Grand SlamsRoger FedererWimbledon

Composed Federer Negates Nadal to Make 12th Wimbledon Final

The Swiss Produced a Rock Solid Performance to Progress 7-6 (3), 1-6, 6-3, 6-4

Roger Federer is into his 12th Wimbledon final with a fantastic 7-6 (3), 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Rafael Nadal in 3 hours and 2 minutes.

Facing his long-time rival for the 40th time in their time tested careers the Swiss produced a high-quality performance that saw him maintain his composure throughout to produce just the sort of tennis required 

He'll next face defending champion Novak Djokovic who saw off a spirited Roberto Bautista Agut in four sets in the first semi-final of the day.

Quick Match Recap

Fed Nadal Wimbledon 2019

Federer won the toss and elected to serve. Two aces helped the Swiss hold to thirty for 1-0.

Nadal was quickly level with a love hold including an ace of his own before Federer matched him to lead 2-1.

Game four saw Federer make his first meaningful returns but Rafa held to 30 thanks to his 1-2 punch.The pair then exchanged holds and the scoreboard was quickly 3-3.

More slick serving from the RF97 produced another love hold for 4-3 and in game eight Roger had his first break point of the set after some solid returns. A lengthy rally ensued with Nadal catching the back edge of the line twice before Federer netted a backhand which allowed Nadal to escape for 4-4.

Back to back aces from thirty all then put Roger up 5-4 but Nadal showed no signs of nerves as he kept himself in the set with a hold to fifteen.

Another Federer love hold put Federer up 6-5 and Nadal looked set to match him but he was pegged to deuce before finally holding to force a tie break.

Into the tie break and Nadal showed tremendous foot speed and racquet head control to track down a Federer angled volley to get an immediate mini-break.

Roger recovered it but a missed sliced at 2-2 again to give Nadal the mini-break. However, the Swiss was again able to get back on level terms and from there he took charge, ripping a forehand winner off a shortball for 4-3, winning both service points for 6-3 and again delivering a forehand winner to take the first set.

Into set two and Nadal kicked off with a hold to thirty and the Spaniard was able to create his first breakpoint at 30-40 in game two. Roger served it with a serve + forehand combo and had to save another with an acute volley en route to levelling at 1-1.

It was then Roger's turn to have two breakpoints, Nadal saved the first with a forehand back behind off slick Federer return. The second was a netted second serve return that caught Federer by surprise due to a lack of pace and Nadal held.

A couple of missed first serves from Federer saw him slip to 0-30 in game four before a wild forehand gave Nadal 0-40 and he converted to take a 3-1 lead.

A quick hold consolidated the break and Nadal was able to secure the insurance break after Federer's level dropped, he went onto seal the set 6-1. Roger won just 15 points to Nadal's 30 and only came out on top 54% of the time behind his first serve.

With a best of three-set shootout now in play, the pair exchanged holds for 1-1 at the start of set three.

A love hold from Federer moved him 2-1 in front and in game four he moved up a gear, putting more returns in play to create a breakpoint then got the better of a cat and mouse net exchange to take a 3-1 lead.

The Spaniard was quickly up 0-30 and a double fault gave him 15-40. A ridiculous rally at 30-40 saw Roger make deuce and but he soon faced another, only again to come out in top in an extended point to make deuce and then hold for 4-1.

Nadal had managed to secure the double break in set two and it appeared as though Roger would do the same at 15-40 but Rafa hit back to hold for 2-4 and apply some pressure.

The Swiss responded with a hold to fifteen for 5-2 and although Nadal again recovered from 0-30 to hold for 3-5, Roger produced a high-quality service game to take the set 6-3, firing 15 winners to just 2 unforced errors.

Set four started with an exchange of holds for 1-1 but in game three Roger made the first breakthrough, setting up two break points with an 86mph inside out forehand winner before converting the second for 2-1.

A love hold consolidated the break for 3-1. Nadal then reeled off a hold to fifteen before creating a half-chance at 15-30. A big inside in forehand made 30-30 and Roger won the next two points to maintain his lead at 4-2.

Rafa was then pegged to thirty all in game seven but held before Roger was again able to keep his advantage for 5-3.

With Nadal serving to stay in the match he was quickly up 40-15 before Roger made deuce. On the deuce point, Roger hit a superb return but then decided to incorrectly challenge even though Nadal wasn't making the next ball. Roger then won the next two points to set up a match point but Nadal saved it with a smart first serve. Another match point came the way of the Swiss but again Nadal saved it and forced Roger to serve it out.

An ace kicked off the all-important game for Roger for 15-0 but a dreadful overhead miss gave Nadal a break back point. Roger somehow saved it after another crazy rally. A slick volley then brought up another match point but again Nadal saved it. An ace gave Roger his fourth match point but Nadal produced a powerful backhand pass to get back to deuce. Roger then fired an inside out forehand winner off a short ball to bring up match point number five and he finally converted when Nadal went long with a backhand.

Match Stats

  R. Nadal R. Federer
Aces 10 14
Double Faults 4 1
First Serve % In 81/127 (64%) 79/116 (68%)
Win % On 1st Serve 60/81 (74%) 58/79 (73%)
Win % On 2nd Serve 22/46 (48%) 23/37 (62%)
Net Points Won 6/11 (55%) 25/33 (76%)
Break Points Won 2/8 (25%) 2/10 (20%)
Receiving Points Won 35/116 (30%) 45/127 (35%)
Winners 32 51
Unforced Errors 25 27
Total Points Won 117 126
Distance Covered 2994.0 m 3046.8 m
Distance Covered/pt. 12.3 m 12.5 m

Press Conference


Thoughts on the Match

Federer Wimbledon SF 2019

I'm exhausted. It was tough – at the end, Rafa played some unbelievable shots to stay in the match. I had spells where I was serving very well and probably the biggest points in the match went my way. That first set was huge, to get the lead and try to protect it. It was a joy to play. Federer on his win against Nadal

A superb win for Roger here and it was a highly entertaining match to watch. The main takeaway for me was how composed Federer stayed during the match, he never looked rattled and he was able to win the majority of the extended baseline duels which doesn't normally happen against Rafa.

In fact, Roger won more rallies between 5-8 shots (35-21) whereas the Spaniard won more between 0-4 shots (86-81) which you wouldn't normally expect.

Roger looked better physically than Nadal today, he was more explosive and looked like he was more confident in himself out there. As a result, he was able to pick his moments of when to press and when to stay in the point.

Nadal, on the other hand, didn't look too convincing with his approach, like Roger he's developed to try to keep points short which was never his natural game but he was rarely able to get on the front foot for extended periods. He had his moments with some big serving and those typical Nadal swashbuckling points but they were always when he was down in the score and that caught up to him over 4 sets.

The other key was obviously the return and Roger did a stellar job, winning 35% of return points to Nadal's 30% and he really connected with some aggressive backhands which were clearly the order of the day.

Anyway, that's one of my favourite matches of the year for obvious reasons, Fedal on grass 11 years on from the famed final, full crowd and some classic tennis. Tiring to watch but you wouldn't want it any other way. Allez!

Predictions vs. Djokovic

Novak was supreme again. He’s the defending champion and he’s showed why this week. He’s been rock-solid from start to finish so far. I hope I can push him to the brink and hopefully beat him but it’s going to be very difficult. He’s not No 1 just by chance. Federer on Djokovic

Next up is Djokovic who defeated Roberto Bautista Agut in four sets in the first semi-final. I watched a good chunk of it and both guys played well but ultimately Agut doesn't have enough firepower to take out Nole.

The Spaniard will always run Djokovic close because he loves rhythm and Djokovic doesn't really possess that variety or mix up game to disrupt it, but he's just so rock solid off both wings that even the guys that never miss like Agut, end up missing in the end!

As for the final, it should be interesting, Djokovic goes in as the favourite given he's defending champion, has beaten Roger in two Wimbledon finals, is the younger / fitter guy and had the slightly easier semi-final but it could be a close one.

The key for Roger is to recover well after today and then come out firing on Sunday and throw his full repertoire of shots into the mixer to try take Djokovic out of his comfort zone. 

I reckon Roger will remember the masterclass against in Murray in 2015 then the flat final so he knows that there's still work to do and a huge obstacle ahead of him come Sunday. Hopp Suisse!

What did you guys think of Fedal XL? Predictions against Djokovic? Let me know in the comments.


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

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    1. Simply the one and only 🐐 whatever the outcome of the final. Today he has already exceeded my greedy expectations. It was such a pure joy (otherwise nerve wrecking match).

  1. This was the write up summary of the Djoker match….Earlier, Djokovic watched the 23rd-seeded Bautista Agut’s shot hit the net tape, pop in the air and slide over for a winner that tied their semifinal at a set apiece. Walking to his changeover chair, as fans roared with approval, Djokovic nodded and waved his racket, then his right hand, at the crowd, sarcastically encouraging folks to get louder, as if to say, “Yeah, good for him and good for you. Enjoy it while you can.” I wonder if Djoker can muster a hand full of fans in the finals?

