Classy Federer Captures 100th Career Title in Dubai
The Swiss bagged his 8th Dubai title with a 6-4, 6-4 over Stefanos Tsitsipas
Roger Federer became only the second man to win 100 tour-level singles titles as he triumphed 6-4 6-4 over Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Dubai Tennis Championships. Needing just 69 minutes to record his milestone victory and move to second on the all-time list behind Jimmy Connors who has 109 titles.
The Swiss also avenged his shock defeat by Tsitsipas in the Australian Open fourth round and in bagging his 8th Dubai crown he’s gained 500 points that will propel him to number four in the rankings on Monday.
Quick Match Recap
Tsitsipas won the toss and elected to serve. Roger came out firing setting up two break points with a precision inside in forehand. Unlike Australia where chances went begging he converted at the first time of asking to lead 1-0.
The break was consolidated to 15 and Roger’s game was clicking nicely as he looked to move forward and take time away from the Greek.
After getting caught off guard in the opening game Tsitsipas settled into a nice rhythm of his own holding his next two service games. Despite that, he couldn’t find any inroads on the Federer serve as the Swiss moved into a comfortable 5-3 lead.
A hold to thirty from Tsitsipas meant Roger would have to serve it out and after hitting back to back aces on the first two points he was quickly up 40-0.
However, from there, his first serve went AWOL and Tsitsipas won four points in a row to hold break point. Roger saved it but you could see he was tight and the Greek soon had another chance to level. Again the Swiss saved it and a super smart body serve gave him set point which he converted to take the opening set.
Into set two and a stunning pass gave Roger the opening point on the return and it looked like momentum was fully on his side.
However, Tsitsipas wasn’t in the mood to lie down and he reeled off four straight points to lead 1-0.
A hold to fifteen saw Roger level and he was well into Tsitsipas’s next service game at 30 all but couldn’t fashion a breakpoint.
One of the best stop volleys you will see gave Federer 30-0 en route to holding to love in game four but the Greek was beginning to hit his straps with some big ball striking and he held his next two service games for the loss of just one point to lead 4-3.
A hold to thirty put Roger level at four apiece and it looked like the set might go to a breaker with the serve dominating.
That all changed at 30-0 on the Tsitsipas serve though as a sublime passing shot got Roger in the game, a double fault then put big pressure on Tsitsipas and it told as Roger played two swift return points to break for 5-4.
Would the Swiss wobble serving for the title? Nope, a classic move in and volley putaway put him up 15-0 and he reeled off the next three points to seal the deal. Allez!
|Stefanos Tsitsipas||Roger Federer|
|1st Serve||69% (37/54)||76% (42/55)|
|1st Serve Points Won||70% (26/37)||83% (35/42)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||53% (9/17)||62% (8/13)|
|Break Points Saved||0% (0/2)||100% (2/2)|
|Service Games Played||10||10|
|1st Return Points Won||17% (7/42)||30% (11/37)|
|2nd Return Points Won||38% (5/13)||47% (8/17)|
|Break Points Won||0% (0/2)||100% (2/2)|
|Return Games Played||10||10|
|Net Points Won||55% (6/11)||71% (12/17)|
|Total Service Points Won||65% (35/54)||78% (43/55)|
|Total Return Points Won||22% (12/55)||35% (19/54)|
|Total Points Won||43% (47/109)||57% (62/109)|
Shot of the Match
Roger Federer’s 100 Titles: Championship Points & Trophy Lifts
Thoughts on the Match
I’m just happy that I’m still healthy, that I’ve got such a wonderful team, my family who have supported me for so, so long. I can’t thank them enough. If I reach milestones like this along the way it’s wonderful, but I’m really not here to shatter all the records. What Jimmy did was an unbelievable achievement and he should be proud of that. I’m proud of other things I have done. It was a special evening playing Stefanos and seeing the future coming up. It’s part of the journey.
Great win here for Roger and a top quality performance where his game clicked peRFectly. The question was always going to be how would he play in the final after looking patchy all week but then stepping it up against Coric. Could he kick on from the semi-finals or would the pressure of a final and a couple of other milestones prove a burden?
All fears were soon allayed and he quickly showed that he was on it from the word go with some awesome first strike tennis, deft touch and trademark forehands.
That inside in forehand to set up a break point in the opening game was the best I’ve seen in a while and he played a flawless match really. The only mistake I can think of is where he opted to hit a drive volley off a ball that was swirling high in the wind but nothing deviated him off course and he maintained a high level from start to finish.
I said in my last post 100 titles could have been a monkey on his back but I’m not sure it really was. It was more just about getting rid of the hype and build up around it from the press and social media rather than a desire to achieve the milestone.
