Club Zurich. I’ve just come back from a nagging injury and I started training a few days ago to get back to fitness and play some doubles by the end of the season. In our club there is a hard court with very similar conditions to the U.S. Open: Roger is located in Zurich with his family and trainer, and is taking advantage of our facilities. He trains in turn with all players who attend the club at this time. Friday, from 13.30 to 15, it happened to me.

How did you see him? What kind of training did you do?

He’s playing a lot, every day he has two training sessions. We trained for 90 minutes but he is working mainly on the athletic aspect. Even on the tennis court he devotes much attention to this aspect. He alternates hitting the ball with athletic work, such as repeated movements and footwork. Immediately after training, he personally telephoned Montreal’s tournament director to inform him of the withdrawal.

What did you talk about? What is it like to train with Federer?

Despite me being Swiss, I had never met him. I will say a banality: it’s surprising how down to earth he is, he’s a delightful person. With me he made an effort to speak in Italian. He made 2-3 jokes in our language, talking about the special relationship with our country. He talked about football, he says he cheers for AS Roma, he reiterated that the first ATP title he won was in Milan and told me he really loves Rome and its tournament. You know, in Switzerland there aren’t a lot of italian speaking players. Many told me he was special from a human standpoint, but experiencing it first hand was exciting.

What feelings did you have? Will the real Roger Federer be back?

These days I have followed him carefully. He is doing significant physical work, he is convinced that the problem lies there. I think he had a big physical decline, from which various problems arised, starting from the famous troubles with his back. He needs to train a lot, I’m not surprised he’s doing that. He’s very focused on the U.S. Open. When you see him play with fluidity, with the ease that only his arm knows how to express, you can not believe he’s done. If he regains his fitness, he can be super-competitive. The problem is that New York will be best of five. It is not easy to be at your best in such a hard tournament.

Did you understand anything about Federer’s immediate future? Also, what racket is he training with?

For certain he will start next week, still in Zurich , we said that we will meet again in the coming days. He didn’t say more: About Cincinnati there’s still secrecy, it’s still in doubt. As I said, I saw him call Montreal’s director with my own eyes , but before that very few knew of the withdrawal, even though there were rumors in the club. The racket? He keeps using the new model. The size is still a mystery. For sure it’s not 98. You know it’s 93? I don’t know, everyone here swears it’s 95, however it’s always a model painted black with no logo. I believe that the racket is a great reason to continue training. In my own small way, a couple of years ago I made a change like that, going from a 93 to a 98 and I can assure you that it is a very challenging transition. Federer needs to hit a lot of balls: as soon as he had this racket he played two official tournaments.


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. The fasts courts of Cincy sure suit him, but I thought the same in Rotterdam.
      But really I think, that if Roger’s back holds up, and he somehow manages to defeat his expected opponents and take the title, then he could win the US Open ๐Ÿ™‚

      I also think that if Djokovic dismantles Dull today, he’ll pull out of Cincy to avoid further beatdowns. Dull feels it’s important preserving his H2Hs you know.

      1. He does. If he is 100% then anything could happen. I like that he is looking more cut these days. It might be an attempt to strengthen his back ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. “The Quarter Final is where it gets interesting though as heโ€™s seeded to meet Nadal for the first time since their Indian Wells encounter where Fed struggled with a bad back and lost in straights.”

    Esteemed writer, wasn’t Rome after Indian wells?

      1. True, John. Those two aren’t in the same half either.

        Linda, sorry we aren’t making fun at you at all. Just some good spirited humor. I hope you understand ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Hey Jonathan, can I be honest? I think we are giving Rafa too less credit and that we are underestimating him big time.

    I think the days of Novak beating (Andy and) Rafa are over. Novak is the best on hardcourt, but have you seen Rafa play? He is (very sceary) not to his best, but has loads and loads of confidence. Is that not the most important thing? Is that not what Roger is lacking right now and losing because of it? No way, Rafa is losing and definitely not to Novak tonight.

    I don’t want to, but I think Rafa will win Montreal and win his 25th 1000 title. Somehow he seems to be more eager and serious to win than Novak (who kind of seems not that serious about it).
    Novak needs Cincy, I think his mind is on Cincy. This is not the same unbeatable Novak. Andy and Rafa have figured him out.

    Your “prediction ” of Novak schooling Rafa tonight….. sorry, maybe Novak & Rafa-2011, but Rafa 2013 is someone else.

    Can’t you guys see the message Rafa is sending across?? He wants to do good at the hardcourts. Has only points to gain, wants number one position. Why else is he playing without a strap?
    He played the whole clay season and Wimby with it. Now he is playing without it. If he wanted to, he could still play with a strap, having an “excuse” ready for everytime he loses from now on on hardcourts.
    No, I think he is sending a message to everyone that he is back, even on hardcourts.