    I still say that the stats are one thing that shows Fed is the GOAT but also his overwhelming fans base over Nadal and Djoker says it all.

      1. Exactly.

        “Set three started with an exchange of holds for 1-1” – don’t you mean set four, Jon?

  2. Blood pressure finally back to normal!
    Now on to Sunday! Other than set 2 hiccup excellent and exciting match.

  3. Brilliant victory, and more demons banished. I was waiting for him to get broken at the start of the second (you can almost predict when Rog is going to lose concentration and Rafa is going to go for it) and I did think that the game was probably up, waiting for the inevitable grinding Nadal win.

    But he packaged away the 2nd set and got back to business. It was a totally deserved victory, he attacked well and got his rewards. His tenacity from the baseline was excellent too, and it kept Nadal on his toes, and never dominant.

    I thought that last game would never end, it was like the AO17 again. Nerves were shattered.

    Tough task against Djokovic, but if Novak’s temperament goes due to the pro Roger crowd then you never know. However Novak’s been here before and done it twice against Rog so he shouldn’t be shocked.

  4. Yes yes!

    Thanks Roger. That match was – good. Excuse the basic adjective but I’ve run out of superlatives.
    That first set was really close with such excellent play from both. Glad Roger could pull away in the breaker, as I feel it gave him confidence for sets 3 and 4.
    Entertaining to watch. They both produced a great match and Nadal really hung in on that last game. So glad Roger won!

    For essentially either a clay court or grass court player, isn’t it a great example how both these players can reach the semi final of the grand slam of their least favoured surface this year?

    Go Roger! 1 more match. Please give it everything you have.

  5. No words can describe how great this match was, and great because Fed won, of course.
    He tortured his fans as usual with the final match points, especially the first which didn’t become a match point because Fed made the crazy challenge after playing a winning return.
    His box seemed unusually emotional during the match, it was as if it was the world championship final.
    An excellent descriptive write-up, Jonathan.
    Did you all know that he won the ESPY Best Male Tennis Player award last Thursday?

    1. [His box seemed unusually emotional during the match, it was as if it was the world championship final.]

      Any slam match against Nadal that is not on clay is a World Championship Final.

  6. Wow. What a match. Nadal tried his best, but even on this slow grass where Roger needs to play 45 shots on some points, Roger is the king. Hope he has more left in the tank emotionally to put Djokovic in the second spot. 14-12 h2h with its history mostly on slow courts is not bad against someone 5 years younger.
    Give us one more win Roger. You and your fans deserve it.

  7. Oh wow, I didn’t realize Fed won that! And at #3 in the world.
    No words for this match. I mean, how good was that! Exhausting to watch, Roger and his team must be so so tired. How well he recovers will play such a big part in the final. I must have done a km or so pacing the floor.
    Perhaps my fantasy of Roger lifting the trophy and Djokovic choking on grass and dirt will come to fruition.
    Oh, and a big thanks to Jonathan who never lets us down.

    1. “a big thanks to Jonathan who never lets us down” – Ditto. He was (is always) as calm and collected as Fed while us all having a heart attack during the match.

  8. Respect …
    Respect for the talent, strength, endurance, and class of each player
    Respect for the respect they show each other
    Respect for the respect they show the game
    Go for it RF ❤️

  9. That was a splendid performance, playing some of his best tennis in the big moments is a great sign for Roger.
    It was a big win for Federer with Nadal getting so close to his Grand Slam total. An important message; if he lost to Nadal on grass after losing at the French it does raise questions from the media.
    Djokovic has had some lapses in some matches but will no doubt raise his game for the final like he did against Nadal in Australia.
    If, big if, Roger can win a Grand Slam at nearly 38 by beating both his main rivals to do so it would be his greatest achievement in my eyes. 1 down, 1 to go! Please!! Come on Roger!

  10. Great match. I’ve seen a few claim Nadal didnt play well, but I didnt see that at all. I thought he played a great match all things considered, Fed was just too good.

  11. Thanks for the recap Jon. I was unable to see Fed close it out. Had to look at live scores. What tension. He won Jon, he won!!!! Sweet jubilation. He was so focused and composed for real. So happy for him and for all of us his fans.
    So hoping he will stop the arrogant one on Sunday..

  12. Oh thanks Jonathan for a speedy write-up. I watched both matches, literally did not miss any point of either match. Roger was simply sensational and Rafa was pretty good as usual. Roger’s mental fortitude is simply unimaginable 🙂 🙂 🙂 . There was so much at stake, so much talk and in the end so much embarrassment to those BBC commentators (almost all predicted Rafa win, driving me up the wall).
    For Novack match against RBA, it was pretty average, same as what I’ve seen Novack play in the early rounds. Roberto is simply not good enough. However, for Novack’s form, he struggled multiple times. If I take both Roger’s and Novack’s SF form as indicator, Roger will win either in straight or four sets, if both of them will play in the same way as they did in semis. The sign is looking good for the All Might.
    Allez Rog!

  13. It took quite a while before Roger seemed to let his racket answer to Nadal’s serving, but as the match grew on, Fed’s returning also improved continuously, – and what a match unfolded and bloomed! Fed rock-solid mentally and more and more brilliant and sure. Rafa also brilliant but not so sure though with tremendous fighting spirit – all those saved match-points, waouw!
    If Roger recovers and enters with same solidity, he’ll have a very good base for his masterly brilliance – and quite a good chance to win. I think he will – and I thought so too on wednesday about this one, and wasn’t I right?

  14. I was impressed with Roger’s overall composure and his mental toughness. He could and perhaps should have let it slip away after the overhead miss on the end but he didn’t. He managed somehow to close it out in 4 sets and that’s very impressive. I still tho k that his level can raise even more then that and that’s good news coming into the final. I actually believe that he can win it all!!!

    Allez Roger!!!!

  15. Yeah like predicted…Fed’s BH shows up, Nadal is done. And against Nadal it always shows up these days…Oh and PRF saying Nadal standing 5m behind to receive serve doesn’t advantage Fed? Yeah I think we both saw how that turned out for Nadal.

    Very good performance by Federer indeed. Damn I am almost mad he won because now I will have to go through all sorts of emotions again on Sunday. I was so nervous this match!

  16. Never thought I’d see a match where Federer was dominating the long rallies and the return games, and Nadal dominating on serve and playing short-point tennis!

    The neo-BH reappeared (you didn’t really think he’d forgotten how to hit it, did you?) and with it his ability to best Nadal off the ground.

    Level of tennis was beyond superlatives–one insane point was followed by another, so fast that it was hard to process. Gonna have to look at a highlights reel to take it all in (assuming I can find one).

    I agree with Jonathan, Fed’s composure was wonderful. Calm and relaxed the whole way. Even getting blitzed in set 2 didn’t faze him. He just wiped it off the mental hard drive and went back to work. Nadal was trying his damndest to get under Federer’s skin with his usual shenanigans, but our man was having none of it. Even when his challenge lost a point he otherwise would’ve won, even when Nadal saved all those MPs, he just stayed focused on the tennis.

    Whenever he beats Nadal, he’s playing his best tennis, so he stands a great chance of taking home the title. Djokovic hasn’t really been tested this tournament and hasn’t faced Federer in a slam since our man’s second (third?) renaissance in 2017, Federer can beat him. C’mon Roger! Go for #9!

    1. “You didn’t really think he’d forgotten how to hit it, did you?” – Admittingly though, I did wonder that, hahaha sorry Roger. Yes, agreed him winning the long rallies vs Rafa stuff was surprising and his unfazed composure.
      Great comment, Steve!

    2. Never thought I’d see a match where Federer was dominating the long rallies and the return games, and Nadal dominating on serve and playing short-point tennis!

      I know, a turn up for the books.

    1. Great victory. I recorded it so will see it later. I didn’t really expect it. Which makes it even better. Shame Bautista Agut didn’t win the other semi…

  17. Perfect word “composure”. Fed had loads of it. It was clear that Nadal wanted this so bad, see the last two games of the match. As alluded to earlier, if Nadal had won the SFs at both RG and Wimbledon, it would have eroded the notion that Nadal is better on clay but Roger everywhere else. Way to go Fed, way to dig deep, way to find a path to victory.

    I may get the award for staying up the latest, it was 3:40 am in Tokyo, but I had to stay awake to watch this one. If Fed is able to beat both Nadal and Novak at Wimbledon, it would be the nicest icing on a great big cake. It is interesting that both he and Serena won in 2009, so this could be a repeat.

    People may have already passed this info, but make sure you go to the recent interview by Vogue on YouTube. Really intimate interview with Fed. The match he would want back was Del Potro 2009. Me too.

    Thanks Jonathan, always look forward to your review and insight, along with the rest of the “team.”