Based on his last couple of interviews it doesn’t sound like winning 100 titles was such a huge deal in his own mind other than being nice to have.
It’s more a vanity metric than anything else and I personally prefer the fact he’s won his first title of 2019, played at a high-level movement wise and got a win over one of this year’s form players.
He looked explosive in the legs today and whenever you see precise footwork to hit inside in and inside out bullets it’s a good sign.
With Fed going for all-out aggression and playing matches fully on his terms then it’s a tough proposition for all comers. If he keeps it up Indian Wells just got interesting 🙂
What were your thoughts on the final? As always let me know in the comments.
ROGER FEDERER: I don’t know. It’s just always different. Hmm? I didn’t think of it too much, to be quite honest, all day. I was very calm, very composed. At the same time we’re getting ready to leave tomorrow, as well. That always puts stress on the whole situation because we’re not just packing for one person. Yeah, so I think this one has a deep satisfaction, an immediate one, because I know what it means. I like these type of numbers or records, to be quite honest. A lot of people always emphasize all the slams and all these things. I play on the ATP Tour. This is where I’ve won so many of them. Been around for so long. Yeah, I don’t rest between slams all the time, like people think I might be. But I’m not. I think this number proves that. I think that’s why this was a very exciting week for me. I didn’t come here expecting I was going to win, to be quite honest. I hadn’t played since Australia. Just happy on all fronts how my game progressed, how well I played in the finals, on top of it winning the eighth, winning the 100th. So many magical things going on. Yeah, I’m very, very happy right now.
Q. What do you feel about your game today?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, definitely felt my best. I think I served very well. Had a high first-serve percentage in play, from the feeling anyway. Yeah, I just think I played the right way. Things happened fast. Best-of-three set tennis on a fast court against somebody like Stefanos who also likes to take the ball early. I tried to be very aggressive myself and it worked out. I got off on a flyer in the beginning, never looked back. In the second set, I think I was overall maybe able to create a few more chances. I just felt good in defense, good in offense, good on the serve. That’s a good combination to win.
Q. What is the main ingredient that you’ve had over the years to win these 100 titles?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, now I know a lot of people always ask me about, Are you going to go for 109? Winning titles, to answer the question, is not easy. Winning five matches in six days or five matches in five days, it takes a different type of fitness. Sometimes you can lose them in the semis. You can play a great tournament, play a brutal semis, you get unlucky sometimes with the schedule, whatever it may be.
You could lose the finals not because the opponent is better, just sometimes it’s like that. That’s why you have to be fit on many fronts: mentally, physically, also your game has to translate. You have to be able to beat different types of players, not just the grinders, not just the big servers, not just the attacking players. You have to be able to beat them all in successive days. I think that’s a tricky thing to do for a lot of players. That’s why you have to improve your game so much that you can do that.
Only a few players can do that every year, five, six, seven times or more during a single year. For that you need to be able to adapt your game to conditions, got to be able to play through the pain because I’ve been hurt or sick many times during events that I ended up winning. Some of them being slams, as well. You just got to figure it out. It’s hard, yeah.
Q. Did you know research has proven that 59 tournaments won by Jimmy Connors, 59 out of 109, were comparable to the ATP 250? What are your thoughts about it?
ROGER FEDERER: Who cares. Just a title. The 250s are not easy to win as well nowadays. I don’t see it as something that should take anything away from Jimmy. I think what he did was extraordinary.
Q. Can you talk a little about your journey tactically as a player through these 100 titles. I know it’s a long question.
ROGER FEDERER: Could be a long answer, depending (smiling). ‘Tactically’ in what sense?
Q. Your growth as a player.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I think in the beginning you’re getting used to playing every single day, getting used to travelling and playing. Like what Stefanos did, playing, winning, travelling, playing with jetlag potentially, keep on playing, trying to stay in shape, trying to stay mentally sane through the whole process, doing to press, going to play, going to sleep, going to eat, just going through that week in, week out. It’s challenging.
The more successful you become, the greater the toll becomes in terms of media attention, maybe winning awards, getting rewarded in your country or city or whatever it may be. You have to deal with all these things. Your tennis grows in the process very quickly because you’re learning so much about yourself, learning how to play other players, how they’re learning to play you.
You try to compress it every single time, in every game, every breakpoint, whatever you’re facing. In terms of my game, I think I needed to get really match tough to be able to be at 100% every single day. That was not easy for me. Check my emotions, that was not easy. Eventually, I figured that part out.
Then not wasting too much energy throughout the tournament. I remember in the beginning of my career, by the time the quarters came around, I was quite exhausted already because I was so happy winning points, disappointed losing points, I would get to the quarters and be tired. I knew I had to figure out my own attitude on the court to sustain five matches in five days or six matches in six days.