    I see him winning Montreal, maybe even Cincy. Roger and Rafa in Cincy?? I think I know which way it will go. Would love for Roger to win. Can you imagine that? Winning Cincy by beating Rafa, Andy and Novak?? If he does that, he will be automatically every critics favorite for USO and he will win that too !!!

    Still no fan of Rafa, but you DO HAVE TO ADMIRE Rafa for one thing. He did what Roger could not do.
    Roger could not find an answer for beating Rafa after Rafa beated him everywhere, but Rafa found an answer for beating Novak, who defeated him in 2011 everywhere…..

    What do you guys think???

    1. Katyani, have you seen Djokovic and Nadal play this week? The way I see it, Djokovic is playing very very well, and Nadal not so well. Novak said it himself after he mopped up Gasquet: “As close to perfection as you can be. In every part of my game I did almost my best.” He was really scary on court. Rafa though, is not back to his hardcourt best, to my eyes. He’s still not as aggressive as he’d like to, the inside out forehand is not clicking yet, his movements are not top notch yet, etc etc. I love Rafa, and I’d love for him to win, but I think Djokovic, is gonna win it, maybe even in a one-sided manner as Jonathan said.

      But cheers for your credits for Rafa!! He’s made an incredible comeback this year! (except wimbledon)

      1. Hey Johan, I am still no Rafa fan, but I don’t know, he is different at Montreal. More serious.
        More eager to prove a point. More eager to win.
        I don’t know about the things you say he lacks still in his play. And yes, Novak was great against Gasguet. I am not underestimating Novak, but I think Rafa will fight his way out of it. Just like he did at RG the fifth set. Is my opinion. We have to wait till tonight.

      2. YES!!! What a win!! We should trust your intuition more next time huh Katyani? ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

    2. I can’t agree with a single word of this comment, it doesn’t make sense.

      Nobody is underestimating Nadal. He has looked good in Montreal so far but Djoker can turn the screw here.

      You underestimate Djokovic on hard courts quite badly though. He has won the last 12 meetings vs. Nadal off clay.

      Nadal is coming back after losing 1st round at Wimby, yet “Rafa 2013 is someone else.” How do you work that out? He looked more vulnerable on clay than ever and loses to Darcis on grass.

      Dull loses first round of a slam and suddenly he’s a menace on hard courts, Fed loses 2nd round and hes done lol.

      “He did what Roger could not do. Roger could not find an answer for beating Rafa after Rafa beated him everywhere, but Rafa found an answer for beating Novak, who defeated him in 2011 everywhere”

      Can’t agree with this comment, Roland Garros is Nadal’s fortress, it’s Novak who has to find the answers, not Nadal. Go watch Monte Carlo highlights and get back to me.

      Anyway, Djoker is my favourite. Nadal is always a threat, you never know what to expect but to suddenly start thinking he is going to dominate on hard courts is misguided.

      1. “Canโ€™t agree with this comment, Roland Garros is Nadalโ€™s fortress, itโ€™s Novak who has to find the answers, not Nadal. Go watch Monte Carlo highlights and get back to me.”

        Agree with this. On clay, it’s Djokovic who has to find the answers against Nadal, and he did in Monte Carlo. Nadal beating Djokovic on clay isn’t strange. On hardcourt, Djokovic still won their last two meetings, 2011 USO final and 2012 AO final. Nadal hasnt solved Djokovic yet on hardcourt. Maybe tonight…

      2. Hey Jonathan, Johan and John,

        I just gave my honest opinion. You guys look at it with so many knowledge of tennis and unfortunately for me I look at it a different way. I am in no way underestimating Novak. That would be stupid. After Roger I like him the best. He is for the third year the world number one and he is on hardcourt on another level. I do still remember WTF 2012. Roger and the rest gave it their all and still Novak won.
        But… I am also not underestimating Rafa either. I don’t know how to explain it correctly.
        I am seeying a different side of him at Montreal. He is more confident, more willing, more eager and more willing to fight.