    1. Hardcore fans 🙂 crazy how many fans will stay up to watch this guy play tennis. I dunno if any other fans in other sports do this sort of stuff.

  18. I am thrilled as I anticipated his win and always nerve racking to watch because we all want him to win again and again and lift his 9th Wimbledon 🏆! I visualize him setting a lot of new records on Sunday! May the crowd be so rowdy for Roger that Novak will seethe and crumble 🙂

      1. I agree with this, more often than not the crowd being against Djokovic makes him raise his level and start gesturing to them. I actually think it motivates him to beat Roger AND the crowd.

    1. At least partly wrong time of day for the sun/shadow, if you ask me – as I posted in the Nishikori thread.

      1. Yeah he said in his post match interview that the sun was bothering him. Hopefully one of those shenanigans on Sunday!

        Otherwise yeah i do think he tanked that set a bit.

  19. WHAT. A. MATCH.

    Never been happier for Roger to put egg on my face (I called Rafa in four sets, though before the match I changed my mind to Rafa in five, still wrong though). For me the critical points of the match were the first set tiebreak, the first four games of each of the third and fourth set and the last two games of the match. Not normally very nervous for Federer matches these days, but this one I joined at 5-5 in the first set and then stopped watching after the second set and followed the score intermittently on my phone, occasionally switching the TV on. Used live scores for set 3, then saw Roger get the break in the 4th, watched the 5-3 game then walked out of the room, nearly wore out the floorboards pacing and surprised I didn’t have a heart attack after that game. Fortunately I missed the horror smash at 30-30, and happened to watch the last match point, which was lucky, as any more drama and I might have actually keeled over!

    In all seriousness though, at least Roger de-Nadalised the draw. The key to the match more than the tactics was Federer’s mentality. We’ve seen it so many times in the past, Roger starts well or goes on a hot streak, wins a few games or even a set, but then Rafa gets back into the match, gets maybe a lucky net cord, Roger hits an awful shot, something like that. There were at least five of those moments that stand out: Rafa’s incredible winner on the first point in the first set TB; the horrendous play in the second set; the net cord in Rafa’s favour at 0-30 down near the start of the 4th; that awful challenge at deuce at 5:3 in the 4th and of course that awful smash at 30-30 serving for the match. Each time Roger was able to put it behind him and not dwell on it, whereas it would have been so easy to become fixated on close matches lost in the past.

    As for Sunday, of course I’d love to see him beat Djokovic on Sunday, but I feel that would almost be asking too much after a win like this. Even if not too physically draining (just over 3 hours, not that crazy due to the quick second set), that has to have sapped some of Roger’s mental energy. I’ll predict Djokovic in four sets, same as my prediction for the Fedal match, but of course if Roger wants to put egg on my face again that’s fine by me!

    1. I predicted RF winning over Rafa in 4. Same prediction for Roger winning his 9th Wimbledon in 4 sets.

  20. I was there in centre court, Federers forehand on the run was so impressive, every time he looked in trouble on that side he came up with the goods. Movement was so good. What baffled everyone in the stadium was the fact that Rafa kept blinking first during the long rallies due to Fed being so rock solid from the back. He came up with the goods when it mattered most too, especially on serve, best match he’s played since 2017. Mentally so strong and physically looks in tip top shape. Sunday will be so tough but after that performance he should be feeling ultra confident. Let’s go.

    1. How amazing for you to see it in person Callum! Always love to hear personal anecdotes from those who were there. Translates some of that in-person energy.

      1. Was such a cool day. Gotta say that the respect between Rafa and Fed fans was very cool too. Both sets of fans acknowledging how good they were both playing

      2. It’s only twitter where fan factions get out of control! Most fans respect both players even if they don’t ‘like’ one of them.

        I can never get behind Nadal with all his ticks and rituals. It used to wind me up big time with his slow play and tactical MTO’s to the point where I couldn’t work out how anyone would be a fan 😆 but I guess now I just say it is what it is. I also think he has mellowed out a bit more these days

      1. Luckily my bro runs a centre in London so gets the allocation from the ballot and picked 2 semis tickets for us two. First year he’s been able to do it and what a year to start. Ps – been watching the shanghai 2014 highlights to get me in the mood. More of that today please

      2. Sweet, yeah best day to go I think along with Manic Monday, 2 guaranteed men’s semifinal matches. Doesn’t get any better.

  21. Everybody regained normal breathing pattern?? I hope so because it was all stuffy 6 hrs ago.\
    Mind-blowing rallies from Fed and Nadal, but it was awesome to see Fed on top. This Fed is one fine specimen at age 37.

  22. The most surprising thing is it is a victory of baseline battle. Did see him go to net unless Nadal returned just over the net.

  23. That backhand clearly has the flare of AO 2017 and it really made a difference. Aggressive returns on the unguarded AD court putting pressure on Nadal from very first return.

  24. Federer simply found a winning formula against Nadal. Can’t see him getting rattled any further in any match. RG was a different thing totally and wind didn’t give him the chance to play aggressive. Otherwise it would have been tough even though Nadal would have won at the end.

  25. Now on to the final. It will be another tough day. Physically he should be fine. Only concern is the emotional draining from today’s match. If he can get over it quickly he can definitely win it by playing with same intensity. Too bad that this match was a SF than an F.

  26. What a match! Something we fans needed & deserved. Roger’s fortitude and focus throughout the match was something else, it was so good to see him getting into Rafa’a head rather than the other way round. All departments of his game were solid today and he was revving it up on the big points, consistently winning the longer rallies with such brutal hitting was indeed rattling for Nadal which would then cause some errors from his end. This really was a big victory looking at the context of everything that is at stake, and Roger doing it so convincingly again when very few of us thought he would is a testament to the Swiss juggernaut. Come Sunday, if he is recovered completely, I know he’s gonna take it to Novak & he has all the tools to get this done and I know he will. It will be one of the greatest achievement not only in tennis but in sport overall to beat these guys back2back for Wimby #9. You got this Rog! This is coming our way guys, rejoice 🏆

  27. Key points Roger 2019 is better than Rog 2008. Rafa 2008 is better than Rafa 2019. That’s why Roger is beating him. Except in “insane” conditions at FO. Otherwise I think he beats Rafa on clay too.
    Roger 2019 is better than 2014 and 2015 Rog. He didn’t have the mastery over the bigger racquet yet. Rog and Djoker didn’t play between 2016 and 2018. Two matches Rog lost last year were close and Roger was not at his best healthwise. I think they are finally both at their best for the first time in many years. I believe Roger wins #9 Sunday.

    1. Cool. Do you think Roger 2019 is better than 2007? I can agree better than 2008 as he had mono and had some poor losses that year to low ranked players…

      For me it is more about subtle changes they are better in through experience, practice and new coaching ideas. Not necessarily better players.

      Rafa 2008 is far better physically than 2019 for example. But his backhand today is amazing and better than 08.

  28. No words really…

    Roger executed his game plan peRFectly.
    Neo backhand, TS backhand and a smart use of the slice, like in that final game to save a break point.
    His serve found the right spots. Amazing.
    Was a very high level match and the better player won.
    Enjoyed it so much and I’m going to give myself a day to savor this wonderful feeling.
    Tomorrow I’ll think about tomorrow.

    And a little fan story that I have to share:
    I live in Jerusalem, and the weekend here (Israel) is Friday to Saturday. In Friday we usually have meals with friends. My wife, who is a singer and a pianist (she has such a lovely voice 😍), was performing far from home so I had to clean and do the house chores. When the match was about to start I realized that she will return very late with no time to cook anything. Coming empty handed to a meal with friends is one of the worse crimes possible. But the match was about to start! No way I’m going to miss it. So I somehow managed to create some space for my laptop (that has no battery, so needs to be plugged in). I watched the first two sets while I was peeling some potatoes and yams, using my own slice (sorry, had to use this one) to make a dish for supper, chanting break and hold etc.
    Eventually my wife got home and went without me. Couldn’t leave the match. So I watched the rest of the match in our tiny kitchen because I just didn’t feel like moving the laptop.
    This was a magical moment that I will always remember 🙂

  29. Another good win against top player and avenge 2008 loss. All these tough matches will make Roger battle hard against Djoker. Initially I was worried about his bh as MIA throughout his 5 matches. My word it’s amazing circa AO17 and IW17. Nadal looks a bit clueless against Roger especially during extended rallies. Therefore having cupcake draw for someone like Nadal sometimes doesn’t work to their advantage, clear case at this year AO and semis against Roger. Minor blip to Roger’s win yesterday is the 2nd set breadstick by Nadal. I have a feeling he tanked that set trying to conserve energy or just loss of concentration. Not sure if we should be worried if Roger has enough in his tank for one final match. He did mention that he is exhausted, is Roger attempting to play mind games with Djoker. One final push… you can do this!!!!