Back in the day, the Masters 1000s, what we had to do with the best-of-five set final. That was part of it. Like I explained before, just trying to understand how to play against which type of player. I think that was a secret for me.
Then saying injury-free. Without being injury-free, you will never get to this amount of titles, I believe. Yeah, a lot of things went right. I’m sure I took a lot of good and bad decisions along the way. I couldn’t have done it without a team.
My team has been phenomenal throughout. I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve said that always time and time again from my first coaches all the way to today. I always had the right coaches always at the right time. Also my parents, my wife. She’s been along for the ride for every single title. From that standpoint, it’s been a special trip, yeah.
Q. On the court you said you’re happy still playing. Was there ever a moment that you felt or came close to thinking that you didn’t want to be doing this, then you pushed yourself through it?
ROGER FEDERER: I think every player has those weak five seconds where you’re like, Really? Could be after losing, I don’t know, an epic five-setter, it could be after playing a shocker, it could be sometimes after winning something. You’re like, How much more do I want to do? I think everybody goes through that. It would be lying if they said, I never doubt it. I think everybody goes through these phases. It’s logical. We have too much downtime, too much time on the road, too much rain delays, you name it, that makes you go through with your head sometimes.
Never to the extent where I’m like really, really contemplating, Is it enough? I think definitely the surgery was for me sort of a major reality check in the sense that maybe I will come back, I knew that, but maybe never quite the same. I’m happy I can look back now and play with absolutely no pain, no painkillers this week. It’s a big week for me, to be quite honest, to go through a week like that. I’m very, very pleased.
Q. Is there going to be a special place where you’re going to put this specific trophy or haven’t you thought about it?
ROGER FEDERER: I haven’t thought about it, no. I’m not that crazy yet. I don’t know. It takes a lot of space in the trophy cabinet. That’s the problem here. It’s a special one. At least it will stand out. I don’t have special trophies for number one, whatever, 25, 50, so forth. I think it’s just going to have a normal place. In my heart, of course, I know I won my 100th here in Dubai.
Q. How are you going to celebrate number 100?
ROGER FEDERER: We don’t have much time. I’m leaving shortly, tomorrow morning. No, I saw the team already, which is great. Going to see some of my friends who are here. I think we’re cutting a cake with the tournament, as well. I know that procedure from previous years. I don’t know. I think I’m going to have a good time for a short while.
After that, I come home and see if my kids are still awake or not, or I’ll maybe wake them up, if they want to be woken up. I’m not sure what they told my wife because she’s not here right now. I’m going to see her, of course. We might sit down a little bit and talk, just enjoy that moment a little bit. Maybe festivities continue in Indian Wells, I believe.
Q. During the ceremony the speaker said he wished to see you again in this tournament next year. Do you want to give an answer today?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I think that was the answer. The idea was for the people to know that I am coming back next year. That is the plan. I have a deal for next year. I thought about it this week because I know they said they were interested to have me again next year, if it was okay to announce it during the week. I said, Absolutely, we can do that. I don’t see myself playing anywhere else but Dubai this week. I’m happy to come here again next year. I’ve enjoyed too much success. I like the tournament too much. So I will be here next year.
Q. You mentioned out there on center court the good old days. Aside from tonight’s win, is there anyone from 1 through 99 that sticks out the most?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I have a few. French Open 2009 was a big deal for me. Of course, also Hamburg 2002 when I broke the top 10 and beat Safin in the finals completely out of the blue, that title. I think title number one, it was a special one for me. I’m not kidding if I tell you I hoped I was going to not go down as a player never to win a tournament because I lost my first two quite dramatically, 7-6 in the third against my good friend Marc Rosset in Marseille. I cried my eyes out. He told me, Don’t worry about it, you’ll win some more. I’m like, It’s easy for you to say.
Then in Basel, my home tournament, I wanted to win so badly, I ended up losing 6-1 in the fifth. When I came to Milan in 2001, the sanction was owned by the Dubai tournament already, I was able to beat Kafelnikov along the way, beat Julien Boutter in the final. I think I had match points in the second set, lost the second, went into the third. I was so relieved I was not going to be that guy who was going to be endless talent with no titles. You can imagine today sitting with 100 how much disbelief there is in between what happened then and now.
Q. Staying back during that time in 2002 when you came here the first time, you got the fine.
ROGER FEDERER: They wanted to. It didn’t pass. I never paid the fine.
Q. Did they withhold the cash prize?
ROGER FEDERER: They first wanted to, yes.