        I never understood when everyone said Rafa was a fighter, more than the others. I always found that silly. Why is HE more a fighter? Don’t they all fight?? Roger fighting till the end through Wimby 2008 final, Wimby 2012 final and RG 2012 against Delpo.
        Fighting through Benneteau at Wimby.
        Andy fighting in the fifth set of USO 2012 final. Novak fighting through pain and everything in the AO 2012 final. Isner and Mahut fighting through that long Wimby match. Isner holding off 13 matchpoints against Haas?? Those are fighting spirits, so why is Rafa always mentioned as the “greatest” fighter of all time?
        But I think I am seeying finally at Montreal why he is called a fighter.
        Yes, the SF tonight, everyone will say Novak will win, but I don’t know, I think Rafa will fight his way out of it. He will be OUTPLAYED the whole match through by Novak, but in the end I think he will find a way. Call it my stupid feeling, but I think Rafa will win. Even if Novak wins, don’t think it will be in straights.

        And I know how stupid I sound when I say Rafa can or will win Cincy, when he never even made it to the final there, but this year, with his fighting spirit and confidence????

        And Jonathan, I also saw MC. You guys were impressed with Novak. I was impressed with Rafa. He lost “badly”, but he came back and… after that match won it all…
        I still think he is “on something”, but I do finally understand his confidence and fighting everyone talks about.

        And Jonathan, Johan and John… If Rafa loses tonight, I will be the first to apologise for what I said, but somehow, I think Rafa will win.

      3. I have a conspiracy regarding Nadal, the other 3 slams (excluding RG) and “The Powers That Be”. I will wait and see how he fairs in Flushing Meadows ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

      4. Fair point. I hope you don’t think we’re shooting down your suggestions. I think we all just are asserting our opinions, much like you are, Katyani.

        And it’s true that Nadal has recovered well. But to me, throughout his career, even when he dominated in 2010, the Nadal of a CLAY court is just a different player entirely to any other court. That’s why I think whatever he achieves on clay is by no means an indicator of what he might achieve on hard, especially on fast hard, where he has never been successful. And re your point on desire/hunger/whatever, I can only say that I never look at Nadal as someone who lacks desire. I think it isn’t a matter of being able to fight harder, or wanting it more. Nadal will almost always want it more. I think it’s whether or not Novak turns up that will determine tonight. The reason for this is simple: he’s better than Nadal. In that sense, whether or not Nadal looks like he’s eager or willing to fight, as you put it, I think it’s irrelevant. It’s whether his game clicks. If it doesn’t, Novak won’t outfight him, never has. Novak will outclass him. Although I hesitate to use the term class in any paragraph involving Nadal.

      5. Hey John, thank you for explaining it to me so nicely. You all can be a little overwhelming you know, so much knowledge. I just go with feeling. I hope Novak will win Montreal and Roger Cincy and USO. Would be nice right? Rafa has never done well on hardcourt, but I don’t know what it is this year. I see him play and think to myself, what will it take to beat him??
        That confidence, that never give up, that always coming back, that fighting spirit??
        And I agree with you, Novak is better than Rafa. Even Roger is. Unfortunately Rafa is clay and therefor unbeatable there.

      6. Whoa, whoa, whoa, what’s this “even Roger” nonsense. It should be “Novak is better than Rafa, and so obviously Roger is better”. Actually, I’d rather like Milos to win this one. Home tournament, good young played looking to make a breakthrough in a world where youth doesn’t find it so easy anymore. And a little knowledge never goes amiss, you should camp out on Wikipedia more often ๐Ÿ˜‰

      7. Oh John, go easy ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m sure she didn’t mean, “Even Roger is better than Nadal, can you believe that?”. I guess it was a poor choice of words. Even you know that. Blame it on the frenetic pace she types at, at times even faster than her thoughts.

      8. John and Sid, are you guys done making fun of me? What did I say that was so bad?
        I do believe Roger is better than Rafa. I honestly do. What did I say wrong?
        I would like Milos to win, but don’t see that happening.
        And… don’t worry, I will camp out on Wikipedia before I make the MISTAKE of giving my opinion.

      9. Interesting Katyani, I can’t figure out where I made fun of you about your random prediction. I was merely defending your use of the word “even”.

        As for the “win”, as a rational thinker, I find it hard to believe that someone who stayed out for such a long time can come back and simply win like that. Makes you think, doesn’t it? Maybe you don’t think because you’re now a proven Nadal fan.

        In my opinion, as I’ve always said, there is more to Nadal’s performance than meets the eye.

      10. Also, Katyani, you sound like someone who flipped a coin, called “Heads”, made it, and went on gloating, “What did I tell you?” ๐Ÿ™‚


      11. So you were right Katyani, good prediction.

        Bad fold from Djoker in the breaker. He’s lost momentum here though, he had the edge off clay, may just have handed it back to Dull. Perhaps he is a danger at USO now.

        Djoker is the protector of Roger’s legacy to a degree so hope he can recover from the loss, Fed hates Djoker too, which makes it pretty funny.