    1. Thank God, finally got over with that loss. BBC was hyped up Fedal so much showing/talking 2008 match beforehand.

  30. Thanks, Jonathan, for the great write up. I have no words to describe this match, except to say that Roger was just too good in the end. Outstanding tennis from the numbers 2 and 3 in the world! And still Fed is working on his game, changing, trying to improve, and managing to execute in the big moments. Even if the second set dip ended up being somewhat calculated to get to the third, it worked for Roger this time … Raffa did play at a high level and it was still over in 4 sets. Go Fed!

  31. Perfect game plan, physically stronger ( Thk you clay prep), hit over the BH, deadly returns, perfect volleys, and hit his serve spots. Excellent excellent excellent!
    Thrilling win, and great write up Jon, of 40th Fedal!
    Yes, don’t want a flat final like 2015. We need a lay it all out there and regret nothing day.


  32. Go Roger. Love you Goat. SO SO MUCH. Yep, I actually cried a bit after he won the 1st set. Yep.
    To infinity and beyond 🙂 Just one more match to go. Like you said, you will give it your all because after that it is vacation time.

    Please be ready for him and PLEASE don’t have peaked too soon.


  33. Those three winning sets, Roger was wow 🙂 . In the 1st set TB, Roger was twice mini break down and he rallied to broke back straight back wow, Roger the All Mighty! His composure throughout was unblievable. I really enjoyed those long rallies, even though I thought that they might contribute to the draining of his energy level. His BH cross-courts were like AO17, wow, tactics in the 3rd and 4th sets, clicked very nicely 🙂 .
    I did not down four bottles of beer for nothing 🙂 .
    Allez Rog!

  34. Fed is surely gonna kick Novak’s ass
    Won’t allow him to eat that blade of grass
    A silly stupid ‘tradition’, in any case
    Novak is gonna have mud on his face

    In hindsight it was providential that Fed lost the second set in record time. Didn’t waste much energy in trying to save it. Brilliant regrouping in the third to wrest the momentum. A lesser mortal would have caved in.

  35. A great win for Fed.
    Much was made of Nadals great form coming into the match but he was playing unseeded players and at one stage,I think it was in the third set he looked visibly weary.
    Never seen that before.
    The Djoker,has if anything had an even easier draw than Nadal.
    Can he flick a switch tomorrow and play the way he played in the AO final ?
    Perhaps,we shall see.
    However Fed,with his variety is a trickier opponent for Djoker than Nadal.
    As long as Fed isn’t tired emotionally,I think he stands a very good chance on Sunday.
    To even be in the final is amazing,to win it will be a lifetime achievement in a career already full of them.

  36. 3 things Fed has to do in the final against Nole:

    Slice the BH…Novak hates it.

    Bring Novak to the net…his overall net game is terrible for a player of his caliber.

    And finally….servebot like Isner, Karlovic, Opelka and Raonic combined!!!

  37. I guess Wimbledon had the rankings right after all. The number 1 and 2 ranked men are in the finals.

  38. Gentlemen’s agreement. I don’t play weird grass game on your Holy Grass (with the effect I lose), you don’t play your weird clay game on my Holy Grass (with the effect you lose.
    The only problem is freelance Djoker. not a gentleman, no agreements, he can play his weird universal game on every court with the effect of Nole Slam 😉

  39. Although like many others who post I am such a Fedfan that sometimes
    I’m ashamed to say it, I forget what a tennis player FEDERER is, sure we
    love all the drop shots and dinks and the whole box of tricks but a locked
    in steely eyed Fed is almost better. I truly hope he recovers well because
    his confidence must be pretty high at the moment. Will he beat DJO I
    truly have no idea but I would love to see him serve and volley Novak
    off the court( when I think of Roger and Novak I don’t think of the
    times DJO has won I just remember that day in Cinci when Rog served
    and volleyed so well) So C’mon Roger be good and lucky x

  40. I’m going to say straight up that I didn’t think this was possible (neo BH had been MIA for sometime), but with increasing confidence, his BH got better and better as the match progressed. That much maligned hook FH actually did great defensive work for Roger, and I think it could also prove useful against Novak.

    I think the second half of the second set was a tactical tank job. He knew his level had dipped and didn’t want to wear himself out trying to compete in what he thought was a practically lost set. The first set ( and his previous run of wins against Rafa) had given him enough confidence to know that he would be able to deal with a slightly sub-par Rafa if he wasn’t drained. Worked out perfectly for him, just hit the reset button and came out firing in the third.

    With this win, in my eyes at least, Roger has buried the Nadal demons in his head for good. As usual, Ljubicic deserves a lot of credit for that.

    Now, the final. Novak is a very different proposition, and I think he is obsessed with the goat status in his head and is really going after Roger’s tally (and is the bigger and more legitimate threat to it than Rafa). I just hope that Roger isn’t flat like he was in the 15 final after that sublime semi, and plays a composed, tactically sound match. Lots of low slices, changes of pace, no rhythm. And go for it at the opportune moment, and hope for a few low spells from Novak. If that happens, Roger has an excellent chance to win his 21st. If not, no regrets; this 11 year old revenge should be more than good enough for us fans.

    1. He had his 2008 revenge Friday against Rafa, He will get his 11 year old one and the 2018 where he was placed on Court 1 because the Joker (ranked 21) complained he wasn’t on Centre Court so the moved Roger who had not played Court 1 in 3 years. I could see he felt out of place and never got in his groove. He had the 3rd st match point on his racket and was out of sorts and lost the match against a guy he usually beats in 2 or 3 sets. By now he really should have had his 10th or playing for it! So # 9 on Sunday and #10 soon after! Go Roger!

    1. Yeah…but most were finals.

      See…the real Key here is Kei( hehe). In the last 4 slams the one who beat him in the QFs went on to win the trophy. Roger beat him in the QFs so…..😅😅😂

  41. Now I have watched the second set again. Cannot In this set and partly in the fourth, Nadal stopped to experiment with his new “grass game” and played his usual “clay game on grass”. Good for Fed, he didn’t do this over the whole match. He would devastate Roger. What was the reason , I can only guess (see my comment above “gentlemen’s agreement”. Nadal didn’t play like that in any other match in Wimbledon (this year and before).
    Roger’s tactic was good but it didn’t work in the second set and then Nadal looked scared, he could win the match. Can hardly believe, he had no power/energy to continue the second set’s game.

    Some other explanation?

      1. Well, this is not the answer of my question. It’s rare, the better player loses 😉 (if we talk after the match).

        Should I ask, why Roger lost 1:6 in the second (not characteristic result for Fed on grass, your answer would be “the better player won this set”?

        I’m still looking for the explanation (of why Nadal tried so hard to play “grass on grass”, which he obviously cannot.

        Of course Federer is the better/best player on grass but he sometimes loses and we look then for an explanation. Maybe not necessary at all, because the players often say, they don’t know the explanation.

      2. A set is not a match. There are always ebbs and flows. A dip in form and concentration can explain it, as well as giving the set away. The second set means nothing against the 3rd and 4th sets.

      3. Giving the set away? Because of bad start? Does not look after Federer. Or after any serious player. Give away the set 1:6 and giving the momentum to the opponent, risking it could go then to 1:2? I can understand, someones gives the set away in the moment it’s 1:5 and opponent serving. This is in fact giving the game away to try to reset and start the next better.
        Always ebbs and flows – yes, but not 1:6. In ladies matches – yes. 60, 1:6 and 6:6 with TB, each one losing all her serve points until it happens, one point on serve is won.
        But not in men’s tennis.
        OK, I take it as your explanation. I look for better one 🙂

      4. You’re getting yourself in knots. Federer didn’t give the set away from the beginning, but in falling behind, so that he was 1-4 down, he may have decided not to put everything into trying to get back into and win that set, but began to think about regrouping for the next set. That isn’t unusual in tennis – at any level. The scoreline itself is deceiving; it doesn’t take much to lose a succession of games if your opponent is simply one point better than you in each game. But apart from Roger’s level dipping, and Nadal raising his, what other explanation are you looking for? He dropped the set. So? He’s lost sets badly before, even while eventually winning the match. (At Madrid 2007 against Nadal he lost the first set 1-6, and won the next two sets, with last set being a bagel. That’s tennis.) And, really, does it matter, since Roger was better over the three other sets, which secured for him the win?

      1. Agreed, I don’t even think they could decipher this at Bletchley Park. Although it was actually Poles who cracked the enigma code they say, would they even have enough brainpower to work out what fellow countryman PRF is talking about?!

    1. Is it possible “clay on grass” was working BECAUSE Fed’s level was down, & when Fed’s level came back up it wasn’t as effective?

      1. Well, we are speculating. I guess, the players themselves could not tell after the match, what was really happening. I don’t believe in “decisions” to not fight until the end because you never know what comes in the next set(s). This may be rather a natural reaction. If the game suddenly broke down, it’s not easy to come back in the game or set. But calculations like “Ah, I will rather save energy for the next set” is something, we can do after the match, not the players during the match.