Q. Did your mind go back to that moment now?
ROGER FEDERER: Not now. Yeah, it was a tricky situation because I was in the second round of singles and doubles. I was accused of tanking. Tanking second round? I played frustrated the last couple of games in the match against Rainer Schuettler because I was young and crazy. I was so fed up with my game. I just started to go for big shots. Tournament director wasn’t happy with what he saw. Anyway, he withheld everything. But the tour said, no chance you can do this. Roger tried, so it’s all good. Then I came back the next year, wanted to prove a point. I ended up going for four in a row, so… That’s what happens sometimes. You have to learn it the hard way.
Q. You mentioned your surgery in 2016 that made you miss Rio. Any thoughts about Tokyo next year?
ROGER FEDERER: No, still not. Don’t know how I’m going to qualify, to be honest. And if I do, I don’t know if I’m still playing. Still too far away for me. Yeah, I don’t know. I just don’t want my mind to go there. I think if it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I think it’s not like my first Olympics where obviously I always wanted to be part of it. So we’ll really see how it’s going to play out.
100 in the bag!
A championship match on saturday is so nice.
Sundays are working days here. In a few finals all I could do is the take a look in the live scores from time to time. That’s the worst… you get anxious but don’t enjoy the tennis.
I’d rather forget the match in that case, but it’s hard when you’re addicted… 😉
? !!! Finally 😀 and in style !
Thanks Roger. Excellénte!!!!!
Only Roger can do !
Having not being able to see Fed’s matches this week until this one, I thought he played pretty well. Recently he had gone away a bit in the big points and this was one of those that I thought we would see a wobble in, but he managed to get himself out of it without too much trouble. Hopefully that means he can play with more confidence from here on out, though time will tell I guess.
Agreed on the 100 not paying a huge toll on him mentally. I don’t think he lost a final when he was at 99 titles, and Fed’s not really the kind of player to let the pressures of a milestone like 100 titles play on him, before the final at least.
Good stuff, and thanks for the writeups Jon.
Yeah didn’t seem like he felt too much pressure. He only played 1 final since been on 99 titles though 😀 Only time he looked tight was end of first set, but I guess he knew that was important for the outcome of the match.
Now that 100 is out of the way, can we start counting to the next 10? 🙂 Great job by Roger to fix his mistake of not breaking which cost him AusOpen points. Being in the top 4 for IW is good news, even though there are a lot of very good players who could pose issues on a bad day in any round. Thanks to not winning too many from this point on in 2018 should help him gain more points in the coming months to make sure he’s got a top 4 ranking when Wimbledon comes around. I think it doesn’t really matter in any GS which one of the top 4 he is. He needs to beat Nadal and Djokovic to win the title anyway you look at it. Good come back after the AO disappointment. Hoping for more of these to come in 2019.
Terrible on break points in Aus, peRFect today. Swings and roundabouts.
They need to be available & Roger doesn’t really have to prove anything anymore imo hes so consistent before the injury & in his prime anyway. Playing like a dream at 37 …they are becoming irrelevant & Zverev NK Tsitsi Borna will see them
Off as Roger is playing as well
As ever! Roger has transcended or is still transcendingvspubsequent gens like Stefanos! Roger can play on but it proves nothing he’s goat already
Yayyyy! Finally! I saw this match after a work-enforced break from tennis, and I loved the way he was playing. The backhand, especially, seemed to have improved from 2018 standards. Now the 100th title monkey is off his back, hope he goes all out and plays relaxed and free. The wins will come if they will come, even otherwise the man is sheer pleasure to watch.
All companies should have tennis watching windows as part of the working week IMO.
Lol, true! Actually, that’s a great idea. Management types could learn a lot from the way Roger deals with fans, sponsors and media, while artistic types could learn from his movement and shotmaking. 🙂
Just so good. Would love to have seen this, but just so pleased for Fed and all his fans, who have some difficult times but also brilliant ones such as this. Number four now ?
If we were born with six fingers in each hand we would be celebrating the “84th” title… Nothing too singular. What is really singular is having the privilege to watch such brilliant performances from someone who theoretically had no business doing that entering his third decade as a professional.
Back to business: as someone righteously pointed out on a YouTube comment, Fed got more success going more for a classic flatter forehand on the rise than insisting on a heavy topspin buggy whip except where strictly needed (on the run). Add to that the sharp net play we saw today and we are in for a show.
Let it roll!
The opening sentence has gone over my head?
I would like to see the RPM’s on those FH’s, I still think they were fairly heavy spin. For me it was more the fact he was in better positions early.
8×12+4=100. The way a number is written depends on the chosen base. So, 100 looks special only because it’s a power (second) of the chosen base (10). We use base 10 because we started counting things using the hands’ fingers.