      12. ‘Djoker is the protector of Rogerโ€™s legacy to a degree’

        Hell yes! Plus he has the tools to beat Nadal and he knows how to use it. Just didn’t happen today except for the 2nd set. When Nole’s firing on all cylinders it’s like he is foiling the Nadal hardcourt run. And I’m loving it.

      13. Hi all! Just a quick question. Sid said: “In my opinion, as Iโ€™ve always said, there is more to Nadalโ€™s performance than meets the eye.”

        What are you actually saying Sid? Explain it to me like I`m 10… ๐Ÿ˜€

        PS: All the best to Roger, I hope at least he will have fun!
        PS2: I think I really like Pospisil. Quite consistent!

      14. Tilas, I was hinting that Nadal takes PED’s. It’s a discussion we’ve had several times and a lot of reasonable and strong arguments have been made that he indeed could be.

      15. Thanks, Scooter! I truly believe that to be the case. There are those who dismiss such articles as hearsay, libel etc. but someones got to start the discussion at some point. At first I had a little bit of doubt that Nadal doped. After the Fuentes case, I’m absolutely convinced that Rafael Nadal is a doper.

        I’ll have to read Tyler Hamilton’s book, “The Secret Race”. And I loved the part where Fuentes said, “if I talked, the Spanish team would be stripped of their 2010 World Cup victory.”.

        Someone needs to stop this cheat from stealing more titles.

      16. Haha Katyani, we aren’t making fun of you! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Just banter, that’s all. And yeah, Nadal pulled it off. Amazing, I hope Milos wins now. Did you see Novak get hit in the face? Odd moment.

    3. I disagree with almost all of this. It’s admirable what Nadal has done this year, but only on clay courts. He gets schooled in Wimby, and you’re telling me that after three matches on hard courts that he’s “up for it”? Nah, I don’t think so. Djokovic may not have as much to prove as Nadal, but he’s superior on hard courts. Simple as that. There’s an inherent difference in ability and results over a career on fast hard courts, and not just post 2011, before that too (US Open 2010 excepted). If Nadal pulls it off, maybe he wins Montreal, but Cincinnati too? No. Just, no. His record in Cincy is atrocious, and you’re telling me he’s gonna play better than he ever has to beat players like Djokovic and Murray, both, in my opinion, better. Not playing better, just simply better.

      And agree with Jonathan too about the clay court thing. Djokovic is the man with a point to prove on clay, Nadal just has to sit back and wait for the invaders to break down the door, which will happen soon. And I also agree that you are underestimating Novak on hard courts, Katyani. Nadal’s last non clay victory over him came in 2010, at the WTF. If we look at conditions similar to this US Swing, we’re looking 2010 US Open. And even that came only after:

      1) Novak took five sets to beat Roger
      2) Nadal mysteriously gained Roddick’s serve for a fortnight, and then proceeded to lose it for the rest of his career thus far.

      So to summarize, no, I don’t see it. I can envisage some sort of victory over Novak if he doesn’t turn up, but winning both Montreal and Cincinnati, that’s something no one’s done since 2003 when Roddick swept the whole US hardcourt swing his way. To suggest a guy who, at his best, has still failed to do so, and not by some kind of close shot, when someone superior in almost every way to him on those courts is playing as well. Nah, not happening.

  3. Agree with you, Jonathan. I personally like this draw too. A match with Nadal is good for him at this time, no matter the result. But I do think that the prospect of a win is not very bright… He’s not in fine form lately, and a player rarely just explodes into form out of the blue, building match form is more often than not a gradual process. But who knows, it’s the GOAT, he’s surprised us many times before. Hope he’d be extra motivated for a win against Nadal on fast hard court

      1. Except, the only guy he was really losing to in 2008 was Nadal. So, he was in good form, despite the mono. It really helped that Murray took care of Nadal in the SF because despite the surface, the mental block would’ve been impossible to overcome. So, thank you Andy!

        This year though, we haven’t even seen a decent Roger yet. I haven’t. Have you? ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. Well, AO I thought he close to peaked. Not quite perfect, but not putting Tsonga away quickly probably cost him. Aside from that, Halle was okish. Anyway, in 2008 it’s true he was only losing to Nadal. But post Wimby, Fed lost to Blake in the Olympics, and exited Cincy and Toronto in the third round to Karlovic and Simon. So last time I checked, neither of those guys are Nadal ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Here’s hoping. Also, nothing says Nadal won’t get decked out again at the US before Fed has to play him.

      3. True, but you get the point when I said, “only losing to Nadal”. If you put the entire 2008 in context (one slam semi and two finals), that form was way better than the one with which Roger flies into Cincy, right?