        “Clay on grass” works always better for Nadal than “grass on grass”, because he misses grass-specific skills and experience. Always better to play own game on any surface because it’s what the player can do best.

        I was just surprised watching Nadal trying to play what he never plays on grass or wherever.

    2. I would suggest its because his “clay on grass” game (which for the record I think is nonsense: Nadal plays a similar style all year round and his clay game has developed to be more aggressive lately- even if you had a point Nadal stuck to his return position in the 3rd 4th, which is what gave him joy in the 2nd) has systematically failed consistently at wimbledon for a fairly long period of time. So maybe you might assume Nadal knows better than you what he wants to do with his tennis and the stats back it up?

    3. You don’t need lengthy explanations of a 6-1 set on grass, the surface means sets can go by at light speed. Fed nearly won the third by the same margin had 1 or 2 points gone his way.

  42. @Wanda,
    Totally agree with you regarding the BBC.
    Hype,Hype,Hype.In the year Murray won we even had angelic choirs I seem to remember.
    Sue Barker in that ghastly trouser suit,with Becker and JM.
    Then Andrew freakin Castle doing the commentary.Turned the volume off.
    At least I didn’t have to listen to Nadals grunts.😊

  43. The Nadal fan has mysteriously disappeared. Quelle surprise. According to BBC radio Nadal is now claiming he wasn’t fully fit for the semi. Always the excuses.

    1. Are you joking (about Nadal’s claims)?
      @ Pablo, you will not be eaten alive here – come and explain, why Nadal lost. Interesting to hear from Nadal fan and expert 🙂

      1. PRF, please man, please, I’m begging you, please, with my hands folded; do not wake up the beast. We are having good fun here, and I am back commenting as I don’t see him around (which saves everyone from my perverse, putrid, rancid, forever festering on this blog, obscenity laden comments too).

        Let’s not get him back, please, at least for this post and the next (which hopefully will be a happy one).

        Shake hands now, shall we?

      2. Sorry PRF, I needed a couple of days to recover from the loss. Nadal did not play as well as he was playing. Specially his BH did not work. Then I don’t know the reason way that happened, did he have a bad day or Roger’s pressure made him play bad?. Probably a combination of both.

        At the end of the day on grass all is about the serve and the return and I think Roger was better in that regard. Nadal was not able to read Federer’s serve at all thus putting a lot of pressure on his own serve.

        I feel like Nadal now has better shots than in the past like his BH or serve but he is not clearly the same physically and I would say that also mentally is not as good as before and I think this mental side is key for him on grass as he will always be under more pressure than the others due to his worse serve.

      3. Now I’m interested to know what the doping experts we have here think about how a 38 years old guy look better physically than the 2 best grinders of all time. Will they apply the same theories to his beloved heroe? Do they have any WADA friend with inside information?

    2. If that is so it is pretty despicable.As was rushing back to his chair and taking his shoe off while Fed was
      waiting to serve out the match.

      1. Yeah looked like a stall tactic. Although I think he did shout over to Federer to say what he was doing?

        Remember Fed did take an MTO in Aus 2017 which had some tactical element…

    3. Yes like he kept going to the bathroom or finding ways to delay and getting his ankles straps off in the 4th set as he know Roger likes speed and play quickly…he and the Joker are poor losers unlike Roger who handles it with class…

  44. Indeed, now it is right time for us Fedfans to be cautious and think back a little of what happened in 15 final, after having schooled Andy in semi. At the after match interview with BBC, Roger’s beaming smile down-sized quickly, as he responded with “this is only the semi-final” to one of questions. Clear to me, Roger has learned and he knows that another tough task is ahead. Can Roger do it? absolutely! Taking their respective QF and SF forms into final, Roger is certainly the better of two IMO. Playing freely as he has been doing in the last couple of rounds, Roger should come out on top. For my three highlighted aspects (return, BP conversion and UFE count), Roger did two of them (1st and 3rd) very well, so he came out on top in 4. Of course, those estimations were based on implicit assumptions that Roger’s strengths (serve% and FH) were there, which were beautifully delivered. Roll on the Sunday, allez Rog!

    1. Remember, Djoker peaks always in the final and he often “plays dead” only to unfold all 1000 legs and play big.

    2. Yeah I agree with PRF, Djoker has a track record of upping his level for the final. Look at Australia this year, everyone thought Nadal was the form guy, I turned it on and he was down 2 sets and a break.

  45. Roger …at Wimbledon :

    Fans watching Roger at Wimbledon :

    One more step… and it will be the vacation ! #21BELIEVE !

  46. Not to take away anything from Jonathan but the following write up on Roger Federer is the best one I have ever read. It describe my thoughts and everyone that is a fan of Fed exactly why we think he is the GOAT. Please take the time to read and enjoy. The title of the write up is “For goodness sake, Federer is 37 and too old to be doing this”. I agree there may be a painting of roger aging like Dorian Gray.

    Martin Samuel from the Daily Mail

      1. Actually I was going to post that I could only read what The Mail has to say with a peg on my nose😀

  47. I think that today the spectators may feel a bit frustrated. They paid tickets to watch a full length movie in an expensive theater but Halep decided that this would be a short film
    Oh, baby, this is going to be so good, wasn’t it?…

    1. Thank god Simona won the final.
      Serena is the most unsportmanship person I can imagine in women’s tennis:
      * of course in her words she is a holy mother with a perfect character.
      * I prefer Ion Tiriac’s description from one year ago:
      “With all due respect. 36 years old, weighing 90 kilograms. I wish for something different with the women”s tennis”

      1. Halep was once the mother of all big boobs. She sacrificed that pair, to win another pair.

  48. Yeah, so happy for Halep. She was so composed in the final just like our guy. She seems to have cleaned up the weaknesses in her game. Serena…will she ever win another?

    1. Graf was class. I don’t think that will happen again, the Wiliams Sisters made women’s tennis into a weaker version of the men’s game. Before had some unique styles where it was it’s ‘own’ sport.

      1. Well, the Williams sisters found a winning formula. Can’t blame them for that. I think Monica Seles was well on her way to establishing that formula (if I am interpreting your comment about weaker version of men’s tennis correctly) before her career was irrevocably damaged by the stabbing. Did I like her game? Not really. Was she beating everyone everywhere other than Steffi on grass? Yep.

  49. Great write up. It really described the match well in a composed way – a bit like Federer himself (!)

    With Djokovic, well we all know Federer was flying very high in 2015 just to be stopped . If you recall he was up a break 4-2 in the 1st set and then ended up losing that first set in a tiebreak. Then he faded in sets 3 and 4.

    Djokovic is special because his return game neutralizes Federer’s best weapon. So essentially no easy service games and that tires Fed out. I don’t know what the tactic is around that. Maybe someone has an idea here.

    As somebody said above Djokovic loves rhythm . He’s so solid and will basically never make a mistake. And against an aggressive player he can just hang in , hit to Fed’s BH and wait for the error. Have to keep him guessing – that’s the only chance.

    Physically I’m worried FEderer’s won’t be able to recover – mentally though he looks great. Wow such composure not to let that awful overheard bother him and save the break back point. Amazing. Pre 2017 Federer would have lost it after that. I tell you what, if Federer has 40-15 and is serving for the match tomorrow he won’t be fazed like he was vs Djokovic in 2011 at the US Open. The key is getting there 🙂

    I also think Djokovic has had a very easy draw. We saw this with Nadal, outside of Kyrgios he was not really going to lose. And I believed that Fed would lose in 4 baed on seeing Nadal destroy everyone. Who has troubled Djokovic? GOffin? Hurcacz? Whereas Federer played 2 guys who COULD beat him – Nishikori and of course Nadal. But we all know Djokovic can turn into a beast in the finals…

    1. I was thinking this about the missed overhead (which I was, in retrospect, glad NOT to have seen live, although watching 40A-A-40A-A etc. was bad enough)… that in the past that might have rattled him just enough to leave a crack of an opening for his opponent; while this time he did a great job of staying calm-ish.

    2. Cheers Arjuna. I think the reverse – harder to recover mentally than physically.

      I’m interested to see how Fed plays. Does he throw in a lot of junk ball up the middle rather than trying to belt the ball? The Ljubi-Luthi pairing hopefully have the answers 🙂

  50. Fed I think lost to Djokovic 2 times post 2017, Cinncy and then the Paris Masters. The Paris one was very, very tight with the 3rd going to a tiebreaker that Djokovic just edged out. In Cinncinati Djokovic comprehensively defeated Federer but if you recall there was a lot of rain and I think Federer played on consecutive days (Wawrinka in the SF, and then Djokovic the next day).

    I can’t believe he’s in the final anyway! Nice work Halep . Let’s hope the other 37 year old is more fortunate though.

    1. Last weekend I visualized Roger and Simona winning Wimbledon. Halep won hers now it’s Roger’s turn!

  51. Maybe in a dank attic in an abandoned Gothic pile in the Swiss Alps there is a portrait of Federer aging horribly. Maybe a deal has been struck with some diabolic entity and there will be a price to pay. The supernatural certainly offers a more plausible explanation than the rational here.