But yeah, I think it’s harder to put topspin on a ball on the rise. I just tend to slap it right away (courtesy of table tennis habits) even though my coach keeps telling: “hey, Rui, the purpose of this drill is to prepare, let the ball rise, drop, and hit it safely high cross-court.” Haha. Sure thing. Sometimes, maybe…
Interesting, never really thought of it along those lines. I always saw 100 as a milestone just because of the century aspect. 100 men in a centuria etc. But I guess base 10 predates that.
YES!!! He’s genius and great words Rui!!!
It was a great match for Fed and for us and I’m looking forward to watching the replay calmly instead of watching wondering if he would suddenly go AWOL, and he absolutely didn’t (except a little bit at the end of the first set, just to keep us on our toes). Surely this will give him the confidence which he seemed to have lost. He went in playing freely and agressively and with courage, just as he used to.
Thanks for all this week’s write-ups, Jonathan, and especially for this one.
Ye hope so, see what happens in Indian Wells now. Historically a good tournament for him.
I wonder if he plays Miami?
I was desperate for him to get Dubai #8 and hold that lovely dhao again – my favourite trophy. The fact that he did, by (finally!) stepping back into his Champion shoes and comprehensively and convincingly and confidently defeating the guy who had played lights out at AO and was still playing lights out tennis was a huge deal given all the competition Fed is now facing. The #100 was icing on the cake but as you say, more a relief to get it out of the way. I think Rog probably more happy to achieve it than you’ve presumed but it was he free-flowing back to his best tennis that was the major delight for me today. Now that he HAS git that monkey off his back- and more importantly has already got a Title this year – which Im sure is the more important factor for him- augurs well for IW and a very relaxed Roger on clay.
Ye it’s a cool trophy that one. Took me a while to work out Dhao but typo 😀 Dhow – Arabic for a sailing vessel. Never knew.
The only thing I don’t like is all the pre-made stuff for it, t-shirts with 100 on, signs, pre-recorded messages. All a bit OTT.
There’s a trophy whose artistic originality surpasses all the others: Rotterdam.
love your reports, keep it up
Rui was Rotterdam
Cardboard number 1 so simple & spontaneous that it showed Fed was not expected to actually win the event but did, hence unlike the 100 they were scrambling to acknowledge it( the magnificent milestone ) of number 1 again at 36& a 1/2?
The cardboard was a nice funny improvise. I meant the silver(?) plate for the winner, stained with fingerprints to go with it. I mean: the banks are what we know they are, but… really, does ABN-AMRO have to go cheap on a trophy?…
(at least this year someone must have offered them a pack of paper towels)
Unforgettable match enjoyed every minute of it Roger was at his best!
Yeah a stylish finish, I didn’t enjoy his first couple of matches that much but the last two were great.
So much for the changing of guard.
Tim Henman had other ideas.
Jesus Christ! That volley! Oh my God! That volley!
Yea, nothing wrong with speed of reactions
Haha yes … unforgettable ever!!!
Yes, like the many unforgettable moments Roger has given us, this one can never be unseen. I mean, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!
Oh yes, those volleys! I can’t think of anyone on the tour now who plays the volley as well as Roger; the approach, the style, the balance, the guile, the grace…………….will sorely miss him when he retires.
Do you think it’s possible Roger is using some sort of string that attracts the ball and makes those shots easier?
That very well might be it. It wasn’t a quality approach. The passing shot could’ve been much better. Still, the geometry was near impossible. Others may have barely reached it and got the stick to it or half volleyed it over. But this one seemed to be already there.
Bravo, Roger, Du hast’s geschafft!
Jonathan, thank you for your report on the match, well described. I especially like Roger’s words after the match, spoken with class. Am proud to be a Fedfan!
Yeah, good speech. Decent from Tsitsy too.
Thanks Jonathan – and no less for your thinking “Based on his last couple of interviews it doesn’t sound like winning 100 titles was such a huge deal in his own mind other than being nice to have.
It’s more a vanity metric than anything else and I personally prefer the fact he’s won his first title of 2019, played at a high-level movement wise and got a win over one of this year’s form players.”
I couldn’t agree more.
But…still – I want that he makes 10 more at least – of course – if fun and creativity are still the main thing to keep on to.
I don’t think he needs to target Connors record tbh. Winning 1 more Masters 1000 would be better than winning 10 250’s for example IMO.
Rui was Rotterdam
Cardboard number 1 so simple & spontaneous that it showed Fed was not expected to actually win the event but did, hence unlike the 100 they were scrambling to acknowledge it( the magnificent milestone ) of number 1 again at 36& a 1/2?