  4. I can see people speaking of a match against Nadal … just like in Wimbledon … but I remember Roger saying a few years ago that Cinci had always been a strange tournament for him : either winning the tournament or losing early. The surface is quick, he needs to play with a lot of control, has always been hard to find it in early rounds in this tournament. And this year first match on hardcourts, with a new racket, coming back from back spasms … surely I don’t look further than a match against Fish or Kohli ๐Ÿ˜† Nadal himself doesn’t have a great past in Cinci even though he has a very good draw.
    PS : I saw on MTF that a guy who had practised with Roger in Zurich said that his racket surely was not 98 sq size, rather 93 or 95

    1. Cheers for the link Duong. But a journo did say Fed confirmed it was 98. Guess we won’t know until Fed says what it actually is.

      And agreed, it’s tough to look past the first match. Both guys can play. I’m just looking forward to seeing him play an hoping he’s moving well.

      If he moves fluidly then the game follows. Step slow, feet not clicking and he’s out of synch.

  5. Well listen to the Gambler everyone: del Po champion at Cincy, Murray the runner up, Fed and the Joker make the semis. P.S. where is Syd? Hope he s not nicking my biscuits now I m away on holidays

    1. Is that you, Greek Gambler? ๐Ÿ™‚ Of all your predictions, the one that makes me most happy: Fed makes the semi. You know what that means? Do you know what that means? ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Yes Sid it is me! I wish I knew man, that s just a wild bet. Believe me that I am on the same train with you and all the Fed fans expecting even just a taste of something good that is to come at the US or even for 2014. As for this morning I m with Jonathan that its going to be another lesson delivered from Nole to Rafa so I’m not going to lose my sleep for that.

  6. Hey Jonathan, According to the news of Zurich, Fed is for sure not playing with a 98 sq inch racquet. It’s not even 90, the old one! That’s hard to believe!! So many switches in such a short period of time. Is Fed getting impatient? Do you really believe it’s true? If it is so, I would like know your take on that…

  7. Jonathan et al,

    I concur with Jonathan’s measured optimism around Fed’s return, and he does look like he’s packed some muscles in that pic! I also think it will be good for him to play tough competitors right away–Fed is always more amped up agains higher ranked players. I’m about to watch the Nadal-Djoker war of attrition in a bit and my sense is that whoever wins may withdraw from Cincy out of sheer exhaustion! Nadal looks like he’s playing with a new found aggression –And please folks, this blog is devoted to Fed, so let’s not beat each other up about who’s more devoted to the Fed cause!! This seems like a good place to air out our cautions amidst supporters

  8. At this point, I think the main priority for Roger is to ease through his FIRST match as painlessly as possible. Fish (albeit coming back from injury) and Kohlschreiber are both formidable players – Fed needs to be careful. Ever since the French this year, I’ve learnt to focus on Federer’s matches one at a time, and worry less about Nadal et al (although should they falter, I wouldn’t complain!).

    On a sidenote, Fed’s right arm sure looks muscly (good signs!), maybe his infamous scrawny left counterpart has (finally) packed on the pounds too!

    1. Indeed, both guys are a challenge. But I guess the only way he gains confidence is beating someone with a good reputation.

      Yeah hard to tell if he’s looking toned from that pic! Right arm is misleading.

  9. I’m not looking past Kohli/Fish and Haas/Anderson. If he manages to win both those matches then I think he’ll have a shot against Rafa. But I don’t know if Rafa is going to play or pull out last minute.

    1. Yup, thoe are not easy match ups considering these would be Roger’s first competitive games on hard courts with the new racquet. The only relied is that neither of those guys, except maybe Anderson have the firepower of a Delbonis or Stakhovsky.

  10. Hi Jonanthan

    My hope for Fed is that he is fit when he walks on court for his first match and we go from there, hopefully onward and upward. In the photo he certainly looks to have more definition in his arms, I have no expectations I just hope he plays well and regains his confidence and he is more comfortable with his new racket, yes it would be lovely if he got to the final – but I just want to see him play well and what will be will be

  11. I’ve always wondered and also found it strange that Fed has this huge Mental Block when it comes to Nadal. Could it be the case of knowing you can never win a certain opponent because of certain issues or is it something else? Any Psychology experts here, help me out? ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. *I mean to say knowing he can’t win most of the time anyways*

      Jonathan you can delete my other comment (Time stamp: 12.57pm)

    2. Mental stems from their early meetings on clay. Should have beaten him at the French. In his head from there on.

      Two fold – mental and matchup.