    Love this! I have such a good visual.

    1. Ha , that’s a good reference. You know the funny thing is Federer has aged like a normal person. He looks older, like we all have during the last 15 years or whatever. And he’s still there fighting. Inspirational. So I think that portrait of Dorian Federer probably doesn’t look much different – but I bet he must move around the court very slowly with terrible knees , because the real Fed still moves incredibly well. Surely his strength of shot is not the same as when he was 25, as otherwise it would be an insult to 25 year old Federer 🙂

    2. Sue works in a lab. Who knows what goodies she brings back from work to pass the time on an evening. Certainly stronger than Russian Vodka.

  52. Psychotraining for Roger before tomorrow.
    Who do I play tomorrow … hmmmm, Djokovic? Never heard. Let’s have a look on ATP website.
    Ah, Djokovic, it must be him

    Well, must be tentative first 3 games. How the hell made the guy ranked 571 to the Wimby final?

    OK, let’s have a look, whom will play that Djokovic tomorrow. R…o…g…e…r…F…e…d…r…e…r – there is only one – it’s me or what?

    Repeat the drill 100 times in an hour.

    DONE – BANG – 21!!!

  53. In the highlights we re-saw a bit of Roger’s running all over the court – AMAZING speed! No wonder if he’s exhausted today. But hope oh hope he has recovered forn Sunday and it was just the final training for the W-final 2019 and 21’th. – Surely this SF will go down our happy memories whatever happens tomorrow. Nervous about final – me? Yes. But SO excited too. Roger with unforeseen strength of endurance – psychic and physical – to ground his genius – again!

    1. I like “psychic” part. Wimbledon Roger is vastly different from RG Roger. Something happened psychically.

  54. Novak hasn’t looked quite so invincible this year. He’s had quite a few losses since the AO. His forehand was all over the place in his match against BA. If Roger recovers enough from his semi, I would give him the edge for their final.

  55. I wonder a bit whether people are taking that exhausted comment rather too literally.
    It seemed to me rather throw away and not the sort of thing he would say usually.
    He seems extremely fit and the match was not unduly long.First set very quick as was the second.
    Also in an oblique way it was a compliment to the quality of his opponent.
    Mentally I feel he should be elated and full of confidence having beaten his Nemesis on Centre Court.
    Lets hope so anyway!

    1. People are absolutely reading too much into it. Federer will be physically fine tomorrow. Looking at the stats, Djokovic actually ran more in his match than Fed. And the match was barely 3hrs. He was fine in the SF against Nadal at RG right? He had played a 3hrs QF before that too.

      And Nole’s shape isn’t that top quality either. He also likes to win cheap points on serve these days. The way he was rushing the net against RBA? Yeah that was telling…

      1. I think the tiredness could be mental. Playing Nadal is a huge drain. His whole game is designed to grind you mentally, maybe less so now he’s going for quicker points but still takes 3 years to serve!

  56. I’m waving forth and up and back and down acc. tomorrow. At the moment I’m up, so I race to possibly breed that feeling further. YES! He’ll win his 21th tomorrow!

  57. Lots of great points & comments, as usual, & as usual I find many of the things I was thinking have already been said. Think Roger may have been better tested, overall, over the last two weeks, so certainly there’s a good chance tomorrow. As always, much depends on the energy Roger (& Nole too for that matter) can bring on the day. Hope it’s a great match & our guy has a lot of fun.

    I appreciated the reminder that the last time they met here, Roger’s relationship with the new racquet was still (relatively) new. I also like Roger’s apparent proactive approach to his mindset. Allez Rodgeur!

    1. If Federer can produce the type of tennis he played in Paris last year on a more conducive surface I like his chances. But we shall see. Djoker the favourite but all about on the day. Like he said to Halep, winning mentality! Allez!

  58. You are absolutely right. That Murray 2015 Semifinals performance was one for the books. Then came the letdown in the final. I’m not sure at almost 38, Roger can put in back to back stellar performances.

  59. Why is nobody asking Nadal or djokovic to retire when Roger was their age so many call outs for him to hang up why? Toni Nadal saying Roger is to old to play yet his nephew is 33

      1. Yep. After the 2008 loss, a friend of mine said, “It’s curtains for Mr. Federer.” Federer won 8 slams after that. including 3 at Wimbledon. It was only after the 2008 loss that I became a Federer fan and in fact that was only the second Federer match I watched. The first one was his defeat of Roddick in 2006, not because I liked Federer then, but because I hated the cocky Roddick and wanted his butt kicked.

      2. Yeah, all those articles between 2008 and 2010 saying he should retire are stupid. There’s a reason they are tomorrow’s chip paper 🙂

      3. Then they noticed how ill prepared the next gen chasing pack aren’t chasing that even Murray is gearing up after more serious surgeries
        Halep winning was lovely and it was decisive!

    1. Let’s see. Was it Ken Rosewall who won a title at 39? Martina Navratilova at 49? The age thing is irrelevant. Players on tour in their early 20’a are plagued with injuries…Roger is ageless…he is the master exception 🙂

    2. Because they came from another era of professionalism.
      Federer’s budies were all technical and no training. The youngs came better prepared in that matter, that’s why all of them are still playing today and only Federer adapted to that.

  60. Anyway good luck to Roger I see he badly wants to win Wimbledon he will study hard 2014,2015 and 2012 semi also Thier last match and bring winning tactics to the match. I see either a tight 3 set or a four setter going the way of Roger.

  61. Great comments to read, thank you Fedfans. Getting very impatient waiting for tomorrow’s final. Roger has a very good chance and his spirits are high. He can make it 21, yes!

  62. Okay, well, thoughts about tomorrow’s match based on yesterday’s performance(s) (I was working in front of the telly for both matches, so only partly watching):
    – Fed may need to win the match on Djokovic’s serve – given how much he wobbled yesterday on serving it out, I’m not convinced that even having an insurance break would be enough!
    – I was a bit concerned by the amount of emotion he showed after winning the match – wouldn’t be the first time I’d seen a player celebrating a win like that and then going flat on the next match.
    – Basically, he’s going to have to perform even better than he did yesterday to stand a chance of winning. Not to mention trying to get balls past Djokovic, because we all know how hard that is! That said, from what I was actually watching of Novak’s match yesterday I’m not sure how well he’s really playing – after all, the only seeds he’s come up against so far have been ranked in the 20s – but then we all know his tendency to raise his game in finals.
    – I’m wondering whether the “exhausted” was physical or emotional – I suspect the latter. Just as long as we don’t get a repeat of the Olympic SF/final situation – I hope he will have recovered mentally, because we’ve said all along that it’s a huge ask for him to beat Rafa and Novak back-to-back.

    I’m hugely tempted to go along and get a ground pass, just on the off-chance that Roger might end up lifting the trophy – but if I do that I’ll probably jinx him, I guess – and I don’t trust my recorder to behave after it decided not to record the finals this afternoon 🙁 Fingers crossed that he can get the job done, although I think Novak has to be the heavy favourite.

    1. Alison, in my dark moments I think like you. He may be exhausted from the 3 hours something in a very wild fast tempo. He won maybe because of this his genius to win – a rock solid mindset, and his masterly handling the long rallies. And the presser up here shows a very focussed Federer with not many signs of exhaustion. Based on this – and his strength newly developed – and Djoko’s newly shown slight insecureness – I’m at this moment more to the optimistic side. We don’t know. The quality of the SF surprised many. Let us be prepared for this to day too.

      1. Physically he should be good but it’s mentally tiring playing Nadal for sure. Beating them back to back to win a slam is unheard of. Go Fed!

    2. Wobbled when serving it out? He served it out first time!

      Like you, I think the battle will be a mental one, need to see if playing Nadal drained the reserves but at least it was in four sets which definitely helped.

  63. Is it game time yet??? ⏰ I can barely stand the wait … only a few hours to go …
    I agree with many of you FedFans that Roger can win. It won’t be a cakewalk but it can happen. Go Roger Go!!

  64. Never underestimate the Swiss Maestro! If any of you you caught a keypoint during his press conferences..he was saying…his body and mind are in great shape and he is happy! The crowd will be behind him 100% and with his first serve going in and playing his game and strategies, he will defeat the Joker in 4. (would prefer 3 for a sweet revenge). Another 9 hours to go to watch in Toronto.

  65. I wonder what players do on their recovery days?
    Physio I guess,some practise,decide tactics with their team?Or just relax,in Feds case with his family.
    Two full nights sleep though,extremely important.

    1. Someone watched yesterday men’s doubles final?
      What a match and how much of fast action.
      Excellent entertainment, partly because you are not involved so much and a lot of smiling, no fist pumping.
      Yesterday the level was extremely high. Looked like 12 Federers running around 😉

      1. It’s not that difficult. Each player only needs to cover half his court side although the boundary is shifting all the time.
        Doubles is almost and entirely different sport and can be very funny at times.
        I like it, just not as much as singles.
        I had to leave before the 5th set so I did not see how the deal was consummated.