Connors won a lot of minor tournaments…
Of course Jonathan, I agree. The quality better than quantity, always. And I secretly think that he would for at least 2 reasons have preferred to win the 100 at AO. But chasing some more and at least 10 in his preferred tours may keep him busy for some time still… which I would like too. But never mind – he’s shown that age is not bending him yet. Just a bit up and down sometimes, and the ups are still fantastic, and so wonderful to admire.
Yes, Fed was *on it*. What a beautiful match. A gift to tennis fans everywhere. 100!!!
Absolutely stunning writeup Jonathan, Roger looked a dream and played other worldly its was quite a genius affair he really is breathtaking with his beautiful game, stop volley that will never be equalled except by him is that negative torque that causes that spin back so opponent can’t get to them!
DDF 2 billion Fed probably a billionaire too by now …but it’s the tennis he cares about & it’s future, always. I love this love he has for all that’s good in tennis !
Speech, hair, outfit & the match all just gorgeous and effortless full marks for Stef too who allowed youth to not triumph over experience!
All lovely can’t stand Mouratoglou hope he loses Stef!
Belinda is up there too it was a name ch Harry Hopman would have endorsed fully tennis played the right way in good spirit ! A champ and an intending champ acting the right way ! Immaculate Roger Federer #immaculaterer!!!
More please Fed matches are just hunger inducing 69 minutes of elegant evisceration …thank you linesman ball boys, umpires opponents !
Game coach Harry Hopman would have endorsed !
I wonder what Fed’s net worth actually is these days. Maybe $400 / 500 million. Shows how hard it is to become a billionaire. I need to write a lot more blog posts.
Was cool they mentioned Bencic in the trophy presentation. Swiss Double.
🙂 🙂 🙂 Ow undisputed #GOAT100 !!!
What a week and brilliant finish. Rog has been sensational, yes, his footwork, energy and calmness have been so good. It was a little surreal to see the way Steph and Coric reacted as if Rog were a younger guy 🙂 .
Indeed, that dig-up volley Ow.
Yeah nobody else makes those types of shots. I like the stop volley too in final game, takes all the pace off it.
Great write up. Incredible stats. 76% 1st serve, zero DFs and so few UFEs. He was exceptional on all fronts today, very aggressive returning and net charging.
Point of the match was actually that baseline BH 1/2 volley , when Stef was serving at 4-4 30-0 to set up that sweet pass you refer to. Stef hit his FH v big. Incredible wrist strength and racket head control to get it back.
Yes, more pleased to hv him back in a final too, playing with confidence, getting a title, & putting ranking and
race points on the board. Onwards to IW ???
At *3-4 sorry….
Haha! Was right the 1st time 4 all but the pick up was off the Stef BH ??
I Agree about the shot.
My eyes popped out on that shot and it turned out to be a very important point it the match.
Cheers, Yeah that game was great to break. Tsitsipas was shocked it came back. Even the points he won to get 30-0 up needed something special.
He just looked so certain of himself, just PeRFect….gold stars all round Jonathan.
Would be nice if NIKE congratulated Rog with his logo! Happy days for RF and
his many followers x
Yeah, get the RF logo back. Although I can imagine Uniqlo messing it up somehow 😆
I see Rafa’s IW outfit & can’t help thinking how fabulous Roger would look in it (minus the toro-head, obvs…)
Way to go Fed. It is so foundational to get this win early in the season for all the reasons already mentioned. Really brilliant tennis, what a great way to reach the century mark!!!
100 NOT OUT.
It was great to see Fed playing so well in all areas, but I especially enjoyed those beautiful volleys. I don’t know how important title No. 100 was to Roger, but it was important to this fan. I have said after he gets his 100th title I wouldn’t ask for anything more, and plan to stick to my word. The only thing I really want is for Fed to continue to play like he did today, and any good results will be a bonus.
So I read that it’s 6,600 days since his first title.
Averaging at one title every sixty six days? That’s crazy
Ah cool stat!
Today, for holidays, I flew over the seas
to see some beautiful palm trees
Those are not the ones of the Emiratis
They are those of the sunny Canaries
Today, a man we’ll remember
always and forever
An artist, a father
as light as a feather
In the sky – his name is Federer –
flew higher and higher.
He reached 100 stars, and even betterer
His game was shining as a fire
and on his face : a smile bright as our pleasure.
THANK YOU, RO8ER.
NICE FBRF – THANK YOU, too! ?
Which one you on Butterfly? My guess is GC.
Hola companeros …
– liming in the warm sun by a (fresh) pool on Gran Canaria,
– doing things as productive as reading every single tweet, article, and your comments on this blog about our dear champion,
– the heart full of joy and gratitude for living as the same time as him,
– drinking to his health with a cool glass of sangria.