      Let’s see if the new equipment makes any sort of difference ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. It’s precisely the same pattern Nadal used against Djokovic. After the 2012 AO Final, he made sure he played Nadal five times in a row on clay (twice in slams) for a 4-1 record. I’m pretty sure the mental scars were too much for Djokovic to overcome.

        And Djokovic isn’t helping his own cause. What’s with the, “near perfection” and “promised dance”? Regardless of his intentions, it’s never good sportsmanship to dance after each win. And for that, I feel glad Nadal put him in his place. It would serve Djokovic well to stay away from these antics. His conduct is not exactly what we would expect of a World No. 1. The sooner he takes his mind away from these sundries and starts focusing on his game, the better. A true champion considers being the No.1 a privilege, not a right. He earns it, then earns it even harder to keep it.

      2. I think Fed’s mental weakness stemmed from perhaps Fed realizing early on that the guy across the net had “extra-assistance” and so he lost the will most of the time. As sure you guys are right that it didn’t help that most of their meetings earlier on came on clay.

        Thank the gods for the WTF!

      3. Add to that Toni Nadal’s public admission that he has employed on court (in play) coaching, and all you can do is just kick yourself. He has also been warned several times. Subtle tips from a coach during key phases or a key play can make a huge difference. Then his charge wants a full 30-35 seconds to recover from his physical play and “think” through his options.

        The evidence of gamesmanship is overwhelming yet nobody cares.

        When Roger retires, I will have mixed feelings. Sad as I won’t be able to watch him play. Happy at the same time as I won’t have to watch or follow these cheats.

        But mostly sad.

      4. Sid, I read an article Uncle Toni gave some time ago. He mentioned that one of the ways to defeat Fed was to slow down the match.

        It makes sense you know. Fed is a stickler for rules. Most of his “out bursts” have been because the other player disregarded the rules in some way:

        Delpo with his late challenge (I like this one)
        Berdshit – the double bounce thing at Madrid
        Murray at AO 2013 – Stopping the point intentionally?

        Even Mirka at Wimby 08(?) exclaimed “Come on” when Dull was taking his royal time going through his rituals ๐Ÿ˜€

      5. Correct. He/They will use any means necessary to gain an advantage, including doping.0 Every form of gamesmanship should be employed according to them. I think I read somewhere that Nadal said something on the lines of, “Win by whatever means necessary”.

      6. Imagine the countless hours Roger has had to stay in that hunched position, waiting to receive Nadal’s serve. No wonder he has back issues ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Very insightful transcript from Riccardo Maiga. Regardless what happens in Cincy, am sure he will already thinking about USO and beyond. I think Roger is a nice person on and off-court, whatever silly comments Djoker’s dad said about Roger is total bullocks. Poor Djoker, his parents are a PR disaster. They need to be take cue from Nadal, Roger and even Williams’ parents – stop trying to steal limelight from Djoker.

    1. “his parents are a PR disaster”

      Haha made me laugh Dippy.

      Yeah pointless comments, unless it was forced out of him by a journalist who knows.

      1. Yeah there are three people I can’t stand in the tennis world outside of the courts: Djoker’s parents, and murray’s mum…

      2. Toni is pretty awful. But I guess it’s his job to do Dull’s dirty talking so Dull can remain “humble” :p

      3. I agree with you scooter, but to me he seems less annoying than the others I mentionned. I know it doesn’t make sense ๐Ÿ˜›

    2. Really, Dippy? Take the cue from the Nadals? The one who said Roger wasn’t really injured during IW? Then was hoping, “Federer and Djokovic should get injured?”. And the Williams parents? The father who displayed a sign that said, “Told you so!”.

      1. And Oracene Williams once said this about Clijsters: “She has the Medusa stare”. Way to insult how a rival player looks. The Nadal’s and the William’s are the scum of tennis.

      2. Ops forgot about some of the comments made by both Williams and Nadal camp too. Which puts Roger’s parents are most diplomatic, very swiss indeed.

  13. Well, since we’ve seen Roger lose to lower ranking players lately, I’m not sure I’d be comforted by a so called “easy” draw anyway. I’m just happy for him to be out there and really hope he’s physically and mentally able to compete at his best. You echoed my thoughts in one of the your comments above: “If he moves fluidly then the game follows. Step slow, feet not clicking and heโ€™s out of synch.” Exactly! Let’s go, Roger!

    P.S. Happy to see Fish back actually. He’s the ONE player from my own country I like and support.