      2. @Rui
        Every medal has two sides.
        The doubles player needs to cover only half of the court, but the court is wider.
        On the other side when hitting you play against a court covered by two, so to find some good place to hit, it’s more difficult.

        I prefer singles too, but from time to time high level doubles is a good entertainment. It was yesterday and the winners were the Colombians.

        BTW – I heard the Polish commentator talking about Robert Farah having an university degree in economics. Not so often in professional sports. More difficult for singles players, I guess.

        Doubles players have not much skills for baseline exchanges, but also in singles they have some weapons (serve and play at the net and can have some success in singles too.

  66. Today is National Holiday in France.
    All Fedfans hope for more wonderful fireworks from Roger today.
    Go and attack the defensive Djoko-fortress ..
    And play “freely”…
    We’ll be battalions watching the battle this afternoon. 
    #14juillet2019 = #Bastilleday = #Wim9ledon = #103

  67. Another Wimbledon loss at almost 38 years of age by the hand of notorious Djoker would be seismic disaster for Federer since we all know Federer will not have the opportunity to win more than 1-2 Grand Slams before he ends his illustrious career possibly at the end of 2020. So, if he loses today he would not find that golden chance of adding 1-2 more slams to his inimitable repertoire. Overall, it will be a catastrophic day for tennis. Federer is the embodiment of Tennis at its aesthetic best so him being prime contender for GOAT will be more deserving prize for tennis.

    1. Why not just enjoy the final and see what happens? Fortunately, players don’t walk on court with this mindset. A seismic disaster? Far too over dramatic.

    2. Take it easy 🙂 We all must die/retire when the time comes. This is not a disaster – it’s the only guaranteed point in life.

      I have another proposition. After Fed wins his last Wimbledon (who and how will know it was last, I have no clue ;)) they should close the tournament and make it Federer Museum. Or make it his private court .

      I don’t see among youngsters anybody playing something special on grass. They all play the same game on any surface.

      But this is normal development in any sport or field of life. We know the start but we never know the end (Thanks God):)

  68. I have a strange feeling today.
    In my mind I say to myself – “No way, Novak is going to win this one. Don’t expect much.”
    But I have such a strong inner voice that says Roger is going to take it all. I remember that feeling in 2012 when he beat Djokovic. Just felt like it’s going to happen.
    It’s some kind of conviction you see in Roger’s eyes that is special. I hope we see it in a couple of hours.

    Go Roger!

    1. Before you lose, you must believe, you can win. I think, this is always Roger’s mindset until it’s clear the match is lost (say 0:2 in sets 0:5 in third and the opponent serving ;))

      Here is some difference between him and Rafa. Rafa believes until the last point was lost 😉

  69. What do I expect to see on court today?
    A battle of two different position games. Could compare it to chess, partly because both can read very well the game of the other and provoke movements of the opponent before hitting and then guess, which will be the (forced) answer land and wait there for the ball.

    If we compare to chess; it will be the battle between the knight (Federer) and bishop (Djokovic). Which is worth more (in chess), depends on the situation and position of the pawns. In more dynamic situations bishop is worth more. No direct comparison between chess and tennis here. There are no pawns 😉
    But bishop makes longer moves and knight is more agile. That’s why I chose the knight for Fed and the bishop for Djoker.

    Given the value of both figures is comparable, what can decide, is some other factor. The King! In chess, whatever pieces you have, the King must be always there.

    The King (on grass) is Federer and the better weapon he has is the serve. The serve will decide the match.

    1. Interesting analogy. For me, Fed has to play like he is not afraid to lose. It’s like sacrificing the Queen in Chess, you either win brilliantly, or you lose brilliantly. Take the risk!

      1. God Save The Queen, but … I totally agree. Fed must be the aggressor and bomb poor Djoker like some years ago NATO bombed poor Belgrade (including Djoker practicing among ruins).

      2. Staying with chess analogy, in chess there is a baseline like tennis. Fed needs to forget, there is something like baseline. Step back only for the serve (these stupid rules 😉

    2. So I guess the pawns could be the ball boys and girls,I hate the term ball kids,and the umpire a castle.
      Actually thats enough about castles ,just reminded me of Andrew Castle..gaargh.

  70. I propose, Jon, you post another Fed’s stat: All Brilliant Losses 😉

    But I think (agree?), a brilliant loss has sometimes (or always) more value than easy/boring win 🙂

    Against a weak opponent, you can always spend him some nice and friendly lesson – double bagel against weak opponent is not a brilliant one.

  71. Key will be

    1. High first serve percentage; big second serve (Fed has to take risk here), djokovic is a great returner, he won 2014 and 2015 here in wimbledon by nullifying Fed’s Serve with his return.
    2. Fearless return game driving the ball from the backhand side only using slice sparingly.
    3. Winners unforced error ratio (3:1) (Let’s say Fed fires down 50 winners which means he can not commit more than 16-17 UE)
    4. The Neo backhand of 2017.

  72. I wish Roger his Wimbledon #9 win in front of his children and family! This will be the greatest gift especially to his daughters who will be 10 next week so they can all celebrate a momentous year together! 2019 Wimbledon Win! A Year to remember! 9 + 10 = 19

  73. The key things are return of serve, great serving day, and break point conversation all three must be working well especially break points . Omg 5 minutes left good luck Roger I know you want this badly and I know you will fight very hard

  74. Overcast conditions – not sure what this means for court speed. I guess hotter means the air is drier and the ball moves quicker…well here we go…

  75. Awful. Terrible. Honestly, roger, why? Totally stupid. Up 5-3, huge overplay on his next serve point, loses next two returns, and then dumps another serve point with a backhand wide. Straight sets for Novak now most likely.

  76. Luckily Federer is not as despairing as I am after that tiebreaker. Did so well to get to 5-3 in the breaker, and then fired a regulation forehand wide . But he’s got the early breaks in the 2nd. Maybe he can level quickly.

    1. Quickly indeed. Very surprising. Fed needs to press more and more. I didn’t think he’d come back so readily but he did. Please roger take it easier in the next tb. Don’t just try to bang a winner if you get a return back deep.

  77. Strange. Djokovic pulled a Federer there and gave up the 2nd set after going down a break . All even now. Argh that missed forehand at 5-3 Fed could be up 2-0. Come on Federer!

    1. Maybe not. Djokovic could’ve tightened his game and won the second set. Or rattled off next three. But fed had to get out front and show that he could pull out a tight one. Fed isn’t stable enough to win the tb against him.

  78. What a joke. Fed has no clutch play left. What the hell was that shot at 4-5 supposed to be? Second ball, you’re in the opponents serve and you hit that moronic drop shot? Why not play a goddamn point? What a missed opportunity to at least extend the TB. It’s over. Disappointing even despite the nadal win.

  79. This is pretty awful to watch. Federer has played so well only to drop his level in the tiebreakers. I mean you think he’d win half of them, but it looks like things are against him today.

  80. Somehow Federer managed to recover the break. Both men are exhausted. This is going to come down to who wants it more.

      1. Garbage fed. Awful play in the clutch. Embarrassing. One tiebreak he rightly lost, the other two were just blown efforts. He should really give it up. He can’t beat Novak at this stage of his career.

    1. Third time in their rivalry that Federer has had MPs and failed to convert. This time there was no excuse like the miracle FH return from Djokovic at USO 2011. Federer just couldn’t come up with the goods.

      People will be hyping this match because of the five-setter and the first fifth-set TB in Wimbledon history, but it was a grind. Just a long grind with no real momentum. Federer played great intermittently but never was able to break free of Djokovic’s smothering game. Djokovic played average tennis by his standards but when it came to crunch time was just a little more consistent.

      When Federer threw away the lead in the first TB, you knew he wasn’t ready mentally to win this. Otherwise, he would have won in four, instead of fighting from behind all the time.

      1. Yes,can’t help agreeing.That first set tie break was key.
        Fed made four unforced errors on his forehand i think.Djoker just goes for percentage centre
        of the court stuff.

    2. 40-15, two match-points – but no first serves. In the fifth set he really couldn’t back up his second-serve once Djokovic was able to get a ball in play – usually deep. He even gave himself opportunities later to break Djokovic but couldn’t take them – particularly a passing shot that was on his racquet. The difference between them on the return was that Djokovic immediately neutralised Roger, while Roger – if he made the return – simply set Djokovic up to hit him off the court. And once a rally ensued, there was generally only one winner. But the main difference in the end was mental. And there, Djokovic has it all over Roger. Three out of three tie-breaks lost. And a trademark shank to finish. It wasn’t his age that went against him in the end.