Salud ! ?
Such a joy to see him play so freely! This was an important tournament not for the 100-trophy mark, which is just icing on the cake, not because it gave him enough ranking points to avoid meeting Djokovic/Nadal in the early rounds, but primarily because he proved he could mix it with the Next Next Generation. To beat young guns of the caliber of Coric and Tsitsipas back-to-back will give him a lot of confidence. Like he said in the post-match interview, he relished playing the legends like Sampras and Agassi when he was an up-and-coming player, and he enjoys playing the same elder statesman role for the young players of today.
His serve and net play were great, as they’ve been for the last few years, but he was striking the ball perfectly and really stepping into the court to take the ball early and moving like a dream–something he’s not been doing for the last year or so. Tsitsipas is almost half Federer’s age and yet Federer made him look a touch slower on court.
Tsitsipas also has a very enjoyable game to watch, and since the court was medium-to-fast paced, there was a good mix of first-strike tennis and medium-length, aggressive rallies. There was only one real moment of drama, when he saved those BP while serving for the first set, fortunately he did it and once he sealed the lead, it was only a matter of time before he got that second break.
If he keeps this up, he stands a great chance of getting that sixth IW title! C’mon Roger!
Yeah, I think Tsitsi is going to have a decent career. Not many of the young guns move forward as he does so he can use that to his advantage. How many times have we seen the likes of Zverev lose points by staying back?
He will give Djoker a good game I think Tsisty, good clash of styles.
Lol and they’re revered elder statesmen at 31 samecage s i hope sawxtge implosion of Rafole .
Fed sublime at 37 v Stef stamped his goatiness all
Over Dubai and made Rafole look like cage fighters not elegant ambassadors of the elegant game of tennis Roger and his coaches wife and past Great GREats gave us !
He just saved Tennis again &’possibly LC will with old DC leave Pique scurrying for the exit as the flop new DF founders lol?
Delighted for the title No.8/100. 100 woohoo, just crazy number! But much more delighted to watch him playing the way he did yesterday – great serving, taking ball early, net charging, first striking tennis. Amazing stats. And yes, THAT volley! Loved it. And loved the speech/interview, as always so classy.
Great write-up, Jonathan thanks for the hard work through the week. Get some good rest before the IW 🙂
Yeah week off for me 🙂
Although draw post, not sure when that is it but won’t be far off as it starts very soon. So guessing Tuesday.
And NK won, too! A good day for tennis 🙂
Yeah very cool he backed up all his wins this week, Impressive tournament. Hope he can stay injury free this year.
I think Nick’s victory is one of the most deserved ones I’ve seen lately, having beaten top 2, 3, 9 and Wawrinka. The guy can act as a schmuck a lot of times, but he’s a transparent schmuck.
So many thoughts swirling through my mind, I am just over the moon with RF100. And thank you Jonathan for giving us FedFans a place to comment without having to worry about trolls spouting crap. 🙂
Gosh, I remember a few years ago when the Connors record first started getting attention by commies in regards to Roger. At the time, I think Roger was at about 80 or so titles, it seemed that 100 was so insurmountable. (Lelt alone Connors 109 !) Of course then I think Roger was about 32 or something and the idea of him playing at his superlative level past 35 was a bit crazy.
A tidbit I read on twitter: Of all active players in the ATP, only 16 of them have titles in the double digits. Thats’ amazing.
I remember when I used to wonder if Fed would still be playing when the London Olympics came around 😆 crazy.
That stat just shows how hard it is to win titles. Only 3 have over 50 who are active. Then Murray with forty odd. Then pretty sure nobody has over 30.
Oh, my. Oh, my.
How really excellent to see BOTH of them using the full court. I thought a couple of times Roger was going for the half volley when he didn’t have to just to change up timing on Stefanos, which I thought was clever. Love to see him back to dancing on court – so glad it’s still even possible. Didn’t think ST played quite as well as at AO, but also thought maybe Roger’s own level of play made it impossible. Great match for the 100th, which I think IS a big deal, though agree it wasn’t a primary objective. I also don’t think he’s much fussed about breaking 109, he’s repeated a couple of times this week that Jimmy’s accomplishment was phenomenal & he should be proud.
As Steve said – such a joy to see him play so freely. Long may it continue. Interesting that he’s prepared to announce already that he’ll be back in Dubai next year, but the Olympics a few months later are still ‘too far away’. (Eligibility issues there too of course.)
Yeah I was surprised they announced that so soon. He’s their ultimate draw for tickets though so they probably said please please let us announce it 😀
What is common to Fed’s 99th & 100th title ?
The quizmaster is back in town.
Both ATP 500’s. He has houses/apartments in both cities they take place in.