    1. Fish and Blake are the only ones I like from the current lot…well, Blake isn’t around any more.

  14. What an awful site calling Rafa Dull! Why not call Djokovic Djerkovic or Federer PED-erer?
    When Fuentes was arrested Rafa was just a teenager. How do you connect Rafa, a small town teenager with Fuentes just because they are both Spanish? Why not connect the Swiss firm which supplied Armstrong with PEDs, with Federer just because he is Swiss? Or with all Americans because Armstrong is American? Of late a lot of American athletes have been exposed Curiously nobody says that means all American tennis stars are doping? Clearly this site is the meeting place of Rafa haters. Ugh what a horrible site. My last visit here. Just thought I would let you know how sick the lot of you sound!

    1. Well call Fed – Federror, Shankerer and the GOAT.

      Djokovic is the Djoker and Nadal is Dull.

      No Rafa haters here really, bear in mind it is a site focusing on Federer so Rafa fans will be few and far between anyway; just some interesting debates that most of the tennis world choose to ignore.

      1. Cheerz jonathan for the reply. I am nadal fan and i still love to come and visit this blog and Preeti, i could see you point, but believe me this is the most respectful and subjective blog i have ever visited for fed a part from some nonesense comments which you may ignore ๐Ÿ˜‰

      2. Now, Shamtoot, I hope my comments aren’t considered nonsense by you ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Some Nadal fans are so touchy, they always feel they have to baby him. It must because he’s been hurt many times. Very emotional. But hey to each their own.

      2. Sid, yeah some of them ๐Ÿ™‚
        But overall, youโ€™re near perfect ๐Ÿ˜‰

      3. Shamtoot, I know exactly which part you think is nonsense ๐Ÿ™‚ Unfortunately, that is something I truly believe to be true.

        Near perfect, huh? Not PeRFect like Jonathan’s blog ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. Ma’am, If I were you, I’d best read up the concept of an opinion. You’d be stupid to believe there isn’t evidence, even if circumstantial, to suggest Nadal is doping. We simply believe it to be the case. And as for calling Rafa dull, enjoyment of things is subjective, so I don’t see how you can justify that none of us should be allowed to find him boring. Personally, I tend to watch some paint dry when he plays, but good paint is just so hard to find nowadays.

      And Jonathan’s right too, this is a site for FEDERER fans. Now Federer and Nadal, you see, I don’t know if you watch tennis, they play DIFFERENTLY. So DIFFERENT people will enjoy them more than the other. What do you want us to do, say Rafa’s a great player all the time? He is, and a few of us do, but the thing is, EVERYONE DOES, which brings me back to having an opinion. If you buy some dictionary, you’ll find dull’s definition extends to boredom, but not lack of greatness. So just because we slam Rafa doesn’t mean we don’t know how good he is.

      Alternatively, not mention him at all? Well, you’re a fool if you think a blog based on tennis is gonna have nothing to say on Nadal, and if you do, well, that says something of you and your belief in Nadal’s importance in tennis anyway.

      I realise you probably won’t read this, and that I’ve wasted time trying to educate someone who judges a book by its cover. As for the rest of you, and particularly Jonathan, is there an award the site offers for great restraint in quality of language? Because I’d like to nominate myself.

    3. In fact Preeti, this is the worst Roger Federer fan site I’ve come across. They call him Chokerer and so many other things and disrespect the great man all the time. My blood boils when the owner of this blog uses words like, “Roger was schooled by Nadal”. He once referred to Nadal as, “Superman”. Would you believe that? How do you expect a die hard Federer fan like me to feel about it when someone praises Nadal?

      I’m thinking of moving on to some Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic fan blogs where I’m sure they treat Roger Federer with utter respect. After all, he is the GOAT, no? Can you suggest me some good blogs? Please let me know.

      Take care, sweetheart!

    4. We are not Rafa haters we just love Federer and good tennis in general and everyone is allowed their own opinion – I am sure if you look hard enough you will find a Rafa blog that suits you

  15. Itยดs defintley a tough draw Roger is in, but you have a good point in he has to to beat those guys to win the slams and Masters so Itยดs going to be a good test to see where his form is and how his back is here close before US open.

    Interresting interview with Riccardo Maiga. Always great to hear when Rogers of court behaviour is being praised, heยดs just a stand up guy all around. But I canยดt understand Maiga says Rogerยดs new racquets headsize only is 93? All the pictures I have seen it defintley looks bigger than 93 and I will say 98 is what it looks like, but again Roger has stated before itยดs still in the testing period so maybe theyยดre trying it with a smaller headsize at the moment. But I think he needs a bigger headsize than 93 and 98 would be a good size or bigger. He could use that extra size sweetspot and power in his returns, especially on the backhand side. He will lose some control but that he easily can adjust to with the natural talent and feeling for the ball he has.