      1. I am sorry to hear your comments,Roger gave it his all.
        The tie breaks I just can’t understand.Fed usually so clutch.If he had even won one of them.
        What I would like to know is why Djoker went off to a first set toilet break taking his water
        bottles with him?
        Not the first time I have seen him doing this.Strange.

  81. Wow, Federer’s tiebreak performances were abysmal. Unbelievable, that such a class player could not have remained composed during the crucial phase of each set. And the number of chances (even match points) he blew before them…he essentially defeated himself today. Probably the last chance to win a Wimbledon final is gone. It really is sad.

  82. What a fucking joke. Fed sucks I’m sorry. Total shit quality match won by who missed fewer balls. Fed should be ashamed, unable to close over and over in big matches. He had it and he fucked up. There is no excuse and the “epic” status of this match is of no consequence.

    1. Oh please.
      why can’t you give it a rest.
      As soon as Fed loses an extremely close match you are on here to tell us Fed sucks.
      Could you play the world number 1 who is six years younger than you for all those hours.
      No you couldn’t so shut up.
      And no Fed shouldn’t be ashamed .You should be for posting such garbage.

      1. Annie, console yourself as you like, but Fed shit the bed. Again. Match points up, couldn’t close. Maybe you should shut up with the excuses and call a spade a spade. He had a chance for his greatest triumph but instead it became his most bitter and ignominious defeat. If Fed competing well in his apparently geriatric age is enough, why even watch and hope for a win? It’s fun to be out there for the old guy! He is number 2. He can beat number 1 and should’ve, perhaps even by set 4. The not consolation is maybe that he beat himself in a few bad shots and decisions in the clutch, but it’s not enough. He blew it.

  83. How can I sleep 😫😫😫😫😫😫😫😫😫😫😫😫😫😫😫😫😫
    Literally going to hit him hard 😔😔😔😔😔😔😔😔

  84. In the battle of good vs evil sometimes evil wins. This would have been Roger Federer greatest victory ever. The man is 38 in a few weeks playing number 1 and he had match point. They should give points for age difference. What is amazing Fed leads in every stat even games won but loses the one most important stat. Thank you again Roger in showing why fans love you and dislike Djocovic.

    1. Match quality was low. Objectively fed was down the key break first in the fifth and fed was fortunate to break right back. The second break was well won but also mostly errors from Novak. Fed could’ve closed it right out with a few tighter shots. Too bad.

  85. Come on guys. I’ll admit, I’m disappointed, yes it would have in some ways been easier if it wasn’t an epic. But absolutely crushed, no. And certainly not denigrating Roger’s effort and saying he ‘sucks’ seems a bit silly. The guy went toe-to-toe with Novak for five hours, the longest Wimbledon final in history, played the first tiebreak at 12-12, and played some amazing shots. Of course I wish Roger could have converted those match points, or one of the tiebreaks, or the two break points late in the fifth after he got broken back. But in the end, the guy is 37, he shouldn’t even be on the fucking tour for god’s sake, he should be retired, relaxing and playing the occasional exhibition match in front of his fans. Not only is the guy still playing, he’s made another Wimbledon final, and been within a point of winning it? Think back to when you first started watching Roger play (in my case, around 2009, seriously from 2012 onwards). You are given the choice of whether Roger loses in the first round of Wimbledon in 2019, or makes the final and loses an epic. Well I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ll take the epic final loss over a 1R loss every single time. That’s my opinion, you guys might, very reasonably, pick a different perspective on the subject, but that’s up to you.

    Onwards for the US Open!

    1. Totally agree with you Charlie.
      Roger was fabulous couldn’t believe reaching 12/12!! And TB. He gave it all. It is hard to accept Djokovic’s win as for me Roger was the best player to doubt about it.

      1. Yes i hate sodding tie breaks.
        The Djoker won the second he hadn’t broken Feds serve once.
        Up to the fourth set Fed was the better player.
        But if you like machine like percentage tennis,well Jokers your man.

      2. If Novak was on his game, he would’ve whipped Fed. You think a 6-1 set is quality? Novak was beatable today, that’s the thing. Fed could’ve done it. Instead, he played often tentative or loose (a bizarre mix) on key points (terrible approach on mp 2), and played so many points just not to miss against the best backboard ever. The level of tension was super high and it was a tremendous fight, but quality in terms of shots? No way. Maybe the slowed surface had the final say.

  86. This was brutal!!!
    As I predicted, the match was going to be decided by the serve. Federer was serving like a hell and this made it 5-setter.
    In terms of long and short position game, the long position game won. Simply by taking too much energy from Fed.
    I think, Fed played the two sets on energy deficit (adrenaline allows this, you can lose 5 kg of weight or more in such a match).
    But, like Jon said, this was a brilliant loss. Fed gave lot more than he has. Was not enough.

    It’s hard to like the loss but in this case – this loss was far better than Nadal win in SF.
    Respect Roger. Respect Novak.

  87. Nice to hear him joke about it. If he can take this loss with equanimity, so can we (relatively speaking). Another one to add to his growing collection of matches lost after having MP (on his own serve this time). That’s one record Novak wouldn’t want to break.
    Can’t help wishing “what if”, though.

  88. No, this one is a painful one simply because I stupidly wrote above that this time Federer is mentally tougher and if he gets 40-15 to serve for the match he wouldn’t suddenly give up 4 points in a row – yet that is exactly what happened. Some of that is due to Djookovic being clutch and just smothering him. But the fact is Federer put himself in the perfect position to win and then couldn’t get over the line. I don’t blame him, but it really is a kick in the guts.

    1. Your or his? You don’t blame him but … you blame him.
      Fortunately it’s far more important, what Roger feels and thinks and that’s what he knows better than we all, experts sitting comfortably before TV and drinking cold beer or taking calming drugs. while he gives everything he has and a lot more.

      I know, you are not inclined now to think about anything else and compare.
      But let me call this (like I called Thiem’s Nadal match at USO 2018) a TRANSCEND WIN. Because in individual sports you have always the toughest opponent in yourself, your weaknesses, bad-lucks a.s.o.

      1. Fair enough. I guess I am just angry that there is a great deal of luck in tiebreakers, yet magically he happened to lose every one. I don’t think Djokovic actually deserved to win this match.

      2. The match stats rather back that up – I’ve never seen them so one-sided. But unfortunately “deserving” to win a match doesn’t mean you will win it.

      3. @A+A “Deserving” is wrong thinking pattern. Pure nonsense. If the match is close, still someone must lose. By having more luck. Not by deserving.
        Praise Novak for having defended 2 match points from Federer and you will praise even more Roger, who created these chances.
        Before the match everyone used a bit more of cold reasoning, thinking, Roger’s chances are not that big. And still he managed to come so close. His chances were deserved for him. The win was “deserved” by both, but only one can win.
        If you don’t take it like that, you try to make a tennis match something, which it for sure isn’t.
        Think on your lives. Do you deserve your life’s wins more than your losses? You deserve everything you get. In this aspect Roger is an human just like you and me.

    2. Yes that chance to serve out in the fifth.
      But whatever we might feel,poor Mirka,she seemed to live and die during that match.
      I really can’t see Fed playing a lot longer ,she was really suffering there.
      Let the others fight it out.
      The big win was stopping Nadal getting to 19.Now Jokers creeping up on him.
      More worrying for him than for fed.
      And Jokers not unbeatable going forward.Next time he might have Kyrgios and Nadal in his draw.

  89. @Holdco,
    perhaps you should calm down dear,its only a game of tennis.
    Feds most bitter and ignominious
    Perhaps you should go away and look up what ignominious actually means.

    1. It means deserving shame. If you don’t think squandering two match points in such a moment as shameful, well I envy your low standards.

      1. I don’t think he “squandered” either of them – Djokovic just made two great returns. How Roger lost the point prior to those to put himself in that position is more of a question, though.

        I fear I was right: I said I didn’t think Fed would be able to serve it out if it came down to it, and the match situation wasn’t such that he could win by breaking Novak 🙁

  90. Alison, I understand missing one, no problem. Hell I understand missing both (though I can’t imGine you were happy with that approach) but I can’t reconcile dumping the next two so passively.

    1. Did you have similar “game” in your live? Never missed 1-2 or more chances?
      You miss your big chances every day, while not filling the lottery coupon. Maybe you would win millions?
      I don’t care about Fed’s loss at all. You all say so often, Fed has nothing to prove and after he loses, it shows, actually you think the opposite.
      You make things bitter to yourself. Your choice.

      1. Listen, my man, Fed is a 20-time grand slam champion. He’s been hitting a yellow ball across a net his whole life. To equate the odds of winning the lottery with a 20-time grand slam champion serving for the match at 40-15 on his favorite court is idiotic. He has played his whole life for precisely these moments, so as when they come, he would not screw them up. Yes, he’s permitted a missed chance, but not here, not at this time.

        I agree Fed has nothing to prove, but for himself and for his fans, he needed to close Novak out. He failed, and everyone is rightfully disappointed.

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