But probably something more interesting than that 😆
Jonathan, not sure whether or not you felt the same. I felt that in this Dubai tournament this year, Roger’s shots got a bit extra pop, making one feel that he had pumped into quite a bit of power into them. Was it court speed, type of ball, or just somewhat synergistic combination?
Hm well in the first three rounds not so much. In the semi-final and final ye I think so, his timing was better for sure. Movement and confidence I would say.
Please read Fed’s post final presser – it’s fascinating. ???
Thanks very much, Butterfly, that was a fantastic read. Good questions and he gave so much back in the answers. I was surprised by some of them.
Yes! Most interesting presser. Thanks very much French ButteRFly
Cool, just added it to the bottom of this post under the press conference toggle.
Thanks FButteRFly. – Roger making very clear the huge demands winning a title, regardless of tournament’s status, 250, 500, 1000 and so forth, – with some from the questioners’ mentioning Conners’ route to 109. Classy, and informative.
First off, thanks Jonathan for all the posts this week. We Fedfans deserve being congratulated on not going into cardiac arrest this week. The early rounds were tough to watch! Then came the semis and our Roger emerged from the abyss. Can he keep it up for the final. I so didn’t want ST to win again! The match started and viola! There was Goaterer in full throttle. Amazing match he played. So enjoyable to see those forehands, droppers, volleys.
Everyone here wrote some awesome comments. Nice to sit and read. Thanks!
If you read the presser above, you see that half of Connors wins were equivalent to a 250 event! They all count but in my mind, Fed is the goat in that category. ( I hate Connors..can’t help it ).
And hats off to NK who managed the win with the crowd booing him all the way. I wasn’t impressed with Sasha’s game.
Well, I’m off to Indian Wells on Thursday. The weather doesn’t look warm at all and they are talking rain. Better pack winter clothes for night session!
NK Rising. I’m glad he won the title, he is fun for the game. I saw Fed said he agreed with his underarm serve. I hope more players do it,
What is the point of the underarm serve?
Duh, it’s for when Nadal or whoever is stood miles behind the baseline. It’s a great idea. If you hit it right he has no chance to react and get to it.
Thanks. Next time I’ll watch for “whoever is stood”.
Q. Roger, 100 titles is all well and good, but did you ever consider identifying as female so you could play on the WTA tour and win 1000 titles? Have any of your coaches ever suggested this?
Everything you need to know about IW.
Thanks, Sue, cannot wait. This time only a few days where I cannot, though ?
Hi. Been reading this site for a few years now and love your insightful reports Jonathan, and the balanced and (usually) respectful discussion. Fantastic effort by Fed this week – so good to show the Next Gen that they are still Next, and not Now yet. How about a new name for Roger (at least until he gets 101) … RCGER. Cheers.
Sadly I couldn’t watch what was obviously a really exciting and important match.However after the Australian Open loss,
I commented that Fed tried very hard to break Tsisty in the first service game but couldn’t get it done.I wondered then if
Fed had got the break how different that match might have been.This time however he made no such mistake and the rest
as they say is history.?
As for NK,although it is great for the game that talented younger players are making their mark(and about time too)perhaps, as with the resurgence of Djokovic ,we should be careful what we wish for.
From The Guardian…
Another one basing “clever” predictions of Federer’s plans on some small sentence of his – “I like those numbers”. That he absolutely should want to play at Tokyo and make a golden medal. That’s not what he said. He said that if the very unsure circumstances make it possible, then he would not exclude the option. – And furthermore the guardianist made predictions of concluding his time – based on RG this year, Tokyo next year – People have predicted him since 2013, maybe even before. Roger is not to predict. In spite of his showing this repeatedly, some people never learn.
A quiz while we wait for the draw.
Now watched replay of final 2. time. Well so relaxed, elegant and seemingly effortless like essential Federer, looking quite confident. And he didn’t cry after this his 100 victory. Which I think he might do after next slam prevail. So that’s the balance I think.
When will the IW draw come out?
Draw Ceremony Indian Wells : Tuesday, 5 March 2019 at 3pm PT (PacificTime) at the Stadium Plaza Video Wall
And another challenging quizz … good luck !
What is your score ? Ha ha !!!
I got 79 🙁
I made a stupid mistake by missing a big one which should boost my score to 85.
Anyway, fun quiz!
Fun quiz! thanks!
Didn’t remember Sydney in 2002
Check out the Eisenhower Cup, stadium 2 today. Four hours of fun tennis, eight top players, only $25. Wish I was there.
A good draw for Fed in the desert?
What I do see is Nadal having another cakewalk until the semis as it is usually the case at most of the big tournaments – really annoying…