    But Iยดm so excited for this cincy tournament to start, and Like you I hope he gets to face Nadal, so we can see where Roger really is right now with his back and new racquet. Let the fun begin!!

    1. Hey Mark,

      Yeah, Kohli will be a test, and Haas just schooled AnderCHOKE in straights.

      I remember a journalist tweeted Fed confirmed to him it was 98. Who knows though!


  16. What’s this I’m hearing about Fed playing with his Pro staff 90, tonight?
    Any truth to this? I know he practiced with both.

    1. Really? Well, it was good while it lasted…or not so good to be honest ๐Ÿ™‚

      Anyways, with that racquet, goes my only hope of a win over Nadal.

  17. At there are images of Roger practicing with old ProStaff 90 and of course rumours on twitter that Roger is reverting to his old racquet. Anybody can confirm or deny this?

    1. And exactly what am I supposed to do with the Pro Staff 95 that I just bought? Some troll this Federer ๐Ÿ˜

    1. One thing I’m happy with is the volleys, though I’d like him to S&V more. the rest, well, forehand is okayish, and backhand, well…

    2. Done and dusted! Agreed, Simon, the volleys have been quite good, better than usual, I’d say… although that missed improvised overhead… oh dear. I thought the backhand held up well only because Kohlschreiber let it. Roger was playing those mid court balls like they were in fashion or something. Only one notable down the line bh, and that one landed in the middle…

      Forehand was spraying errors, but solid in the sense that it didn’t cave under pressure in the big points. Shot of the match for you? I’d go with the volley at 0-30 at 2-2 in the first.

      1. The volleys will be better because of the smaller, much more head light and thus, manageable frame. But can the backhand survive the assault from Djokovic and Nadal?

      2. Same point of the match for me. that was a pretty nice dig.

        And Sid, it won’t hold up against Nadal in my opinion. Then again, first match on hardcourt since clay season for Rog, so I’ll give him time, but yeah, not hopeful against Nadal.

      3. No chance. Even at its best it has never held up brilliantly except on a few occasions. With no confidence, I see him chipping back returns with that backhand all the time. Nadal will lap those up. As for the longer rallies, it doesn’t seem to me that he can hit down the line at the moment (confidence, probably), and that’s ended all chance.

        And Sid, I know you’re still gonna push the racquet issue in every comment ๐Ÿ˜‰ but whether or not the volleys trade off is worth it will be determined by the way Roger plays Nadal. So don’t judge just yet. As for Djokovic, I think his forehand is more in danger. Djokovic is a fantastic player, but Fed can slice back to him and with any fair level of depth, Djokovic won’t be punishing it with a winner. Nadal will.

  18. Interesting interview regarding Roger’s fitness, kind of backs up what I thought a while back – his fitness wasn’t what it needed to be. On the other hand it is good that he has recognised this and seems to be doing what he can to amend this. Ultimately though he is 32 and there is not to much you can do against Father Time,but I have no doubt there is some improvement to be made.

    Good win against Kholscreiber, lets see if he can get the quarters which would be a confidence boost at this point.

  19. Notice Fed says he’s gonna use the Pro Staff 90 until post US Open. Can’t say I don’t understand his thinking, but I don’t think getting to say quarters will be that hard with the 98, and I don’t think getting past them based on his late performances is likely even if he uses the 90… it’s not like it’s gonna be much difference in terms of results unless he gets semis or better.

    1. just trust him and Annacone : they’ve made a lot of tests with the new racket last week and concluded that he made too many errors on those fast surfaces we are now on. It appears that with the new racket, he made a lot of errors in practise then no, a quarterfinal here or in the US Open was nothing guaranteed (and in Cinci, it’s not guaranteed at all with the new racket either considering he has to play Haas in R16 and didn’t look very good against Kohli). But Roger hasn’t said that he gives up the new racket : he will test it again or rather a modified one (he gave infos to Wilson and stringers about his feelings) after the US Open and probably play tournaments with it later, either in Asia, in the indoor-season, or, what looks the best to me, in Australia when the slow hardcourts season starts again. Those who have read me on this blog know that I expected the problems he had with the new racket in Cinci and that it would be better to switch back to the old racket for Cinci and the US Open. But anyway Roger and his team know best, just trust them. It’s not as if Roger played that bad so many years in the US Open with the old racket ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. “Iโ€™m personally thinking Djokovic schools Dull tonight after his loss at the French and yet again shows his dominance on hard courts.” Yep that dominance, like the 6 hours he took to beat Nadal at 2012 AO lol. Nadal never has to raise his game much to beat Djokovic on hardcourts.

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